Computers & Electronics

Building/Upgrading gaming PC

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  • Sep 7th, 2020 3:39 pm
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[OP]
Member
May 5, 2009
377 posts
129 upvotes
Montreal

Building/Upgrading gaming PC

Hi all,
My current PC is pretty old (4-5 years ish) and I would like to upgrade or buy a new one. I purchased my current one from canada computers and I don't think I'm comfortable enough to build one from scratch myself. If it was to change something simple like RAM/SSD, it would be fine but I believe my current build is too old to even warrant an upgrade.
My PC is mainly for gaming and I would like it to be good for a 4-5 years span if possible. I would be fine buying something now and updating say the GPU in 3 years. My goal is to eventually game in 4K but I do not have a 4K monitor so don't think it make sense shelling big $ for the GPU if I don't expect to 4K before 2-3 years.
I don't have a budget per say but let's say 2000$ish.

So questions:
1) Here is my current setup. Anything salvageable or should I simply sell it on kijiji as is and buy a full new one?
Mobo: ASUSTek Z97-A
CPU: i5-4690k
GPU: GTX 970
RAM: 8GB

2) If, as I suspect, a new build makes more sense, any build suggestion? I'm really not up to date with what's coming, what's already up

3) If reusing what I currently have actually make sense, which pcs should I update?
33 replies
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1) If you have the room keep it as a spare or a backup PC. I don't know how much you would get on Kijii for that.

2) If your budget is $2000 you can build a decent gaming rig at that price point with some nice features. Only problem is AMD is on 3xxx series of CPU's and Intel is on Gen 10xxx CPU's. Not sure what you prefer because everyone has a preference. AMD is up there right now in terms of popularity and performance, the thing is they are announcing a new cpu line 4xxx series processors really soon so prices of 3xxx series chips might go up or down (depending on demand)

At the same time, Nvidia is getting ready to launch an announcement on a new generation of graphics cards come September 1st. 3090 and 3080 Ampere will be the first to be announced. Hopefully 3070 will be showcased as well. Price is hard to say but predictions so far are $600-700 USD for 3070, $1000+ for 3080 and $1500 for 3090 GPUs.

AMD is supposed to announce its next gen (BIG NAVI) graphic cards at the same time as well. How this will all work out with price and performance, who knows.

Also, don't forget that there are a lot of shortages in certain parts, so prices have been inflated ever since the start of COV19. That affects everything as well.

3) If you are going to keep what you have and sit on it for a little while longer, depending on what you game at, a SATA SSD (for boot drive) would make a hell of a difference in terms of performance. Heck if you can even afford a SATA SSD for a gaming drive that would help as well, you can always move them to the newer PC when you build it, and the price of ram, if you have room DIMM's to upgrade to 16GB that would help a lot as well. Otherwise I wouldn't invest that much into it. No point changing the GPU or CPU as if you did that, you might as well buy a new system altogether then.

Here is a parts example of a gaming beast (without graphics card) around $1400 for high end AMD. $1500 high end INTEL. No video card has been added, because expect to pay $600-700 or more or less when the new Nvidia card and AMD drop, unless you want to find old 2xxx series cards for cheaper when the 3xxx cards drop and just upgrade the card in the future for 4K. The budget AMD card would be a 5600XT or 5700XT.

AMD $1400
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/N4YwNq

INTEL $1500
https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/list/WRRHwh
** these are just quick rough estimates with some high end parts, you can adjust for cheaper ones as needed. Just did something quickly.**

Oh, forgot to mention, if you order all the parts, or find them at Canada Computers or buy a couple of parts from them (1 or 2) like a PSU or RAM or something, they will assemble it for you for $100. (It costs more if you want them to install Windows for you) but I'm sure you're more then capable of installing W10 + drivers by yourself and saving another $100 instead of paying them to do it, if you are not comfortable with them building for you.
Last edited by heyyahblah on Aug 26th, 2020 9:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Member
May 5, 2009
377 posts
129 upvotes
Montreal
Thank you so much for your help. If it's OK, I'd like to build up on this.

Harddrive wise, my current rig has 3TB HDD, an EVO850 SSD 250GB and an EVO850 SSD 500GB.
The real eye opener was on Microsoft Flight Sim. My rig is destroyed running it even at low. My CPU is at 100% all the time. And this happens more and more in recent games.

