[SOLVED] Looking for a cpu upgrade

Uberrover

Commendable
Feb 15, 2017
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1,520
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Hey guys,
My battlefield 1 gameplay has always been bottlenecked by my i5 6600k. The cpu usage is always at 100%, while my gpu (gtx 1060 6gb) is usually at around 60-70% usage.
I have tried both overclocking the gpu and cpu. Overclocking the gpu with +150 core clock and +500 memory clock doesn't change fps much. I am running my cpu at 4.5 GHz at 1.32 V, which has caused some occasional crashes.
The fps I'm getting is usually around 80, but it doesn't feel smooth at all even at low graphics. I'm using a 144 hz monitor.

This is why I'm looking for a cpu upgrade. My budget is around 350 euros. My ultimate goal is to have 144 fps in every game I play, graphics settings are less important to me, but as high as possible is of course nice :)
My system specs are:
cpu: i5 6600k overclocked to 4.5 GHz 1.32 V
cpu cooler: Cooler Master Hyper 212X
gpu: MSI GAMING X 1060 6gb
ram: 16gb corsair vengeance 2133mhz
motherboard: ASrock z170 extreme 4

Most of the other games I play are usually not bottlenecked by my cpu, but I sometimes do have to close background applications to achieve perfect smoothness. I do also use my pc for schoolwork and video editing-and-rendering, but mostly for gaming.

The CPUs I'm currently looking at are the i5 9600k, i5 8600k (but that's more expensive for some reason), i7 8700k (but it's slightly out of my budget) and the Ryzen 5 2600x. I can't seem to make a good choice as I haven't really been following tech news recently because of my finals. So which one is most suitable for my setup and needs? :)

Thanks in advance
 

Lutfij

Titan
Moderator
If you intend to buy an 8th Gen or 9th Gen CPU, you're going to need a Z370/Z390 board, with a DDR4-3200MHz ram kit. Speaking of which, did you try using a DDR4-3200MHz ram kit on your current platform? I think you're best option is that with an i7-7700K.
 
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slavi_asenov2002

Prominent
Apr 11, 2018
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Yeah battlefield is a demanding game, so most of the games nowadays. I have a ryzen 5 2600 and it stays between 50-70% depending on the game title.
But in your case if you are using your computer only for games I would go for the 9600k/8600k because these cpu can handle RTX 2080 with ease.
If you are rendering editing and stuff, I will go for the Ryzen 5 2600x. The reason is that this CPU is way cheaper on the market, at least in the country i am. However I think the intels are better cpus overall.
Other topic is future proof. Ryzen is on AM4 socket, which will last until 2020 when Zen 3 is coming. If you want some future proof, or actually it just depends on your taste, go for the ryzen.
Also for me personally, I would wait another 2-3 months to see the Zen 2(3rd gen ryzen) if it performs better.
 
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slavi_asenov2002

Prominent
Apr 11, 2018
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If you intend to buy an 8th Gen or 9th Gen CPU, you're going to need a Z370/Z390 board, with a DDR4-3200MHz ram kit. Speaking of which, did you try using a DDR4-3200MHz ram kit on your current platform? I think you're best option is that with an i7-7700K.
Yes thats another issue buying 8th or 9th gen - money...
 

rigg42

Prominent
Oct 17, 2018
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You may well find yourself in the same situation in CPU demanding games in a few years with those 6c/6t intel CPU's if you plan to upgrade to a better GPU down the road. Any of these options will require a new motherboard. If you don't spend more money on a decent motherboard now you'll limit your options for future CPU upgrades as well. I doubt you'll even find a half decent b360/b365 mobo to pair with a 9600k/8600k within your budget. Even then you won't be able to use faster than 2666 Ram or have overclocking as an option. You'll probably want to upgrade that ram as well. This will essentially be required if switching to Ryzen. The performance on Ryzen is highly impacted by RAM speed.
 

davew1860

Proper
Feb 6, 2019
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Can you wait a few months? Third-generation Ryzen processor's should become available by then and will use an updated microarchitecture. This should also lower prices for the earlier Ryzen processors, including the 5 2600X
 
May 16, 2019
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It may be worth investing in some faster RAM for the time being. I'm running the same CPU at the same speed as you and anything below DDR4-3200 definitely bottlenecks it in many games. I mostly play games running under the Codemasters Ego engine where the benefits are pretty big over DDR4-2133, but the difference is still potentially significant in BF1 as this graph shows.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/19MO6s8xEF6cCK4eFuAuvqD6tKMQDNptA/view?usp=sharing

It looks as though you could gain 15 to 20 FPS on minimum framerates by going up to DDR4-3200.

