Using GTX 970 4GB with i5 3570k

emiliof

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Jun 3, 2014
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I'm thinking about making a new PC, but i'd like to keep costs low if I can but will sacrifice for better performance.

I already have a i5 3570k in my computer and I was wondering if it would perform well enough as to not bottleneck a GTX 970 4GB? While using it with a GTX 770 2GB, it seems to get awfully close to 100% use in recent games, usually levitating around 90-98%.

So is it worth it to try the 3570k with the 970 or should I just look into a new, better CPU?

 

nitrium

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Jul 27, 2009
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A GTX970 should definitely will NOT bottleneck that CPU (especially if OCed). The reason you see 98+% load on the CPU in some games is almost certainly due to bad programming and I suspect you'll see that same load on EVERY CPU you try these particular games on. You should check to see if that is the case or not by googling these games + "CPU load".
 
The decision may well depend on the games you play.
A 3570K is still very good, particularly with a decent overclock.
Some games like sims, strategy and mmo tend to be cpu bound and single threaded.
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To help clarify your CPU/GPU options, run these two tests:

a) 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.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.
Conversely what a 30% improvement in core speed might do.

You could also experiment with removing one core. You can do this in the windows msconfig boot advanced options option. set the number of processors to less than you have.
This will tell you how sensitive your games are to the benefits of many cores.

If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.
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