Which hardware to upgrade next for gaming?

I haven't upgraded my computer in ages. The last thing to upgrade was out of necessity, which was a PSU since otherwise my computer wouldn't start. That was about 1.5 to 2 years ago.

Given my setup shown, which one piece of hardware should I upgrade to improve my gaming experience? I've been playing Battlefield 1 and GTA V, if that helps. And, I'm looking to upgrade my hardware so that the next Battlefield and GTA VI runs well (those may be 2 years away from now so around 2019 at the earliest).

Thanks in advance!

Here's my hardware for your convenience:

Hardware:
+ Intel i7-3770K LGA1155 CPU
+ MSI Z77A GD55 Motherboard
+ EVGA GTX 780 Ti
+ Cougar 750 Watt PSU
+ Mushkin 16gb ram
+ Corsair liquid cooling for CPU
+ Samsung DVD Drive SH-224BB
+ Samsung 128gb SSD MZ-7PC128B/WW R
+ Western Digital WD6400AAKS HDD
+ Antec 902 Tower


+ Thermaltake mechanical wired keyboard KB-MEG005
+ Logitech G Pro Gaming Mouse M-U0050
+ Sennheiser PC-320 headset
+ Samsung ML2070W Printer
+ Samsung UN48JU7500 4K TV (via HDMI)
+ Yamaha RXV757 Receiver
+ Athena 5.1 Home Theater System
Reply to iPen
7 answers Last reply
More about hardware upgrade gaming
  1. I see the 4k but I don't know what resolution you're are playing at ... looking at your build, I can't think of one thing that stands out as needing an upgrade. Most arguments I could make fro replacing one thing, I could just as well argue something else as system is well balanced. If the OC is that old, my major concern would be the CLC cooler, with no way to replace corrosion inhibitors which have a useful life of 18 - 24 months, Id have concerns about micro fin clogging on the block and and corrosion / leaks. See the pics and read the article here which describes what happens mixing aluminum rads and copper blocks in a water loop.

    https://martinsliquidlab.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/corrosion-explored/

    The 780 Ti is faster than the 390x when both cards are overclocked so you should be doing just fine if playing at 1080p




    My recommendation would be to stand pat for now and over the next 1 - 2 years put a little away each month
    Reply to JackNaylorPE
  2. Your GPU hands down. I'd say your CPU platform, especially if overclocked to 4GHZ or so...should be good another 4 years. Though by 2019 32GB or ram may be needed in some games. Maybe not. 16GB is the new sweet spot now when building a rig so I am sure you get the idea where as 8GB enough to game but it will cost you in some games in FPS. Ram use seems to double every couple years in my experience. I just took my sandy-bridge E system up to 32GB for exactly that reason plus I usually like to have double what ever the minimum gaming ram is. Though I am a bit of a hog so must user 32GB is over kill ATM, which your 16GB was when you build your rig so clearly you think ahead on your rig.

    Anyways you know to keep an eye on your PSU. I might consider a bigger SSD for games. Not many games NEED an SSD. But there are always a few IO heavy games, doom 2016 I am looking at you! So more space SSD wouldn't hurt but is not mission critical. It's just who doesn't love faster load times? You did a good job on your build BTW. Anytime you build high on the CPU platform, for gaming, it lasts a long time. Just take a look at these gaming benchmarks for the i7 7740X. anandtech included an old Sandy lake CPU for good measure. It went toe to toe with the latest and greatest at 4K and even managed to beat it at 1080P in gaming...though it usually lost in most just by small measure. Peeps don't realize how long a GOOD gaming CPU lasts (not talking bang for buck here...talking all bang at release). Especially at higher resolutions only requiring a 60hz refresh rate/FPS. The GPU will be the bottleneck for a good while longer.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/11549/the-intel-kaby-lake-x-i7-7740x-and-i5-7640x-review-the-new-single-thread-champion-oc-to-5ghz/11
    Reply to atomicWAR
  3. JackNaylorPE said:
    I see the 4k but I don't know what resolution you're are playing at ... looking at your build, I can't think of one thing that stands out as needing an upgrade. Most arguments I could make fro replacing one thing, I could just as well argue something else as system is well balanced. If the OC is that old, my major concern would be the CLC cooler, with no way to replace corrosion inhibitors which have a useful life of 18 - 24 months, Id have concerns about micro fin clogging on the block and and corrosion / leaks. See the pics and read the article here which describes what happens mixing aluminum rads and copper blocks in a water loop.

