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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

looking to upgrade the CPU (and motherboard if necessary) in this rig:

HP-Pavilion AZ237AV-ABA e9270t [BIOS 11/27/09 20:46:17 Ver 5.11]
Intel Core i7 cpu 860 @2.8 GHz (8cpus)
6144 MB Ram
GTX 670 FTW 4027MB

Since the family got this computer from HP back in late 2011 I've been upgrading it for my dad as things stopped working or became out of date. Replaced the original HDD and just ordered a SSD for use as a boot drive. Swapped out old gtx 260 gpu for my old gtx 570. When that started dying swapped for brother's old gtx 670. Currently noticing slight mouse lag and general slowness with programs and web browsing.

Could the CPU be bottlenecking the GPU?

I'm pretty behind the times when it comes to knowing the latest cpu tech.

I assume if i have to replace the CPU i'll probably have to replace the mobo since this one is pretty old and the socket must have changed since then. If that's the case I'd appreciate suggestions for both CPU & mobo. Goal is to be able to do gaming reliably on occasion but mostly dad has the computer on for most of the day for general use.
 

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Dances with a Screwdriver
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I am still using Asus P8P67 and Intel 2700k and it overclocks easily on decent air cooler all the way to 5GHz. It's around 6 years old and still leaves many modern store bought computer in the dust. 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD helps a lot, gets the boot time to under 30 seconds from power on to desktop even though I have 4 mechanical hard drives all for storing stuff.
 

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I wouldn't be surprised if the CPU is bottlenecking. I wouldn't be surprised if you can't overclock since it came from HP.

What is this PC used for? If it's general purpose use, I would suggest looking for something used that accepts DDR3 since the price of DDR4 is a bit absurd. If you're open to AMD, this wouldn't be a bad upgrade:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1400 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock - AB350M Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($66.90 @ OutletPC)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2800 Memory ($83.99 @ Newegg Business)
Total: $290.88
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-04-14 20:13 EDT-0400

If you would rather have Intel, I would go with this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Core i5-8400 2.8GHz 6-Core Processor ($178.90 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock - B360M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($89.08 @ Newegg)
Memory: GeIL - EVO FORZA 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $347.97
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-04-14 20:19 EDT-0400

If there's no gaming on this PC, you can swap out the R5 1400 for an APU. The i5-8400 has an integrated GPU that can handle general computing and very light gaming. If there's any gaming, you'll definitely want to hang onto the GTX 670.
 

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PC Evangelist
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I do not think the CPU is slow for that GPU.
 

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9 Cans of Ravioli
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Currently noticing slight mouse lag and general slowness with programs and web browsing.
that wouldn't have any relation with bottlenecking (or lack of). that's not what bottlenecking is.

figure out why and fix that before trying to plan out upgrades. it should still be a relatively capable system.
 

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I am happily using an i7 860 on its fourth or fifth GPU, can't remember ... now a GTX 1070. Does just fine on things like Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Starcraft II on highest settings.

My instinct, consistent with what others said above, is that the problems you are experiencing are not related to core capabilities of the machine.
 

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Yeah that's not the CPU bottlenecking anything unless it's on its way out. Do you have an aftermarket cooler on it? If not it could just be thermal throttling. I was running an i7 930 stock with a stock air cooler and that was throttling because the cooler fan was dying and the Tim was chalky as balls. Replaced the cooler and it still chuggs along happily. (actually overclocked it to a decentish 4.1ghz). Check the thermal performance and maybe find out if the motherboard isn't dying? Also test with another GPU, if you've only noticed it after swapping to the new GPU?

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
 

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Yeah that's not the CPU bottlenecking anything unless it's on its way out. Do you have an aftermarket cooler on it? If not it could just be thermal throttling. I was running an i7 930 stock with a stock air cooler and that was throttling because the cooler fan was dying and the Tim was chalky as balls. Replaced the cooler and it still chuggs along happily. (actually overclocked it to a decentish 4.1ghz). Check the thermal performance and maybe find out if the motherboard isn't dying? Also test with another GPU, if you've only noticed it after swapping to the new GPU?

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
Unless you have a rare and lower end x58 boards that never got a bios update running those i7 920-965 cpus in 2018 isnt great they run really hot overclocked and the newer 2010 processors eat them for breakfast. If you want cheap get a hex core x5650 it will OC anywhere upto 4.5ghz, w3670 can usually get to 4.7ghz or if you want cooler with more frequency an x5667 will make your system really cool.
Heres a demo
 

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Unless you have a rare and lower end x58 boards that never got a bios update running those i7 920-965 cpus in 2018 isnt great they run really hot overclocked and the newer 2010 processors eat them for breakfast. If you want cheap get a hex core x5650 it will OC anywhere upto 4.5ghz, w3670 can usually get to 4.7ghz or if you want cooler with more frequency an x5667 will make your system really cool.
Heres a demo
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=el1Ta-1Eu7U&t=309s
Yeah I know all about running hot. And yeah they're not perfect, but it's definitely not going to be bottlenecking you to the point where your mouse lags. I'm actually in the market for an x5650, they seem to be the best bang for buck 1366 CPUs. And the worst I do to my PC is run Warframe and the occasional Solidworks model or blender render. So nothing that needs to be that fast, realistically.

