Question CPU vs GPU where is money better spent for gaming

kiwis

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So I'm looking at an AMD Ryzen 3700X CPU and a GTX 1660TI GPU. I'm a casual gamer who likes good graphics but also do a bit of hobbyist web development.

My question is, is my CPU too strong and should I wind this back to a 2700X for example and get a better GPU.

What is my balance right? Together the price is about right for my budget.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
What resolution are you planning to game at?

The 1660 ti is pretty capable for 1080p single monitor gaming, but not much good for dual 1080p gaming or higher 2k or 4k gaming. To be honest, the 3600x is more than capable enough for the majority of gamers, and a 3600x with a 2060 or 2060 Super would probably be a better configuration for most people whether for 1080p ultra gaming or 1440p high gaming.
 

Karadjgne

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Web development is a lot of small files, easy enough for a smaller cpu. Any halfway decent gpu can get good graphics, even a GT1030, but the question is what kind of good graphics at what rate? That's all game dependent. I get ultra graphics without issue on a gtx970, but don't really play anything new at all, so none of my games are seriously demanding graphically, even Skyrim with 170 2k/4k/8k mods.

So what are the expectations? 60 fps at ultra 1080p in anything? 3600 + 2060 super will do that. Mostly. 144 fps at 1440p ultra? 3700x and 2080 super. Just want decent at 60Hz? 3600 and 1660ti will be fine.
 

kiwis

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Thanks, I don't play too many if any multi-screen games. Currently, I'm playing FIFA, GTA, Mafia and will be MS Flight Sim when it comes out.

The only thing with the 3700 is the 8 cores vs the 6 on the 3600 so for the extra 2 cores it'll be a better CPU longer I think.

Here's my current card plus the two options, yes I"m changing from he GTS250!

https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/compare/GeForce-GTX-1660-Ti-vs-GeForce-RTX-2060-SUPER-vs-GeForce-GTS-250/4045vs4117vs29

In my local store the 2060 Super is $200 more the 1660TI and the 3600X is $157 cheaper than the 3700X so going

3600X with a 2060Super will be $42.99 more but will have a 6 core CPU.

Will the change in CPU make any noticeable difference?
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
There is no "3700". There is a 3700x. And while there is some advantage in a few games due to the extra two cores, mainly the 12 thread capability of the 3600x is more than enough for any modern game to accomplish 144FPS gaming on most titles. Truthfully, by the time the standard becomes a necessity for 8 cores and 16 threads, we are likely to find that the 3700x is at least moderately outdated in terms of single core performance and IPC so I wouldn't buy one ONLY with the idea that it will offer a better long term solution than the 3600x. It might, to some degree, but truthfully the degree to which it might is almost certainly not commensurate with the additional price you will pay over the 3600x.

That's not to say the 3700x is a bad choice if you can reasonably afford it, because it does have two extra cores and four extra hyperthreads, but for gaming you have to also consider that the 3600x has generally been found to have an average of a 4.2Ghz all core boost while the 3700x tends to peak at about 3.9-4.0Ghz when under an all core full load. While that is only a 200-300mhz difference, if you are playing games or using applications that favor stronger single core performance you may find that CPU actually offers a little more in that regard, and thus performs better on those games or applications.

I would highly recommend going with the 2060 Super and the 3600x rather than the 3700x and a 1660 ti. Especially if you want to see Ultra 1080p graphics or generally high 1440p. You don't mention what resolution, but considering your current graphics card I'm going to assume you don't have a high resolution monitor. Knowing what monitor you have, or are planning to GET, would be helpful, but even so I believe given the probable options you are far better off with the 3600x and 2060 Super no matter what resolution or number of displays you plan to use or what settings you plan to run at.

You will be good with that configuration at 1080p, for likely 5-7 years at a fairly high level. If you are at a lower resolution, you might want to consider an upgrade of your display as well.

What country are you in?
 
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kiwis

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There is no "3700". There is a 3700x. And while there is some advantage in a few games due to the extra two cores, mainly the 12 thread capability of the 3600x is more than enough for any modern game to accomplish 144FPS gaming on most titles. Truthfully, by the time the standard becomes a necessity for 8 cores and 16 threads, we are likely to find that the 3700x is at least moderately outdated in terms of single core performance and IPC so I wouldn't buy one ONLY with the idea that it will offer a better long term solution than the 3600x. It might, to some degree, but truthfully the degree to which it might is almost certainly not commensurate with the additional price you will pay over the 3600x.