    https://martinsliquidlab.wordpress.com/2012/01/24/corrosion-explored/

    The 780 Ti is faster than the 390x when both cards are overclocked so you should be doing just fine if playing at 1080p




    My recommendation would be to stand pat for now and over the next 1 - 2 years put a little away each month


    I'm definitely using 1920x1080 resolution, with the lowest PC settings except Mesh quality for a more competitive game play experience. I've been going back and forth too, so I may take up on your idea to wait and see. Thanks for the suggestions and the link!
    Reply to iPen
  4. There is something to be said for hold pat as JackeNaylorPE said. You can do everything at one time if your happy with the gaming experience now. I prefer the upgrade overtime path that way I only need to replace/upgrade to older bits which saves me money to spend more on extras/premium parts over the years. My current rig didn't start out with an m.2, 2 1TB samsung SSDs, 3 8TB HDDs, 4TB SSHD, gtx 1080s, etc. I pieced everything together since the launch of my CPU platform. One of the rare full rebuilds I did after moving to a new hotter climate then I was use too. I had to cut some corners/tech wasn't there yet to get it built since the PSU and motherboard both died on top of the fact my wife need a new gaming PC. It was basically scrap wars in my house. She ended up with the old stuff like my i7 970, case, GPUs, RAM, SSDs, but with a new custom liquid cooling solution, HDD, motherboard CPU/PSU blah blah broken stuff fixed. Leaving my original "new" storage options with 2 128GB agility 3 in Raid 0 (performance was ok in raid 0 but horrid in single drive mode, fairly middle of the road to cheap SSD drives at the time.) and a single old 1TB HDD from the SATA 2 era which died a year or so in. After getting a new case, CPU, CPU platform, cheap SSDs (cut corner), new GPU for my new rig I'd built 1.5 PCs. So choosing the upgrade path over fresh build all depends on how you want to manage your builds/funds. I feel like I end up with a better overall rig upgrading, especially if you have another rig to pass parts to (wife, kid, brother, etc) but there is no question at times I can be running some older hardware in various parts of my rig and at times I do spend more money going premium in hopes said upgrade will last a very long time (things like a CPU platform/new water block). Some times this risk pays off, like those builds. Others I wish I had just gone mostly all new, save the cases. Speaking of cases another potential candidate for a premium part and a much safer bet then any other part for premium if your into building your PCs long term ;)
    Reply to atomicWAR
  5. atomicWAR said:
    Your GPU hands down. I'd say your CPU platform, especially if overclocked to 4GHZ or so...should be good another 4 years. Though by 2019 32GB or ram may be needed in some games. Maybe not. 16GB is the new sweet spot now when building a rig so I am sure you get the idea where as 8GB enough to game but it will cost you in some games in FPS. Ram use seems to double every couple years in my experience. I just took my sandy-bridge E system up to 32GB for exactly that reason plus I usually like to have double what ever the minimum gaming ram is. Though I am a bit of a hog so must user 32GB is over kill ATM, which your 16GB was when you build your rig so clearly you think ahead on your rig.

    Anyways you know to keep an eye on your PSU. I might consider a bigger SSD for games. Not many games NEED an SSD. But there are always a few IO heavy games, doom 2016 I am looking at you! So more space SSD wouldn't hurt but is not mission critical. It's just who doesn't love faster load times? You did a good job on your build BTW. Anytime you build high on the CPU platform, for gaming, it lasts a long time. Just take a look at these gaming benchmarks for the i7 7740X. anandtech included an old Sandy lake CPU for good measure. It went toe to toe with the latest and greatest at 4K and even managed to beat it at 1080P in gaming...though it usually lost in most just by small measure. Peeps don't realize how long a GOOD gaming CPU lasts (not talking bang for buck here...talking all bang at release). Especially at higher resolutions only requiring a 60hz refresh rate/FPS. The GPU will be the bottleneck for a good while longer.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/11549/the-intel-kaby-lake-x-i7-7740x-and-i5-7640x-review-the-new-single-thread-champion-oc-to-5ghz/11


    I was going back and forth with SSD and GPU. These games appear to be getting bigger and (way) bigger every year, and longer load times are noticeable on HDD. And, interestingly, I had 16 gb of ram about 4-5 years ago, and so I'm thinking that 32 gb of ram may hit its sweet spot in around a few years from now.

