Help a clueless person :)

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Hi guys

First off, not new to the forum or PC building in general. I've just let myself slip as A) I'm old and B) I've got a 2 year old son, so my focus is very much elsewhere (like trying to make sure he doesn't headbutt a sharp corner, or something!)

As I've got virtually zero time, but wanted a gaming PC, I bought a Dell Alienware Aurora R7. Specs as follows:

  • Intel® Core™ i7-8700K
  • Windows 10 Home English
  • GTX 1080Ti with 11GB GDDR5X
  • 2TB SATA Hard Drive (7200 RPM)
  • 512GB M.2 2280 PCIe Solid State Drive
  • 32GB (2x16GB) DDR4 2666MHz Non-ECC
  • 8x DVD +/- RW Drive
Not that I need to right now, but if I wanted to upgrade the CPU at some point in the future, does anyone know what I'm limited to? I'm assuming I can't just glue an i9 in there. I really have lost touch with this stuff, last time I built a PC was around 2013, I didn't even know that NVMe drives existed until I watched an episode of Linus Tech Tips and saw one for the first time :D

I'm not really inclined to pull this thing to bits, but I do know it's got an Intel Z370 chipset, but I don't know what socket type (if that's the right term, again...memory is fading with all this stuff!).

Same question for the RAM, I can see it's 2666Mhz, so does anyone know what the upper limit is on what I could buy in the future? I intend to keep this thing until it virtually turns to dust...so upgrading in the future is something I'm factoring in. Money's not really an issue, I'm very, very lucky and have a very well paying job. I just don't want to buy a whole new PC for the sake of it - let's just put it down to reducing my carbon footprint, or something.

Thanks in advance and look forward to learning again!
 
Soldato
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Hi and welcome to OCUK :)

In theory you ought to be able to put a 9900K in, assuming the BIOS doesn't need upgrading and the motherboard VRM cooling is sufficient. Having said that I wouldn't bother. There isn't enough difference in performance to warrant the considerable cost in my opinion. By the time you'll actually need a new cpu you'll have to buy a whole new platform as even the Z390 chipset is EOL now, never mind Z370. I wouldn't be looking to upgrade that for at least another year or so. As an example I'm still using a 7700K and a GTX1080 at 1440p and it's fine in games.

As for your ram question it depends on the exact brand of motherboard but again, you'll not likely see performance increases that warrant the outlay.
 
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Hi Ted, thanks mate - kind of what I thought. Don't get me wrong, this thing chews through everything I throw at it, especially on the measly 1080p monitor I have. That's the next upgrade on the horizon...a better monitor!
 
Soldato
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1440p made a huge difference to me, although I kind of regret going for a Gsync monitor now Nvidia have adopted their mind-blowingly idiotic pricing structure.
 
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I know what G-Sync is, but I've no idea what the pricing structure is alluding to. Is it the new range of seemingly hyper price inflated RTX cards?
 
Soldato
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Well with Gsync you're tied to an Nvidia card whereas the newer Freesync monitors are compatible with both AMD and Nvidia cards.

It means that if I want to keep my butter-smooth frame-rates I need to stay with Nvidia. And they can kiss my unmentionables if they think I'm paying a grand for a top of the range GPU
 
Soldato
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You can pretty much forget upgrading in that.
That's actually one of the worser of brand PCs for upgrading.

For its big size inside space is very bad.
Alienware has had bad and crappy cases sold with fashion and marketing BS for as long as I remember.
Also cooling wise it would be horrible for most graphics cards.
It's no wonder brand PCs commonly use reference design graphics cards with blower cooler.
But for that it goes double.

Also motherboard is certain to be cheaped out model with BIOS strictly limiting CPU's power draw.
Already 8700K chasing advertised boost clocks would likely make that VRM run hot under full CPU load.
And 9900K would likely make it go up in smoke without limiting boost clocks under full load.

That typical brand PC cheaping out in actual stuff also shows in that mediocre 2666MHz memory.



I know what G-Sync is, but I've no idea what the pricing structure is alluding to. Is it the new range of seemingly hyper price inflated RTX cards?
Then you don't know what G-Sync really is: You essentially pay to get "synced into butt" by Nvidia.

Part of G-Sync monitor's price goes to Nvidia and in exchange you'll get ball and chain in your leg, so that you get to pay Nvidia's overprices in graphics cards.
Ways of exploitation capitalistic corporations aren't really any different from organized crime...
Corrupt politicians just think that raping and robbery done by the former is more acceptable.
 
Associate
OP
Joined
3 Feb 2020
Posts
8
You can pretty much forget upgrading in that.
That's actually one of the worser of brand PCs for upgrading.

For its big size inside space is very bad.
Alienware has had bad and crappy cases sold with fashion and marketing BS for as long as I remember.
Also cooling wise it would be horrible for most graphics cards.
It's no wonder brand PCs commonly use reference design graphics cards with blower cooler.
But for that it goes double.

Also motherboard is certain to be cheaped out model with BIOS strictly limiting CPU's power draw.
Already 8700K chasing advertised boost clocks would likely make that VRM run hot under full CPU load.
And 9900K would likely make it go up in smoke without limiting boost clocks under full load.

That typical brand PC cheaping out in actual stuff also shows in that mediocre 2666MHz memory.



Then you don't know what G-Sync really is: You essentially pay to get "synced into butt" by Nvidia.

Part of G-Sync monitor's price goes to Nvidia and in exchange you'll get ball and chain in your leg, so that you get to pay Nvidia's overprices in graphics cards.
Ways of exploitation capitalistic corporations aren't really any different from organized crime...
Corrupt politicians just think that raping and robbery done by the former is more acceptable.

I honestly don't know which bit of this I care less about. You feeling alright over there, buddy?
 
Soldato
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@EsaT clearly doesn't like Alienware - once you can see past the vitriol he's fairly clued up though ;) :)

@JohnLondon When you have the budget and fancy a new machine pop back and we can spec you one up. Having said that a new 1440p monitor with either of the vrr solutions (variable refresh rate) would definitely be my next upgrade if I were in your shoes. As I've said the difference to me was astounding and your 1080ti will murder pretty much anything at that resolution.
 
Soldato
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You're good for the foreseeable. The 8700 is a perfectly fine CPU - I have one myself - and will do for some time to come. Upgrade-wise you might be in luck. You should speak to Dell, though, and I would be careful from a heat-management POV. In the second half of this year Nvidia should be releasing their next generation card, Ampere, which should be a rop-in replacement and the 3080 Ti should be a worthy upgrade performance-wise.
 
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