Mid-range PC - mid-life upgrade


(I figured I’d take this back here rather than cluttering the specs thread)

Yeah - I’ll do the OC first and then see how I go from there re memory.

I also need to put the GPU through its paces via some stress testing in the next little while, to make sure it is all good given the limited time warranty. Temps seems to be around 75C under load, which certainly doesn’t seem low, but appear to be within expected.

Apparently there’s some fan curves one can adjust to help with temps if they are high…I don’t much mind about power consumption if it helps with temps and the water cooling fans are louder than the GPU fans anyway. That’s what the noise cancelling headphones are for! :wink:


I’ll post some charts and graphs for my oc, fan curve etc. tomorrow night. Have to hit the sack.


Well, I’ve OC’d the i5 4690K to 4400MHz and that seems to be working okay so far - 1.20V voltage and on a hot summer’s day with a light mission in DCS the CPU runs at about 50C. The stress tests get it higher but actual use (DCS) seems fine.

The standard CPU Prime95 cycle is about 71C but the max heat cycle stress tests gets the CPU temperature up into the high 80’s, unhealthily high…but then, that’s a very extreme scenario.

I might be able to OC up to 4500MHz or alternatively leave the clock speed at 4400MHz and reduce the voltage a bit to lower the temps as everything seems very stable - in any case, I’m pretty happy with the initial results, given this is the first time I’ve tried overclocking.

I’ll need to run some heavier missions in DCS and try out X-Plane etc. also to see how the temperatures react.

I’ve been hesitating buying more RAM as my current 16GB is at 1600 clock speed i.e. relatively slow - but then upgrading the motherboard and buying all new RAM is quite a major upgrade, so I might see if I get another 16GB at the current clock speed and see how it fares - cheaper and might keep me in the game for another year.


RAM stack is full now at 32GB, added another 16GB of the same RAM I had (1600 MHz /CL10).

One thing I hadn’t realised until now was that although I had 1600 MHz rated RAM in, the Gigabyte motherboard was running it at 1333 MHz: you have to enable XMP (Extreme Memory Profile) for the Mobo to adopt the rated frequency.

It does look kind of cool to see all four RAM slots stacked - originally I started at one 8GB stick:

I think that concludes the mid-life upgrade - took me about 6 months. In the end I updated / replaced the following:

  • Updated PSU to 760W - circa NZ$320
  • Increased RAM from 16GB to 32GB and increased speed from 1333MHz to 1600MHz - NZ$133
  • Watercooled & OC’d CPU - NZ$150
  • Upgraded GPU to 1080Ti - NZ$978

So total cost NZD$1,581, approximately $1,100 USD.

UserBenchmarks: Game 123%, Desk 72%, Work 59%
CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K - 95.1%
GPU: Nvidia GTX 1080-Ti - 166.6%
SSD: Samsung 840 Evo 250GB - 102.2%
HDD: Seagate Barracuda 7200.14 2TB - 75.8%
RAM: G.SKILL RipjawsX DDR3 1600 C10 4x8GB - 63.4%
MBD: Gigabyte GA-Z97-HD3

In the end, the majority of the performance boost is from the 1080Ti, which is probably an overkill GPU for the motherboard/CPU architecture but alas, I wanted to do a gradual upgrade rather than a brand new PC.

Some of the money may not have been ideally spent, it might have been smarter to go straight into new architecture…but I learned a lot about basic OC’ing, cooling, chipsets, RAM etc. so in a way I’ve just been paying studying fees. :slight_smile:

I should now be able to run DCS at 1080p at high settings and hopefully X-Plane with decent settings too, although I think I’ll be CPU-bottlenecked with XP. I’ll need to find out whether VR is a realistic option or whether the CPU is too weak.


You’re lucky with the RAM. Usually around the time I think about getting more RAM the ones I bought originally are long out of production. That’s because it’s usually a couple of years later!

I remember how surprised I was when I boosted my RAM clocks years back. I was still running Win7 at the time, but it made a noticeable difference.