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I3-2120 with GTX 1060

post #1 of 28
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Good day everyone. I built my pc several years before on a tight budget. Core i3-2120, 4gb ram, geforce GT 630, and so on. I managed to upgrade my ram to 8 gb and now looking forward to upgrade my graphics card. Tired of playing games in low graphics settings, and lags around. I do play dying light, call of duty ghosts(never finish playing yet cause the graphics is terrible), GTA, FIFA, CSGO, crysis3 and so on. Gonna try forza too. Im planning to get a graphics card that will let me play games on 1080p with high/ultra settings. Probably will get a GTX 1060, but im not sure of it yet. Will research more on it. My issue now is, will my i3-2120 bottleneck the graphcs card? is it somesort not worth it, and better to get a new processor? Thank you.
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post #2 of 28
I would say the CPU would be a major bottle neck in addition to only 8gb DDR3 ram (which I'm assuming runs at 1333/1600mhz). You have a dual core i3 CPU and Sandy Bridge (2nd gen series) architecture is still good but starting to show it's age.

You cannot overclock your CPU to squeeze performance out of that i3, the multiplier is locked and using BCLK overclock is a terrible idea as BCLK is tied to PCIE clock rate (unlike skylake).

Even if you could clock to 105mhz bclk, you would likely encounter major stability issues and potential danger to PCIE bus.

Besides the CPU, the 8gb of of DDR3 at low frequency is a major bottleneck also. Adding more ram wouldn't really help would help as the clock frequency is the bottleneck, not the capacity of RAM. I'd recommend overclocking to or getting a kit of 2133mhz DDR3 to help offset this limitation on memory throughput.

I'd honestly just consider upgrading to Skylake. If you're on a tight budget, you could pick up a Skylake i3 (but an i5 is a much better choice) and a cheap board like the ASROCK Z170 K4/D3. This would allow you to use the ram you already have, negating the cost of having to buy DDR4.

Since Z170 skylake chipset has unlinked BCLK and PCIE bus frequency, non-K series chips can be overclocked easily. I would personally recommend getting an i5 if you would like to reap the full benefits of upgrading to a mid to high tier graphics card. If there is not a major price difference between a locked and K series processor, get the K series. Fine tuning BCLK overclock can be very tedious.

From personal experience, I have an i5-6400 that is stock 2.7ghz,I have been running it at 4.4ghz with BCLK overclock for months now. I've managed to hit 4.7, but I don't like the look of how much more voltage I'd have to put into PCH, VCCSA, and VCCIO in addition to maxing out safe V-core at 1.350v.
The cost of the CPU and motherboard I use as my main rig was ~$145 and ~$95 a few months ago. I just got a 1070 and have no issues CPU being a bottleneck

In short, it's a huge waste of money and resources to get a 1000 series card. I would upgrade your CPU and motherboard and keep the 630 you have until you can get a better card if you have limited budget. You may even potentially keep your DDR3 ram which saves a decent amount of $. In my opinion the jump from DDR3 to DDR4 is pointless unless the upgrade is to a set of 2133mhz DDR4 kit minimum with 2666/3000/3200mhz highly preferable.

I hope that helps smile.gif
Edited by xGeNeSisx - 10/3/16 at 8:38pm
post #3 of 28
From experience, an i3-6320 doesn't really bottleneck a GTX 960 4GB that much, but something of that generation with a GTX 1060 is definitely going to be.

Honestly, I wouldn't even bother with this platform. Skylake is where you probably want to be with this GPU, Skylake i3s are just as fine as well.
post #4 of 28

I agree with the above users that the 2120 will bottleneck the 1060, however I disagree with the idea of a platform upgrade (at least if money is a concern, which I assume it is). With your i3 I don't think that you will get ultra settings in most games at 1080p, high is definitely more attainable. Take the time to adjust settings to get the best IQ instead of just throwing ultra at your PC. But it really isn't as simple as a blanket statement: GTA loves cores and will eat the dual core for breakfast while FIFA (iirc) is pretty light and runs pretty well on most things.

 

I think you have 3 options as far as upgrading your PC:

 

1: get a GPU that is less powerful (~960/380 level); it will be cheaper and be a more balanced system. (I don't really think this is the right way to go either, but it should cost about half as much).

 

2a: Get the 1060 and more DDR3, which will be a substantial upgrade over your 630 and live with the much better perf even with the CPU bottleneck. (This is personally what I would do if I was you. You can update your platform later when you have more money and get a quad core/ i5 [I would not go from an i3 to an i3 regardless of the generation] and faster/more ram)

 

2b: Get the 1060, more ram, and a locked i5 (2300-2500 non-k); should work in your board and be can be had for ~$70 (the 2320 can be found for that price on ebay); you can find them cheaper if you bid/get lucky/look harder or longer. (This is would be a lot cheaper than getting a whole new platform, but then again you won't be getting any new bells/whistles that come with skylake. Sandy IMO is still in the good enough category for 1080p60hz)

 

3: Full system update as the above user suggested. (Most costly, but highest perf).

