Spare Computer Video Card Upgrade?

voidfunkt

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Apr 14, 2006
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So I've got a spare PC that I built several years ago that is collecting dust. I've sort of got a use for it again though but it needs a new video card because the one in it is pretty dated. I'm wondering if it is worth throwing in a 3060 or 6600 XT or if that much of an upgrade will cause the CPU to throttle at 100% so it would basically end up being wasted money. I don't really want to sink a lot of money into upgrading this machine beyond the GPU since I have a much newer Ryzen 7 + 3080 RTX system I use as my primary rig.

Current Specs:
  • i7 4790k + Z97 chipset
  • 32GB of RAM
  • 970 GTX
  • Several older SATA SSDs
  • Usually hooked up to a 1440p monitor but I don't care about running games in 1440p vs 1080p when this machine is in use.
Couple upgrade options:
  1. 3060 Ti or 6600XT
  2. 2060 Super
  3. 1660 Super
With the prices of video cards right now the 3060 Ti would not be too bad. The 2060 is still kind of pricey for what it is. The 1660 Super's are really well priced at the moment.

What do fellow PC builders think I should do here?
 
Last edited:

cgori

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Oct 2, 2004
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I have almost literally the same setup (960 GTX, 4770k, Z97 chipset) - I was seriously considering a 3060Ti or similar. I'm still on FHD displays so a bit less performance concern but was looking at replacing them with 1440p, which meant the 3060 was perfect.

I only have kept this setup because my 960 got fried at end of its warranty a year or two ago, and was replaced by EVGA for free, so I've been holding off for quite some time (plus all the high prices on vid cards for the last 12+ months).
 

Nick Kaufman

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Aug 2, 2003
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The key question is what you want to do with it. If you want to play games, what games do you want to play with it?

I don't think your CPU is going to throttle with a new card on it. I do think that depending on the deal you may find on a particular day, a 6600 or 6600xt are the best GPUs on the market right now value wise; 3060 isn't even in the conversation if you aren't interested in Ray tracing IMO.

GPU prices are going to fall even further by Thanksgiving. There are also going to be new high end GPUs and new CPU lines from all major manufacturers.

You can also dust it and sell it.
 

bosox188

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Jan 11, 2008
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Westerly, RI
One idea is you could make it into an emulator box, install something like Launchbox on it and keep it in the living room for retro gaming on the TV. The newer GPU obviously wouldn't matter much for the real old school stuff, but if you wanted to emulate things like the PS2, PS3, Wii/WiiU, I bet you'd get use out of the GPU rendering those at higher resolutions.
 

voidfunkt

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Apr 14, 2006
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The key question is what you want to do with it. If you want to play games, what games do you want to play with it?

I don't think your CPU is going to throttle with a new card on it. I do think that depending on the deal you may find on a particular day, a 6600 or 6600xt are the best GPUs on the market right now value wise; 3060 isn't even in the conversation if you aren't interested in Ray tracing IMO.

GPU prices are going to fall even further by Thanksgiving. There are also going to be new high end GPUs and new CPU lines from all major manufacturers.

You can also dust it and sell it.
Basically I want to turn it into my gaming machine when im away from home. I already have a very nice primary machine but sending this one off to my parents place so I have a rig to use when visiting.
 

Nick Kaufman

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Aug 2, 2003
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If you are going to throw a new video card, your fps would be lower than getting a modern cpu and you might find the CPU throttling. But most titles will be playable.

Your options are:

1. If you want to buy now, buy a 66xx card for 1080p gaming.

2. If you can wait till thanksgiving, you ll have a wider array of GPUs at better prices.

3. You can also delve into the used market and find an even better deal. That's not a bad option because a past gen GPU will be a better fir with your CPU and you will get more value for money. Some people might be apprehensive that a lot of GPUs might have been used for mining. Personally, I wouldn't because if the miner knew what he was doing, he would have undervolted the GPUs for longevity.