PC Upgrade - Looking for advice


What kind of monitor will you be using with the new system?


If you can hold off, I’d see what AMD brings to the table.


Thanks for the responses so far. It’s an old hang up I suppose, but I’ve always been more comfortable with Intel/nVidia parts, so I’m not sure that I would end up going with an AMD processor or ATI video card. I’m not sure how accurate it is, but my understanding from some very quick reading is that AMD and ATI tend to run hotter and use more power (and possibly louder). Lower heat and noise is fairly important to me, partly because I’m around the system all day and this room tends to get very warm in the summer.

Meant to mention this in my original post, but I’m going to be sticking with my current monitors, and the only one I game on is 1920x1200 (Dell U2415).

[Edit] And I’m definitely not in a big hurry. I can wait a few months for sure, although if I can use a video card in both the current system and the newer one I might go ahead and pick that up.


Well, if you’re sticking to Nvidia and aiming at around the $200 price point, then there’s really no decision to make: you should go with a GTX 1060.


Another reason to wait for the next range of Ryzen CPUs. They are using 7nm manufacturing, which for a given performance level should give significantly lower heat/noise than Intel who are still on 14nm.


Maybe this is the right spot. I am looking to finally build a new PC. I have hobbled along parts for a long time, but it might be time to build from the ground up (including monitor, speakers, and a router that is killing my download speed). My aim is to be able to finally play Warhammer Total War 2 at full settings without taking 6 minutes to load a battle, do some modern shooter stuff like Anthem or Battlefield V fluidly on full settings, and be powerful enough to pick up PC VR soon.

I plan to shop at Frys or Amazon and have a friend who will likely help me build it; he is just not up to speed on the current best/ good in class hardware choices. It has been a looong time since I build a PC. Besides tech choice, brand of said tech could be helpful too.

I currently have:
Intel I5 3570k @3.4ghz
Nvidia GTX760
8gigs RAM
Older than dirt ATA HDD 1t (this is a major source of my pc headaches due to how slow it is)
Samsung T260 monitor
Linksys Cisco wireless G router
Altec Lansing speakers from…like 1990

The system does well enough, but load times are really bad and I seem to either put up with lower performance or lower than top settings nowadays. Sometimes both. The monitor clearly has lost a step in modern tech as looking at basically every other screen looks so much more crisp and vibrant.

Any suggestions would be helpful. Also is Windows 10 the only option? I have stuck with Windows 7 64 for a long time.


You should probably give a budget…


Ok, I’ll get started.

One important consideration is what resolution you’re planning for. You currently have a 24", 1920x1200 monitor.

Second is the storage. I suppose if 1 TB is enough to hold all the stuff you have currently, then a 1 TB SSD is enough too. That’s about $150 USD for a samsung SATA. Someone correct me, but I don’t think nvme pci2 whatever seems to make a difference in real life usage.

For speakers you could get Micca MB42X, $110 amazon, very good bang for the buck. IIRC the PB42X means you don’t use a separate amp.


Maybe have a look through something like this for an overview of what the options are these days? They should link straight to Amazon too.

Total War: Warhammer 2

This is what I recently bought:

Missing from that list is an external DvD drive and a graphics card (I had an extra I used so I didn’t need to buy a new one).


@Alistair Usually my PCs are more mid-range budget with salvaging from older machines. $1000 or less, but I don’t seem to upgrade much anymore or certainly not as often, so I am aiming to hopefully have a pretty solid box that will last a while for $1500 to $3000. Maybe? I’m still at the research phase. In that tech report article I would think I am in the “hybrid” to a few steps up level. I am not familiar with the Ryzen processor line though.

My experience of a limiting 500gig HDD on my PS4 and the super frustratingly slow HDD on my PC (seriously, 3 minutes to load just WH40k Gladius!) has me looking towards a 1T SSD. However I don’t know if there are good reasons to aim smaller. I might do a HDD also or an external one just for digital photo storage. I don’t have much music or anything else that eats space. I just have a lot of games that I bounce between actively.

@wisefool I have not tried bookshelf speakers. I had in mind something that was traditional gaming PC type with volume controls, maybe a headphone jack, and subwoofer.