 

 

Honestly, since you ALREADY have your current stuff (the i3), DDR3 is cheap and the 1060 should last a bit @1080p60hz (assuming this is what kind of monitor you have). I would just go ahead and get it and see how it runs. If you think you just need a bit more umph, drop a sandy i5 in there when you see one for a price you want to pay. If it really isn't that good, save up a bit more for a full platform update. I just don't think that a few extra frames is worth spending $$ on a brand new CPU, Mobo, and RAM (ddr4).


Edited by Jedi Mind Trick - 10/3/16 at 8:51pm
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post #5 of 28
Yeah I was trying to factor in budget as well as getting overclock potential in order to get the best price to performance ratio for the CPU and mobo upgrade.

Getting a less powerful GPU/more DDR3/or getting an i5-2500 are all surely less expensive options, but I still have to recommend upgrading to Z170. Its the best decision from my point of view factoring in longevity, price to performance ratio, and overall system performance

A cheap i5 and Z170 mobo would cost about $250 and give you room to overclock even with non-K chip. I do agree that upgrading to DDR4 is not worth it unless it is a high performance set. Thus I totally agree with staying with DDR3, and upgrading to Skylake with a DDR3 compatible motherboard is a good choice.

All of those options are certainly viable and would definitely alleviate bottleneck concerns, but it is just delaying the inevitable upgrade so from a budget standpoint I would weigh making the jump to Skylake now versus paying to alleviate bottlenecks now and still having to CPU and mobo down the line

And thank you Jedi Mind Trick for informing the OP thats there's many more options to upgrading. I didn't even consider those options for the OP. I just immediately jumped to the conclusion upgrade was best, perhaps a bit ignorant and shortsighted on my part tongue.gif

Different means to get more performance now, but factoring in future headaches and expenses is something to keep in mind
Edited by xGeNeSisx - 10/3/16 at 9:30pm
post #6 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by xGeNeSisx View Post

Yeah I was trying to factor in budget as well as getting overclock potential in order to get the best price to performance ratio for the CPU and mobo upgrade.

Getting a less powerful GPU/more DDR3/or getting an i5-2500 are all surely less expensive options, but I still have to recommend upgrading to Z170. Its the best decision from my point of view factoring in longevity, price to performance ratio, and overall system performance

A cheap i5 and Z170 mobo would cost about $250 and give you room to overclock even with non-K chip. I do agree that upgrading to DDR4 is not worth it unless it is a high performance set. Thus I totally agree with staying with DDR3, and upgrading to Skylake with a DDR3 compatible motherboard is a good choice.

All of those options are certainly viable and would definitely alleviate bottleneck concerns, but it is just delaying the inevitable upgrade so from a budget standpoint I would weigh making the jump to Skylake now versus paying to alleviate bottlenecks now and still having to CPU and mobo down the line

I didn't even consider those options, for the OP. I just immediately jumped to the conclusion upgrade was best, perhaps a bit ignorant and shortsighted on my part tongue.gif

Different means to get more performance now, but factoring in future headaches and expenses is something to keep in mind

I agree Skylake+1060 would be an amazing bump for the OP. Having enough money to cover it, I would do it 10/10 times. I was just assuming since the OP didn't give a budget/talk about doing a complete overhaul they might be a bit financially constrained. Luckily, coming from a GT630 almost ANYTHING will be night and day for them.

 

For fun, I disabled 2 cores on my 4770k and clocked it at 2.7GHz (and clocked ram at 1333mhz) and booted up two games DAI (the most graphically intense game I have installed right now) and Overwatch (the newest game I have that I thought would be relatively CPU intensive @ 120hz). DAI was a bit stuttery @50+hz (I am used to 120hz for most things, so it was a big step back at a mix of high/ultra settings [and some things at low]), definitely playable and still looked great. Overwatch was pretty smooth at ultra settings (jumped from 120 to 100 occasionally) in training, didn't feel like having to play a full round. 

 

@2.7ghz I am assuming that it would be equal to about a 3.0ghz SB i3, which is still 10% slower than OP's CPU interms of pure clockspeed, cache is different but I cannot control for that).

 

CPU usage for overwatch was in the MID 60's; couldn't screenshot it while playing and if I tabbed out the usage dropped as the game went to a 60fps lock for some reason.

 

 

 

OP could definitely get by with the i3 until they can/want to put more money into their PC (GTA V might be a completely different ball game as far as settings go though). Also OP make sure you get the 6GB version of the card as if you plan on keeping it for awhile the 3gb will become a bottleneck sooner rather than later.

 

As for the bold, sorry, didn't mean to phrase my post in a way to make you feel that way! Definitely not my intention. One of the most noticeable upgrades I have ever done was doing a complete overhaul. Had a 7950 with an i3 530 @ 4ghz and going to a 2600k @ 4.5 with faster ram made my PC feel like I also got a GPU upgrade as it was finally able to stretch its legs.


