Are these upgrades possible on my ASUS Geforce GTX97? Aiming to use VR

Killer Nads

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Okay so i own both the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, also do some 4K gaming.

I recently upgraded my GPU to a ASUS Geforce GTX970 about 2-3 months ago.

I purchased my custom gaming rig from Overclockers about 3 years ago.

My hardware specs include:
Intel Core i5-3570K 3.40GHz (Ivybridge) Socket LGA1155 Processor @ 4.40GHz
Gigabyte Z77X-D3H Intel Z77 (Socket 1155) DDR3 Motherboard
Patriot Intel Extreme Masters 16GB (2x8GB) DDR3 PC3-12800C9
1600MHz Dual Channel Kit
BeQuiet Dark Rock 2 CPU Cooler (Socket 775 / 1155 / 1156 / 1366 / 2011 / AM2 / AM2+ / AM3 / FM1 / FM2)
Corsair 2013 Edition Gamer Series GS 600W '80 Plus Bronze' Power Supply

Ive made sure that i switched my fan on the machine from Auto to manual and have it on full. Also i use the Asus GPU Tweak Tool for overclocking the GPU and I've made sure that is also set on Overlock settings and not the silent gaming mode.

Most things work fine, however i can not play all VR Vive games with high consistant frame rates on full settings. Games like Hover Junkies, Chair: The Room, The Gallery can sometimes stutter like crazy on full settings (low fps i presume).

My question is that i feel that i should upgrade my Graphics Cards to nVidia such as gtx1070 or gtx1080 etc... but will this work with my current Processor, motherboard, power supply etc...?

Also I think that i should upgrade my processor is this possible with my current motherboard etc as it all currently stands? and which processor would you recommend i go if i go for the gtx1070/1080? Im assuming it would be a i7 processor?

I want to upgrade and then sell my current gtx970 which is almost as good as new!

Thanks!
 

joshmoyer

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Don't get me wrong, Skylake is great, offers tons of new features and is a good performance boost, but not for gaming. Games a rarely CPU bound, and when they are, they only care about clock speed, or cores, and rarely both. My CPU is only one gen newer (4690k) and I'm not worried at all. Sure, I wanna upgrade it eventually, but I don't need to, and probably won't for a while. Now that that's said. Why don't you look at some gtx 1070 reviews, see how it performs on 4k, and maybe that's good enough for you. You could definetly sell the 970 for a good sum (I just bought the Asus 970 for $200 US used, though I don't know what that is worth in pounds) and lastly, the performance differences between the various 1080s, is not that great. As long as you don't get the founders edition. Evga, MSI, Asus, gigabyte, zotac. They all perform similar, so pick one that looks good to you (and preferably fits in your case, which means no Gigabyte or Asus) I think MSI and zotac have a couple that are not too long. Just reference the dimensions with the Asus 970 since you said that it fit. Good luck
 

joshmoyer

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Gpu upgrade definitely possible and recommended for VR. You have enough wattage on the psu for those (relatively) low power cards. Cpu upgrade is not really necessary, and i don't think your motherboard supports newer cpus. You could possibly look for an i7, though it may be hard and you might have to buy used.
 

Killer Nads

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thanks for your fast reply. I will have to measure the length of the new GPU cards (in particular the 1070/1080) because when i upgraded to 970, it was at the absolute max length that just about fitted in my PC case. Hence, if the new GPU's are bigger then my ASUS GTX970 then I'm afraid i will be stuck and won't be able to upgrade the GPU :(

Oh man it would be a real shame if my motherboard won't work with newer CPU's as i feel i definitely need to upgrade my CPU aswell, i am also still keep on getting the OCULUS rift message saying that my PC doesn't meet the minimum specs for VR, because of the CPU.


One thing i am a bit unsure about which GPU to go for, i don't want to spend a silly amount of money on a GPU but i need one that will display 4k gaming at high/full settings. Hence, I'm not sure if i should buy a 1070 or 1080. 1080 will be fine with getting everything running on full settings in 4k, however I'm not so sure how well the 1070 will run for this?
 

KalTorak

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Hi Killer

The only option for an upgrade for your CPU would be to the 3770k. They changed the socket for Haswell and beyond meaning your Ivy Bridge motherboard wont fit. It's a 1155 vs 1150 pin solution.

For the size of the gfx card, just make sure its measurements are smaller than your current 970, I think you should be ok with that upgrade though :)

Good luck!
 

