Time to upgrade, but some of my components are still relevant - advice if you can?

Hi all,
I have a system I'm wanting to upgrade as its frequently not passing the "Can I run It?" website test :) (Specifically Age of Wonders Planetfall. I also play games like Civ VI).

I have been upgrading parts over the years, but my motherboard and CPU are old old old.

Here's what I have in my mid tower:
- AMD Phenom II X4 955 (Socket AM3 (938))
- Gigabyte GA-880GMA-UD2H
- 16gb memory (DDR3)
- Radeon RX580
- Recently had the PSU replaced and have a 750w

So.. what will I need to replace to have a decent system that should last at least 3 years? I am not confident in replacing these parts myself but I am happy to pay someone to do it for me. I don't know if its better for me to scrap the whole thing except for maybe the video card and just start again? Any retailers that are best to approach? My budget is sub $2000.

I appreciate any help or comments.


  • If you've got a $2000 budget then scrap all of it and start fresh. Motherboard, CPU and RAM are a combo upgrade for you so all have to be new. You can keep GPU but if upgrading might as well go better spec to future proof. Depending on PSU spec, if it's decent brand and certified 80+ Gold could keep that too.

    However, how does the actual game run? I'd be surprised if you can't run Planetfall with those specs. Although maybe CPU is the bottleneck. Websites you're using are a guide only.

    Techfast are a popular option to look at pre-made units (although they're anything but fast). Here's an example: https://techfast.com.au/collections/amd-systems/products/amd...

    http://au.pcpartpicker.com is ideal to model builds and prices. They're very easy to put together yourself.

    • Haven't bought the game to be honest as I didn't think I could run it! Do you mean Techfast's PC's are anything but fast, or their build service?

      • I haven't used them but people consistently complain about their slow delivery times and some haven't been thrilled by some of the cost cutting measures (cheaper components). But you get what you pay for, they're very competitive.

        Still suggest build your own. Grab the game first if you really want it and see if it'll run for you. Pretty sure it will but not maxed out.

  • Heya! Oh man you aren't kidding when you say the mb and cpu are old.

    2k is a decent budget, it'd say it's best to just grab one of the techfast deals that pops up which suits your needs, plenty of them are sub 2K.

    With the way prices are atm, I wouldn't recommend upgrading each part as it would probably cost more than a techfast system that comes pre built.

    As for the old system, perhaps keep it as a backup or give it to a family member or a friend.

    You could probably sell the 580 for 120-150 and keep the rest as a spare PC.

    These are my 2 cents, maybe someone will have better advice!

  • Age of Wonders Planetfall. I also play games like Civ VI

    4k 65" tv + RTX2080S

    keep the rest as is

    • Keep the motherboard and the CPU? I think you mean trash the rest, right? :)

    • That's completely pointless as the CPU would bottleneck the GPU.

      • My comment should have come with a sarcasm tag hehehe. What I meant to say was the only good thing about the setup is the GPU and the PSU. The rest should be trashed which is what I was expecting. It seemed like the poster was saying keep the motherboard and the CPU (and was maybe being sarcastic).

  • A techfast deal but save some budget and add a nice, 144hz monitor.

  • Aside from the GPU and PSU i'd be looking at putting together a new system.

    I too had the 955BE from 2009 - 2015, was a great CPU.

  • Go nvidia and ill help ya oot

  • I'd change the motherboard, CPU and RAM, for less than $1000.

    Regarding CPU: No point chasing the latest Core i7, the need for a cutting edge CPU doesn't exist these days.
    Regarding RAM: 16GB is plenty.

    You didn't mention it but SSD storage is a huge leap forward if you don't have it already. Samsung EVO970 1TB for $290.

    Next step after those is a graphics card like a GTX 1660 at around $350.

    I don't know what it costs for someone to build it for you.

    • If the RAM is DDR3 as suggested by OP, it'll need to go too.

      • Yep DDR3. So it will need to go. I'm thinking at this stage to keep it sub $1500 and just replace the motherboard, CPU and RAM. I've watched a few videos on YouTube and I reckon I could do it sorta.. but seems pretty risky just to save the $150 or so it will cost to get someone to do it for me.

      • I agree - hence why I said to change it in my first sentence.

  • Get a second hand haswell i7 $150 off ebay + second hand mobo $100. Triple current cpu performance.

    • ^ Don't do this. Never buy second hand components. No warranty, no recourse and you don't know what damage has been done to them.

      • Buy it from reputable refurb firms. I get stuff from them all the time. Not some random stranger with less than 100 reviews.

        Some people just have a grudge against second hand stuff. It is like that new car smell that just might be carcinogenic (or maybe just infectious but not carcinogenic)

        Been buying $100 routers on gumtree for $10 / $20. Long as you bring a laptop to check it isn't password locked and all the settings are working you're good. Save a lot of money.

        I've actually demo parts are working inside the case before ripping it out to give it to people who buy it off gumtree. You're only as ripped off as you're willing to be ripped off.

        • You might appear to know what you're doing. Someone who's not confident replacing parts in a desktop shouldn't be directed to second hand parts.

    • I bought a second hand 4th gen i5 for ~70, had it for over a year now with no problems.

      However 4th gen is limited to DDR3, only downside but otherwise not a bad thing to do, but as mentioned before for a new person messing around with parts, specially second hand might be a bit too much.

      Next time!

  • TBH it’s almost a brand new build at this point. How about selling the whole PC, then getting a tech fast 3600/3700XT with a Radeon 5600/5700XT?

  • Civ6 isn't very graphic intensive - a powerful CPU would make more of a difference in performance for this game.

    I have a last gen overclocked i5 on 32GB RAM and late game on large maps still takes a long time to process AI turns. I can't imagine how long you are waiting for these turns with your 10 year old CPU!

  • PCPartPicker Part List

    Type Item Price
    CPU AMD Ryzen 9 3900X 3.8 GHz 12-Core Processor $672.86 @ Amazon Australia
    CPU Cooler Cooler Master Hyper 212 Black Edition 42 CFM CPU Cooler $61.55 @ Amazon Australia
    Motherboard MSI B450 TOMAHAWK MAX ATX AM4 Motherboard $204.70 @ Device Deal
    Memory Team T-FORCE VULCAN Z 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory $187.90 @ Amazon Australia
    Storage Crucial MX500 1 TB 2.5" Solid State Drive $159.84 @ Amazon Australia
    Video Card Gigabyte Radeon RX 5700 XT 8 GB GAMING OC Video Card $581.10 @ Amazon Australia
    Case NZXT H510 ATX Mid Tower Case $120.44 @ Amazon Australia
    Power Supply Cooler Master MWE Gold 650 W 80+ Gold Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply $165.00 @ Shopping Express
    Prices include shipping, taxes, rebates, and discounts
    Total $2153.39
    Generated by PCPartPicker 2020-07-08 01:42 AEST+1000

    This is what I would go with if you had to spend all your money. If you didn't, just get a 3600 + 1660 Super and pocket the change.

    • Thank you for putting that together. I'm thinking of going with your latter suggestion, $2k is overkill for what I need right now I think.

  • Get a new PC. Find a different purpose for your old system or give it to your grandparents.

  • Get new cpu, Mobo And Ram. Don’t forget to use the NVMe m.2 storage to stick on to the Mobo. My recent system is getting the UFO status in benchmarking test.

    • Just bought an AMD Ryzen 5 3600 from the Ozbargain thread earlier today. Looks like I'm putting this together myself :)

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