Questions (Again) About Upgrading my PC

newbert

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Please forgive me for again asking some of these questions, but I expect to come into some funds soon that I could use you to finally upgrade my sim-racing PC and I'd like to gauge what's worthwhile doing (in priority order) and what's not worthwhile.

My PC is a stock HP Pavilion Power 580-023w Gaming Tower. I'm considering upgrading the CPU to this, and/or upgrading my videocard to this (if I can find one) and/or adding 8 more GIGs of RAM using two of these.

My questions are:

1. Are these worthwhile upgrades and are they all compatible with my present system?

2. In what order would you rank these upgrades in terms of "bang for the buck"?

The main sims that I run are AC and RF2, but I also dabble in many others including RRE3, iRacing, Dirt Rally, PC2, AMS, ACC and KartKraft. 99% of my racing is either hotlapping or against the AI. (Online participation may come once I start improving my skills :redface:.) Oh - and most importantly I run sims in VR (WMR) when possible, using my Lenovo Explorer headset.

Ideally, I'd like to run at higher graphic settings with a larger field of AI. Faster loading of the sims would also be a nice bonus.

So without consideration of budget, which of these would you do and in what order? Note: I don't want to replace the motherboard and get involved with re-building a PC from scratch. So, my goal is to make this as much "plug-and-play" as possible.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks!
 

Terry Rock

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The additional RAM is a good first option.
I personally would not spend that much on the processor and cooler as a bundle.
They're by no means bad components but considering you are keeping your existing motherboard, I'd go with an upper level I5 and save the bulk of your money for something like a good SSD.
I'd forget the loop cooler and get a good air-cooler, since the VR earphones will drown out any fan noise anyway.
As for the graphics card... you are very close to GTX1070 price with the GTX1060 you pointed to.
That'd be a better option and would give you a bit more reserve for VR.
 
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newbert

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The additional RAM is a good first option.
I personally would not spend that much on the processor and cooler as a bundle.
They're by no means bad components but considering you are keeping your existing motherboard, I'd go with an upper level I5 and save the bulk of your money for something like a good SSD.
I'd forget the loop cooler and get a good air-cooler, since the VR earphones will drown out any fan noise anyway.
As for the graphics card... you are very close to GTX1070 price with the GTX1060 you pointed to.
That'd be a better option and would give you a bit more reserve for VR.
Thanks for your thoughts, Terry.

What would just the additional Ram, by itself, accomplish for VR sim racing? (I ask because that's the simplest, most straightforward upgrade and said that it's a good first option.)

Yeah, I'm thinking that I could find that CPU at a better price elsewhere. But are you saying that an "upper level" i5 would be better than the CPU that I linked to?

Also, is this the video card you're referring to? If so, it looks like I'd have to upgrade my power supply too (It's only 300W currently). And would that video card be compatible with my motherboard? And does it support Displayport (which is how my monitor connects)?

Thanks again!
 

Terry Rock

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Thanks for your thoughts, Terry.

What would just the additional Ram, by itself, accomplish for VR sim racing? (I ask because that's the simplest, most straightforward upgrade and said that it's a good first option.)

Yeah, I'm thinking that I could find that CPU at a better price elsewhere. But are you saying that an "upper level" i5 would be better than the CPU that I linked to?

Also, is this the video card you're referring to? If so, it looks like I'd have to upgrade my power supply too (It's only 300W currently). And would that video card be compatible with my motherboard? And does it support Displayport (which is how my monitor connects)?

Thanks again!
Quite frankly, I would not try to run any simulation software with less than 16GB of RAM.
That's why I posted it as a good first step.
Not sure you'd see any benefit to VR, that's more dependent on CPU and graphics 'horsepower'.
No, I'm not saying the I5 is better than the CPU you pointed out.
It is just better for what you plan to use it for, when factoring dollar-per-performance cost.
Any GTX1070 will conform to the slot on the motherboard, since it originally had a 3GB GTX1060.
The limiting factor would be the case layout so you'd need to know how big the card is.
Most of those cards have at least one HDMI and in most cases several displayport connections.
I would not do anything until a decent power supply is installed.
Not sure if HP uses proprietary power supply connections...so it'd be worth investigating before ordering anything.
 

newbert

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Slept on this info and am giving my choices another look this morning.

I'm not as up-to-date on PC technical data as I once was. So what's the fastest "Plug and Play" CPU that I can upgrade to given my current system? The motherboard is "Kaby Lake". - Is that also called "Series 300"?

Thanks!
 

John-Eric Saxén

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Nope, Series 300 is for 8th gen Coffee Lake CPU's and 7th/8th gen are incompatible with each other for a reason Intel only knows. i7-7700K is the fastest CPU in terms of single core available for your socket, but latest CPU's that come with six cores are somewhat faster in terms of multi core. But the i7 is still a decent upgrade over an i5 I'd say.

Regarding the GPU, it would not make much sense IMO to upgrade a 3 GB GTX 1060 to a 6 GB GTX 1060. At very least look out for RTX 2060 or GTX 1070 level if you insist on upgrading the GPU. Edit: with only 300W PSU it becomes an issue to use either RX 2060 or GTX 1070, even the new CPU will consume a bit more.
 
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dud

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I think a better power supply needs to be the first upgrade. I hope the case fits a regular power supply and isn't some HP-specific format.
 

newbert

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So, given all your responses to my questions (which I appreciate very much), the consensus for the order of priority regarding worthwhile upgrades appears to be:

1. upgrade Ram to 16Gb
2. upgrade CPU to i7-7700
Note: No need to upgrade the Power Supply for items 1 and 2 alone.

