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Optimum GPU for a given CPU

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi All,


How might I be able to determine what the optimum gpu is for a particular cpu? In the sense of not surpassing the point of diminishing returns?


In my specific example, I have an Intel NUC7i5BNH, equipped with an i5-7260U. What would be the best available gpu for this system? I have my eye on he AORUS Gaming Box with the RTX 2070, would this be overkill?


Or, am I thinking about this all the wrong way?


Any advice would be most appreciated!



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You'd have to profile your system to see how the game performs with minimal need for the GPU. So run benchmarks and such at the lowest settings at the resolution you want to play at. This will give you an idea of the "maximum" frame rate you can achieve for those games. Then go find GPU reviews that hopefully benchmarked the same things you did and find one that gets close to this "maximum." Note that GPU reviews will typically use a high-end CPU and high or maximum quality settings to ensure the GPU is burdened as much as possible.

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Pretty weak CPU, the 1050 ti at the most would be useful.

I WILL find your ITX build thread, and I WILL recommend the SIlverstone Sugo SG13B


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I deal with NUCs a lot, we sell probably one or two a week, more recently I've done a lot of the 8th gen NUCs, and honestly using any GPU over a 1050 or 1050ti even on the 8th gen i5 will be a bad time. NUCs use mobile processors and a high/mid range GPU will more than likely bottleneck the crap out of them. Any of the 20 series cards would be a bottleneck, as @fasauceome the 1050ti is the best bet for that specific NUC. But if you're looking for a Mid to highend gaming experience you might want to sell that NUC and build a desktop. 

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Just a heads up: 1050 ti aren't exactly cheap compared to how old they are and dated the tech is.  You'd be better off w/an AMD card, which'll give you far more power for the same price or slightly higher on either end w/more future resistance; unless you're willin to wait between July-September for Navi.  It'll also give a chance for the older cards to drop even more in price, if you don't want newer tech or pick up the newer tech at what prices are at usual release, while still havin the latest and greatest/up-to-date cards.

Wait a week or 2 after release for testing and new drivers before you ever pick up somethin new, though.  This holds true w/anything, so you're not purchasin blind and wastin money and/or destroyin what you already have due to defects.  The cards comin out will have more updated tech and the old ones will drop in price, possibly the NVIDIA ones, too, since they're not too popular w/consumers currently.  RTXs have massive issues and the 1660 is kind of laughable, along w/the 1660ti for havin a price bracket so close to the RTX 2060.  The 1000 series has such price hikes, they're not even worth purchasin, so waitin might be your best option.


A lot of people that're not willin to wait have been buyin up AMD RX 500 series and Vegas, since they've come down so much and most people play on 1080p.  They're great for that, while also bein good bang for your buck.  I purchased my EVGA 1070ti FTW2 8gb when the RTX cards were announced, so it dropped down to $480, then two weeks later a EVGA GTX 1080 DT 8gb came down to $430; afterwards, the prices have spiked to equal or higher than the RTX cards, which isn't worth it ($600+).


I would recommend an RX 570 4gb for somethin dated and 1080p gamin from Medium-low Ultra settings in most games, then upgradin the entire system when you're able to.  If you like AMD, then their Ryzen 3rd gen. should be released this year (possibly), then you can purchase a Navi and AMD Ryzen processor at the same time and upgrade everything all at once.

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56 minutes ago, Lloyd said:

Hi All,


How might I be able to determine what the optimum gpu is for a particular cpu? In the sense of not surpassing the point of diminishing returns?


In my specific example, I have an Intel NUC7i5BNH, equipped with an i5-7260U. What would be the best available gpu for this system? I have my eye on he AORUS Gaming Box with the RTX 2070, would this be overkill?


The best GPU to get is the one that you can afford, fits in the chassis, and doesn't require a new PSU. When I bought a GTX 1080, I had to buy a new chasis because using the GPU in the old one would have required removing the entire 3.5" hard drive bay. RTX seems like overkill for a dual-core system unless you intend to replace the rest of the system later.


nVidia is no longer producing drivers for chips earlier than Maxwell notebook platforms, so it's reason to believe that they may stop supporting all GPU's older than the 700 series sometime soon. I'd probably stick with trying to get a 1050ti/1060 (which are Pascal) if you want a new card, otherwise try to grab an older 970 if you can get a good deal on one. Those are all relatively in the same performance bracket and can do 1080p easily with most games that aren't high-end. 


On the other hand, if you want to plug a 4K monitor in, don't even bother with an older GPU. 4K gaming is something of an issue at present because in most games the GTX 1080 (non-Ti) falls just a little short of 4Kp60. The Ti can usually make up that difference, but this is with present games that actually have a 4K render, not a 1080p render upscaled to 4K. So if you want to game at 4K, you'd want a much better CPU to go with it. If you only want to game at 1080p, then a gtx 1070 is more than suitable, and a gtx 980 is still viable and leaves you some headroom. If you are doing video stuff... next gotcha.


Video encoding on the GPU is apparently not-that-good on NVidia cards prior to Pascal, and nVidia really decided to make sure the RTX beats the x264 encoder in OBS. So that's only one advantage to the RTX on a NUC, the GPU can do a much better job for streaming. But this is not really a justifiable reason to purchase a RTX over the previous GTX cards.





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