Is Switching to Core i7 6700K a Worthy Upgrade?
We discuss whether upgrading to a latest CPU say Core i7 6700K from an older one Core i5 2500K is a worthy upgrade and what significance does a high-end processor hold in a gaming PC.
A graphics card in all probability is most upgraded and sought after component of a gaming PC. However, it goes without saying that the significance of CPU – especially in modern gaming PCs – cannot be left out.
Needless to say, but creating an amalgam of a power CPU and decent graphics card is something one should aim for.
There are games which rely on CPU to a great extent and there are some which do not exert CPUs much, but a decent CPU always enhances gameplay experience to some degree.
Is Core i7 6700K A Worthy Upgrade
The processor essentially works through the game logic and the instructions for rendering the frames to the GPU. Due to this fact, the CPU dependency of a game increases as one moves from lower settings to the higher ones. All these things make CPU an important component – if not as important as a GPU – in modern gaming PCs and video games.
This is one of principal reasons as to why the current generation of home consoles i.e. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One utilize AMD’s 8-core CPUs clocked at 1.60GHz and 1.75GHz respectively.
Now that we have established that both CPU and GPU go hand in hand, how does one tell if a particular CPU has reached its limits and it is time to upgrade to a better CPU, say i7 6700K?
There is a great deal of online tools available such as MSI Afterburner that displays the measure load on each of the CPU cores one is running.
From there, it is just a matter of ramping settings high, trying out different games, visiting areas with numerous NPCs, playing different sections of a game, and seeing how easy it is to let the CPU cores reach their limits.
Naturally, there are factors such as overclocking and faster memories that come into play, but one cannot expect to continue to push forever!
So yes, in case one is running an old Core i5 2500K or Core i5 2400 and experiencing continuous hiccups and stuttering; before should give overclocking a chance and consider a CPU upgrade before blaming everything on GPU.
While running the same GPU, one may not experience a noteworthy difference in maximum frames per second in a game, but will definitely experience a large difference in minimum frames per second.
To explain and showcase the differences that faster memory and a latest CPU – in this case from i5 2500K 4.5GHz to i7 6700K 4.5GHz – can make in video games:
PCs Used for Testing:
- i5 2500K 4.5GHz and i7 6700K 4.5 GHz
- 8GB 1,600MHz and 16GB 2,937MHz
- NVIDIA GTX 970 1,500/8,000
- Windows 7 x64
- Core i5 2500K – Average: 58.942 – Minimum: 40 – Maximum: 87
- Core i7 6700K – Average: 82.677 – Minimum: 73 – Maximum: 91
Skyrim with Mods
- Core i5 2500K – 38.2
- Core i7 6700K – 56.3
World of Tanks
- Core i5 2500K – Average: 83.136 – Minimum: 62 – Maximum: 101
- Core i7 6700K – Average: 112.393 – Minimum: 87 – Maximum: 126
- Core i5 2500K – Average: 50.839 – Minimum: 38 – Maximum: 78
- Core i7 6700K – Average: 77.112 – Minimum: 72 – Maximum: 82
Grand Theft Auto V
- Core i5 2500K – Average: 59.276 – Minimum: 48 – Maximum: 68
- Core i7 6700K – Average: 65.094 – Minimum: 51 – Maximum: 77
Far Cry 4
- Core i5 2500K – Average: 81.496 – Minimum: 55 – Maximum: 99
- Core i7 6700K – Average: 86.963 – Minimum: 70 – Maximum: 106
The Witcher III: Wild Hunt
- Core i5 2500K – Average: 58.565 – Minimum: 46 – Maximum: 71
- Core i7 6700K – Average: 67.163 – Minimum: 58 – Maximum: 77
- Core i5 2500K – Average: 72.068 – Minimum: 53 – Maximum: 87
- Core i7 6700K – Average: 74.457 – Minimum: 57 – Maximum: 89
However, in case one is not looking to make the leap and is looking to overclock and swap in a faster memory to calculate the differences, Digital Foundry has a neat little video detailing the numbers and pitting Core i5 2500K against a number of CPUs:
It basically comes down to the fact that as of now Core i7 6700K is the best gaming CPU one can get, but only when it comes to purely gaming. CPUs such as 5820K remain a viable option when it comes to things that span across multiple cores such as multimedia creation and things like that!
If you are satisfied with the performance you are getting with your old Core i5 2500K then by all means stick to that, but if you are looking for something more, i7 6700K is the best available option right now.
Arslan is one of Techfrag's regular news writers. When not digging out news stories, he is found buried nose deep in fantasy novels, wasted listening to dubstep, or raging against Xbox Live kids. Need I say more?