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blitzy
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Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Sat Aug 26, 2017 11:37 pm

Hey guys, I've been playing a bit of PUBG lately and enjoying it quite a bit. It's a lot of fun in squad fights. It's a fairly resource hungry game though and fps drops are quite annoying, even though I play on mostly low settings. The FPS can dip below 60 fairly easily at times. Being an early access game probably doesn't help either.

Anyway, I'm looking at what I could upgrade to get some better performance.

My current rig is
i5-3570K
8 GB DDR3 1333 system memory, was some basic cheap Adata RAM (I'm keen to up this to at least 16GB, but depends on when I plan to swap cpu / mobo etc)
ASUS P8Z77-m https://www.asus.com/nz/Motherboards/P8 ... fications/
GTX 970 4GB
Couple of crucial SSDs for disk, probably going to pick up a Samsung EVO 1TB at some stage so I have more space for games


I'm thinking maybe my CPU is OK, but my RAM is a little on the low side. GPU would probably make the most difference, and I can sell my GTX 970 because its still worth something even though it's not super fast.

What would you upgrade if it were you? (I prefer nvidia drivers when it comes to gpu). Budget wise, I would be open to 1080ti if I thought it was worth it. Not sure how well it would fit on this little micro ATX mobo :)
I also have a fairly beefy Noctua NH-D14 cooler mounted on CPU so i assume overclocking is possible to some extent but I never tried it. I mainly got it because it has 120mm fan

If upgrading memory what would you get?

Heres a specification of supported motherboard memory;
4 x DIMM, Max. 32GB, DDR3 2400(O.C.)/2200(O.C.)/2133(O.C.)/2000(O.C.)/1866(O.C.)/1800(O.C.)/1600/1333 MHz Non-ECC, Un-buffered Memory


--------
A quick update on what I have found so far
  • The bottleneck appears to be CPU, often usage will sit around 80% but when things load in or enemies are near it maxes out.
  • Memory doesn't appear to be a bottleneck, probably because I am using low graphic settings. Usage tops out around 6.7GB when most of the island is visible, but majority of the time sits lower at about 5-5.5GB usage quite comfortably
  • Overclocking to 4.2Ghz feels like it makes the FPS a bit smoother overall, and reduces the severity of the lower fps moment. CPU still does max out fairly similarly even with the overclock, but overall fps feels a bit smoother and less prone to dropping. I haven't got any actual conclusive benchmark numbers to prove it but thats how it feels
Last edited by blitzy on Fri Sep 01, 2017 2:13 am, edited 2 times in total.
 
HERETIC
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:23 am

A GPU upgrade will give you the best improvement.
A 1070 or a Vega 56 should give you about a 50% improvement.
Recommend you OC your 3570 to around 4.2-That's not a major OC and should be fine.

If your wanting to go higher than a 1070,then you'd need to consider upgrading your CPU/Motherboard as well.
A 1070 is around the limit where your CPU will start to be a bottleneck.

EDIT
As this is a DDR3 Motherboard you don't want to be spending a lot on RAM.
Just add another 8GB of cheap RAM-preferably same as you have if available............
 
Airmantharp
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:41 am

Your answer is 'both'. You need more cores/threads, and more memory, on both CPU and GPU. And you could use more GPU power.

The direction I take with it is this, though: if you want higher framerates, upgrade the GPU first, and if you want smoother frame delivery, upgrade the CPU first.
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Krogoth
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:54 am

It sounds like the GPU is the bottleneck and upgrading may help things. I wouldn't bother with a CPU upgrade unless you plan on doing streaming. Games are still ruled by clockspeed/IPC and they hasn't been that much of an improvement since Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge.

It is probably more practical just cut back on the eye candy and effects if framerate is such a major concern. It is common practice among the hardcore FPS community not because it improves performance but it makes it easier to spot your targets.
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Sun Aug 27, 2017 2:06 am

If it's an either-or proposition, find out whether the CPU or GPU is holding you back most?