With this said, if we believe a major shift is coming, I'm 100% OK waiting a month or two or three. I'm really looking for help in what make sense based on current situation. Say I want to put a November deadline for my build.
As for AMD vs Intel, everyone keeps telling me Intel is gone, Ryzen is the king now but I know nothing really.

Would buying a pre built system from say Alienware/CC/Newegg cost A LOT more for the same thing? If it's 200$ extra, I'll survive...
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I don't think it's fair to judge your machine with the new Flight sim. Performance is lacking even on the highest spec'ed machine on new MS Flight sim. You could buy the new CPU/mobo now and use your 970 for a the next few months and see how the new generation of video cards shakes out, as their release is within weeks.

If you got november as deadline.. then might as well see what black friday has in store. SSD and Ram prices are dropping as we speak as well.

General 4K gaming is still a generation or two away. Sweet spot is currently is 1440p it seems.
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I agree with @coilz post. Build new now and reuse the 970 and drives, or wait until Black Friday-ish and see what happens. That was some good information to provide. Doesn't hurt to reuse the 970.

Canada Computers has pre-built systems gaming ones as well with decent components, but I feel they don't offer enough ram or storage. I'm sure you can customize in store, but I've never built so I'm not sure.

eg. This one only has 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD, so you would need to move your other hard drives into here for more storage, and I'm not sure if you're a fan of AIO liquid cooling. The pricing comes out almost the same as picking and choosing your parts. Have a look at this link.

APEX A-220 EPIC Gaming PC - AMD Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 16-Thread 7nm- GeForce RTX 2070 16GB RGB RAM - 1TB WD Blue SN550 SSD WiFi Windows 10 Home
https://www.canadacomputers.com/product ... _id=171187

Also, don't be too concerned about MS Flight Sim. If you watch this video from Jay 2 Cents he goes into detail how Flight Sim is built to be "ahead of its time" in terms of hardware vs performance. Which he explains in detail that as our hardware gets more better, the simulator will run more smoothly. In this video he receives a custom built Millennium from Origin PC which has cream of the crop parts (AMD RYZEN 9 3950X + 2080Ti GPU) best of the best, and watch his frame rates in that simulator. Anywhere from 30 to almost 60 fps, but usually around 44 fps and he plays on ultra. So don't get too worked up about Flight Sim. The requirements are extremely demanding. Jay even goes its the 1st sim/game that recommends 32GB of RAM. So yea ... the requirements for it are off the charts.

Flight Simulator 2020... we are in a new Crysis Era!
[OP]
Member
May 5, 2009
377 posts
129 upvotes
Montreal
Thank you @heyyahblah and @coilz
MSFS2020 was just a bigger eye opener but I'm having trouble more and more on recent games. New World was another rough one.
As NVIDIA is planning to announce new cards on Monday, I will presume current gen cards will drop in price (or the new ones will somehow be price reachable) so I will wait a bit vs buying a new system now.

With this said, follow up question.
If I were to buy GPU-less build you linked above while waiting for a new GPU to come out, is there a value added? Should I simply wait until I am ready to buy it all together in case things on the motherboard/CPU side of things change in the next month or so?

Thank you again for your help!
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exeon wrote: My PC is mainly for gaming and I would like it to be good for a 4-5 years span if possible. I would be fine buying something now and updating say the GPU in 3 years.
As previously mentioned; too many up coming hardware later this year and in early 2021.
What are you currently playing and do you need the extra performance right now? if you’re able to make do, it's recommended to wait until later this year. New releases from both AMD, Intel and Nvidia changes the PC gaming playing field.

+1 on the idea that the new Microsoft flight simulator puts us in a new age of Crysis...
Please don't use the flight simulator as a gauge on your current system performance. It brings everything to it's knees.
exeon wrote: My goal is to eventually game in 4K but I do not have a 4K monitor so don't think it make sense shelling big $ for the GPU if I don't expect to 4K before 2-3 years.
I think the current sweet spot is 1440p - 144hz monitors. Some exceptionally good panels from LG for example. I don’t think 4K is practical; in hardware, cost or practicality.
Sure, most gamers can tell the difference between 1440p and 4k, but is it worth the huge drops in frames? It really breaks the immersion. There are handful of titles that even 2080TI struggles to get high frames rates at 4k.

