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Where's the upgrade limit with an i5-8600K?

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Like most of us, presumably, I've been spurred into considering my next GPU upgrade by NVIDIA's recent 3000 series announcement.

But looking into other hardware concerns, I'm wondering about the limits of my processor and if concerns about it are even warranted at this point. Namely - with an i5-8600K, what level of GPU upgrade would be unwarranted?

I'm wondering about thoughts in general, but for the sake of framing: I'm currently deciding between grabbing an RX 5700 XT after a price drop, or spending a little more to grab an RTX 3070. I see the value in going a step further with the 3080, but since I'm stuck with PCI-E 3.0 for now I think that would be a wasted investment. If I can get the quality of a 2080 Ti from the 3070 I'd be happy, but will my processor limit it before I achieve that?
 
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Past a 2070 you will be cpu limited. Buy a 9900k to resolve these issues.
 
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Wait for reviews. Also, AMD will be announcing Zen 3 CPUs in a month, so if I were you, I'd wait for Zen 3 reviews as well. Zen 3/Ryzen 4000 may become the first AMD architecture to beat Intel unquestionably, i.e. under all possible scenarios (of course that'll last only until Intel fixes their fabrication and releases desktop Tiger Lake parts - in terms of IPC Ice Lake/Tiger Lake is a lot faster than Zen 2 and I presume it will still be faster than Zen 3).
 
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Wait for reviews. Also, AMD will be announcing Zen 3 CPUs in a month, so if I were you, I'd wait for Zen 3 reviews as well. Zen 3/Ryzen 4000 may become the first AMD architecture to beat Intel unquestionably, i.e. under all possible scenarios (of course that'll last only until Intel fixes their fabrication and releases desktop Tiger Lake parts - in terms of IPC Ice Lake/Tiger Lake is a lot faster than Zen 2 and I presume it will still be faster than Zen 3).
Thanks, that's good advice! I'm not really looking to upgrade my CPU just yet - especially since that entails a new mobo. I'm not really sure where the balance I'm looking for is, to be honest. I guess maxing out my capabilities with what I have, but I wouldn't be opposed to having a little extra power to unblock with a later upgrade.
 
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9900k can be had cheap for like 300.
 

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Thanks, that's good advice! I'm not really looking to upgrade my CPU just yet - especially since that entails a new mobo. I'm not really sure where the balance I'm looking for is, to be honest. I guess maxing out my capabilities with what I have, but I wouldn't be opposed to having a little extra power to unblock with a later upgrade.
With proper BIOS upgrade, a z390 board can take you up to a 9900k from your 8600k. I’m not saying that’s a wise financial move, just saying you aren’t limited to no upgrade.
 
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9900k can be had cheap for like 300.
I'm in Germany these days, so a bit more expensive - but not by much. It's definitely a good option since it shares my current chipset, and admittedly I'll probably do it within a year if I opt for the 3000 series. I think my hesitation with another intel chip is that if/when I upgrade my CPU I'd like to get PCI-E 4.0, too. But maybe that would drive my price up a lot, I haven't really dove into it so much - just been deciding how necessary it will be for my current build.

With proper BIOS upgrade, a z390 board can take you up to a 9900k from your 8600k. I’m not saying that’s a wise financial move, just saying you aren’t limited to no upgrade.
I'm on a B360 at the moment! But I'll look into if I have options in that area. https://pcpartpicker.com/user/MoreSly/saved


UPDATE:
These are some interesting details: https://www.techpowerup.com/review/intel-core-i5-10400f/16.html

Seems like an i5-8600K still gets 97.6% performance on a 2080 Ti at 1440p. Obviously that will grow with the next generation of GPU, but sub 3% doesn't seem like it necessitates a CPU upgrade per se. Am I wrong to suggest that isn't a noticeable bottleneck?

It seems like, at the moment, an i5-8600K is still getting above or around 120 FPS on 1440p. Personally that sounds fine to me. Even the 4K results are mostly above 60 FPS, which sounds great.
 
