Today we will talk about the strategy of stepping up the gaming PC without feeling the investment and without having to give up the current gaming system.
First of all we have to think about a budget and try to shorten the period as much as possible in which we will gradually acquire the parts because the technology is evolving very fast and the architectures of the processors and motherboards are changing every 2 years.
Now that we have a plan and a budget in which we have decided to finish the project in 2-3 months, we need to make sure that we can sell the old parts. There are several ways to sell old parts, one of them is ad sites for sale like OLX, or we can find forums and one that I recommend and I have personally sold PC parts is the MyGarage forum but you have to to meet certain conditions to post in the component sales section.
The easiest way is to start with the case. The carcasses do not have very large price variations and so we will not be sorry that we will not see that they are much cheaper at the end of the project.
Consider a housing to fit future parts as well as current ones to still benefit from the current system. I will also make a recommendation of a case with a very good design and a large transparent side panel on which we will be able to mount a few LED strips to look spectacular.
NZXT Source 340 housing
It is a premium case housing, similar in design to fractal design cases.
It comes at a decent price of 330 lei and I say that it is a very good system upgrade starting point. It is ATX format and is compatible with all motherboards except EATX. After we move the old parts in it, you can already place the first ads for the old case and sell it to recover the money invested in the new case.
Well, now that the first investment has been made, let’s assume that in 2 weeks we will have a tight budget for the next component. My advice is to focus on a semi or full modular capable source, with at least 2 pci express 6 + 2 power cables, to make sure we cover the whole range of future video cards.
Source Thermaltake Smart SE 630W
We are going to a source that I recommend to anyone who benefits from a budget of 350 lei for the investment in this source.
It’s semi-modular, the 24-pin processor power cord is mandatory for all systems to work, so I don’t see the point of being fully modular because we’re going to use those 2 wires anyway.
A smart source, this means that we will have a fan connected to a temperature sensor on the PCB, which will turn the fan according to the detected temperature.
It is extremely quiet and long enough to ensure excellent wire management.
We can already feel that the upgrade is taking shape. After investing the source, we can install it on the old system. And we can send the source from the old system on the sites for the sale of second parts for the partial recovery of the investment.
The next step is to focus on storage. Here are 2 solutions I recommend, in case you want to increase the storage capacity if needed.
Flash SSD Kingston V300 2.5 ″, 240GB, SATA 3
If you do not have an SSD, this would be an ideal solution, on which we can migrate the current operating system without losing our data and continue to use the system.
And if you want a hdd storage solution, I recommend WD Blue 1TB HDD, 7200rpm, 64MB, SATA 3. Ideal for a gaming system. And the 240 GB ssd will end up installing games directly on ssd to improve our loading and applications installed on windows and especially the very long copy / read times that help us to boot windows- at system startup.
Well, now that we have managed to finish about 35% of the investment without giving up the old system. The next step will be the biggest investment. If we have a system with an older architecture platform. For example Haswell and we want to move to Skylake, there is the option to stay with the old DDR3 ram memories, which also works on Skylake technology (small exceptions) but I recommend you focus on DDR4. And in this case we will have to invest first in all 3 components (motherboard, processor, RAM).
Ram memory we can only opt for 8GB and we can later buy another 8GB.
Here’s what I recommend:
Intel® Core ™ i5-6600K processor
We run on a processor that ensures us at least 4-5 years of trouble-free gaming. Overclocking can be done in the future, but we also need to add an aftermarket cooler.
But for now we use it at native power. This processor is a favorite of gamers around the world, being the best-selling processor in the United States and beyond.
Motherboard MSI Z170A TOMAHAWK
If I opted for an overclockable processor. I also went for an ATX motherboard for the previously chosen case. A motherboard capable of overclocking the processor in optimal conditions. Very stable, with VRAM radiators to protect mosquitoes and motherboard capacitors, during gaming and when the processor will be overclocked. The red theme of the system will look really spectacular in unity. With 2 LED strips around the glass panel, the system will look great. With temperature and voltage monitoring software and an extraordinary fan control.
Corsair 8GB x 2 memory
To support overclocking we need to pay attention to ram memory, have XMP support, and have the best OC frequency. We go hand in hand with Corsair, 2 plates in dual channel at 3Ghz of 16GB. It is enough to be able to raise the processor to 5Ghz to be stable in Turbo mode. It will help us a lot in the advanced video editing part.
The total change of the platform will be around 2000 lei. After changing these parts, we can say that we have finished 75% of the computer. And we will already feel the improvements especially on the multi-tasking and photo and video editing side. After this step we have to sell the old motherboard platform with ddr3 processor and RAM.
Let’s say we can recover at least 60% of the investment to change the platform. So we will not feel the same as if we spent all the components on the first because we do them gradually and during all this time we will not have to stop our system.
We have reached the end of the project of upgrading the gaming system and editing video-photo mid-level editing. But not before buying the most important component, namely the video card.
I recommend for this system a video card capable of bringing the games in full detail, even the games of the coming years.
MSI GeForce® GTX 1070 Video Card
The video card does not have to be the last component. But I don’t know what system each one has and if it is capable of carrying such a video card. It can be the first purchase in the upgrade project, depending on the system you will upgrade to.
A perfect board for this processor, capable of running many ultra games even at 4K resolution, very cool, very quiet when we are not playing, with enough CUDA cores to help us compile. It’s just like the processor, one of the best-selling components in the world of gamers. Plus the theme is as red as the rest of the components. I also recommend LED strips set to white or yellow to illuminate the case.
Deepcool Maelstrom 120 processor cooler
Here is a cooler that is acceptable in price and fits the theme of the system, and can be mounted on the front of the case, but I recommend installing the case on the ceiling.
I have extended this article which I hope will be useful for you to upgrade your system without having to stop using it.
You can see more gaming systems on different budgets here: PC Gaming Recommendations
If you do not have the upgrade amounts in this article, the important thing is the order in the article and how to proceed to recover the money invested.