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Considering CPU Upgrade 2600k? 3770k?

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  • CPUs
  • Motherboards
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January 7, 2012 9:45:22 PM

I am looking to update my CPU, and then in turn my motherboard, but I'm not quite sure what is the best way to go. I'll start by saying that I don't have much in the way of funding, so any of the Sandy Bridge E stuff would be way out of the question. I use the computer mostly for gaming, but I also overclock and generally do some performance tweaking for fun. I'm going to be getting into some light programming too, so I'm looking for more processing power for that too. I currently have an i5 2500k running on a gigabyte z68ap-d3. I picked up that combo cheap from microcenter a few months back to hold myself over until Ivy Bridge. Now that the Ivy benchmarks are leaking, I'm not too sure it's worth waiting. Now I'm just thinking about getting a higher end motherboard(I'm pretty sure this one may be bottlenecking my GTX 560 Ti 448 core), and getting a 2600k or a 2700k. The two main factors that are drawing my to Ivy are the lower voltage for better overclocking and PCIe 3.0. Now I've been reading that there is little to no improvement with Gen 3 and current GPUs, so I'm not sure about that either. So the options that I'm looking at right now are; getting a new high end motherboard and sticking with my 2500k until Ivy comes out and either gettin an 3770k or a 2600k(assuming there's a price drop), getting the new motherboard and a 2600k now and writing off Ivy entirely, or waiting and getting a z77 and a 3770k when they come out. Anyone have any thoughts? I've been wrestling with this for a few weeks now, and I can't really arrive at a clear answer.

More about : cpu upgrade 2600k 3770k

January 7, 2012 10:56:14 PM

I can't see how your i5 could be bottlenecking your 560 since you said you overclock. Is it critical that you upgrade at this very moment or can you wait?
January 7, 2012 11:09:29 PM

Maybe I should clarify, the i5 isn't what I think is responsible for the bottleneck. I'm actually happy with the i5, but I'd like to upgrade in the near future(for the sake of doing it really). The motherboard is where I see the weak link. So no, an immediate upgrade isn't necessary, but I'd like to make the jump to the i7 soon. I'm just debating between a 2600k or a 3770k. I'm also quesitioning whether or not to get a new motherboard now, or to wait for the z77 to drop. The question mostly boils down to whether Ivy Bridge is worth it.
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January 8, 2012 12:05:04 AM

pointless upgrading to the sandy i7 it wont give any extra performance over the i5 and anything near a reasonable price. if you want to waste money then feel free but thats all you will be doing... as you have an i5 2500k you already have 1 of the best cpu's available and theres no significant gains unless you go to the top end of the i7 range. when ivy bridge arrives there will be a reasonable performance gain of 15-25 percent over the 2500k but again it will be an expencive upgrade for the gain you get.
honesly m8 if you dont do productivity and you have anything better than an i5 870 or i7 920 then there wont be a cpu worth upgrading to for at least 2 more years for me.
January 8, 2012 12:40:10 AM

I know that there won't be any performance increase between the 2500k and the 2600k in games because almost none of them use hyperthreading, but what about general processing power, multitasking, etc.? I'm not saying that a $300 upgrade is entirely justified, but I sell all of my parts after I upgrade so I don't take that bad of a hit. What about the motherboard? I know it's kind of a budget one. Is that worth looking into? Again, would it be that much better to go for Ivy when it comes out?
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January 8, 2012 12:46:42 AM

It is pointless to upgrade since the increase in performance will be small in comparison to the money you will be spending. Hyper Threading (HT) does not improve game performance because games do not use that technology. In fact, there have been a number of benchmarks over the years which has shown HT can decrease performance. One of the latest example is Battlefield 3 where HT results in a 2 - 3 FPS drop when it is activated.

Getting a hexa core i7-3770k sounds nice, but most games only use 2 cores, some use 3 cores and very few games can use 4 cores. If you do something that can take advantage of HT and/or 6 cores, then an upgrade could be worth it. If you are just into games, then the i5-2500k is fine.

This reminds me of a conversation I recently had with a friend. She wanted to buy one of the more affordable and authentic Fendi handbag simply because she wanted another luxury handbag. She already has a few of them and she didn't really have the money to spend on an $800 - $900 handbag.
January 8, 2012 1:28:16 AM

Alright. So from what I'm getting here is that Ivy Bridge would be absolutely pointless. I am going to be branching out into doing some programming in the near future. I have no experience building for that sort of thing. Would the 2600k be a big improvement there? In either case, I think I'm going to upgrade the board, because it is a smaller board that caused my RAM to conflict with my heatsink, and it doesn't support SLI, which I would like to do soon. Actually, if the 2600k isn't that much of an improvement, I might go for another 560 Ti to SLI instead(I've already saved for it). Anyway, let me know what you think about the 2600k for programming and other general multitasking things, or is the 2500k sufficient for that too?
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January 8, 2012 1:38:31 AM

I doubt you are going to be programming in a such a way that it can be split into more than about 3 sustained threads. Multithreaded programming is hard to do right, and if you are just branching into programming you are going to be programming inefficiently so fast RAM and hard disk will help you out a lot more than a tiny increase in processing power. If you want an upgrade you will notice you are better off getting a nice SSD than wasting money on a tiny increase in CPU power.
January 8, 2012 1:53:23 AM

Alright. So the performance increase from the 2500k to the 2600k is only really visible on paper or when doing something like benchmarking or doing massive amounts of encoding, right? I have a good SSD, and some good RAM(that I want to OC when I get this motherboard thing sorted out), so I guess then the only worthwhile upgrade is the motherboard. Thanks guys. This has been very insightful. I've been basing everything off of benchmarks and any hard statistical data that I can find online, but that really doesn't speak to any practical differences, especially with the raw power that todays CPUs have. Thank you again.
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