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Question Upgrading from 5-year-old components to ultrawide 1440p 144Hz


Junior Member
Nov 23, 2020
Usage: Mostly gaming (think games along the lines of Metro Exodus, Cyberpunk, RDR2, Anthem), but some software development too (nothing crazy though)

Budget: 1500GBP at the absolute max, though less is of course better; preferably nearer to 1200

Country: UK

Hello folks! Just another i5-6600K/GTX970 build that's due for a nice upgrade. Missing my second screen while WFH, so I have decided to take the plunge and get a nice ultrawide for the home office, and of course that requires a hardware upgrade too!

This is what I'm currently working with:

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i5-6600K 3.5 GHz Quad-Core Processor
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212X 82.9 CFM CPU Cooler
Motherboard: Asus Z170 PRO GAMING ATX LGA1151 Motherboard
Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws V Series 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-2400 CL15 Memory
Storage: Crucial MX200 500 GB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Crucial MX200 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Crucial MX500 2 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive
Storage: Seagate Barracuda 3 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Video Card: MSI GeForce GTX 970 4 GB GAMING Video Card
Case: Cooler Master Silencio 652S ATX Mid Tower Case
Power Supply: EVGA SuperNOVA 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
Optical Drive: Samsung SH-224FB/RSMS DVD/CD Writer
Monitor: AOC i2369V 23.0" 1920x1080 60 Hz Monitor
Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-11-23 18:20 GMT+0000

So four major components to upgrade would be:
GPU: I'm leaning towards the RTX3080 as the more value/futureproof of the new lineup. Granted, I know I'll probably have to wait a few weeks before I can get my hands on one. From the looks of it, the current Radeons just don't stack up, especially once NVIDIA gets the software update for SAM compatibility. Am I wrong in my thinking? Also, there are way too many variants, but since I don't mind waiting to avoid the "getting the first one that's available" situation, are there any standouts among them?

CPU: Since I'm upgrading to a nice powerful GPU, it'd be a shame to bottleneck it with an old CPU. Not to mention my poor old i5-6600k might jump out of the case screaming if I ask it to drive 3440:1440 at 144Hz It looks like this round has once again gone definitively to AMD, but I'm unsure what to pick between 5(6/8/9)00. Yes, considering this is mostly for gaming the 5600 would be just fine, but that's the thinking that led me to get the i5 (since multiple threads weren't game optimal at the time), so I'm trying to do better about futureproofing this time.

Mobo: Going Zen of course means my old mobo is useless. I am completely clueless about the different AMD-compatible models though. I would ideally like it to have 5 SATA connectors (4 hard drives and 1 DVD drive), but can probably get a PCIe extension module. I'm not at all fussed about RGB (as my case would probably tell you).

RAM: As with mobos, I haven't followed the latest RAM developments over the last 5 years. Thinking of going for the full 32GB this time round though. I would consider keeping my current sticks, but something tells me the Zen 3 would appreciate faster memory.

Secondary concerns:
Cooler: The Hyper has actually been quite good for me, can't complain about its performance. Was thinking of maybe upgrading to a Noctua though?

PSU: Is my 650W Nova still ok for the above? The 3080 has been shown to be quite power hungry.

Storage: NVMe SSDs seem really cheap right now. Should I consider getting one? I mean, I already have 3.5TB in SSD space, but I seem to recall reading somewhere that Ryzens will eventually be able to use NVMes for a speed boost?

Lastly, the monitor. This is where I'm really lost; there are waaaaay too many options. My separate budget for this is ~1000GBP, preferably under.

Definite wants:
Ultrawide - At least 34in, though I'm quite tempted by the 49in behemoths. I'm quite aware of the fact that there aren't any 1440p 144Hz super-ultrawides for under 1000 pounds though

1440p - It's a big screen, and 1080 ain't gonna cut it. 4K just seems too ambitious considering the budget and screen size.

High refresh rate - 144Hz seems to be the most popular milestone, but I'm not sure that I'd see a lot of difference between 120 and 144? Am I mistaken?

Nice to haves:
Built-in KVM - I would connect my work laptop to the screen as well, and I'd like to be able to use my keyboard and mouse to control both the laptop and my desktop. I currently have a USB switch selector, but it doesn't always work great, so a proper KVM would be nice.

Thank you for taking the time to read all this, you rock. If I've forgotten to add something or something is unclear, please let me know and I'll fix it!