Question Upgrading: Buy a pre-built PC or do several upgrades?

Dave3000

Golden Member
Jan 10, 2011
1,375
91
91
I currently own a system with a:

Ryzen 7 5800x (cooled by a Noctua U12A CPU Cooler)
32GB DDR4-3200
GTX 1080 Ti
2TB PCI-E 4.0 NVMe SSD
250GB PCI-E 3.0 NVMe SSD
850W Power Supply
Fractal Meshify-C case

I use this system mainly for gaming. Two things I want to upgrade are the CPU and video card. However, depending on what I want to upgrade to, I might also need to replace my DDR4 with DDR5 and my motherboard. For the CPU, it will be either a 7700X, 7800X3D, 13700K, or 5800X3D. For the video card it will most likely the RTX 4080. For the RAM it will be 64GB DDR5-5200 or 5600 (I know I can get faster RAM but I want to stick with the officially supported speeds according to the respective CPUs) if I end up replacing my RAM. Of course the cheapest route out of this situation would be just to upgrade to a 5800X3D and a RTX 4080 and keep my motherboard and RAM and be done with it for a few years, however I don't mind spending more money, replacing my motherboard and RAM, if the performance difference is worth it and is within by budget. My budget is ~$4000 including sales tax for a new pre-built PC. Of course if I get a new pre-built PC I will have some hardware that comes with it being redundant as I don't need to replace my SSDs, power supply, and case (if the 4080 FE will fit inside my current case without extreme bending of the power adapter in order to close the case). However, basically the majority of the cost of a new pre-built PC with the specs I want come from that hardware I want to upgrade to. If I go for the 5800X3D now then I won't be waiting for the 7800X3D and skip it which I read in an article online that it will be released in April. So should I just buy a new pre-built PC or should I just upgrade to the parts I want even though it would be nearly equivalent to buying a new pre-built PC at that point unless I upgrade to the 5800X3D?
 

BoomerD

No Lifer
Feb 26, 2006
63,538
11,845
136
I doubt your current DDR4 motherboard will accept DDR5 RAM. AFAIK, that's not a thing...so you'd have to replace the motherboard...or stick with your DDR4 RAM..

As for pre-built PCs...do your research carefully. I bought an IBuyPower pc from Costco 4 years ago. I was pretty disappointed in the overall quality.
 

Tech Junky

Diamond Member
Jan 27, 2022
3,588
1,206
106
Depends on a few things.

Cheapest would be stick with AMD and drop a new CPU / GPU into the existing setup.

Gut the AMD and convert to Intel is the other option. DDR5 doesn't offer much at this point and avoiding it saves you some money.

For $4K though your options are almost limitless and a bit high as the base system on an Intel build from the ground up might run $1K on the DIY side w/o a GPU included in the cost. GPU being a mean of $1300 puts you in the ballpark out the door of maybe $2500-$3000 when you port over your drives / PSU / case / RAM

If you want to save more go with a Z690 MOBO and 12700K as the prices just keep dropping with the new release and retailers trying to clear inventory. The only "perk" with RPL is more E cores.

DIY gives you some better options w/o the fluff parts you don't need duplicates of nor the smaller things like fans / cooling / etc. that you can pick yourself for optimal performance. Now, if we were talking laptops then I have a source that makes sense that allows you to buy a barebones option w/o anything in it and you add your drives / ram to it and it shaves off a good chunk of the costs you run into through other places. I picked up a 12700H / 3060 from them for ~$1300 shipped and added my own stuff and took it a few steps further by swapping the panel for a 4K120 and when I was done it is comparable to a $4K machine for under $2K.
 

Dave3000

Golden Member
Jan 10, 2011
1,375
91
91
Depends on a few things.

Cheapest would be stick with AMD and drop a new CPU / GPU into the existing setup.

Gut the AMD and convert to Intel is the other option. DDR5 doesn't offer much at this point and avoiding it saves you some money.

