Racing Sims and cores/threads upgrade

Hey fellow sim racers,

I'm planning on "upgrading" my potato pc, but im on a budget and I don't want to change my motherboard. At the moment I'm using dual core with 2 threads processor and in AC, there is a problem with hiccups, fps spikes. My options are either i5-3550 for around 50$ or go after i7-3770 for around 120$. My question is, will I really benefit from additional 4 threads and 300mhz (plus consideration for installing sol mod) and is it worth extra 70$?
 

David Turnbull

PrestoGP Veteran
3,233
6,285
Fife, Scotland
the 3770k is the best of the 3rd gen intels, its 4 core 8 thread so definatly worth putting one of them in as an upgrade from a dual core, prices are good too for a good performance increase, and an added bonus it can easy be overclocked to around 4.2ghz with minimal settings changed in the bios.
 

Niels_at_home

Reiza Studios
279
495
It depends greatly on your mainboard if you would be able to overclock. Considering you have such a low spec PC, it might means a single channel low speed memory and in general a non overclockable poor performing mainboard. CPU cooling and powersupply might also be limiting factors.

I don't know enough about AC's use of multiple cores, but I have seen the 99% CPU warning message on our quad core office sim PC, indicating it probably uses more than 2..

The i7 is between 100 and 200mhz faster than the i5 but I doubt its hyperthreading actually makes much of a difference in simracing. So the performance difference between these two for simracing is probably only a few %.
 

dud

924
208
Hyperthreading isn't that exciting, but several hundred MHz would be. But according to my reading it is just 100 MHz base and 200 MHz. Turbo.

So, it's both. No way the i7 is worth more than twice as much. But the i7 will also not be slower for anything,
 

Alex Townsend

Premium
2,843
1,509
Kuala Lumpur
My i7 3770k ran at 4.4Ghz without changing any settings.
I did have a P8Z77-V LX2 board and a P8Z77-V Pro before it so overclocking was easy.
Thing is if you're on a budget and can't change the board it may mean that you'll not only have trouble getting the most out of the 3770k but that you're also hindered with you upgrade options.
 

dud

924
208
There isn't any indication about what board is in play here. And both CPUs are 77 watts TDP, so even if the board has weak power routing it won't make a difference.
 
Thank you for all support,
In the end I think I'll go with i5 because even though i run dual channel 1600mhz ram and got good quality 500w psu, my motherboard will be limiting any oc. Especially when i7 k version is out of price range.
 
It's a difficult choice, tbh.

AC won't really care about your cores/threads, it generally uses 2 threads maximum, so in theory, a well-performing dual-core will do just fine for AC, let alone a quad-core. It alone will never be able to utilize more than those two threads.

Thing is, you don't run just AC. There's always things running in the background that add to this - even if you don't run anything while playing, there's still the GPU drivers and OS. And obviously the more cores (or rather threads) you have available, the less of an impact the background apps will have on your game. So with that hypothetical dual core, everything would affect the performance of your game. With a quad-core, there will be more headroom. And even more so with a 4c/8t CPU. So even if the game itself will never use more than 2 threads, the overall experience and performance will be better on a CPU with more threads.

Add to this the fact that the i7 is clocked a bit higher than the i5, which again means the performance potential is a bit higher.

But is it worth double the price? That's reallly something only you can answer yourself. Personally, in this day and age, I would always recommend going for a CPU with at least 6-8 threads (be it physical cores or hyperthreaded). That's the current price vs performance sweet spot, IMO, and will last you a bit longer. But if you're strapped for cash...well, then you might also want to save money. So again, this is really something only you can decide.

Also, bear in mind that all of the above assumes you are not GPU limited. If you are, then it gets even more complicated, because obviously your game will run the same no matter what CPU you throw at it.
 

RasmusP

Premium
7,064
4,269
Germany
To go further with what Martin said:
The i5, being a quad-core will give you headroom and increase the general efficiency.
I did a lot of testing and every additional core will give you some performance. But only very little for AC.
If I disable hyperthreading on my I7 2600k I lose the same amount of fps I'm losing when I put my cpu to 4.1 GHz instead of 4.4 GHz.

