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  • To upgrade my CPU or not

    I have been running an i7-3770k CPU (not overclocked) since it was a new release, and last year I upgraded the graphics to GTX 980. This runs NS2 quite well, but there are still slowdowns in late game when the world update thread is often a bottleneck. Hint: Try the r_stats command in the console some time to see whether it is CPU or GPU causing your frame rate to be where it is.

    I am wondering if an overclocked i7-6700k would make a noticeable difference for NS2 performance. This is 3 generations newer, although admittedly Intel hasn't been pushing high end single threaded performance very much lately, so even overclocked this isn't a phenomenal upgrade.

    Aside from CPU performance, this upgrade would open the door for an NVMe SSD in a few months, which can be several times faster than run-of-the-mill SSDs.

    I ask this now because the i7-6700k is still new and not even readily available yet. If I am going to upgrade my CPU in the next year, this is the time. Do you think it is worthwhile?

  • #2
    Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

    No. I would set your cpu priority to high in windows for ns2 for more fps on that rig. I wrote a batch to do this automatically but they're many programs out there that do the same.
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    • #3
      Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

      I forgot to add this but, I HIGHLY recommend a SSD for this game. Remember to set resource loading to 'high' in your general options too once you get one. I would get that first over the new CPU since yours is plenty adequate currently.

      Are you sure you want to upgrade? I have a i5-4670K @ 3.8ghz (stock), GTX 970, and an intel SSD. It blows this game out of the water with 80-120fps all the time @ 1080p maxed graphics. I can even max the nvidia graphics options and still get pretty awesome fps. Your rig should get similar if not better results.
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      • #4
        Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

        I run 2560x1440 @ 144hz, and dip under 60fps all the time in endgame rushes and whatnot. It makes me sound like the most spoiled brat in the world, but it feels sluggish when it does this. :icon20: I just like how the game feels at extremely high frame rates (which means lower input lag!).

        Ambient occlusion and atmospherics are disabled because they cause more of an FPS drop than they are worth, and rich infestation disabled because rich infestation hides things important to the game. Otherwise the settings are maxed out.

        NS2 doesn't really have to compete with other CPU intensive things while it is running so I don't think High Priority will make any difference, but I will give it a try.

        I'm already running the game off a 256GB Samsung 850 EVO, with resource loading set to "high". That did improve loading times a bit when I changed the resource loading setting, but loading speed isn't really a problem anyway.

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        • #5
          Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

          You're running a higher resolution than me so I bet that's why its more taxing than 1920x1080 @ 60hz that I run.

          Agreed with having a higher framerate; you really do get used to it almost to the point that it feels like a different game. I remember playing it for ages on an old dual core then a gtx 750Ti with my current rig but still couldn't max everything and get acceptable fps until I got the GTX 970. This card is awesome.

          Let me know if you want the batch script I use so I don't have to set priority every time. I'm running windows 10 now so I can't use Prio (love) like I used to with Win7, but if you're still on that I highly recommend that program.

          Does r_stats show you're bottle necked by your CPU or your GPU?
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          • #6
            Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

            It varies. At the start of a game it is usually waiting on the GPU. Later it shifts to waiting on the render thread and world update thread.

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            • #7
              Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

              Well let me know if you notice a difference at high CPU priority. Curious to know if it helps others.

              I suppose you could always get a titan card or go SLI. Or you could donate the money to buy a new rig for [MENTION=38]Wyzcrak[/MENTION] :P
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              • #8
                Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

                To be sure, I'm enjoying living vicariously by following along at home. :)
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                Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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                • #9
                  Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

                  $1000 GPUs and CPUs are outside my price range. Heh heh. SLI I avoid for reasons of compatibility.

                  I have my old GTX 680 sitting around unused, though I doubt Wyz wants a years-old power hungry monster of a card compared to what he has now.

