worthwhile CPU upgrade?

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worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:58 pm

Hi all,

Been very happy with my i5 2500k for a few years now, OC'ed to 4.4ghz, but I've now got a second HD 7950 on its way to me and I'm wondering whether its worth it to upgrade to an i7 in order to better feed the crossfire setup. I'm running a single 1440p display and play mostly bf4, company of heroes 2, planet side 2, and a few other similarly GPU intense titles. Does anyone else have a similar setup, or has anyone made a similar upgrade? My display will OC to 100 hz, and I'm more interested in higher framrates than mega high details, so a CPU bottleneck does seem like a possibility to me.

Thanks, charlie
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Re: worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:34 pm

Stick with the 2500K, especially since you have a decent overclock on it. The newer Intel CPUs won't necessarily overclock any better, and the Ivy Bridge IPC improvements are nice but nothing to bother upgrading for. For Haswell you'd need a new mobo which isn't worth the hassle.

FWIW I went from a 3550 to a 3770 and can't tell any difference at all in games.. but I got it for free :)
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Re: worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:44 pm

Fair enough. What sort of frame rates do you generally get? I'm interested mostly because I can find 2600ks on eBay for fairly reasonable prices and could recoup some of the cost by selling the i5. I know the generational improvements in IVB are pretty minimal, but 2600ks still OC really well.
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Re: worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:49 pm

This is one of those cases where I'll urge you to stay your hand. Even power consumption won't improve in a jump to Haswell if you're trying to overclock, and IPC improvements between the two aren't dramatic enough to make up the considerable expenditure you'd make. Resist the urge to upgrade because you feel antsy. The 4+ GHz 2500k and second Radeon will serve you as well as anything. While the hyperthreading inherent to i7 chips is a nice feature for some edge scenarios, very few modern games will take advantage of it in a meaningful way. Unless something breaks, don't try to fix your current setup. It's not like it was in the old days when waiting a few years was like jumping from a Pentium to a Pentium III, or even an Athlon XP to an Athlon 64.

edit: Uh, your display will OC to 100 Hz? I think you just mean that it will support a high refresh rate...
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Re: worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:42 pm

Not worth updating from a 2500k. It does everything a 3570k or 4670k can do, and has a better cooling interface allowing for better temps overclocks. Hyperthreading isn't going to make or break any game at this moment. There won't be any discernible difference while gaming going from a 2500k @ 4.4 GHz to a 4770k at 4+ GHz.

4.4 GHz is plenty to feed a crossfire setup. I averaged 70% usage on an i7 3820 (think the 2600k's more well-connected brother with more memory bandwidth and PCI-E lanes) in BF4 with 2 GTX 670s. I just game with 1 GTX 670 now as I've put the second one in another PC.

The only better thing in this case would be a 6 core like the 3930k, 4930k, etc... but that would require a new motherboard with the x79 chipset and possibly another couple of ram sticks to benefit from quad channel memory.

I'd advise you hold steady and put your money towards 290x cards when they drop in price after the coin-whoring bubble pops, or towards big Maxwell later this year. Your CPU is more than adequate for the time being, but more GPU power will definitely make a big difference.
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Re: worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:10 pm

I'm still running my 2500k at 4.2Ghz here with a Thermalright Ultra 120 Extreme. I honestly doubt that I'll have a good reason to upgrade this for the next several years. Though I don't game the way I used to years ago...
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Re: worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:46 am

piecerad wrote:Fair enough. What sort of frame rates do you generally get? I'm interested mostly because I can find 2600ks on eBay for fairly reasonable prices and could recoup some of the cost by selling the i5. I know the generational improvements in IVB are pretty minimal, but 2600ks still OC really well.


I usually crank stuff up until I get around 60fps. GPU limited mostly.
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Re: worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:36 am

2500K is good for 4.5GHz or so.
3770K is good for 4.5GHz or so.

What you're gaining is SMT which negatively impacts some older games, makes little difference to many games, and only a modest difference to those that actually use it well.
I think the architectural differences are practically nonexistant, 0-5% improvements in gaming. Only if you're going to do other things like encodes and renderings is an upgrade to an i7 worth considering.

Spend the money elsewhere - a GPU or some nice gaming peripherals.
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Re: worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:23 pm

What voltages are you using for your overclock, along with your motherboard ram amount and speed and what cooler are you using??

You may want to upgrade your CPU cooling if you are running under 1.4v. If you are getting your overclock with low voltage you might have a gem of a overclocking chip that could hit 5 ghz with a better cooling solution.

Also if you are running win 7 64 bit you should disable core parking. It can help performance especially with a crossfire or SLI setup. I know I gained a few FPS disabling core parking along with fixing a stutter in gameplay in BF3.

Also a few hundred MHz more on a overclock can increase max frame rate if you at using a display that pushes more the 60fps like previously stated.
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Re: worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:17 am

Is it going to worth upgrading to these new X99 systems when they come out..May-sept time?
I hear right going into DDR4 now?
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Re: worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 4:36 am

ElleMag wrote:Is it going to worth upgrading to these new X99 systems when they come out..May-sept time?
I hear right going into DDR4 now?


Don't know if it supports DDR4 and also i would suggest to wait for the reviews before deciding to upgrade.
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Re: worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:20 am

I'd agree that upgrading from an already-decent i5 won't make much difference ... spend money on upgrading your monitor instead - grab a Benq XL2720Z - it's made a massive difference to my BF4 gaming :)
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Re: worthwhile CPU upgrade?

Postposted on Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:37 am

As the others have said, stick with your 2500K unless you just feel like spending.
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