For $4K though your options are almost limitless and a bit high as the base system on an Intel build from the ground up might run $1K on the DIY side w/o a GPU included in the cost. GPU being a mean of $1300 puts you in the ballpark out the door of maybe $2500-$3000 when you port over your drives / PSU / case / RAM

If you want to save more go with a Z690 MOBO and 12700K as the prices just keep dropping with the new release and retailers trying to clear inventory. The only "perk" with RPL is more E cores.

DIY gives you some better options w/o the fluff parts you don't need duplicates of nor the smaller things like fans / cooling / etc. that you can pick yourself for optimal performance. Now, if we were talking laptops then I have a source that makes sense that allows you to buy a barebones option w/o anything in it and you add your drives / ram to it and it shaves off a good chunk of the costs you run into through other places. I picked up a 12700H / 3060 from them for ~$1300 shipped and added my own stuff and took it a few steps further by swapping the panel for a 4K120 and when I was done it is comparable to a $4K machine for under $2K.

Going from a 5800X to a 12700K is not a huge performance increase in gaming and I don't care about E-Cores as I would disable the E-Cores in the BIOS anyways if I went for a 12700K or 13700K.
 
Jul 27, 2020
18,371
12,213
116
Honestly, your system is pretty up to date.
Seconded. Upgrading the CPU or even whole platform a mere two months before 7950X3D availability isn't wise, in my opinion. When you have seen benchmarks of Zen 4 V-cache CPUs, you will be in a much better position to make an informed buying decision. Upgrading now will just be jumping the gun.

It's your money and it's not our business how you spend it. However, you came here for advice and I'm hoping that it's good advice you are after (rather than looking to justify whatever decision you have already made up in your mind IF that's the actual purpose of your OP).
 

In2Photos

Golden Member
Mar 21, 2007
1,709
1,725
136
Honestly, your system is pretty up to date. I would just replace the GPU and see how it goes. You haven't mentioned what monitor you run, but I'm guessing 2560x1440 or so. In that case, you should be fine with just a GPU update.
I agree. The 5800X is still very relevant. The difference between it and any of the other processors mentioned is minimal compared to the difference between the 1080Ti and a 4080.
 

In2Photos

Golden Member
Mar 21, 2007
1,709
1,725
136
Seconded. Upgrading the CPU or even whole platform a mere two months before 7950X3D availability isn't wise, in my opinion. When you have seen benchmarks of Zen 4 V-cache CPUs, you will be in a much better position to make an informed buying decision. Upgrading now will just be jumping the gun.

It's your money and it's not our business how you spend it. However, you came here for advice and I'm hoping that it's good advice you are after (rather than looking to justify whatever decision you have already made up in your mind IF that's the actual purpose of your OP).
The 7950X3D is available the end of this month. Assuming you meant the 7800X3D?
 
Jul 27, 2020
18,371
12,213
116
The 7950X3D is available the end of this month. Assuming you meant the 7800X3D?
I'm giving two months as a worst case scenario, in case the entire Zen 4 V-cache CPU supply is scooped up quickly by upgraders and scalpers.

But if good reviews are available way before that, it would make it easier to decide whether to wait more or just get the 5800X3D as the most cost effective option.
 

solidsnake1298

Senior member
Aug 7, 2009
302
168
116
@Dave3000

Well, just taking the parts you generically listed and throwing a GPU on it in the case you have with the PSU it doesn't look like a fitment issue. The main concern would be temps in the confined space.

As a former Meshify C user, there will DEFINITELY be a fitment issue. I went from a GTX 1070 to a MSI Radeon RX6800 Gaming X Trio and it didn't not fit in the case with a front fan in the bottom 140mm fan location. And the 4090 is waaay wider and longer. Which doesn't even include the, usually, side mounted power connector on 4090s.

I am also in the camp that just a GPU (and PSU) upgrade would be huge. The 5800X would only limit you if you play at 1080p when paired with a 4090. And it would only be the difference between 400fps and 500fps.

IMO, get a Meshify 2 (what I ended up getting) or something equally large, get a 1000w PSU (needed to confidently power a 4090), and get a 4090. The cost-to-performance gains from upgrading EVERYTHING is not worth it, IMO, and will almost certainly not be noticeable.