Question choosing the best CPU to compliment your GPU?

Apr 16, 2020
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So my current gaming rig is currently 6 years old and it is time for an upgrade, just wondering what sort of GPU/CPU combo I should be looking at?

At the moment I am thinking of going with a RTX 2060 Super for the graphics card as from what I can see it is more than enough to run current games at 1080p 60FPS and I am not ready to make the jump to 4K just yet. I know that when it comes to the CPU I definitely do not want to skimp and get an underpowered CPU for the build but I am just wondering how careful I need to be in making sure the CPU is not too powerful for my GPU?

At the moment I am thinking about the Ryzen 7 3700X which might be a little overkill for the GPU I am getting, but at the same time I use my computer for things other than gaming and would not mind the extra processing power for doing extra tasks in the background, besides the working theory I am going with is that it will allow me a little room to upgrade my graphics card in the future without needing to worry about switching out the CPU, I do not plan to overclock and one of the major games I am looking out for in the future (and one of the main reasons I am upgrading) is Cyberpunk 2070. I do not plan on overclocking

I have built a PC before but admittedly my knowledge of building PC's is much more limited than others who may do this sort of thing more regularly so forgive me if I am making fatal mistakes in my build and reasoning, just wondering if anyone can point me in the right direction and give some advice.

Are there any reasons that one would not want to create a GPU bottleneck in their computer such as increasing the stress on certain parts? Or is the only downside to bottlenecking that you wont be able to unlock the true potential of the part that is being bottlenecked?
 

King_V

Distinguished
The idea of some perfect balance between CPU and GPU is a false one. And, throw out the word "bottleneck" from your vocabulary. That term has been misused so badly that it's useless.

IGNORE ALL BOTTLENECK CALCULATORS.

One part being overkill relative to the rest of the system will never cause harm to the other components*. It simply won't be used to its full potential. In fact, on a given system with a specific CPU and specific GPU, one game may have the CPU as its limiting factor, and a different game on the same system may have its GPU as the limiting factor.

I would definitely NOT recommend diving into 4K, as, even to get 60fps at high settings, a top-of the line (think RTX 2080 Super, RTX 2080Ti, or RTX Titan) would be required for the latest games.

What are your parts currently, including:
  • Monitor and monitor specs (resolution, refresh rate, and if it has FreeSync, GSync, or neither)
  • Current CPU
  • Current GPU
  • Amount of RAM, and if it's in single or dual channel mode
If your current system is not letting you down anywhere currently, then leave it as is. If you're looking to be able to play a game in the future, wait until the game comes out. Until it's released, requirements and expected performance on given hardware is just speculation, or ballpark rough estimates.


*except the power supply. If your parts draw more power than your power supply can handle, then that is the only time something can be harmed.
 
Apr 16, 2020
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Current setup is:

GTX 780 GPU
i7-4770k CPU
2 1080p 144hz monitors
16gb ram

That said the graphics card is dead and needs to be replaced, I know I could probably replace the graphics card and keep it going but I have been looking for an excuse to build a new PC and if I am going to buy a new graphics card I might as well just start the new build now
 

King_V

Distinguished
Ooh, gotcha.

If you're considering a 2060 Super, I would probably instead suggest an RX 5700 (non-XT). The 5700 performs SLIGHTLY less than the 2060 Super, but starts at a significantly lower price. Or, you can go with the 5700XT, which outperforms the 2060 Super, and still starts lower in price (though notably closer to it than the 5700, of course). Of the 3, the 5700 non-XT is the best bang for the buck because of the deal on this particular model (after mail-in rebate)
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/pk6qqs/msi-radeon-rx-5700-8-gb-evoke-oc-video-card-radeon-rx-5700-evoke-oc

I'm assuming the general intent is to do gaming on one monitor, and you'd like to hit some high frame-rates?

Out of curiosity, are the two monitors the same exact model? And, do either/both of them have FreeSync, GSync, or neither?

The Ryzen 5 3600/3600X might be worth considering, as it's a 6-core/12-thread processor. Going to 8/16 might be overkill, but I don't know what kind of background stuff you might have going on.
 
No one absolutely needs the fastest CPU (a 9900K) to extract every last FPS possible from a given GPU...

No matter which GPU one gets. certain games are already having issues with quad cores, so, I'd look at an R5-1600AF/2600 at a minimum, and, if at all possible the R5-3600 is the current hot seller, I"d suspect. And at $200 and for most purposes about matching an 8700K, it's a darn good start when paired with any GPU capable of 1080P gaming. (GTX1660 Super, RX580, or above)
 
Current setup is:

GTX 780 GPU
i7-4770k CPU
2 1080p 144hz monitors
16gb ram

That said the graphics card is dead and needs to be replaced, I know I could probably replace the graphics card and keep it going but I have been looking for an excuse to build a new PC and if I am going to buy a new graphics card I might as well just start the new build now
Honestly, I would wait for Ryzen 4000 and the newest High end Intel CPUs to be released before buying a new CPU. If you have a Z series motherboard you could overclock your CPU and just get a new RTX 2060 Super now to double your fps in GPU bound games. Going from a GTX 780 to an RTX 2060 Super is probably going to be about a 120-130% upgrade. The i7-4770K is still fast enough to maintain minimum 1080p 60fps with a GTX 1070 to a RTX 2070 at high to ultra settings and likely still able to reach well over 100fps in many games.

On my Ryzen 5 2600 (about as fast as the 4770K) and a GTX 1070, I get 50-70fps at 1080p in Red Dead Redemption 2 with a mix of medium to ultra settings.
 

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