[SOLVED] Advice upgrading my GPU for the I7 3770k

mrm198

Honorable
Jul 29, 2015
18
1
10,515
0
Hi,

This wonderful community helped me about 6 years ago, with some advice to upgrade my PC, and I'm looking for some more advice again!

I have a second hand PC which is now about 7 years old. It has done me really well, but it is starting to struggle to run some of the more recent games I've bought on quite low graphics settings. The issue appears to be with the frame rates and the GPU rather than the CPU/RAM.

Here is my PC:
CPU: I7 3770k
CASE: Coolermaster HAF X
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth
GPU: 2x R9 280x's TRI edition (6GB in total)
RAM: 16GB CORSAIR DDR3 RAM
SSD: 120GB HYPER X SSD
HDD: WD 2TB DRIVE.
PSU: COOLERMASTER 1000w Platinum

Although I have 2 GPUs joined together, I've never been able to use them both to improve gameplay experience. Enabling CrossFire mode has always been buggy/glitchy or prevented games from working at all. (It doesn't seem to be an option to help me looking at some other threads)

Anyway, I think I would prefer to make the most out of the PC set up I've got, than start again from scratch with a new ready-built or second hand PC.

This thread suggests the maximum GPU appropriate for this CPU would be a GTX 1660.
[SOLVED] - best gpu for an Intel i7-3770k | Tom's Hardware Forum (tomshardware.com) [Jan 2021]

Is this still correct? Would it provide much of an improvement for me?

If i get a GTX 1660 GPU, would it be easy enough to remove the two AMD GPUs in there and replace with the new GPU? I haven't built or modified a PC before, but would be happy to give it a go!

The GTX 1660 is selling for between £200 and £300 on ebay. My budget is a lot higher than this (£800) if it makes sense to use it. I suppose in this case I would look to replace the motherboard and CPU as well? (Along with a more fiddly set up?).

Any advice appreciated, thank you! :)

[note edited 3060/3060Ti GPU and replaced with GTX 1660 - I got my facts wrong in my original post, which was picked up in the following posts as the ebay price above was not for 3060 GPU]
 
Last edited:

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i5-12400F 2.5 GHz 6-Core Processor (£165.00 @ Computer Orbit)
Motherboard: Gigabyte B660 GAMING X DDR4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard (£134.47 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory (£115.98 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (£61.92 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 6600 8 GB MECH 2X Video Card (£309.00 @ Computer Orbit)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case
Power Supply: Cooler Master V Platinum 1000 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
Total: £786.37
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-05-09 18:33 BST+0100
 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Probably too much GPU, but that isn't really a bad thing. When you mix hardware like this it is to be expected.

Still, you are overdue for an upgrade. And you can get something much faster than an i7-3770k for not a lot. i3-12100F for example, DDR4 is still quite cheap, and B660 motherboards aren't terrible. You could also do with a PCIe NVMe drive.
 
Reactions: mrm198 and RodroX

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i5-12400F 2.5 GHz 6-Core Processor (£165.00 @ Computer Orbit)
Motherboard: Gigabyte B660 GAMING X DDR4 ATX LGA1700 Motherboard (£134.47 @ Amazon UK)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory (£115.98 @ Amazon UK)
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500 GB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (£61.92 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: MSI Radeon RX 6600 8 GB MECH 2X Video Card (£309.00 @ Computer Orbit)
Case: Cooler Master HAF X ATX Full Tower Case
Power Supply: Cooler Master V Platinum 1000 W 80+ Platinum Certified Fully Modular ATX Power Supply
Total: £786.37
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-05-09 18:33 BST+0100
 

logainofhades

Titan
Moderator
I would say it is time for a platform upgrade. I threw in a new 3060, just so you can see what total cost would be.

