Is my PC upgradable? Need some advice

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R1600Turbo

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So I'm wanting to start taking a lot of video in 4k and am finding that my PC is struggling to edit the footage. Curious if there is something I can do to my current PC to bring it up to spec for 4k editing (more RAM?), or if I should just ditch it and get something newer.

Here are my current specs:
  • Intel i5-4430 3GHz
  • 16GB RAM
  • Radeon RX 580
Not sure what the motherboard is.
 
1,897
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For video editing, I suspect you'll need a beefy CPU. AMD's Zen 3 CPU's are releasing in a few days, so have a look at that product stack.

A new CPU means you'll need new RAM (DDR4) and a new motherboard, too. I don't know how much RAM you'll need for video editing, somebody else can chime in. For gaming at least, 16GB is a good amount.
 
1,897
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So what you're saying is, buy a new computer. :P
Yeah, pretty much. :lol:

If the rest of your rig is fine though (PSU, SSD's, HDD's etc.) are fine though, all of those components are worth keeping.

For what it's worth, I did a similar upgrade at the start of the year:
i5-4460 -> Ryzen 5 1600AF
16GB DDR3 -> 16GB DDR4
H97 motherboard -> B450 motherboard
(also have an RX 480, not too far off your 580)

...and it was 100% worth it. Games like Forza Horizon 4 can run without a hitch now, and the multitasking capabilities are ridiculously good. 10/10 would do again. :D
 

Scaff

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For video editing, I suspect you'll need a beefy CPU. AMD's Zen 3 CPU's are releasing in a few days, so have a look at that product stack.

A new CPU means you'll need new RAM (DDR4) and a new motherboard, too. I don't know how much RAM you'll need for video editing, somebody else can chime in. For gaming at least, 16GB is a good amount.
16gb is the bare minimum for video editing at 1080/60 to export at a reasonable speed, 4K will be looking at 32GB unless you’re happy with a long wait for exporting.
 

GilesGuthrie

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16gb is the bare minimum for video editing at 1080/60 to export at a reasonable speed, 4K will be looking at 32GB unless you’re happy with a long wait for exporting.

Also, CPU cores really help. I have an 8 core Ryzen, and the only thing that really gets all 8 going is exporting from DaVinci. I have 32GB RAM and based on my utilisation you could probably get away with 16GB. I can have DaVinci, Adobe AfterEffects, and Lightroom all running inside 17-18GB, so you can work with 16GB so long as you do some application-swapping. I will say that the longest video I've edited was 20 minutes though, so I'm not a power-editor.

Really, the point to this post is that I think your CPU has done its work for you, and so yeah, you pretty much need to build a new rig.
 

Moglet

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When you say you're struggling to edit in 4K are you trying to edit 4K directly or are you using proxy files? I always edit 4K using 1080p proxies and although my PC struggles with things like speed ramping the workflow isn't too bad on my i5-6400 with 16GB RAM. It does mean long export times for the final video (overnight for ~10 mins video) but it means I can work with 4K ProRes 422 video which has a bitrate of about 589 Mb/s.
 

R1600Turbo

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When you say you're struggling to edit in 4K are you trying to edit 4K directly or are you using proxy files? I always edit 4K using 1080p proxies and although my PC struggles with things like speed ramping the workflow isn't too bad on my i5-6400 with 16GB RAM. It does mean long export times for the final video (overnight for ~10 mins video) but it means I can work with 4K ProRes 422 video which has a bitrate of about 589 Mb/s.
Proxies didn't seem to make it any better. Playback while editing is painfully slow. I'm using Filmora.
 

NLxAROSA

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If you want to go on the cheap you could upgrade the CPU to a used i7-4790k (which I think is the max that will fit on your motherboard given the CPU you mention) but of course the results will not be the same as upgrading the whole thing. And another 16GB of memory.
 
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14,297
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The folks over at LTT did a video on a "budget" 4K editing system.



The word "budget" is relative as their system costs $1000.

Their system uses a Ryzen 5 3600, 16 GB at 3600, B450 motherboard, and a GTX 1650. I don't remember but I think they included 2 hard drives and maybe the monitor in that budget? Been a while since I watched it.

They chose Nvidia over AMD as they perform better in the Adobe suite and Da Vinci Resolve.

There's probably not much you can cheap out on other than disk storage. You can probably find used alternatives that perform similarly which would bring down the cost. Although, with the launch of the new Ryzen 5000 series processors, you can probably find the R5 3600 or even the R7 3800x for not a lot new or used.

