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When Should You actually Upgrade Your GPU?

TechMasterMind
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I know this sounds like a really simple question but I'm on the border line on 120fps on GTA V at minimum 'CPU settings'.

I'm at 100% on both cpu & gpu usage.

Will upgrading my graphics card actually improve framerate???

Basically will a graphics card that renders frames faster actually output more frames allowing me to get higher fps and or crank up any settings that take up cpu time?!?

My specs:

i5 2400

2x4gb ddr3 1333

gtx 660

i7 8700k 5.0GHz 4.0Ghz Cache (Stock Cooler)

2x8GB 3400mhz RAM 19-19-19-38

GTX 1060 3GB 2050Mhz Core, 9500Mhz Memory

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2 minutes ago, TechMasterMind said:

I know this sounds like a really simple question but I'm on the border line on 120fps on GTA V at minimum 'CPU settings'.

I'm at 100% on both cpu & gpu usage.

Will upgrading my graphics card actually improve framerate???

Basically will a graphics card that renders frames faster actually output more frames allowing me to get higher fps and or crank up any settings that take up cpu time?!?

My specs:

i5 2400

2x4gb ddr3 1333

gtx 660

Yeah. Overclock your RAM To 1600 If you can. And grab yourself a nice gtx 960. Or a 690. 

CPU: Intel Core i9 9900K | Ram: 16GB Corsair LPX 3000 DDR4 | Asus Maximus XI Hero Z390 | GPU: EVGA RTX2080 XC | 960 EVO Samsung 500GB M.2 | 850 EVO Samsung 250GB M.2 | Samsung 1TB QVO SSD | 1TB HDD WD Blue 

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2 minutes ago, TechMasterMind said:

I know this sounds like a really simple question but I'm on the border line on 120fps on GTA V at minimum 'CPU settings'.

I'm at 100% on both cpu & gpu usage.

Will upgrading my graphics card actually improve framerate???

Basically will a graphics card that renders frames faster actually output more frames allowing me to get higher fps and or crank up any settings that take up cpu time?!?

My specs:

i5 2400

2x4gb ddr3 1333

gtx 660

5

i think that an i7 for 1ga 1155 and something like a 1050 ti and another 8gb or ram would be a good upgrade and yes it is time 

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You're missing the most important spec:  your monitor.   Can it even output 120hz or more?  Or is it a 60hz monitor?

 

The point being, if its a 60hz monitor all this is moot.  You should turn up settings quality until you get 60fps solid, then ask this same question.

 

If its a 120hz monitor, then no.  Pushing more frames won't do you any good.  But a new gpu will let you turn up settings and keep 120fps.

 

If its a >120hz monitor, then yes.  A new GPU will push more frames and be better.

 

**edit**

And yes.  You would need to basically build a new PC.  This platform is too old to really upgrade.

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well, there's no "should", it's always based on what you want.

but to give you an answer, personally I'd would save for a new system, everythings pretty outdated now. So to get a good improvment, you should not only upgrade gpu, but also cpu as GTA taxes both.

But I would not complain about 120fps...

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     You can upgrade your gpu but if both are at 100% usage you have the gpu and cpu matched up right. so it looks like a whole system upgrade because the cpu will be a bottleneck for a new gpu. but I would hold off till you are below your preferred fps due to the high ddr4 and gpu prices 

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Thanks for the response but yes my monitor can do 120hz+ you've skipped around my actual question would upgrading the gpu flat our increase framerate if the cpu is already pinned?!?

i7 8700k 5.0GHz 4.0Ghz Cache (Stock Cooler)

2x8GB 3400mhz RAM 19-19-19-38

GTX 1060 3GB 2050Mhz Core, 9500Mhz Memory

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1 minute ago, firecrafter711 said:

     You can upgrade your gpu but if both are at 100% usage you have the gpu and cpu matched up right. so it looks like a whole system upgrade because the cpu will be a bottleneck for a new gpu. but I would hold off till you are below your preferred fps due to the high ddr4 and gpu prices 

That's not what I'm asking I'm afraid I'm asking: will upgrading the GPU increase my framerate full stop despite the cpu being pinned, I can always switch out gpu settings if I want to use spare gpu power.

i7 8700k 5.0GHz 4.0Ghz Cache (Stock Cooler)

2x8GB 3400mhz RAM 19-19-19-38

GTX 1060 3GB 2050Mhz Core, 9500Mhz Memory

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6 minutes ago, 19_blackie_73 said:

well, there's no "should", it's always based on what you want.

but to give you an answer, personally I'd would save for a new system, everythings pretty outdated now. So to get a good improvment, you should not only upgrade gpu, but also cpu as GTA taxes both.

But I would not complain about 120fps...