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3080 is 45% faster than 2080ti which is why i said 3070 is upper limit.
 
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Benchmark Scores Faster than yours... I'd bet on it. :)
Seems like an i5-8600K still gets 97.6% performance on a 2080 Ti at 1440p. Obviously that will grow with the next generation of GPU, but sub 3% doesn't seem like it necessitates a CPU upgrade per se. Am I wrong to suggest that isn't a noticeable bottleneck?
I wouldn't worry about it. Reason being is you game at a non CPU relevant resolution. So even if it is 45% faster, you'll still lose similar performance.

I'd worry more about only working with 6c/6t for the games than with clocks and the GPU.
 
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The "97.6%" doesn't tell the whole story. Average FPS isn't a particularly huge problem; what can potentially become one in the near future is the user experience / frame time / 1% lows from the 8600K's lack of threads as a 6C/6T. We all know what happened to performance on the 4C/4T i5s, the Coffee Lake i5s are no different.

The 9900K is the best you can do on LGA1151v2 with the 8700K being the lowest you should probably go at this point. Or you can wait to upgrade entirely. If you can find a 9900K for a good price, I don't see a reason not to go with it if your motherboard is reasonably high end (a number of Z370 and Z390 boards have pretty dubious power delivery, wouldn't trust them with anything more than stock). It is essentially a 10700K, just on an older platform and without the improved thermal transfer.

9900Ks can run warm, make sure to keep em cool to get the most out of them.
 
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3080 is 45% faster than 2080ti which is why i said 3070 is upper limit.
Ah! You accidentally said 2070, which I should have taken as a typo. I thought you meant 2070 super :p I'm with you now, that's what I thought too.

The "97.6%" doesn't tell the whole story. Average FPS isn't a particularly huge problem; what can potentially become one in the near future is the user experience / frame time / 1% lows from the 8600K's lack of threads as a 6C/6T. We all know what happened to performance on the 4C/4T i5s, the Coffee Lake i5s are no different.
Fair take. That said, I actually used an i7-860 until (I shit you not) June 2018. I ran that thing with my R9 390 and honestly didn't see much in the way of problems, but I was less picky at that point (and more broke).

The 9900K is the best you can do on LGA1151v2 with the 8700K being the lowest you should probably go at this point. Or you can wait to upgrade entirely. If you can find a 9900K for a good price, I don't see a reason not to go with it if your motherboard is reasonably high end (a number of Z370 and Z390 boards have pretty dubious power delivery, wouldn't trust them with anything more than stock). It is essentially a 10700K, just on an older platform and without the improved thermal transfer.

9900Ks can run warm, make sure to keep em cool to get the most out of them.
I'll have to give upgrading some seriously thought. Barring any benchmarking after release, If I go with a 3070 I'll probably hold on to my 8600K. If I decide the extra power on the 3080 is worth it I might add a 9900K to my Black Friday upgrade pile this year. Or even move over to Ryzen for that sweet PCI-E 4.0.

Cooling should be fine! I've got massive overkill on that front with a Cooler Master Hyper 212X and don't do any CPU overclocking or other meddling. A bit much, but the 390's are heat beast and I wanted to make sure my CPU didn't suffer for it.
 
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Benchmark Scores pretty fast!
8700K is lasting a long time for me. I build quite a few rigs, 3600x/3700x/9900k/10700(k) and the difference in games between an OC'd 8700K and 9900K is actually 0, in fact if you bump resolution to 1440P (which you should be doing with a high end GPU) the difference between any of the 12T/16T cpus is non-existant.

The 9900K is slightly faster due to the extra cache I think, but the 10600K/8700K /3600X (soon 4600X) will be the sweet spot for a while.

You can pick up 8700K's dirt cheap on ebay right now (i got mine almost a year ago for $280) and delid and clock them sky-high for 10600K performance.