Again, sweet spot is 1440p @ 144hz for a solid step up in image clarity (from 1080P) AND have high frames for a smooth and immersive experience; at an reasonable price point.
exeon wrote: I don't have a budget per say but let's say 2000$ish.
That’s enough for a new tower and monitor; if budgeted well. May be worth waiting until at least Black Friday to see what deals are available. You may want to consider reusing your 500GB EVO SSD; as an NVME based SSD won’t give you notable performance gains in games. The best you'll get is maybe a few seconds shaved off loading times - plenty of benchmark videos to confirm this; the major step is having a SSD boot/game drive.

I’m not too familiar with Intel’s current offerings. But considering AMD is on a tear with fast cycles of new hardware and price drops recently… I highly recommend you to consider waiting for Ryzen 4xxx to be released; at which point we’ll see huge price drops for Ryzen 3xxx (as we did for 2xxx when 3xxx was released en force). The performance is definitely there (Ryzen 3xxx series); but if we see similar price drops for 3xxx, the value will be unbeatable. I actually think a $299 CAD price tag for Ryzen 3700x is imminent once 4xxx is released...

Great value:
CPU: Ryzen 3600 (6 core, 12 thread @ 65W TDP)
GPU: RX 5600 XT Sapphire (Sapphire hands down consistently make the best AMD GPUs). (The driver issues are all but fixed now).

For more performance:
CPU: Ryzen 3700x (8 core, 16 thread @ 65W TDP)
GPU: 5700 xt Nitro (Strongly recommended to undervolt… drops temps across the board; though your milage may vary due to the silicon lottery).

Both setups I reocmmend:
Ram: 16GB (8GB X2) @ 3,000 or 3,200mhz (sweet spot for Ryzen 3xxx)
Motherboard: Asrock Steel Legend B450 or B450M board
PSU: Corsair/Seasonic 650W PSU is more than enough.

Plenty of great 27/32” 1440p - 144hz panels from LG in the $400-500 mark.
This can be had for under $2,000 - for a new tower and 1440p 144hz monitor.
exeon wrote: Here is my current setup. Anything salvageable or should I simply sell it on kijiji as is and buy a full new one?
Mobo: ASUSTek Z97-A
CPU: i5-4690k
GPU: GTX 970
RAM: 8GB
Looks like a great candidate for a 4K TV PC - to stream games from steam, among other things… emulator for TV (wireless controllers).
Pixelation~
[OP]
Member
May 5, 2009
377 posts
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Montreal
Thank you again and again! :)
I currently have an ASUS PB278Q as monitor. Not a 144hz but 1440p.

So I feel like the consensus seems to be it's worth waiting 2-3 months, until Black Friday before buying a setup. I'm OK with this. Thank you so much for your help, I'll likely come back in 2 months asking a follow up! :)
[OP]
Member
May 5, 2009
377 posts
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Montreal
@ProjectPixelation @heyyahblah
With today's announcements, does it change my plan? The RTX3080 is cheaper than I expected... Should I pre order as soon as it drops or wait to see if 2080TI ? The 2080TI is almost double the price currently of what the 3080 is...
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exeon wrote: @ProjectPixelation @heyyahblah
With today's announcements, does it change my plan? The RTX3080 is cheaper than I expected... Should I pre order as soon as it drops or wait to see if 2080TI ? The 2080TI is almost double the price currently of what the 3080 is...
You realize it's $699 USD right? that's not in CAD lol... $1000 for a GPU is insane... especially for pre-ordering
My personal policy is to never pre-order hardware/games... ALWAYS wait for reviews and benchmarks to flood the market before making a decision...

We also need to see what AMD offers; they're very relevant now... too many potential possibilities.
E.g; What if they launch a 3080 competitor for $100 less? What if they offer something 15% slower than a 3080 for 30% lower price?
I'm personally really curious in what AMD has to offer with RDNA2... AKA Big Navi

I may pick up a 5700xt this year if prices are slashed... (still on a RX 580 Nitro and in no rush).
Pixelation~
[OP]
Member
May 5, 2009
377 posts
129 upvotes
Montreal
Yes but, here is my train of thoughts:
1) Will supply be an issue? My current setup is really starting to be underwhelming so I am worried the 3x series (or whatever AMD comes out with) ends up being backordered for months or heavily overpriced due to low stock
2) If I end up buying say a 2070 SUPER with a lower price (or a 2080 if say the price is slashed heavily), will I have to change it in 2 years? So like presume I pay 1000$ today for a 3080 and keep it for 4-5 years or pay 600$ today for a slashed in price 2080 and have to buy another card for another 500-600$ in 2 years?

