Need help deciding if upgrading CPU in Gaming PC is worth it - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 05:38 AM - Thread Starter
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I currently have a pretty decent pc gaming rig. I have an Intel Core !-7 2600K processor and 2x Nvidia GTX 680 4GB video cards running in SLI. I'm feeling the itch to upgrade my processor. I get pretty good performance on most every game but feel like I could do even better. The processor I'm thinking about upgrading to is an Intel Core i7 4930K. Will I see that much of a jump in gaming performance by doing this?? BTW, I don't overclock at all. Never felt comfortable doing it. Thanks

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post #2 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 08:56 AM
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If you have a slower, older CPU, it can be worthwhile.
A 2600K is in no way limiting your performance though, especially if you buy a decent heatsink and run it at or near 4.5GHz. (otherwise there's no point in owning a K-series CPU)

The last two CPU revisions from Intel have mostly brought a reduction in power consumption rather than increases in performance.
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post #3 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 09:40 AM
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Agreed. There's no reason for you to upgrade that CPU. Not yet anyway. Just get it OC'd nicely. You can most likely get 4.5 even on air although temps might get a little high, but keep it under 85c for extended periods and you should be fine. (Note: 85c is just the max I'm comfortable with. Not a specific limit or anything).

I too wasn't comfortable OC'ing until I got this current rig. Unless you're driving crazy voltage to the chip, OC'ing is nothing to be worried about. I currently run my 4770K @ 4.3Ghz with 1.250v, and have no issues with it, and I'm on a Corsair H100i liquid cooler. I need to put new thermal paste on it, but I've been lazy. Temps are fine, so just OC that 2600K.

Only reason to get the 4930K is if you have a need for a hex core, in terms of gaming you'll see pretty much NO performance gain.

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post #4 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marafice Eye View Post

Agreed. There's no reason for you to upgrade that CPU. Not yet anyway. Just get it OC'd nicely. You can most likely get 4.5 even on air although temps might get a little high, but keep it under 85c for extended periods and you should be fine. (Note: 85c is just the max I'm comfortable with. Not a specific limit or anything).
85C!? I have a 2500K at 4.5GHz and it barely gets over 50C under load, with an old heatsink (Thermalright True 120) and a pair of 1000 rpm fans. (quiet edition fans with speed reducers)
Buy something more recent like a Noctua NH-D14 and it will probably be cooler and quieter than that.

You should be able to hit 4.4-4.5GHz without any trouble on a Sandy Bridge chip - something like 60% of them will hit that without requiring any additional cooling or overvolting.
With the focus on reduced energy consumption with Ivy Bridge and Haswell, they don't overclock nearly as well, and often run hot.
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post #5 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

85C!? I have a 2500K at 4.5GHz and it barely gets over 50C under load, with an old heatsink (Thermalright True 120) and a pair of 1000 rpm fans. (quiet edition fans with speed reducers)
Buy something more recent like a Noctua NH-D14 and it will probably be cooler and quieter than that.

You should be able to hit 4.4-4.5GHz without any trouble on a Sandy Bridge chip - something like 60% of them will hit that without requiring any additional cooling or overvolting.
With the focus on reduced energy consumption with Ivy Bridge and Haswell, they don't overclock nearly as well, and often run hot.

Oh I know, I just gave him a peak temp to avoid lol. You'll never hit that high during gaming, but under a full load run of Prime95 to test OC stability? Even with a Noctua you'll see temps above 80c depending on OC speed and how long you run it lol.

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post #6 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 01:50 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the help! I asked a couple of my computer savvy buddies as well and they said its not worth it to upgrade my CPU right now. As far as overclocking, I really don't know the first thing about it. Is it something I do in bios or is there a program to use in Windows? Also, do you keep the CPU on some type of automatic overclocking or do you have to manually overclock whenever you plan on playing a game?

I just get nervous about messing something up and then frying the whole motherboard along with other components.

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post #7 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 02:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JewDaddy View Post

Thanks for all the help! I asked a couple of my computer savvy buddies as well and they said its not worth it to upgrade my CPU right now. As far as overclocking, I really don't know the first thing about it. Is it something I do in bios or is there a program to use in Windows? Also, do you keep the CPU on some type of automatic overclocking or do you have to manually overclock whenever you plan on playing a game?

I just get nervous about messing something up and then frying the whole motherboard along with other components.

Not really a worry because if the CPU can't handle the clock, it just won't boot to windows. Even overvolting will just cause it to not boot, or to boot loop. As long as you don't try to shove like 1.5v through it, you're fine. On air I just personally wouldn't push more than 1.4v just to be safe.

OCing is best done in the BIOS, what motherboard do you have? That's the place to start.

My OC is always on. It's not an issue to have it OC'd 24/7 as when it's not being utilized by a game or benchmark, it's idling really. and idle temps should be fine, your temps aren't an issue unless they're running over 80c all the time, THEN you can start to worry lol.

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post #8 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 02:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JewDaddy View Post

Thanks for all the help! I asked a couple of my computer savvy buddies as well and they said its not worth it to upgrade my CPU right now. As far as overclocking, I really don't know the first thing about it. Is it something I do in bios or is there a program to use in Windows? Also, do you keep the CPU on some type of automatic overclocking or do you have to manually overclock whenever you plan on playing a game?