You're going to need faster RAM anyway for your next major upgrade, so maybe now would be a good time to go for it as it'll most likely help in the interim anyway.
 
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alceryes

Distinguished
I recently went with a new MSI Z370 gaming plus board, i3-8350k CPU, H80i v2 AiO CPU cooler, 16GB (2x8) 3466Mhz RAM, WD 500GB PCIe SSD, and Vega 64 Video Card.
I purposely cheaped-out on the CPU and came in at about $1000. Staggering your upgrades can really save you money if you don't mind waiting a bit for some of the parts. To go with 8th or 9th gen Intel you'd just need a new board and less-expensive CPU - at least for starters.

However, I wouldn't do anything yet. Unless you are dead set against AMD you might want to wait and see how the Ryzen 3000 looks.
 
Reactions: davew1860
My ultimate goal is to have 144 fps in every game I play, graphics settings are less important to me, but as high as possible is of course nice
This is probably an unrealistic goal. Some games simply can't maintain 144fps even with the fastest CPUs available today, and will hover closer to 100 fps. Developers typically try to make sure their games can get at least 60fps on mid-range hardware, but high-end CPUs tend to not be all that much faster. Many games can manage to stay over 144fps when paired with a capable graphics card, but some others are just too demanding on the CPU to get there with today's hardware.

Some games, like Battlefield V, tend to run best on processors with more than 4-threads, and processors with more threads have been becoming more common over the last couple years. In terms of per-core performance though, the fastest CPUs available today can only clock about 10% higher than your overclocked 6600K, and that per-core performance will be what limits most of today's games. So, don't expect miracles from a CPU upgrade. Even with a $500 i9-9900K, the vast majority of existing games won't perform all that much better than what you are seeing now.

Perhaps worth asking, what 144Hz monitor do you have? Does it support variable refresh-rate technology like FreeSync or Gsync? If so, enabling that might help make fluctuating frame rates appear smoother.
 

davew1860

Proper
Feb 6, 2019
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This is probably an unrealistic goal. Some games simply can't maintain 144fps even with the fastest CPUs available today, and will hover closer to 100 fps. Developers typically try to make sure their games can get at least 60fps on mid-range hardware, but high-end CPUs tend to not be all that much faster. Many games can manage to stay over 144fps when paired with a capable graphics card, but some others are just too demanding on the CPU to get there with today's hardware.

Some games, like Battlefield V, tend to run best on processors with more than 4-threads, and processors with more threads have been becoming more common over the last couple years. In terms of per-core performance though, the fastest CPUs available today can only clock about 10% higher than your overclocked 6600K, and that per-core performance will be what limits most of today's games. So, don't expect miracles from a CPU upgrade. Even with a $500 i9-9900K, the vast majority of existing games won't perform all that much better than what you are seeing now.

Perhaps worth asking, what 144Hz monitor do you have? Does it support variable refresh-rate technology like FreeSync or Gsync? If so, enabling that might help make fluctuating frame rates appear smoother.
Yes, and Crysis 3 is a perfect example of that. It is six years old, but it wasn’t built for today’s tech. Even my high-end build suffers from huge frame rate dips in that game.

I do think the sweet spot for both speed and aesthetics is still at 1080p, though.
 
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boju

Champion
Games similar to BF where there's huge maps, lot's going on, Ai, physics, sound and multiplayer is quite the task for cpus and adding to that is frame pre-rendering the cpu needs to do for the gpu. All of that combined & 100+ fps is a tough job. 9700/9900ks faster ipc/or more threads should help maintain a better fps minimum and not hit much of a total usage wall like i5s do. 100% usage restricts everything the game tries to do including starving the gpu of prepared frames.

Limiting fps may help or move Discord for example to another core freeing up the primary core. Core 0 does most of the work, if you can help it by moving allowable programs using affinity then rest of the cores just might thank you for it.

Another idea is use a program like winaero to temporarily disable unnecessary processes to free up resources and allow the primary core do more.


Ryzen's can manage too, their ipc doesn't produce as many frames like Intel's do but that's kind of a blessing in disguise as they're not working as hard preparing frames.

Regardless of resolution, cpu sets the fps cap. When graphics cards are able to run 100+ fps in 4k or 8k the same scenario applies. There's a conception higher resolutions offload cpu work to the gpu, contrary to belief, if a gpu can't render as many frames the cpu doesn't need to prepare as much and takes it easy.
 