Benchmark multiple sessions recording frame times (FRAPS will do) and plot the results. Runs could be at stock clocks, 2 steps of overclock and 2 steps of underclock, first with the CPU and then repeat on the GPU; e.g. CPU at stock (turbo off) 3.4 GHz and then e.g. try 3.0, 3.2, 3.6, 3.8 GHz and see what happens to the performance.
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Glorious
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:36 am

I have the same thing (albeit with 4X4 GB of 1600mhz DDR3), and I've wondered the same recently. But I want to emphasize something HERETIC said:

HERETIC wrote:
Recommend you OC your 3570 to around 4.2-That's not a major OC and should be fine.


I did exactly this less than a year ago (it was always stock before), and yeah, in my case with absolutely no muss or fuss, it just worked at 4.2.

So it's worth trying. It's not a lot, but it's free.

---

I also have to recommend what Krogoth said:

Krogoth wrote:
It is probably more practical just cut back on the eye candy and effects if framerate is such a major concern. It is common practice among the hardcore FPS community not because it improves performance but it makes it easier to spot your targets.


This has worked very well for me in previous Battlefields, but I'm loathe to do it for the current one (Battlefield 1, the WW1 game) because for once I really enjoy how it looks.

But yeah, it obviously helps framerate. It also, as he says, typically makes distinguishing targets much easier which tends (in my experience, and I probably play way too much battlefield for a man of my age and responsibilities :lol: ) to help more than better framerate assuming yours is marginal.

---

What Topinio said is an interesting and good idea too, I just personally don't have the time for that.

I'd lean towards a 1070 as HERETIC said, but PUBG (haven't played it though friends have) sounds like one of those wonky-performance games in which hardware can only help so much.

I've mostly avoided thinking about new GPUs because mining has warped the market and because I can honestly live with what I have for another year (after FIVE[!!!] as of this week with the CPU and THREE[!!!] as of next month with GPU :o :o :o :o :o :o brave new world of hardware "longevity" folks).

I might just wait until the next round of new GPUs and then just upgrade the whole thing.
 
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Sun Aug 27, 2017 11:12 am

I had a very similar setup with the GTX 970 and I5-3570k processor. I ran into problems with Battlefield 1 stuttering and terrible frame rates. All four cores were fully utilized and the GPU was loafing. I overclocked it a bit and that helped some. I ended up with an issue with my motherboard's bios when I updated it and I just decided, since I had the money, to go to an I7-6700K upgrade. The core usage dropped to about 65% average usage and the GPU went up with the game running smoother than ever.

I would look at your CPU utilization as well as the GPU and which ever is higher I would upgrade that first. I like to try to skip a generation of GPU but some of the prices for the GTX1080 are pretty low. Newegg has a Gigabyte GTX 1080 that goes for $509 pretty regularly and I would rather pay than the prices that GTX 1070s are going for. Very tempting!
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synthtel2
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Sun Aug 27, 2017 1:25 pm

What resolution do you run at?

I'll second Topinio's idea. PUBG is weird and figuring out what's the actual bottleneck is essential. That said, I suspect CPU/RAM are more likely, if these are more stuttery/inconsistent kinds of drops. For that kind of drop, I'd also be more inclined to use big clock differences in few steps and just play the game, rather than spending a lot of time being scientific. Don't forget RAM clocks, IME they often have a big effect on stutters like this.

Raw utilization numbers on the CPU side may or may not be much use depending on PUBG's threading situation. If GPU is consistently >95%, that's relevant though.

Edit: Here's what that looked like last time I did it and saved the results. Adjusting downward only is fine - if a 20-25% clock reduction turns up a big difference, it's unlikely to stop being relevant for a bit of distance above the current performance.
 
blitzy
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Sun Aug 27, 2017 8:51 pm

Thanks for the advice guys. Sounds like I need to monitor my resource utilization and see where the bottleneck is. Also sounds like I can easily sneak a small performance gain by doing a slight CPU overclock.

I am running PUBG at 1080P on lowest graphics settings (in settings this is 'very low'), have antialiasing set on low for a little bit less jaggyness. Only things that could be lowered is the antialiasing and screen scale (which is on default at 100). I think a big part of the problem is likely to be the early access nature of PUBG which can't be avoided, but an overall smoother expierience and higher FPS would be nice to have. I think largely my FPS is 60+, but do see it dip below quite often in places.

Looking into upgrading my hardware I was quite surprised by just how old my current hardware is, I had a general feeling my rig wasn't too bad, but it's actually getting fairly long in the tooth. e.g. CPU was from 2012 and GPU I got in 2014, CPU in particular many generations behind. Quite impressed by the longevity of it really.

