Looking to upgrade my Computer which is used for Gaming, Image editing, Audio capture, Video editing & Recording.

Current hardware:

Processor: Intel Core i7-4771 Quad Core Socket LGA 1150 Processor

Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-H87N-WIFI, Intel H87 MiniITX, Socket 1150

Ram: 8GB DDR3 1600mhz

Hard Drive: Seagate 2 TB Desktop 3.5 Internal SSHD

Graphics Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 GPU, MSI ARMOR 2X Overclocked Edition

Case: Zalman Z7

Power Supply: 550W Modular Powercool Black PSU 80 Plus 12cm Fan SATA Power

Microphone: Blue Microphones Nessie USB Microphone

Capture Card: Hauppauge HD PVR 2 gaming edition

I am thinking of upgrading the Motherboard, Memory or adding a small SSD as a boot drive.

Would a different motherboard better the performance of the CPU or GPU?

Would faster, larger memory make a difference?

Is there anything else I should consider?

Budget: I upgrade part-by-part over time so budget isn't so much an issue but for each purchase I'd be looking at £100-£150.

Thank you for your time.

  • Welcome to Hardware Recommendations! Is there a specific issue that you want to overcome? I'd say all you need is a different (gaming oriented) motherboard and perhaps more RAM, but other than that, I can see no issues. – AStopher Jan 19 '16 at 12:14
  • I'd like to ensure no piece of hardware is being limited by another & if a new piece of hardware would make another more efficient. – AaronParkes Jan 19 '16 at 16:39
  • Definitely worth putting an SSD in it. I wasn't too sure about them at first, as they are quite expensive, but now that I got one, I couldn't get by without it. Makes a HUGE difference in speed. – hhaslam11 Jan 31 '16 at 23:56
  • Hey, AaronParkes! Welcome to Hardware Recommendations. Please do not expect a reply, because I'm not here often. Anyway, for the purpose of informing other people, may I inquire as to what your maximum budget is so possibly me and other people can help you better? – Rubydesic Feb 2 '16 at 21:33
  • We try to keep our questions to a single component per question. This limits the scope of the question and allows us to provide a much more focused answer, instead of the thousands of possible combinations between parts. Please select one component (RAM, PSU, etc) to use for this question. You can then create other questions based on the remaining components and refer to this one to help ensure compatibility between the components. Examples – Andy Feb 3 '16 at 13:54

I don't think you need a better motherboard. It doesn't affect performance when not overclocked. Even if the best PCIe slot is only 8x it's good enough for the GTX 970.

As of RAM I would personally add another 8 GB. I would go with the same DIMMs, but if you need new ones I recommend the Crucial Ballistics series. The DIMMs are cheap and have good performance and I never had mine fail before. With the extra RAM it can help get a smoother timeline for 1080P editing and photoshopping. As for gaming power 8GB should be enough.

Definitely go for an SSD as it's a cheap way to almost always get a performance gain. I would personally go with an Samsung or Intel SSD. As for Samsung I can recommend the 850 EVO and Pro, and as for Intel, a 730 series SSD should be good. I would get 2 SSDs in my opinion though, or one large one as I would store my unedited video and primary games on it.

By the way, just a handy tip. If you are serious about the video and photo editing it's handy to get a 10 bit screen with high color accuracy.

  • If you plan on getting multiple SDs, you may should consider that you better off with an NVMe SSD. A couple examples of these, as they are just hitting the market, are, Intel 750, Samsung 950 Pro, and Samsung SM951. – Rubydesic Feb 2 '16 at 21:34
  • @RubyJunk not all motherboards support NVMe or M.2 SSD's also they are way more expensive then a normal SSD. Yes your performance is better but its also more expensive for a decent cepasity. if he wants to edit in 4K he could easly hit the 500GB mark and a 500 GB NVMe drive is about 3 to 400 euros/dollars. – Thomcdrom Feb 6 '16 at 15:03

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