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I have an I5 8600K (OC'd to 5Ghz) in my PC right now and its main purpose is for gaming. I've heard that some games are starting to use 6 cores of the CPU (though I am not aware of any at the moment) and in the future may use more. My question is would it make sense to upgrade to something with more cores to further future proof myself? Or am I just panicking here for no reason?
 

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Graphics Junkie
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Games have been using more than 6 core or 6 threads for a long time. Your CPU only had 6 threads since it doesnt have hyper threading. Your CPU is definitely fine for games for now but when you upgrade you will want to have an 8 core 16 thread CPU at least so it can match next gen consoles.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Your CPU is definitely fine for games for now but when you upgrade you will want to have an 8 core 16 thread CPU at least so it can match next gen consoles.
So hyperthreading should also be considered? I only ask because I was considering doing an upgrade to the I7 9700K which would add two more cores to my machine but no hyperthreading.
 

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You are better off going with the 8700K.
 

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Consoles have had 8 cores for a while and nothing changed, did it? They'll also always have slower cpu's than the ones you can find on a PC due to power and heat constraints, so why don't you wait until you really start to feel like it's holding you down.
 

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The last VRM burner
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Consoles have had 8 cores for a while and nothing changed, did it? They'll also always have slower cpu's than the ones you can find on a PC due to power and heat constraints, so why don't you wait until you really start to feel like it's holding you down.
Consoles had 1/2 strong core and 6/7 trash cores, it's not even close to your regular 8 core CPUs. Not to mention the laughable clock.

8700k or 10th gen on Z490 with possible 11th gen upgrade or hop on Zen 3. 8/9600k is already obsolete and will age fast.
 

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It depends on the games you're playing. There some games that don't like the i5-8600K because there's not enough threads. If you end up playing such games, the most suitable upgrades would be an i7-8700K or i7-97000K. The i7-9700K doesn't have hyper-threading, but the two additional cores is typically enough for a smooth gaming experience. If you aren't playing the newest Triple-A titles that leverage as many threads as possible. there's no need for you to upgrade.
 

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Consoles had 1 strong core and 7 trash cores, it's not even close to your regular 8 core CPUs
Yes. because there's only so much you can fit in a shoe box sized case without it burning to crisp. New consoles won't be any different, so I'm glad you got my point.
 

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The last VRM burner
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Yes. because there's only so much you can fit in a shoe box sized case without it burning to crisp. New consoles won't be any different, so I' glad you got my point.
New consoles are getting the Zen 2 8 core CPUs clocked almost twice as high as previous Jaguar. You're not making any viable point.
 

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The last VRM burner
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You aren't either.

Bye.
True to his name, I see. Can't admit you've spouted bs so you resorted to nit-picking a lexical mistake done by a non-native english speaker, eh? Sad.
 

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LTSC for life crew
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I have an I5 8600K (OC'd to 5Ghz) in my PC right now and its main purpose is for gaming. I've heard that some games are starting to use 6 cores of the CPU (though I am not aware of any at the moment) and in the future may use more. My question is would it make sense to upgrade to something with more cores to further future proof myself? Or am I just panicking here for no reason?
Honestly an 8600k @ 5.0GHz is still a potent performer. Sure you don't have hyperthreading but that's not a huge deal TBH. I think you're fine for the most part and should focus your efforts or funds on a strong performing GPU for now. Don't worry too much about future proofing or what future games might require in terms of CPU capability.
 

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Comparing current-gen consoles to modern PCs doesn't work exactly. Next-gen consoles will be much closer to PCs than any predecessor. Using Zen 2 architecture and higher clock speeds will make a difference. I personally don't think it will change gaming much other than better ports. The hardware capability will appear rather stunning early on, but get quickly overshadowed by PC hardware as is always the case. I've erroneously made the comparisons in the past without taking architecture and implementation into consideration. I still don't think next-gen consoles using Zen 2 CPUs will change gaming requirements moving forward. Developers are going to want as many gamers as possible playing their games so games will still have lower system requirements. Considering how affordable a viable gaming PC can be these days, there's no reason to worry about the future of PC gaming.
 

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Here's my opinion on this.

The minimum I'd recommend in 2020 for going forward would be an Intel Core i7 8700K, or Ryzen 3600. That is, to say, a 6 core CPU with SMT capability. The Core i7 9700K also works, but is in a strange spot; two more cores but four less threads. It'll be interesting to watch it and the Core i7 8700K age and see which does better.

I'd also say there's an argument that going with more (like an 8 core CPU with SMT for 16 threads) isn't totally going overboard.

That being said, that's not the same as saying "if you have less, panic, and run out and replace it". These are simply the minimum I'd recommend now going forward for longevity, but if you already have something, the rule is "use it until it doesn't work for you".

As for the whole console thing, the CPUs (and GPUs) in the outgoing generation were weak and lower clocked despite being more numerous in cores/threads on the CPU. The incoming generation will be closer to parity. I remember the Xbox 360/PlayStation 3 weren't as weak relative to PCs as this current generation has been. This current generation has been an exception. Whether that continues is in the air, but the hardware differences are writing on the wall in my opinion. I think the current generation being weaker in those ways is what largely helped, say, the less core/thread quad cores hang on, as they were much faster per core and clocked much higher.

