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Graphics Upgrade from 660 Ti

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by perplekks45, 5 Jan 2016.

  1. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    I know this topic has been covered already but I do have a couple of questions, especially regarding a possible limitating factor in the future, namely my CPU.

    This is my current system:

    CPU: Core i3-3240 @ stock (3.4GHz, 2 cores, 4 threads)
    MB: Gigabyte GA-Z77P-D3
    RAM: 8GB G.Skill Ares
    GPU: MSI N660Ti Power Edition 2GD5/OC
    SSD: Samsung 840 EVO 128GB
    HDD: WD Green 2TB
    Resolution: 1080p

    I am thinking about upgrading just my graphics card to a 970 or something similar to be ready for Doom and other new games. The 660 Ti is still fast enough for most games I throw at it but I'm not so sure about Doom at 1080p with all bells and whistles. And I definitely want the best possible experience when Doom hits the shelves.

    I do plan on upgrading my monitor in the not too distant future to a 1440p one as well.

    The questions I'm hoping to answer now are the following:

    1. Is the 970 my best upgrade path? Especially considering my future move to 1440p?
    2. Will my CPU limit my graphics card? If not on 1080p then maybe on 1440p?

    Thanks in advance! :thumb:
     
  2. thom804

    thom804 Member

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    Buy the absolute best you can afford.

    What's your budget? If you've got <£500 go with a Fury or Fury X, >£500 go with a 980Ti. The 970 is good so I've heard, but I wouldn't go with one for future-proofing.
     
  3. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    Sorry, forgot about the budget.

    I would like to spend 350 Euros max, partially because I don't see the point in going bonkers with a 980Ti for my current 1080p setup. It doesn't even make sense for 1440p, if you ask me. Obviously I would like to get one to be ready for games coming out in 2017, but as you get older you get wiser... or more conservative/careful, especially when it comes to spending money. ;)

    A Fury (non-X) will be 530 Euros at least, so I wouldn't want to go down that route.
     
  4. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    A Radeon 390 would be your best upgrade path. OCUK have the Nitro on sale for £249 atm and it may be possible to find other models even cheaper. It's your best upgrade path because the 390 is rumored to be faster than the 970 in both DX12 and VR.

    As for 2? yes, totally. The problem with locked CPUs is that they're, well, locked. That means they come out of the box with a lame derpy clock speed that you can't change. On the locked I5s and I7 from Sandy-Haswell you could overclock the turbo multiplier if you had a high end board by X4 but it was not left in on the I3.

    Your CPU will be a bottleneck at lower resolutions. The higher you go the more the GPUs take the strain and by the time you get to 4k you could wedge a potato in your CPU socket and it wouldn't make any difference.

    As an example I used to have an Intel Sandy 3970x. This thing was a beast, and easily clocked to 4.9ghz. One day I was playing GTAV @ 4k on two Titan Blacks and I noticed the FPS plummet. After hours of testing I realised my motherboard was dead and the CPU was locked to 1.1ghz. MSI confirmed the fets were dead. Any way I had a Hackintosh with a X79 UD3 and an 8 core 16 thread Ivy Xeon locked to 2ghz. I put that in in place of my 3970x and the FPS were identical to the 3970x @ 4.9ghz.

    Seeing as you have a half decent board I would track down either a 2500k/2600/2700k or a 3570k/3770k and upgrade the CPU as well.

    Avoid the 970 though as it may look good now on DX11 but that's all set to change with DX12 and VR.
     
  5. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    Thanks for the fast replies.

    But damn.... there goes my budget out the window. Once again.
     
  6. David

    David Take my advice — I’m not using it.

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    With that budget, a 970 or 390 will likely be the best choice.

    They offer twice the performance of your 660Ti and will be comfortable with current titles at 1440p.
     
  7. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    I would use the I3 as a reminder never to buy a locked CPU ever again. Had you not done so you could give it a gentle shove to around 4ghz or so and your problems would be solved.

    I'm not being horrible, I too learned not to buy locked CPUs when I bought a Sandy Xeon and then went 670SLI and saw Crysis 3 choking because the CPU had a terrible clock speed.

    I7 950 - Sandy Xeon - FX 8320 @ 4.7ghz. That was an expensive lesson...
     
  8. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    Well... it fit my budget back in 2013. ;)
     
  9. thom804

    thom804 Member

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    Meanwhile, apart from my graphics card, I'm essentially still running the same system I've had since 2011.
    Buy cheap, buy twice.
     
  10. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    So true that. I3 about £90 I5 was £160 or so...

    Lesson learned from me.
     
  11. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    So, I did some checking... and it doesn't look good for upgrading just my CPU. Given that you can now overclock the BCLK for all Skylake CPUs, the price difference between getting a used 1155 CPU and going 1151 is not big enough to make sense. Or so it seems to me.

    Will do some further digging, but thanks for all the replies so far. :thumb:
     
  12. Shirty

    Shirty W*nker! Super Moderator

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    If you sell your i3 and upgrade it to something like an i5-3570K, you should be able to do the CPU upgrade for around €50. I realise that this leaves only €300 for your GPU, but if you shop around you might well find a 970 that slots into your budget.

    If you're planing to stay on a 1080p monitor for the foreseeable future it should see you through at least the next few years.

    Of course, if you're selling your 660Ti that releases about €80 back into the budget again, which puts a 390 within reach along with a CPU bump.
     
  13. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    ShirtBro speaketh the truth. A 3570K and a 970 (or indeed a 390) would see you brilliantly for a fair while yet :D
     
  14. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

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    For the budget either a 970 or 390 would be my choice.

    Turn off the FPS counter / never look at the control panel and you wouldn't be able to tell the difference between either.

    Been messing around with my "new" 970 with the resolution scaling thingy in the Nvidia control panel. Handles Crysis 3 / BF4 and Fallout 4 fine at 1440p. No doubt you can find a game / setting that could make it choke, but realistically tweak a setting here or there (often with no visible image quality difference) and it be more than playable.
     
  15. Otis1337

    Otis1337 aka - Ripp3r

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    the two mods above speak the truth, this is your best option.
     
  16. perplekks45

    perplekks45 LIKE AN ANIMAL!

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    Thanks. Just checked ebay and could get my hands on an i5-3570K for 125 €, maybe less.
     
  17. Vault-Tec

    Vault-Tec Green Plastic Watering Can

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    That's actually not too bad at all really fella. That's about £100 which is around the going rate for a used one here in the UK.
     
  18. thom804

    thom804 Member

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    I'd check the Ebay thread that appeared a few days ago before going there for second hand tech stuff (unless it's BNIB that is.)
     
  19. jinq-sea

    jinq-sea 'write that down in your copy book' Super Moderator

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    Why are you sensationalising that so much?
     
  20. thom804

    thom804 Member

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    Why are you undermining the possibility of buying someone's RMA?

    I'm saying that there is a distinct chance when buying anything second hand from Ebay, that it'll be knackered on arrival. Especially following that thread, EBay's dispute resolution isn't great so you could end up £100 out of pocket for a couple of weeks, or indefinitely if they side with the seller.
     

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