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Question Should I upgrade?

StRaTeLz

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Aug 30, 2016
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I want to play Valorant and Overwatch at a locked 1080p 244hz. I am currently getting 244 on low setttings, but frame rates frequently dip to around 140. 140hz is a very good frame rate, frame dips are very disorienting to me regardless.
Current set up:
CPU: i5-7600k @ OCed to 4.8GHz
GPU: gtx1070 +200 MHz OC (I forget what the base is, so idk the total). I overclocked the memory on this, but it wasnt increasing my benchmarks, so I left it stock (I think I have a CPU bottleneck).
RAM: is running at 3200MHz (cant get it higher)
cooler: noctua nh-d15

Here is what I am thinking:
I can upgrade the CPU to a 9700k (same lga 1151 socket) and hopefully that fixes the problem
or I can wait until the fall (when hopefully) the new zen 3 cpus (which will require a new mobo) and amd/nvidia gpus come out. I know myself, if I get a new mobo and cpu, I will also buy a new gpu. Now we are in the 1200+ dollar range. and all this is way overkill for 1080p gaming (plus I would have to wait, and who the heck wants to do that?)

What would you do?
 
I want to play Valorant and Overwatch at a locked 1080p 244hz. I am currently getting 244 on low setttings, but frame rates frequently dip to around 140. 140hz is a very good frame rate, frame dips are very disorienting to me regardless.
Current set up:
CPU: i5-7600k @ OCed to 4.8GHz
GPU: gtx1070 +200 MHz OC (I forget what the base is, so idk the total). I overclocked the memory on this, but it wasnt increasing my benchmarks, so I left it stock (I think I have a CPU bottleneck).
RAM: is running at 3200MHz (cant get it higher)
cooler: noctua nh-d15

Here is what I am thinking:
I can upgrade the CPU to a 9700k (same lga 1151 socket) and hopefully that fixes the problem
or I can wait until the fall (when hopefully) the new zen 3 cpus (which will require a new mobo) and amd/nvidia gpus come out. I know myself, if I get a new mobo and cpu, I will also buy a new gpu. Now we are in the 1200+ dollar range. and all this is way overkill for 1080p gaming (plus I would have to wait, and who the heck wants to do that?)

What would you do?
Firstly, you cannot upgrade to a 9th Gen Core i7, as whilst Intel still use the same number of pins, they changed the chipsets for 8th and 9th gen (and yet again for 10th gen, even though 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10th gen cpu's are all still using the same Skylake architecture).

The highest you can go is the i7 7700K on that socket / motherboard. The extra threads might help a bit with frame dips possibly, although neither game requires many cores / threads so I'm unsure how much of a benefit that would be. It's also an issue on the Intel side that you would be moving from a skylake core to another skylake core - and you are already at 4.8ghz so there isn't much room to improve in that regard (clock speed is most important for these games, if you were to go for a 10th gen intel cpu would would potentially be able to go up as far as 5.2ghz).

I'm not sure how fast Zen 3 cpu's are going to be in games, the current Zen 2 cpu's are good, but for games like these that are more single thread dependent they would probably be slower than your current setup (again, more cores / threads might help mitigate frame dips, if they are being caused by things like background processes). Zen 3 will likely be an improvement in gaming, but I'm not convinced we will see much in the way of clock speed improvements.

What I would suggest, is maybe looking at things on your current system to try and smooth things out. Could you set a frame rate cap well below the maximum your machine can hit to keep the frame rate consistent? It's change in frame rate that is jarring - provided the frame rate is reasonable, and it's consistent it should perceptibly be smooth - try capping the fps to 144? You could also look at tweaking windows - reduce background tasks to a minimum (you can go into the msconfig and then services, hide the Microsoft services then disable as many as possible to reduce background load). You can also look at setting the game process as increased priority and make sure nothing other than the game is running when you fire it up and see if that helps smooth it out a bit?
 
I agree with @cfrkf. I don't think a CPU upgrade is the solution here.

