[SOLVED] GTX 960 2gb holding back new monitor

LSITDude

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My old 27" 1080p monitor gave up the ghost and I had to buy a new one. I picked up an LG32gn63T 1440p from Costco (for their generous return policy) but now my old GTX 960 2gb is not powerful enough for it. I think I need to upgrade GPU and need some recommendations.
My Rig:
i5-2500k o.c.'d to 4.2GHz
P67A-GD65 (MS-7681) mb
960 GTX 2gb GPU
16gb DDR3 memory
Samsung Evo 250 ssd
750w PC Power & Cooling PS
I guess my real questions are how badly will a newer generation video card be held back by my system? Whats the best bang for the buck GPU that will work in my rig/run that monitor at full resolution (2560x1440, 165hz)? OR should I just downgrade that 32"1440 monitor to a 27" 1080p one?
I'm doing AutoCAD work and playing games such as Guild Wars 2/Borderlands series (which my old gpu runs smoothly).
 
I'm on bios 4.3 fyi. Should I go for the Xeon E3-1270 v2 or thr 3770k. Are they both really just drop in replacements? Also, I have an nice aftermarket tower cooler ( cm212) so heat should not be an issue. both cpu's seem to be priced similarly on Ebay (3day ship). Sorry for typo's...middle finger in splint for trigger finger.
Both are drop in parts with your current bios
which to chose depends on the price
I'd pay a bit more to be able to overclock with the 3770k, but not double.
The xeons don't have integrated graphics either unless you get the 1275v2
 
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tennis2

Judicious
An i5-2500K is pretty long in the tooth. Depending on what game(s) you're playing, it may limit your FPS to as much as 50% of the full potential, but sometimes less reduction.

This chart has pretty much every (current gen) GPU that should be used for 1440p gaming. Note these are tests using "ULTRA" quality settings, which isn't necessary. I'd personally shoot for a RTX3060Ti or RX6700XT as a baseline for 1440p gaming, and not to exceed RTX3070Ti or RX6800

 

Eximo

Titan
Ambassador
Agreed, you should consider a full system replacement in the not too distant future.

DDR4 or DDR5, NVMe storage, 6, 8, 12, and 16 core CPUs available. Missing out on a lot of new stuff.

You might pick yourself up a used i7-2600K. Wouldn't cost too much and it would be a minor boost to gaming and workstation tasks. (Sadly your motherboard doesn't show support for an i7-3770k)

Bigger screens are good for CAD, I would keep it.
 

jasonf2

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Regardless of what you put on that motherboard you aren't going to be able to push framerates even comparable to the chart listed from tennis2. Back in the Sandybridge days Intel had a strong enough IPC lead that they they continued holding to an established a 4 cores are best for gaming mindset that started with 920 I7 launch. By spec it worked for quite a while beyond sandybridge. When AMD came out with the first Zen architecture with an IPC that was on par with Intel and higher core counts for less money the minimum core counts for optimal gaming changed. Today I would not suggest anything less than 6 real cores with high frequency capability for a gaming PC, especially if trying to drive higher frame rates. It is not unusual to have machines with more than 12-16 cores that quite frankly have significantly better performance on a per core basis than your 4 core (without hyperthreading) part. All you will do by going to the I7 chip is add Hyperthreading, but still be capped at 4 very old Intel cores. Don't get me wrong the I7 upgrade will increase your machines performance, just not enough to get you within range of an average PC GPU performance chart today built on modern archs. Also alot of those charts are created on benchmark PCs that are based on really good hardware tweaked by people that know what they are doing, not just your mainstream stuff, so they can be pretty misleading.
 
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The motherboard supports Ivy Bridge with a BIOS update, so consider getting an i7-3770K as well.

Also alot of those charts are created on benchmark PCs that are based on really good hardware tweaked by people that know what they are doing, not just your mainstream stuff, so they can be pretty misleading.
Most professional review sites use the default settings of their hardware to ensure a fair comparison. They may do testing with overclocking, but they usually clearly mark that.

What's misleading is trying to use Userbenchmark or 3DMark leaderboards.
 

tennis2

Judicious
Just want to clarify that moar coarz alone doesn't necessarily translate into higher FPS. There's still frequency, IPC, cache, etc that factors into straight gaming performance. Most* games don't scale much/well past....6-8 threads, which is why the 4c/8t Intel 10th gen and newer i3's score so well on performance and value. Online gameplay, streaming, etc can add additional CPU load, so I'd also recommend at least a 6c/12t CPU if you're doing a system replacement but little/no need to go past 8c/16t.


