Submission is a work in progress. Total price of the actual upgrade: $409.96 before tax.
(When I submitted this, it ended up buried on page 7. There goes any potential shred of attention was hoping for)
Previously I had an i5 6600 on a B150 motherboard using 2x4GB DDR4 2133 memory.
During the christmas season, I was given an allotment of around $500 to spend. I used about $100 of that to upgrade my Lenovo Y510p with 16GB DDR3 1600 memory, replaced the 24GB M.2 cache (Which I believed was broken for a while now) with a 240GB M.2 SSD to use as a boot drive, and replaced the built in speakers. Upon disassembling the laptop I discovered that both the left and right were, or rather, had already disintegrated around the connecting ring which caused poor audio and annoying peaking that I just dealt with for over a year.
With the remaining funds, I gave myself a choice. I could upgrade my GPU from a GTX 960 4G to a RX 5700 XT (Probably the Pulse model), or either choose between a RTX 2060/2070 Super (As the Nvidia video encoder is the only reason I would still consider them right now at this time). I decided to upgrade some of the other components in my system instead and wait until my birthday in February to hopefully get a GPU upgrade.
Originally, I wanted to get a R7 3700X for about $309 in the event I decided to attempt streaming anything again, but instead I went with the R5 3600X because it was marked down by about $50 and overall seemed like the better deal. In any event, nearly anything modern is going to be a noticeable improvement over what I was using before.
I also really wanted to better incorporate more RGB components into my build, however I just could not justify the markup on the hardware that had it, and decided to opt out of those in favor of more affordable options.
I am currently testing whether or not I should have the top fans set as intake instead of being exhaust. Recently, I also learned that my monitor doesn't actually drive 144Hz, 120Hz or even 100Hz. All of those settings are affected with frame skipping. 120Hz at least looks as smooth as 60Hz, the other two settings are visibly slightly more choppy.