[SOLVED] Should I Upgrade from i5 6600k to a new 9th Gen CPU (i5 or i7)

Dec 5, 2018
I currently have a gaming rig for gaming on a 3440×1440p monitor. I have an EVGA RTX 2070 XC Gaming, and an it 6600k with an ASUS z170i Pro Gaming Motherboard. Along with 16gb of DDR4 Ram, Corsair RM750x PSU, 500gb Samsung SSD, in a Corsair 250D. Is my current CPU bottlenecking the system I have, specifically with the RTX 2070? I haven't overclocked either. And if so, should I be looking at replacing the CPU and motherboard to the new 9th Gen chipset? If I should, should it be the i5 9600k or i7 9700k, as well as any recommendations for motherboards? I'm looking to mostly game at 3440x1440p, and do some 3D CADing.


Best way to find out if it is bottlenecking is to use software like MSI Afterburner on-screen display to show CPU and GPU usage while you are gaming. If the CPU is 100% while the GPU is less than 90% then there is some bottleneck.


Jun 2, 2009
I have a 1070 on a 6600k. I seriously doubt that the minor increase in performance over a 1070 that the 2070 provides is going to bottleneck a 6600k. This is something that is really easy to test as well. Does the CPU show 100% usage during normal operation? If so, then it's likely that the system is CPU bound.

Given the high resolution of your monitor I'd say it's unlikely that the system would be CPU bound. If you were running a lower resolution the CPU might have trouble keeping up with the GPU.

You might see some performance increases in your CAD work as those tend to be CPU heavy by switching to the 9 series. But is it worth the $500+ price tag for what would be pretty modest improvements? Probably not.
It depends on the types of games you play.

Some games are graphics limited like fast action shooters.
Others are cpu core speed limited like strategy, sims, and mmo.
Multiplayer tends to like many threads.

One simple test is to Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

Since you have the capability of overclocking your 6600K, that is the first thing I would do.
As of 12/04/2016
What percent can get an overclock at a somewhat sane 1.40v Vcore.


4.9 14%
4.8 38%
4.7 67%
4.6 87%

As to a upgrade, your choice will depend on how many threads your games can usefully use.
i3-8350K has 4 threads, i5-9600K has 6, i7-9700K has 8 and I9-9900K has 16.
All will overclock to 5.0
You will need a new motherboard, either Z370 or Z390 based.
Z390 does not cost much more and is recommended for the 9th gen processors.
You would get a nice boost with a 9600K, but for an upgrade a i7-9700K is really going to be as good as it gets for gaming.
Only if budget does not matter would I spring for a i9-9900K.

Most games do not effectively use more than 2-3 threads.
If you are wondering how sensitive your games are to thread count, try this test:

You can do this in the windows msconfig boot advanced options option.
Set your thread count to 3.
You will need to reboot for the change to take effect.
This will tell you how sensitive your games are to the benefits of many threads.
If you see little difference, your game does not need all the threads you have.