Hardware upgrade advice

Hi,
My current PC is about 6/7 years old, still works OK, but i recently got a £350 bonus from work and decided it’s about time i upgraded my system. I am not a gamer, so the graphics do not need to be high end, as long as i can play 1080p video and stream that’s good enough. Current card is a very old NVIDIA, which i want to move away from.

I would like to go the AMD route and get a Ryzen CPU, I have been looking at the Ryzen 5 3600 and 3400G, the MSI X470 Motherboard and Corsair Vengeance 16GB mem. The thing i need advice on is what motherboard the B450 or x470, and how good are the G models of the Ryzen CPU with the built in GPU? As stated i only have a budget of £350 to play with so adding the extra cost of a graphics card, even entry level pushes the price up a fair bit, the Ryzen 5 3400G seems like a good bet but wanted to get peoples thoughts.

What would be a good low end entry level AMD graphics card if i decided to go the Ryzen 5 3600 option?

I run Manjaro (GNOME) so drivers and kernels etc should not be an issue, but compatibility advice welcome.

This is my first post on the DLN discourse forum, so hello and thanks in advance for any advice given.

Cheers, Andy

Upgrades these days are not much felt for non-gaming tasks, unless you do media production. Ask yourself, do you really need the extra few MHz of performance? Is there a benefit for multicore processing power in your workload?

The next best upgrades are unfortunately display tech related. Do you want a larger screen than the one you have? Do you have content or the use case to run 10bit True HDR displays? I dont really know if you could benefit from a high refresh rate monitor.

This is of course assuming you have reasonably maxed out your RAM to 16GB already and already running an SSD drive.

If you tinker with VMs, a better upgrade could go to a larger capacity RAM, or get the max cores and max GHz compatible second hand CPU for your model of motherboard. CPUs dont really wear out as much as the older generations (the mobos die first from overclocking).

Even SSDs evolution isnt really felt much past SATA3 (As shown in an LTT video), in which you probably be better off with a larger capacity SSD for your extra Brit $$$.


EDIT: Which reminds me, in these times of pandemic, consider a nicer Mic like a Blue Yeti or Samson C01U USB microphone to get better audio.

Alternatively, a better Headphones for proper Music listening sessions, like the latest Sennheisser HD whatever. This works best with your new Mic.

Or maybe get a better Camera for your webinars. I think Panasonic updated and released firmwares(?) for their DSLR cameras in order for their DSLRs to be used a better camera for videos conferences.

I currently have an FX-8150 AMD 8 core, and 8GB RAM, not going to notice much difference in terms of MHz and speed etc, but it is more modern hardware and more up to date instruction sets etc and runs cooler and less power so that is a plus. Also my old Gigabyte GA-970A-DS3 motherboard is a bit dated now and have a few glitches with it from time to time on boot.

I do run a Windows VM in virt manager, used for work sometimes. Already have an SSD for root + home, then two 1TB spinning disks for Data.

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I’d say go with the AMD 5 3600, a B450 motherboard, ram should be fine… (check the motherboard vendors QVL on the ram) and update the video card to like a AMD RX 570.

Ryan might want to comment on the video card, since I’ve been using Nvidia forever.

Thanks for the feedback.

I hear what your saying trouble is, the Ryzen 5 3600 with a B450 Mboard and the 16GB RAM is already at £325, the AMD RX 570 card is around £125, that’s £100 over my budget. That’s the issue i have which is why i was looking at the Ryzen 5 3400G.

Maybe i should just wait and save up the extra £100 i need, I just want to upgrade now :slight_smile:

The RX 570 is not even needed, if you are just a casual gamer, or not a gamer at all.
The Ryzen APU’s handle that just fine.

My system has an RX 560 in it and I rarely play any video games. So it’s overkill for me to even have it. But I need it, since my Ryzen 2700 is not an APU. :slight_smile:

That’s kind of what I need to know how good are the G models with the APU, it sounds like for my needs, mainly media playing, that it will be fine.

Probably yeah.

I don’t have any APU’s, except the one in my laptop. And that plays media just fine. YouTube and local 1080p video are really smooth.

Good to know, thanks

It’s a Ryzen 7 2700U APU though, but a desktop grade APU should be just as good, if not better.

Also if I go for the Ryzen 5 3600G then I can spend a bit more on the memory and upgrade to 32GB.

This is what I have so far in my Amazon basket:
AMD Ryzen 5 3600G
MSI B450 Pro-M2 MAX MBoard
Corsair Vengeance LPX 32GB RAM
£344.37 just under my budget :smile:

I think that’s what I’m going to go for.

Thanks for the advice.

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Also make sure your PSU fits with the motherboard. :slight_smile:

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If you want to be extra sure your processor is supported get it’s codename (ex: AMD 3200G = Picasso) and check if it’s here:

https://people.freedesktop.org/~agd5f/radeon_ucode/

If you’re cutting to make budget i’d advise getting a used CPU and upmarket PSU as they generally don’t go bad. RAM tends to be ok used but must be tested, motherboard and HDD should always be new imho.

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