I'm not asking what I should upgrade I'm afraid since I cant upgrade the system to much more than a 50% performance increase because IPC and clockspeeds havnt come all that far in the last 6 years what I'm asking is: will upgrading the GPU increase my framerate full stop despite the cpu being pinned, I can always switch out gpu settings if I want to use spare gpu power.

i7 8700k 5.0GHz 4.0Ghz Cache (Stock Cooler)

2x8GB 3400mhz RAM 19-19-19-38

GTX 1060 3GB 2050Mhz Core, 9500Mhz Memory

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4 minutes ago, TechMasterMind said:

That's not what I'm asking I'm afraid I'm asking: will upgrading the GPU increase my framerate full stop despite the cpu being pinned, I can always switch out gpu settings if I want to use spare gpu power.

1

it may increase it some but I don't believe it would be enough if an increase to be worth the price of a new gpu/new to you. but it could increase your quality do to a more memory on the gpu

Edited by firecrafter711
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It may? I know I'm being a bit of an annoyance here but I'm basically asking if anyone has tested this i.e. cpu at 100% gpu 100% --> upgrade gpu to where its at 50% ---> does fps increase?

The price of an overall upgrade to a gtx 780 is like £40 so if I can both increase fps to where I can have consistent frames being produced along side the monitor (non-freesync display) PLUS settings increases and fps and multi monitors galore on other games.

i7 8700k 5.0GHz 4.0Ghz Cache (Stock Cooler)

2x8GB 3400mhz RAM 19-19-19-38

GTX 1060 3GB 2050Mhz Core, 9500Mhz Memory

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When you max out your video card, your system will look to the cpu to leverage the remaining needs.

 

I think a gpu upgrade will help you since that is a 2gb vram card and gtav is a very resource hungry game.

 

However, since you can't OC that i5, I would suggest looking at a GTX 1060 6gb.

 

Sandy bridge is still a capable CPU for gaming and you can always migrate that 1060 into a new build.

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12 minutes ago, TechMasterMind said:

Thanks for the response but yes my monitor can do 120hz+ you've skipped around my actual question would upgrading the gpu flat our increase framerate if the cpu is already pinned?!?

 

Honestly its not something with a universal answer.  It depends on a lot of things.  For some games yes, for others no.  A single-player game like a Tomb-Raider, absolutely yes.  Something more physics-based like a Project Cars with a 32 grid of opponents - no.

 

The point is that you're not really asking the right questions.  You need a goal.  Is your goal to get more frames at a certain quality setting?  if so, what is your max framerate?  Is your monitor GSync or Freesync?  Or is your goal to play games at the best possible setting with 120fps?  

 

The bottom line is your system is very old and ready for an update.  You can buy a newer video card, but I wouldn't expect much improvement until you upgrade the rest of the PC to match.

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12 minutes ago, TechMasterMind said:

I'm not asking what I should upgrade I'm afraid since I cant upgrade the system to much more than a 50% performance increase because IPC and clockspeeds havnt come all that far in the last 6 years what I'm asking is: will upgrading the GPU increase my framerate full stop despite the cpu being pinned, I can always switch out gpu settings if I want to use spare gpu power.

 

This is the most absurd thing I've read all day.  Clock speeds are not what make modern processors RIDICULOUSLY better than what you're using.  You know nothing, John Snow.

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20 hours ago, Vantage9 said:

 

This is the most absurd thing I've read all day.  Clock speeds are not what make modern processors RIDICULOUSLY better than what you're using.  You know nothing, John Snow.

Find me a benchmark that shows ANY processor out performing my CPU by 'RIDICULOUS' proportions in single threaded performance (what matters in gaming) then.

i7 8700k 5.0GHz 4.0Ghz Cache (Stock Cooler)

2x8GB 3400mhz RAM 19-19-19-38

GTX 1060 3GB 2050Mhz Core, 9500Mhz Memory

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20 hours ago, Jon Jon said:

When you max out your video card, your system will look to the cpu to leverage the remaining needs.

 

I think a gpu upgrade will help you since that is a 2gb vram card and gtav is a very resource hungry game.

 

However, since you can't OC that i5, I would suggest looking at a GTX 1060 6gb.

 

Sandy bridge is still a capable CPU for gaming and you can always migrate that 1060 into a new build.

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i7 8700k 5.0GHz 4.0Ghz Cache (Stock Cooler)

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52 minutes ago, TechMasterMind said:

Find me a benchmark that shows ANY processor out performing my CPU by 'RIDICULOUS' proportions in single threaded performance (what matters in gaming) then.

I guess it all depends on your definition of ridiculous.  

 

The average single thread i7 8700k benchmark beats out the i5 2400 by over 1,000 points.