Killer Nads

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Thanks for your help. The Intel Core i7 3770K CPU you mention seems like a good option although its a bit price around £300.

However, what i really want to know is it worth getting this or are the newer CPU's much better? Obviously buying a new CPU would also mean upgrading my motherboard (i have no idea how much issue or difficulty that would cause).
Is it worth changing the motherboard and buying a newer CPU or is the Intel Core i7 3770K CPU a better option?

For the gPU i think i may just bite the bullet and get the gtx1080.
 

joshmoyer

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The Asus 970 was a bit bigger than most. I definetly saw a couple 1080/1070s that were maybe a bit smaller so there's hope there. I'm almost certain your motherboard will not support an upgrade because Haswell CPUs need a newer chipset, (not that the performance increase would really matter) and it will not support Skylake because it isn't the same socket. You can try to find an i7 like 3770k or something. But really your CPU is not holding you back. Lastly, the 1070 should play 4k okay, though maybe not with everything maxed out (remember its about the same as a Titan) but if you wanted to run 4k and can't afford the 1080, (I know I can't) then the 1070 will work. The 1080 is the performance you want though.
 

Killer Nads

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Thats awesome thanks for the info.

So i guess there is not much point in me upgrading my motherboard and getting a Skylake CPU. I won't get any benefits from it for both VR and 4k Gaming? Is that right? So what kind of benefits would the motherboard and CPU combo provide? Im a bit unsure.

Looks like the best option would be for me to buy the gtx1080 along with the i7-3770K (even a second hand one i guess would do).

Ideally, i don't want to spend £600 on a gtx1080, but then i was hoping that the 1070 was going to be £300. However, nvidia are charging £400 for these which is only about £200 less then the 1080!! So its really hard to not just go for the 1080 especially with the massive performance increases i will get over the 970 i currently have.

I could probably sell off my current 970 (around £200) which would most likely help me fund the CPU second hand. So then i would just need to find the best 1080 card for me!

That brings me to my final point, if going for the 1080 card, which one (brand/make etc) should i go for, there is so many and its very confusing!!!
 

joshmoyer

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Don't get me wrong, Skylake is great, offers tons of new features and is a good performance boost, but not for gaming. Games a rarely CPU bound, and when they are, they only care about clock speed, or cores, and rarely both. My CPU is only one gen newer (4690k) and I'm not worried at all. Sure, I wanna upgrade it eventually, but I don't need to, and probably won't for a while. Now that that's said. Why don't you look at some gtx 1070 reviews, see how it performs on 4k, and maybe that's good enough for you. You could definetly sell the 970 for a good sum (I just bought the Asus 970 for $200 US used, though I don't know what that is worth in pounds) and lastly, the performance differences between the various 1080s, is not that great. As long as you don't get the founders edition. Evga, MSI, Asus, gigabyte, zotac. They all perform similar, so pick one that looks good to you (and preferably fits in your case, which means no Gigabyte or Asus) I think MSI and zotac have a couple that are not too long. Just reference the dimensions with the Asus 970 since you said that it fit. Good luck
 

Killer Nads

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Thats great, thank you!
 

Killer Nads

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Whats wrong with the Founders Edition version of the cards? Im asking this because I've been looking today at which one to order, and comparing the lengths of each of the cards.

My current Asus 970 has length of 11.02" or 28cm as can be found here:
Ebuyer Link
and here:
Asus Link

However, I've now had a look at all the gtx1080 specs and the one i liked was the Gigabyte one found here:
Overclockers Link

However, i am a bit worried because on the link below it shows the length of the card being 11.26":
Gigabyte Link

I doubt that it would fit :( I know the difference is only 0.24" but even with the current gtx970 at 11.02" i only just about crammed in that gpu and there was no space left at all!!

So my worry now is that both my two favourites Asus and Gigabyte are out of the question unless i go for the founders edition of these cards? Is the founders edition worth it? or should u just buy a EVGA one like found here:
EVGA gtx1080
which is much cheaper then the other brands, and is not a founders edition either!