What's the deal with the bios update though? You mean the spectre microcode stuff? I mean my cpu clocks in at like 620 in Cinebench (certainly not near the top of the pack, but keeps up with a Ryzen 3 when overclocked, so not entirely irrelevant either) point being, if you're JUST gaming they're fine. Not gonna be the bottleneck, but yeah they're hot AF and not fast.

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I am still using Asus P8P67 and Intel 2700k and it overclocks easily on decent air cooler all the way to 5GHz. It's around 6 years old and still leaves many modern store bought computer in the dust. 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD helps a lot, gets the boot time to under 30 seconds from power on to desktop even though I have 4 mechanical hard drives all for storing stuff.
I just installed a new Intel 500GB SSD as boot so that leaves the old boot drive as a relatively new 1TB HDD for storage. I think it might be time to get a new fan or at least apply new thermal paste.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
that wouldn't have any relation with bottlenecking (or lack of). that's not what bottlenecking is.

figure out why and fix that before trying to plan out upgrades. it should still be a relatively capable system.
I think I'll see about getting an aftermarket CPU cooler before I pursue any further upgrades. Not sure what else could be the problem. The motherboard's age shouldn't be causing any performance issues for general use such as I described, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I wouldn't be surprised if the CPU is bottlenecking. I wouldn't be surprised if you can't overclock since it came from HP.

What is this PC used for? If it's general purpose use, I would suggest looking for something used that accepts DDR3 since the price of DDR4 is a bit absurd. If you're open to AMD, this wouldn't be a bad upgrade:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: AMD - Ryzen 5 1400 3.2GHz Quad-Core Processor ($139.99 @ Amazon)
Motherboard: ASRock - AB350M Micro ATX AM4 Motherboard ($66.90 @ OutletPC)
Memory: G.Skill - Ripjaws V Series 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2800 Memory ($83.99 @ Newegg Business)
Total: $290.88
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-04-14 20:13 EDT-0400

If you would rather have Intel, I would go with this:

PCPartPicker part list / Price breakdown by merchant

CPU: Intel - Core i5-8400 2.8GHz 6-Core Processor ($178.90 @ OutletPC)
Motherboard: ASRock - B360M Pro4 Micro ATX LGA1151 Motherboard ($89.08 @ Newegg)
Memory: GeIL - EVO FORZA 8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR4-2666 Memory ($79.99 @ Newegg)
Total: $347.97
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2018-04-14 20:19 EDT-0400

If there's no gaming on this PC, you can swap out the R5 1400 for an APU. The i5-8400 has an integrated GPU that can handle general computing and very light gaming. If there's any gaming, you'll definitely want to hang onto the GTX 670.
Gaming is definitely in the picture. I'll keep your recommendations in mind if I do decide to upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I am happily using an i7 860 on its fourth or fifth GPU, can't remember ... now a GTX 1070. Does just fine on things like Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Starcraft II on highest settings.

My instinct, consistent with what others said above, is that the problems you are experiencing are not related to core capabilities of the machine.
Yeah that's not the CPU bottlenecking anything unless it's on its way out. Do you have an aftermarket cooler on it? If not it could just be thermal throttling. I was running an i7 930 stock with a stock air cooler and that was throttling because the cooler fan was dying and the Tim was chalky as balls. Replaced the cooler and it still chuggs along happily. (actually overclocked it to a decentish 4.1ghz). Check the thermal performance and maybe find out if the motherboard isn't dying? Also test with another GPU, if you've only noticed it after swapping to the new GPU?

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
This is reassuring to hear. I'll look into an aftermarket air cooler. For the longest time the rig was running in the HP box and I can't imagine the airflow was any good. I replaced it with a Zalman box with two front fans after I replaced the GTX 260 so I'm hoping with a new CPU cooler it will be back in business.
 

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The i7-860 and i7-930 aren't really comparable from a heat dissipation standpoint. While the two processors use the same architecture, the i7-930 is on a bigger die and creates more heat. Why anyone would use the stock cooler on a HEDT CPU is beyond me. Before getting an aftermarket air cooler, I would make sure your current cooler's fan is working as intended. If it is, I would then reseat the heatsink. If your CPU is still throttling, I would then look into an aftermarket cooler. The mounting holes for all the newer mainstream Intel sockets are the same for LGA1156 so finding a compatible cooler should't be a problem.

Of course before purchasing an aftermarket cooler, you should monitor your CPU temperatures and frequency to make sure you even need one.
 

