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What is my upgrade path? i7 3970x -> What? - Page 2

post #11 of 15
Wait for Skylake-E (or AMD zen) and pgrade the gpu
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hybris View Post

Pretty much this was the argument that people made way back when I built this system that the power was useless and yet here I am still running with little effort save for GPU limits and even then my 6gb 1ghz edition HD7970 is barely beaten by anything short of the new 1080 and nothing yet from AMD.
a 7970 was hard to beat in 2012 but r9 290/x /390/x are already 25-40% better so new cards so either a RX 480 is almost 40-50 faster at 200usd
post #12 of 15
The i7 3970X is still a very fast, modern processor. However, it's also 4 generations old on a core basis. Since your Sandy Bridge, there has been Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Broadwell, and now Skylake, though Kaby Lake is supposed to hit by the end of the year. Technically, even my Haswell will be 3 generations old soon.

If you went from your 3970X to a 6700k, you would see single threaded performance improve somewhere on the order of 20% (minimum). In some areas and games the increase could be much more. And from a pure gaming standpoint, you also don't need those 2 extra cores/4 extra threads. Single thread is still king and very few games use more than 4 threads. On top of this, you would have newer features of the Z170 chipset and DDR4. There's an article/news post around here somewhere showing a big increase in FPS going from DDR4-2133 to DDR4-3200, some games gained up to 20 fps just from the RAM speed.

Is it necessary? No. But going to Skylake would still be a significant improvement depending on the games you play. Evaluate what games you are playing and whether or not you are happy with your fps, and look up benchmarks of those games on different generations of processors to see if the switch is worth it for you or not.

On to the 7970. I ran one for a year in 2013. They are great GPUs, but unfortunately you are a little bit wrong in your evaluation. Even one of my 380X is 15-20% faster than a 7970 (17.2% faster in 3dmark Fire Strike with both cards doing 1200mhz on air, according to the benches on my HWBOT profile.) The 7970 and 380X actually have the exact same specs but the 380X is GCN 1.2 and has faster per shader performance as well as delta color compression. I also used to have 2x 290s in Crossfire and I know without a doubt, the 290 is significantly faster. Not only that but it has double the ROPs and more texture units in addition to more shaders. The Fire Strike difference was 33.9% between my 7970 and my single 290.

On top of that, there are cards like the Fury/Fury X. The Fury X in particular has literally twice the specs of the 7970: 4096 SP, 64 ROPs, 256 TMUs. (7970 is 2048 shaders, 32 ROPs, 128 TMUs).

That's not even considering Nvidia, I will be fair and say that the 980 is around 20% faster on average than the 290/390/X, the 980ti is probably 20% faster than that, and the 1080 is at least 30% faster than the 980ti according to most reports.

So where's that leave your 7970? The first thing in the system to upgrade imo. Going with at least a Fury X or possibly a 1080 you may very well get a card that is twice as fast. This makes sense; the 7970 launched on Dec. 22nd, 2011. It's over 4 years old at this point. If it still works well for you, that's great; but if it were me, I would upgrade. $300 should get you something considerably faster.

Anyway sorry this was so long. I hope I helped, I tried to give what I thought was perspective that other posters are missing. Regards. smile.gif

EDIT: JackCY: I ran 1.47v through a 4770k for over 2 years because I had a dog of a chip and that's what it took to do just 4.5ghz. It still worked when I sold it and I've had no complaints from the guy who bought it.
post #13 of 15
4960X or E5-1680 V2 are possible upgrade paths for the i7-3970X
post #14 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by neurotix View Post

The i7 3970X is still a very fast, modern processor. However, it's also 4 generations old on a core basis. Since your Sandy Bridge, there has been Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Broadwell, and now Skylake, though Kaby Lake is supposed to hit by the end of the year. Technically, even my Haswell will be 3 generations old soon.

If you went from your 3970X to a 6700k, you would see single threaded performance improve somewhere on the order of 20% (minimum). In some areas and games the increase could be much more. And from a pure gaming standpoint, you also don't need those 2 extra cores/4 extra threads. Single thread is still king and very few games use more than 4 threads. On top of this, you would have newer features of the Z170 chipset and DDR4. There's an article/news post around here somewhere showing a big increase in FPS going from DDR4-2133 to DDR4-3200, some games gained up to 20 fps just from the RAM speed.

