Question Graphics card Upgrade for Core i7 3930k System?

ankydu

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I have a 8 yrs old system with the following configuration :

Processor: Intel Core i7 3930k (Hexa Core @3.2Ghz)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro
RAM: 16 Gb (4x4gb) Gskills Z series DDR3
Gfx Card: Zotac Gtx 670 amp edition 2gb (Died)
PSU: Corsair TX750 750watt
Cabinet: Coolermaster HAF X
Hdd: 1tb WD Black, 500gb WD Green
Monitor: Dell 2707 WFP 1920x1200 with Dvi in (no hdmi)

Recently my Graphics card died. Now am looking for a new replacement card for atleast next 3 to 4 years. My main usages are gaming with preferably high to ultra settings and Editing with Adobe photoshop, Coreldraw and a bit of Adobe Premiere video stuff.

I basically want a future proof card for this build and I do not wish to upgrade anything else unless something dies.
I shortlisted:
  1. Zotac GTX 1660 Super amp edition with 6gb GDDR6 ram @ $271 USD
  2. Zotac RTX 2060 WITH 6gb GDDR6 ram @ $346 USD
I mainly shortlisted zotac because of their 5 yrs warranty compared to 3yrs from others.
I am confused because I want a future proof card but don't know if the rest of the system might be a bottleneck for these cards and also if I get the 2060, will the 6gb ram prove to be a bottleneck in future games for the card itself and should I invest so much in a gfx card for such an older system?
Please advise.
 
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Cere

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I have a 8 yrs old system with the following configuration :

Processor: Intel Core i7 3930k (Hexa Core @3.2Ghz)
Motherboard: Asus P9X79 Pro
RAM: 16 Gb (4x4gb) Gskills Z series DDR3
Gfx Card: Zotac Gtx 670 amp edition 2gb (Died)
Cabinet: Coolermaster HAF X
Hdd: 1tb WD Black, 500gb WD Green
Monitor: Dell 2707 WFP 1920x1200 with Dvi in (no hdmi)

Recently my Graphics card died. Now am looking for a new replacement card for atleast next 3 to 4 years. My main usages are gaming with preferably high to ultra settings and Editing with Adobe photoshop, Coreldraw and a bit of Adobe Premiere video stuff.

I basically want a future proof card for this build and I do not wish to upgrade anything else unless something dies.
I shortlisted:
  1. Zotac GTX 1660 Super amp edition with 6gb GDDR6 ram @ $271 USD
  2. Zotac RTX 2060 WITH 6gb GDDR6 ram @ $346 USD
I mainly shortlisted zotac because of their 5 yrs warranty compared to 3yrs from others.
I am confused because I want a future proof card but don't know if the rest of the system might be a bottleneck for these cards and also if I get the 2060, will the 6gb ram prove to be a bottleneck in future games for the card itself and should I invest so much in a gfx card for such an older system?
Please advise.
I wouldn't buy a 2060 personally. If you want a 20 series, at least get the 2060 SUPER. Reason being is it's usually about the same price and it uses the 2080 chipset with added niceties. This would also future proof you for at least 3-4 years in not longer.
the 1660 SUPER is only good if you want to save money, but not really guaranteeing it will hang for 3-4 years.
 

RTX 2080

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Two important things to note here:

A.) You mentioned that your monitor is DVI, not HDMI, which means that you need a card with a DVI port. The Zotac RTX 2060 comes with only HDMI and Displayport connections.

B.) Bottlenecking happens when your CPU can't keep up with your GPU. Yes, you are going to have a more powerful GPU than CPU, but since your monitor can't go above a 60 hz refresh rate, your new GPU isn't going to be producing enough frames for your CPU to not be able to keep up. If you upgrade to a higher refresh rate monitor in the future, say a 1080 144 hz monitor, then you might have a problem.

I agree with Cere; a 2060 Super will age better than the regular 2060 due to the 8 GB of memory. I'm guessing in a few years 6 GB is going to be running into the same ceilings that we are seeing with 4 GB cards right now. If you really don't want to spend the extra $ for a 2060 super, the EVGA 2060 KO comes with a DVI port and its only $300. I personally own one, does the job just fine.
 