I just get nervous about messing something up and then frying the whole motherboard along with other components.
I would suggest purchasing a good heatsink and thermal paste. I use Gelid GC Extreme, which is not electrically conductive, non-curing, non-corrosive, and non-toxic.
With that fitted, all I had to do on my system was set the multiplier to 45x in the bios and it's now running at 4.5GHz on all cores rather than dynamically scaling from 3.2 to 3.7GHz depending on load. I think the "safe" speed for a 2600K is 4.4GHz. (slightly lower clock than a 2500K due to HyperThreading)

Once that's set, just run a tool like Prime95 or Intel Burn Test for a couple of hours to check that your system is stable at those speeds, and that the temperatures are ok, and you're good to go.
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Originally Posted by Marafice Eye View Post

Oh I know, I just gave him a peak temp to avoid lol. You'll never hit that high during gaming, but under a full load run of Prime95 to test OC stability? Even with a Noctua you'll see temps above 80c depending on OC speed and how long you run it lol.
I normally use Intel Burn Test which pushes temperatures higher. If I leave it on for hours it will start to approach 60C, but in normal use the system rarely hits 50C under load. (most applications don't push the CPU as hard as synthetic tests)
I don't know where you got the idea that a Sandy Bridge chip will hit 80C on air, especially if you're using something like an NH-D14. Ivy Bridge/Haswell perhaps, as they have had a lot of problems with the IHS.

While it's obviously not an extended test, here's five minutes of running IBT:
ALrxKXg.png
(just under five I suppose, as it had not completed the third loop)
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post #9 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

I normally use Intel Burn Test which pushes temperatures higher. If I leave it on for hours it will start to approach 60C, but in normal use the system rarely hits 50C under load. (most applications don't push the CPU as hard as synthetic tests)
I don't know where you got the idea that a Sandy Bridge chip will hit 80C on air, especially if you're using something like an NH-D14. Ivy Bridge/Haswell perhaps, as they have had a lot of problems with the IHS.

While it's obviously not an extended test, here's five minutes of running IBT:
ALrxKXg.png
(just under five I suppose, as it had not completed the third loop)

Because SB and IB can and will hit 80c on air during a full run of Prime95. Intel Burn is a great quick test of temps. Prime95 is for OC stability and is run between 8 and 12 hours with the CPU at 90+% load. Run P95 for 8 hours on air and you'll see 80c. A 3770K will hit 85c after 4-5 hours on a Hyper 212 Evo, even an NH-D14 will see 80c a couple hours later.

I never said normal OC usage would see 80c. I said under Prime95, you WILL see it. That's why it's used to test OC stability for extended periods under full load conditions.

Besides, I was giving him a temp to watch out for when OC'ing.

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post #10 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 02:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marafice Eye View Post

Because SB and IB can and will hit 80c on air during a full run of Prime95. Intel Burn is a great quick test of temps. Prime95 is for OC stability and is run between 8 and 12 hours with the CPU at 90+% load. Run P95 for 8 hours on air and you'll see 80c. A 3770K will hit 85c after 4-5 hours on a Hyper 212 Evo, even an NH-D14 will see 80c a couple hours later.
Sandy Bridge should not be approaching 80C if it is adequately cooled. Ivy Bridge and Haswell might. I ran my system for a full 24 hours when it was new (CPU and HDD stress testing) and did not even hit 70C let alone 80C.


Anyway, my point is that overclocking a Sandy Bridge system is trivial. The chips all run cool, and about 60% or so will hit 4.4-4.5GHz without even overvolting the CPU.
Intel's "safe" maximum is 1.5V; I'm doing 4.5GHz at less than 1.4V, and that's just what the motherboard picked - I have not changed it at all.
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post #11 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 03:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Chronoptimist View Post

Sandy Bridge should not be approaching 80C if it is adequately cooled. Ivy Bridge and Haswell might. I ran my system for a full 24 hours when it was new (CPU and HDD stress testing) and did not even hit 70C let alone 80C.


Anyway, my point is that overclocking a Sandy Bridge system is trivial. The chips all run cool, and about 60% or so will hit 4.4-4.5GHz without even overvolting the CPU.
Intel's "safe" maximum is 1.5V; I'm doing 4.5GHz at less than 1.4V, and that's just what the motherboard picked - I have not changed it at all.

Really, overclocking in general is rather trivial these days, much more so than it used to be. In his case, depending on what board he has, it could be as simple as finding the right multiplier and setting it. As you say, 60% should easily be able to do 4.4 or 4.5 without any overvolting. And depending on the cooler, his temps will be fine.

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post #12 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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This is the motherboard I have.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00503EA80/ref=redir_mdp_mobile?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_details_o05_s00_i03

I'm pretty sure when I was in the bios before, I noticed some options for overclocking. I might have more questions when I dive into it later tonight. Thanks guys!

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post #13 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JewDaddy View Post

This is the motherboard I have.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00503EA80/ref=redir_mdp_mobile?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_details_o05_s00_i03

I'm pretty sure when I was in the bios before, I noticed some options for overclocking. I might have more questions when I dive into it later tonight. Thanks guys!

This thread ought to help ya

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=689295

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post #14 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the first thing I see when logging into my bios. Anything stand out in a good or bad way?

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post #15 of 15 Old 10-05-2013, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Marafice Eye View Post

This thread ought to help ya

http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=689295

Thanks for the link. I went into the bios and chose an auto overclock option. Instead of manual with adjusting voltage settings. I'll try this way out first and see if I can notice a difference. If not, I'll try overclocking manually. Thanks again!

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