So the important things when getting an upgrade for simracing are:
1. Having enough real cores. 4 are just enough to have some headroom, 6 won't hurt though. Logical cores (HT, smt) aren't giving such a big boost but still a little.

2. Single thread performance. Which is IPC and clock speeds. This is the most important once you have enough cores. So 4 cores with 5 GHz are a lot better than 8 cores with 4 GHz!

The i7 would only be worth it if you could overclock it to get a nice single thread performance boost.
But the 200 MHz or whatever aren't worth it...
I overclocked mine from 3.6 GHz to 4.4 GHz. That's a good step forward. Higher would be better...

However I struggle to get more than 60 fps in all sims.
It's still definitely "okay" though!

A new motherboard, ram, ryzen 3600 or i5 9600k would be about 400€ in Germany. No idea about the prizes where you live.

So I don't think the i7 for 120€ would be worth it. Not if it's not the "k" and you can't overclock it!
The i5 however will give you a nice boost with the 2 additional cores :)

Could you please tell us your motherboard and your current exact processor so we can estimate your performance improvement?
 
MSI B75MA-E33, micro atx motherboard, not great, but not terrible either.
Running now with poor g2030 3GHz processor.
Also I've got 8GB of ram at 1333MHz speed (I've said that its 1600MHz, because they can do that, but apparently not with this MB/CPU combination).
Other thing that I'll have to replace is my GFX card, which is 6770 Radeon. The only thing that I can buy right now new is 1050 Ti, eventually I could buy used GTX 960 or new one but with 2GB VRAM only.
 

RasmusP

Premium
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4,269
Germany
MSI B75MA-E33, micro atx motherboard, not great, but not terrible either.
Running now with poor g2030 3GHz processor.
Also I've got 8GB of ram at 1333MHz speed (I've said that its 1600MHz, because they can do that, but apparently not with this MB/CPU combination).
Other thing that I'll have to replace is my GFX card, which is 6770 Radeon. The only thing that I can buy right now new is 1050 Ti, eventually I could buy used GTX 960 or new one but with 2GB VRAM only.
Thanks :)
B75 chipset: yeah, sadly no overclocking.

For the CPU comparison, have a look at this site:
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/compar...Intel-i5-3550-vs-Intel-i7-3770/1961vs825vs896

Your G2030: ST=1604 ; MT=2869 (Single Thread ; Multi Thread)

i5 3550: ST=1971 ; MT=6963
i7 3770: ST=2068 ; MT=9279

Or in %: (yours, i5, i7)
ST: 100% -> 123% -> 129%
MT: 100% -> 243% -> 323%

Compared to my overclocked i7 2600k:
ST=2342 ; 146%
MT=10701 ; 373%

For Assetto Corsa you can more or less calculate the fps by taking 80% of the ST value and 20% of the MT value.
That's really really roughly calculated but if you can achieve 50 fps now, you'll get around:
G2030 = 50 fps
i5 3550 = 73,5 fps
i7 3770 = 83,9 fps

So you'd get 24 fps for 50$ and 34 fps for 120$. The i7 would only be worth 71$ though.
I hope that helps feeling like it's a good decision :)

What's also an important factor: 24 fps don't sound much but due to the doubled amount of cores your CPU won't get "stuck" as easily and therefore your minimum fps will be a lot higher and your experience more consistent!


About GPU:
Take the 1050ti! They are about the same speed but you really want to have 4GB!
AC in 3440x1440 (I know, a lot higher than yours probably) takes about 3.8GB.
Assassin's Creed: Odyssey on my TV in 1920x1080 takes 3.5GB.
 
@RasmusP Thank you for all your help, so it's settled for me then. Gonna get i5-3550 with 1050ti and I think I should be fine for next 2-4 years depending on how technology will develop. About actual fps, right now I got quite steady 60 fps with 32 players on server, it only stutters in pit mostly, but unfortunately, it can spike sometimes during race/driving and it's annoying, especially when stutter hits hard and I get teleported to the barrier.

Also a bit of OT: I would like to thank you for creating LUT files for logitech wheels. My DFGT is actually really decent with it and cars like 1M stage 3 are now drivable (still yellowbird and F40 are problematic, but I might upgrade my pedals in the future, maybe they would help). So really amazing job, thanks.
 
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