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ankydu

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I'm guessing your monitor is 60 hz?
Yes.

I wouldn't buy a 2060 personally. If you want a 20 series, at least get the 2060 SUPER. Reason being is it's usually about the same price and it uses the 2080 chipset with added niceties. This would also future proof you for at least 3-4 years in not longer.
the 1660 SUPER is only good if you want to save money, but not really guaranteeing it will hang for 3-4 years.
Here in my place 2060 Super is minimum $500 USD. Its kinda out of budget for me.

Two important things to note here:

A.) You mentioned that your monitor is DVI, not HDMI, which means that you need a card with a DVI port. The Zotac RTX 2060 comes with only HDMI and Displayport connections.

B.) Bottlenecking happens when your CPU can't keep up with your GPU. Yes, you are going to have a more powerful GPU than CPU, but since your monitor can't go above a 60 hz refresh rate, your new GPU isn't going to be producing enough frames for your CPU to not be able to keep up. If you upgrade to a higher refresh rate monitor in the future, say a 1080 144 hz monitor, then you might have a problem.

I agree with Cere; a 2060 Super will age better than the regular 2060 due to the 8 GB of memory. I'm guessing in a few years 6 GB is going to be running into the same ceilings that we are seeing with 4 GB cards right now. If you really don't want to spend the extra $ for a 2060 super, the EVGA 2060 KO comes with a DVI port and its only $300. I personally own one, does the job just fine.
In my case I will be using a HDMI to DVI converter cable available on Amazon from Blue rigger or Amazon BASICS as both 1660 and 2060 based cards only have Display ports or HDMI ports. EVGA is not available in my country.
 

RTX 2080

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Out of the 1660 Super and 2060 with 6 gb ram, which according to you is more value for money?
Well, userbenchmark says that the 2060 has a 22% better effective speed, and comparing the prices you mentioned, the 2060 is about 28% more expensive. So technically the 1660 super is a slightly better value.

However, buying the 2060 will let you run your games at higher settings (which you mentioned you like) without dropping below 60 fps; having that extra headroom means that you'll be able to do that for longer than you would be able to with the 1660 super, which is what you're trying to do: buy a good card that'll last you for a long time. The value is similar for both of them and the 2060 will provide you with an acceptable experience for longer, thus saving you the need to upgrade your card down the road as soon as you would with the 1660 super. Just my 2 cents.
 
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RTX 2080

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Why not go for Sapphire RX 5600 XT with their new bios. It outperform RTX 2060. Its cheaper too 290$
I have heard (not personal experience) that Nvidia cards generally work better for GPU accelerated video editing type stuff. I found an article that bears this out with one of the pieces of software he says that he likes to use: https://www.pugetsystems.com/recommended/Recommended-Systems-for-Adobe-Premiere-Pro-143/Hardware-Recommendations#GPU
Does Premiere Pro run better with NVIDIA or AMD?
For Premiere Pro, we have seen consistently higher performance with an NVIDIA GeForce/Quadro cards than with a comparably priced AMD Radeon/Radeon Pro card. Because of this, we highly recommend that you use an NVIDIA-based card for Premiere Pro.

Also, the userbenchmark scores between the 2060 and 5600 XT are mostly a wash, but the paragraph describing the 5600 XT isn't the most flattering:

"The 6GB AMD 5600 XT is a slightly cheaper, BIOS restricted, version of the 8GB 5700. The majority of 5600 XT’s should operate reasonably quietly as the single fan reference design was skipped for this release. Although the reference design is absent there are, however, several variants which range in performance between the GTX 1660S and the RTX 2060. Performance is more varied than usual because of last minute BIOS changes. The best versions of the 5600 XT (Sapphire Pulse) were distributed to reviewers (good luck finding one of these at MSRP). These models are capable, with BIOS updates, of performance that almost matches the RTX 2060. At $280 USD the higher performing SKUs could make sense for users that are happy to tinker with or return faulty hardware. During our GTAV testing reflection MSAA resulted in very poor, almost matt, reflection fidelity (the same bug appears on several Navi and Vega cards). Whilst playing Project Cars 2 our 5600 XT PC crashed several times. Given the vast number of software (and hardware) problems since day one of the 5000 series launch, it’s ironic that AMD’s latest 20.1.3 driver does not even offer an option to skip the installation of a boatload of new system shortcuts, gimmicks and other bloatware. [Jan '20 GPUPro] "

Seeing the driver problems (some of which I hear AMD has yet to fix), uncertainty as to which bios the various 5600 XT's are running, along with the better performance of the 2060 in creative applications, I'd pick the 2060.
 