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                  • #10
                    Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

                    I have a GTX 760. It's my board/chip that's so old. I'll upgrade one day. One GLORIOUS day. :)
                    Steam Community? Add me. | Free Remote, Encrypted Backup

                    Darkilla: In short, NS is pretty much really fast chess. With guns. Apophis: I haven't seen anyone say that SM's are better than non-SMs. Nordbomber: This is THE first server I've seen where either side can comeback from out of seemingly nowhere with the right teamwork. en4rcment: I have NEVER experienced the type of gameplay that I have found here. Nightly I am amazed at the personalities and gaming talent. Zephyr: Apophis is clearly a highly sophisticated self-aware AI construct that runs on a highly modified toaster oven in Wyzcrak's basement.

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                    • #11
                      Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

                      Disclaimer, I did not read past the original post.

                      I have an overclocked 3570k to 4.6ghz and a gtx 970. This is pretty close to your configuration. I am cpu bound. I have also played ns2 with a 4770k, overclocked to 4.6ghz. I owned it for a few months, before I sold it thinking it was not worth the money. Going from a 3570k to a 4770k, there was not really a justifiable amount of fps difference. I am talking no more than 5fps worst case scenario. With my setup, I maintain over 100 fps, in all but late game on most maps. Clock for clock there is not enough difference between them.

                      A 4770k is nearly identical in performance in most games to a 6700k. In many benchmarks I have seen, the 6700k actually performs worse than the 4770k/4790k. Link below.
                      http://www.anandtech.com/show/9483/i...h-generation/4

                      From that review, there is this quote that highlights what I mentioned about performing worse.
                      "In our discrete gaming benchmarks, at 3GHz Skylake actually performs worse than Haswell at an equivalent clockspeed, giving up an average of 1.3% performance. "

                      Even better yet, there are some optimizations that are coming for ns2 that might give you the fps you have been wanting.
                      Quote from CDT Lead Obraxis.
                      " We're working on some optimizations for 276 that should mean modern CPUs (the last 4 generations) get some kind of performance increase. Internally, we're seeing promising numbers but we will only know once this patch is out there."

                      ---From my experience with a 4770k, and that reviews conclusion that skylake performs marginally worse than a 4770k/4790k, I would not recommend upgrading for gaming. Instead I would overclock your 3770k, and save your money for a better cpu if intel releases something worthwhile for gaming later on.---


                      If you are upgrading for other reasons besides gaming, such as additional features like NVMe, then that is another thing. Putting ns2 on an ssd is highly recommended, and makes a big difference. In the next patch, it wont be as big of a difference.
                      Quote from CDT Lead Obraxis.
                      "Load times we know are a bane for some people. Mechanical HardDrive installs of NS2 can lead to waiting a very long time, even to just change map. @GhoulofGSG9 and @matso have both been working on ways to make load times minimal, with drastic improvements. Did you used to get a coffee while waiting for a map load? Not anymore in the forthcoming 276."
                      Having tested this myself, it makes hdd and ssd load times in ns2 comparable. Results may vary when it is released though.


                      If you do anything besides gaming, skylake might make a nice difference. The following image link shows the non-gaming clock per clock differences in performance between ivy bridge, haswell, and skylake.
                      http://images.anandtech.com/doci/948...andy_575px.png

                      If you are upgrading for such purposes besides gaming, you would then be better served by haswell-e with a 6 core cpu.

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                      • #12
                        Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

                        Interesting. Thanks for your advice. I am going to try to hold out for another year. It is just frustrating because I have been using the same CPU for over 3 years now and still I don't feel like the latest and greatest model would be worthwhile if I didn't overclock it. That hasn't happened before.

                        Due to a long history of minor stability problems with my personal desktop PCs even at stock speeds, I have never tried to overclock before. My current system is actually my first completely stable system in nearly a decade so I should just be happy about it and count my blessings. LOL.

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                        • #13
                          Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

                          I understand your desire to upgrade, but disappointment in worthwhile options. I used to be a serial upgrade. Intel is trying to improve efficiency, not performance. So everything has slowed down.

                          What was your last cpu brain? Sandy bridge and ivy bridge made overclocking incredibly easily from past generations. I have not even heard of one that does not overclock to at least 4.2ghz, and most of them can easily get to 4.6ghz with only some minor tweaks.

