What PC part is holding me back the most? What should i upgrade first?

I want to upgrade either the CPU or GPU. I'm not sure what part is holding me back the most, but if I were to guess its probably the CPU as their are far better and cheaper(Ryzen) CPU's on the market nowadays, but i'd like your opinions.

My PC specs are :

Intel Core i5 6500

MSI Gtx 1050 ti Gaming X

8gb DDR4 2133mhz

550watt 80 plus bronze PSU

MSI H170 gaming m3 Motherboard

Also - Primary use of my PC is for gaming, and I know that if I decide to upgrade CPU i will have to get a compatible motherboard, ram etc.. Thanks!

8 Answers

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  • 7 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    In the reviews I've seen of the new Ryzens, the Ryzen 5 3600x is either even, slightly ahead in a few games, or 5% behind the 8700k at the most. That's really impressive considering the price. Dollar for Dollar the new Ryzen processors can't be beaten. The performance it offers in comparison to the 8700k is too close to call and the Ryzen 5 3600x is $100 bucks cheaper.

    However, what people are forgetting is that you'd only see the difference the higher clocked 9700k or 9900k makes on a 144hz monitor, and these are situations where you can actually make use of getting more than 60fps. Even with as impressive the i7 and i9 are, the new Ryzen processors aren't that far behind. The 3600x, 3700x, and 3800x are viable picks for a 144hz monitor.

    The only place where the i7-9700k and i9-9900k can gain ground over Ryzen is with their overclocking capabilities. The new Ryzen processors don;t overclock worth a darn while the i7 and i9 can hit 5.0ghz if you throw enough money at them.

    The GTX 1050ti is the part that's holding you back the most. You could upgrade to Ryzen and this would help to increase your maximum framerates a little, but Ryzen would do more to ease and eliminate minimum Framerate drops. Otherwise the old i5-6500 is still somewhat decent. The GTX 1050ti is an entry level card that's a good 70% to 85% slower than the GTX 1660. The GTX 1660ti is over twice as fast as the 1050ti, so getting a card like that would help you out the most.

    Upgrading the the new Ryzen CPU would be beneficial but upgrading the GPU would do more to increase framerates in cases where the game isn't fully utilizing the CPU. With the GTX 1660ti you would be able to pick higher graphics quality settings.

    Upgrading to the Core i7-7700k would also be a good choice since it also matches of slightly beats the new Ryzen processors. The 7700k has an all core Turbo boost speed of 4.4ghz at stock, temperature permitting. The only problem here is finding the 7700k for a good price. A year ago on ebay you could get one on the auctions for a little more than $200 but Intel's chips shortage raised the value of these old processors. You would also need a new CPU cooler like the 212 EVO for the 7700k or 8700k.

    A 550w bronze power supply is good enough for cards like the RX 580 or 590, GTX 1070, GTX 1080, GTX 1660ti, RTX 2060, and RTX 2070 both regular and Super Edition.

    To help fund the upgrade, you could possibly get $100 out of the i5-6500 and $30-40 out of the h170 motherboard. The GTX 1050ti is worth $80 to $100. Selling these parts would pay for 40%-50% of an upgrade to a Ryzen 5 3600 or 3600x, a b450 motherboard like the MSI with a BIOS flashback, and a new Graphics card. You can sell these parts on craigslist or offerup for free, or sell them online at places like ebay or HW Swap.

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  • Andy T
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    My guess is CPU, but lately I noticed how to tell properly, in game I mean, a hard drop of frames or soft drop, or momentary freezing for weak CPU vs. dipped framerate for subpar GPU. Tease that out.

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  • Fulano
    Lv 7
    7 months ago

    I really doubt it's the CPU, especially because you've got a "low power" GPU that is designed to be power efficient, not high performance.

    You should really test it, I wouldn't risk spending hundreds of dollars on a upgrade that I didn't know would help me. It's really easy to tell what part is preventing better performance.

    All you need to do is watch the GPU load as you run your games. Windows 10 will show you a graph in Task Manager, or MSI Afterburner will show you the GPU load in game if you want to configure it.

    Play a few rounds in your favorite games and watch the GPU load. If it's hitting 100% usage, then the game is probably waiting on the GPU. If it's not maxing out the GPU load, then check your RAM usage. If that's fine, then I would look into a CPU upgrade. Those Ryzen 3's are looking to be a pretty awesome deal.

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  • Aaron
    Lv 5
    7 months ago

    Add an SSD (Solid State Drive), if you don't already have one. Otherwise, upgrade your GTX 1050 Ti if you want better gaming performance @ 1080p. Another 8GB of RAM, perhaps..

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  • 7 months ago

    your GPU. Your cpu is fine. Ultimately your mainboard CHIPSET decides how well a system can run. Your cpu has a good high min speed and a little bit of turbo boost. Your GTX 1050 Ti is just holding your system back a bit. Dont forget to read the details of your MSI mainboard which comes with software features such as MSI Ramdisk.

    • Conor7 months agoReport

      Thanks Laurence! I honestly never knew about ramdisk, appreciate feedback!

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  • 7 months ago

    Processor is good for gaming, and probably wont be a bottleneck. I would go for a 1660 ti which goes for about $250 to $300. It actually compares to a gtx 1070, and in some games, even beats it. However, it does have less vram than the 1070. If you want a cheaper option, the gtx 1660, 1650, rx 570, or rx 580, are all solid choices. AMD cards also have the benefit of Freesync. Yes, I know, nvidia has g sync, but freesync monitors are way cheaper and are great if you dont have one and want to upgrade in the future.

    Good Luck!

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  • Anonymous
    7 months ago

    Depends on what games you're playing. What you have right now will be good for most games at medium settings. If you're aiming for Ultra settings everywhere at 1080p+, then you would really need to upgrade both GPU and CPU at the same time. The 1050 Ti was a budget low- to medium-priced graphics card from a couple of years ago, you can easily outdo it with an RX 570 or 580, and beat it in every single game you have now. Or wait till the RX 5600 comes out. Or if you want the highest performance right now, go for an RX 5700 or 5700 XT. You can pair that with a new Ryzen 5 3600, or perhaps a Ryzen 5 2600 from last generation which would be pretty cheap now.

    • Conor7 months agoReport

      Appreciate feedback! Ye i have been look at the price to performance and Ryzen 2600 and 3600 looks amazing for the price, 6 cores 12 threads for under 200?? Amazing, thanks!

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  • Lv 7
    7 months ago

    honestly, that build is pretty good. you should be able to play most games, granted with some lowered settings on high-end ones.

    honestly, that board is probably holding you back. it is pretty cheap and chincey, and can only take 2133 RAM where DDR4 goes up to 3200.

    as for the Ryzen, i know it's getting a lot of hype, but right now, for the price, Core i7's still beat them hands down. maybe get a newer CPU, since the MB is what should be upgraded. i like ASUS boards (not the expensive ROG ones though). if you pay less than $100 for a board, you're getting a crappy one not meant for gaming...

    one more thing: 500Watts is not enough for a PSU runninh a GTX GPU. get 700W or more, and be sure it's 80PLUS rated for sure.

    • Fulano
      Lv 7
      7 months agoReport

      Nvidia's own recommendation is a 550 watt PSU for the 2070. 700 watts is enough to run two video cards.

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