Is it necessary? No. But going to Skylake would still be a significant improvement depending on the games you play. Evaluate what games you are playing and whether or not you are happy with your fps, and look up benchmarks of those games on different generations of processors to see if the switch is worth it for you or not.

On to the 7970. I ran one for a year in 2013. They are great GPUs, but unfortunately you are a little bit wrong in your evaluation. Even one of my 380X is 15-20% faster than a 7970 (17.2% faster in 3dmark Fire Strike with both cards doing 1200mhz on air, according to the benches on my HWBOT profile.) The 7970 and 380X actually have the exact same specs but the 380X is GCN 1.2 and has faster per shader performance as well as delta color compression. I also used to have 2x 290s in Crossfire and I know without a doubt, the 290 is significantly faster. Not only that but it has double the ROPs and more texture units in addition to more shaders. The Fire Strike difference was 33.9% between my 7970 and my single 290.

On top of that, there are cards like the Fury/Fury X. The Fury X in particular has literally twice the specs of the 7970: 4096 SP, 64 ROPs, 256 TMUs. (7970 is 2048 shaders, 32 ROPs, 128 TMUs).

That's not even considering Nvidia, I will be fair and say that the 980 is around 20% faster on average than the 290/390/X, the 980ti is probably 20% faster than that, and the 1080 is at least 30% faster than the 980ti according to most reports.

So where's that leave your 7970? The first thing in the system to upgrade imo. Going with at least a Fury X or possibly a 1080 you may very well get a card that is twice as fast. This makes sense; the 7970 launched on Dec. 22nd, 2011. It's over 4 years old at this point. If it still works well for you, that's great; but if it were me, I would upgrade. $300 should get you something considerably faster.

Anyway sorry this was so long. I hope I helped, I tried to give what I thought was perspective that other posters are missing. Regards. smile.gif

EDIT: JackCY: I ran 1.47v through a 4770k for over 2 years because I had a dog of a chip and that's what it took to do just 4.5ghz. It still worked when I sold it and I've had no complaints from the guy who bought it.

I can agree that my video card isn't the fastest nor the most power efficient and its a hot bastard but until my recent upgrade to a 2k monitor and running things like Skyrim at 2k with everything turned on plus mods I never saw less than 60 fps at 1080 in any other game set to full tilt that I can think of save for GTA IV and V where I did have to trim things down.

One big factor that has held me back is so few cards came with at least equal memory and the main games I play Skyrim/Fallout:NV/Fallout 4 especially once modded tend to rapidly eat vram regardless of speed or so it seemed.

I'm going to wait until AMD releases their new cards and probably even wait until black friday to see if I can't grab a top line card and be set (more or less) for another 4-5 years.
The Warlord
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3970X RAMPAGE IV EXTREME AMD Radeon HD 7970 Series G.skill Ripjaws 1600Mhz 4Gb 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
G.skill Ripjaws 1600Mhz 4Gb Kingston HyberX SSD Seagate Barracuda  LG Blue Ray Burner 14x 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 64-bit Pro HP 2311x Ye old HP workstation keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX1200i HAF 932 USB 3.0 Steelseries Sensei Rocketfish pad 
Audio
Logitech Speakers X-140? 
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The Warlord
(17 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3970X RAMPAGE IV EXTREME AMD Radeon HD 7970 Series G.skill Ripjaws 1600Mhz 4Gb 
RAMHard DriveHard DriveOptical Drive
G.skill Ripjaws 1600Mhz 4Gb Kingston HyberX SSD Seagate Barracuda  LG Blue Ray Burner 14x 
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
Noctua NH-D14 Windows 7 64-bit Pro HP 2311x Ye old HP workstation keyboard 
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
Corsair AX1200i HAF 932 USB 3.0 Steelseries Sensei Rocketfish pad 
Audio
Logitech Speakers X-140? 
  hide details  
Reply
post #15 of 15
I think waiting would probably be the best option.

My 380X's are placeholders for Vega, too.
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