                          A 3770k has a max boost clock of 3.9ghz. You could potentially gain ~8% more free performance from a 4.2ghz overclock, and 18% from a 4.6ghz overclock. If you wanted, I would be willing to provide some good overclocking guides. I would be willing to do more by helping you tune it further.

                          If overclocking is absolutely not an option, and you really want to upgrade I would recommend an intel 4790. Not a 4790k, because you won't be overclocking anyways. A 4790 boosts up to 4.4ghz on its own, and it is haswell. I estimate that would be about a 23% performance increase from your non overclocked 3770k. That is 13% for the clock increase from 3.9ghz to 4.4ghz, and I estimate an additional 10% from moving to haswell.

                          I say this, because in one year the options will be the same as they are now. 6700k will still be the top intel mainstream cpu. Amd might come out with their new zen cpu, but I doub't that will shake things up. In one year your still stuck with the same options.

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                          • #14
                            Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

                            Originally posted by james888 View Post
                            What was your last cpu brain? Sandy bridge and ivy bridge made overclocking incredibly easily from past generations. I have not even heard of one that does not overclock to at least 4.2ghz, and most of them can easily get to 4.6ghz with only some minor tweaks.
                            Ivy Bridge, i7-3770k.

                            Originally posted by james888 View Post
                            A 3770k has a max boost clock of 3.9ghz. You could potentially gain ~8% more free performance from a 4.2ghz overclock, and 18% from a 4.6ghz overclock. If you wanted, I would be willing to provide some good overclocking guides. I would be willing to do more by helping you tune it further.
                            I considered this. I could pick up a really high end air cooler and overclock what I have. The system has proven stable at stock speeds...

                            Originally posted by james888 View Post
                            If overclocking is absolutely not an option, and you really want to upgrade I would recommend an intel 4790. Not a 4790k, because you won't be overclocking anyways. A 4790 boosts up to 4.4ghz on its own, and it is haswell. I estimate that would be about a 23% performance increase from your non overclocked 3770k. That is 13% for the clock increase from 3.9ghz to 4.4ghz, and I estimate an additional 10% from moving to haswell.
                            The 4790 is stock 3.6ghz, boost to 4.0. Only the "k" model starts at 4.0 and goes to 4.4. This wasn't good enough a year ago and I'm definitely not buying a year-old CPU based on an even older architecture now that there is a new chip out :)

                            Originally posted by james888 View Post
                            I say this, because in one year the options will be the same as they are now. 6700k will still be the top intel mainstream cpu. Amd might come out with their new zen cpu, but I doub't that will shake things up. In one year your still stuck with the same options.
                            Yup, that is why I was considering a new build now. With VR (Virtual Reality) games coming out within the next year, I might be driven to upgrade later and end up with exactly the same performance for the same cost, except delayed by 6 to 9 months...

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                            • #15
                              Re: To upgrade my CPU or not

                              So, I got a Noctua NH-U12S ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00C9EYVGY ) installed and have determined that 4.7 ghz is a bit out of reach for this system (i7-3770k). I have to raise the CPU voltage high enough that it throttles immediately under load. 4.6 ghz on the other hand seems to be stable as long as I have CPU voltage at or above 1.280 volts.

                              Interestingly, I am seeing a huge temperature difference between the CPU cores. Running wPrime for 3 minutes gets Core #0 to 94C, #1 to 91C, #2 to 87C, #3 to 79C. I thought I might have used too much thermal paste, so I removed the cooler and cleaned it off, then reapplied with less paste. This reduced Core #0 temperature by about 2C and increased Core #3 by about 2C, yielding the numbers I listed above. Whatever. I don't know if it made any real difference. It is a bit on the hot side but I can live with that, and it doesn't get nearly that hot when it isn't running at 100% on all cores. I have another system with the same CPU in the back room which runs 95-102C (give or take) many hours a day and it has been fine.

                              Now I am going to see if I can get the power saving options re-enabled while keeping this thing stable.

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