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Thread: When is a CPU too old for a new GPU to matter?

  1. #1
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    When is a CPU too old for a new GPU to matter?

    I'm looking at bumping up the GPU on ~2011 vintage Dell PC (XPS 8300) with a Core i7-2600 (2nd Generation Core i7) CPU on it.

    The goal would be to play a few more 2015 vintage PC games on it at and enjoy reasonable gameplay...no expectation of maximizing graphics settings but I don't want really choppy play.

    Current GPU is a Radeon 6670, I was looking at bumping it up to a GeForce GTX 1050 (or maybe 1050 Ti) or something. Should be less than $200 USD to do at this point. Could I make this investment and get another 2 good years out of this machine?

    My question is, would the CPU clearly be the bottleneck and I'd just get choppy play and it just isn't worth sinking money into this PC at all. It seems to me like CPU speeds just aren't making the huge leaps each year that they used to and people seem to be claiming that it's all about GPU these days. To be honest, I can remember people saying that 15 years ago and I always felt CPU pretty easily became the bottleneck. I'm looking for some perspectives on this in 2017 as I was way more in tune with hardware 10-15 years ago than I am today...

  2. #2
    Second Most EVIL YARDofSTUF's Avatar
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    CPU would be a limiting factor, but it wouldn't cause choppy gameplay. 1050ti or a 1060 3gb card should be pretty affordable. I think your biggest limiting factor is gonna be if you have the original hdd with that rig, probably pretty slow, and that would be what I'd espect to make things choppy if anything.

    I have an i7 2600 and a 970 GTX, plays games fine as long as I stay at 1080p and dont try to max the settings out on games like Witcher 3

  3. #3
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    A 1050 Ti is about $160 @ Newegg.. They are great cards, just the fact they support DirectX 12 and have 4GB of RAM makes them a worthy investment and somewhat future-proof. Some newer games require DirectX 11 and support DirectX 12.. GTX 1050 Ti is about 3 times faster than a Radeon 6670, and you will benefit in GPU-intensive games.

    As Yard said, your hdd would be the slowest thing, but after upgrading to a SSD, a GPU is a worthy investment especially for gaming. Even when you decide to upgrade your machine you can take the card with you, it won't be worthless. The only issue with current video cards is that prices are somewhat inflated because of all the cryptocurrency mining craze.

  4. #4
    Cabledude Avatar Fan purecomedy's Avatar
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    You definitely called it right, the hard drive speed is painful. SSDs have come down in price a lot, it's a worthwhile upgrade.

    I've been looking at GPUs now and then and it just appears after some deals around Christmas that there aren't great deals currently. From what I saw benchmark wise, it looked like the 1050 Ti was overpriced. You either get a good budget card with a 1050 or spend the extra to get the 1060. The part that confuses me is there's so many different manufacturers of each card I don't which to buy. I believe they're all pretty similar, some are overclocked by a small amount but nothing significant right?

  5. #5
    Administrator Philip's Avatar
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    Actually, 1050ti will give you 15% performance gain over 1050, for $35 price difference.
    https://www.videocardbenchmark.net

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