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What to upgrade first; i5-2500k or the GTX 970? (Gaming, only) R


Best Answer iammykyl , 04 June 2019 - 04:27 PM

gday Locla.Agree that the GTX1070ti is the way to go for the first step.   I would benchmark your existing build to determine the load on the CPU/GPU and RAM; taking the guesswork out and... Go to the full post »


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#1
Locla

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Hey all,

 

I've been rocking the i5-2500k @ 4.4ghz for a while now with no issues, and everything was running fine with that and my GTX 970 until I got a 1440 (but 60hz) monitor. With that addition games are now a bit lagy. I'm almost certain that the solution is to just upgrade to a used 1070/1080, but before going ahead with the purchase I wanted to check in with you guys.

 

I only really use the desktop for gaming, hence my leaning towards upgrading the GPU first. I've found 1070s for around £150 and 1080s for around £250; my budget is less clear on the mobo/ram/cpu upgrade option as I haven't really looked at it, thinking mainly about the GPU at this point, but lets say £350 ballpark...

 

Please let me know what your thoughts are on upgrading either the i5-2500k or the GTX 970 with a view solely to gaming  :D many thanks in advance, you guys on this forum helped me through my first build way back and have been consistently helpful ever since!

 

Specs:

 

OS: Windows 7 64-bit

MOBO: Asus P8Z77-V LX

CPU: Intel i5-2500k @ 4.4ghz

GPU: MSI GeForce GTX 970 GAMING 4G

PSU: Corsair HX850i

RAM: Kingston - HyperX Fury Blue 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 @1600MHz

SSD: Crucial MX500 1TB

CASE: Phanteks Enthoo Pro

MNTR: 27"AOC Q2770PQU 2560x 1440 @60 Hz 

 

EDIT: I'm liquid cooling the CPU so, in the case of the mobo/cpu/ram option, would look for a CPU upgrade that I could also OC. Not averse to investing in a cooling loop for the GPU upgrade. 


Edited by Locla, 02 June 2019 - 06:06 PM.

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#2
Almighty_Denny

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I would replace the GPU, but I'm not completely sure if there would be a bottleneck with a 1070/1080 at 1440 resolution, specially as your CPU is second gen (4th gen and up are easier to couple with recent GPUs).

Perhaps a 1660 would be a better buy for that CPU.
It has overall better performance than the 970 but wouldn't have much of a bottleneck (hopefully), check it out:
https://gpu.userbenc...1660/2577vs4038


Edited by Almighty_Denny, 03 June 2019 - 01:19 PM.

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#3
Locla

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Thanks for your advice! Yea I'm hoping that the 1440p resolution will provide enough of a chore for the GPU to not result in too much of a bottleneck for the CPU. That 1660 is a good bet, but the price is similar to a used 1070ti that I'm looking at, which is quite a bit more powerful.

 

I agree I should go with the GPU, will post back when purchased and installed :D (although the CPU upgrade can't be held off much longer either... Ryzen or Intel now?  :headscratch: )


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#4
iammykyl

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✓  Best Answer

gday Locla.

Agree that the GTX1070ti is the way to go for the first step.   I would benchmark your existing build to determine the load on the CPU/GPU and RAM; taking the guesswork out and see if the CPU is already maxed out, or not.   If the GPU is maxed out, you can lower some settings until the game lag goes away and note the settings.   When you install the new GPU, benchmark again.   You will then be able to tell where the bottleneck is. 

Bench, > https://pcgamehaven....u-usage-gaming/


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#5
Locla

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Hey iammykyl,

 

Cheers for the software suggestion. I won't be back from uni for another 2 weeks yet, but when I get on the desktop I'll definitely be doing that benchmark! Hopefully the 1070ti will arrive as I do, will post results around that time. 


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#6
iammykyl

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:thumbsup:


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#7
Locla

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Hi again, sorry for the delay!

 

I got an EVGA GTX 1070TI FTW2 and tuned it up to a stable overclock of 2000mhz following the above guide etc; the CPU is definitely not a gaming bottleneck as it sits on 50% average and even this new 1070ti is running at or close to 100% on max settings (Total War Thrones of Britannia @ 1440p). I got a really good deal on the 1070TI so I'm considering selling it on and buying a used 1080, if I find one for a good price. Looks like the i5-2500k is still fine for gaming 8 years on  :D


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#8
iammykyl

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 No worries.

The CPU result is very good, but it may not cope with a further video card upgrade; something hard to know until you do it

If you are happy with your game experience at the moment, is it worth going further?   


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#9
Locla

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True, and it's getting to the point anyway where I'd quite like to upgrade it just to move on to DDR4. I've done a little more research and it looks like jumping to the i5-8600k would be the ideal upgrade, price to performance. 

 

I am happy with this upgrade now, it's true, and having checked other benchmarks I think I got really lucky on the silicon lottery with this card. The only real reason I'd swap it out would be to maintain a good resale price on the 1080 further down the line, so unless I find another amazing price then I think I'll stick to what I've got for now.

 

Many thanks for the benchmark/bottleneck pointer!


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#10
iammykyl

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Agree with the i5 choice, at the moment, things may change by the time you get around to a new build

I also think you got lucky with CPU silicone.

See you back when you start a new build configuration, Oh, happen you can choose a best answer for this topic as I think it is concluded.

 

:thumbsup: Your welcome, enjoyed conversing with you.  :wave:


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