Help me pick upgrade parts for my Gaming PC

Hello there,

need some help picking out upgrade parts for my mid range gaming pc that i bought from techfast in 2019. it was bought at around $700 at the time which still sounds like a bargain lol. the PSU shat it self 2 days ago and so I updated the PSU already with a Be Quiet! straight Power 11 750w.

I need help selecting upgrade for RAM and Id love hearing opinions about fitment issues; if any.. with the aftermarket (be quiet! SHADOW ROCK 3 CPU Air Cooler)

specs:
CPU: Amd ryzen 5 2600
GPU: Amd Radeon rx580 8GB
RAM: TEAMGROUP Elite DDR4 8GB Single 2400MHz PC4-19200 CL16
MOBO: Micro atx asus prime a320m-k
PSU: it came with a low quality 550w that got fried 2 days ago so i had to replace it with a decent one. (be quiet straight power 11 750w)
x2 120mm case fans: one Chinese no name, another corsair DC
Samsung 860 pro 500gb SSD ( I added this when i got the PC in 2019)

I went to buy ram at Mwave and the guy told me to forget buying a second 8gb stick to combine with my current one. he said just buy new 16gb ram as combining two different brands will cause issues and might not work. I've googled this and i don't know how true that is, can anyone with more info on this chime in or even recommend a well priced ram (max 16gb) for this MOBO and CPU setup. should i just pick up a second 8gb cheap brand or should I buy a more mid range 16gb new set?

what speed of ram should i get that fits my MOBO and CPU? will buying faster speed ram than what my MOBO and CPU can support make the ram obsolete, would the ram still work at the maximum supported speed of the MOBO and CPU or will it not work at all?

Comments

  •  

    Just get a DDR4-3000/3200 CL16 kit, anything will do it doesn't have to be swanky RGB or expensive brand stuff.

    Cheaper but reputable brand OEM stuff without heat spreaders (Crucial, Kingston, or Corsair's value/OEM type stuff) will have the most clearance for your CPU heatsink as well, and with it only running 3000/3200 you don't need heat spreaders on the RAM anyway - but if RAM with them is cheaper and it fits the height clearance for the manual on your CPU cooler get that.

    You can mix different RAM sticks and make it work, but this is one of those if you have to ask then probably not worth it situations - especially cause you're only going to save like $50 here so it isn't worth your own time and stress if something does go wrong.

    •  

      Not a great idea to mix RAM considering that the higher clock speed RAM will underclock itself to match the slower one

  • +1 vote

    Here's a good article on RAM that answers a few of your questions: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/myths-misconceptions-about-ram...
    I would tend to buy RAM speed the same or faster than that supported by CPU - if it is not too expensive. Sometimes the extra speed is not worth the cost.

  •  

    I actually found the exact RAM 8gb online, can be delivered for $60, so this should avoid any compatibility issues. is it worth staying at the current 2400mhz or should i ditch the current 8gb stick and buy a new set of 16gb ram 3200mhz, is the difference even worth paying extra? about 130 dollars for 16gb 3200mhz vs 60 bucks for another 8gb same brand as my current one.

    i also want to make this PC silent, without making it overheat. so since im upgrading the shitty loud stock CPU fan to an aftermarket CPU fan (Be Quiet shadow rock 3) should i upgrade the two case fans at all? be quiet also has silent case fans. i mean are case fans even needed when there is an after market CPU fan with a massive heatsink?

    • +1 vote

      Actually, there is often a catch with what appears to be "exactly the same RAM" - often two sticks bought separately with the same part number could have totally different mismatched ICs on them, especially at garbage tier speeds anything 3200 and below, leaving you with potential problems.

      At DDR4-2400 it would probably just work regardless of the ICs being different, but if it doesn't do you know how to manually tune RAM timings?

