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Best CPU for a 2080Ti?

Caldor

7 months ago

I have been looking for new hardware for a while. I pre-ordered the 2080Ti, great GPU. Not great for the money, but even if it is just a 20% performance gain, its enough for me as I mainly want it for VR gaming and to play around with DXR.

But I keep being unsure how much to spend on the rest of the computer. Right now I have a 6700K, its about 3 years old now and I am pretty sure its quite the bottle neck for this monster GPU.

I found this article which makes some good points about what CPUs to get... but it seems to argue mainly about value for the money. Not so much about what is gained by going for the pricier CPUs. https://www.pcgamesn.com/best-cpu-for-gaming-2019

This article seems to turn the other article on its head: https://www.pcgamer.com/best-cpu-for-gaming/

It puts the 9900K at the top... the 9900K is the CPU I figured to be pretty perfect for my GPU. First I was looking at the Threadripper CPUs, so... the 9900K is less pricey than that. I use my PC for much more than gaming though.

I play around with some hobby game development, general software development, web development, machine learning with TensorFlow, make videos of some games and game development tests and experiments and of course gaming which includes PC VR gaming and development. So I am not only looking for the gaming benefits. Which is why I also first considered the Threadripper series. But one of the main reasons I have not even considered AMD the last many years, is that Intel just seems way better when it comes to power efficiency. Looking at Threadripper, they seem very power hungry. I am not sure if having more cores means they will be better at scaling up and down in certain situations? Or does f.ex. the 250W of the 2990WX mean its constantly using way more power than a 95W 9900K?

So... it seems to come down to these choices:

9900K, 2700X, 9700K, 2920X or 2950X.

The 2700X is the cheapest. It actually provides both 8 cores and 16 threads unlike the 9700K. The 9700K has a higher clock rate. 2700X is 105W while the 9700K and 9900K both are at 95W. The 2700X has 20MB cache while the Intel ones have 16MB. Also the AMD is 12nm while Intel is 14nm. But that does not seem to matter much, since the AMD one uses more power and has a lower clock-rate anyway?

2920X is about 150 dollars more than the 9900K. It seems to have a lot of pros and cons... 12 cores, 24 threads and 3 levels of cache. One level having 32MB, another with 6MB and a third with... is it around 1MB or 1GB? Seems... unreal to have 1GB of cache? Also not sure what it means to have all these levels of cache? Does it help with the power consumption in any way?

So I am interested in these higher core count CPUs, but not if it means the whole PC will just generally throw power out the window even if I am just looking at Facebook or watching Youtube. I mean, I am mostly happy with even what my 6700K provides, but sometimes I do feel the rig wants to do more, but the CPU is being in the way. Now and then it also begins to cool at a much higher level than I experienced previously, which I am pretty sure is because the CPU is forced to run at full usage to keep up with the GPU... and probably still failing.

Which also brings me to another topic. Water cooling? Is it noisy? I see many pages suggest regular fans if you do not plan to over-clock, and I generally do not over-clock. I also know that it varies a lot how much noise different fans can generate... but is water cooling generally more or less silent?

Another factor to add to the list, is what you get with these CPUs, as it seems AMD and Intel CPUs might not provide the same features from their motherboards. AMD seems to have more... not sure if it is RAM or hard disk features. I saw some video from Linus Tech Tips about that.

Oh... and another thing to add. This CPU benchmark list:

https://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html

My current CPU is at 11109 points.

Compared to: 2950X at 25458 points 2920X at 21929 points 9900K at 20166 points 2700X at 17276 points 9700K at 17254 points

Prices at the store I am looking at are: 2950X for 1090 dollars or 23,36 points per dollar 2920X for 800 dollars or 27,41 points per dollar 9900K for 650 dollars or 30,95 points per dollar 9700K for 515 dollars or 33,50 points per dollar 2700X for 410 dollars or 42,13 points per dollar

So... looking at it only like this, it sure seems the 2700X is the best value for the money.

Annoying, seems the forum ignores my line breaks for readability with the benchmark and price comparisons.

