Looking To Upgrade System After 4 Years - May I Have Some Advice?

Kirbyarm

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Hello everyone,

I'm looking to upgrade my i7-4770k processor with as little damage to my finances possible. Now this does not mean cheap budget but rather, what possibilities I have for going with the upgrade path. I'm hoping the impression I'm under isn't that I need to spend $1500 just to upgrade my CPU.

Basically the story goes like this, Q4 of last year I got a GTX 1080 Ti and a little earlier, 32 GB of DDR3 memory, and as you know that was quite a lot of money to get those. I know the GPU will work on a new system but here's where I'm not sure about my choices.

New processor seems I would have to get 8th gen, which means my MSI Z87-G45 motherboard's LGA 1150 socket would not support that CPU, correct? Okay so that is about $500 (CAD) for a high quality 8700k and another $150 - $200 for another motherboard, and probably another $100 - $200 for another LGA 1151 compatible CPU cooler. But this is what kills me, my RAM... will become completely useless as well if I want to upgrade my CPU? Am I understanding that correctly? If I want 32 GB of RAM again, will I have to also purchase 32 GB of DDR4 RAM on top of the CPU and motherboard?

Are there any motherboards out there that would be friendly with this CPU upgrade and DDR3 RAM? Do I have any alternatives or am I pretty much going to have to upgrade every one of the listed components above if I want this new CPU?

Forgive me if this was confusing to understand, I am lost on how I should write out my concerns but I'm hoping the community here will understand what I mean for the most part. Thank you for your time.

Edit: It should be noted that I am very inexperienced with building systems and not always on the latest news and trends with technology so I'm a bit in the dark about my choices between what I can see on processor store pages and what some of my friends are telling me.
 
You're very close to the best processor you can get on that platform. Technically an i7 4790k is very slightly faster, but there's very little in it and certainly not worth an upgrade. Intel did release a Broadwell i7 5775c, but it's hardly any faster either and isn't supported by your motherboard anyway (or most Z87 boards, for that matter).

So you're right, if you want a meaningful CPU upgrade you need to replace the CPU & motherboard, and that means ditching your RAM because anything more modern (and thus faster) requires DDR4. You're basically at the end of the road in terms of upgrading your current platform.

Having said all that, are you sure you need to upgrade? The 4770K is still a very competent gaming CPU, especially if you overclock it. Intel have a rumoured 8 core mainstream CPU launching soon and next gen Ryzen (~April 2019) is looking really promising. I don't normally advise people to wait, but when you have a working system you have the luxury of biding your time.

Is there a reason you're keen to upgrade? In what games or applications is your current build not fast enough for you?
 
1. There is no Z370 mainboard (needed for 8700k), which can fit DDR3
2. 4770k is actualy still quite powerful and is not yet in need to be replaced. I7 8700k is already an improvement but the cost and the performance jump from 4770k is not yet that good in my opinion.
3. 4770k is still not yet a big problem or bottleneck for your GTX1080Ti.
All in all, I would not replace 47700k yet for now. Wait and see how the next gen will be doing :)
 

Kirbyarm

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I know exactly what you mean, this processor has never let me down in any game. I slay almost every game at ultra settings with 75 - 144 frames per second even with 1 - 2 servers running in the background off the same machine, dozens of applications like photoshop, notepad++, timers, calculator instances, multiple SDK environments, chrome AND firefox open with a good 50~ tabs open between the two on a triple monitor setup, usually with a stream playing on one monitor for side entertainment or a video/spotify.. anyway the point is none of this has slowed me down in any game... that is until now.

I'm playing this new Unity game, it is in early access. It is called My Time at Portia. I've been really into it for about a month but I haven't seen sub 50 fps in SO long since I had a GTX 770 before my upgrade to the 1080 Ti in November. Indoors I get 144 fps, title screen 144 fps, but on the overworld it bogs down to 28 - 40 fps in the worst spots near the town and what not.

