Upgrades for gaming

Ewan Collins

Jun 28, 2017
Hello ,

I am at a point in time where i have money to upgrade my budget gaming pc to have more to it

Currently i have : intel i3 4170 , GTX 960 2gb , 8GB DDR3 2TB HDD

I was wondering if someone could tell me what to upgrade for faster and more smoother gaming experience. I was thinking if i should buy an SSD or save to upgrade my CPU?

Many Thanks , Ewan :)


Feb 23, 2015
What resolution do you game at? What monitor do you run on? What sorts of games do you run?
Generic answer to your question is this: a 4 core cpu(I5) would definitely improve gaming experience, a ssd would really help overall feel of the system, but not have an effect on gaming(other than loading times), and if you run stuff in the background, 16gb of ram will help smooth the system and if it's faster ram you'll get a little bit of extra performance, but probably not be able to actually notice it. Upgrading your video card is an interesting option as well. Which card to buy depends on money and what resolution and hz level you're looking at running.


Oct 9, 2006
You have a reasonably well balanced pc.
I like a ssd as an upgrade, but it will not do much for gaming.

Some games are graphics limited like fast action shooters.
Others are cpu core speed limited like strategy, sims, and mmo.
Multiplayer with many participants tend to like many threads.

You need to find out which.
To help clarify your CPU/GPU options, run these two tests:

a) Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.
Conversely what a 30% improvement in core speed might do.

You should also experiment with removing one or more cores/threads. You can do this in the windows msconfig boot advanced options option.
You will need to reboot for the change to take effect. Set the number of threads to less than you have.
This will tell you how sensitive your games are to the benefits of many threads.
If you see little difference, your game does not need all the threads you have.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system,
and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.


A SSD will improve the overall responsiveness of the PC due to much faster read / write speeds compared to a hard drive, but it will not improve actual game performance very much. It can help Windows, programs, and games load faster, and reduce potential "texture pops" when large textures needs to be loaded to the GPU, but overall FPS will not change very much if at all.

A quad core CPU will provide better performance in games if the games you play can take advantage of more than 2 cores.

A more powerful GPU will definitely improve overall game performance since higher FPS typically means smoother gameplay. Upgrading the GPU is usually the best way to improve game performance even in games that can make use of more than just 2 CPU cores. Upgrading the CPU as well will further improve performance of games than can make use of more than 2 CPUs cores.
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