Comments

  • 7 months ago
  • 8 points

I have been looking for new hardware for a while. I pre-ordered the 2080Ti, great GPU. Not great for the money, but even if it is just a 20% performance gain, its enough for me as I mainly want it for VR gaming and to play around with DXR.

GPU power will manifest as the ability to run higher visual quality settings. The GPU is not the source of performance.

When we benchmark gaming GPU's, we line them all up next to each-other running the same high visual quality settings and use FPS as the yardstick to compare render throughput. This is a reasonably valid test to compare GPU render throughput as long as the workload is consistently GPU bound across the entire range of products tested through the entire test. In practice many games used as "benchmarks" introduce problems for using this method of comparison (CPU/software/API bottlenecks that prevent the GPU power differences from emerging)... When all said and done, it's not a good idea to look at the results as having any relevance to the FPS you can expect in actual gaming, it's just a comparison of relative render throughput.

Performance originates with the CPU and is hard capped by the monitor refresh rate. The hard boundaries of performance are set by the CPU/Monitor. GPU bounded performance is inversely adjustable with visual quality.

But I keep being unsure how much to spend on the rest of the computer. Right now I have a 6700K, its about 3 years old now and I am pretty sure its quite the bottle neck for this monster GPU.

The 6700K has the same core architecture at around the same clock speeds as many current Intel CPU's. The only meaningful difference is that newer CPU's have added more cores. Whether or not you can actually make use of more cores depends on the specific game or application in question. For most games, there is very little difference in performance between a 6700K and 9900K.

It puts the 9900K at the top... the 9900K is the CPU I figured to be pretty perfect for my GPU.

You should pick your CPU based on the compute workload of your applications and gaming performance goals, not based on what GPU you have purchased. It doesn't matter if you're gaming with a GTX 1060 or RTX 2080Ti, if you want to game at high FPS in compute intensive games, you need a powerful CPU to do this either way.

First I was looking at the Threadripper CPUs, so... the 9900K is less pricey than that. I use my PC for much more than gaming though.............I play around with some hobby game development, general software development, web development, machine learning with TensorFlow, make videos of some games and game development tests and experiments and of course gaming which includes PC VR gaming and development. So I am not only looking for the gaming benefits. Which is why I also first considered the Threadripper series.

Z390 w/9900K is better suited to real-time workloads like gaming, editing, modeling, scrolling, resizing, preview rendering, and other "interactive" workflows.

X399 w/TR is better suited to compute intensive multi-threaded workloads like export rendering, multi-stream transcoding, simulation, batch exporting, compression, decompression, encryption, decryption.

But one of the main reasons I have not even considered AMD the last many years, is that Intel just seems way better when it comes to power efficiency. Looking at Threadripper, they seem very power hungry. I am not sure if having more cores means they will be better at scaling up and down in certain situations? Or does f.ex. the 250W of the 2990WX mean its constantly using way more power than a 95W 9900K?

Don't compare TDP ratings on modern CPU's. This is likely to cause a lot of confusion. Actual power draw of these platforms and CPU's varies dramatically depending on how they are configured. In many cases, the TDP rating dramatically under or overstates real world power dissipation.

So... it seems to come down to these choices: .......... 9900K, 2700X, 9700K, 2920X or 2950X.

2700X is 105W while the 9700K and 9900K both are at 95W.

When the 9900K is configured to actually honor its 95W TDP, it will only manage high clock speeds in lightly threaded workloads. Expect 2700X-like or lower clock speeds from this chip with TDP enforcement.

Most Z390 boards offer a way to adjust the long term TDP limit or completely turn it off, allowing the CPU to stretch its legs to the 150-200W territory required to run at high clocks under load.

The 2700X has 20MB cache while the Intel ones have 16MB. Also the AMD is 12nm while Intel is 14nm. But that does not seem to matter much, since the AMD one uses more power and has a lower clock-rate anyway?

These numbers are all academically interesting, but aren't useful for comparing these CPU's. AMD's core complex architecture actually requires more L3 cache to achieve the same performance results as a chip with a unified L3 cache. Nobody uses the same ruler to measure fabrication size either.

