PC Gaming - When is the right time to upgrade my i5 8600K?

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barongcommander

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#1  Edited By barongcommander

PC Gaming duders, I come seeking your advice!

! I was lucky enough to get a 3090 from a local computer store here (and am mostly leaning towards keeping it), but I was thinking about the potential bottlenecks and looking at how it could affect my gaming experience. Currently, my i5 8600K is running stable at 4.6GHz with a 2080.

I was wondering if it was worth it to get a i9 10850K units on sale for $400, knowing that I would also have to get a new motherboard (because of the incompatibility). I know AMD's chips are all the rage and I'm sure it's valid advice to wait on those, but I do like the idea of revamping everything at once.

This is primarily for gaming at 1440p on a monitor, with maybe 4K gaming when I get an OLED at the end of next year (which is why I sometimes feel like I should return and just try for a 3080, but ehh). No streaming or content creation, just purely for running games with high detail and smooth performance.

The TL;DR: Should I upgrade my i5 8600K running at 4.6GHz to an i9 10850K, or wait for new Intel/AMD chips?

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Justin258

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That is a 6-core, 6-thread processor. I don't have any personal experience with, but from glancing at specs I'd say you're fine unless you're noticing some performance issues and can actually afford to drop that much on a new processor and a new motherboard on a whim after getting a 3090 (I mean I have disposable income but jesus christ). I'd personally say you're better off putting all of that money towards a 4K monitor that can take full advantage of that 3090.

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charltonheston

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I would say to wait. More for the development of PCI-E 4 and whatnot on the mobo side than the CPU yields but you'll benefit on both ends by holding tight. You could go balls out and get an i9 10 series but I doubt it would have a good cost to impact ratio right now.

Also I have a 4K monitor and honestly, if I could trade out this monitor for a high refresh 1440p (or even 1080p, if I'm being real) with actually good HDR I would do it in a second. The resolution hasn't added much to my game experiences.

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OurSin_360

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#4  Edited By OurSin_360

Your better off selling the 3090 and getting a 3070 if your only gaming at 1440p, even with a better cpu they don't scale down well and you will bottleneck with the fastest current cpu I believe. 3090 and even the 3080 are pretty much 4k/60 cards. 3090 is pretty much only for hardcore spenders who want the technical "best"

Unless your also doing video editing etc , then definitely keep the 3090 and upgrade to one of the higher end new AMD cpu's.

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kaungo

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Another vote to wait and potentially swapping 3090 since you're aiming for 1440p with no plans for simulation or content creations.

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barongcommander

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That is a 6-core, 6-thread processor. I don't have any personal experience with, but from glancing at specs I'd say you're fine unless you're noticing some performance issues and can actually afford to drop that much on a new processor and a new motherboard on a whim after getting a 3090 (I mean I have disposable income but jesus christ). I'd personally say you're better off putting all of that money towards a 4K monitor that can take full advantage of that 3090.

I would say to wait. More for the development of PCI-E 4 and whatnot on the mobo side than the CPU yields but you'll benefit on both ends by holding tight. You could go balls out and get an i9 10 series but I doubt it would have a good cost to impact ratio right now.

Also I have a 4K monitor and honestly, if I could trade out this monitor for a high refresh 1440p (or even 1080p, if I'm being real) with actually good HDR I would do it in a second. The resolution hasn't added much to my game experiences.

Thanks for the replies! I like the suggestion here of waiting for technological advancements - I guess I need to go look at what they are for PCI-E 4. The benchmark page did say that upgrading to an i9 10 series would get me about 25 extra frames max (bottleneck of about 10%) but then I'd have to get a new board and...$400-$600 doesn't seem like it's worth it for 25 more frames when things are hovering around 60 FPS on ultra at 4K already?

This is the monitor I have - a 32-inch 1440p Dell gaming monitor and it is nice! I was thinking about maybe getting a serious 4K OLED by the end of the year, but I feel like my setup is better there anyway!

More opinions welcome!

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charltonheston

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#7  Edited By charltonheston

One of the bigger pcie 4 things related to gaming this generation is likely to be data/loading speed. The kind of loading times that we see on the PS5 are supposed to maybe come along to the PC end of things with those advancements. It's arguable how possible it will be to replicate that experience on a platform that doesn't flat out require NVME drives like a PS5 does but it's our best shot. Right now AMD has been playing in the pcie 4 space for a bit but Intel has yet to actually jump in (Q1 2021 is when they are meant to be doing so).

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barongcommander

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#8  Edited By barongcommander

@oursin_360 said:

Your better off selling the 3090 and getting a 3070 if your only gaming at 1440p, even with a better cpu they don't scale down well and you will bottleneck with the fastest current cpu I believe. 3090 and even the 3080 are pretty much 4k/60 cards. 3090 is pretty much only for hardcore spenders who want the technical "best"

Unless your also doing video editing etc , then definitely keep the 3090 and upgrade to one of the higher end new AMD cpu's.