In terms of your upgrade path, there's probably not much you can do with your current CPU. Any good upgrade would require a new motherboard and RAM. Is this a new PC? Well that's a philosophical question that I think would be out of the scope of this thread :lol:

I bought my Ryzen 5 3600 for about $170, a new B550 motherboard (which allows easy upgrade to the new Ryzen 5000 CPUs) is $150, and 32 GB at 3200 for $130 over the summer. I had an i5-4590 before and this upgrade has made a huge difference in everything I do from gaming, programming, and photo editing. I think those would be the bare minimum to bring your current PC up to 4K editing levels of performance.
 
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R1600Turbo

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The word "budget" is relative as their system costs $1000.
Honestly that number is fine, so it it includes the monitor (won't need) that makes it a little better.
Is this a new PC?
No, I've had it for ~5-6 years and I bought it from some college guy that was building PC's for spare cash. Think I paid $500 at the time.
 
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Honestly that number is fine, so it it includes the monitor (won't need) that makes it a little better.
If your budget is that high, then building a new PC would definitely be worth it. You might even be able to get even better parts now with the new CPUs coming out

No, I've had it for ~5-6 years and I bought it from some college guy that was building PC's for spare cash. Think I paid $500 at the time.
Oh haha, I meant that as a joke. Like, would upgrading major components mean the computer is "new" or is it still the same old computer but with upgrades (Ship of Theseus)
 

R1600Turbo

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If your budget is that high, then building a new PC would definitely be worth it.
I mean, cheaper the better. :P But where would you recommend I start? Should be able to use the same tower and go from there? Again, looking for 4k video editing and some occasional gaming. I use a 4k TV for the monitor.
 
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I mean, cheaper the better. :P But where would you recommend I start? Should be able to use the same tower and go from there? Again, looking for 4k video editing and some occasional gaming. I use a 4k TV for the monitor.
I guess "getting a new PC" would be relative since you can most likely keep the current case and power supply at the very least. Again, back to the joke I had made lol

Depending on the game, gaming with a 4K TV at native resolution would be kinda tough so you'd definitely need to sacrifice a bit there, i.e. running games at 1440p or even 1080p.

If you're looking to only "upgrade" what you have, then I'd focus on the CPU first. As said before, that'll cascade into also needing a new motherboard and RAM. I don't think any of the CPUs compatible with your old motherboard would be worthwhile at this point since having more cores will help a lot.

Also, a lot of new hardware was just announced so buying at this exact moment is a bit awkward since you could buy last year's stuff or wait a little (and fight the huge demand) to get the new hardware that perform a good amount better, which hasn't happened in a while.

CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600, used Ryzen 7 3800x, or wait a bit for the Ryzen 5 5600x
($180-300)
Get whichever is the cheapest.
You can overclock the 3600 to perform as good as the more expensive 3600x and 3600xt without spending more.
The 3800x would be more useful for editing since it has more cores and more threads.
The new 5600x performs much better in games than CPUs that cost way more, but you'll need to wait like a month for it to be available. You can look at some of the benchmarks online to see if you think it's worth the wait.

Motherboard: Any good B450 or B550 motherboard
($70-170)
Shouldn't matter too much what you get, just get what you need (i.e. do you need a lot of USB ports? Built-in WiFi? Does your case have front USB 3.0 or Type C? RGB lights????).
If you choose to wait and get the 5600x CPU, then you'd want to get a B550 board. Otherwise, a B450 would save some money but may not be as high quality.

RAM: 16GB or 32GB of DDR4 RAM
($100-150)
You'd want to get 2 sticks or more totalling that amount. A single stick will run slower. Additionally, to optimize performance, you'd want the RAM to be at least running at 3200 mhz as those Ryzen CPUs like fast memory.
If you plan do a lot of multitasking, such as rendering and browsing the internet or playing games and having a lot of windows open, then getting 32GB would be better in the long term. I currently have 32GB and the only time I have surpassed 16GB is when I have over 100 tabs open and a virtual machine open for programming. I personally don't edit videos that much so I don't know what the worst case scenario for that would be, but 16GB should be enough.

That should be like the bare minimum of an upgrade to get going. Based on however much you want to put into it, you can scale this to get a better CPU. Or if you want to game at native 4K, you'd need to upgrade your graphics card. The new RTX 3070 is $500, but probably won't be in stock for a while due to high demand. The alternative AMD RX 6700XT would be good too when it becomes available soon. But what you have, the RX580, should be definitely good enough for 1080p gaming for a little longer (if the RX 580 is the 8GB version and not the 4GB, it's all very confusing).
 

Moglet

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I'm in a similar situation to this so will ask here as it may also be relevant to OP when it comes to their build; how does Windows handle swapping motherboards these days? I know in the past it may have disabled your license but I'm not sure if it's now linked to your Microsoft account.
 