That's not to say the 3700x is a bad choice if you can reasonably afford it, because it does have two extra cores and four extra hyperthreads, but for gaming you have to also consider that the 3600x has generally been found to have an average of a 4.2Ghz all core boost while the 3700x tends to peak at about 3.9-4.0Ghz when under an all core full load. While that is only a 200-300mhz difference, if you are playing games or using applications that favor stronger single core performance you may find that CPU actually offers a little more in that regard, and thus performs better on those games or applications.

I would highly recommend going with the 2060 Super and the 3600x rather than the 3700x and a 1660 ti. Especially if you want to see Ultra 1080p graphics or generally high 1440p. You don't mention what resolution, but considering your current graphics card I'm going to assume you don't have a high resolution monitor. Knowing what monitor you have, or are planning to GET, would be helpful, but even so I believe given the probable options you are far better off with the 3600x and 2060 Super no matter what resolution or number of displays you plan to use or what settings you plan to run at.

You will be good with that configuration at 1080p, for likely 5-7 years at a fairly high level. If you are at a lower resolution, you might want to consider an upgrade of your display as well.

What country are you in?
That's an awesome reply. Thank you.

I have two screens, HDMI input both 1920x1080 @60hz and I'm in New Zealand.

I think I'm leaning back towards the 3600X with a 2060 Super now.
 
Will you plan to game on BOTH screens, or just game on one while browser or other applications are on the other screen?
Why do you ask this? Hardly anyone games on two screens since that would put a big blindspot in the center of the display, right where aiming crosshairs and other important things go, making most games unplayable. : P You typically need three screens to make multimonitor gaming work properly. Maybe something like Flight Simulator or a racing game could be usable on two screens, though they already mentioned that they "don't play too many if any multi-screen games" so I don't think multi-screen gaming is on their agenda.

In any case, for 1080p 60Hz gaming any of these cards would be quite good for current games, worlds better than a GTS 250. Something like an RTX 2060 or 2060 SUPER might have a bit more staying power for cranking upcoming games up near their highest settings, and also feature at least some amount of hardware support for raytraced lighting effects, unlike the 16-series cards, even if those effects have a tendency of massively decreasing performance. The 2060 is of course another card to consider in between the 1660 Ti and 2060 SUPER, depending on what pricing is like where you are. Or maybe even the 1660 SUPER, if you can find one priced notably less than a 1660 Ti, as it tends to perform only a little behind that card.

I'm not sure if you know of PCPartPicker, but that site can be useful for comparing the sale prices of various graphics cards and other hardware at different online retailers, and they support New Zealand pricing (from the region drop-down in the upper right, if it isn't automatically detected). What are the full specs of the hardware you were planning for this system?
 

kiwis

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Will you plan to game on BOTH screens, or just game on one while browser or other applications are on the other screen?
Most likely game on one screen for now and I will always have Chrome open and sometimes other Apps such as visual Code etc

I've never played 2 screen game and can't see myself being a fulltime gamer like that. If anything, I'd hook my system up to one larger screen but again no plans for that.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Most likely game on one screen for now and I will always have Chrome open and sometimes other Apps such as visual Code etc

I've never played 2 screen game and can't see myself being a fulltime gamer like that. If anything, I'd hook my system up to one larger screen but again no plans for that.
So yes, that's a good configuration for you then that is going to give you lots of room for the demands of games to go up, which they will as time goes on, without immediately falling behind to the point where you have to start thinking about a different hardware solution again in just a year or two.
 
Because people do it. Period. Doesn't matter if it makes sense or is a best practice or whatever the reason for not doing it is. People do it. Shrug. So it's best to ask. Not asking, about any potential factor, is where we fall short when it comes to offering responsible recommendations.
That has to be an incredibly niche usage scenario though, and I can't imagine many people doing that at all. One might as well be asking people whether they need a serial port when making motherboard recommendations. If something like that were relevant to someone, it seems like something they would mention.
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Well, you'd think running an ultrawide would be something they'd mention too, but they usually don't. When asked, they'll tell you it's a 1080p or 1440p display, but neglect to say that it is an ultrawide and has 33% more pixels. That's a pretty huge difference in terms of what a graphics card that was intended to be capable enough for a standard 1080p display can do.