      Seriously, just spend $100-140ish delivered and get yourself a matched 3200 16GB set and forget upgrade - don't be penny wise and pound foolish here

      The speed difference makes the most improvement from 2133/2400 up to about 3000/3200 on Ryzen 2000 series, beyond that is diminishing returns that might not run and would have to be custom tuned.

      Given the specs of the rest of your system I assume you're only playing 1080p (I'd hope) - it is possible if you're playing FPS type games (eg Fortnite, CS GO) with the settings dialled down to get as high of a FPS as you can that you're CPU bound due to the RAM speed. If you're playing with max details at 1080p or at 1440p the RAM speed difference is much less likely to help - going dual channel (as in two sticks, so long as you put them in the right slots) would help you more regardless of anything else as Ryzen does not like single sticks.

      This is the cheapest idiot proof, reputable brand option I could find from a quick look on Amazon - similar deals on eBay etc - in both cased you'd need Prime for the US shipping for the Amazon one, and eBay plus for the free post and the voucher code to knock about $10 off

      It seems RAM is a bit dearer atm - just a few months ago I bought 2 kits of B Die DDR4-4400c19 for $130ish each and the sort of stuff you want was $90-110ish :(


      Case fans is a how long is a piece of string question, depends on what you have in the case already, what the case layout itself is, what your GPU is etc.

      If you've only been worried about your CPU temps so far, the new CPU cooler will sort it for you, so you can run the current fans and just turn down their speed in the BIOS/UEFI to shut them up if you need to.

      •  

        hey thanks for the detailed answer, which of the following 2 would be better, both same price.
        https://www.msy.com.au/fyshwick/memory-ram/1897-corsair-veng...

        https://www.mwave.com.au/product/kingston-hyperx-fury-16gb-2...

        as far as ram if i was going cheap i found a cheapo $55 stick that is a different brand but has same speed 2400mhz at msy. its either that or a new 16gb 2x8gb 3200mhz set i linked above $80 extra difference.

        Quote:
        "Case fans is a how long is a piece of string question, depends on what you have in the case already, what the case layout itself is, what your GPU is etc."

        i have the stock AMD fan that came with the CPU ryzen 5 2600 and its loud as heck under load i hate it.
        my case is mid tower. and my motherboard is a small micro atx with 2 ram slots, good thing this cpu cooler i selected offsets to the back so i dont think ill have issues with it hitting the ram or anything like that.

        as for fan case i found out my MOBO only has one slot for a chassis fan which sucks, so il gonna have to buy a FAN HUB $9 extra.

        • +1 vote

          That RAM from MSY is a good choice for your system IMO

          Little fan hubs or even just splitter cables are fine, so long as you don't go nuts. Like 3-4 fans off one fan header should be ok, but like maybe 8 or so might pull too much current at full speed and require a powered hub that uses SATA or Molex for some more 12v juice.

          Honestly just getting that CPU cooler you've chosen should shut it up AND make the CPU run way cooler by itself - extra/better fans probably aren't required unless your GPU is running hot as well.

          Edit: from below you said….

          "my main concern was where the fan will fit in my small motherboard and mid tower case without disturbing the ram, but i guess this is very hard to find out, only way is to try."

          The product page on that Shadow Rock 3 says it is compatible with your motherboard (it has a motherboard compatibility checker, which is really nice) and the design of it has the heatsink and fan offset like you mentioned above, so RAM clearance won't be a problem at all.

          The one thing for compatibility is how big is your case? The tower is 163mm high which should fit in most middle size tower cases, unless yours is a teeny mATX only one then you could be in trouble.

          You'd have to either check the specs page from the manufacturer of your case or just measure the height from the motherboard to the edge of the case where the side goes on, cause if it is below 163mm you might not be able to put the side panel back on (or may have to bow it out a little if it is tight).

