Question What should I upgrade first? CPU or GPU?

XCUT

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Jul 20, 2019
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I'm interested mainly in video games on maxed out graphic settings. I'm playing on 144hz monitor full hd, so the aim is to achieve at least 80 fps.
My current PC:
GTX 1080
Intel i7 6700k
16 gb ram
ADATA XPG Gammix S11 512 gb
Windows 10
In Assassin's Creed Origins for instance I get at least 50-55 fps at highest settings. The problem is I am not really sure what I should upgrade first and what is the best possible component to purchase (let's set aside the budget for now).
 

Tioym

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Apr 5, 2020
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I'm interested mainly in video games on maxed out graphic settings. I'm playing on 144hz monitor full hd, so the aim is to achieve at least 80 fps.
My current PC:
GTX 1080
Intel i7 6700k
16 gb ram
ADATA XPG Gammix S11 512 gb
Windows 10
In Assassin's Creed Origins for instance I get at least 50-55 fps at highest settings. The problem is I am not really sure what I should upgrade first and what is the best possible component to purchase (let's set aside the budget for now).
CPU for sure. I'm pretty sure you'll see a good bump in fps since your current CPU is probably limiting your GPU a lot.
Don't go for GPU your current CPU cant handle a better GPU, it's weird to even see it handle your current one.
You could always do both if you have the money but wait for RTX 3000 series since going from 1080 to something like a 2080S will be a jump but not as big as you should be aiming for.
 
Reactions: Erick.

AngelJin

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Jun 19, 2020
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First of all u should w8 for new gen cpu- gpu release.Even if u buy a cpu or gpu already on the market the price will be lower. Second u dont need to play most games at highest settings in ac origins if u remove volumetric clounds and set water - shadows to medium - high u get increase performance u need to make custom settings as u see fit dont forget some games are not well optimized.And finally if u cant w8 first upgrade ur cpu.
 

XCUT

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Thanks for answers. I thought that CPU might be the weaker part but I wasn't sure.
Now, surely I'm going to wait before buying new CPU, but what do you think about Intel i9 10900K? I know that there are also Ryzens but I have bad experiences in video games with Radeon components.
 

FoxVoxDK

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I mean, for gaming solely a 10600K would do just fine, or if you wanna splurge a little then a 10700k. A 10900K is kinda overkill in my opinion. Also, pay attention to power consumption/Motherboard VRM's with a 10900k as it can easily pass 300W.
 

XCUT

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I mean, for gaming solely a 10600K would do just fine, or if you wanna splurge a little then a 10700k. A 10900K is kinda overkill in my opinion. Also, pay attention to power consumption/Motherboard VRM's with a 10900k as it can easily pass 300W.
Sorry if this one is a dumb question, but what exactly is alarming when it comes to higher power consumption? Normally, I used to buy better PSU to catch up with the rest of the rig.
 

FoxVoxDK

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Just making sure you are aware and base your choices accordingly. Being here for a while has taught me(and many others here) that, what we may find intuitive, may NOT apply to everyone. Basically it's just making sure you have as much information and fact as possible.
 

AngelJin

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Well getting a new cpu depend on ur budget many ppl go for ryzen 5 3600 because is one of the best ( if not the best ) cpu price/performance wise if u want to go for intell 10th gen 10600k is the best choice for gaming atm, as ppl said 10700k or 10900k is overkill but if u want to go all in thats another matter. If i was in ur shoes i ll invest in 10600k since u have some negative experience with amd and the extra money i ll save for a better new gen gpu, atm if u want to get current gen gpu u need 2070 super and above or rx 5700xt ( 2080 super will be my choice) but everything depend on ur budget.
 

XCUT

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It seems that intel i9 9900K is slightly cheaper and there isn't much difference in performance in comparison to intel i9 10900K. What do you think?
 
My sense is that you are relatively well balanced between cpu and gpu.

For gaming performance the types of games you play are most important.
My stock approach to this perennial question:

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.

