Should I keep my current gaming PC and upgrade or buy something else?

Angel wants to know if she should keep her current gaming PC or buy something else listed locally second hand.

Question by Angel from Slovenia | Answered by in Computer Systems on

Hi there! I'm running an i5-6400, GTX 1050 Ti with 8GB of a single channel memory. I've been keeping an eye on some local deals. My question for you guys is, what should my game plan be? Do I keep my current PC and add a GTX 1070 (there's one selling for $180) or sell it and get one of the systems listed below?

  • Core i7-2600, GTX 980, 8GB RAM (DDR3) $500
  • Core i5-4570, GTX 970, 8GB RAM (DDR3) $315
  • Core i5-2500K, GTX 1060 3GB, 16gb RAM (DDR3) $340
  • Core i5-3570, R9 280X, 8GB RAM (DDR3) $200

Thank you for any given help.

Hi Angel,

Thanks for the question. I'll do my best to help! A lot is going on in your question, so let's break it down. I'm assuming with all the systems listed, you aren't happy with your current build. I'm also going to assume with the video card choices that this is a gaming machine?

Let's assume both and look at your current build; Core i5 6400, decent CPU, four cores no hyperthreading, base clock at 3.2GHz, and being non-K not the easiest to overclock. GTX 1050 Ti, mid-range GPU from the last generation, 768 shaders 32 ROPs 4GB VRAM.

Should I keep my current gaming PC and upgrade or buy something else? 1

Now let's move into the builds you listed starting with the i7 2600K; the 2600K offers easier overclocking and a higher base clock over your 6400 but is very old, doesn't support PCIe 3.0 and puts you back to DDR3. The included GTX 980 would surely be a minor upgrade over the 1050 Ti, but still has the same 4GB VRAM, but it is fine if you are sticking with 1080p gaming. At $500, I'm not sure it's worth the coin.

The same can be said for the next two Intel builds, minor gain on the GPU side with the GTX 970 and GTX 1060 3GB, but the CPUs don't offer you anything, even the 280X build has nothing going for it but old hardware.

Should I keep my current gaming PC and upgrade or buy something else? 2

Your i5 6400 surely is worth more at this point, you are on a modern socket with 1151 that supports PCIe 3.0 and DDR4, and if judging by the $500 cost of the top system, you have room to make some upgrades. I would definitely start first by getting a solid kit of DDR4, at least 16GB - I really like Corsair and G.Skill myself, 3200MHz or better. You can then look at GPU - the used market should heat up soon with the launch of Ampere, where you might be able to get that GTX 1070 or even better an RTX series.

Good luck!

Last updated: Nov 3, 2020 at 07:09 pm CST

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