Plus, you would get a much more significant FPS increase by upgrading your GPU instead of your CPU. Your 7600k is already clocked at 4.8GHz - that's quite impressive.

An RTX 2060 Super will provide more than 240fps on CSGO on max settings. You could get a 2070 Super just to be on the safe side.

BTW, what PSU are you using?
 

StRaTeLz

Reputable
Aug 30, 2016
9
2
4,525
1
Firstly, you cannot upgrade to a 9th Gen Core i7, as whilst Intel still use the same number of pins, they changed the chipsets for 8th and 9th gen (and yet again for 10th gen, even though 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10th gen cpu's are all still using the same Skylake architecture).

The highest you can go is the i7 7700K on that socket / motherboard. The extra threads might help a bit with frame dips possibly, although neither game requires many cores / threads so I'm unsure how much of a benefit that would be. It's also an issue on the Intel side that you would be moving from a skylake core to another skylake core - and you are already at 4.8ghz so there isn't much room to improve in that regard (clock speed is most important for these games, if you were to go for a 10th gen intel cpu would would potentially be able to go up as far as 5.2ghz).

I'm not sure how fast Zen 3 cpu's are going to be in games, the current Zen 2 cpu's are good, but for games like these that are more single thread dependent they would probably be slower than your current setup (again, more cores / threads might help mitigate frame dips, if they are being caused by things like background processes). Zen 3 will likely be an improvement in gaming, but I'm not convinced we will see much in the way of clock speed improvements.

What I would suggest, is maybe looking at things on your current system to try and smooth things out. Could you set a frame rate cap well below the maximum your machine can hit to keep the frame rate consistent? It's change in frame rate that is jarring - provided the frame rate is reasonable, and it's consistent it should perceptibly be smooth - try capping the fps to 144? You could also look at tweaking windows - reduce background tasks to a minimum (you can go into the msconfig and then services, hide the Microsoft services then disable as many as possible to reduce background load). You can also look at setting the game process as increased priority and make sure nothing other than the game is running when you fire it up and see if that helps smooth it out a bit?
It doesnt work even though it's the same socket? RIP the dream.
Thats alright I guess. I think most of the new mobos are PCIE 4.0 compatible even though nothing seems to have implemented it yet. I suppose it wouldnt hurt to get a new one.
From what I have heard from a few podcasts, zen3 is going to be much better than intel 10th gen. And apparently 11th is supposed to be faster than zen3
I just upgraded to a 244 from a 144, I should have benchmarked before buying....
Firstly, you cannot upgrade to a 9th Gen Core i7, as whilst Intel still use the same number of pins, they changed the chipsets for 8th and 9th gen (and yet again for 10th gen, even though 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10th gen cpu's are all still using the same Skylake architecture).

The highest you can go is the i7 7700K on that socket / motherboard. The extra threads might help a bit with frame dips possibly, although neither game requires many cores / threads so I'm unsure how much of a benefit that would be. It's also an issue on the Intel side that you would be moving from a skylake core to another skylake core - and you are already at 4.8ghz so there isn't much room to improve in that regard (clock speed is most important for these games, if you were to go for a 10th gen intel cpu would would potentially be able to go up as far as 5.2ghz).

I'm not sure how fast Zen 3 cpu's are going to be in games, the current Zen 2 cpu's are good, but for games like these that are more single thread dependent they would probably be slower than your current setup (again, more cores / threads might help mitigate frame dips, if they are being caused by things like background processes). Zen 3 will likely be an improvement in gaming, but I'm not convinced we will see much in the way of clock speed improvements.