 

tennis2

Judicious
The motherboard supports Ivy Bridge with a BIOS update, so consider getting an i7-3770K as well.
Depending on the cost***

I upgraded from an i5-3570K to an i7-3770 (that I could OC to 4.2GHz all-core with my Z77 mobo) because the i7 only cost $50, then subsequently sold my i5 for nearly the same, so it was nearly a net-zero upgrade. Having those extra cores was a big bump in performance that allowed me to kick the can down the road for a couple years. But my Ryzen 5600G boosted my FPS (in the couple games I tested) by about 1.5x compared to the i7-3770.
 

jasonf2

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The motherboard supports Ivy Bridge with a BIOS update, so consider getting an i7-3770K as well.


Most professional review sites use the default settings of their hardware to ensure a fair comparison. They may do testing with overclocking, but they usually clearly mark that.

What's misleading is trying to use Userbenchmark or 3DMark leaderboards.
Agreed. Userbench and 3dMark are mostly what you will find when you do a generic search for it unfortunately, especially on older hardware. Even with professional review sites though the benchmark hardware is almost always on the higher performance side with decent motherboards. It is pretty rare to have GPU benchmark data generated from entry level CPU SKUs or 5 year old hardware.
 
If you are looking for the "best bang for the buck" GPU, you should keep in mind that most mid-range to lower-end graphics cards currently offer fairly mediocre value on a price-to-performance ratio. Cryptocurrency miners messed up the graphics card market early last year, resulting in prices that were around double MSRP for many months, and prices are still on their way to recovery. Cards have been plummeting in price over the last few months, with many of the highest-end models returning to not much more than the prices they should be at, but mainstream cards haven't fully recovered yet. The situation is a lot better than it was last year, or even a couple months back, but still the value isn't great, with some cards offering worse performance at their price point than what was available half a decade ago. I would say overall the prices of most cards are still around 25-30% higher than they should be.

Of course, you didn't mention how much you were considering spending on the upgrade. While there are certainly cards that will be great for running most games at 1440p with high settings around the $400+ range, you might see a decent improvement even with cards priced somewhat below that. Your GTX 960 2GB was likely already struggling with some newer games even at 1080p, and framerates at 1440p will typically be around 30% lower at the same settings, or worse still if the card lacks sufficient VRAM. I would look for a card with at least 6GB of VRAM for 1440p, and 8+GB would likely remain relevant longer in future games.

Something like an RTX 2060 might be around the minimum you would want to consider, and it's currently possible to find some 6GB models of that card for not much more than $300. The 3050 8GB offers a little more VRAM for a similar price, but it's also generally around 10-15% slower in most games, and there are 12GB 2060s for not much more. The cheapest 3060 cards are currently priced around $400, and can be around 25% faster than a base 2060. And a 3060 Ti should be around 25% faster than a 3060 (non-Ti), but those are currently priced in the $500+ range. Back to the pricing situation I mentioned before, the launch MSRPs for these 30-series cards were supposed to be $250 for the 3050, $330 for the 3060, and $400 for the 3060 Ti, but you still can't find those cards for anything close to those prices.

As for the rest of the system, sure, it's going to limit performance in some titles. Especially if you are interested in running games at high frame rates to take advantage of the screen's high refresh rate. I suspect performance would be decent enough in most titles, but frame rates may be inconsistent in some newer games that can overwhelm a processor with only four threads. The prior suggestion for picking up a used i7 might be worth considering if you don't want to spend much to replace your existing CPU, motherboard and RAM right now. You could always try your i5 first though, to see what it can do. The majority of games would probably still be "okay" with it, and at the very least, your performance shouldn't be any worse than what you were getting with your existing card at 1080p. Compared to somewhat newer processors from the last few years, an overclocked i5-2500 should perform roughly in the vicinity of an i3-9100. And an overclocked i7-3770K would likely perform more like an i3-10100, which similarly brought i3s up to 4 cores with 8 threads.
 

Math Geek

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one point everyone often forgets is that higher resolution actually shifts the workload to the gpu a lot more. that's why cpu testing is done at 1080p so the cpu can flex it's muscle. fps gaps shrink real fast at 1400p and up.

so yes, that cpu is very old and WILL hold back modern games, but the higher resolution to 1440p will negate some of that. assuming of course that the game will even run on the cpu as some games need much newer cpu's to even run.

i'd get more gpu that your system can handle right now anyway, so you can upgrade your system down the line and not have to worry about the gpu at that time. sure it will be bottlenecked by the cpu right now but when you upgrade (hopefully soon) you won't have to buy a gpu again and can simply move the new one to the new build.
 
