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Need some advice upgrading my 2013 PC

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Aug 29, 2013
I have a Gtx 970 and a i7-4790k PC. As you can see I've upgraded to the best CPU that this socket will allow but I think it's time to switch from DDR3 to DDR4 ram and upgrade the mobo, CPU and ram.

I'd like to do this over the next month and I'm in the US.

I use my PC for many different things, and those things tend to change on a monthly bases, so I do like to have a PC more powerful than is probably required for whatever might interest me at the time.

For example, over the last 6 years I've used it for emulation (the reason I built the PC) storage for all of lifes documents, videos and pictures, bit coin mining, 'smooth video project', light gaming (hence the 970), some 4k gaming on lighter games (Hearthstone, minecraft etc), server hosting. It's main uses as for watching media (using it as a TV).

I'm upgrading now because I feel like faster ram, a 4 channel m.2 nvme, and a more modern cpu would increase the overall speed of the PC.

I've always used Intel CPU's, when I built the PC i was told Intel was best for emulation which I still plan to do. So I'm thinking the i5-9600K would be the obvious choice as the i7-9700K is a large price jump for the extra speed.

On the m.2 drives, Samsung seems to be the way to go, I just don't understand the model differences.

As for ram and a mobo I'm clueless.

This will all be in PC case that has no window so don't need anything too pretty, certainly no RGB stuff.

I have an aftermarket cooler and will be overclocking.

Shooting for 16gbs of ram.

Budget is pretty flexible, but $500-$600 is the ballpark for all 4 things.

What will remain in the PC is 2 ssd's, 2 HDDs, the gpu, the psu and the cooler.

I think that's everything, if I've missed any relevant info left me know.

Amazon preferred as I get 5% back on their credit card

Thanks for the responce!

4k gaming on lighter games only. Minecraft and hearthstone are just fine. Heavier games I just run them at 1080 which I'm fine with for now.

Any reason for selecting that mobo? Seems pretty high priced.
Compare this one with the first one I linked: https://www.amazon.com/Prime-Z390-P...=Z390+Prime+P&qid=1566884108&s=gateway&sr=8-1

Probably both very good boards but the first one will have a better feature set like more fan headers and other connectors probably. May or may not be important to you.

The motherboard is a foundational component. You don't want to cheap out on it. Plan to get something a little better than what you think you can get by with.
What PSU do you have now?

It note too any new motherboard you buy today will likely support a newer version of USB than your current case does. For example, that Prime Z390-A supports USB 3.1 Gen2. If you have (or will in the near future) any USB devices that support newer USB versions, you likely will be forced to use the rear panel USB ports to take advantage of their greater performance capabilities. That may or may not be a problem.

You say you have 2 SSDs in the current computer. Do they currently host your OS and applications? I ask because it is true M.2 NVME SSDs are faster than SATA SSDs, but you likely will not notice much difference at all. Remember, once the data is loaded from the drive, the vast majority of the "work" is then done in and between the CPU and RAM. And with a large chunk of RAM like the 16GB you are looking at, you will have plenty of RAM too keep all that working data in.

I'm just saying the difference between the fastest hard drive and the slowest SSD is HUGE! That slow SSD will be running circles around that fast hard drive. But the difference between that slow SATA SSD and the fast M.2 NVME SSD will be marginal in comparison and only noticeable (if noticeable) with disk intensive activities. Yes, you might get a couple seconds faster boot times with a NVME SSD over a SATA SSD, but is that really significant? I go days without rebooting.

If I needed a new SSD, no question, I would go with a M.2 NVME over a SATA SSD. But if I already had decent SATA SSDs and I was looking to boost performance on a limited budget, I would put my upgrade money on RAM, graphics and CPU horsepower first and if necessary a new motherboard and PSU to support them.

And for something most just don't want to hear, in terms of software licensing, a new motherboard constitutes a new computer. So if your current OS license is an OEM/System Builders license (as the vast majority are), it is inextricably tied to the "o"riginal "e"quipment it was used on and cannot "legally" be transferred to a different computer under any circumstances. And that is a term in the license agreement we all agree to abide by when we decide to keep using the software on that original hardware. So to be legal, if OEM, you will need to budget for a new genuine license too - or plan on using one of the many capable and free versions of Linux.