          Though like I said above you'd have to have a really tiny case for this to be an issue. I had a similar size (but shorter) cooler, the Cryorig H7 Ultimate (120mm fan, offset tower, though it was only 145mm high) in a smallish case (Coolermaster N200 - not NR200, and older crappier thing) and it fit fine with room to spare - though your chosen cooler wouldn't fit as it only had 160mm clearance, obviously 163mm is too big but for 3mm I could probably have made it work somehow - bowing the side panel out, taking some trim panels off the top of the cooler, etc. None of which is aesthetically pleasing, so making sure the cooler fits is pretty important

          Edit2: the Pure Rock 2 is only 155mm high if your case is too skinny to fit the Shadow Rock 3 - for an R5 2600 even this much smaller cooler would be fine, though of course the bigger you go the less hard the fan will have to work so the quieter it'll be.

          You should look at Noctua coolers if you're into silence - they make pretty much the best fans there is, and if you don't like the brown/beige they have "redux" models in black and grey now

          •  

            @smashman42: thanks, i got everything and installed everything, the heat sink was about 5mm too big but i found out after installing, there was no going back. so i screwed in the front sides of the side panel leaving the back side with a 8mm opening since it cant be closed lol. its glass too so its not like i can cut it out easily. its no big deal tho. its very quiet exactly what i wanted.

            however the ram speed is showing as 2133 why is that? these are 3200mhz ram sticks

            • +1 vote

              @striker5950: Go into the BIOS/UEFI and load XMP, aka "eXtreme Memory Profile", or it could be called DOCP for some AMD boards - same thing just Intel vs AMD branding.

              Technically most of the sticks faster than 2666 are a factory over-clock you have to enable to use, so they run at their slower default JEDEC/Stock speed if you don't enable it which is usually 2133 or 2400.

              The common JEDEC/official non-over-clock speeds are 2133, 2400, 2666, and now JEDEC 3200 are starting to become more common. There is also older slower speeds below like 1866 and a rather uncommon 2933 speed as well, but you almost never see those.

              If they state their in their specs list that their speed and timings is running at 1.2v they're JEDEC spec sticks and will have really loose timings compared to XMP kits.

              If they say 1.35v or higher in their specs they're XMP rated sticks, which you have to load in the BIOS/UEFI due to it technically being an over-clock, so you get more speed and tighter timings at the same time thanks to the sticks being fed a little more voltage.

              This overclock isn't a worry however, as most current DDR4 ICs can take 1.45v 24/7 without any damage and the vendors test the RAM to be able to run at these speeds. The only issue is if you were to buy XMP rated sticks faster than your CPU's memory controller or motherboard can support where you might run into either stability problems or the PC just not turning on at all once XMP is enabled. Everyone suggests 3200 because that is the safe bet speed to run on (almost) everything.

              Regarding the heatsink - damn, sucks you can't quite shut the case, but glad it is close enough you can do a rough enough job of it and be done with it. If only you had a metal side panel you could probably bend it with it only out that much, but yeah not happening with glass

              • +1 vote

                @smashman42: YES! it was DOCP thanks man. and yeh about the case thing was a let down but its only 5mm so no biggie it sits under my desk, I took it for a test drive for 2 hrs on battlefield v yesterday, not bad at all hottest CPU got was 68c and the noise was acceptable at that level too. thanks for your help mate. I think all the fans and ram were the best upgrade, this setup will serve me will for the next 2 years at 1080p 60fps admittedly the PSU was a bit overkill but i can always use it for another built 2 years down the line.

                •  

                  @striker5950: Ryzen really doesn't like single channel RAM so now your CPU is ready for a GPU upgrade if their pricing ever becomes sane (though a 2600 will still hold back a 3080 or the like a little bit)

                  •  

                    @smashman42: every time you begin part upgrades, its like you open a can of worms, you end up with a %90 percent new pc lol. I only got these small upgrades for two upcoming games that ill be interested in, battlefield 2042 and back4blood, ill be able to meet the recommended requirements at 1080p mid to high settings for sure. after 2-3 years ill look into upgrading the entire system and hopefully ill salvage the 750w PSU the CPU fan and the 2 case fans as they will still be good for a new build. maybe even the ram if its still considered good in 2-3 years.