I don't expect a very sudden nor radical leap in hardware demands, per se (the above point is good that they will want people playing games, so if they can't make that possible outside the very top end hardware users, it might be more financially sound to just skip porting it), but even in the last few years we've seen demands crawl up on the same hardware, and with new hardware coming, I expect what's good enough now, won't be in a few years. I expect that quad core CPUs that are still but barely hanging on but fall even more, and perhaps even 6 core CPUs too eventually (especially those without SMT) will fall closer to be the minimum you'd want, with 8 core/16 thread CPUs being more broadly comfortable.

This is before mentioning we are in strange times with CPU requirements, where one game might want 8+ threads, and another may be totally fine on a quad core even without SMT. Use what you have until it no longer works, then upgrade, but if you're looking to extend your current platform right now, a Core i7 8700K (or Core i7 9700K depending on which way you prefer it) is probably your best option.
 

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There are some modern games that will take advantage of 4+ threads. There are some of those that need it to not bottleneck on the CPU, it all very much depends on how fast do you need to feed the GPU and how much AI etc. the game needs to calculate.

CPU and GPU always come hand in hand, weak CPU and strong GPU will bottleneck you on CPU easily and vice versa. There is no reason to go for a beefy CPU if you're gonna use it with a middle of the market GPU at 1440p or above. Some old game engines stuck with single threads choking the whole graphics and computations in one thread can't be helped with any CPU no matter how fast, it's simply a bad software design, there are plenty of those around.

Buying new... 6/12 or 8/16 if one can afford it for a gaming oriented machine.
 

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As a very general rule of thumb a hyperthreading CPU performs roughly similar on average to a non hyperthreading CPU with 50% more cores (for example a 6 core CPU is sort of similar on average to a 4 core 8 thread CPU) .

However this is very application dependant. Some apps get almost no benefit from hyperthreading others get a huge benefit.
 

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Vandelay Industries
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depends on your gpu. If you have a 2070s or less you are panicking. What is your monitor? You need to balance things. One component bottlenecked by everything else won't make a difference. It's also not the best time to buy a cpu anyways as there is a release right around the corner that could shake things up.
 

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The driving force behind increased hardware requirements is probably due to better hardware being available. Cores and threads weren't as readily available even just four years ago. It's hard to increase hardware requirements without better hardware being available. For the foreseeable future, something like the R3 3300X will be enough for gaming. I expect it to be that way for quite a while.
 

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The driving force behind increased hardware requirements is probably due to better hardware being available. Cores and threads weren't as readily available even just four years ago. It's hard to increase hardware requirements without better hardware being available. For the foreseeable future, something like the R3 3300X will be enough for gaming. I expect it to be that way for quite a while.
Not that I'm disagreeing you, but the more I think about this, the more I wonder something.

The new consoles coming will have 8 core/16 thread CPUs. Obviously, not every game (nor even the majority of them) will leverage all of that to the extent of NEEDING it, not out the gate nor even a year or two from now. But, I remember the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 times, when ports were starting to become more of a thing (these days they are almost the norm).

I guess my question(s) are this.

Do you expect them to take into consideration the PC-centric average, which is probably a quad core, and ensure these can play the game (even with some lower performance, some stuttering, maybe)? Because that would be akin to the PC actually being the lowest common denominator that consoles are having to leave some power unused for.

Or, do you think the majority of games, for more natural and "where we're at software/threading/game development-wise" just won't leverage that many cores/threads outside "using them but not needing them" in some games, with the ones that almost needing them existing, but being rare, and maybe just remaining exclusive to the console (or having an awful PC port like we've seen in my example above). In this case, why were these CPUs chosen instead of, say, a Ryzen 5 six core equivalent, which would have saved some of the production cost?

Just sort of thinking out loud here, I guess, because while I agree with you that they will want as wide an audience as possible to ensure the greatest chance for return on investment/profit, I'm not totally sold on them just going "we can't use half of the console's cores/threads". I do think a six core CPU (at least) would be the wisest thing to go for today, though I'm not saying those with less have to run out and buy a replacement right now. Again, old rule of "use it until it's not enough for your own personal uses" always applies. The existence of software and games needing more doesn't matter if the user doesn't use them. I think the big thing is, with something like the Ryzen 5 3600 (or even Core i5 10400) being where it is, I guess I just don't see all too much reason for the Ryzen 3s or Core i3s. Those on older SMT quad cores have some years left, sure, but I think two or three years from now, they'll definitely be showing age. Arguably, the Core i7 7700K was on release in some titles.
 

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Developers are going to leverage console hardware as much as possible. That's not going to affect PC ports very much. PC hardware is going to only get better while console hardware remains static for the next five to seven years. Maybe Microsoft and Sony refresh the consoles in a few years, but that won't close the gap because console games will still have to be playable on the base model. PC also allows for customized settings so you can tailor things to your system specifically.

Games don't use all cores/threads all the time. If there's a lack of cores/threads, that is likely to affect performance, but the game should be coded to work around that. We already see it with current games. Game engines should be able to take variables like that into account. But cores/threads are somewhat affordable and will be so for quite a while. AMD continues to improve and refine the Ryzen architecture. Hopefully they continue making similar progress with Zen 3 and beyond. Hopefully Intel can get 10nm and beyond working sooner rather than later.
 
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