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I feel like the awkward middle child right now with my current build. Any help on upgrade path would be awesome!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
So long story short I built a rig back in 2011 for BF3. Been my baby ever since.

So this is what I have now spec wise;

Intel Core i5 2500K @ 3.30GHz
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 (EVGA)
12.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 668MHz (9-9-9-24)
Gigabyte Z68XP-UD3 (Socket 1155)
240GB Crucial (SSD)
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Samsung S23A950D (1920x1080@120Hz)

I recently upgraded my GPU from a GTX 580 to the GTX 970 as the 580 was really starting to show its age. The CPU is on a closed water loop (H50?) cooler.

Now, recently these gaming monitors have been getting rather fancy, and I love it. I'm currently using a Samsung S23A950D (1920x1080@120Hz) to play games and have been since 2011. I got this way back then for the 120Hz, it was one of the first and has seriously done me well if even not the best monitor around.

Now, I've been looking at the Z34/X34 and the ROG PG348Q. Here is me thinking I could just go ahead and pick one of these up, throw it on my rig and be away laughing. However, after having been out the game for so long and not being up to speed on hardware and watching some reviews, things start flooding back to me, like...pushing pixels is hard work...

After having spent some time doing some research I'm feeling like the awkard middle child with this rig. It's not terrible, and does well at 1920x1080 @ 120Hz for most things, but I seriously fear its ability to even entertain the idea of 3440x1440 @ 100Hz. I've been playing and endless amount of R6: Siege and love the game. Today I thought I'd see how my rig was doing with it and for the first time in years checked how the 2500k was handling the game. It was sitting at 100% the whole time. Damn...

So after all this rambling I will just ask a series of questions, and anybody able to provide any insight will be much loved by me here as I'm at a loss right now...

- Do I bother upgrading to current Intel tech? (The LGA1151)

- Is the 970 more lackluster than I'd like to admit with respect to driving these screens?

- Is there tech within the next year that is worth waiting for?

- Am I looking at a total overhaul, for the most part? E.g. Getting a I7-6700K will really need a GTX 1080 to drive games on a 3440x1440 @ 100Hz res?

- I believe the GTX 1080 is nVidias newest card, but is there GPU tech in the near future (1 year~) that will far outclass current tech?

- What would you do with the directive that you are going to an Ultrawide within the next year?

Again, thank you so very much for your input smile.gif
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post #2 of 13
Quote:
- Is the 970 more lackluster than I'd like to admit with respect to driving these screens?

Use DSR and see.
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post #3 of 13
It depends on how much money you want to spend.. The first thing you should experience is a higher resolution screen. At least 27" 1440p... if you want to spend more and go for 4k, you have to figure the cost of the screen plus a new video card.. 1440p you don't need to upgrade your video card until you decide you need more power but depending on how much you want to spend you could do it no matter what.

The 2500k is still fine... I know, amazing. It's not worth it to upgrade it if you have one. But you may want to upgrade to 16gb or higher of ram and ram is cheap.

And those are all the things you should do.
post #4 of 13
Thread Starter 
Wow, did not know about this.

What would be a preferred settings to see what 3440x1440 handles like?
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post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by swindle View Post

Wow, did not know about this.

What would be a preferred settings to see what 3440x1440 handles like?

Well you will want the best GPU you can afford, starting with at least a 480x or better.
post #6 of 13
Honestly, you're fine. You have a 2500k, you just need to use it properly, means overclock it! smile.gif 4,5GHz should be no problem, that'll give a nice performance boost.

As for gpu, I'd advise you to wait a few more months until Q1/2017, where AMD's Vega and (possibly) some new Nvidia card is coming out. These are anticipated to be the first cards that can do 4k/60hz with high settings @ 60fps+, and since 4k is roughly ~8 million pixels, and 3440x1440 is roughly ~5 million pixels, it should totally be fine.
The GTX 1080 is already "outdated" so to speak, as the Titan X is already getting released in August. We don't know yet, but there are rumors that a card between the 480 and Vega (maybe named 490) is getting released somewhere around the end of the year, but as I said, these are just rumors. The performance from that card should be good enough for 3440x1440 too.
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post #7 of 13
As far as your CPU is concerned I would leave it be for the moment. If you don't have it overclocked absolutely do that, Sandybridge overclocks brilliantly and will give you a significant performance boost without needing new hardware. Each new chip has only given us another 5-10% or so, nothing really shocking the past few years from Intel but those improvements do add up over a few generations. Still I would stick with the 2500k for one more round and maybe consider an upgrade when Kabylake or Cannonlake come out. Also the 2500k loves fast memory so you may see improved performance in some games getting the fastest DDR3 you want to throw some money at. It's dirt cheap these days compared to what RAM cost a few years ago. Digital Foundry did a relavent video that I've posted around here a few times already if you want to have a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=frNjT5R5XI4

As mentioned above try DSR at your desired resolution to get a pretty close idea of how it will perform. Personally I have a 980ti at 1475MHz and a Predator X34 (great monitor btw - so much so I bought a second one when I managed to put my elbow through the first one) and I can run most demanding modern games between 60-90 fps with everything maxed out, or locked at 100fps with a few settings tweaked down just a little. Gsync really is a game changer as far as gaming quality goes. I think you would really struggle to push the X34 with a 970 especially with the VRAM limit. The 1080 would be a good bet if you want to spend the money. There is a new Titan right around the corner as well but we're looking at $1200 O.o Also consider a used 980ti or a 1070, either of which would give you a big boost over your 970 and would get the job done just fine for any of the monitors you mentioned.

Something to consider if you get a 100Hz ultrawide: Most reviews and benchmarks ignore them so it's hard to find useful performance numbers. Look at the 4k benches. 3440x1440 at 100fps is almost exactly the same number of pixels per second as 4K at 60fps. At least as far as your video card is concerned 4K @ 60 and ultrawide @ 100 should be roughly equally demanding. Personally I prefer the higher refresh rate and field of view of the ultrawide over the higher pixel density of 4K but that's more subjective.
 
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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by swindle View Post

Wow, did not know about this.

What would be a preferred settings to see what 3440x1440 handles like?

Around 3135x1764, just a bit lower than that.
Also forget the advice to purchase an RX(?)480. That's not going to give you any meaningful amount of extra performance - especially for the price.
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smanci View Post

Around 3135x1764, just a bit lower than that.
Also forget the advice to purchase an RX(?)480. That's not going to give you any meaningful amount of extra performance - especially for the price.

I said at least a 480x not a 480. A 480x will be quite a lot more powerful than his 970... though I agree a more expensive card would obviously be better, idk his budget for getting a new monitor + gpu.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies guys! It's not so much budget, as what makes sense.

Like there's no point getting an ultrawide if I can't drive it with my hardware, but there no point dropping a few $k on new hardware now that will be killed by something in 6 months (new sockets etc) so it's just a case of trying to figure out what the smartest thing to do is.

Here is a question, would running the X34 at a smaller res in game look terrible?

Example - Run R6:Siege at 2560x1080 on the X34 vs 3440x1440, and just push less pixels but still have the panel there with the higher res for when it makes sense to do a new CPU/GPU upgrade? Or will the image look terrible not running at the native res?
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Glory Is Eternal
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