                    • +1 vote

                      @striker5950: DDR5 will be mainstream by then, in theory at least. The new type is always a bit shit when new for the first year or so. I sure wouldn't be queuing up for it - how many people use DDR4-1866 these days?

                      We're about to enter the generational change with Intel's 12th gen theoretically coming at the end of the year using DDR5 for their new bigLITTLE style CPUs, but AMD is reportedly sticking to DDR4 for a refresh of 5000 series (so Zen3+ or maybe just BS binned Zen3 chips with XT branding like the 3000 series got) and not doing DDR5 till they kill AM4 next year for Zen4. Or so it was last I heard anyway, who knows?

                      If you get Ryzen 5000/it's refresh, or Intel 11th gen, in 2-3yrs as new old stock on run out sale, or near new second hand, you'll be able to reuse your new RAM kit no probs.

                      •  

                        @smashman42: ill go with what ever the best option is at that time but we'll cross that bridge when we get there, we sure do pay a hell of a lot more for PC gaming compared to the play stations and the Xboxes. like just these simple upgrade ended up costing me 370 bucks which is half the cost of a PS5!

  • +1 vote

    I went to buy ram at Mwave and the guy told me to forget buying a second 8gb stick to combine with my current one. he said just buy new 16gb ram as combining two different brands will cause issues and might not work. I've googled this and i don't know how true that is, can anyone with more info on this chime in or even recommend a well priced ram (max 16gb) for this MOBO and CPU setup. should i just pick up a second 8gb cheap brand or should I buy a more mid range 16gb new set?

    Memory incompatability issues used to be more common a while back. Not as much anymore, but it is still possible.

    What's supposed to happen when you mix two (or more) sticks together is the motherboard runs at the speed of the lowest stick.

    would the ram still work at the maximum supported speed of the MOBO and CPU or will it not work at all?

    If you ram is faster than your motherboard can handle, it's supposed to run at the fastest the motherboard can handle.

    what speed of ram should i get that fits my MOBO and CPU?

    Check your motherboard manual. It should have that information in there.

  •  

    Motherboard supports up to 3200 MHz (DDR4) - I would suggest get any RAM at 3200CL16. Anything faster will be throttled but will still work. You can mix and match rams as long as they have the same speed and timings. I would just recommend getting a 2x8 RAM kit just to make your life easier - ram is so cheap nowadays.

    In terms of other upgrades;

    • The MB supports up to the Ryzen 2000 series so it's not worth upgrading to lets say the 2700X.

    • GPU to your budget.

    Really not much else you can do.

    Only comment is that your PSU is overkill for the parts that you have. 450W would have been plenty for your GPU.

    •  

      That motherboard supports Ryzen 3000 series with a BIOS update, though a 3600 probably isn't worth upgrading to either. A 3700X might be the best long term option if they're really keen, but honestly with that RX580 there's no point

      Unless the OP is planning to get a 3070 or something they really saw them coming for that PSU

  •  

    sorry for the confusion, I'm not actually trying to upgrade the CPU or GPU,
    I'm only upgrading the:

    RAM (idk if i should go with another 8gb 2400mhz added to my current one or ditch the current 8gb 2400mhz stick and buy a new set of 16gb 3200mhz) i was wondering if that's worth doing, ill be paying 75 bucks extra ($135 Corsair Vengeance LPX) for a new set of 16gb 3200 ram over buying a second stick of 8gb 2400mhz ram which is around $60.

    CPU fan (decided on the shadow rock 3 by Be Quiet)
    Case Fan (2x shadow wings 2 by Be Quiet)
    PSU ( already purchased 750w straight power 11 by Be Quiet)

    my main concern was where the fan will fit in my small motherboard and mid tower case without disturbing the ram, but i guess this is very hard to find out, only way is to try.