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Uberrover

Commendable
Feb 15, 2017
22
0
1,520
2
Why are people still talking about the CPU, he has 350 euros.... and a 1060 GPU...
It's the GPU he needs to change and he will never achieve 144fps on a 350 euro GPU
I am pretty sure my cpu is bottlenecking my gpu, as the cpu is always at 100% usage when playing Bf 1, while the gpu stays at around 70-80%. Therefore I don't think it's needed to buy a gpu upgrade
 

Uberrover

Commendable
Feb 15, 2017
22
0
1,520
2
Thanks everyone for the answers! I have a follow-up question now :)

So I read that upgrading the RAM is maybe one of the smarter things to do for me at this point in time, but if I were to buy a new RAM kit right now, doesn't this limit my cpu upgrade options later on? Doesn't Ryzen need specific RAM that's been built for that platform in order for it to work properly? And what would be the best RAM speed for me to upgrade to right now, considering it has to work on i5 6600k and is future proof for when I potentially upgrade to a 9th gen Intel cpu??
 

boju

Champion
I am pretty sure my cpu is bottlenecking my gpu, as the cpu is always at 100% usage when playing Bf 1, while the gpu stays at around 70-80%. Therefore I don't think it's needed to buy a gpu upgrade
It's not entirely 1060 bottlenecking your cpu, kind of but not completely. 4cores aren't really enough in BF, also 6cores with 1080Ti and higher.

Electro is right though, for 144fps a gpu upgrade is needed but need a strong cpu to provide the graphics card at those frame rates especially in BF.

Watch the video i posted
 

boju

Champion
Thanks everyone for the answers! I have a follow-up question now :)

So I read that upgrading the RAM is maybe one of the smarter things to do for me at this point in time, but if I were to buy a new RAM kit right now, doesn't this limit my cpu upgrade options later on? Doesn't Ryzen need specific RAM that's been built for that platform in order for it to work properly? And what would be the best RAM speed for me to upgrade to right now, considering it has to work on i5 6600k and is future proof for when I potentially upgrade to a 9th gen Intel cpu??
Ram you have now will be fine on an Intel upgrade though could make with more or dual channel if that's a single 16GB. Ryzen does benefit faster ram because of the processor's internal infinity fabric. kind of like there's two sides of the cpu with a bridge in between, faster ram quickens the trip.

Zen 2 is almost here and it too is designed with infinity fabric but this time the path is in another area of the cpu so we'll find out how relevant ram speed is.

Regarding ram compatibility with Amd, since Ryzen's first release memory support has improved a lot. They did have problems early on with ram using IC chips other than Samsung. Samsung bdie are the best but usually cost more. There are lists of Bdie ram if you google, brands such as Gskill and Corsair. Micron and Hynix are some of the other IC makers.

If i were to get ram now i would shoot for a pair of 3200 CL14 Gskills, 2x 16GB looking to the future. I've noticed with 32GB in some games (Ghost Recon and Farcry ND) can use more than 16GB. Wont be long till 32 becomes the new recommended or if Ssds become fast enough for better pagefile performance. Pcie 4 Ssds hopefully has potential in this regard but obviously would probably cost more than a whole bunch of ram 😁
 

Uberrover

Commendable
Feb 15, 2017
22
0
1,520
2
I decided that money is not really much of an issue, if I can future proof my pc for like 2-3 years. This is why for now I think I'm going to upgrade the following:
motherboard: Gigabyte Z390 Gaming X
cpu: Intel Core i7-9700K
RAM: G Skill RipJaw V 3200MHz 2x8GB

I'll upgrade the gpu later on, if I find that it's bottlenecking the cpu.
What are your thoughts on this upgrade?
 

boju

Champion
It's a solid build. Though Computex starts this weekend and Amd look to be revealing Zen2. Launch dates in about a month, if Zen2 performs great like rumours suggest, there's a good chance prices will drop.
 
May 16, 2019
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Ram you have now will be fine on an Intel upgrade though could make with more or dual channel if that's a single 16GB. Ryzen does benefit faster ram because of the processor's internal infinity fabric. kind of like there's two sides of the cpu with a bridge in between, faster ram quickens the trip.
So does the OP's current Intel CPU and any other more modern Intel CPU he may be thinking of upgrading to. RAM bandwidth starvation isn't just an AMD thing, particularly when you're overclocking the CPU.

As I said in my previous reply, I see significant FPS gains in many games running the same CPU at the same overclock in many games when using faster RAM. This still applies even with the CPU at 100% occupancy. It would be a quick temporary partial fix until the major upgrade takes place.
 

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