[SOLVED] Upgrade advice for 2016 computer

Apr 27, 2020
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Hi everyone,

I'm looking to upgrade my 2016 build:

Processor: i5 6600
Motherboard: Z170A KRAIT GAMING 3X
Memory: 16GB (2x8) ddr4 2800
Graphics Card: GTX 1060 6GB
Displays: Usually 1080p + Oculus Rift, but now a Dell 1440p Ultrasharp

The reason I want to upgrade is that I own an Oculus Rift and while the machine is VR ready and capable, there are some games that make it suffer. Also during this quarantine I've brought my screen from work and I also noticed that it already struggles with the higher resolution.

Since my motherboard is 1151 I thought I could maybe upgrade just the processor and maybe the graphics card now and get the rest later if need be.

Is this a good plan or will it be a huge bottleneck for some reason?

Thanks in advance!
 

Karadjgne

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Personally I hate the term 'bottleneck' because it's the single most misunderstood and abused term there is, when it comes to cpu/gpu considerations.

Things change. There's no absolute. In CSGO I can get 300fps in Office map at ultra details, everything maxed. That's the limit of the cpu as turning down details does nothing. In my modded skyrim I get 60fps, again cpu limitation as even using a 4k DSR doesn't change fps.

Yet in Metal Gear Solid 5, I get @ 160fps at ultra, add a 4k DSR and gpu usage goes from 60% to 99% and fps drops into the mid 50's.

For the first games, too many people would consider my cpu bottleneck the gpu because it's obviously capable of far more, and yet for the last game, the gpu is bottlenecking the cpu because it's maxed.

Things change. The game code and graphics demands are never in harmony so it's better to have a slightly overpowered gpu. It'll allow for better graphics and full fps from the cpu in more gaming scenarios. That's the balance, a good match.

For some cpus like lower ability quads, it means a lesser gpu like the rx570/gtx1050ti, because going much higher is wasted. For some cpus like the 9700k/9900k you'll want a 2070 Super or better. Just to keep the balance.

But at no time will a cpu nor gpu 'bottleneck' the other, there's no slowing down, both work as they should, there's only occasions where game code or graphics intensity are too much to allow full utilization of certain components.

And that's at just 1080p. Go higher in resolution to 1440p or even 4k and things change again, because the gpu doesn't affect the cpu, so the cpu becomes stronger in comparison. Even a i5 8500 is plenty of cpu for a 2080ti at 4k, since the gpu is hard pressed to even clear 60fps in most games. Drop that to 1080p and that 2080ti will be half asleep for anything when paired with an i5 8500.

Balance.
 
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Apr 27, 2020
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Thank you for your replies!


Get a RTX 2060 Super or better. That'll help you with VR and games with the higher resolution of 1440p.
So you'd say the cpu isn't an issue atm? I was under the impression its already bottlenecking this graphics card?


The issue is, even though your boards are LGA1151, it will not accept any CPU that is newer than the 7th generation. No 8th and 9th generation CPUs.

What is your budget for the upgrade?
Ah ok, thanks for clearing that up! I don't have a budget exactly, I was trying to avoid biting the bullet and upgrade everything since it is a capable machine and we're living crazy times, but I can go around 1000$/€ if need be.
 

Jay_dog

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Apr 14, 2020
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So you'd say the cpu isn't an issue atm? I was under the impression its already bottlenecking this graphics card?
Welll yes and no. Your motherboard can't support the newer generations of CPU's so getting a new RTX card would end up bottle necking your CPU that you have now.
 
I5 6600 is just an ok CPU. It and your 1060 are pretty well balanced. I wouldn't upgrade the GPU without your CPU upgraded.

The main issue with the 6600 is not the single-core score, its the limited thread count.

What country are you in.
 
So you'd say the cpu isn't an issue atm? I was under the impression its already bottlenecking this graphics card?
Actually, when you increase resolution, the graphics card becomes more of the limiting factor. 1440p has over 75% more pixels than 1080p, and its up to the graphics card to render those extra pixels, not the CPU. So the CPU load does not increase, but the graphics card load does. So moving up to that resolution, you would see the most gain from a graphics card upgrade more than anything in demanding games.

We are, however, starting to see some games choking a bit on four-threaded CPUs, so you will probably want to upgrade to a higher thread-count CPU before long. AMD's mid-range CPUs have six cores with twelve threads, and Intel's should as well once they launch their next CPUs in the coming months, however, any of these newer CPUs would require a new motherboard. On that board, you would be limited to a four core, eight thread i7 from the 6th or 7th generations, which will tend to cost more and have fewer cores.

If you just want to make your games run at 1440p like they did at 1080p, a graphics card upgrade would do that, and you would probably even get a little more performance out of something like an Nvidia RTX 2060 or AMD RX 5700 (not to be confused with the similarly-named RX 570).
 