I also had a look into CPU / GPU impact on games, and it looks like it varies a lot depending on the game, e.g.
http://www.anandtech.com/show/9483/inte ... eration/16

From what I have been seeing comments wise, it sounds like PUBG may be a bit CPU intensive, but I haven't found any solid benchmarks or numbers that prove that point yet. Will see what I can figure out by monitoring my resources tonight, and maybe have a look into the impact of OC or underclocking.
 
HERETIC
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Mon Aug 28, 2017 12:58 am

blitzy wrote:
Thanks for the advice guys. Sounds like I need to monitor my resource utilization and see where the bottleneck is. Also sounds like I can easily sneak a small performance gain by doing a slight CPU overclock.

I am running PUBG at 1080P on lowest graphics settings (in settings this is 'very low'), have antialiasing set on low for a little bit less jaggyness. Only things that could be lowered is the antialiasing and screen scale (which is on default at 100). I think a big part of the problem is likely to be the early access nature of PUBG which can't be avoided, but an overall smoother expierience and higher FPS would be nice to have. I think largely my FPS is 60+, but do see it dip below quite often in places.

Looking into upgrading my hardware I was quite surprised by just how old my current hardware is, I had a general feeling my rig wasn't too bad, but it's actually getting fairly long in the tooth. e.g. CPU was from 2012 and GPU I got in 2014, CPU in particular many generations behind. Quite impressed by the longevity of it really.

From what I have been seeing comments wise, it sounds like PUBG may be a bit CPU intensive, but I haven't found any solid benchmarks or numbers that prove that point yet. Will see what I can figure out by monitoring my resources tonight, and maybe have a look into the impact of OC or underclocking.


Yeah,age of your system was why I recommended spending minimum amount on RAM.
Unlike a GPU which could move to a new system.

When your running your tests-do a run at 1366 or 720P just to see what it looks like..........

Something you haven't mentioned-What PSU are you using?????????????????
 
DPete27
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Mon Aug 28, 2017 9:17 am

Wow, I'm actually surprised that an Ivy i5 and a GTX970 can't manage 1080p @ 60fps even on low settings. Is it possible this is a game or server problem?

If you do a lot of online multiplayer, a CPU upgrade is probably your best bet at this point.
Main: i5-3570K, ASRock Z77 Pro4-M, MSI RX480 8G, 500GB Crucial BX100, 2 TB Samsung EcoGreen F4, 16GB 1600MHz G.Skill @1.25V, EVGA 550-G2, Silverstone PS07B
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The Egg
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Mon Aug 28, 2017 5:54 pm

DPete27 wrote:
Wow, I'm actually surprised that an Ivy i5 and a GTX970 can't manage 1080p @ 60fps even on low settings. Is it possible this is a game or server problem?

If you do a lot of online multiplayer, a CPU upgrade is probably your best bet at this point.

I'm surprised as well, as I run with most games cranked at 1080p on a 2500k/GTX970 combo (at stock clocks!). Haven't personally tried PUBG, but my nephew has almost 100hrs in with my old GTX660, and says it does surprisingly well (albeit on a 7600k).

Granted, I haven't seen his settings or know what he's able to visually tolerate, but it still sounds like you're getting lower-than-expected performance.
 
blitzy
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Mon Aug 28, 2017 6:56 pm

My PSU is a 550W Seasonic modular, I forget the exact model number (will update later)

I had a couple of games of PUBG last night and ran Task Manager with performance tab up in the background to keep an eye on CPU usage, largely the usage was quite modest at around 70% most of the time however there were periodic spikes occurring, quite thick spikes that lasted for a few seconds and hit 100% full CPU usage briefly. e.g. Short but slightly thick spike with 80-90% usage for a few seconds, and with a brief center peak of the spike that maxed at 100% usage. My gut feeling is that lack of optimization of the game is responsible for the spikes, so maybe not much that can be done.