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The i7-860 and i7-930 aren't really comparable from a heat dissipation standpoint. While the two processors use the same architecture, the i7-930 is on a bigger die and creates more heat. Why anyone would use the stock cooler on a HEDT CPU is beyond me. Before getting an aftermarket air cooler, I would make sure your current cooler's fan is working as intended. If it is, I would then reseat the heatsink. If your CPU is still throttling, I would then look into an aftermarket cooler. The mounting holes for all the newer mainstream Intel sockets are the same for LGA1156 so finding a compatible cooler should't be a problem.

Of course before purchasing an aftermarket cooler, you should monitor your CPU temperatures and frequency to make sure you even need one.
Is the 860 on 1156? The 930 is 1366... But yeah compatibility is easy. And I know I don't know why it had a stock cooler on it. It was built by Matrix a million years ago (go figure). And in theory shouldn't the 960 be able to dissipate heat more efficiently if the die is larger? (Sorry don't know much about thermals in regards to die size and such, lack the research.)

I ran a Cinebench OpenCL test and got 85-90fps on my gtx 1060 3gb. So I'm running into a bottleneck somewhere. Potentially RAM. Any suggestions? None of my CPU cores is reaching 100% during the test, but neither is the GPU. I've tried to play with the GPU memory clocks. Think I stuffed up the overclock in some way?

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
 

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Yes, Lynnfield was the mainstream code name for Nehalem processors. Lynnfield only came in i5 and i7 flavors. Bloomfield is on a bigger die and draws more power. If the coolers have the came cooling capacity, the one that creates more heat is more susceptible to thermal throttling. I honestly don't know why the stock cooler was bundled with Bloomfield processors.

If RAM is your bottleneck, it's almost not worth fixing. RAM is one of the worst places to chase performance. I speak from experience. I would only recommend upgrading RAM if you need more.
 

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Yes, Lynnfield was the mainstream code name for Nehalem processors. Lynnfield only came in i5 and i7 flavors. Bloomfield is on a bigger die and draws more power. If the coolers have the came cooling capacity, the one that creates more heat is more susceptible to thermal throttling. I honestly don't know why the stock cooler was bundled with Bloomfield processors.

If RAM is your bottleneck, it's almost not worth fixing. RAM is one of the worst places to chase performance. I speak from experience. I would only recommend upgrading RAM if you need more.
That's interesting that they used different naming schemes. Thanks for the history lesson. And yeah I guess if it's all being thrown into the same heatsink the hotter one will still be hotter. Duh, Julian. And yeah I only have 8gb. Wanna wait till DDR5 before I upgrade though. Don't have money to do it now anyway. Only reason I reckon it's RAM is because I noticed quite a lot of page file being used during the benchmark. I'm going to see if I can't find out if my bottleneck isn't something like the uncore clock or something like that. Will do that tomorrow though. Do you think it could be something like that? Something that changes when bclk and multiplier overclocking?

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
 

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It's unlikely to be uncore. Uncore doesn't impact performance very much. It sounds like adding RAM is your best course of action, albeit an undesirable one. I would like to wait for DDR5 before switching platforms, but Coffee Lake is everything I've been waiting for in a mainstream platform. I'm waiting for Z390 since Z370 is missing features the rest of the 300-series chipsets have. I haven't read any Ryzen+ reviews yet, but I don't expect much difference from the 1000-series processors.
 

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It's unlikely to be uncore. Uncore doesn't impact performance very much. It sounds like adding RAM is your best course of action, albeit an undesirable one. I would like to wait for DDR5 before switching platforms, but Coffee Lake is everything I've been waiting for in a mainstream platform. I'm waiting for Z390 since Z370 is missing features the rest of the 300-series chipsets have. I haven't read any Ryzen+ reviews yet, but I don't expect much difference from the 1000-series processors.
If you wanna hold out for an AMD upgrade wait for Zen 2. Zen+ is a minor tick. Adds support for all core turbo and they overclock a bit better, from what I've read. What're the benefits of Z390 you're looking for? And yeah ddr3 is hella expensive, so I'll try adding more RAM if I find a good deal second hand. Otherwise nahhhh, I'll wait. Still going to buy a hexa-core Xeon when I can for my current system. Just to see how far I can stretch the x58 platform.

Sent from my Redmi Note 4 using Tapatalk
 

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Z390 is what Z370 was supposed to be, but Ryzen forced Intel to bring Coffee Lake-S to market sooner than anticipated. This is best evidenced by the inventory issues at launch and the months following. I can't remember off the top of my head what Z370 is missing, but it's basically Z270 with support for more cores. There's also rumors of the i7-9700K being eight cores. We haven't seen or heard anything from Intel on that front yet. I personally think it's only a matter of time before Intel brings eight cores to mainstream, but I don't know how that affects their current i3, i5, and i7 structure. My best guess would be i3, i5, and i7 would become 4C/8T, 6C/12T, and 8C/ 16T respectively. This could allow them to bring hyper-threading to Celeron and make Pentium four cores without hyper-threading.
 
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