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2500K upgrade to i7-6700K worth it? (same old question)

clok1966

Golden Member
Jul 6, 2004
1,397
13
76
I upgraded pretty much every 2 years for a long time, age and way to many real life issues have put me way behind in the knowledge area. I haven't been OC'ing but do know how (bring this up as it might just be the best suggestion). I'm running a 2500K stock (good cooler) with a gtx1080 (my only upgrade in last few years). This has been my rig for 4+ years about other then the Video Card upgrade. This system is used 99% gaming on a 4K monitor

I been looking to build a new system and each time i do some reading it seems a waste of money. But the recent 4K monitor and 1080 have put me back in the upgrade frame of mind. I'm right on the edge of playable on some stuff and and wondering if the bump is worth it. Most "upgrade" threads are complete (older card and cpu) but I'm on the latest card so I'm not sure if its worth it. Will i see a 10-20% increase or? I want to hear frome people who have did it, not futuremark benches.

I am only bringing this up for the 3rd time in the last few years as I have been reading some on the new intel CPUs (worth upgrading from a 6700) and most seem to think the 6700K is going to be good all around gaming CPU for 3-4 + years yet. So moving to one if there is an OK bump seems worth it, but if i just OC the 2500 to 4-4.4 will it be a close match?

sorry I know I'm beating a dead horse here, but I am really wanting to build a NEW system :) I just need some confirmation its going to improve me more then 10% for the cash output.
 

AtenRa

Lifer
Feb 2, 2009
13,556
2,540
126
At 4K ??? it will hardly make any difference between 2500K and 6700K in performance, you are HEAVILY GPU limited with the GTX 1080 at 4K.
 

VirtualLarry

No Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
50,500
6,068
126
Waiting for RS's "charts and graphs", but he has claimed in the past that the 6700K, OCed to 4.5Ghz, is 30% faster than a 2500K, OCed to 4.4-4.5Ghz. So, I think an upgrade would be worth it, but if you can get by by overclocking your 2500K, then that might be the cheaper option. (It might be wise to hold out for Coffee Lake, 2018 I think, to get six cores on mainstream socket?)

What's the budget?
 

AtenRa

Lifer
Feb 2, 2009
13,556
2,540
126
Just to add, definitely OC and see if it will be better, then you will know if you will get any increase from a faster CPU. But again at 4K i strongly believe that you are mostly GPU limited and a faster CPU will not matter much.
 
Mar 10, 2006
11,719
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Wait for Kaby Lake + Z270 boards, it won't be long before they are widely available. 6700K on a good discount/sale would be worth it, but the deals are drying up so just wait for the 7700K.
 

AtenRa

Lifer
Feb 2, 2009
13,556
2,540
126
Wait for Kaby Lake + Z270 boards, it won't be long before they are widely available. 6700K on a good discount/sale would be worth it, but the deals are drying up so just wait for the 7700K.
I This system is used 99% gaming on a 4K monitor
For 4K ?? what will Kabylake do that OC 2500K dont ?? He better spend the budget on another GTX 1080 or better to sell the GTX 1080 and get a Titan X Pascal. He will see far more performance gain that staying with GTX 1080 + Kabylake complete platform (CPU $350 + $150 mobo + $100 for 16GB memory = $550)
 

amenx

Platinum Member
Dec 17, 2004
2,783
539
126
IMO, only worthwhile CPU upgrade for gaming is for 1080p monitors or below. Problem is that its very rare for review sites to test CPU gaming performance on anything above 1080p. Reviewers think they are wasting their time on anything above since differences are so negligible. Have seen a few 1440p benches but zero 4k CPU benches.
 