What I would suggest, is maybe looking at things on your current system to try and smooth things out. Could you set a frame rate cap well below the maximum your machine can hit to keep the frame rate consistent? It's change in frame rate that is jarring - provided the frame rate is reasonable, and it's consistent it should perceptibly be smooth - try capping the fps to 144? You could also look at tweaking windows - reduce background tasks to a minimum (you can go into the msconfig and then services, hide the Microsoft services then disable as many as possible to reduce background load). You can also look at setting the game process as increased priority and make sure nothing other than the game is running when you fire it up and see if that helps smooth it out a bit?
RIP the dream. I figured all I had to do is match the socket type. Thats unfortunate, looks like I have to build an entire new PC
What a shame :D
 
Reactions: cdrkf
It doesnt work even though it's the same socket? RIP the dream.
Thats alright I guess. I think most of the new mobos are PCIE 4.0 compatible even though nothing seems to have implemented it yet. I suppose it wouldnt hurt to get a new one.
From what I have heard from a few podcasts, zen3 is going to be much better than intel 10th gen. And apparently 11th is supposed to be faster than zen3
I just upgraded to a 244 from a 144, I should have benchmarked before buying....

RIP the dream. I figured all I had to do is match the socket type. Thats unfortunate, looks like I have to build an entire new PC
What a shame :D
Yeah there is not allot you can do - with regard to Zen 3, it depends on what applications how good it will be. Zen 2 is already miles ahead of Intel in most scenarios but the inherent latency in the design limits it a little in games (note Intels HEDT cpu's which are based on a mesh interconnect, much like infinity fabric in Zen, suffer the same issue).

Everything I have heard points to Zen 3 not fundamentally changing this fact (it's going to be chiplets with a separate IO die like Zen 2). There are some leaked changes to the design - specifically making the building blocks 8 core instead of 4 and unifying the l3 cache - which will help, however I'm not convinced it will be enough unless AMD can also bump the clock speeds up to near parity with Intel. I mean Zen 2 technically hits '4.7 ghz' but the reality is more like 4.4 ghz all core frequency on the very best parts. Given Zen 3 is on the same manufacturing process, I doubt we are going to see it clock much higher, maybe 4.5 ghz all core, so the in game performance jump will essentially be down to IPC alone.

There are already games where Zen 2 has a big enough IPC lead that it can outrun Intel despite the clock speed disadvantage, but those cases are very much edge cases. I think the reality is for high frame rate gaming Zen 3 will close the gap to parity on average - it will likely win in some titles and loose in others. I don't expect it to outright outperform Intel in games though so it will probably be a case of looking at the benchmarks for the specific games you are interested in to see which is the better option. The trouble is the hype train always gets carried away when AMD launch something new, especially when it comes to game performance. Imo Zen 2 is already the superior platform overall but for the niche of super high refresh rate gaming, I'm not convinced. I'd by happy to be proven wrong though.
 
Reactions: StRaTeLz

StRaTeLz

Reputable
Aug 30, 2016
9
2
4,525
1
Yeah there is not allot you can do - with regard to Zen 3, it depends on what applications how good it will be. Zen 2 is already miles ahead of Intel in most scenarios but the inherent latency in the design limits it a little in games (note Intels HEDT cpu's which are based on a mesh interconnect, much like infinity fabric in Zen, suffer the same issue).

Everything I have heard points to Zen 3 not fundamentally changing this fact (it's going to be chiplets with a separate IO die like Zen 2). There are some leaked changes to the design - specifically making the building blocks 8 core instead of 4 and unifying the l3 cache - which will help, however I'm not convinced it will be enough unless AMD can also bump the clock speeds up to near parity with Intel. I mean Zen 2 technically hits '4.7 ghz' but the reality is more like 4.4 ghz all core frequency on the very best parts. Given Zen 3 is on the same manufacturing process, I doubt we are going to see it clock much higher, maybe 4.5 ghz all core, so the in game performance jump will essentially be down to IPC alone.