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1,897
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I'm in a similar situation to this so will ask here as it may also be relevant to OP when it comes to their build; how does Windows handle swapping motherboards these days? I know in the past it may have disabled your license but I'm not sure if it's now linked to your Microsoft account.
For Windows 10, all you have to do is login with your Microsoft account and it'll automagically activate.
 
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I'm assuming that's in CAD which would be $878.91 USD from a direct conversion.

I suppose it's okay, seems to be on par with this price guide I usually use. It would definitely be an upgrade from what you currently have, CPU wise. But the GPU would not be big of a jump in performance.

It only uses one stick of 16GB RAM at 3000 which really sucks for Ryzen as it's optimal to run RAM in dual rank. You can easily buy another stick of 16 GB RAM as an upgrade though.

The 500 GB SSD is probably on the small size considering how large new games are and how big 4K videos are, but that would be easily upgradable as there appears to be at least one more SATA port and the M.2 isn't used for the SSD.

Overall, I think it's a good system and would definitely be an upgrade for you.
 

R1600Turbo

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I'm assuming that's in CAD which would be $878.91 USD from a direct conversion.

I suppose it's okay, seems to be on par with this price guide I usually use. It would definitely be an upgrade from what you currently have, CPU wise. But the GPU would not be big of a jump in performance.

It only uses one stick of 16GB RAM at 3000 which really sucks for Ryzen as it's optimal to run RAM in dual rank. You can easily buy another stick of 16 GB RAM as an upgrade though.

The 500 GB SSD is probably on the small size considering how large new games are and how big 4K videos are, but that would be easily upgradable as there appears to be at least one more SATA port and the M.2 isn't used for the SSD.

Overall, I think it's a good system and would definitely be an upgrade for you.
How about the one in my edit above?

USD conversion was $750 on the first computer, I think $950 on the second.
 
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How about the one in my edit above?

USD conversion was $750 on the first computer, I think $950 on the second.
The second one looks exactly the same as the first but with a RTX 2060 rather than GTX 1660 Super. So everything I had said about the RAM and storage still stands except now the GPU is much better than what you currently have and would have a good upgrade. The price seems to be around the right area too.

If it's in your budget, go for it. It'll be a big upgrade overall than what you currently have. Do note the GPU probably won't have a big of an impact on editing and rendering but it will definitely be better for gaming. More CPU cores would help for editing which you can upgrade in the far future. What it is has now is definitely still more than adequate
 

R1600Turbo

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The second one looks exactly the same as the first but with a RTX 2060 rather than GTX 1660 Super. So everything I had said about the RAM and storage still stands except now the GPU is much better than what you currently have and would have a good upgrade. The price seems to be around the right area too.

If it's in your budget, go for it. It'll be a big upgrade overall than what you currently have. Do note the GPU probably won't have a big of an impact on editing and rendering but it will definitely be better for gaming. More CPU cores would help for editing which you can upgrade in the far future. What it is has now is definitely still more than adequate
I'm ok with limiting my videos to 1440p for now until I can upgrade the CPU. Thanks.
 
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I'm ok with limiting my videos to 1440p for now until I can upgrade the CPU. Thanks.
No problem!
Also, the Ryzen 5 3600 should be perfectly adequate for 4K. It may just be slower when exporting or not the most optimal or whatever. But definitely you'd need to add more storage
 

R1600Turbo

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No problem!
Also, the Ryzen 5 3600 should be perfectly adequate for 4K. It may just be slower when exporting or not the most optimal or whatever. But definitely you'd need to add more storage
I just bought a 2TB external drive for all of the non essential stuff.
 
1,897
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It's not bad, though not fantastic either. That case looks like a hotbox, and a single stick of RAM will definitely hinder your performance. That motherboard looks quite low-end too, meaning you might not be able to do a cheap(ish) CPU upgrade to a Ryzen 7/9 later down the line.

I'd personally rather go the DIY route (some shops will build it for you, for a fee of course), but that's entirely up to you. Could also stick with your RX 580 for now (if you're happy with it) and see how the rest of the RX 6000 series ends up, though that might be a few months away.

Having said that, you could do a lot worse for a pre-built.

Edit: Now that I think about it, if you were to keep your current GPU (and buy other parts), you'd be able to get a Ryzen 7, which would be more beneficial for video editing than a more powerful GPU.
 
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ROAD_DOGG33J

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1660 is only slightly better than your current RX 580. If possible, wait until next year when more of the next gen cards are released. Though supply has been running out for the high-end cards so far.

That would be the positive with building your own. You could re-use the graphics card for now and get something new when needed and available.
 
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It's on, yes.
Also is it enabled for video decoding? Do you have latest graphics drivers? What version of Windows are you using? On Device manager and display adaptors, do you have one or two GPUs showing. If Intel graphics is showing, it is best to disable onboard graphics in the BIOS and see if that improves things.