3. upgrade videocard to either GTX 1070 or RTX 2060 but then,
4. upgrading the Power Supply becomes a must-do. In that case, how many watts should the PS be?

Does this sound about right?

Based on all this, I'm leaning towards doing only 1 and 2 and perhaps holding off on 3 and 4 until a later date. If so, would 1 and 2 alone have an impact on running in VR at higher graphics settings? And/or running AI races with larger fields?

Thanks again for all the help!
 

maelstrom

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1. upgrade Ram to 16Gb
2. upgrade CPU to i7-7700
Note: No need to upgrade the Power Supply for items 1 and 2 alone.
Whilst you are probably technically correct, according to the HP support page (https://support.hp.com/gb-en/document/c05638874) your system only has a 300W PSU which gives you virtually no headroom whatsoever - even with your existing setup. Assuming a standard PSU would fit in, I'd go for a brand name (EVGA, Corsair, Seasonic, be quiet!) and aim for at least 650W - plenty of capacity for upgrades and you can look at it as an investment for any future system.
 

John-Eric Saxén

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Indeed, i7-7700K has a TDP of 91W, while i5-7400 has a TDP of 65W. So based on Intel's estimates, an extra 25 W is needed for the CPU. It is worth mentioning that i7-7700 non-K has the same 65W TDP as i5-7400.
 

newbert

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Indeed, i7-7700K has a TDP of 91W, while i5-7400 has a TDP of 65W. So based on Intel's estimates, an extra 25 W is needed for the CPU. It is worth mentioning that i7-7700 non-K has the same 65W TDP as i5-7400.
Thank you for this info.

Since I'm planning on getting the i7-7700, (ie - not k), the hit to the overall system's power requirements by that CPU should not be an issue then. (I'm not an overclocker so I see no advantage for the 7700k over the 7700 for me.)

So, if I stick with the order of components outlined a few posts above, and only do the first two for now (increase Ram and upgrade CPU only), I should be able to keep the current power supply for now, right?

That just begs the question of whether doing only those two, will I see an appreciable increase in performance in my racing sim experience? (Such as running at higher graphical settings in VR and/or race larger AI fields?)

Thanks again!
 

Durge Driven

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What about case functionality /cooling ?
What fans does it have ? imho for that new hardware you want at least 2 x 120cm intake and exhaust. If you throw that in the only thing you not replacing is a motherboard

My advice is stick with what you have till you can afford it because the motherboard and ram speed will hamper the CPU/GPU and you lose good bang for buck factor

When I was building people scoffed at 2400MHz ram I got but here you advise to mix and match slower ram
 
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RasmusP

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2. upgrade CPU to i7-7700
*7700k! You really want to have the possibility to overclock it for simracing! These sims want single thread, single thread and single thread performance!
More cores increase this though too while hyperthreading gives some headroom in general to make sure your minimum fps stay as high as possible.
 

newbert

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What about case functionality /cooling
If you throw that in the only thing you not replacing is a motherboard
I don't see any problem with the existing case. I'd probably get a fan of some sort for cooling.
Replacing a motherboard is a headache that I really don't want to take on. Both the physical aspect of it, but especially the BIOS compatibility issues it usually creates.

If I went as far as replacing the motherboard too, I might as well just get a whole new system IMO - which would then require re-installing/configuring all the software. Another task that I don't want to take on.
 

newbert

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*7700k! You really want to have the possibility to overclock it for simracing! These sims want single thread, single thread and single thread performance!
More cores increase this though too while hyperthreading gives some headroom in general to make sure your minimum fps stay as high as possible.
I really am not interested in over-complicating this, so I don't want to overclock.

Thanks.
 

RasmusP

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Cpu and ram won't give you the possibility for higher graphic settings (apart from reflections in ac) but you might be able to run 90 fps with no reprojection and also larger ai fields.
If you don't care for reprojection a better gpu (1070ti/1080 or 2070 would be best bang for the buck) will result in more eye candy though. Not much higher fps as in VR your cpu won't handle 90 fps I think.
 

RasmusP

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I really am not interested in over-complicating this, so I don't want to overclock.

Thanks.
It comes with a higher base clock and higher automatic turbo.
Also I wasn't interested for 5 years in overclocking my I7 2600k. Then Witcher 3 and assetto corsa happened and boom, went from 3.6 GHz to 4.4 GHz after investing about 15 hours overall and gained a lot of performance.
Everyone I know with a non k cpu upgraded one or two times already. Overclocking saved me a lot of money until now.
Never say never but it depends on the price tag of course. Back then it were only 50€ for the k.
 

Durge Driven

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I don't see any problem with the existing case. I'd probably get a fan of some sort for cooling.
Replacing a motherboard is a headache that I really don't want to take on. Both the physical aspect of it, but especially the BIOS compatibility issues it usually creates.

If I went as far as replacing the motherboard too, I might as well just get a whole new system IMO - which would then require re-installing/configuring all the software. Another task that I don't want to take on.
A i7 and 1060 wants 2 x120cm fans and your case wont support them
Exactly save your money up all you need extra is a cheap case with 120cm fans and a cheap "B" motherboard
Re-installing OS once a year or so is not a bad thing and with a small cheap SSD makes fast work of it