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,523
1,570
126
For 4K ?? what will Kabylake do that OC 2500K dont ?? He better spend the budget on another GTX 1080 or better to sell the GTX 1080 and get a Titan X Pascal. He will see far more performance gain that staying with GTX 1080 + Kabylake complete platform (CPU $350 + $150 mobo + $100 for 16GB memory = $550)
Waiting for Kaby Lake / Zen makes sense if you are going to upgrade your system. Since the OP has been "looking to upgrade" his system, we certainly shouldn't advise Skylake at this point.

We don't really know yet what these new CPUs will do for us as far as gaming. We have barely any data on KL and no data on Zen.

I think it's probably now time for those with Sandy Bridge desktop systems to move on to new KL / Zen systems.

But he does need to get the most out of that 2500K first.
 

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,523
1,570
126
On the other hand, we are now talking about overclocking a 4 year old CPU and mobo that haven't been overclocked.
 

Annisman*

Golden Member
Aug 20, 2010
1,844
70
91
I would try to find a good aftermarket CPU cooler that will fit both sandy bridge and skylake sockets (do those exist?) Over clock that 2500k and if you're not happy with it use that cooler on your shiny new 6700/7700k CPU. I upgraded from a 3930k @ 4.4 to a 6700k @ 4.7 and I am very pleased with the results. However I game at half of your resolution so there's that.
 

ddogg

Golden Member
May 4, 2005
1,864
361
136
I upgraded from a 2500k @4.5 to a 6700k and I also game at 4k. You will notice a fairly significant difference in minimum fps. I honestly would suggest making the jump just to get the newer technology on modern motherboards. I also do a fair amount of video encoding and the 6700k is significantly faster at that. I was able to pick up a 6700k at $250 at my local microcenter so it was a no-brainer for me to make the jump.
 

WhoBeDaPlaya

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2000
7,416
394
126
Comparing cross-generation 4c/4t to 4c/8t parts is a little disingenuous.
Simply adding HT within that generation would give a performance boost already,
never mind the IPC and/or frequency increases of a newer generation part.

Basically IINM (all chips at the exact same OC) :
1) 2500K -> 6600K/7600K = +25%
2) 2600K/2700K -> 6700K/7700K = +25%

It's a fair statement that not having HT seems to be somewhat crippling in modern games.
However, if you already have a 4c/8t CPU, what is only another 20-25% CPU performance going to give you?
We're not talking about going from a Zilog Z80 -> 7700K here!
 
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clok1966

Golden Member
Jul 6, 2004
1,397
13
76
its a tough one for sure, before when i was looking at this I wasn't on a 4K monitor and it was easy to justify sitting with what I had. Now I am simply riding the edge of what I consider good gameplay. My frame rates where almost always 60 to 120+ depending on the game, now some games dip in the high 30's at times and most are in the 50-60 area which I am fine with. A Few FPS more didn't really matter to me when i was over 60 but when you are talking are in the lower numbers 10 FPS can be enough change to make it worthwhile. I think I need to do some OC'ing, i had pretty much OC'ed very system i have had since the 300 celeron days, but i simply got lazy on the last upgrade 4 or so years ago, built the system to OC, but never did. Part of this is the enjoyment of building a new system from the ground up, but that must be tempered with the cost, I dont need total justification, but still feel like i need to feel my money isnt being thrown away for no noticeable change. And nobody wants to jump in with new hardware right before something better comes along.. I had just picked up a 980GTX (switch to 4K) about 3 months before the 1080 came out.. talk about paying for something 2X... thankfully that 980 has a home in my last rig now, still hurts non the less.
 

vissarix

Senior member
Jun 12, 2015
286
91
101
The i5 2500k is definitely bottlenecking your gtx1080...overclock it to 4.5ghz, and wait till skylake 6/8/10 cores releases... upgrade to a skylake 6core 12 threads at around $400...

No point on buying a kabylake at $350 with 4cores and 8 threads...games are starting to use more cores now and kabylake is not futureproof..
 