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Karadjgne

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Gpu will not bottleneck a cpu. Ever. That's a cart-load of horse manure.

The cpu pre-renders all frames, it's limits set by the intensity of the game code and the cpu clocks/IPC etc. It has its own limits of pre-rendered frames per second that are not affected by components that come after it. It sends those pre-rendered frames to the gpu, which finish renders them according to detail levels, post processing effects and resolution.

So if the game code allows the cpu to hit 100 pre-renders per second, that 100fps gets sent to the gpu. That's the limit. After that, it's upto the gpu to finish rendering and put the frames onscreen. At 1080p ultra with hair works, the gpu might be capable of only 40fps onscreen, out of the 100 sent. Drop the hair works and settings to medium and the gpu is capable of 120fps, but only has 100, so you get 100 on screen. Raise resolution to 1440p and thats 1.7x as many pixels to populate, so onscreen fps drops to 60, out of the possible 100.

The only way to increase fps onscreen, and maintain the same or get higher settings or add post processing or increase resolution is to increase the power of the gpu.

But at no time will any gpu affect how the cpu works, or the amount of possible pre-rendered frames it can send. The cpu is what it is, the gpu if overpowered for the game and settings gets under utilized, if it's not powerful enough can't reach the cpu full potential.
 
Apr 27, 2020
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Thanks again for your help!


Gpu will not bottleneck a cpu. Ever. That's a cart-load of horse manure.
What I meant is that I was under the impression that if I get for instance a 2070 or 2080 it will be bottlenecked by the cpu?

So from what I'm gathering from your advice, if I want better graphic quality at higher resolutions/VR, the first mandatory upgrade would be the gpu, but I'll probably need an overall upgrade.

So is the plan of getting a 2070 or 2080 now, and wait a few months, lets say until black friday to upgrade the mobo+cpu+ram a viable option?
 
Last edited:

Karadjgne

Titan
Ambassador
Personally I hate the term 'bottleneck' because it's the single most misunderstood and abused term there is, when it comes to cpu/gpu considerations.

Things change. There's no absolute. In CSGO I can get 300fps in Office map at ultra details, everything maxed. That's the limit of the cpu as turning down details does nothing. In my modded skyrim I get 60fps, again cpu limitation as even using a 4k DSR doesn't change fps.

Yet in Metal Gear Solid 5, I get @ 160fps at ultra, add a 4k DSR and gpu usage goes from 60% to 99% and fps drops into the mid 50's.

For the first games, too many people would consider my cpu bottleneck the gpu because it's obviously capable of far more, and yet for the last game, the gpu is bottlenecking the cpu because it's maxed.

Things change. The game code and graphics demands are never in harmony so it's better to have a slightly overpowered gpu. It'll allow for better graphics and full fps from the cpu in more gaming scenarios. That's the balance, a good match.

For some cpus like lower ability quads, it means a lesser gpu like the rx570/gtx1050ti, because going much higher is wasted. For some cpus like the 9700k/9900k you'll want a 2070 Super or better. Just to keep the balance.

But at no time will a cpu nor gpu 'bottleneck' the other, there's no slowing down, both work as they should, there's only occasions where game code or graphics intensity are too much to allow full utilization of certain components.

And that's at just 1080p. Go higher in resolution to 1440p or even 4k and things change again, because the gpu doesn't affect the cpu, so the cpu becomes stronger in comparison. Even a i5 8500 is plenty of cpu for a 2080ti at 4k, since the gpu is hard pressed to even clear 60fps in most games. Drop that to 1080p and that 2080ti will be half asleep for anything when paired with an i5 8500.

Balance.
 
Last edited:
Apr 27, 2020
6
0
10
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For some cpus like lower ability quads, it means a lesser gpu like the rx570/gtx1050ti, because going much higher is wasted. For some cpus like the 9700k/9900k you'll want a 2070 Super or better.
Ok gotcha, then even though something like a RTX2080 would be a big waste with my current cpu, I could get it now and upgrade the cpu to a 9600k/9700k/3700X in a few months. I would already feel the difference at 1440p and VR resolution without the cpu upgrade.

Am I getting this right?

Again, thanks a lot for your patience and guidance!
 

Karadjgne

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Yes, that's a very good plan. Worst case scenario is you are happy with just the gpu upgrade and even if the gpu isn't fully utilized, tomorrow is a different story. The next set of games could be like Starwars Battlefront 2 and have major system requirements as far as gpu goes. It's highly doubtful games will go backwards, even the next CSGO is reportedly going to be optimized for 8 threads.
 

Karadjgne

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Lol, decisions-decisions. Can't help you there, I know very, very little about VR, so it'd give to time to do some research as to which platform offers better quality performance and just what requirements will be needed to get the best bang for your buck.
 

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