    Anyway, for the GPU, I was thinking of going GTX 1080 Ti; but, I'm thinking of going the refurbished route assuming that bang for buck doesn't compromise on quality. Maybe if I wait a little longer the price will have a steeper drop off, esp. in the refurbished route. Not sure how the GPU market affects GPUs with time.
    Reply to iPen
  6. iPen said:
    atomicWAR said:
    Your GPU hands down. I'd say your CPU platform, especially if overclocked to 4GHZ or so...should be good another 4 years. Though by 2019 32GB or ram may be needed in some games. Maybe not. 16GB is the new sweet spot now when building a rig so I am sure you get the idea where as 8GB enough to game but it will cost you in some games in FPS. Ram use seems to double every couple years in my experience. I just took my sandy-bridge E system up to 32GB for exactly that reason plus I usually like to have double what ever the minimum gaming ram is. Though I am a bit of a hog so must user 32GB is over kill ATM, which your 16GB was when you build your rig so clearly you think ahead on your rig.

    Anyways you know to keep an eye on your PSU. I might consider a bigger SSD for games. Not many games NEED an SSD. But there are always a few IO heavy games, doom 2016 I am looking at you! So more space SSD wouldn't hurt but is not mission critical. It's just who doesn't love faster load times? You did a good job on your build BTW. Anytime you build high on the CPU platform, for gaming, it lasts a long time. Just take a look at these gaming benchmarks for the i7 7740X. anandtech included an old Sandy lake CPU for good measure. It went toe to toe with the latest and greatest at 4K and even managed to beat it at 1080P in gaming...though it usually lost in most just by small measure. Peeps don't realize how long a GOOD gaming CPU lasts (not talking bang for buck here...talking all bang at release). Especially at higher resolutions only requiring a 60hz refresh rate/FPS. The GPU will be the bottleneck for a good while longer.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/11549/the-intel-kaby-lake-x-i7-7740x-and-i5-7640x-review-the-new-single-thread-champion-oc-to-5ghz/11


    I was going back and forth with SSD and GPU. These games appear to be getting bigger and (way) bigger every year, and longer load times are noticeable on HDD. And, interestingly, I had 16 gb of ram about 4-5 years ago, and so I'm thinking that 32 gb of ram may hit its sweet spot in around a few years from now.

    Anyway, for the GPU, I was thinking of going GTX 1080 Ti; but, I'm thinking of going the refurbished route assuming that bang for buck doesn't compromise on quality. Maybe if I wait a little longer the price will have a steeper drop off, esp. in the refurbished route. Not sure how the GPU market affects GPUs with time.



    You go that route 4K is well within your reach. I know your at 1080P now....but i see that 4K panel you have. And I must admit I love 4K over 1080P a lot on large panel. The small gaming monitors 1440P is plenty....but when you hit 40+ inches 4k shines!!! (assuming a close ish viewing distance) For me on 55" 4K the difference is very noticeable up to 7 or 8 feat. Less so further back unless you have a very keen eye.
    Reply to atomicWAR
  7. iPen said:


    I'm definitely using 1920x1080 resolution, with the lowest PC settings except Mesh quality for a more competitive game play experience. I've been going back and forth too, so I may take up on your idea to wait and see. Thanks for the suggestions and the link!


    Look at the numbers is it really worth it to go from say 108 fps in GTAV with ya current card to 131 with a 1070 ? On a screen with a max refresh rate of 60 Hz in gaming ?

    As for 4k, there's nothing that exists today that can adequately drive it (twin 1080 Tis works but scaling is only 50%. And investing in a Ti now is going to bring no benefit unless you change screens.

    Investing in any 4k screen now with any system is a very bad idea; come January, the new 4k HDR 10 bit color 144 HZ IPS screens will drop and that will kill the resale value of every 4k panel in existence. At the same time, we'll start to see cards that can drive it ... I expect Volta's top tier will handle this with single cards. With such a 'watershed" moment right on the horizon, I can't see jumping in that pool today.

    In short, inbvesting now in "just one thing:, doesn't bring anything to the table. Even now with 100+ fps, no value unless can your screen display more than 60 Hz when gaming ... and it doesn't ? So unless you are going to replace your screen in this upgrade a faster card does nothing for you
    Reply to JackNaylorPE
Ask a new question Answer

Read More

Hardware Gaming Computers Video Games