Does anyone have good resource monitoring tools they can recommend? It would be useful to log;
FPS over time (I see FRAPS is an option for logging, looks like it's not really an actively maintained software though?)
CPU usage, per process over time (per process to make sure it's not some other service in the background causing the usage spikes)
Disk usage over time (I would have thought unlikely to be a factor, but worth eyeballing)

Looks like Windows process monitor can be configured to log both CPU and disk usage per process. So that may do the trick in terms of identifying where the spikes are coming from. I suspect it will be from the PUBG tslgame process, but we shall see.
 
synthtel2
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Mon Aug 28, 2017 10:42 pm

70% of 4T is modest enough for a game known to be well multithreaded, but not for something system-on-a-thread oriented. UE4 supports some of both AFAIK, and I don't know PUBG well enough to know how it's likely doing things.

I'd say spikes like that may be asset streaming, but several seconds is a fairly long time for that. Do they match up with anything in particular in-game?

Lack of optimization can translate to lots of things, and in this case "needs too much CPU time or memory bandwidth" seems most likely. That's good, because it means it may be something you can fix.

CPU usage per-process may in effect be easy to track if task manager or resource monitor have CPU time columns (h:mm:ss.ss instead of percent) that you can sort by. That should give you a clear view of the heavy processes other than the game, and you could check that their CPU time values don't accumulate much while you're gaming. (Edit, never mind this paragraph, you beat me to it.)
 
southrncomfortjm
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Tue Aug 29, 2017 12:03 pm

First double check that your video drivers are up to date. It's obvious, but also easy to overlook.

I have a 3570K and I feel like it is still going strong. I run mine at stock clocks most of the time, but have a 4.4ghz overclock profile saved for when I try a more taxing game. I'd definitely recommend trying to OC it to at least 4.4ghz before replacing it. It's cooled by an 212EVO, so you don't need anything crazy for a decent overclock.

If that doesn't totally solve your problems, then I'd still go for a GPU upgrade before anything else. This is a tough proposition right now given how expensive GPUs are - basically nothing is near MSRP except for cards that will deliver less performance than your 970, or 1080 and 1080Tis which are $500-750. Best bet may be to get a more expensive card, like a 1070, but use it for mining in the meantime to recoup some of the extra costs. I've been mining for about 7 weeks and made about $100 which pays for half of my RX 480 that I got way before the mining craze.

Finally, remember that PUBG, popular as it is, is still an early access game, so things may improve in the future. Good luck!
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Cota
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Tue Aug 29, 2017 1:55 pm

At current prices, it makes more sense to get a GTX1080 than a 1070 because of miners. Thankfully I got my 1070 just days before they skyrocketed.
 
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:53 pm

blitzy wrote:
My current rig is
i5-3570K
8 GB DDR3 1333 system memory, was some basic cheap Adata RAM (I'm keen to up this to at least 16GB, but depends on when I plan to swap cpu / mobo etc)
ASUS P8Z77-m https://www.asus.com/nz/Motherboards/P8 ... fications/
GTX 970 4GB


The minimum requirements are:

Processor: Intel Core i3-4340/AMD FX-6300
Memory: 6GB RAM
Graphics: nVidia GeForce GTX 660 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7850 2GB

Your GPU is far ahead of the requirement, and if you are playing on low settings then it is probably not the issue. Your CPU and RAM are much closer to the minimums.

The best answer will come from running a tool like perfmon or Cacti while playing. Look at memory usage, CPU usage, and hard page faults.

As an easier alternative, you can consider upgrading the RAM to see how it runs, as that is the most likely culprit.

Unfortunately, your system takes DDR3, which means the RAM is wasted if you actually need to upgrade the CPU---it won't carry over since newer CPUs pair with DDR4. I would buy 8-16 GB and see how it runs. If the problem remains, return it immediately and look for new CPU/MB/RAM.
 
lordcheeto
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Tue Aug 29, 2017 6:05 pm

They make DDR3 that slow?

Anyways, you don't have many options for that socket now. The best upgrade you could make at CPU is the i7-3770k, which has basically the same single-threaded performance. Definitely not worth it.

Your video card is good, and the VRAM should be more than sufficient. There's not a ton of options above it, at least new and under $400. If you can find a used 980 or 980 Ti, might be worth it, but I think the money is better spent on a new motherboard and CPU. 1080Ti would be a waste with your current setup.