Majcric

Golden Member
May 3, 2011
1,345
21
81
I noticed a nice gain in min fps going from i5 2500k to i7 6700k at 1440p. Whether it's worth it to you will be subjective. But anyway if I were buying today I would buy a 6 core processor at the minimum.
 

daxzy

Senior member
Dec 22, 2013
393
77
101
Not sure why, but it can be mentioned that a 3770K would be a decent drop-in upgrade for cheap (you don't have to buy new board/memory).

But it will have lower perf then the 6700K, and most importantly you will be missing a lot of platform level improvements.
 
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WhoBeDaPlaya

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2000
7,416
394
126
You might be able to pickup a 2600K/2700K for cheaper and in all likelihood it'll OC higher than the 3770K, so you'd get about the same performance at max OC for less $$$.
 

Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
4,444
636
126
Yeah I'd go ahead and OC that sandy and see how far you can take it. 50%+ overclocks are not unheard of on a 2500k.
 

Dribble

Golden Member
Aug 9, 2005
1,878
400
136
I also have a i2500K but the performance increase even with the latest chips while noticeable isn't that great (vs. an o/c i2500K). For the last few years the upgrades intel does each gen have been getting smaller and smaller. Buy something newer if you fancy it but really it's not necessary, an o/c i2500K is still fine. Personally I am waiting for the mainstream 6 core cpu's to arrive.
 
Aug 11, 2008
10,457
641
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Comparing cross-generation 4c/4t to 4c/8t parts is a little disingenuous.
Simply adding HT within that generation would give a performance boost already,
never mind the IPC and/or frequency increases of a newer generation part.

Basically IINM (all chips at the exact same OC) :
1) 2500K -> 6600K/7600K = +25%
2) 2600K/2700K -> 6700K/7700K = +25%

It's a fair statement that not having HT seems to be somewhat crippling in modern games.
However, if you already have a 4c/8t CPU, what is only another 20-25% CPU performance going to give you?
We're not talking about going from a Zilog Z80 -> 7700K here!
It is not disingenuous if that is what the OP has. It is exactly the point. For gaming, i think we are at the point where 2500k to 6700k upgrade definitely makes sense, at least at 1080p, exactly because you get a boost both from architecture and hyperthreading, so you could get 50% or so combined increase in some games. Upgrading from 2600k to 6700k is a more difficult choice.

Edit: as others have said though, at this point in time, one might as well wait for KL, which will be faster stock and maybe overclock somewhat better, and to see what Zen brings to the table.
 
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WhoBeDaPlaya

Diamond Member
Sep 15, 2000
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It is not disingenuous if that is what the OP has. It is exactly the point. For gaming, i think we are at the point where 2500k to 6700k upgrade definitely makes sense, at least at 1080p, exactly because you get a boost both from architecture and hyperthreading, so you could get 50% or so combined increase in some games. Upgrading from 2600k to 6700k is a more difficult choice.

Edit: as others have said though, at this point in time, one might as well wait for KL, which will be faster stock and maybe overclock somewhat better, and to see what Zen brings to the table.
I don't disagree, that's why I said "a little disingenuous" ;)
If you have a >= Sandy CPU w/HT, upgrading to anything short of IceLake is an iffy proposition (platform benefits aside). RS got the timing right with his Sandy upgrade.

Then again, tinkering with new stuff is our hobby here, so dropping a few hundred might not be a big deal for some to scratch the itch. Hookers and cars are more expensive! :)
 
Mar 10, 2006
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Edit: as others have said though, at this point in time, one might as well wait for KL, which will be faster stock and maybe overclock somewhat better, and to see what Zen brings to the table.
There were some good deals going on for the 6700K, like $299 6700K + two free games on the 'egg. That would have been a solid purchase, but back at full price ahead of the 7700K launch, 6700K just doesn't make a whole bunch of sense.

As far as Zen goes, AMD is only committing to Q1 2017, while Intel has explicitly said January. Could be a good two months after Kaby comes out that we see Summit Ridge on shelves.
 

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