If I had plans to do some gaming on a new fancy 4K OLED TV (like an LG CX) at the end of the year, would you advise swapping the 3090 for a 3080 instead? Important detail I stupidly left out: I own a 2080 currently!

I feel like maybe my CPU bottleneck isn't super bad, then again I'm not sure how much to quantify a loss of ~15 FPS at Ultra settings for games!

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NexivSelecaf

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#9  Edited By NexivSelecaf

If my very quick bench of Cyberpunk 2077 (3440x1440p, ultra rasterization settings, quality DLSS, but no RT) with a 9900K running as a hex core (configured though the BIOS) and a 2080 Ti is any indication, a CPU upgrade might be worth it. The frame rate was still in the high 60's and low 70's, but the CPU usage was in the 80% to 90% rage as opposed to the 60% and 70% range with all cores and threads enabled.

So, my vote also goes to wait.

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Giant_Gamer

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#10  Edited By Giant_Gamer

Intel 10th gen is < AMD 3rd gen.

If you prefer Intel wait until 11th gen.

If you want to know how to tell that your PC needs a CPU upgrade?

Answer is easy which is benchmark!

Once you get 3090 benchmark it and compare your results to trusted Web sites if you see that your benchmark results are < the websites then it is highly likely that the CPU is buttelnicking the your 3090.

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barongcommander

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Intel 10th gen is < AMD 3rd gen.

If you prefer Intel wait until 11th gen.

If you want to know how to tell that your PC needs a CPU upgrade?

Answer is easy which is benchmark!

Once you get 3090 benchmark it and compare your results to trusted Web sites if you see that your benchmark results are < the websites then it is highly likely that the CPU is buttelnicking the your 3090.

Would you be compelled to upgrade if the loss was about 4-14 frames with the CPU bottleneck, or would you just wait?

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TurtleFish

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FWIW, I actually DID the upgrade - I got my hands on a 3080, and then went from an i7 6700K to an i9 10900K. Now while watching the 3DMark benchmark jump was really nice (I went from the bottom 40% to the top 5% :), and that's without any overclocking), I haven't really noticed much difference in the games I've been playing (though I definitely haven't been playing anything graphically intensive in the first place.)

The real question is what Intel is going to do - since they're still stuck at 14nm, everything is going to be just minor refinements until they do their process jump, at which point you have to ask yourself if you want to risk buying a first generation Intel processor at 10nm when they've been having so much trouble implementing it so far. And you might need a power supply upgrade as well - the 10th gen i9s suck up a ton of power. (And that's ignoring the PCIE 4 question that somebody else brought up.)

So, I guess my opinion is that, unless you need the best of what Intel has right now, I'd wait -- either AMD prices will stabilize, or Intel will finally get their 10nm CPUs out and can actually compete on features without crazy TDP. I have no regrets because 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year and I wanted to engage in some retail therapy and get something shiny and my 4 year old PC was showing signs of needing some parts replaced anyway. Your PC is new enough that just getting the 3090 should be a good enough upgrade I think, as long as you're prepared to give up some FPS or visual fidelity at the top end for the most demanding games.

I wouldn't get rid of it though unless you really need the cash -- you're future proofing yourself with it anyway.

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Giant_Gamer

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@barongcommander: with PCs, it's best to do incremental upgrades.

If I were in your shoes and I found the differences this small I would definitely OC my CPU which would most probably fix the issue or make the small differences in frame rates even smaller.

AMD, has just beaten Intel after 20 years of sweat and tears which is why we are all happy about it. However, Intel won't sit idly because unlike AMD, computer processors are their main merchandise for income. So, we might see a huge response.

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rgdraconic

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I upgraded my i7-6800k to an i7-10700k this Christmas. Then I got a 3070 to replace my 970.

I like to sock my PCs in the nuts with upgrades.

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OurSin_360

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#16  Edited By OurSin_360

@barongcommander said:
@oursin_360 said:

Your better off selling the 3090 and getting a 3070 if your only gaming at 1440p, even with a better cpu they don't scale down well and you will bottleneck with the fastest current cpu I believe. 3090 and even the 3080 are pretty much 4k/60 cards. 3090 is pretty much only for hardcore spenders who want the technical "best"

Unless your also doing video editing etc , then definitely keep the 3090 and upgrade to one of the higher end new AMD cpu's.

If I had plans to do some gaming on a new fancy 4K OLED TV (like an LG CX) at the end of the year, would you advise swapping the 3090 for a 3080 instead? Important detail I stupidly left out: I own a 2080 currently!

I feel like maybe my CPU bottleneck isn't super bad, then again I'm not sure how much to quantify a loss of ~15 FPS at Ultra settings for games!

If your 4k gaming then definitely keep the 3090, the cpu bottleneck won't matter and you have about a 13% gain over the 3080. 3080 is fine, but the lack of vram is a bit of concern, but if you did sell it you could get a 3080 and someting else you may want as well as it's almost half the price MSRP anyway. 3080 ti's are coming soon too so that's something to consider as well depending on what they decide to charge and availability. Oh and, def buy the new card first just to make sure you get it with the way things are going if you do decide to sell.