Should I Upgrade My i5-2500?

GIS

Member
Mar 24, 2016
43
0
11
#1
I'm running a Sandy Bridge i5-2500, non K version, CPU since 2011.

Can you guys tell me why each cores maxed out at 3410 MHz? I thought the CPU can turbo up to 3.7 GHz?




Also, I'm looking to upgrade my GPU this year, either the R9 490 or the GTX 1070. Will my CPU bottlenecks the much newer GPU architecture such as the GTX 1070?

Games I mainly play are: League of Legends, Hard West, XCOM 1/2, The Flame in the Flood, and The Banner Saga series.

Games I listed above are not really CPU bound I guess, but I'm not sure the older Sandy Bridge i5-2500 is keeping up with the new GPU architecture?


Edit: Sticking with 1080p for the next 5 years with no intention to upgrade to 1440p until 1440p monitor sells under $300 with 1ms response time @ 144hz refresh rate.

Also, I'm running a 5 year old XFX HD 6950 2GB card, haha I know, I don't like to upgrade my parts too often, usually upgrade every 5 years or so.
 
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Ken g6

Programming Moderator, Elite Member
Moderator
Dec 11, 1999
14,428
409
55
#2
Can you guys tell me why each cores maxed out at 3410 MHz? I thought the CPU can turbo up to 3.7 GHz?
One core can turbo to 3.7. Using all 4, 3.4 is likely the maximum. Unless you have a motherboard you can overclock (up to 4 bins) on.
 
Oct 6, 2006
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0
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#3
In games you'll leave about 10-15% on the table with a 1070. Considering the cost of a CPU, mobo and RAM, it's hard to recommend moving up to a new platform at this time.
 

sm625

Diamond Member
May 6, 2011
8,176
1
106
#4
Buy a 6700k.

Actually, just wait for Zen. Then, after Zen flops, just keep waiting.
 

lehtv

Elite Member
Dec 8, 2010
11,900
0
91
#5
Games I mainly play are: League of Legends, Hard West, XCOM 1/2, The Flame in the Flood, and The Banner Saga series.

Games I listed above are not really CPU bound I guess, but I'm not sure the older Sandy Bridge i5-2500 is keeping up with the new GPU architecture?
You haven't mentioned what resolution you're playing at. But I'm guessing 1080p.

Those games will run easily on an i5-2500. It doesn't matter if you get a CPU bottleneck, framerates will still be very good. You just don't need GTX 1070 level performance for those games, and frankly it seems like a waste of money. What graphics card do you have now?
 
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GIS

Member
Mar 24, 2016
43
0
11
#6
Those games will run easily on an i5-2500. It doesn't matter if you get a CPU bottleneck, framerates will still be very good. You just don't need GTX 1070 level performance for those games, and frankly it seems like a waste of money. What graphics card do you have now?
Right on, I'm running a XFX HD 6950 2GB @ 1080p, I bought the card because it has a lifetime warranty. It's a 5 year old GPU and this year it starts to show its age as I play Hard West and the temp got up to 93 Celsius..

I don't intent to game at 1440p any time soon, and given the games I play which card do you think I should pick up instead? GTX 1060 or R9 480?
 

2is

Diamond Member
Apr 8, 2012
4,287
1
106
#7
I think you would see a pretty substantial boost in performance from a new machine. If it was a 2500K overclocked to mid 4GHz territory, then I'd say you can stretch it for another generation without losing TOO much. But at stock or even a sustained 3.7GHz on all cores, I think you're missing out on quite a bit.
 

RaistlinZ

Diamond Member
Oct 15, 2001
7,632
0
91
#8
If you only upgrade every 5 years just get a 6700K and GTX 1080 and call it a day.
 

StrangerGuy

Diamond Member
May 9, 2004
8,400
9
91
#9
"Hey guys should I upgrade when I can't even tell you how well my current system runs my games"
 

GIS

Member
Mar 24, 2016
43
0
11
#10
If you only upgrade every 5 years just get a 6700K and GTX 1080 and call it a day.
WOW, GTX 1080 breh, I wish I'm rich like you!
Now that 1080 will tantamount to a month worth of my wage...

"Hey guys should I upgrade when I can't even tell you how well my current system runs my games"
Ha! I feel you, yes, I pretty much run all the games listed maxed out except Hard West and XCOM2 when my GPU simply gets too hot.

I think the i5-2500 still fulfilling what I wanted it to do, but I'm concern about it holding back the new GPU such as the GTX 1070/R9 490.

I understand that I probably don't need the GTX 1070 performance for my games, but I would love to pick up the best performance per dollar card so that I don't have to worry to upgrade in the next 4~5 years.

For current needs, my setup seems working fine except the noise and heat output from the GPU is enormous. Oh well.

So maybe you guys can help me out and hit me in the head that "wants" and "needs" are two different things. That's said, which GPU from the current line-up or previous line-up that fits my gaming needs?
 
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Zodiark1593

Platinum Member
Oct 21, 2012
2,232
0
76
#11
I doubt you're missing enough to warrant splurging on a new platform yet unless you jump to the full i7. Even so, I don't think spending the money on another quad is really a worthwhile investment anymore if you're already on a fairly decent quad, which is what Sandy is btw.