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tennis2

Judicious
Even with professional review sites though the benchmark hardware is almost always on the higher performance side with decent motherboards. It is pretty rare to have GPU benchmark data generated from entry level CPU SKUs or 5 year old hardware.
GPUs are typically tested with at/near the fastest available CPU (at the time) at the highest quality settings to remove as much CPU limitations as possible. Similarly, CPUs are tested with the fastest possible GPU at 1080p to allow FPS to go as high as possible to show differences in potential performance. Anywhere between those extremes (especially with large hardware combinations) makes for the possibility of misleading data. There's a fair amount of benchmark data on YouTube of people running only a couple CPUs or GPUs through many games at varying quality/resolutions if you want to drill deeper. Past that point, it's really just a matter of buying what you can afford.
 

LSITDude

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Thanks for all the responses! I was thinking of spending around $300 for a GPU. But then I tried using AutoCAD and it worked out pretty well (I didn't notice any difference in performance). Now with GW2 I had to lower the eye candy a bit but it's working good too. This is all running at 2560x1440 120hz). I know at some point in the near future I'm going to need to do a serious overall upgrade so I think I'll wait and see if all theses GPU prices go down. When they do maybe I'll upgrade the GPU (maybe even whole system) then.
 

tennis2

Judicious
Thanks for all the responses! I was thinking of spending around $300 for a GPU. But then I tried using AutoCAD and it worked out pretty well (I didn't notice any difference in performance).
Depends on what CAD you do. I work mostly in 2D, so I don't have to deal with 3D surfaces/shading/etc, and I can move CAD between my 1080p and 1440p monitor with no difference in performance while running off my i7-8665U (laptop) IGP.
 
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okay

you need a 4 core 8 thread cpu
luckily those old xeons are drop in parts for your motherboard

41 USD pcie 3.0 ddr 1600 support 4 cores 8 threads 3.4Ghz
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005004092199557.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.7ef17972nPuQ32&algo_pvid=5ba4582e-306b-43d7-8552-0120e574c17f&algo_exp_id=5ba4582e-306b-43d7-8552-0120e574c17f-1&pdp_ext_f={"sku_id":"12000028006485451"}&pdp_npi=2@dis!USD!!41.12!!!!!@2103250d16567635157053119e3e16!12000028006485451!sea

be very cheap 29 usd

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000044745870.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.66f15a82jev60m&algo_pvid=5947420c-c766-4401-b5cf-778d07cef725&algo_exp_id=5947420c-c766-4401-b5cf-778d07cef725-0&pdp_ext_f={"sku_id":"10000000102220953"}&pdp_npi=2@dis!USD!!29.53!!!5.76!!@210318c216567637354421875e710b!10000000102220953!sea

the extra threads will make your day

as you are willing and able to overclock a 2600k or 2700k might suite you well
2600k can really take the voltage... 1 guy on this forum is still plugging away @ 5Ghz on one of these and if I remember its on a 140 mm aio. 3770k is great and offers additional support for pcie 3.0 but is known to not take voltage quite as well as the 32 nm chips from sandybridge so they top out at around 4.4Ghz

I've ordered from aliexpress it takes a while and is cheap. I was a gaming on a 1270v2 @ 1080p until last year and was completely satisfied with its performance when paired with a 4 gb rx570

try not to waste money
 
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LSITDude

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I'm on bios 4.3 fyi. Should I go for the Xeon E3-1270 v2 or thr 3770k. Are they both really just drop in replacements? Also, I have an nice aftermarket tower cooler ( cm212) so heat should not be an issue. both cpu's seem to be priced similarly on Ebay (3day ship). Sorry for typo's...middle finger in splint for trigger finger.
 
I'm on bios 4.3 fyi. Should I go for the Xeon E3-1270 v2 or thr 3770k. Are they both really just drop in replacements? Also, I have an nice aftermarket tower cooler ( cm212) so heat should not be an issue. both cpu's seem to be priced similarly on Ebay (3day ship). Sorry for typo's...middle finger in splint for trigger finger.
Both are drop in parts with your current bios
which to chose depends on the price
I'd pay a bit more to be able to overclock with the 3770k, but not double.
The xeons don't have integrated graphics either unless you get the 1275v2
 
Reactions: LSITDude

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