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Buy i5 K version or i7 K for gaming?

By Obzoleet · 30 replies
Feb 13, 2015
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  1. Hey guys,

    I have an i5 4570 and I would like some more cpu power for when im gaming.

    Should I invest in an unlocked i5 and just overclock it to save some money? My current i5 never goes above 40c under load.

    Or should I go for an i7 and overclock it instead? :)
  2. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,481   +975

    What GPU do you have because an i5 K series is very powerful, and if you have a weak GPU, spend the money there. But if your GPU is already powerful, get the i5 K and a nice CPU cooler (Hyper 212 Evo, Hydro series by corsair, Noctua, etc.). Then you can overclock it to about 4.2-4.5(4.7 at most). 4.2/4.3 is a safe bet for the Hyper 212 if you decide on that. 4.5 is good with a watercooler. Just google your cooler and cpu models and see what people recommend as a stable OC.
  3. Obzoleet

    Obzoleet TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 171   +9


    I have a 780 Ti HoF , it should do the job. Also I have an H105i cpu cooler already

    It doesnt seem to be a hugh price difference between an unlocked i7 and the unlocked i5 so im just considering to put in the extra buck for some more performance. perhaps the i7 4970?

    Or do you have any personal recommendation? :)

  4. ddg4005

    ddg4005 TS Guru Posts: 391   +57

    I'd go with a Core i7. Some of the games coming out this year recommend it as well as a heavy-duty GPU.
  5. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,481   +975

    As long as it is the same socket, go for the i7 then. It will be a nice future-proofing update.
  6. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 857   +205

    I pretty much second what @JC713 posted. Typically, when a machine is focused around gaming, you'll find very little gains from picking an i7 over it's i5 counterpart. At stock, both will provide similar performance when it comes to frames. So, it's not like you have to OC the i5 to match the i7's gaming performance. With that said, I think you should save the extra bit of money and pick up the i5. I imagine you could probably pick up another game with the savings.
  7. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,151   +588

    I personally think you should go for just an unlocked i5 over an i7 as hyper-threading is pretty much the only major difference between the chips and its not something that really helps much in gaming. An i5 will overclock the same and match the performance clock to clock in most games out there AAA or not with few exceptions.

    However if your willing to spend the extra and just want to have the best of the best for guaranteed future proofing, i7 is a great processor. I just have a hard time recommending it for gaming since the i5 matches it and overclocks the same.
  8. Obzoleet

    Obzoleet TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 171   +9

    Alright I hear you guys, It seems that I will again go with an i5 (Im just annoyed that I didnt buy an unlocked version to begin with -.- And now that im upgrading anyway, why not put an i7 in there)

    But I will try to put the money to better use then :)

    So a follow up question : Which i5 should I go for? I do want to do some minor overclocking. I have a H105i cooler.

    So any suggestions would be great :)
  9. MrBlkfx1

    MrBlkfx1 TS Evangelist Posts: 857   +205

    I'd probably go for the i5-4670K
  10. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,151   +588

    Personally I would get the Devils Canyon and go for the i5 4690K if I was you for the improvements made for overclocking.
    Filip B likes this.
  11. GeforcerFX

    GeforcerFX TS Evangelist Posts: 843   +344

    Personally would be going i5(actually prob i3 if I went intel), we just don't have many games that properly use more then 4 threads so for gaming a lot of the i7's extra performance would go to waste. But we have seen more games surface recently taking better advantage of i7's and FX 8XXX chips multithreading prowess. With the current consoles being 8 cores I would expect to see more multithread friendly games in the coming years, but I don't believe in "future-proofing" builds
  12. Filip B

    Filip B TS Enthusiast Posts: 46   +9

    Games utilise only 4 cores the difference between i5 and i7 in games is negligible. If you're ok with intel go for 4690k.
  13. Obzoleet

    Obzoleet TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 171   +9

    I am back with some more questions :)

    I had earlier played Farcry 4 and found it was lagging which lead me here asking what processor to upgrade too but after checking out Nvidias tweaking guide for Farcry 4 it now runs flawless on max settings ( Except for AA settings. Can only run SMAA if I wanna keep a solid 60FPS) But that is fine cause I find SMAA looks best, atleast in Farcry 4.

    I have also been monitoring my cpu and GPU load a bit closer.