Edited by Jedi Mind Trick - 10/3/16 at 9:52pm
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post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi Mind Trick View Post

I agree with the above users that the 2120 will bottleneck the 1060, however I disagree with the idea of a platform upgrade (at least if money is a concern, which I assume it is). With your i3 I don't think that you will get ultra settings in most games at 1080p, high is definitely more attainable. Take the time to adjust settings to get the best IQ instead of just throwing ultra at your PC. But it really isn't as simple as a blanket statement: GTA loves cores and will eat the dual core for breakfast while FIFA (iirc) is pretty light and runs pretty well on most things.

I think you have 3 options as far as upgrading your PC:

1: get a GPU that is less powerful (~960/380 level); it will be cheaper and be a more balanced system. (I don't really think this is the right way to go either, but it should cost about half as much).

2a: Get the 1060 and more DDR3, which will be a substantial upgrade over your 630 and live with the much better perf even with the CPU bottleneck. (This is personally what I would do if I was you. You can update your platform later when you have more money and get a quad core/ i5 and faster/more ram)

2b: Get the 1060, more ram, and a locked i5 (2300-2500 non-k); should work in your board and be can be had for ~$70 (the 2320 can be found for that price on ebay); you can find them cheaper if you bid/get lucky/look harder or longer. (This is would be a lot cheaper than getting a whole new platform, but then again you won't be getting any new bells/whistles that come with skylake. Sandy IMO is still in the good enough category for 1080p60hz)

3: Full system update as the above user suggested. (Most costly, but highest perf).


Honestly, since you ALREADY have your current stuff (the i3), DDR3 is cheap and the 1060 should last a bit @1080p60hz (assuming this is what kind of monitor you have). I would just go ahead and get it and see how it runs. If you think you just need a bit more umph, drop a sandy i5 in there when you see one for a price you want to pay. If it really isn't that good, save up a bit more for a full platform update. I just don't think that a few extra frames is worth spending $$ on a brand new CPU, Mobo, and RAM (ddr4).
Hi, I'm still studying and money is a big concern for me. Ouch, so I couldn't reach ultra settings with my current processor?Even with gtx 1060? That's sad

1: I can get the 960, but what if it becomes same story like my processor where I have to change it after some time cause its not enough for new gen games? What if I get a new mobo and cpu after some time and it will be waste that i got that gpu since I could have gone for a powerful one and future proof?

2a: So ur advising me to get that 1060 along with ddr3 ram? How many Gb's will be sufficient?

2b: I'm clear with this and will try to look for it.

3: Hmm mmm....

Yeah, feels legit. I'll try buying it and see how it goes with my system. If I feel its worth it to get an i5, then I would go with it. I just need to play newer games with high graphics quality and lag free. Thank you very much.
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post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jedi Mind Trick View Post

I agree Skylake+1060 would be an amazing bump for the OP. Having enough money to cover it, I would do it 10/10 times. I was just assuming since the OP didn't give a budget/talk about doing a complete overhaul they might be a bit financially constrained. Luckily, coming from a GT630 almost ANYTHING will be night and day for them.

For fun, I disabled 2 cores on my 4770k and clocked it at 2.7GHz (and clocked ram at 1333mhz) and booted up two games DAI (the most graphically intense game I have installed right now) and Overwatch (the newest game I have that I thought would be relatively CPU intensive @ 120hz). DAI was a bit stuttery @50+hz (I am used to 120hz for most things, so it was a big step back at a mix of high/ultra settings [and some things at low]), definitely playable and still looked great. Overwatch was pretty smooth at ultra settings (jumped from 120 to 100 occasionally) in training, didn't feel like having to play a full round. 

@2.7ghz I am assuming that it would be equal to about a 3.0ghz SB i3, which is still 10% slower than OP's CPU interms of pure clockspeed, cache is different but I cannot control for that).

CPU usage for overwatch was in the MID 60's; couldn't screenshot it while playing and if I tabbed out the usage dropped as the game went to a 60fps lock for some reason.







OP could definitely get by with the i3 until they can/want to put more money into their PC (GTA V might be a completely different ball game as far as settings go though). Also OP make sure you get the 6GB version of the card as if you plan on keeping it for awhile the 3gb will become a bottleneck sooner rather than later.

As for the bold, sorry, didn't mean to phrase my post in a way to make you feel that way! Definitely not my intention. One of the most noticeable upgrades I have ever done was doing a complete overhaul. Had a 7950 with an i3 530 @ 4ghz and going to a 2600k @ 4.5 with faster ram made my PC feel like I also got a GPU upgrade as it was finally able to stretch its legs.
My i3 is 3.3ghz to be exact. Sure, I will get the 6GB version.
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post #9 of 28
8GB of ram is the least of your issues because it's a non-issue. Better invest in the best cpu your can currently get for the money you're willing to spend. Locked Ivy i7s can be found for good prices.
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post #10 of 28
I had a i3 2100 and went to an i5 prior to my i7 and even with all the same hardware video card and what not the i3 2100 was clearly bottlenecking my performance. You might not need an i7 but I highly recommend you upgrade.
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