And the PSU is arguably the MOST important component in any build. But in 90% of threads they either don't tell you anything at all about the PSU when they post their hardware specs or they say "500w" which is the same as saying nothing in most cases.

So honestly, if you believe people tend to mention the things that are most relevant all or even most of the time, you really haven't been paying much attention.

I agree, it's niche. It's not common, and it makes little sense. But I've seen it enough times to want to ask about it just to be sure. Especially in racing games and flight sims, there might be a higher probability of a multi panel display, whether that's two or three panels, so I'm taking nothing for granted when somebody doesn't just come right out and say exactly what it is they have and how it will be used.

Your experiences might be different, and that's fine, but really I'm not sure why you want to argue the point in the first place. It can never hurt to ask for clarification and, let's just NOT assume anything when it comes to what somebody might or might not be doing with their system and hardware. Doing so, will tend to bite you in the arse every so often.
 

kiwis

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So if I was to go above the 2060Super and "future proof" for upcoming games, what would be the go-to card now?

Unlikely to do this but curious on the price difference.

And I realise you can't really future proof in tech specs as it's constantly improving, it's just a saying. Please let's not overthink that one :)
 

Darkbreeze

Retired Mod
Ok, we won't overthink that one, but you're right, there's no such thing. There is only "make relevant for as long as possible".

Even that is limited to a degree because in most cases the hardware will fail and need to be replaced before it becomes obsolete in most cases. Not always to be sure, but when it comes to graphics cards, especially gaming cards, it usually is.

I don't think there is ANY reason to go beyond the 2060 Super for "future proofing" if you plan to stay at 1080p. If however you plan to upgrade to a higher resolution display, 1440p or 4k, then you will ABSOLUTELY want a better card.

I have a 2060 Super and it does ok at 1440p, but in a year or two it will probably start requiring me to drop settings to a degree that I don't want to have to do. Had I planned to upgrade to a 1440p display when I bought that graphics card, I'd have probably opted for a 2070 Super. If you plan to EVER move to a 4k display, then you want the biggest card you can get which of course right now would be either the 2080 Super or TI. Even then, you are not going to see Ultra gaming at 4k on most demanding titles, but it will get you close and it will get you ultra on less demanding titles. I'm sure you probably dont' plan to move to 4k gaming, but it's good to know the facts anyhow so you understand your options and the bigger picture.

2070 Super will likely give you Ultra gaming on the most demanding titles for a while at least, at 1440p. At 1080p, it would give you Ultra gaming on everything, at least from the GPU side of things.
 

xravenxdota

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If you go anything higher than 1080p(1440p)then there's no difference between a 2600 and 3600.If it's for 1080p only i would rather go for the 3600 or the X and 2060 super.They are a great combo.I run witha 1070 ti cause of the prices of the rtx card in my country(it's double the price of my 1070 ti)You don't want to go big and also not to little.

It's a perfect combo to pair together.If you feel you will need the extra cores then by all means go for it but the price difference is huge.

PS:Guys you know some games are well optimized for dual monitors right?One just game is grid motorsport.I played it with dual monitor and 1080p with a gtx 1050 ti my 1070 ti will crush it on max settings easily
 

kiwis

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Ok, we won't overthink that one, but you're right, there's no such thing. There is only "make relevant for as long as possible".

Even that is limited to a degree because in most cases the hardware will fail and need to be replaced before it becomes obsolete in most cases. Not always to be sure, but when it comes to graphics cards, especially gaming cards, it usually is.

I don't think there is ANY reason to go beyond the 2060 Super for "future proofing" if you plan to stay at 1080p. If however you plan to upgrade to a higher resolution display, 1440p or 4k, then you will ABSOLUTELY want a better card.

I have a 2060 Super and it does ok at 1440p, but in a year or two it will probably start requiring me to drop settings to a degree that I don't want to have to do. Had I planned to upgrade to a 1440p display when I bought that graphics card, I'd have probably opted for a 2070 Super. If you plan to EVER move to a 4k display, then you want the biggest card you can get which of course right now would be either the 2080 Super or TI. Even then, you are not going to see Ultra gaming at 4k on most demanding titles, but it will get you close and it will get you ultra on less demanding titles. I'm sure you probably dont' plan to move to 4k gaming, but it's good to know the facts anyhow so you understand your options and the bigger picture.