The Intel 7600k, 7700k , and the Ryzen 1700, 1700X, 1800X would be good upgrades. The Intel chips being stronger in single-threaded tasks, and the Ryzen being stronger in mult-tasking. Both would require DDR4 memory. If you keep your current setup, I would highly recommend upgrading that RAM. 8-16GB of faster RAM would go a long way.
 
blitzy
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Tue Aug 29, 2017 7:02 pm

Thanks for all the feedback. Yes I was surprised to find my PC was already 5 years old, and GPU nearly 3 years old. Time sure flies, I haven't really been following hardware so closely lately so had a bit of catching up to do there and refreshing my memory on what's what. I can confirm my graphics drivers are up to date.

Got in a couple of games of PUBG last night with performance monitor running, set up the graph to show CPU time for each process, and it was indeed the TSLGame.exe (PUBG) process that was occassionally spiking with heavy usage, so most likely due to the game not being optimized, and not the result of any other background processes interfering. I need to also look at graphing my memory usage to make sure that isn't maxing out, I don't think it has been based on what I've seen from keeping an eye on usage, and since I am running on nearly lowest settings should have reduced the overall memory requirements for the game. Need to check properly though to be sure by logging the usage out over a decent chunk of time.

I also had a quick look at what overclocking options my motherboard has and it seems to have done 4.2Ghz right off the bat with the in built automatic overclocking feature. Will give that a try tonight to see if that makes much of a difference to overall performance.

So it's looking like I need to plan an upgrade to my CPU and Memory at some point in the near future. 8GB memory is not quite enough for gaming these days, and the CPU is many generations old. Will see how well I can get by with an overclock in the meantime till I have decided what my upgrade will be, and whether I will replace any other components like case, cooling etc. Since by upgrading CPU / Mobo / RAM I will have a spare computer that is largely good enough for most things.
 
shaq_mobile
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:03 pm

I'm in a somewhat similar boat as you. GTX 780 and 3570k.

PUBG doesn't seem to tax it too much, but there are definitely frame drops at times. I run most settings at the lowest...

I was actually just considering getting a 1080 Ti and upgrading CPU later.
 
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Tue Aug 29, 2017 8:34 pm

Coffee Lake Core i7-8700K will give you the same class-leading single-threaded performance as Kaby Lake, but with six cores / twelve threads. It should be a worthy upgrade from your Ivy Bridge CPU. Toss in 2x16 GiB of PC4-25600 (DDR4-3200) or faster RAM (currently $255) and a fast half-terabyte M.2 M SSD (currently $220), and you should be good to go for quite a while.
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southrncomfortjm
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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Wed Aug 30, 2017 2:30 pm

blitzy wrote:
I also had a quick look at what overclocking options my motherboard has and it seems to have done 4.2Ghz right off the bat with the in built automatic overclocking feature. Will give that a try tonight to see if that makes much of a difference to overall performance.



Note that those automatic overclocks aren't that great from an efficiency standpoint. They normally throw way more voltage at the CPU than is necessary to get the desired outcome. Try it out for sure, but after that just follow a tutorial to get the voltage down and the CPU speed up to something stable. Basically, speed to 4.3 or 4.4ghz and then step down the voltage until you get instability, then go back to the last stable voltage. Use Prime95 to test the stability of your overclock. Normally a minute or so will let you know that its basically stable, then run it longer to ensure real stability.

JustAnEngineer wrote:
Coffee Lake Core i7-8700K will give you the same class-leading single-threaded performance as Kaby Lake, but with six cores / twelve threads. It should be a worthy upgrade from your Ivy Bridge CPU. Toss in 2x16 GiB of PC4-25600 (DDR4-3200) or faster RAM (currently $255) and a fast half-terabyte M.2 M SSD (currently $220), and you should be good to go for quite a while.


32 gigs of RAM seems like crazy overkill. 16 should be more than enough, shouldn't it? I'd rather put the money saved on RAM towards a full terabyte SSD since AAA game installs are basically all 50+gb now, especially with higher resolution textures.
Gaming: i5-3570k/Z77/212 Evo/Corsair 500R/16GB 1600 CL8/RX 480 8GB/840 250gb, EVO 500gb, SG 3tb/Tachyon 650w/Win10

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Re: Which upgrade for more FPS, from an i5-3570K GTX 970

Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:12 pm

I you can get by with just 2x 8 GiB ($131) for a few years, RAM is the easiest thing to upgrade later. That might make it more tolerable to spend $428 on a larger SSD.
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