Looking for a few ideas for some parts to upgrade my budget tinkering rig

Im looking to bring some of this pcs parts up to date. My budget is about $250 - $300, I might be able to squeeze a little bit more out of it, for the right parts. Since this is my tinkering rig, Its what Im using to experiment with a small bit of overclocking and I do some light gaming and coding with it. If you have any other questions let me know.

This is the my current parts list.

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD A6-5400K 3.6GHz Dual-Core Processor ($38.89 @ OutletPC)
CPU Cooler: Cooler Master Hyper TX3 54.8 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler ($18.99 @ Newegg)
Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-F2A55M-HD2 Micro ATX FM2 Motherboard
Memory: Crucial Ballistix Tracer 4GB (2 x 2GB) DDR3-1333 Memory
Storage: A-Data Premier SP550 120GB 2.5" Solid State Drive ($38.99 @ NCIX US)
Storage: Western Digital Caviar Blue 250GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($36.95 @ Amazon)
Video Card: EVGA GeForce GTX 560 Ti 1GB Video Card
Case: Cougar Spike MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($33.99 @ SuperBiiz)
Power Supply: Cooler Master Elite V2 550W ATX Power Supply ($34.98 @ Newegg)
Total: $202.79
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2016-01-22 01:52 EST-0500

Well..you could maybe upgrade your GPU, but your CPU is going to hold you back. and if you upgrade your CPU your GPU is going to hold you back...

I'd just save up everything you can for the summer when AM4/kaby lake potentially drop

also depends on the games you play

Thats my frustration exactly. I was thinking about trying to find a MOBO that would allow me to SLI and add a couple more slots for ram but ultimately its all seeming to be a waste. Everything In the rig was gotten locally and my local pc parts shops are pretty old. (one of them still insists that the P4 is the bees knees.)

That isn't worth it at all to look for really, your best bet is probably just saving, or getting like a 380, a 380 is pretty good for 1080p/Entry 1440p and should last a decent while anyways, though your CPU will hold you back a bit, maybe you can find an older i5 set up to upgrade to at some point off craigslist, but the i5 option is only good if it's cheaper than a 750K/760K

Agreed with streetguru, at this price point there's no real reason to go SLI.

Unfortunately you are quite limited by your platform. I'd consider a locked haswell i5 like the i5-4460 and a B85/H97 board.

I love my 8370 and 290x in my main rig. Im really excited for what AMD comes out with next. The more I look around, It seems like you are right in waiting and taking the next step to 1440 or 4k. I just love tinkering with my scrapyard pc to get more comfortable with building pcs, overclocking, and etc.

I was considering an h97 board so I could sli and add some more ram, but as you said its mostly moving laterally or creating bottlenecks.

Wait this is only a secondary rig?

It is. Its my tinkering around rig. My main pc has an 8370 and a 290x. I took this pc out one day to try out overclocking, and had a lot of fun, so I sold some of my old stuff so I could have a pc to become more comfortable with overclocking and all that.

Ah, well then there's really nothing worth spending money on there, either sell it for something or just keep it as a rendering bitch

should get a solid 4k display for your next upgrade though, the one wendell just reviewed looks fairly nice

Hmm I might consider selling a bit further down the road and put it towards something nice.

If you need SLI though, that requires the Z-series chipset because of PCIe lane limitations.

Gets a bit pricy.

If you can squeeze a bit over 300$ you could by a X4 860K, a 380 and another two sticks of memory to reach 8gb.

EDIT: as @Streetguru said you can use a 760K nd not an 860K, my mistake.

FM2 board, not +, would have to be a 750K/760K

1 Like

get an 88X mobo and an 860K with a 380/380X. If you can swing it the Sapphire Nitro 380X is a very impressive GPU for the $$ right now.


I just put an APU build with a 5400K together for my wife's media/interwebz PC and it has really impressed me with the day to day stuff.

On my AMD build I have an 860K going in with a 970 FTW, just to mess around and see what it can do. This was going to be my wife's build but she was more than pleased with just the APU and wants me to stuff it down into an ITX case and I already had the 860K on hand to mess with. The 860K's can be had new right now for about $70 at new egg, and you can get a nice 88X mobo like the gigabyte F2A88X-UP4 for good deals on the used market. Mine cost me $60 with all accessories. Just be advised if you go this route this motherboard needs BIOS F6 or later to run some of the later chips. Thanks to the APU on hand I was able to update the BIOS on mine as it would not post with the 860K and BIOS F2 that it came to me with.

Good luck with the build