Question Can my Intel i3 - 2120 cause a bottleneck?

Apr 28, 2019
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Hey guys, I'm new in area of pc building. I'm trying to build a cheap pc for gaming. I was thinking about buying a GTX 1050 Ti as a GPU. Will my i3 - 2120 cause a bottleneck to the GPU? Do you have any other cheap suggestions for GPU's or CPU's?
Thank you!
 

clutchc

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I wouldn't use any card less than the GTX 1050 Ti with a i3-2120, myself. But to answer your question, yes. There will be considerable CPU bottleneck with that processor and card. Especially in AAA games on busy servers where the CPU won't be able to keep up with all the players and the card too.

The reason I said I would pick the GTX 1050 Ti is because the best card for little to no bottleneck would be a GTX 750 Ti. But they are scarce now and probably warrant as high a price as the 1050 Ti. Plus, there are some graphically intense games when played offline that won't bottleneck the i3-2120 bad.
That, and you may want to upgrade the CPU next. Then you'll have the gfx card that will do the trick for you.
 
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velocityg4

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Some games will be barely playable with that CPU as they need an i5 (quad) or even an i7. It wouldn't matter what graphics setting you used. That i3 just wouldn't handle it. While the GTX 1050 can run any game. Perhaps at lowered settings. But it will play them.

Cheap would depend on how you define cheap. Do you have any parts already? Do you have a budget? What country?

The biggest problem with DIY using used parts. Some of the parts are often overpriced. Such as a non-OEM motherboard (ASUS, Gigabyte, ASRock, MSI). If I were to sell my old Z77 motherboard. I can get enough money for a new Z390 or X470. I were in the market for a cheap build. I'd look at a used workstation or high end business model. Then outfit it with a better GPU, PSU and more RAM.

An HP Z230/Z240 or Dell Precision T1650/T1700 with an i7 or equivalent Xeon come in pretty cheap. Used DDR3 RAM will also be cheap. Then you can drop in a new PSU (probably not needed for the GTX 1050). Also get a used GPU. The Radeon Rx 580 4GB/8GB had better prices than the GTX 1060 3/6GB the last time I looked. Looking at used prices. The GTX 1050 is a terrible deal. You can find a much better Radeon Rx 470/570 for about the same price.

Some of the big workstations can also be found cheap. Such as a Dell Precision T3610. It can use really cheap Registered DIMMS (RDIMM, Server Memory).
 
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mdd1963

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yes, the i3-2120 can be had for $28 or so...

But it is often going to be marginal for many if not most popular games made past 2013..

With the Ryzen 5 -1600 on sale at some locations for sub $100, it's a more logical starting point....(if it all possible!)
 

cryoburner

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To add to this a bit, if you were planning on buying a graphics card new rather than used, I wouldn't bother with a 1050 Ti at all. Even if you have a power supply that would not be able to cope with a faster card requiring more power, such as an RX 570, Nvidia just released a successor to the 1050 Ti at a similar or lower price point to what those are selling for new. The 1650 performs in between a 1050 Ti and an RX 570/GTX 1060 3GB, while drawing about the same amount of power as a 1050 Ti, with prices starting around $150 USD. There's no point in buying a 1050 Ti new at the moment, at until their prices drop.

An i3-2120 is quite low-end at this point, and will undoubtedly limit the frame rates of some games by quite a bit, though there are many games that will likely run reasonably well on it. What are the complete hardware specs of your current system?
 
Apr 28, 2019
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I wouldn't use any card less than the GTX 1050 Ti with a i3-2120, myself. But to answer your question, yes. There will be considerable CPU bottleneck with that processor and card. Especially in AAA games on busy servers where the CPU won't be able to keep up with all the players and the card too.

The reason I said I would pick the GTX 1050 Ti is because the best card for little to no bottleneck would be a GTX 750 Ti. But they are scarce now and probably warrant as high a price as the 1050 Ti. Plus, there are some graphically intense games when played offline that won't bottleneck the i3-2120 bad.
That, and you may want to upgrade the CPU next. Then you'll have the gfx card that will do the trick for you.
Thank you very much! I'll consider buying another cpu, can you recommend me any cheap and good cpu that works great with the gtx 1050 Ti?
 

clutchc

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Thank you very much! I'll consider buying another cpu, can you recommend me any cheap and good cpu that works great with the gtx 1050 Ti?
That will depend on your motherboard. If it is a retail board, most likely any i5-2xxx/3xxx or i7-2xxx/3xxx processor will work. (might need a BIOS update for the 3rd gen chips) But it is necessary to know what the motherboard is to be 100% sure. If it is in a pre-built like Dell or Lenovo, list the model of PC.

Note: The i5-2500/2500K and i7-2600/2600K should all work since they were released at the same time as the i3-2120
 
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King_V

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Thank you very much! I'll consider buying another cpu, can you recommend me any cheap and good cpu that works great with the gtx 1050 Ti?
Don't wed yourself to the 1050Ti just yet. As InvalidError pointed out, the RX 570 is a much more capable card, and costs less than the 1050Ti (in the US).

Maybe it's best to see what you have currently, if anything, what your goal is, and what your total budget is.

And what country you're in.
 
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