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I7-960 rig upgrade to i5-3570K for 3.0, Worth it?

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Last response: in Systems
February 19, 2013 2:43:43 AM

I have the once-in-a-few years option of upgrading my rig. I'm mainly interested in maximized gaming. Budget, and such details are already figured, as is the HDD, case etc... OS will be Win 7 Home Premium x64.

modified from:
i7-960 (oc to 3.6ghz)
12GB DDR3 1600
6970 2GB
1000w PSU
MSI motherboard 1366 chipset, pcie 2.0, generic

i5-3570K (haven't ruled out i7-3770k, but I've read there's little impact on gaming between the two)
16GB DDR3 1600
7970 3gb (not sure which yet, tbd)
1000w psu (carry over from current)
Asrock Extreme4 (for pci 3.0)

The biggest reason for upgrading is that I use eyefinity (5040x1050). Often I must reduce certain settings in games (skyrim, bf3 etc).

So the real question is: do the full upgrade, or just put a 7970 into my current rig. In other words, is the performance gained worth the $900-1000ish vs just the 7970 in the old rig for $370-$410? What % additional performance would I get from pci 3.0 vs 2.0 ?

More about : 960 rig upgrade 3570k worth

February 19, 2013 4:13:33 AM

CPUs are the most future proof component in a sense that almost all games are GPU centric, and your CPU is still capable.

PCI-E 3.0 is backward compatible with PCI-E 2.0 slots, so you shouldn't worry about that. Performance lost is marginal.

So, if you are on a budget, upgrading your GPU is the most cost effective improvement in your case.

February 19, 2013 4:20:57 AM

I've been reading a lot more since I posted this. I'm starting to come to the same conclusion. I'm used to needing an upgrade every year or two, this rigs going on nearly three. Maybe I'm just being a computer lemming, marching to my costly cliff of doom. Some good prices on newegg sales right now, are luring me that way.

Maybe saving, waiting for Haswell is a better idea.

My only concern now, is how much benefit does that 7970 on 3.0 gain on 5040x1050 over the current 2.0? Some things say 3.0 only becomes worth it with 3x sli/Crossfi, others say anything over standard resolution. It's murky man... murky.
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February 19, 2013 6:43:30 AM

Don't worry about that, if you would ever need more performance just add a second card/upgrade your single card.

You seriously don't need to upgrade first gen to 3rd gen. I would probably wait for 2 more gens or if you really just want to upgrade for the fun of it, the next gen.
February 19, 2013 6:54:34 AM

Thanks for the replies, I just went ahead and OC'd the 960 to 4.0ghz . Running stable, maybe I'll go pick up that vid card instead of my original plans. Thanks a lot.