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I'm putting together a gaming rig with an i5 11600k (liquid cooled) and GIGABYTE Z590 mobo... average RAM, GIGABYTE AORUS NVMe Gen4 SSD, beefy PSU... everything is coming along nicely... with the end goal being to be playing on 1440p with in-game settings pretty high.

But now i need to choose my GPU. I have access to a 3060 Ti or a 3070 Ti for the same price (friendly scalper). I've read that the 3070 will likely cause a CPU bottleneck while the 3060 will be the opposite. I'm pretty new go all this, so I'm not sure I fully understand the issues involved with bottlenecking... or maybe I'm making it more complicated than it needs to be. Is the main problem that the component being bottlenecked will not be able to use 100% of its "power"... meaning that you're maybe not getting your money's worth out of of that component?

If that's the case, then I'm thinking I should definitely go with the 3070 Ti since it is costing me the same as the 3060 and will provide some future-proofing or perhaps get me a better resale price (if i ever choose to go that way). Does that sound about right or am I missing something that would actually make the 3060 Ti the better choice (with better performance) in my situation?

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When you have a CPU bottleneck, a faster gpu will not make your pc slower, and in some tasks, a faster gpu will still make your pc faster, so if they are about the same price, I would always go for the faster option. The only concern is your PSU, because you need a lot of power to drive a 3070ti (300W) and a core i5 11600k (100-250W). If your psu is rated lower than 650W (or it is a Gigabyte PSU), I prefer the 3060ti because of power constraints.

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  • Ok, that's what I thought. Thanks for confirming/clarifying. For PSU, I've got a Thermaltake Toughpower GF1 Series 750W 80 PLUS GOLD. With that (and the other factors discussed, especially running at 1440p), you're saying the 3070 Ti should be good to go here?
    – Daveh0
    Oct 5 '21 at 7:57
  • in some tasks, a faster gpu will still make your pc faster. Out of curiosity, what types of tasks would that be?
    – Daveh0
    Oct 5 '21 at 7:58
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    That PSU should be ok, and the tasks that faster gpu will help are like blender, davinci resolve, mining...
    – Irsu85
    Oct 5 '21 at 8:31
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If both gpu's are roughly equal in price, there is no reason not to get the faster one. The 10600K is more than fast enough to work with those cards at 1440P without any "real" bottlenecking, especially in the more graphically intensive games.

Like you said, you're probably overthinking it a bit. At the end of the day some part of your pc will be the slowest, getting it perfectly balanced is realistically impossible. It also always depends on what you're playing.

If you're playing a turn based strategy, the cpu is usually hard at work when the AI needs to make their turns, while the lower graphics settings are a breeze for the gpu.

In a modern graphically intense possibly ray traced game, the gpu can be pushed to its limits while the cpu has a lot less work to do.

At the end of the day if both parts are even roughly balanced it's going to be fine and unless you go to an extreme where one part is heavily overpowered or very outdated the stronger part rarely holds back the weaker one.

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