Should I upgrade my PC to an AMD Ryzen 3 CPU or wait for Ryzen 4?

Luis has some questions about upgrading his aging PC, namely if he should upgrade now to Ryzen 3 or wait longer.

Question by Luis from Chile | Answered by in Computer Systems on

Hello TweakTown, I would like some advice on upgrading, I have the following configuration:

  • MSI 970A-G46
  • CPU FX-8320
  • 8GB RAM
  • Sapphire Vapor-X R9 270X OC (2GB)
  • Crucial MX 300 (525GB) for C:
  • 1TB 7200rpm HDD for files and some programs

As you can see, it's an old setup, but I don't do any 4K HDR gaming. Not even HD full details, more likely, I do some casual gaming, a lot of internet and office, so far, my PC has been running more than enough for my needs, but it's starting to show its age.

Should I upgrade my computer to a Ryzen 3, or wait a little longer to Ryzen 4? I've been looking in the range of the R5 X500 or R5 X600 line of CPUs.

Hi Luis,

You are correct when you said your PC is starting to show its age, but as you said, your needs are quite low with basic browsing office work and casual gaming. Let's first go over your current setup and then see where upgrades can be made.

Starting with your current motherboard, the 970A-G46 supports dual-channel DDR3, SATA 3, and USB 3.0, all relatively good points for an older platform; but it lacks PCIe Gen 3 and NVMe m.2 support, which would help your system feel a bit quicker. On this front, I'm going to recommend two boards, the MSI B550 Tomahawk, a very popular option for budget builds that does offer one PCIe 4.0 slot or if you want to take full advantage of PCIe 4, the X570 Crosshair 8 Hero; both solid options that will make way for an SSD upgrade.

Should I upgrade my PC to an AMD Ryzen 3 CPU or wait for Ryzen 4? 1

With the switch being made to a more modern AMD platform, your FX 8320 can be retired in favor of several options. You can go as low as a Ryzen 3 3100/3300X and still have higher performance than your current CPU, or you can take thing up a notch and grab the Ryzen 5 3600 if you are planning on doing media editing or getting into gaming a little more.

Your 270X is showing its age as well, so something in the range of an RX 5500XT if staying with AMD would double your performance at a relatively low cost while taking advantage of your PCIe 4.0 slot on your presumably new motherboard.

Should I upgrade my PC to an AMD Ryzen 3 CPU or wait for Ryzen 4? 888

Finally, your SSD can be upgraded to the m.2 form factor! If you want to keep this low cost, I would go for the WD SN550 or Biostar M700 in the 500GB or 1TB capacity options. If you want something with a bit higher performance, I really like the Sabrent Rocket NVMe and Plextor M9 Plus. You can find reviews for all of those drives here at TweakTown.

Another benefit of this system upgrade will be lower power consumption and less heat output. For instance, moving the CPU from 8320 to 3600 you drop half the power, and the same can nearly be said for the GPU! Whatever you choose to do with your next build, enjoy it, and good luck!

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

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