Question Upgrading CPU vs GPU: Which should I upgrade first?

May 3, 2019
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Hello all,
Just wondering what others thought about this issue. I currently have an i7-6700k and a z270 motherboard paired with a radeon vega 56. Thinking about upgrading to a ryzen 7 2700x or i7-8700k and rtx 2070 super. Just wondering what would give me the biggest performance boost in the short term as I eventually will upgrade both in time. The system is used mostly for gaming and some light productivity applications. TIA!
 

Jason H.

Honorable
Oct 20, 2013
940
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Upgrading the gpu will always give the highest performance increase for gaming over any other hardware in the pc.

Now how hard the new gpu would bottleneck an older cpu Im not too sure about. However if your current cpu doesnt go over 70% usage in games then i would do the gpu. if your cpu is already at 100% usage then you would have no choice but to either do both gpu and cpu, or just cpu for now then gpu later. This is because if the cpu is already at 100% no matter how much better the new gpu would be, it would be limited by the same 100% as your previous gpu.

So the real question is, what is your current cpu usage in pretty highly intensive games?
 

TLV1991

Reputable
Mar 9, 2015
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4,525
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Z270 isn't terribly specific, but at a blush, your best bet is upgrading the GPU. You're about as high end as your MOBO will support in terms of CPU power, there isn't much above it without upgrading to a new board, especially if you're thinking of swapping over to the AMD side.

Upgrading the GPU would probably be more cost effective in the short term, and if you do go on to get a new CPU and MOBO, GPUs are much more interchangeable between boards than CPUs.

Keep your power supply's wattage in mind as well, it doesn't do you any good to get a GPU that your system doesn't have enough power to support.
 
Reactions: Jason H.

Jason H.

Honorable
Oct 20, 2013
940
18
11,065
35
Z270 isn't terribly specific, but at a blush, your best bet is upgrading the GPU. You're about as high end as your MOBO will support in terms of CPU power, there isn't much above it without upgrading to a new board, especially if you're thinking of swapping over to the AMD side.

Upgrading the GPU would probably be more cost effective in the short term, and if you do go on to get a new CPU and MOBO, GPUs are much more interchangeable between boards than CPUs.

Keep your power supply's wattage in mind as well, it doesn't do you any good to get a GPU that your system doesn't have enough power to support.
good point about the psu!

I would recommend a 650w psu for your build to leave headroom for overclocking and efficency curve!
 

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