Question Bottleneck? GPU upgrade but small improvement

Jan 13, 2021
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My son is using my old PC for Fortnite gaming. On low/medium settings it runs 60 FPS easily. But I wanted to upgrade so I just bought a new RTX 2060. I know this GPU is way better than the rest of this old pc but the FPS improvement is smaller than I hoped for.

The specs are:
Intel i7-2600K
Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3
16 GB Kingston DDR3 1333Mhz RAM
PREVIOUS GPU: Nvidia GTX 580
NEW GPU: Nvidia RTX 2060

With the same low Fortnite settings I only get a small FPS improvement:
i7-2600k + GTX 580: 60 FPS
i7-2600k + RTX 2060: 80-90 FPS

I thought the case was obvious bottlenecking but tests with MSI Afterburner confuses me as the CPU only uses 50-60% (same level on all eight cores) and the GPU 40-50% in Fortnite. So none of the parts seems stressed?

So my questions are:
Why can't I see the bottleneck in the usage?
Can I do anything (besides replacing both motherboard, CPU and RAM)?
Could replacing just the RAM be a solution? Either with 32Gb or faster RAM?
 

RTX 2080

Commendable
Jun 8, 2020
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My son is using my old PC for Fortnite gaming. On low/medium settings it runs 60 FPS easily. But I wanted to upgrade so I just bought a new RTX 2060. I know this GPU is way better than the rest of this old pc but the FPS improvement is smaller than I hoped for.

The specs are:
Intel i7-2600K
Gigabyte Z68X-UD3H-B3
16 GB Kingston DDR3 1333Mhz RAM
PREVIOUS GPU: Nvidia GTX 580
NEW GPU: Nvidia RTX 2060

With the same low Fortnite settings I only get a small FPS improvement:
i7-2600k + GTX 580: 60 FPS
i7-2600k + RTX 2060: 80-90 FPS

I thought the case was obvious bottlenecking but tests with MSI Afterburner confuses me as the CPU only uses 50-60% (same level on all eight cores) and the GPU 40-50% in Fortnite. So none of the parts seems stressed?

So my questions are:
Why can't I see the bottleneck in the usage?
Can I do anything (besides replacing both motherboard, CPU and RAM)?
Could replacing just the RAM be a solution? Either with 32Gb or faster RAM?
Your CPU is a 10-year-old 4 core 8 thread processor. It's not going to do a very good job pumping out lots of frames if that what you want. Your GPU would be much more highly utilized if your CPU could feed it the frames that it needs. Now that you have a good GPU and your CPU is unable to feed it the frames that it can handle, there is no reason for you to set the graphical settings to low anymore. Your GPU usage is only 40-50%; you can bump settings up to high or maybe even ultra with no loss in fps.


  1. You can't see the bottleneck in usage because you are looking at overall usage; it only takes one maxed out core for your CPU to hold back your GPU. Not only that, but the inherent architectural limits of your CPU can hold up the rendering pipeline regardless of what is shown in overall usage. Have you heard of the Ryzen 3600? Many people bought them and have issues hitting high fps due to architectural limits inherent in the CPU. Those that upgraded to the Ryzen 5600 with its much improved architecture have reported no issues with fps anymore.
  2. Your RAM is slow, but its not holding back your rendering pipeline; upgrading your RAM so that there is more of it or so that its faster will have very little impact on your fps, if at all. To use an analogy, it would be like trying to fix a car with a blown engine by ensuring that the air pressure in the tires are just right: it's not that it won't do anything good, it just isn't going to fix the primary issue preventing you from driving the car.
  3. If your goal is to take full advantage of your GPU, them bump up graphical settings; your GPU will be utilized more and the game will look better too. If your goal is higher fps, nothing will increase your fps beyond what your CPU is capable of pre-rendering and sending to the GPU. Your only option for higher fps is a new CPU; this will require a new motherboard and DDR4 RAM. No way around it.
 
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