2070 Super will likely give you Ultra gaming on the most demanding titles for a while at least, at 1440p. At 1080p, it would give you Ultra gaming on everything, at least from the GPU side of things.
Narr that's a perfect reply. I don't really need to go beyond 1080p at this stage. I'm not into gaming that much.

I'm keen to see what MS Flight Simulator offers later in the year but can't wait until those requirements come out to replace my system.

Sounds like a 2060Super with a 3600X is a good option for now.
 

thekillerx10

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Narr that's a perfect reply. I don't really need to go beyond 1080p at this stage. I'm not into gaming that much.

I'm keen to see what MS Flight Simulator offers later in the year but can't wait until those requirements come out to replace my system.

Sounds like a 2060Super with a 3600X is a good option for now.
what about getting rx 5700 xt and the normal 3600, the 3600x is basically the same cpu with some overclock that you can do manually on a normal one, and i think now the rx 5700 xt is even cheaper here you can see a gaming test for both cards the rx 5700 xt is better than 2060 super in almost every game:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbi_-08CMN0&t=19s
 

Darkbreeze

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the normal 3600, the 3600x is basically the same cpu with some overclock
That's wrong. They are not the same CPU with "some overclock". They are completely different pieces of silicon. By your assessment, every CPU in the Ryzen 3000 family would be the "same CPU with some overclock" or "some extra cores". And that's really not accurate. There are a variety of different considerations from one model to the next, but I don't have time to get into that part of the discussion here.

The cost of the two is almost identical. There is a 40 dollar difference. If you want to overclock the 3600 to get the same performance as the 3600x you are going to spend MORE for adequate case and CPU cooling that the 40 bucks difference between those two CPUs AND there are no guarantees you'll even manage to get a satisfactory overclock because overclocking on R3 is mostly a no go because they are binned almost without any available headroom to do so. So without a piece of silicon able to achieve what the 3600x does in it's stock or PBO configuration, you are unlikely to be able to do so without paying some penalty. Just not worth it to save forty bucks. A good CPU cooler costs more than that.
 

thekillerx10

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That's wrong. They are not the same CPU with "some overclock". They are completely different pieces of silicon. By your assessment, every CPU in the Ryzen 3000 family would be the "same CPU with some overclock" or "some extra cores". And that's really not accurate. There are a variety of different considerations from one model to the next, but I don't have time to get into that part of the discussion here.

The cost of the two is almost identical. There is a 40 dollar difference. If you want to overclock the 3600 to get the same performance as the 3600x you are going to spend MORE for adequate case and CPU cooling that the 40 bucks difference between those two CPUs AND there are no guarantees you'll even manage to get a satisfactory overclock because overclocking on R3 is mostly a no go because they are binned almost without any available headroom to do so. So without a piece of silicon able to achieve what the 3600x does in it's stock or PBO configuration, you are unlikely to be able to do so without paying some penalty. Just not worth it to save forty bucks. A good CPU cooler costs more than that.
i meant that the price that you pay for the x varient is not worth it cuz you can get it by overclocking that's what i meant, i meant you can get the same cpu performance not exactly the same cpu, i would pay for the normal 3600 and save the 40 bucks

but do you agree with me about the rx 5700 xt idea?
 

kiwis

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what about getting rx 5700 xt and the normal 3600, the 3600x is basically the same cpu with some overclock that you can do manually on a normal one, and i think now the rx 5700 xt is even cheaper here you can see a gaming test for both cards the rx 5700 xt is better than 2060 super in almost every game:

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbi_-08CMN0&t=19s
https://www.videocardbenchmark.net/compare/GeForce-GTX-1660-Ti-vs-GeForce-RTX-2060-SUPER-vs-Radeon-RX-5700-XT/4045vs4117vs4111

It's an extra $100+ and I don't really see much of an improvement for the extra money.

what power supply do you have??
600W currently, will be using my current one so I can spend that money elsewhere for now but will upgrade in due course.
 
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CPU means very little gaming so Intel or amd...your choice. Some reconditioned 10cores on amazon that are cheap but really at 1920x1080 4c cpus are fine with gtx 1660 super. Heck with plays most game with 4c and a 1050ti so really depends on resolution and you plan to upgrade to.
 

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