PCPartPicker Part List

CPU: Intel Core i5-12400F 2.5 GHz 6-Core Processor (£162.99 @ AWD-IT)
Motherboard: MSI PRO B660M-A DDR4 Micro ATX LGA1700 Motherboard (£133.99 @ Box Limited)
Memory: Corsair Vengeance LPX 16 GB (2 x 8 GB) DDR4-3200 CL16 Memory (£47.63 @ Ebuyer)
Storage: Western Digital Blue SN570 1 TB M.2-2280 NVME Solid State Drive (£74.98 @ Amazon UK)
Video Card: Palit GeForce RTX 3060 12 GB Dual OC Video Card (£399.99 @ AWD-IT)
Total: £819.58
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2022-05-09 18:34 BST+0100
 

mrm198

Honorable
Jul 29, 2015
18
1
10,515
0
Thanks eximo and logainofhades, I appreciate you using my case and power supply on your suggestions! I will look into these upgrade options. Can I just check, your SSD storage suggestion, is this to replace my ssd or HD, or is it extra on top of these ? This is great thanks again 👍
 
Thanks eximo and logainofhades, I appreciate you using my case and power supply on your suggestions! I will look into these upgrade options. Can I just check, your SSD storage suggestion, is this to replace my ssd or HD, or is it extra on top of these ? This is great thanks again 👍
That 1000W PSU might "flinch" with newer GPUs. PSU's degrade with time and can be subject to power spikes and drops and the rails get more noisy. This latest gen of GPU's are sensitive to quality of power.

Right now GPU prices are just awful. They should bottom out by September. If you can wait, that would be the way to go as you build a cheap new system. Zen 4 will be announced, and prices on Zen2, Zen3, Alder Lake new & used will drop like rock.

You are kind of in a tough spot if you want to buy now. But I would aim for something like a used 1060 6GB, RX570 4GB, or 580 4GB until you are ready to do a new system. Older systems using Ivy Bridge are subject to frame pacing issues. In other words, it stutters due to bad branch prediction/cache issues. And I would stay away from 8GB used cards are these are used for Etherium mining and have a limited life left.
 
Reactions: mrm198

logainofhades

Titan
Moderator
Thanks eximo and logainofhades, I appreciate you using my case and power supply on your suggestions! I will look into these upgrade options. Can I just check, your SSD storage suggestion, is this to replace my ssd or HD, or is it extra on top of these ? This is great thanks again 👍
I chose it to replace your existing SSD. 120gb really is too small, these days.
That 1000W PSU might "flinch" with newer GPUs. PSU's degrade with time and can be subject to power spikes and drops and the rails get more noisy. This latest gen of GPU's are sensitive to quality of power.

Right now GPU prices are just awful. They should bottom out by September. If you can wait, that would be the way to go as you build a cheap new system. Zen 4 will be announced, and prices on Zen2, Zen3, Alder Lake new & used will drop like rock.

You are kind of in a tough spot if you want to buy now. But I would aim for something like a used 1060 6GB, RX570 4GB, or 580 4GB until you are ready to do a new system. Older systems using Ivy Bridge are subject to frame pacing issues. In other words, it stutters due to bad branch prediction/cache issues. And I would stay away from 8GB used cards are these are used for Etherium mining and have a limited life left.
As it is platinum rated, I highly doubt that PSU is all that old, and is more than enough for a 3060. Also many cards are at or near MSRP lately.
 
Reactions: mrm198
Hi,

This wonderful community helped me about 6 years ago, with some advice to upgrade my PC, and I'm looking for some more advice again!

I have a second hand PC which is now about 7 years old. It has done me really well, but it is starting to struggle to run some of the more recent games I've bought on quite low graphics settings. The issue appears to be with the frame rates and the GPU rather than the CPU/RAM.

Here is my PC:
CPU: I7 3770k
CASE: Coolermaster HAF X
MOTHERBOARD: ASUS Z77 Sabertooth
GPU: 2x R9 280x's TRI edition (6GB in total)
RAM: 16GB CORSAIR DDR3 RAM
SSD: 120GB HYPER X SSD
HDD: WD 2TB DRIVE.
PSU: COOLERMASTER 1000w Platinum

Although I have 2 GPUs joined together, I've never been able to use them both to improve gameplay experience. Enabling CrossFire mode has always been buggy/glitchy or prevented games from working at all. (It doesn't seem to be an option to help me looking at some other threads)

Anyway, I think I would prefer to make the most out of the PC set up I've got, than start again from scratch with a new ready-built or second hand PC.