2920X is about 150 dollars more than the 9900K. It seems to have a lot of pros and cons... 12 cores, 24 threads and 3 levels of cache. One level having 32MB, another with 6MB and a third with... is it around 1MB or 1GB? Seems... unreal to have 1GB of cache? Also not sure what it means to have all these levels of cache? Does it help with the power consumption in any way?

Not sure where you're getting your numbers... Doesn't really matter. Ignore the cache sizes, they can't be compared directly the competition due to differences in architecture, latency, etc. Just pay attention to the performance differences.

Personally, I wouldn't bother with the X399 platform unless I were putting at minimum 16 cores in it and had a use for that many cores. There's a lot more costs involved with an X399 build than just a more expensive CPU. The motherboard is more, and in order to take advantage of all those cores in terms of workloads, you'll have to plan on probably twice as much RAM anyway.

So I am interested in these higher core count CPUs, but not if it means the whole PC will just generally throw power out the window even if I am just looking at Facebook or watching Youtube. I mean, I am mostly happy with even what my 6700K provides, but sometimes I do feel the rig wants to do more, but the CPU is being in the way. Now and then it also begins to cool at a much higher level than I experienced previously, which I am pretty sure is because the CPU is forced to run at full usage to keep up with the GPU... and probably still failing.

Enthusiast platform builds like the X399 will consume more power at idle than consumer platforms because they have a lot more I/O, more RAM channels, and often more widgets and accessories. If idle power dissipation is an important consideration, avoid enthusiast platform builds.

The 6700K is still a very competent CPU for many workloads. There are lots of possible reasons it could be feeling sluggish or running hot and loud that are unrelated to actually having a CPU performance problem. Dust in the computer is a common source of problems like this. Gunkware/Junkware/Adware/Spyware/Bloatware installed on a computer is a common source of performance problems.

Which also brings me to another topic. Water cooling? Is it noisy? I see many pages suggest regular fans if you do not plan to over-clock, and I generally do not over-clock. I also know that it varies a lot how much noise different fans can generate... but is water cooling generally more or less silent?

I recommend liquid cooling with heat-pipes. Heatpipes are a long term reliable way to cool using liquid that involves no moving parts to pump the liquid, no surface to surface seals that can fail/leak, no pump noise, no pump vibration. Liquid heatpipes come very close to the cooling performance of pumped liquid cooling.

Noctua and Thermalright make some nice heatpipe solutions.

Another factor to add to the list, is what you get with these CPUs, as it seems AMD and Intel CPUs might not provide the same features from their motherboards. AMD seems to have more... not sure if it is RAM or hard disk features. I saw some video from Linus Tech Tips about that.

Depends on what platforms you're comparing. Enthusiast platforms, like X299/X399, will certainly have more I/O than consumer platforms.

Consumer platform vs consumer platform, Intel's Z390 offers more I/O on paper than AMD's X470, however, actual implementation will vary from board to board. Comparing, for example, a $200 Taichi Z390 vs X470 board, the differences don't point to a clear leader in I/O.

Oh... and another thing to add. This CPU benchmark list:....https://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html.....My current CPU is at 11109 points.......Compared to: 2950X at 25458 points 2920X at 21929 points 9900K at 20166 points 2700X at 17276 points 9700K at 17254 points

Check out the single threaded scores...

Prices.... So... looking at it only like this, it sure seems the 2700X is the best value for the money.

Depends on workload, depends on if the machine is being used for fun or for work.....

I would advise keeping your 6700K, cleaning up the system (both dust and junkware), and using it till the next major round of CPU offerings are available for consideration. See what Ryzen 3000 brings to the table.

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

Upvote for you buddy. Unbelievable response, took words right out of my mouth. I have a Kaby Lake i7-7700K which performs very similar to the i7-6700K, I have not run across a scenario in gaming where the i7-7700k did not run handily.

I also have a build featuring an i9-9900K and RTX 2080 Ti. When I switch the GPU out, the i7 plays about the same frame rate as an i9. Easily handles 1440p and 4K without dropping frames. I have no idea on 1080p, but most folks, I suspect, will not purchase an RTX 2080Ti for driving a 1080p monitor.

