3 PC Upgrades You Should NOT Waste Your Money On

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Are PC Upgrades Essential In 2024?

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  • Buying AIO coolers with LCD screens for a mid-range CPU is unnecessary. A mid-range air cooler is more than enough.
  • Motherboard gimmicks tend to increase their pricing, taking all attention from the aspects that should be considered.
  • Too many case fans can obstruct the airflow rather than creating room for more, making the upgrade counterproductive.

As a tech enthusiast, I am often tempted by the latest and greatest PC components on the market. As such, it’s easy to overspend when budgeting for my PC build or upgrading PC components in an existing build without gaining a considerable advantage. Therefore, here are 3 PC upgrades you should not waste your money on, as the value addition isn’t significant.

You Don’t Need LCD CPU Coolers For A Mid-Range CPU

ASUS ROG Maximus Z790 HERO
Corsair iCUE H150i ELITE CAPELLIX LCD (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Over time, I have noticed consumers purchasing CPU coolers with LCDs for their mid-range CPU, such as the Intel Core i5-13400F. Often, such AIO coolers cost more than the CPU itself. I suggest upgrading your CPU or GPU if you have some leftover budget.

Furthermore, AIO coolers with LCD screens usually end up in the high-end category, like the Corsair iCUE Link H150i LCD 360mm AIO cooler. An air cooler is sufficient to cool mid-range CPUs, even if you plan to overclock. Additionally, I recommend not spending too much on high-end air coolers either.

To explain, the Be Quiet! Dark Rock Pro 4 is an overkill air cooler for the Intel Core i5-14600K. You’re better off with the DeepCool AK400, which will keep you from thermal throttling and even allow enough headroom for plenty of overclocking opportunities.

Hence, even if you’re purchasing an AIO cooler, your top priority should be its airflow capabilities, price, and quality. Gimmicks such as LCD screens and infinity mirrors should be the “cherry on top” without increasing the cooler’s price exponentially.

Focusing On Motherboard Gimmicks

MSI MEG Z790 ACE MAX (Image by Tech4Gamers)

Unfortunately, motherboards are one of the most gimmicky PC components, and I see customers falling for the gimmick trap more often than not. There are many motherboard gimmicks, but to emphasize a few, the one that intrigues me the most is the “ultra-durable” gimmick.

If you search the market for a new motherboard, you’ll see many brands competing over which motherboard is tougher. Just because their packaging says that they are “durable” doesn’t mean they’re made of super alloy or something. Interestingly, most of these “ultra-durable” motherboards are on the budget spectrum and lack such material.

Another gimmick I see consumers falling for is RGB lighting. Oh, how I wish more RGB meant better FPS in games. But the reality is different, right? RGB will make your PC look sassy and cool, but that’s about it. If you’re after performance, RGB should only be a side factor, not your purchase’s deciding factor.

Therefore, you should be wary of such gimmicks motherboard manufacturers employ to entice you. You should focus on the power delivery, VRM quality, and cooling capabilities of the motherboard. Of course, looking out for future-proofing is essential, too.

Installing Too Many Case Fans

Custom Built PC
Lian Li Dynamic Build (Image By Tech4Gamers)

It might seem like a controversial opinion, but installing too many case fans in your PC isn’t the best upgrade to improve your thermals. Believe me, I know exactly how hot high-end PC components tend to run these days. While it might seem like a strategic move to fill your chassis with as many fans as it can support, it can be counter-productive.

Don’t understand what I’m saying? Simply put, the first few case fans, especially if chosen and installed correctly, have the most significant impact on the airflow. A few extra after that can help change the airflow as you wish. After that, however, it isn’t cost-effective anymore. You’re better off purchasing a new CPU cooler.

The end goal should be to create an airflow path within your PC case. Installing too many case fans can cause obstructions that break apart the airflow than creating one. Thus, if you feel your CPU is being thermal throttled, I recommend purchasing a 360mm AIO cooler or a high-end air cooler with a high-CFM fan.

Smart Upgrades For A Better PC

To conclude, as the years go by, I have seen that software and game requirements keep increasing, making timely PC upgrades necessary to keep up and have a seamless experience. Therefore, upgrading my PC is one of the best ways to improve its performance without rebuilding an entire system.

However, without proper research, PC upgrades can become more expensive than are needed, which I don’t recommend. So, by being mindful of your needs and budget, you can get smart upgrades to create a better PC that will live longer without costing as much.

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