This thread suggests the maximum GPU appropriate for this CPU would be a 3060/3060Ti.
[SOLVED] - best gpu for an Intel i7-3770k | Tom's Hardware Forum (tomshardware.com) [Jan 2021]

Is this still correct? Would it provide much of an improvement for me?

If i get a 3060/3060Ti GPU, would it be easy enough to remove the two AMD GPUs in there and replace with the new GPU? I haven't built or modified a PC before, but would be happy to give it a go!

The 3060/3060Ti is selling for between £200 and £300 on ebay. My budget is a lot higher than this (£800) if it makes sense to use it. I suppose in this case I would look to replace the motherboard and CPU as well? (Along with a more fiddly set up?).

Any advice appreciated, thank you! :)
From experience I can tell you that the 3060ti will be held back no matter how far you overclock the cpu and ram. I had a ivy xeon @ 3.8 6 cores ddr3 1866 @ 2000mhz, and there was so much left on the table. By the time you update the rest of your stuff you'll want another card.

Mind you, its gonna crush your current frame rate.

Also, have you disabled the spectre fix from a couple years ago... You need to do this if this is a gaming pc.

Can I suggest a 6600? It's gonna be cheaper by a fair margin and faster than the 3060.

3060ti only performed slightly better than a 1070ti on a system slightly better than yours. it's a ridiculous bottleneck.

I've price out a system i3 on on the latest platform w/16 GB of ram ddr4 3000.
Saving 100 dollars on the 3060 puts you a lot closer to what you need to upgrade.

4 cores 8 threads at a high clock is still pretty great for gaming.
 
Reactions: mrm198
I chose it to replace your existing SSD. 120gb really is too small, these days.


As it is platinum rated, I highly doubt that PSU is all that old, and is more than enough for a 3060. Also many cards are at or near MSRP lately.
I had a Corsair AX850 gold rated which was near the best power supply there was for it's time. I had to replace it this year. My ivy bridge motherboard was going into protect mode with a RX580 attached. I hooked it up to my scope and the rails were horribly noisy with spikes. Even though I was nowhere near the limit of the supply the electrolytic caps just degrade. 5 years is typical even with jap caps.

And we all know this gen is super sensitive on power delivery.
 
Reactions: mrm198

logainofhades

Titan
Moderator
I had a Corsair AX850 gold rated which was near the best power supply there was for it's time. I had to replace it this year. My ivy bridge motherboard was going into protect mode with a RX580 attached. I hooked it up to my scope and the rails were horribly noisy with spikes. Even though I was nowhere near the limit of the supply the electrolytic caps just degrade. 5 years is typical even with jap caps.

And we all know this gen is super sensitive on power delivery.

They are currently running dual R9 280x's, which is far more power draw than any 3060 is going to give. If they are not experiencing trouble with 500w worth of GPU's, a 170w 3060 is not going to be an issue.
 
Last edited:
Reactions: mrm198

mrm198

Honorable
Jul 29, 2015
18
1
10,515
0
...

You are kind of in a tough spot if you want to buy now. But I would aim for something like a used 1060 6GB, RX570 4GB, or 580 4GB until you are ready to do a new system. ...
Hi Digitalgriffin (great user name :) )- Do you mean a 1060 6GB like this?
(20+) Marketplace – Palit Nvidia Geforce gtx 1060 6GB | Facebook
It is for sale second hand near me. Less dusty ones sell on ebay for £130!

Definitely interested in a small upgrade for now, and then a bigger upgrade later if hopefully prices are more reasonable...
 
Hi Digitalgriffin (great user name :) )- Do you mean a 1060 6GB like this?
(20+) Marketplace – Palit Nvidia Geforce gtx 1060 6GB | Facebook
It is for sale second hand near me. Less dusty ones sell on ebay for £130!