    My CPU is around 70-80% and at times jumps up to 98%

    Gpu can jump up and down between 40%-100% not sure how normal that is ?

    So either way I have been checking out some benchmarks for some games and generally having a better processor then my current i5 will not give me much more FPS then 3-5 at best. ( I know you guys kinda mentioned this earlier that it wont make much difference)

    But what do I need to upgrade if I would like to max out AA settings as well? Would it require SLI?

    Ive tried googling if AA is CPU or GPU heavy but some say its mostly GPU and some say its both CPU and GPU.

    Would I need a better CPU AND a better GPU to be able to use higher AA settings?

    I have been checking a lot of Battlefield 4 benchmarks since I will be playing a lot of Battlefront 3 when it is released and it does seem my current setup will be struggling with maxed out settings - Should I be looking at SLI since I already have a 780 ti and 2 of them should be more then enough or just look for a more powerful single card at the end of the year that can handle the game on max by itself?

    And if I do go SLI - do I need a better CPU to make use of 2x 780 ti?

    Sorry if there is any confusion, I tried to write this as clear as possible :)
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  14. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,151   +588

    Well game skipping tends from low usage to high is normal as long as its not doing it consistently where your skipping while playing its just the game itself and nothing to worry about. I do not think you need a new processor as very few CPU intensive games will see much of a difference with higher clocks than what you already have.

    As far as two 780ti would be concerned, you do not need a more powerful CPU to handle that as yours is plenty. Two would be nice is you want to guarantee max everything out for awhile though to be fair a 780ti is enough for 1080p so two would be better for 1440p but its going to be game dependent.

    As for AA, its more GPU dependent so the more GPU power you have the better when pushing AA up (Or the other types).
  15. Obzoleet

    Obzoleet TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 171   +9

    Great, thanks for the info. I have been reading about it a lot today and been trying to find out which 780 ti to buy...

    First I was thinking of using another 780ti HoF but I havent been able to find it in stores in Denmark but perhaps I can find it online in a store. HOWEVER I am also considering if it would be worth it or if I should just buy a standard 780 Ti and save some money?

    Also I have been a bit worried since there is only 3GB VRAM - What do you think? will it come back and bite me in the ***? I read that there will be a 780 Ti 6GB version one day. Would it work to buy that and use it as a main card to get access to those 6GB or does it matter that my HoF card is only 3GB?

    I game at 1920x1080 at the moment and I dont think I will be moving away from that in the nearest future ( I will go to 1440 one day but that wont be happening for awhile)

    Thanks! :)
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2015
  16. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,151   +588

    Well generally a rule of thumb is to match a card with another of the same in the past (Mostly clock speeds) though people a lot of times say you should have the exact same set of cards for SLI. That's not generally required (Never was really required to have the exact same brand/card) and you can select a card that is close enough with the clocks speeds that it will be fine. I would say get another HoF if you could just because the HoF are generally high binned higher cards if you go SLI meaning they will overclock/boost similarly. But in the end it will not matter so if its unavailable and you want another just find another brand card with similar enough clocks and you will be fine (Heck even if they were off by over 200mhz it would not matter more than the weaker card would not give as much). In the past cards used to sync to the lowest performing card in SLI/CFX though this is not the case anymore.

    The GTX 780ti 6gb version was cancelled and will never happen at this point so I would not hold your breath. Closest thing is a Titan Black.

    3gb of VRAM is plenty for 1080p even maxing MSAA (or similar) out. The only way you could easily fill that VRAM up is with heavily modded Skyrim or DSR and ultra game settings which even then is still difficult. 3gb is going to become obsolete, but for now its still enough for 1440p and below except in a very minute set of cases (Again like Modded Skyrim).

    If your sticking with 1080p for awhile and you want a little more performance it might be nice to have another 780ti. You may if you do want to look into enabling DSR to make games look better and better utilize the extra GPU power.
  17. Obzoleet

    Obzoleet TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 171   +9

    Alright, hopefully I can find the 780ti HoF online somewhere then :)

    I would like to play with DSR ... I tried it out in Far cry 4 (2710x something) and it looks far better but wasnt able to play with it using Ultra settings, it started lagging. Not sure if it was because of VRAM or just because not enough GPU power.

    Is it better to have DSR enabled and lower settings? And if I have DSR enabled, should I turn off AA?