@DeepT that might be in the range of what I’m aiming at. What graphics card might I be aiming at? Would that system give me good load time and performance for WH:TW2 or modern shooters?


If that DeepT system doesn’t give you good load times nothing else will :) 1500-3000 will certainly get you a very good system. I would suggest going to the top end of that range might be diminishing returns territory.

I use a 1TB SSD for everything and it works well for me. I install a bunch of games, but not my full library…


Might I suggest something along the lines of this https://pcpartpicker.com/list/HgGsQZ ?

It’s well under budget and should be comfortable with 1440p games for a couple of years at least. If you want to some day expand RAM, just add another 2x8GB kit.

Just an option if you want to stick closer to your usual budget. It’s roughly what I’m running now, 65-75FPS in The Witcher 3 and Far Cry 5 at max details, 50-60ish in Warhammer 2 at highest.

Also, I’d suggest extracting your Windows 7 license key, installing W7 on your new pc, and then getting the free upgrade to Windows 10 ( https://www.geeksinphoenix.com/blog/post/2018/11/29/how-to-get-a-free-windows-10-upgrade-for-windows-7-and-windows-8-1.aspx )


Whatever you can afford. Maybe a lower cost RTX nvidia card or a higher cost non-rtx card. Whatever is sufficient really depend upon your monitor. IE: 1920x1200, then a GTX 1060 will eat it for breakfast. A 4k monitor? You better get something high end, maybe several somethings. Just look at video card reviews and gauge the price vs performance and buy what you are comfortable with.

With my build, you probably do not need 32 gigs of ram. I just bought that much to future proof my box. My last box as 9 years old before I replaced it.


FWIW I run TW2 at 4k with a 1070. Runs fine. The weird thing about TW2 is I’ve seen people post with monster 1080’s and whatever, they still won’t break 30-50 FPS. 20-30 FPS is good enough.

For audio what I ended up doing is two separate sound cards.

One is a $10 USB sound card with its own volume control. I plug the headset there. Then I install the soundswitch program and bind the scroll lock to switch between that and speakers.

Then for speakers I also wanted a volume knob in the front, thus I needed my own separate amp. The Powered miccas have the volume knob on the back which is inconvenient. I got the unpowered, added my own amp. That’s a more pricey and annoying option (more cables). I went through 3 amps before finding one that was ok. Not sure I recommend doing that.


You can’t just swap headphones/speakers with the drop-down in the Win 10 volume widget?


It’s SO much easier to just tap the scroll lock! Someone else on qt3 mentioned it in passing.


Altec Lansing made some decent speakers. I had a set that sounded great, and lasted for 15+ years before the rear channels started to go out. May be a good idea to stick with the speakers you already have, unless they’re having problems.


Unfortunately, they are doing some kind of power spike when the subwoofer wakes up from low power mode. This, I suspect, has shorted out the headphone jack on my case and one on my motherboard along with my favorite headphones. I am afraid of using the set at this point.

It is the same speaker set I took with me to college in the 90’s along with my super expensive and crazy huge 17 inch CRT monitor. The monitor is long gone, but they are the same speakers that spewed out Warcraft 2 and Doom sound effects at me many a moon ago.


I know Ryzen 3rd gen is due out in June, and supposedly kick-ass, but this seems like a good time to buy, as retailers appear to be clearing out inventory and RAM prices aren’t obscene. Ryzen 2700 is on sale, and it comes with a copy of Division 2, which will save you about $65 more if you were planning on buying it at launch.

I figure I can transfer my existing 750watt PSU and my Vega 56 card.

So looking at:
Ryzen 2700, $230
MSI Performance Gaming X470, $130
MSI TPM 2.0 Chip (for Bitlocker), $20
16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3200, $120
500GB Samsung 960 EVO NVME M.2 SSD $110
Antec Gaming Series Three Hundred Two ATX Case - $64

After tax I’m looking at $740. I could save $110 by knocking out the 860 EVO and just go with an older 840 EVO SSD that I have, but I won’t get NVME speed.

I’d be upgrading from my 2013-era Dell i7 4770.