Definitely interested in a small upgrade for now, and then a bigger upgrade later if hopefully prices are more reasonable...
It's a bit of a crap shoot. I would ask him if he has any pictures of it running and if he accepts paypal. You have some protection there if it arrives DOA.

There was a website where your used card purchase was guaranteed by the website. If I can remember what it is, I'll post it here.

You can also check the marketplace on HardOcp forum and here. If the person here has a long history there/here, chances are he won't try to take advantage of you.

The 1060 will get you roughly double the frame rate. (Depending on game)
 
Last edited:
Reactions: mrm198

mrm198

Honorable
Jul 29, 2015
18
1
10,515
0
It's a bit of a crap shoot. I would ask him if he has any pictures of it running and if he accepts paypal. You have some protection there if it arrives DOA.

There was a website where your used card purchase was guaranteed by the website. If I can remember what it is, I'll post it here.

You can also check the marketplace on HardOcp forum and here. If the person here has a long history there/here, chances are he won't try to take advantage of you.

The 1060 will get you roughly double the frame rate. (Depending on game)
Thanks again, really helpful advice and I was wondering the frame rate improvement over my current gpu card!
What gpu comparison source do you use to get this estimate?

Looking at the latest game which now runs too slow - my current gpu meets the minimum specs whilst the suggested gpu above is exactly the recommended specs, so that is a good improvement.
 
Thanks again, really helpful advice and I was wondering the frame rate improvement over my current gpu card!
What gpu comparison source do you use to get this estimate?

Looking at the latest game which now runs too slow - my current gpu meets the minimum specs whilst the suggested gpu above is exactly the recommended specs, so that is a good improvement.
UserBenchmark: AMD R9 280X vs Nvidia GTX 1060-6GB
 
Reactions: mrm198

mrm198

Honorable
Jul 29, 2015
18
1
10,515
0
Older systems using Ivy Bridge are subject to frame pacing issues. In other words, it stutters due to bad branch prediction/cache issues.
I wonder if this is the problem I'm facing with the game I bought recently, as it stutters and has very low frame rate even on the very lowest graphics settings. My PC is at or slightly above the minimum recommended specs, so i'm not sure that the game would be so stuttery just because of the graphics card, so maybe it is the motherboard/card together...!
 
I wonder if this is the problem I'm facing with the game I bought recently, as it stutters and has very low frame rate even on the very lowest graphics settings. My PC is at or slightly above the minimum recommended specs, so i'm not sure that the game would be so stuttery just because of the graphics card, so maybe it is the motherboard/card together...!
Could be it. But a big limiter is your 3GB memory. Try the game again with the lowest texture quality.
 
Reactions: mrm198
I wonder if this is the problem I'm facing with the game I bought recently, as it stutters and has very low frame rate even on the very lowest graphics settings. My PC is at or slightly above the minimum recommended specs, so i'm not sure that the game would be so stuttery just because of the graphics card, so maybe it is the motherboard/card together...!
I will add AMD stopped driver optimization for anything pre- RX480. Compiling shader code takes time and often leads to hiccups. One of the ways drivers optimize code is to look at which shader code is used often, and keeping those compiled programs in gpu memory (if it's available) so the shader doesn't have to get loaded and recompiled.
 
Reactions: mrm198

mrm198

Honorable
Jul 29, 2015
18
1
10,515
0
I will add AMD stopped driver optimization for anything pre- RX480. Compiling shader code takes time and often leads to hiccups. One of the ways drivers optimize code is to look at which shader code is used often, and keeping those compiled programs in gpu memory (if it's available) so the shader doesn't have to get loaded and recompiled.
OK so I'm getting 30-60 frames per second in the first part of the game, then 5-15 frames per second in the second part of this particular game! I don't have any AMD optimisations switched on. My GPU seems to be working ok - I've run a benchmarking tool on my PC and it suggests my GPU is performing "above expectations" relative to others with the same GPU. Reducing the graphics settings doesn't seem to improve things...

I've since looked in to this on the developer's discord and there are some others (with better PC specs) having similar problems with the frame rate dropping at the same points in the game.
 
Last edited:

ASK THE COMMUNITY