My suggestion. Save your pennies, then step up to a hex or better.
 
Aug 11, 2008
10,457
67
126
#12
First, check that all your cooling fans, especially on the gpu, are clean and functioning properly. Something as simple as a dirty or faulty cooling fan could be the cause of your overheating.

Secondly, I would definitely upgrade the gpu before the cpu. An i5 2500, even at stock, should be able to handle the games you are playing. Right now is not a good time to be buying a gpu though. Only a couple of the new gen nVidia cards are available, and none from AMD. If the rumored price and performance of the AMD 480 are correct, it could be a good choice. If possible though, I would wait a few months until more next gen cards are out and the price and performance are known. Also as more new cards come out, there might be some very good deals on current gen cards on close-out. If you feel you must buy a card now, the GTX 970 is probably the best choice from nVidia, or the AMD 380/380x, 390/390x.

What is your budget for a gpu?
 

RaistlinZ

Diamond Member
Oct 15, 2001
7,632
0
91
#13
I'd wait and see how the Radeon RX 480 performs before upgrading.
 

GIS

Member
Mar 24, 2016
43
0
11
#14
First, check that all your cooling fans, especially on the gpu, are clean and functioning properly. Something as simple as a dirty or faulty cooling fan could be the cause of your overheating.

What is your budget for a gpu?
You got me on the overheating part, I have not replace the thermal paste since I got the GPU, which is 5 years ago. They have those special screws locked in the card and I don't wanna pay $35 iFixit tool-kit or whatever you call it to just open up the lid and replace the thermal paste.

$35 for only 1 time use? Yeah, I can keep the tool-kit for future uses, but how often do I re-paste my GPU. Maybe I should pay a trip to the local hardware store and only buy the 1 screwdriver specially for my card and save some money.

I don't have a budget per se, but I do want to buy a most performance per dollar card from either side. That is, I would buy a card up to a point before diminishing return kicks in.
 
May 30, 2016
92
0
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#15
Wait for AMD's Polaris aka Rx480. For 1080p gaming your cpu is fine. All you need to do is upgrade your graphics card. 1070 is overkill for 1080p gaming at 60hz. So get the Polaris which will be around $200 (half price of 1070). Preliminary benchs show its slightly faster than the 980. a 1070 on 1080p 60 hz monitor is useless. You will be running games maxed out with 120 fps but your monitor can only show 60 fps......
 
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GIS

Member
Mar 24, 2016
43
0
11
#16
You will be running games maxed out with 120 fps but your monitor can only show 60 fps
Amazed you can guess my monitor running at 60hz, thinking about upgrading my 1080p monitor to 144hz too, but not sure if it worth the cost and trouble since I don't play FPS games at all, and mostly strategy games, which don't require high refresh rate.

Yeah, if R9 480 deliver the price/performance as advertised, I will definitely pick one up.
 

iiiankiii

Senior member
Apr 4, 2008
759
0
91
#17
The games you're playing don't really require the highest end video card. I don't think you even need a CPU upgrade for those games. I am almost positive that a RX480 will be THE card for you. At $199, it will offer you 'almost irresponsible amounts of performance'.

If you really need more performane from you CPU, upgrade to 2600k and overclock it to 4.5ghz. That's the best bang for the buck right now for you.
 

Blue_Max

Diamond Member
Jul 7, 2011
4,220
0
106
#18
Here's a question no one asked yet; what motherboard do you have?

If you've got two PCIe16 slots, there's a good chance you could crossfire another Radeon 6950 card for ~double the speed... IF you've got the power supply to back it up. That's a lotta' juice... :(

I'm running 2400's in my house, only one step below you, and most of my games run perfectly fine. I'd rather sink the ~$200-400 it would cost me for a used/new i7 processor to get a better video card and then crank up all the options that rely on the video card, rather than the CPU.

I'm seeing lots of people unloading used geforce GTX 970's for some good bargains! Even new, they've come down 25%

(Haven't done the new 1070/1080 card reviews to suggest one or the other yet.) Either way, at least you won't need a new power supply either as they all use less juice than your current Radeon 6950.
 
Sep 5, 2003
19,460
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#19
$199-229 RX 480, keep the current CPU. Then once it's no longer meeting your expectations, get a new platform upgrade and a new $200 GPU. Buying a $400-700 graphics card and keeping it for 4-5 years has been proven to be the worst upgrading strategy for every consecutive generation since at least GeForce 2. For that reason going with a $370-700 1070/1080 and not upgrading for 5 years is bad advice. Considering the games you play, you don't need a $400 graphics card. When you do, well, you can always sell the RX 480 and upgrade. In 2018 we will have all new architectures/generation and then again in 2020-2021.

5 years is an eternity in GPU. In only 10 months we went from a. $549 290X/$699 780Ti to having a similar/same level of performance in a $300 290X/$330 970. Right now with RX480, we are about to get $429 390X/$650 Nano performance for $199-229. In 3 years from now, a $250 card will be as fast or faster than a 1080. 4-5 years from now, we will have a $250 videocard that's as fast as 1080 SLI.
 