 

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html

 

 

 

 

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13 minutes ago, tcari394 said:

I guess it all depends on your definition of ridiculous.  

 

The average single thread i7 8700k benchmark beats out the i5 2400 by over 1,000 points.

 

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html

 

 

 

 

I wouldn't trust that solely because if you look, the i3-8100 at 3.6ghz is somehow 500+ points lower than the i7-8700k at 3.7ghz.

 

That literally makes no sense.

 

If we wanted to compare synthetics, then the op should just post his cinebench scores, but I don't see how relevant this is when he already knows the performance he wants to get.

 

Keep in mind, he is running a GTX 660, which is five years old and doesn't support a lot of the newer rendering techniques afforded by more recent cards.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Jon Jon said:

I wouldn't trust that solely because if you look, the i3-8100 at 3.6ghz is somehow 500+ points lower than the i7-8700k at 3.7ghz.

 

That literally makes no sense.

 

The 8700k has higher turbo boost

 

 

OP: simulate it yourself: turn down a setting that taxes the GPU but is neutral to the CPU and see if you get more frames. Or overclock your GPU and see if you get more

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What? even though the i3 8100 and i7 8700k are absolutely the same architecture their single thread performance is NOT identical by any means, there's plenty more to consider such as L2 L3 cache, silicon purity, instructions refinement and so on.

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CPU: Intel Core i7 8700 @4.45ghz |~| Cooling: Cooler Master Hyper 212X |~| MOBO: Gigabyte Z370M D3H mATX|~| RAM: 16gb DDR4 3333mhzCL16 G.Skill Trident Z |~| GPU: nVidia Founders Edition GTX 1080 Ti |~| PSU: Corsair TX650M 80Plus Gold |~| Boot:  SSD WD Green M.2 2280 240GB |~| Storage: 1x3TB HDD 7200rpm Seagate Barracuda + SanDisk Ultra 3D 1TB |~| Case: Fractal Design Meshify C Mini |~| Display: Toshiba UL7A 4K/60hz |~| OS: Windows 10 Pro.

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24 minutes ago, Princess Cadence said:

What? even though the i3 8100 and i7 8700k are absolutely the same architecture their single thread performance is NOT identical by any means, there's plenty more to consider such as L2 L3 cache, silicon purity, instructions refinement and so on.

Would that honestly drastically change the real world performance in single threaded tasks?

 

Maybe that's true in passmark, but I think the other guy hit the nail on the head with the 8700k boosting during the test, but I forget how high the i3 boosts ?

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1 minute ago, Jon Jon said:

?

Real world performance not too much being honest but it still is noticeable especially in synthetics if you go for a same frequency comparison.

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2 hours ago, TechMasterMind said:

Find me a benchmark that shows ANY processor out performing my CPU by 'RIDICULOUS' proportions in single threaded performance (what matters in gaming) then.

 

Um, gaming in the real world is about a HELL of a lot more than single threaded benchmarks.  Let me enlighten you with a bit of personal experience.  Up until recently I was gaming on an i5-4690k (newer and faster than your processor).  I had upgraded to a 1080Ti to boost my VR performance, but quickly found that everything wasn't quite so GPU dependent as I thought.

 

In traditional games like Rise of the Tomb Raider, it would MURDER with everything maxxed out and the frames never dropping.  CPU usage wasn't maxed or really even strained, except in certain situations.  In particular jungle settings, when the tree-limb count and number of debris would go through the roof, suddenly the CPU would peg out at 100% and the frames would drop for the first time.  You see, its more than just rendering 3D pixels, its the PHYSICS of some of these things.  Anytime the number of physics calculations goes up (which is a lot in modern games), you need more cores/threads to push it along.

 

This effect was staggeringly more obvious in VR.  In more simple solo VR experiences like Duck Season, I could supersample like crazy, almost 2.0, while maintaining perfect frames.  Even in my game-of-choice, Assetto Corsa, I could race solo on a track with settings on max and supersample at 1.5+, but as soon as you add a grid of 10+ opponents things change.  Suddenly there's a lot of physics calculations happening, the CPU pegs out, and the Rift immediately starts dropping below 90fps, rarely maintaining it for more than a few seconds at a time.  

 

Swapped in a 7700k, a much more modern processor with more cores/threads and voila . . . solid 90fps with a grid of 32 other cars and settings on max.  The difference is so tangibly obvious its laughable.  Coupled with the fact that things like my 3DMark and VRMark scores almost tripled in what percentile I'm in (same video card, but better processor), there's no question.  The way you say "single threaded performance is what matters for gaming" might be true for a narrow band of games and situations, but I think that's increasingly an antiquated way to see things.

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