Recommended parts with $3000 to spend on upgrading a gaming PC

Jody wants to upgrade her aging gaming PC and has $3000 to spend to achieve the task. We provide advice on parts.

Question by Jody from United States | Answered by in Computer Systems on

I believe it is time to upgrade my whole system build as it is now nearing the bottom of the scale for gaming, but my budget is limited to $3000. I had to modify my case to fit my GPU. I want to step up to 4K, but I know this budget doesn't allow for that. Games I like are:

  • GTA
  • Watch Dogs
  • Battlefield
  • Crysis
  • Assassins Creed
  • Call of Duty

My current build:

  • Acer XB271HU
  • Raidmax Smilodon
  • ASUS Z87-A
  • Core i7 4770K
  • GeForce GTX 1070
  • 3 SSDs and two hard drives and two external hard drives

Hi Jody,

Let's start first with the items you can carry over to the new build, which appears to be the storage and possibly the chassis. What PSU are you running? Is it 650W Gold rated at minimum?

Recommended parts with $3000 to spend on upgrading a gaming PC 1

From there, I would suggest building with AMD Zen 3 and B550 to keep the motherboard cost down. For gaming, I recommend the 5600X or 5800X if you have the extra room in the budget, and for the motherboard, I've enjoyed the ASUS and ASRock B550 platforms. With these two components, we are probably into your budget of $550-650, leaving us $2300 to work with.

From here, you will want to pick up a good 16GB kit of DDR4, 3600-4000MHz with CAS latency between 16-18 or lower, if you can find it. I prefer Corsair, Crucial, or HyperX currently, but you can go for whatever looks best to you. Only a few vendors are making the modules anyway. This should cost at most $200, but I would expect closer to $150.

GPU will likely be your largest expense. If you want 4K, you'll need an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080/3090 or AMD Radeon 6800XT/6900XT. At a minimum, this is going to take $700 off your budget with the RTX 3080/6800XT or on the high-end $1500 for the RTX 3090 or $1000 for the 6900XT.

This leaves you anywhere from $1400 left if you go with RTX 3080/6800XT or $600 if you go RTX 3090. You will want to use the leftover cash to pick up your monitor upgrade, swap out the PSU and chassis if needed. Otherwise, a solid build that will get you back on top gaming!

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