Question CPU upgrade options

berlin88

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I currently have an Intel i7-6700k (4.0GHz) and was wondering what the best upgrade options are these days?

I see AMD has a new CPU coming out this fall, would that be a good replacement option? Or would one of the existing AMD or Intel CPU's be a better choice? Would I even seen much of an improvement over my existing i7-6700K?

I use this PC mainly for gaming. I have 16GB memory and an EVGA GTX 1070 for Graphics, with an Asus motherboard.
 

Karadjgne

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What's the problem? Is there even an issue at all or is this a 'want to' kind of thing?

Does turning down details get you better fps? Get a better gpu. Not getting enough fps no matter what details, get a better cpu. Do you even need better fps or is the monitor holding you back?

There's no worthwhile upgrade for a Skylake i7. There's only a change in platforms, which will be the upcoming Ryzen or the current 10th Gen Intel, neither of which will be cheap. You will need a cpu that at very minimum is equitable to the i7 ability, preferably better. Which means the 10700k/3900x or bigger. Add in superior cooling, no budget cooling options. New motherboard. Probably new ram too unless you are already pushing 3200MHz or better. Probably a gpu too.

All of which is made pointless by a 1080p/60Hz monitor and gtx1070. You have a really decent 1080p/60 setup, if going for 1440p/144Hz you'll need a bunch more HP.

Upgrades are always nice to have, but only in a balanced package or any weaker items just become glaringly obvious.
 

berlin88

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In regards to my desire to upgrade to a new CPU, my current i7-6700K was purchased a few years ago now (so its likely not the latest version of the i7-6700K), so I thought that maybe the newer CPU's would be an improvement, but based on the initial responses, it appears that perhaps the newer CPU's are not much of an improvement.

I mainly use my PC for gaming (Battlefield, Star Wars, Civ VI, Skyrim, etc.), though I have also done some movie watching, Photoshop stuff and classical music listening.

AMD was supposed to be releasing a new CPU this fall, and AMD has been getting good reviews lately, so I was looking at switching to AMD (I used to buy exclusively AMD before switching to the i7-6700k).

After looking at previews of the new AMD CPU though, it doesn't look like AMD is making the new Ryzen 4 available for folks to buy independently at Newegg or Micro Center. It appears you have to buy a brand name PC if you want thew new AMD CPU, as opposed to being able to build one myself.

Are there any current or upcoming AMD or Intel CPU's that would be a worthwhile upgrade over my current i7-6700K?
 
After looking at previews of the new AMD CPU though, it doesn't look like AMD is making the new Ryzen 4 available for folks to buy independently at Newegg or Micro Center. It appears you have to buy a brand name PC if you want thew new AMD CPU, as opposed to being able to build one myself.
No, that's only for their APUs, which are using last year's Zen 2 CPU architecture combined with "somewhat decent" integrated graphics, and should perform similar to their existing 3000-series parts on the CPU side of things. There will also be CPUs launching without integrated graphics though, and those will be built on their new Zen 3 architecture, and should feature more performance than current models. Those will be available at retail, and are the ones that would be preferred for someone building a gaming PC with a dedicated graphics card, though they haven't been officially announced yet.

As for upgrades from a 6700K, I would probably just stick with that for the moment, unless you are noticing performance instability in certain heavily-multithreaded games, and feel it's worth spending hundreds of dollars to address. Intel's processors are still using a very similar architecture to the 6700K, only now with more cores at any given price point, and somewhat higher clock rates at the high-end. In general, a 6700K without overclocking performs rather close to their current $150+ processors, though for under $200, it's possible to move up to 6-cores and 12-threads with similar performance per-core with something like an i5-10400 (or a Ryzen 3600). Games and the vast majority of software should still get along pretty well on 4-cores with 8-threads, though it's possible that games will increasingly want more as they start targeting the next generation of console hardware.

As for AMD, they are far more competitive now than they had been when the 6700K was current-gen, coming close to Intel in terms of per-core performance, and they had been offering significantly more cores and threads at any given price point, at least until Intel recently launched their 10-series, which come relatively close to them in terms of pricing. So, they've been very competitive, and have pushed Intel to increase their mainstream core counts as well. Again though, as far as performance-per-core is concerned, a 6700K still is still fairly competitive against the current Ryzens, much as it is with Intel's offerings. The main thing an upgrade would be getting you would be more cores (an 8-core, 16-thread 3700X is under $300), though that will primarily be beneficial to software that can utilize a lot of cores.

Personally, I would probably wait a bit longer. Maybe the Zen 3 CPUs will outperform Intel a bit at gaming, but it's still unlikely to be a significant difference.

What resolution and refresh rate is your screen? At higher resolutions than 1080p, you are likely to see more benefit out of a graphics card upgrade, though as Karadjgne pointed out, a GTX 1070 is still a decent option for 1080p60 gaming.
 

berlin88

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No, that's only for their APUs, which are using last year's Zen 2 CPU architecture combined with "somewhat decent" integrated graphics, and should perform similar to their existing 3000-series parts on the CPU side of things. There will also be CPUs launching without integrated graphics though, and those will be built on their new Zen 3 architecture, and should feature more performance than current models. Those will be available at retail, and are the ones that would be preferred for someone building a gaming PC with a dedicated graphics card, though they haven't been officially announced yet.

As for upgrades from a 6700K, I would probably just stick with that for the moment, unless you are noticing performance instability in certain heavily-multithreaded games, and feel it's worth spending hundreds of dollars to address. Intel's processors are still using a very similar architecture to the 6700K, only now with more cores at any given price point, and somewhat higher clock rates at the high-end. In general, a 6700K without overclocking performs rather close to their current $150+ processors, though for under $200, it's possible to move up to 6-cores and 12-threads with similar performance per-core with something like an i5-10400 (or a Ryzen 3600). Games and the vast majority of software should still get along pretty well on 4-cores with 8-threads, though it's possible that games will increasingly want more as they start targeting the next generation of console hardware.

As for AMD, they are far more competitive now than they had been when the 6700K was current-gen, coming close to Intel in terms of per-core performance, and they had been offering significantly more cores and threads at any given price point, at least until Intel recently launched their 10-series, which come relatively close to them in terms of pricing. So, they've been very competitive, and have pushed Intel to increase their mainstream core counts as well. Again though, as far as performance-per-core is concerned, a 6700K still is still fairly competitive against the current Ryzens, much as it is with Intel's offerings. The main thing an upgrade would be getting you would be more cores (an 8-core, 16-thread 3700X is under $300), though that will primarily be beneficial to software that can utilize a lot of cores.

Personally, I would probably wait a bit longer. Maybe the Zen 3 CPUs will outperform Intel a bit at gaming, but it's still unlikely to be a significant difference.

What resolution and refresh rate is your screen? At higher resolutions than 1080p, you are likely to see more benefit out of a graphics card upgrade, though as Karadjgne pointed out, a GTX 1070 is still a decent option for 1080p60 gaming.
I have an Asus VS248 monitor, which I got some years back.

1920 x 1080 resolution. Refresh rate of 60 Hertz.
 

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