    But anyway, 3 GB VRAM should be fine unless I go with DSR and stuff in some cases? Cause I cannot seem to find a 780 Ti with a higher VRAM so my options would be to instead buy 2x GPU´s with higher VRAM and that would be expensive and I would kinda like to avoid that..

    I read an article comparing a 770 2GB and a 770 4GB for all resolutions and there was literally no difference until you go up to 5760x1080 resolution


    If the article is true then it doesnt seem to matter that I only have 3GB VRAM. I should even be able to play around with DSR quite a bit perhaps?

    This is such a jungle...:)

    Thanks for the help ghost, really appreciate it. The first time I posted on this forum you helped me as well :) Techspot is lucky to have you! ( or well I am lucky at least)
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2015
  18. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,151   +588

    Really ram depends on the game and resolution more than anything. AA options do add a bit to it depending on the game (Like Crysis 3 which eats VRAM or Shadows of Mordor) but again 3gb for 1080p will be fine even with DSR. If you have an issue with a game just flip DSR off, or turn the AA down a notch. 1080p wont really have a problem even with DSR enabled in most cases for a good amount of time with 3gb of VRAM (Probably long enough for you to where you will be looking to upgrade anyways). The ways you will eat VRAM are:

    4K or surround/eyefinity
    DSR above 1440p
    1440p at 120+hz with max settings and AA

    Those are examples right now and even so the 780ti holds its own just fine without any problems. Games are making jumps recently because of the console generation update but it will still be awhile before 3gb becomes a problem so do not worry.

    As for the FarCry 4 with DSR, most likely the problem was more GPU power than anything honestly with that because Farcry 4 is pretty demanding so its hard to bench on that assumption.

    if you can't find an HoF edition, just look for one close enough to the specs of your and you will be fine.
  19. Obzoleet

    Obzoleet TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 171   +9

    Alright thanks!

    Im a bit worried I wont be able to find a 780 ti when I am going to buy it. Aiming to upgrade around october - september so perhaps it will be too late by then...Galaxy support recommended me to buy a 780ti HoF used from Ebay but im not sure about that ... :D
  20. chrissof

    chrissof TS Member Posts: 58

    Hi obzoleet,have you tried using a monitoring tool like Afterburner? it will display vram usage on screen so you will be able to see where there is any limitation using different settings in your games.I find it to be a helpful tool.
  21. Obzoleet

    Obzoleet TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 171   +9

    Hey Crissof,

    I am currently using MSI Afterburner but I am not sure which one is displaying VRAM usage. Would it be Gpu 1 memory usage? I also have GPU 2 memory usage :(
  22. GhostRyder

    GhostRyder This guy again... Posts: 2,151   +588

    Well I would not worry about that much, honestly cards from ebay especially this new are generally fine with the exception being cards used for cryptocurrency mining (IE people selling 4+R9 290's/X cards) which over stress cards for extreme periods of time. Just make sure the buyer has a good reputation and more than a few sales before buying and it might even save you some money. If your waiting that long I will warn by that point there will most likely be no more 7XX series from NVidia new for sale.

    As for monitoring VRAM usage, afterburner can be a bit meh as it generally shows just how much is being cached for use. You will probably see a lot of usage at the 3gb mark but it does not auto mean you are using all 3gb.

    I just would not worry about VRAM usage at this point as your not going to use enough at the resolution your at to worry even if you run up to 3gb usage.
  23. chrissof

    chrissof TS Member Posts: 58

    well,oh,sorry,why does it show gpu 1 and 2 ? its a single core card,right?(for what I found on the net...) and as ghost stated Afterburner will not help much...
    but to give you an advice on i5 or i7 - I would go for i5K model,it is plenty fast.and spend the money saved on a nice game or two
    btw,putting in a second 780 card will be hard on your power supply,is it sufficient?maybe have to get a new one too...
  24. deemon

    deemon TS Addict Posts: 287   +88

    At this point I would wait 5-6 months and build a complete new computer with Skylake
  25. Obzoleet

    Obzoleet TS Booster Topic Starter Posts: 171   +9

    I have no idea. It is a single core card....perhaps its registering the intel 4600 integrated graphics?

    We covered it earlier and I will actually instead keep my locked i5 since it seems to be enough power to feed my potential SLI with 780ti :) But thank you anyway

    And yes, I only have a 600w at the moment but I have my eyes on a nice 850w :)

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