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Thread: Which is going to give me the biggest initial gain?

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    explorer.exe
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    Question Which is going to give me the biggest initial gain?

    I'm looking to upgrade my PC as it's becoming rather noticeable that it's a fair bit out of date...

    I'm aiming for a CPU and GPU upgrade, with the CPU upgrade requiring a new mobo and RAM too.

    I can only really afford to do one this side of Christmas, so I was wondering which will give me the biggest boost for gaming:

    GTX 580 -> GTX 980

    or

    i7 2600K -> i7 5820K

    I'm expecting the GPU to be the first one to go for, but thought it best to seek the opinion of others.

    Also, bonus question: is it worth going to DDR4 when I replace the CPU and motherboard?

    Thanks all!

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    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: Which is going to give me the biggest initial gain?

    If it's a gaming PC, then definitely the GPU - the 2600K is still a pretty decent CPU, especially if it's overclocked. What monitor resolution are you using?

    The 5820K is a bit overkill for gaming, & you'll pay through the nose for DDR4 RAM. You'd be better off with a 4690K or 4790K really. But I'd personally stick with the 2600K for the time being.

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: Which is going to give me the biggest initial gain?

    Agreed, that GPU upgrade should make a sizeable improvement in gaming. http://anandtech.com/bench/product/1350?vs=1351

    The CPU? Probably not so much, if anything.

    DDR4 is a requirement of the Haswell-E platform so you'd have to factor that into the cost of upgrading; you couldn't re-use your DDR3.

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    Not a good person scaryjim's Avatar
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    Re: Which is going to give me the biggest initial gain?

    For gaming it's hands down 100% the GPU.

    I personally wouldn't bother upgrading the CPU for at least another year, maybe more: you're already on 8 threads which is about the maximum that games really benefit from at the minute, and that's not likely to change soon as both major consoles are 8-core so that will be an obvious target for game devs. When DX12 lands thread count will start to become more important than single-thread speed (DX12 will be the first version to more evenly distribute the rendering load - DX11 places a lot of the rendering load on one "master" thread) so you won't actually gain anything from upgrading to a "faster" 8-thread processor.

    How do you mean your PC is becoming "noticably" out of date? I've got boxes running old Athlon X2s with 2GB of DDR2 which aren't noticably slow for general computing. Best bet is what you'll benefit from most is cleaning or reinstalling your OS, or buying an SSD if you don't currently have one.

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    Re: Which is going to give me the biggest initial gain?

    Thanks for the replies.

    I'm gaming at 1080p at the moment, further down the shopping list is a new 4k monitor, but most of the time I'm aiming to be gaming on my Oculus Rift. Having to run Elite Dangerous and Assetto Corsa on minimum settings at the moment to get a 'smooth' 1080p picture to the Rift, so I'm hoping to get improvements out of those.

    I don't do overclocking any more. I tried it a while back with a GeForce 4, got artifacts on screen and then never did it again...

    Glad to hear the CPU isn't that bad, I might hang onto it for a while then while DDR4 prices become more sensible. I wasn't aware it was a requirement for Haswell-E, I just saw at the last minute some socket 2011 boards that took DDR3, so I wondered if I might be able to save some cash.

    EDIT: To add for scaryjim's reply, thanks for the advice on CPU. It's noticeable because I'm pushing it for the Rift I guess, and 2 of the latest games don't run well enough without turning everything right down to minimum, so I guess it's time to upgrade. I've got lower powered PCs for other tasks and their fine, it's just gaming this one is for. I have a SSD and a relatively clean install of Windows, but it's something to consider too. Thanks.


    Thanks all!
    Last edited by Silent Shark; 13-11-2014 at 05:19 PM. Reason: Adding additional reply

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    Senior Member watercooled's Avatar
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    Re: Which is going to give me the biggest initial gain?

    Yeah, there's more than one version of socket 2011 believe it or not. You need the newer one which is DDR4-only for Haswell-E.

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    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: Which is going to give me the biggest initial gain?

    DDR 4 prices might start to fall a bit once Skylake CPUs are released, but that's almost a year away.

    Does the Rift run games natively, or are they streamed to it?

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    Re: Which is going to give me the biggest initial gain?

    It's a display device like a monitor.

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    Re: Which is going to give me the biggest initial gain?

    Ignoring all the sensor stuff for head tracking, it works mostly as a display device, either recognised as a second monitor by Windows or through the preferred "Direct to Rift" mode that can be used by games that implement it. The screen inside the device is 1080p in the current model, but as the PC essentially has to render the scene twice, once for each eye, it's more demanding on the hardware than just playing normally. Also, to avoid disorientation through blurriness/juddering as you move your head, you need to get as many FPS as possible, 75 being the target at the moment.

    I've fallen out of touch with the latest developments in hardware, so I didn't know there were 2 types of 2011 socket! Surely that's not a good idea... I probably need to upgrade the SSD at some point too, as it's an old-ish Crucial one from a number of years ago.

    Thanks everyone, a GTX 980 will be picked up this weekend!
    I'll wait for more developments in CPUs before investing there.

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    Evil Monkey! MrJim's Avatar
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    Re: Which is going to give me the biggest initial gain?

    Quote Originally Posted by Silent Shark View Post
    I'm gaming at 1080p at the moment, further down the shopping list is a new 4k monitor, but most of the time I'm aiming to be gaming on my Oculus Rift. Having to run Elite Dangerous and Assetto Corsa on minimum settings at the moment to get a 'smooth' 1080p picture to the Rift, so I'm hoping to get improvements out of those.

    I don't do overclocking any more. I tried it a while back with a GeForce 4, got artifacts on screen and then never did it again...

    EDIT: To add for scaryjim's reply, thanks for the advice on CPU. It's noticeable because I'm pushing it for the Rift I guess, and 2 of the latest games don't run well enough without turning everything right down to minimum, so I guess it's time to upgrade. I've got lower powered PCs for other tasks and their fine, it's just gaming this one is for. I have a SSD and a relatively clean install of Windows, but it's something to consider too. Thanks.


    Thanks all!
    If you're thinking about a 4k monitor, you'll really be needing two of those 980's if you want good visual quality & reasonable frame rates! Of course you can always add another one later...

    Do you overclock your 2600K? If not, it's a way to boost your performance without any cost, as long as your cooler is up to the job.

    Even an older SSD should still be pretty useful, and faster than any conventional hard disk. I'm still using a five year old Intel X-25M G2 SSD, and it's plenty fast enough for most workloads...

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    Re: Which is going to give me the biggest initial gain?

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJim View Post
    If you're thinking about a 4k monitor, you'll really be needing two of those 980's if you want good visual quality & reasonable frame rates!
    I came here to say this, a 980 will run some games at just over 30 fps at 4k, but you'll need SLI if you want to game properly in 4k. My recommendation would be get a 970 and overclock it. The performance gains of a 980 over the 970 aren't really worth it, and for about £150 more than the 980 you can have SLI 970's. I'd look at the MSI, ASUS and Gigabyte models, there have reportedly been some problems with the alignment of the chip/heatsink on the EVGA cards. There was an issue with the fans on the MSI card, specifically one fan becoming stuck on, but it was fixed by an update.

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