GPU upgrade from a 970 advice.

daynwsowulf

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Feb 25, 2015
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This is my first ever gaming PC I've built, it has a GTX 970 paired with an Intel Core i7 4790 (non K version). It was a beast few years ago, now things have changed and it's showing how fast it's aging with newer games not performing to my liking. It's time for an upgrade and I've been wondering if all I need is a graphics card replacement? I have some doubts and conflicting thoughts and I thought maybe I could ask some of the experienced people of this forum for an advice at two.

I'm aiming at a RTX 2070, however CPUs have evolved quite a lot recently and I was wondering if my i7 4790 would still handle a 2070 on modern games.

Better a 2060 or a 2070?

I'm not that "hardcore" into gaming 144hz is not my thing so 1080p 60FPS is what I look for and I know a 2070 is a 1440p or 4K card and playing at lower resolution could mean a heavier bottleneck, but I always play with vsync on or I could use a custom resolution.

I thank you for taking your time to read this and share your thoughts you make this place ever better to visit. Have a nice day.
 

13thmonkey

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I think a 2060 will be a sidegrade and not an upgrade, 2070 or don't bother as it's not worth it.

Look at your CPU and GPU utilisation which is highest, that's where you'll get the benefit. Bear in mind that you can turn GPU settings down, there's not much you can do to help the CPU out.
 


You mean the 970? Yeah, it's still pretty decent for 1080/60 and has 4gb of vram which is enough for that res.

 

daynwsowulf

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It's somewhat decent still on many games but try playing Assassin's Creed Odyssey at 60 FPS, or Kingdom Come Deliverance at 1080p, these are games I really like, RPGs, and playing them at full glory would bring me a lot of joy haha I know I could lower some settings but why so when I have room to get a new card that can run them at Max. Kingdom come has excellent textures at Max and it's a shame I can't use them.
 

daynwsowulf

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Yeah CPU usage is pretty high however GPU usage too. But Assassin's Creed Odyssey aside, Most Recent games exceed the 4GB ram of the 970 easily on 1080p with the RE 2 Remake or Shadow of the tomb raider being the biggest offenders. Whenever I hit the 3.9GB VRAM mark on RE 2 Remake there's a huge FPS drop from 60 to constant 28 no matter where I look, likely due to it using the slower 500MB that the 970 is infamous of having. Also another concern are upcoming games cyberpunk 2077, look at anthem it's gorgeous and I'm afraid the 970 will have a hard time running that at 1080p, also with the next gen around the corner, an upgrade will be inevitable.
 

13thmonkey

Titan
Moderator
The concern is that the CPU is so close behind the GPU in terms of utilisation that buying one will yield very little improvement.

Imagine 2 pipes, one can flow 5gallons a second and the other 6 gallons a second, but you need both to make it work, and so overall you get 5gallons per second.
You make the 5 bigger, and go to 10, you'll still only get 6 as an output.

Now you'll fix the bogging down through Vram issue, but that's all. Just make sure your expectations of what you can achieve are realistic.
 


Are you having a beer! ;) I'm struggling to make sense of that analogy. Actually, maybe that's because I'm having a beer! Joking of course :)

Hmmm. that CPU is pretty well balanced with the 970. Not so much with anything above that.

To the OP. Getting a 2060/2070 although will help for a bump in FPS in some games, will still be held back by your CPU, given the games you mentioned in your last post.

If i were you, I'd take a RTX2060 now, enjoy the gaming for a year or two (your cpu is still relevant), and then after that you need to look at a platform upgrade (CPU/Ram/Mobo) and use some of your existing hardware (HD/SSD/PSU/Case/Fans) for a new build.

You'd be very surprised what you can with 400-500 for a new base system, that along with your RTX2060 (or whatever you choose) and with some good choices, will give you a great gaming system at 1080p/1440p for a couple of more years.
 

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