Upgrade advice for my sons PC

My son bought this computer a couple months back.

https://www.bestbuy.com/site/cyberpowerpc-gaming-desktop-amd-ryzen-5-3600-8gb-memory-amd-radeon-rx-580-2tb-hdd-240gb-ssd-black/6362427.p?skuId=6362427

He can run most games on low to medium settings but wants to improve performance. Right now he mainly plays Rust and can’t join some servers because he doesn’t have enough memory? Which memory is insufficient? His system RAM or the 8GB 580?

He’s got a few hundred bucks of birthday money and wants to upgrade this box. I’m not sure which component will give him the most bang for his buck improvement performance wise. Hed like to be able to run modern games on High at 1080p not necessarily Ultra.

Where is his biggest gap? GPU? If so can you recommend a card that would be a big improvement over his 580 for 200-275?

Will bumping the system ram to 16 have a noticeable effect? I dunno.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

I’m somewhat surprised that system can’t currently run stuff on high at 1080p. The RX 580 is definitely the weakest link and the component to upgrade, but I wouldn’t think it was that bad.

I recommend that he endure and save his money until the end of the year when RDNA2 and Ampere GPUs come out. It’ll be the first big refresh from both GPU vendors since 2018 so those cards should offer significantly better performance-per-dollar.

Rust is notorious as being a janky game with random issues. 8GB of RAM is low but shouldn’t cause problems. It might cause problems in Rust though since Rust is special like that. Ideally the system came with 1x 8GB DIMM so he can just get a matching one for $40 or whatever.

A second DIMM might stop the Rust crash and it’ll improve minimum frame rates because two DIMMs are faster than one. It likely won’t be all that noticeable of an improvement. Upgrading the RX 580 will be a very noticeable improvement.

I agree it sounds like the video card is the problem. It’s may also be helpful to consider that some games are optimized for NVIDIA cards vs AMD and vice versa.

A quick google search produced a post complaining of very poor performance in Rust with AMD CPUs so it may not be entirely the graphic card’s fault. If this is the problem upgrading the graphics card may not help very much:

I would not let this sway your decision unless there is ONE game you want to play above ALL others and that game happens to be optimized for one or the other manufacturer.

Honestly, in the end, I have never been able to tell a difference between a game optimized for AMD or NVidia and one that is not. You’d probably have to put them side-by-side to see it and even then…good luck spotting the differences.

In the end a game developer wants to sell as many units as possible and they won’t do that by seriously screwing over owners of one video card or another.

Get whatever makes the most sense at the time on a bang-for-your-buck basis. That does not mean buy the cheapest thing (far from it). It also does not mean the most expensive thing either. Usually the sweet spot is around 1/2 - 2/3 the cost of the most expensive cards. In there you get great performance for the price.

8 GB of system RAM is definitely on the low side. I’d consider 16 to be the bare minimum for anything meant to play reasonably modern games.

what’s making it worse is that the graphics card’s memory is accessed via memory-mapped I/O, which means that the GPU memory has to be mapped to system RAM. it reserves a range of system memory addresses, and when the CPU writes data to those addresses they then get sent to the GPU’s RAM. And having only as much system RAM as the GPU RAM means it will run out fast- any system memory which is mapped to the GPU is unavailable for any other use.

that system can take up to 64 GB, if I were you I’d whack it up to 32 GB.

I’ll half agree here( maybe 3/4 ). What I would say is 8 is the minimum and 16 is optimal in a bang-for-the-buck sense. 32 is future-proofing your machine, but in 2020 is probably not going to make a substantial difference in most games. 8 on the other hand will hold you back a bit. Increase the RAM, upgrade the video card.

He’s looking at a GeForce RTX2060 to replace the Radeon 580 in there. It’s almost $400. Is it going to give him $400 worth of increased performance or better graphics? Based on what you’ve described probably not.

Jumping up to 16GB of RAM will provide better bang for his buck then?

16 of RAM will help. But I really came in to wonder why he was spending 4 bills on a 2060, when newegg is showing them for around 3? https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?d=Rtx+2060 If he wants to drop 400, the Sapphire 5700XT is a nifty card, or one of the 2070s if he wants to stay with Nvidia.

Are you in the States?

Hmm, a quick search of RAM requirements for Rust generally lists 8GB system RAM as the minimum. Steam actually lists 10GB of RAM. I’m going to add myself to the chorus of “You need more RAM” The joy of that is, it’s gonna be cheaper than a video card by a long shot.

Go to 16GB RAM now and save his Christmas money for the next generation of GPUs later this year.

I wouldn’t bother going over 16GB of RAM. In theory, you could be “future proofing” but by the time we get to a future where you need more than 16GB for gaming, we’ll be using DDR5 memory anyway and it’ll be time to upgrade.

I would honestly say yes. the RX580, while older, is roughly comparable to a nvidia GTX970/980 and is still perfectly serviceable as long as you don’t demand the highest graphics quality settings.

you can always turn down the graphics Q a bit, you can’t get around a game that refuses to work due to lack of system memory.

edit: and agreeing with what Jophiel said; the CPU in that system is good enough where a GPU upgrade later on will still be worthwhile.

More RAM isn’t going to improve performance really. It’ll remove some visual hitches and probably stop the crashes, but it isn’t going help with average frame rate much.

It’s a good idea because it is cheap to do, but buddy will be disappointed if his expectations aren’t tempered. It is a Rust-specific upgrade.

insufficient RAM can affect gaming performance if you run low and the OS has to start paging stuff out.

Sure, but 8GB isn’t close to being that low. I’m not certain whether 4GB is that low.

Since 8GB of RAM is the minimum for the game mentioned in the OP, it’s the definition of low in this context.