There are already games where Zen 2 has a big enough IPC lead that it can outrun Intel despite the clock speed disadvantage, but those cases are very much edge cases. I think the reality is for high frame rate gaming Zen 3 will close the gap to parity on average - it will likely win in some titles and loose in others. I don't expect it to outright outperform Intel in games though so it will probably be a case of looking at the benchmarks for the specific games you are interested in to see which is the better option. The trouble is the hype train always gets carried away when AMD launch something new, especially when it comes to game performance. Imo Zen 2 is already the superior platform overall but for the niche of super high refresh rate gaming, I'm not convinced. I'd by happy to be proven wrong though.
Do you listen to podcasts? There is one I am fond of, Broken Silicon. They seem to have good sources inside intel and amd. Apparently zen3 is going to be much faster than intel 10th gen, and intel 11th gen is supposed to be faster than zen3. And all the GPUs coming out this fall/winter are supposed to be substantially faster than the current gen. Its a good time to be a pc gamer, thats for sure
 
Reactions: cdrkf
It doesnt work even though it's the same socket? RIP the dream.
Thats alright I guess. I think most of the new mobos are PCIE 4.0 compatible even though nothing seems to have implemented it yet. I suppose it wouldnt hurt to get a new one.
From what I have heard from a few podcasts, zen3 is going to be much better than intel 10th gen. And apparently 11th is supposed to be faster than zen3
I just upgraded to a 244 from a 144, I should have benchmarked before buying....

RIP the dream. I figured all I had to do is match the socket type. Thats unfortunate, looks like I have to build an entire new PC
What a shame :D
Yeah, Intel are a little bit scummy regarding platform compatibility. It's either that or their naming scheme is horribly misleading.

You might not have to build an entirely new system. As we've both mentioned before, we believe a simple GPU upgrade will solve your FPS target. Keep in mind that this is the perk of building your own computers. You could just start with the GPU, and if the results are unsatisfactory for you, you can proceed and upgrade the CPU and motherboard as well. Who knows, might save you a few hundred bucks (until something newer comes in at least :p).

Although in all honesty, with a 4.8GHz clock speed on your current CPU, I don't know how much more a lower-clocked Zen 2 can offer. With Zen 3 perhaps, but we'll just have to wait and see.
 
Do you listen to podcasts? There is one I am fond of, Broken Silicon. They seem to have good sources inside intel and amd. Apparently zen3 is going to be much faster than intel 10th gen, and intel 11th gen is supposed to be faster than zen3. And all the GPUs coming out this fall/winter are supposed to be substantially faster than the current gen. Its a good time to be a pc gamer, thats for sure
I tend to follow a few of the Youtube channels these days - although I am aware of Broken Silicone. I tend to follow Adored TV for info on unannounced stuff as they tend to be quite good at backing up speculation with a bit of analysis / reasoning (some of the other channels and tech sites have a bad habit of reporting any rumour as fact). The latest info from them suggests that Zen 3 should be getting a fairly substantial boost in integer IPC, however floating point will be largely unchanged from Zen 2 (the FP unit on Zen 2 is already beastly so this does make sense). That is why they believe AMD are being fairly conservative with their overall IPC increase estimate of 10 - 15% as that is probably what it will be on average taken across a mix of workloads (with gains in FP heavy software like Rendering applications getting low single digit percent gains but much higher gains in Int heavy workloads). They also believe that we should be seeing a 100 - 200 mhz clock speed gain from existing Zen 2 based design - this is somewhat backed up by info coming out about the new Zen 2 desktop APU's being able to hit these kind of clock speeds thanks to using an enhanced 7nm process vs current Zen 2 desktop parts. That still means we're not going to see AMD catch up to Intel in terms of clocks though.

Getting back to your original question about if you should upgrade your cpu - Hardware Unboxed did an interesting retrospective on your cpu the other day:
View: https://youtu.be/5VnRUFz-m0M


If you watch that you can see the i5 7600k is still in the top tier of cpu's for many games - it's only some of the latest heavy AAA titles that really benefit from more than 4 threads. I think in the case of Overwatch and Valorant you should already be pretty much there with that 4.8gh overclock - and neither of those games are particularly AMD friendly. Keep in mind as well - the above review is done using an RTX 2080ti to create as much of a cpu bottleneck as possible.

(Edit: Game benchmarks start at 7:35)
 

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