Gaming companies want good reviews of their products to foster sales. Optimizing a game for 8 cores with it running poorly on 4 cores would be suicide given at least 30% of the target audience would be running on 4cores and 4threads - the reviews would be turgid. Skylake and Kabylake i7, and Ryzen 5 2400g, with 4c/8t should be fine for time being.

I do not really advocate close examination of benchmarks outside of forming a rough idea, each system build has the potential to be different.

https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Intel-Core-i9-9900K-vs-Intel-Core-i7-6700K/4028vs3502

The curious thing here - overclock the 4 core i7 and in quad core and single core tests it is not far from the i9. Only in multicore and multithreaded apps does the i9 really show it's muscle.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

That is a very in depth reply, thank you :)

I am pretty happy with my 6700K as it is... but one of the reasons I want to upgrade is that the motherboard only supports SATA M.2 and not NvME and I really want a good hard disk upgrade as well. I am looking at the 2tb Samsung disk which has a very good performance and expected writes.

Also I want a bigger casing, to be able to update it all, and if I am upgrading all of this anyway, I figured it would be best to future proof it a bit, especially given the GPU?

But I guess I will put the upgrade on hold see what the next CPUs coming out will be.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

I think I might have found my own answer. Finally found an article that compares actual power usage. AMD seems to win in all cases. Sure, it also does not perform as well, but when its that much cheaper and... should arguably not bottleneck my GPU... it just seems overall the best way to go.

https://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/intel-core-i9-9900k-9th-gen-cpu,5847-11.html

I read something about the 2700X having some fancy 25hz incremental system that makes it good and efficient when it comes to power consumption. I guess it works. When idling, the performance difference is not that big, but it only seems to be a bigger difference the more its used, that is, when you begin doing 2D and 3D rendering or gaming.

Knowing all of this, I guess it would be interesting to see how well the Threadripper CPUs does when it comes to power performance.

  • 7 months ago
  • 3 points

Threadripper is a very poor choice for gaming as it costs more than the 2700x and gets lower on average performance in gaming. It is more of a workstation CPU for tasks that can fully benefit from having a ton of cores/threads.

The 2nd gen Ryzens do an awesome job at gaming and if that is your only real task I would not worry about the CPU bottlenecking that GPU if you got a 6-8 core Intel or AMD CPU. What I would really be worried about in bottlenecking is the video output for both resolution and Hz. A 1440p 60z screen or lower will not be able to display what that kind of GPU is capable of pushing out and would aim at no less than 144hz 1440p. I would also consider a freesync or gsync display too for gaming. Though for VR I know higher FPS is mandatory for a good user experience.

Unlocked Intel CPUs do get the highest FPS but Ryzen isn't far behind in the actual user experience. The i5-9600k and i7-9700k will both deliver some awesome gaming performance. Though it did give me a bit of a chuckle talking about value for the dollar after seeing the rtx 2080 ti was pre-ordered. That would have been at the time that the prices on the 1080 ti cards were in free fall and were an awesome value. Also considering how early ray tracing is and how long it took for the first game that came out could even support it.

Even if you choose a Ryzen or Intel you should have a good experience none the less.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

Yeah, already got a 1440p 144hz monitor. I came to the same conclusion after I had bought my 2080Ti, and it had to be G-Sync and they sure are expensive. I know the Threadripper series are not very good for gaming... but they still seem pretty good for gaming and very good for most other things. Still too high a price though.

I really would like an upgrade that would allow me to add better hard disks and more hard disks to my desktop, but based on what Alian replied with, I think it probably is best to wait a bit longer.

  • 7 months ago
  • 2 points

If it is just adding more hard drives to a build than what you can get for sata ports on a drive you can get PCIe expansion cards that are sata controllers giving you more ports.

  • 7 months ago
  • 1 point

True... that way I could upgrade my current computer, and I could get the SSD I am looking at. If I can get it to fit in there... one of the reasons I want to upgrade is to get more room in the casing. If I get some PCI-E card that can just allow me to use an M.2 NvME SSD, then I could buy that now like I did with my 2080Ti and just put it into the new computer when I eventually buy it.

Thanks :)

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