Upgrade Path Help

Hey gang, I'd like to start running a certain application that shall not be named that requires 8GB RAM as the minimum requirements. My rig is X58 with triple channel memory but 3x2GB for 6GB, whoops! The i7-920 is running at 50% overclock @4.0 MHz so single core CPU performance is only down ~35% from modern CPUs...not bad for 10+ year old tech but still getting a bit long in the tooth.

My questions are:
1) Did anyone have a triple channel rig and has upgraded and now has 12GB of RAM that they would let go for a reasonable amount?
2) Between spending $63 US on new RAM or spending ~$500 on new 'guts' (CPU/RAM/Mobo+Cooler) where would you go at this point in time?



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I've no experience in this to be honest so it's hard to recommend what you should consider.

The only thing I do have experience with was trying to purchase more Ram in another aged system some years back. I couldn't find Ram for anything less than $300 and given the slight performance it equated to a new build was in order.

Assuming you can even find the Ram you're looking for is it worth the slight performance advantage you may gain?

Imho, if the system is that old you won't gain anywhere near the performance regardless of what you spend as you would with upgraded tech.
@Ogami Itto you sure got a lot of life out of that OG i7 , but I don't reckon you will see any performance increase in gaming with a bit more RAM as your system as you have described it to me in the past is kind of at its limit now anyway no?

I had a quick look on amazon and excluding the graphics card , £500~ got a CPU, motherboard , 16 GB of RAM and a decent cooler and power supply.

Amazon UK and US sites normally have similar prices $ for £ so shouldn't be much different from $500 on the US site.
This is something I would consider if I was gaming and wanted to save some money without compromising performance. I am sure you can find better prices locally and may have other components in mind, this is just to give you an idea in case you wanted to get an up to date system that should get you a good few years use.

Intel i5 9600kF (the K is much more pricey here and the only difference as far as I know is the KF doesn't do on board graphics, but if you are getting a PC for gaming then hopefully you are also considering using some sort of graphics card :p)

Noctua Air cooler, needs a fat case

16 GiG Corsair low profile ram , you will need this to get under the radiator of the Noctua! it's cheap!

750W Corair gold power supply, don't get silver or bronze get gold , it's shinier.

MSI Z390 motherboard, Get whatever make you want just make sure it has the USBs and what not

you will need hard drives or SSDs , optical drives or what ever other bits you wan t to stick, but the above parts are up to date!

get a nice graphics card :)

I am sure there are lots of people and B2O more clued up on me as what brands or such are good value or offer great performance but hopefully this helps you getting started sorting your system out!
I wouldn't buy an i5 right now. For equal, or possibly slightly less, money you can get a Ryzen 3600X which is within 3% of the 9600K in single threaded performance but blows it away in multi-threaded performance because the 3600X is a 6c/12t part while the 9600K/KF are 6c/6t parts. You can put it on a B450 motherboard instead of shelling out for a top end enthusiast chipset like Z390 or X570. Not only that but AM4 is not a dead socket, with at least one more CPU generation being slated to use that socket (Ryzen 4). Z390/LGA1151 are a dead end with no room to upgrade beyond the 9900K.


You don't need to buy a cooler, the 3600X comes with one that is good enough if you aren't OC'ing. If you want to save even more and are willing to give up a little raw performance get a straight 3600 instead of the X. Ignore the warning about B450 and Matisse CPU's, any B450 motherboard shipped recently should have a Matisse capable BIOS. If you're super worried about it you could step up to a low end X570 board for ~25 or 50 extra bucks which would give you more headroom if you wanted to drop a beefier CPU in later (say when Ryzen 4 releases).

Intel is floundering so bad in the desktop space that if you aren't building a 9900K system specifically for gaming, with no other use case, it's really hard to recommend Intel parts right now.

For reference here's basically the build Nejt laid out:

In US dollars it's more expensive for less machine. Even if you stepped up to a decent X570 board, side stepping any possible (thought unlikely) comparability issues, you'd still come out ahead with a lot of upgrade headroom:
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