Cere

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I have heard (not personal experience) that Nvidia cards generally work better for GPU accelerated video editing type stuff. I found an article that bears this out with one of the pieces of software he says that he likes to use: https://www.pugetsystems.com/recommended/Recommended-Systems-for-Adobe-Premiere-Pro-143/Hardware-Recommendations#GPU
Does Premiere Pro run better with NVIDIA or AMD?
For Premiere Pro, we have seen consistently higher performance with an NVIDIA GeForce/Quadro cards than with a comparably priced AMD Radeon/Radeon Pro card. Because of this, we highly recommend that you use an NVIDIA-based card for Premiere Pro.

Also, the userbenchmark scores between the 2060 and 5600 XT are mostly a wash, but the paragraph describing the 5600 XT isn't the most flattering:

"The 6GB AMD 5600 XT is a slightly cheaper, BIOS restricted, version of the 8GB 5700. The majority of 5600 XT’s should operate reasonably quietly as the single fan reference design was skipped for this release. Although the reference design is absent there are, however, several variants which range in performance between the GTX 1660S and the RTX 2060. Performance is more varied than usual because of last minute BIOS changes. The best versions of the 5600 XT (Sapphire Pulse) were distributed to reviewers (good luck finding one of these at MSRP). These models are capable, with BIOS updates, of performance that almost matches the RTX 2060. At $280 USD the higher performing SKUs could make sense for users that are happy to tinker with or return faulty hardware. During our GTAV testing reflection MSAA resulted in very poor, almost matt, reflection fidelity (the same bug appears on several Navi and Vega cards). Whilst playing Project Cars 2 our 5600 XT PC crashed several times. Given the vast number of software (and hardware) problems since day one of the 5000 series launch, it’s ironic that AMD’s latest 20.1.3 driver does not even offer an option to skip the installation of a boatload of new system shortcuts, gimmicks and other bloatware. [Jan '20 GPUPro] "

Seeing the driver problems (some of which I hear AMD has yet to fix), uncertainty as to which bios the various 5600 XT's are running, along with the better performance of the 2060 in creative applications, I'd pick the 2060.
NVIDIA definitely is better. I've used both cards and would prefer NVIDIA chipsets over the cheaper AMD versions. AMD has major issues when it comes to GPUs, always has. The below is a good comparison between all AMD and NVIDIA Card.

 

ankydu

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Dear @Cere and @RTX 2080. Thanks a lot for your valuable advices. I finally decided for the RTX 2060 with 6gb ram however when I was ordering even that is no longer available, the only thing available is RTX 2060 Super at almost twice the price of Gtx 1660 super. I also read that there are upcoming new architecture based graphics card from both AMD and nvidia. Due to my urgent requirement now I ended up ordering the 1660 super oc edition from zotac, thinking that once the new cards are out will get those after 1-2 yrs (no longer looking at 3-5 yrs upgrade cycle). Hope i dont have any problems with the 1660 super for next 2 yrs.

Also a little off topic i have also decided to add SSD storage to improve my system performance. However due to my old system I am stuck at sata only drive.
I have shortlisted and am confused between:

  1. Samsung 860 Pro 512gb (512mb ddr4 ram) - $178 USD
  2. Samsung 860 Evo 1 tb (1gb ddr4 ram) - $158 USD
Again my main preference is longevity and endurance. Can you please advise?
 