Anyway I've been searching actively for several weeks for anyone to prove that it is even possible with any machine to achieve smooth (60+ minimum) framerates in this bad areas and I did not encounter anything until today where I saw a stream on twitch where the game was running absolutely butter smooth flawlessly. I asked the streamer their specs and he said a 1070 founder's edition and an 8th gen CPU, i7 8xxx or something like that (can't remember the exact number). This has me strongly believing my CPU is the problem but on the other hand, though I have no proof of this, only what people say and claim, on the forums for the game people with 10 series GTX cards with the same processor as me (i7-4770k) have "no issues whatsoever". I don't know if that means 60 fps or if 40~ fps is smooth in their opinion but the rumors are floating out there, while others with similar setups to mine are having the same problem as me.

I know it's silly to consider a major upgrade to my system for this game to run smoothly, but I'm not only doing it for the game, it is just the catalyst giving me those final pushes into really considering it now.

So far you guys are saying to wait it out, maybe the game devs will make the optimization better but some people with inferior machines seems to be able to play this game without any issues so I'm not sure if the devs are optimizing for machines like mine or not. Who knows. Thanks for listening guys and the suggestions. Anyone else is welcome to chime in or reply again and I'm all yours on what you think of this situation and how I should go about it.
 
if a game today runs far below 60fps on 4770k+1080Ti with let say everything is set to low.
The issue is the game in my opinion or something else in your PC.
Driver? Background apps? Virus? Malwares? Performance settings? Game settings/bug workaround? etc. etc.

My Time at Portia does not look heavy in my eyes.

I would start asking in the game respective forum or at least in Steam forum.
Perhaps there are others with similar problem as yours.
 
If the problem is your 4770K, then you can absolutely bet that the devs will be working hard on CPU optimisation before release, because that CPU is still better than what's sitting in the average gaming machine. If it doesn't run well on your system then it won't run well on loads of capable gaming systems out there and the devs are going to have trouble selling the game... don't worry!

Have you ever looked in to overclocking? You have a solid Z87 board and K CPU, which can usually get to 4.5Ghz without too much trouble. All you'd need (if you don't have one already) is a half decent aftermarket cooler. Assuming you're hitting a CPU cap, that would net you ~15% higher fps. Not game-changing, but it's nothing to sneeze at. Also, a decent cooler is a good investment because you can re-use it in a future build, so you're not wasting any money.

If you want to check whether CPU is your issue, run some GPU monitoring software like MSI afterburner or GPU-Z while playing your game. The GPU utilisation should stay about 95%. If it drops down it's a good indication that you're CPU bottlenecked.

Also, use HW-monitor or similar to check your temps. Dust buildup can often clog coolers and cause components to throttle. Check your CPU and GPU temps just to make sure everything is running as it should. Check you CPU clocks stay above 3.5Ghz at all times too.
 

Kirbyarm

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Believe me guanyo, I have been vigorously combing through every forum and discord server involved with the game that I possibly could for the past 3 or 4 weeks and have been very vocal about my performance issues. Everyone who is having the issues can merely speculate what the problem is and compare our hardware specs to try and find a common denominator but even two exact system specs have been shown to run the game completely different (one successfully, the other not). Some people are even saying Unity engine is to blame. Far out of the scope of my knowledge, as I'm just an average gamer.

I already planned to upgrade my PC sooner or later, so I thought maybe this wouldn't be a terrible time but I'm thinking maybe I should wait a little while longer as suggested, at the very least for the game to become more optimized before jumping into any major purchases this year.

As for the settings - I can adjust it to Ultra with 1920x1080@144 down to Lowest settings with 600x480@60 and this changes maybe 2 frames per second at the very most. Still at the same areas bogs/bottlenecks down to 30 - 40 fps. I recently tried an overclock on my CPU but my temperatures get uncomfortably high when stress testing and I kept having a blue screen every other day between tweaking voltage etc and it was stressing me out so I reverted back to its non-overclocked state for stability to keep my sanity. I did notice a *very* slight increase in performance (maybe 1-3 fps?) but I'm not absolutely sure that was the overclock or not.
 
Sounds like this is a game optimization issue and i would say wait and see about upgrading. We all know there's always new stuff coming out. 9000 series Intel probably releasing in a couple months. There's no guarantee a 8700k will improve your situation. I'd wait it out a bit and see how the game improves.
 

Kirbyarm

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Thank you guys, I appreciate the advice. I also know what parts to keep my eyes on for now and to keep my eyes on for 2019. I will take your advice and wait for now.
 

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