Mar 10, 2006
11,719
122
126
#20
You got me on the overheating part, I have not replace the thermal paste since I got the GPU, which is 5 years ago. They have those special screws locked in the card and I don't wanna pay $35 iFixit tool-kit or whatever you call it to just open up the lid and replace the thermal paste.

$35 for only 1 time use? Yeah, I can keep the tool-kit for future uses, but how often do I re-paste my GPU. Maybe I should pay a trip to the local hardware store and only buy the 1 screwdriver specially for my card and save some money.

I don't have a budget per se, but I do want to buy a most performance per dollar card from either side. That is, I would buy a card up to a point before diminishing return kicks in.
RX 480 is probably a good bet for you. If NVIDIA doesn't have anything to compete by the time 480 comes out, I'd go with that.

If NVIDIA does, then pick for whichever one offers you the best value in terms of FPS/$ in the games you play.
 

GIS

Member
Mar 24, 2016
43
0
11
#21
At $199, it will offer you 'almost irresponsible amounts of performance'.
Dayum, I like that, that would exactly quench my "wants"

what motherboard do you have?

there's a good chance you could crossfire another Radeon 6950 card for ~double the speed... IF you've got the power supply to back it up. That's a lotta' juice... :(
It was a "GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard."

Bear with me since it was my first PC build and I was 18 knows nothing about picking the right parts and whatnot.

Not going to a duo 6950 setup, really don't need another heater in my already overheated room during summer. But my first build do sport a 750W Corsair PSU.

Buying a $400-700 graphics card and keeping it for 4-5 years has been proven to be the worst upgrading strategy for every consecutive generation since at least GeForce 2. For that reason going with a $370-700 1070/1080 and not upgrading for 5 years is bad advice.

5 years is an eternity in GPU. In only 10 months we went from a. $549 290X/$699 780Ti to having a similar/same level of performance in a $300 290X/$330 970. Right now with RX480, we are about to get $429 390X/$650 Nano performance for $199-229. In 3 years from now, a $250 card will be as fast or faster than a 1080. 4-5 years from now, we will have a $250 videocard that's as fast as 1080 SLI.
My hat's off to you! I would be surprise if you don't get any compensation of any sort for being super helpful and did I mention you almost get to every topics in this forum?

I remember reading another member on this forum says you sound like an "Economic Professor," now I think about it and try to relate your reasoning to my Macro/Micro Economic class, which I took 2 years ago, the way you think and logic are very close to what an Economic Professor would say.

With technology moving this fast, do they ever hit the ceiling and slow down? Saturation? Maybe I can drive a flying car in my lifetime!

I do appreciate you for pointing out that upgrading every 5 year is a bad move. I thought it was a good idea to buy that one card right before the diminishing return kicks in, 970/390 for the last gen, and keep the card for 5~6 years until it dies on me.

You are right, I should just go for the R9 480, which totally fits my bill and needs.
 
Jun 30, 2004
13,760
264
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#22
Dayum, I like that, that would exactly quench my "wants"



It was a "GIGABYTE GA-P67A-UD4-B3 LGA 1155 Intel P67 SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard."

Bear with me since it was my first PC build and I was 18 knows nothing about picking the right parts and whatnot.

Not going to a duo 6950 setup, really don't need another heater in my already overheated room during summer. But my first build do sport a 750W Corsair PSU.



My hat's off to you! I would be surprise if you don't get any compensation of any sort for being super helpful and did I mention you almost get to every topics in this forum?

I remember reading another member on this forum says you sound like an "Economic Professor," now I think about it and try to relate your reasoning to my Macro/Micro Economic class, which I took 2 years ago, the way you think and logic are very close to what an Economic Professor would say.

With technology moving this fast, do they ever hit the ceiling and slow down? Saturation? Maybe I can drive a flying car in my lifetime!

I do appreciate you for pointing out that upgrading every 5 year is a bad move. I thought it was a good idea to buy that one card right before the diminishing return kicks in, 970/390 for the last gen, and keep the card for 5~6 years until it dies on me.

You are right, I should just go for the R9 480, which totally fits my bill and needs.
For some enthusiasts, it might be a balancing act in obsolescence, redeployment, stocks and flows of cash and assets, and inclination to resale activity.

There was a review -- TechReport, TechReview -- something -- back around the time that the 780i cards were appearing. On a price-performance scale, the tech-expert users would pick the second-tier cards, probably priced between $300 and $400. I think at that time that would've meant one or a pair of 750 cards, and I bought a single 780 card instead.

With someone like me, there's a cyclical aspect to this for SLI-flirtation. If I can find a graphics card that performs very well in all respects by itself, I may opt for it over a few years, then search for a used twin for SLI. Or I'll redeploy the old card to another household computer and buy a 2x set in the second tier for the next cycle.

Right now, I have a pair of BFG GeForce 9800 cards with maybe 500MB of VRAM on each. Not much good for anything other than test cards or use in a server or other household machine for the non-gaming fam-damn-ily.
 
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