RTX 2080

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Dear @Cere and @RTX 2080. Thanks a lot for your valuable advices. I finally decided for the RTX 2060 with 6gb ram however when I was ordering even that is no longer available, the only thing available is RTX 2060 Super at almost twice the price of Gtx 1660 super. I also read that there are upcoming new architecture based graphics card from both AMD and nvidia. Due to my urgent requirement now I ended up ordering the 1660 super oc edition from zotac, thinking that once the new cards are out will get those after 1-2 yrs (no longer looking at 3-5 yrs upgrade cycle). Hope i dont have any problems with the 1660 super for next 2 yrs.

Also a little off topic i have also decided to add SSD storage to improve my system performance. However due to my old system I am stuck at sata only drive.
I have shortlisted and am confused between:

  1. Samsung 860 Pro 512gb (512mb ddr4 ram) - $178 USD
  2. Samsung 860 Evo 1 tb (1gb ddr4 ram) - $158 USD
Again my main preference is longevity and endurance. Can you please advise?
I'm glad to hear that you were able to get a 1660 super. Keeping it for a year or two and then upgrading sounds like a good plan.

I have experience with Samsung drives. They are basically sold in two form factors (SATA/860 vs NVMe/970) and each form factor comes in different memory types: Pro, Evo, or Qvo (the 970 only comes in pro and evo). Pro uses 2 bits per cell, Evo uses 3 bits per cell and qvo uses 4 bits per cell. The more bits per cell you use, the quicker the cells will wear out and the slower your read/write speed will be. However, the more bits per cell you use, the higher capacity you can make a drive for its size, thus reducing cost significantly. As a result, the qvo will give you lower speeds and longevity for a reduced price, Evo gives you better speed and longevity for more money, with pro giving you the best of everything for the highest price.

I know that I ranked the pro evo and qvo in terms of reliability, but even the qvo can have enormous amounts of data written and deleted from it over and over again without an issue; I have owned a Samsung 840 Pro, several 850 Evos, several 860 Evos, several 970 Evos, and most recently a 860 qvo. All of them have been reliable drives, so I would not base your purchase on that. Also, cells only wear out little by little when you write new data to them; reading data from a SSD has no impact on its longevity.

The main difference an average user will notice between these three is that when writing a large amount of files to the drive at once (like transferring a 50 GB file), the qvo will slow down part way through, the evo will also slow down part way through (but later than the qvo) and the pro will never slow down. Aside from this, you will probably never notice a difference between the three drives. Choosing one over the other will make a negligible difference on your game load times. Thus, I would recommend you either a 860 evo or 860 qvo in the largest size you can afford. Game install sizes just keep getting bigger after all.

The 860 Pro is a very nice drive for sure, but you won't be getting your moneys worth out of it; save the difference you would have spent on the pro for the next time you upgrade your gpu! ;)
 

ankydu

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I'm glad to hear that you were able to get a 1660 super. Keeping it for a year or two and then upgrading sounds like a good plan.

I have experience with Samsung drives. They are basically sold in two form factors (SATA/860 vs NVMe/970) and each form factor comes in different memory types: Pro, Evo, or Qvo (the 970 only comes in pro and evo). Pro uses 2 bits per cell, Evo uses 3 bits per cell and qvo uses 4 bits per cell. The more bits per cell you use, the quicker the cells will wear out and the slower your read/write speed will be. However, the more bits per cell you use, the higher capacity you can make a drive for its size, thus reducing cost significantly. As a result, the qvo will give you lower speeds and longevity for a reduced price, Evo gives you better speed and longevity for more money, with pro giving you the best of everything for the highest price.

I know that I ranked the pro evo and qvo in terms of reliability, but even the qvo can have enormous amounts of data written and deleted from it over and over again without an issue; I have owned a Samsung 840 Pro, several 850 Evos, several 860 Evos, several 970 Evos, and most recently a 860 qvo. All of them have been reliable drives, so I would not base your purchase on that. Also, cells only wear out little by little when you write new data to them; reading data from a SSD has no impact on its longevity.

The main difference an average user will notice between these three is that when writing a large amount of files to the drive at once (like transferring a 50 GB file), the qvo will slow down part way through, the evo will also slow down part way through (but later than the qvo) and the pro will never slow down. Aside from this, you will probably never notice a difference between the three drives. Choosing one over the other will make a negligible difference on your game load times. Thus, I would recommend you either a 860 evo or 860 qvo in the largest size you can afford. Game install sizes just keep getting bigger after all.