You need to find out which.
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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.
This makes the graphics card loaf a bit.
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 should also experiment with removing one or more cores/threads. You can do this in the windows msconfig boot advanced options option.
You will need to reboot for the change to take effect. Set the number of threads to less than you have.
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.



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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Once you get past 1080P, the graphics card becomes more limiting.

On the cpu side , have you overclocked your 6700K?
As of 12/04/2016
What percent can get an overclock at a somewhat sane 1.4v Vcore.

I7-6700K
4.9 5%
4.8 21%
4.7 64%
4.6 96%
 

AngelJin

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Jun 19, 2020
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There is no intel i9 10600k it is i5 10600k - i7 10700k - i9 10900k. If u thinking for 9th gen intel cpu check and i7-9700k or even i5 9600k(i prefer r5 3600). Also check the kf variants (price wise),kf it means it doesn't have intergrated graphics and need dedicated gpu.Also it will be good if u could tell us ur budget.
 

XCUT

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Jul 20, 2019
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@geofelt, I play a variety of video games, but from what I noticed my FPS usually drop with high anti-aliasing, shadows and NPCs on the screen.

Now, from what I've seen on the internet, intels i5 and i7 have worse parameters than i9. I'd like to purchase a CPU that would handle the most demanding games (incl. Total War series for example) and that would serve for years. I'll definitely wait for the next intel series, but I don't really see the point in buying i5 or i7. As for my budget, let's say it is up to 570 euro for a CPU (I'm aware that I will need to buy a motherboard as well).
 

Flayed

Honorable
The problem I see for you upgrading is you will have to spend a lot of money to see a meaningful increase in fps in most games. All the cpu benchmarks I have seen test with a 2080ti and you have a 1080.
 
@geofelt, I play a variety of video games, but from what I noticed my FPS usually drop with high anti-aliasing, shadows and NPCs on the screen.

Now, from what I've seen on the internet, intels i5 and i7 have worse parameters than i9. I'd like to purchase a CPU that would handle the most demanding games (incl. Total War series for example) and that would serve for years. I'll definitely wait for the next intel series, but I don't really see the point in buying i5 or i7. As for my budget, let's say it is up to 570 euro for a CPU (I'm aware that I will need to buy a motherboard as well).
First of all, anti aliasing is one of the more demanding settings for a graphics card.
You will likely not notice much difference if you reduce that setting. Particularly if you use a higher resolution monitor.

Intel I5. I7 and I5 perform essentially the same.
The first difference is how many threads you get. I5-10600K has 12, I7-10700K has 16, and I9-10900K has 20.
How many threads are actually useful in YOUR games?
Your 6700K has 8.
To see how sensitive your games are to the number of threads,
You can do this in the windows msconfig boot advanced options option.
You will need to reboot for the change to take effect. Set the number of threads to 7.
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 now have.
The kinds of games where the number of threads makes a difference will be multiplayer games with many participants.

The second difference is what the boost clock is and how high you can overclock.
I5-10600K can boost to 4.8. That happens for a single thread when the overall load permits and the temperature is under control.
I7-10700K can boost to 5.1
I9-10900K can boost to 5.3

If you have multithreaded apps that can use many threads, then you can overclock.
How high is determined by your luck in getting a good chip.
I9-10900K is almost unobtainable in the US due to high demand.
And I9-10900K, in particular, needs very good cooling.
That means a well ventilated case, and a strong cooler like a top air cooler like a Noctua NH-D15s or a 240mm aio liquid cooler.
The higher priced processors are better binned and can OC to higher levels.
5.0 is likely for all three.

As little as a i5-10600K would be a nice jump over the 6700K.
Here is a review:
https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i5-10600k-cpu-review

I might think a i7-10700K is as high as you would want to go for gaming.
It performs better than the i9-9900k and runs cooler.

Keep in mind that the graphics card is all important for fast action gaming.
Budget at least 2x the cost of your processor for the graphics card.
 

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