Question Is it worth upgrading my graphics card or should I upgrade my CPU first?

Feb 11, 2019
My current specs:

Motherboard = ASUS P8H61-MX R2.0
GPU = EVGA GeForce GTX 970
CPU = Intel(R) Core i5-3470 @ 3.20GHz
Ram = 8GB DDR3
SSD = Samsung Evo 970 Evo 500gb
PSU = Corsair Hx520w Modular PSU

I want to upgrade to a RTX 2070 gfx card , but I was wondering how serious the (inevitable) bottleneck from my CPU might be, and whether it might be worth investing in a processor instead?
Feb 11, 2019
What is your monitor's refresh rate and resolution?
What games are you playing?

Discard "bottleneck" from your vocabulary, as whatever restrictions occur could well be attributable to things other than CPU.
My main monitor is a Dell S2716DG 27" 144hz 1ms.

Apex Legends, WoW, Pubg, Fifa 19 and Metro Exodus / other upcoming titles.

And alright will do!

EDIT: I am finding that my cpu isn't maxing out even though its incredibly dated in games like WoW and LoL, is it worth chipping in for the GFX and postponing the CPU upgrade?
I think so - using something like HWInfo to graph your GPU and CPU utilization over time would confirm it, though.

Of course, different games have different demands that they put on video cards.

But, assuming your CPU doesn't generally max out, given your monitor's resolution, high refresh rate, and that it has GSync, a higher end video card would probably help, as your existing one is more or less at the level of averaging 60fps with high details at 1920x1080.

I guess, what's your goal? Do you want high details, or high speed, or both, at 2560x1440? Do you actually want to hit over 100fps? etc.
Feb 11, 2019
My aim is to have high details and high speed in single player story-driven games and high speed in competitive multiplayer games... However I believe I'm going to go with getting the GFX card for now and wait a few more months to get my CPU upgrade!

Doing this because I believe the gfx card will compliment the greater detail in games on my monitor, even if there is a bit of a restriction on my fps until I get the CPU.
Seems like the way to go, but couldn't hurt to run HWInfo and graph CPU/GPU usage, just to be sure.

However, given that you're running 2560x1440 with high refresh, it seems like you're going to need some hefty graphics hardware - if I were to ballpark it, I'd say minimum GTX1080 or RTX2070.


Jun 11, 2004
As @King_V implied, the term 'bottleneck' is thrown around way too much. I would upgrade the video card now and save up for other components later. One 'issue' is that you've got a good monitor. ;) QHD resolution at 144hz is going to tax even good gaming systems, depending on the game. Maybe try aiming for a consistent 75fps and locking your vsync there instead of aiming for 144?

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