Do we know when AMD will show what they have prepared?
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exeon wrote: Yes but, here is my train of thoughts:
1) Will supply be an issue? My current setup is really starting to be underwhelming so I am worried the 3x series (or whatever AMD comes out with) ends up being backordered for months or heavily overpriced due to low stock
Don't be silly; AMD won't run into supply issues - at least not with physically producing the chips; their yield at TSMC on 7nm is so high, Intel is jealous.
If global logistics goes down; that's a different story; at which point everyone will be affected.
exeon wrote: 2) If I end up buying say a 2070 SUPER with a lower price (or a 2080 if say the price is slashed heavily), will I have to change it in 2 years? So like presume I pay 1000$ today for a 3080 and keep it for 4-5 years or pay 600$ today for a slashed in price 2080 and have to buy another card for another 500-600$ in 2 years?
If you stick to 1440 @ 144hz, a 2070 super will be good enough for 3-5 years. And this is also why I recommend sticking to the sweet spot. It gives you the flexibility to upgrade your GPU and get you the most out of your rig for that 5 year cycle.
exeon wrote: Do we know when AMD will show what they have prepared?
There are rumours RDNA2 - Big Navi flagship will be 30% faster than a 2080TI ; that would obviously be great for competition.
However, these are just rumours... I prefer sticking to facts and wait for official launch and review/benchmarks before making my decision.

I also don't recommend jumping knee deep into brand new launches as there may be some initial hiccups with drivers/game-support. More importantly, I prefer sticking to last gen's mainstream/flagship hardware at a nice price discount. The premium to stay "current" with the most update-to-date hardware taxes my wallet too much. But that's just me...

PS: I'm not a "fan" of either AMD, Intel or Nvidia... I'm a fan of business ethics and MY MONEY." - ProjectPixelation 2020
Pixelation~
[OP]
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May 5, 2009
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Montreal
Fair enough! :D
So, at the point of where we are now, presuming AMD doesnt come with an announcement in the coming 2 months and presuming Nvidia slashes prices on current gen, you are saying trying to target a 2070 SUPER is the right thing to do? I will keep an eye on price slashes to see when to jump the gun.
What would the CPU sweet spot be?

And yes, I will 100% not be gaming in 4K for the foreseeable future.
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I'd suggest targeting the 3070... if rumored performance does equal to a 2080Ti at $499 USD (~$650CDN). The price of a 2070 super now is higher than that. 1440p is still pretty demanding , I know waiting sucks... but you'll regret getting the 2070super in 4 months when 3070 is everywhere for the same price you paid for a 2070 super. Counting last gen on Price slashing rarely works.. supplies usually run out before the price gets down enough.

For CPU.. sweet spot seems to be a 6core/12 thread CPU? So R5 3600/ i5 10XXX or better ?
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exeon wrote: Fair enough! :D
So, at the point of where we are now, presuming AMD doesnt come with an announcement in the coming 2 months and presuming Nvidia slashes prices on current gen, you are saying trying to target a 2070 SUPER is the right thing to do? I will keep an eye on price slashes to see when to jump the gun.
What would the CPU sweet spot be?

And yes, I will 100% not be gaming in 4K for the foreseeable future.
As I've said before for CPU stick to a Ryzen 3700x; pair it with 16GB (8GB x2 @ 3,000 or 3,200 mhz CL16 ram and Asrock B450 Steel Legend and you're good to go.

for GPU:

=> Nvidia: RTX 2070 Super
=> AMD: RX 5700XT (Get the Sapphire Nitro - trumps all other makers in temps/noise by miles).
Edit: AMD will age better due to architecture design; look up RX 580 vs GTX 980 in early/end of life days. I won't go in to explain why as it would be a very long post... and my shift just ended; I need to go home and shoot some zombies...

PS: Exactly, 4K gaming tax is still way too high; there are no wallet friendly 4k 144hz displays - not that there's relevant hardware that can run at those frame rates without selling a kidney on the black market...
PSS: 4K looks great but the low frame rates breaks immersion... 1440p is the way to go...
Pixelation~

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