Upgrade to Skylake with a 550 USD budget


Junior Member
Dec 1, 2015

It is finally time to upgrade my old 2008 build that can be seen here:
2008 build

I have about EUR 550 to spend, but as I live in Serbia, let's assume that the budget is USD 550. I have the option to buy some parts this week as a friend could buy some parts abroad and I could get some tax refunds. I hope that the computer would last a minimum of 4 years.

Approximate Purchase Date: December/January

Budget Range: USD 550 in total (ignore rebates)

System Usage from Most to Least Important: data analytics, light programming, gaming (would like to try GTA V, Witcher, Elite on relatively high settings), surfing the internet, watching movies

Are you buying a monitor: No - no money at the moment, will be reusing my old one

Parts to Upgrade: CPU, mobo, RAM, GPU, SSD (new)

Do you need to buy OS: No

Preferred Website(s) for Parts: http://tweakers.net/ if possible

Location: Belgrade, Serbia, Europe and I can get some stuff from Amsterdam, Netherlands this week only

Parts Preferences: by brand or type: Intel CPU

Overclocking: Maybe

SLI or Crossfire: Maybe

Your Monitor Resolution: 1680x1050

Additional Comments: quiet PC (not realistic for the money but still), should be able to run new titles for the following 3 to 4 years and should be somewhat future-proof (mobo/RAM at least)

Most Importantly, Why Are You Upgrading: my current PC is running very slowly, can not multitask almost at all, it can't run new titles

The parts I am keeping due to low budget:

Antec Sonata III case with 500W power supply (a nice case, hope to graduate to Fractal Design R5 in the future)
Antec Sonata III

WD Caviar Green 2GB (a bit slow but large enough for now)
WD Caviar Green 2GB

Samsung Syncmaster T220 LCD monitor (also should be upgraded; I like this monitor a lot but it supports only 1680x1050 so I am unsure how new games would behave)
Samsung Syncmaster T220 LCD monitor

Logitech MX 5500 mouse/keyboard combo (starting to die slowly so I hope to get a mechanical keyboard and a new mouse, but that's for next year)
Logitech MX 5500

My picks, based largely on this article and on many other articles as well:

Intel i3-6100 (sufficient for my needs, won't break the bank, can be replaced later)
i3 6100

AsRock Z170M PRO4S mobo (upgradeable later)
AsRock Z170M PRO4S

HyperX Fury 2x4GB 2666 MhZ (slightly more expensive than 2133 Mhz but I am OK with that)
HyperX Fury 2x4GB 2666 MhZ

SAPPHIRE NITRO R9 380 4GB GPU (seems relatively future proof and budget friendly)

Samsung 850 EVO 250GB SDD (seems to be popular and reliable, SSD is a must-buy for me)
Samsung 850 EVO

My biggest concerns are:
1. Do I get a cooler with the i3 6100 and is it sufficient? If not, which cooler should I get? CM Hyper 212 seems not to fit my case... I know I can't overclock this processor.
2. Is the graphics card OK or should I try to save some money and buy something cheaper?
3. What will the games look like on a monitor that does not support 1080p? Should I try to replace it too?
4. If I scrap everything and go Haswell, could a Haswell build for about USD 350 to 400 (CPU/GPU/mobo/RAM) give me similar performance and last me another minimum 4 years? Is that doable?

The entire build can be seen here.

Thanks in advance!


Diamond Member
Sep 10, 2013
Surprised nobody has answered this, but yes the i3-6100 comes with a nice cooler..
I do think the graphics card is overkill, maybe a Nvidia GTX 960 4GB instead?
Your monitor is fine & keeps budget low for now. :)
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Golden Member
Sep 17, 2000
Get a cheaper motherboard (no need for a "Z" chipset in your case) and try to replace that i3 with an i5 (even if that means to switch to a Haswell platform, depending on your prices for components).

Since you have a 2 TB (not 2 GB :) ) hard disk drive, you could buy a 120/128 GB SSD instead of a 250 GB SSD. It is enough for OS and some programs. Games will be installed on HDD (with only slightly longer load time as a disadvantage).