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My PC is kinda old by now, but I'm trying to save money. This puts me in a unique situation that I'm not sure how to tackle. My current setup is this:

CPU: AMD FX-8350
GPU: GeForce GTX 750Ti
Memory: 16 GB

Now this GPU is a little old I wanted to upgrade it. I bought a second hand GeForce 1060 6 GB, but it doesn't work. I've ran several benchmarks and tests and got advice online - some people think the card is dead and the seller lied to me, others think this old CPU is creating a bottleneck. I don't know.

The best thing is to probably buy a new PC, but I don't have a lot of money right now I need to be cautious. My thinking is - ok, I can buy a newer GPU - if it works well, then fineת I only spent that money. If it doesn't, then that means I need to replace my CPU and motherboard, but I didn't waste any money because I'll still use the GPU I bought.

Which brings me to my question - what's the best GPU I can buy right now that'll work with my old CPU, but if I end up replacing that CPU will still be good enough for next couple of years?. Note I don't really care if it's an Nvidia or AMD card.

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  • If you post a target price and whether your motherboard has UEFI bios support I can try and maximize your budget or inform you if we need to push higher for a GPU that will be good enough for the next couple of years. Also I don't believe CPU has much of an impact on GPU compatibility, as there is usually more of a motherboard compatibility issue (like certain newer AMD GPUs no longer working for Legacy BIOS). Dec 26 '19 at 5:03
  • @BennettYeo The motherboard I have is a Gigabyte GA-990XA-UD3, but I can't tell if it's Rev.1 or Rev.3 (only the latter seems to support UEFI). Target price is probably between 500$-800$
    – yuvi
    Dec 29 '19 at 20:22
  • You can buy a top of the line GPU with that budget. Since we're unsure about UEFI I will stay away from AMD as some of the newer GPUs have the potential to only boot on UEFI. In addition your CPU and motherboard should not stop your GPU from functioning. Some of the newer AMD's will not let you boot if you don't have an integrated graphics card. Could you tell me what you plan to use the system for, so we can find a GPU whose costs reflects your planned usage? Dec 30 '19 at 3:02
  • @BennettYeo Gaming mostly, some video editing (but that's more of a CPU thing. Even my current GPU is good enough for the playback and whatnot)
    – yuvi
    Dec 30 '19 at 13:03
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I'm going to give you two options and leave them up to your to decide whether the price warrants the difference in performance. These are solid option that far outstrips the DOA 1060 you recieved and should be capable of lasting you for at least the next five years if not the end of the decade (assuming nothing else in your computer breaks down). Capable of hitting far above 100 fps for top triple A title games today.

I've decided not to recommend you any newer AMD GPUs to prevent you the headache as your cpu lacks a integrated gpu. Some of the newer AMD GPUs only support UEFI rather than Legacy BIOS and can prevent you from booting from your boot loader to your operating system.

Make sure you apply the promo at checkout. If you have Amazon prime you should be able to get them to price match Newegg if you prefer Amazon's shipping services.


GPUs

MSI RTX 2070S 8GB | $493.98 ($509.99 + $3.99 Shipping - $20 Promo)

ZOTAC RTX 2080S 8GB | $669.99 ($709.99 - $40 Promo)


Benchmarks

Based on benchmarks it seems that if you are going to purchase a 2070, it only costs a little more for a somewhat noticeable difference. The 2080 is not that much better than the 2070S, however; the 2080S benches about 16% higher than the 2070S, and whose performance would be noticeably different.


Upgrade Notes

On a different subject, your CPU is not terrible for the setup and will probably not be too much of a bottle neck as most games are GPU bound rather than CPU bound. You might be able to achieve slightly better performance with a newer top of the line CPU, but an upgrade like this would likely be of higher benefit if you are doing heavy multi-cooperative computation or heavy video processing/encoding.

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  • You say the CPU will not bottleneck but every google search for the combination of the new card and the CPU results in people arguing it does bottleneck (even a video showing the combination says that it does). I dunno, I'll probably buy it anyway and eventaully upgrade the whole system, I'm just wondering.
    – yuvi
    Dec 31 '19 at 15:52
  • Also, searching Amazon I find this product appearing with some other superlatives like "Armor" or "Nvlink" "Ventus" "Twin-Frozr" - what the hell does any of it mean? Is any of it relevant for me? I'm so confused
    – yuvi
    Dec 31 '19 at 15:57
  • I didn't assert that it wouldn't be a bottle neck, I mentioned it shouldn't be too bad. The extent that cpu bottle necking has on your in-game performance depends on how much the game relies on GPU optimized code and hardware acceleration. Your budget is quite friendly to the top ranked 20 GPUs so I decided to maximize it since these GPUs are a great fit for future CPU upgrades and will perform well despite your CPU setup. Those product superlatives are essentially meaningless beyond identifying specific originating purveyors, you need not worry about this. Dec 31 '19 at 21:20
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    The 1660 Ti is significantly worse than the non Super 2070 so a bit worse is incorrect. The 1660 Ti are intended to be budget friendly GPUs and are something I might have recommended if your budget range was lower and I was trying to get the most mileage out of your budget. The GPUs I recommended above are better if you intend to self-build a new computer in the coming years and want a longer lifespan (performance wise). Jan 2 '20 at 21:00
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    If you would like a recommendation for a good price for the 1660Ti I can update the question. Also it's worth mentioning the sales I have linked above are limited and I will have to re-find them if the prices goes stale so you will want to make your decision soon. Jan 2 '20 at 21:02

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