The 860 Pro is a very nice drive for sure, but you won't be getting your moneys worth out of it; save the difference you would have spent on the pro for the next time you upgrade your gpu! ;)
Again thanks for the reply. I know the Evo is the more value for money drive, but my main concern was (as I read online) with tlc drives there is a small limited slc cache for better speed, and when transferring large files, if the cache gets filled up it get slowed down very badly, no such issue with mlc drives like the 860 pro?
 

RTX 2080

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Very badly is an exaggeration. Yes, it slows down, but only after transferring a large amount of files continuously, and even then the speeds are still way faster than the speeds you see with a mechanical hard drive.

I spend lots of money making every part of my computer as fast as possible and I have only ever owned 1 Pro model drive: my desktop currently has a 2 TB 970 Evo, my laptop has a 1 TB 970 Evo Plus , my external m2 drive enclosure has a 1 TB 970 Evo, I have a spare 1 TB 860 Evo in my desk drawer, and my wife's external drive enclosure has a 4 TB 860 QVO. If there was a significant difference in how well they worked I wouldn't have kept buying them.

If you think you need it, then of course you should buy the Pro, I'd just hate to see you spend the extra cash to buy something you'll almost never see the benefit of. Just my 2 cents.
 
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ankydu

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Very badly is an exaggeration. Yes, it slows down, but only after transferring a large amount of files continuously, and even then the speeds are still way faster than the speeds you see with a mechanical hard drive.

I spend lots of money making every part of my computer as fast as possible and I have only ever owned 1 Pro model drive: my desktop currently has a 2 TB 970 Evo, my laptop has a 1 TB 970 Evo Plus , my external m2 drive enclosure has a 1 TB 970 Evo, I have a spare 1 TB 860 Evo in my desk drawer, and my wife's external drive enclosure has a 4 TB 860 QVO. If there was a significant difference in how well they worked I wouldn't have kept buying them.

If you think you need it, then of course you should buy the Pro, I'd just hate to see you spend the extra cash to buy something you'll almost never see the benefit of. Just my 2 cents.
So nice of you. Just 1 last question, can I install the nvme or pci drives in my existing system with some converter/accessory for an even faster performance? If yes then which one should I get?
 

RTX 2080

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I believe you can buy an adapter of sorts that allows you to plug a nvme drive into the same type of slot that your gpu plugs into, the pcie slot. If your motherboard has a spare pcie slot, then yes, I believe that with the right adapter you could then install a nvme drive and achieve faster speeds than you would with a SATA SSD.

Keep in mind I do not have experience with this, my nvme drives are connected directly to the motherboard in my laptop and my desktop. I would imagine that there will be a performance loss compared to having a dedicated m2 slot on your motherboard and I would imagine that some m2 to pcie adapters are better than others. Try reading a few reviews to see which ones work best.

The Samsung nvme drive to get is the 970 evo plus. Peak read/write speed is 3500 MB/s, just as fast as the 970 Pro and about 7 times as fast as either the 860 evo or 860 pro.
 

ankydu

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I believe you can buy an adapter of sorts that allows you to plug a nvme drive into the same type of slot that your gpu plugs into, the pcie slot. If your motherboard has a spare pcie slot, then yes, I believe that with the right adapter you could then install a nvme drive and achieve faster speeds than you would with a SATA SSD.

Keep in mind I do not have experience with this, my nvme drives are connected directly to the motherboard in my laptop and my desktop. I would imagine that there will be a performance loss compared to having a dedicated m2 slot on your motherboard and I would imagine that some m2 to pcie adapters are better than others. Try reading a few reviews to see which ones work best.

The Samsung nvme drive to get is the 970 evo plus. Peak read/write speed is 3500 MB/s, just as fast as the 970 Pro and about 7 times as fast as either the 860 evo or 860 pro.
Thanks again. But as per one of the other forum members reply connecting the 970 Evo plus via pcie converter limits its speed to sata III like levels, so I guess no point in investing so much to get slower speeds. I think I will finalize and order the 860 Evo 1tb as per your advice.
 

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