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AcheaShadow

Upgrade help needed

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Hey all,

 

After some upgrade help, my machine is three years old now and I really need to upgrade, I recently run a benchmark and according to 3D Mark my GPU is still fine but my CPU is lacking.

 

Here are my current specs:

 

Processor (CPU)
AMD A8-5600K Quad Core APU (3.6GHz) & Radeonâ„¢ HD 7560D Graphics
Motherboard
ASUS® F2A85-M: (M-ATX, DDR3, USB 3.0, 6Gb/s)
Memory (RAM)
16GB SAMSUNG DUAL-DDR3 1333MHz (4 X 4GB)
Graphics Card
2GB NVIDIA GEFORCE GTX 670 - 2 DVI, HDMI, DP - 3D Vision Ready

 

Now from my research my motherboard is only going to be able to run an AMD A10 Black at best because it's only FM2.  I was looking to upgrade my card to a 960 for around £160 however the 960 is still about the same level as my 670 so it doesn't seem worth upgrading.

 

I've been offered Crucial 8GB kit (4GBx2) DDR3 1866 MT/s (PC3-14900) CL9 @1.5V Ballistix Tactical Tracer UDIMM 240pin for £30 but not sure how much of an improvement that's going to offer.

 

Cash wise I have around £150-£200 available at the moment so I need to make sure I spend the money on the right thing, my cash is going to really tighten up soon as I have another child on the way.

 

I think primarily I need advice but also if people have the parts to spare I'm happy to buy stuff second hand.  Also inb4 get a new motherboard suggestions, I'm happy to do that if if it fits my budget but also upgradable in the future.

 

​All help would be greatly appreciated!

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Guest Zenith

What I would suggest is picking up a cheap Z170 motherboard (starting around £80), 8GB of DDR4-2133 (around £35) and a lower end Skylake (LGA1151) i3 or i5 for £90-£135.  That way you can keep your case, gfx card and PSU and open up a fresh upgrade path for the next few years.  I realise that it may come across as a downgrade to start with (especially with the drop in RAM from 16GB to 8GB) but bear with me.

 

The CPU can go all the way from low end i3 up to top-end unlocked i7, the motherboard can take up to 64GB DDR4 RAM (4x16GB) and with 2 PCIe 3.0x16 slots can take dual gfx cards.  A number of Z170 motherboard also have an M2 header to directly attach an M2 storage drive to the SATA or PCIe path of the motherboard.  If you buy the new mobo, CPU and RAM, you can add or replace components further down the road as money allows.

 

I got an i5-6600 (3.3GHz), MSI Z170A PC MATE motherboard and 8GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4-2400 for Christmas.  Total buying price at the time was around £270, but YMMV.  I could have used my existing case and hard drives, but I spent an additional £85 on a Zalman P11 Plus case and an OCZ Trion 120GB SSD.  I kept my 600W Corsair PSU and Asus GTX 760 2GB.  It all got put together and works like a charm.  My first upgrade will be another stick of the RAM because that's a moderately cheap upgrade at £35.  Upgrading the CPU is an option if I wanted to go for i7, but a good i5 suits my needs right now.  My next upgrade after the RAM will probably be the gfx card up to a 900 series nvidia card.  I aim to catch the price drop on the current generation Maxwell cards just as the next generation Pascal cards come out later this year.

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What I would suggest is picking up a cheap Z170 motherboard (starting around £80), 8GB of DDR4-2133 (around £35) and a lower end Skylake (LGA1151) i3 or i5 for £90-£135.  That way you can keep your case, gfx card and PSU and open up a fresh upgrade path for the next few years.  I realise that it may come across as a downgrade to start with (especially with the drop in RAM from 16GB to 8GB) but bear with me.

 

The CPU can go all the way from low end i3 up to top-end unlocked i7, the motherboard can take up to 64GB DDR4 RAM (4x16GB) and with 2 PCIe 3.0x16 slots can take dual gfx cards.  A number of Z170 motherboard also have an M2 header to directly attach an M2 storage drive to the SATA or PCIe path of the motherboard.  If you buy the new mobo, CPU and RAM, you can add or replace components further down the road as money allows.

 

I got an i5-6600 (3.3GHz), MSI Z170A PC MATE motherboard and 8GB of Corsair Vengeance DDR4-2400 for Christmas.  Total buying price at the time was around £270, but YMMV.  I could have used my existing case and hard drives, but I spent an additional £85 on a Zalman P11 Plus case and an OCZ Trion 120GB SSD.  I kept my 600W Corsair PSU and Asus GTX 760 2GB.  It all got put together and works like a charm.  My first upgrade will be another stick of the RAM because that's a moderately cheap upgrade at £35.  Upgrading the CPU is an option if I wanted to go for i7, but a good i5 suits my needs right now.  My next upgrade after the RAM will probably be the gfx card up to a 900 series nvidia card.  I aim to catch the price drop on the current generation Maxwell cards just as the next generation Pascal cards come out later this year.

 

Thanks for the tips dude, very much appreciate and certainly sounds like something I can do over the course of 6 months :)

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I am lucky enough to have been able to spend more on a new build (see another thread in here) but I agree with Zenith on getting a Z170 board and i5. It will be the basis of system that you could use for years. 

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