However, then with the EVGA it gets even more confusing because there is another one listed with slightly higher core and boost clock but is also about £30 more expensive!!!
EVGA gtx1080 better core clock

 

joshmoyer

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There's nothing wrong with the founders edition, except that they use the reference design cooler (Nvidia made) which is less effective and much louder than any other brand. Second, the Asus and gigabyte cards are quite large, but I believed the Evga ones use the reference board design (except the FTW edition), which means reference card length (usually). Lastly, the FTW Edition is the best version of the Evga 1080, the highest binned chips (google chip binning if I lost you there) are put on Evga's custom board, with 10+2 phase power delivery and an extra 8pin power connector, so you can (theoretically) get better overclocks on this card compared to Evga's other 1080's. So if better over clocks are something you want buy the FTW edition, otherwise get yhr cheapest or best looking Evga 1080 you want. (Also check Zotac's dimensions on the 1080, they have two models and one wasn't very big)
 

Killer Nads

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Ok thank you. I had a look but apart from the Zotac founders edition, the other one (Zotac GeForce GTX 1080 AMP Edition) is even longer then the other cards such as ASUS and GIGABYTE.

So i guess my ONLY option if i don't want any of the founder editions (although I'm very tempted to get the Gigabyte Founders Edition - love the look!) Is to go for either of these:

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Gaming

EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW
 

joshmoyer

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Its not necessaryily the founders edition cards you avoiding. Its the reference cooler. So if Evga or zotac have a founders edition with a nice cooler, that's perfect
 

Killer Nads

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Ok, thank you. I think i have come to a final decision. I am going to go with the EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 FTW card.

Now i just need one last piece of advice/help from you.

This FTW card takes 2 x 8 pin connections for power. My gtx970 currently takes 1x8pin and 1x2 pin i think (both pin connections coming out of the same cable, if that makes sense?!).

Obviously i don't think that will be enough to work with the FTW card, so i will need one other 8 pin connection. I quickly had a look in my pc and there isn't any of these! However, from the power supply i can see some free flat SATA cable connections and also some 4 pin connections (which i think are for hard drive purposes?).

How can i get my second 8 pin connection?

I had a quick look online and the only thing i could spot was something like this cable in this link.
It takes 2 x 4pin connections and makes a 8 pin connection. Will this cable work? or can i do something else? or is nothing possible?

I will wait for your reply before ordering the GPU because if the second 8 pin is not possible then i will have to order the cheaper EVGA GeForce GTX 1080 SC Gaming card, i have only until tomorrow to order the GPU because thats when the cards are coming back in stock, they will possibly get sold out again as soon as they are available. So i want to get a preorder in ASAP, hence your fast reply in this matter would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks for all your help, i would have not got anywhere without you!
 

joshmoyer

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So you're 970 uses one 8pin (6+2). The FTW needs two of those and since you said your PSU doesn't have those, I would recommend replacing it. It isn't a good idea to use adapters to run a GPU because it typically means they never intended to run that under that kind of load. But I digress. I looked up the specs of your PSU, and it says two PciE power connectors. And if I remember correctly, that would mean each of those is a 6+2. So take another look and see if you have a loose cable, that matches the one you have on your 970. If you don't, buy an adapter for something like sata to pcie and upgrade your PSU in the near future. Lastly, if you don't want to upgrade the PSU, just go with one of the other Evga cards, and you can just get back to gaming without spending all your money.
 

joshmoyer

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Just remember that adapters are not a great idea long term. If your PSU struggles to power the system it will fail early.
 

Killer Nads

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Okay i understand. Thanks.

I checked online and it does say it has two cables for pcie so should be okay anyway!

I guess i should be able to manage right now with this stuff. GPU ordered!

If i ever decide to go for sli in the future with another gtx1080 i guess thats when i can start looking first for a psu with 4 pcie connections!

Btw just for information, for sli do the models of the gpus have to be the exact same make and model?
 

joshmoyer

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Good luck! And I don't know for sure, never used sli myself. I'm pretty sure you can use two different models, even from different brands, they will just both run at the clock speed of the slower card.
 

Killer Nads

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okay, very bad news. The shipments of the FTW cards from EVGA have been delayed to uk :( they were due today but now they are due on 1st July :(

Thats still like two weeks away, and even then its unsure if my preorder would be in the initial batch or delivered much later.

Hence, I'm thinking for maybe going for an alternative. Unfortunately, due to the size restrictions (length) i am limited to mostly just that two fan cards or the founders edition cards.

So my question is, should i just go for an alternative card? Maybe just buy the Founders Edition card from ASUS or EVGA? or should i wait the extra few weeks. I know this is probably only a question that i can answer. What i wanted to know if the wait will be worth it or if it won't make much difference? If it won't then i might swell just get the FE now, otherwise if it can make a huge difference then maybe i should just wait.

I know the difference is mainly between the clock speeds and heat coolers, but will the difference say between the FTW and FE make that much difference to my gaming experience?
 
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