You wont really be able to see a difference between a 9900K, 10600K OC, 10900K, or 8700K OC they are so similar that they are functionally the same for fps in games.
 
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You wont really be able to see a difference between a 9900K, 10600K OC, 10900K, or 8700K OC they are so similar that they are functionally the same for fps in games.
That said, do you think you will with the 8600K opposed to the 87?
 
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What you can do right now is use the affinity feature in windows to see how the number of cores affects things. Start a game and open Task Manager , then go the game exe file and set it to use all cores / threads ... monitor FPS. Then uncheck 1 and repeat.... keep going until you see impacts In most instances I get down to 3-4 checked boxes before I see the smallest impact. In most games, it's down to 2-3 before the impact is significant.
 
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Zen 2 is not worth switching to for PCIe4. Only switch to Ryzen if you're going zen 3.
 
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Benchmark Scores pretty fast!
That said, do you think you will with the 8600K opposed to the 87?
The 6/6T will stutter in some games. So you won't bottleneck the GPU meaningfully when things are going well, but depending on the game engine, if you don't have enough execution units, the game with visibly hitch. This happens to some extent with the 7700K, 8600K, 9600K and even the 9700K (specifically in far cry 5 and RDR2 - and does NOT happen with the 8700K or 9900K).

That's not really a hard CPU-bottleneck in the same sense that an 1800x is a bottleneck where you will always get -X% less frames once your gfx can render above what the CPU can push. It's really more of a 'not enough threads on a very fast processor' problem with game engines... and it is something you will have with ANY graphics card. Farcry 5 will hitch with a 570 or a 2080ti, doesn't matter, you will just notice it alot more when you're bombing along at 130fps with the 2080ti vs the 50fps of the 570.

The 8600K won't bottleneck a 3080 / 3090, but there will be times when you want a 12T or 16T cpu if you want smooth gaming without hitching. The cheapest upgrade is to sell your 8600K for around $150 and buy an 8700K for $220-280 and OC it to around 5Ghz and you will have one of the fastest gaming processors out there (basically a 10600k) for a total of $70-$130 in cost.

1599762669448.png


Granted, there isn't THAT many games that do this, so if you're playing happily now and don't notice hitching, you won't notice it going forward. Your 8600K especially if you OC it has plenty of juice to even push the 3080 and even 3090. Until the new chips come out you're still on the fastest gaming architecture around.
 
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Granted, there isn't THAT many games that do this, so if you're playing happily now and don't notice hitching, you won't notice it going forward. Your 8600K especially if you OC it has plenty of juice to even push the 3080 and even 3090. Until the new chips come out you're still on the fastest gaming architecture around.
Thank you! That's a very helpful level of detail. I don't OC at the moment, but I have enough cooling that I certainly could. Sounds like it's probably in my interest to go with 3080 and upgrade to a 9900K when I'm ready if I notice problems. That said, I'm still leaning towards a 3070 since I don't really feel like I need the 3080's power.

Does make me regret the 8600K purchase, though. I was debating 8700K when I bought it. I'd always gone higher threads before and thought I'd get away with it a little cheaper this time, having not seen many real practical consequences from i5s at the time. Lesson learned.
 
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Your 8600k is more than adequate, I'd say wait for the new ones to arrive , thus so the 5700xt may see a price drop whent the 3080 and 3070 land , nowadays the 5700xt is more expensive 2nd hand than when I had it new.
Platform upgrade ? Heck no unless dosh is no big factor. When both next gen's are on the market ( Zen3 arch and whatever "lake" Intel has planned) I'd reconsider.

My two drunk cents that bought an x370 MB in mid 2020 because no lane splitting from x16 gen IV into 2 x16 gen III from b550/x570 boards.
 
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Your 8600k will be still enough to play at 1440p.
 

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I have a 9400f i5 hexacore and 1660ti upgrading to a i9-9900K and 3070 on my B365 pro 4.
 
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