The new generation of AMD processors has finally restarted the much anticipated arms race between the two main chipmakers of the world. However, while only the older Ryzen 7 line models are available on the market and the first shipment of more affordable Ryzen 5 solutions, future competitors of Intel Core i5 solutions, are planned only in mid-April this year. This leaves Intel with time to think about its next steps, and gives us an opportunity to once again evaluate the achievements of the above-mentioned Core i5 processors for 6 years of its existence.
The key feature of this material is that we will only consider medium-level assemblies, where video cards will be used as graphics adapter for about $ 300. Such a testing model is much closer to the real situation of buying and using, when the mid-level processor complements the middle-level video card. The main goal is to check the difference in video card performance in modern games, depending on the generation of the installed CPU. But before proceeding to the tests themselves, we want to get more acquainted with one of the test participants – Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Jetstream 6GB.
The company Palit Microsystems can not be called a novice in the field of game graphics cards, the first products under the same brand appeared in the far 90s. For a long period of work in the history of the company there were both successful and not very models, which led to a contradictory glory among the gaming community. Specifically, the JetStream series was first introduced in 2012 and after a number of revisions of the proprietary cooling system in subsequent generations, has turned into one of the most attractive offers among all the latest solutions based on NVIDIA graphics processors. It should be noted that there are no design differences between JetStream and Super JetStream. The only difference is in the presence of factory overclocking in the latter, which allows advanced users to save $ 20-25 extra by overclocking the video card in manual mode.
The accelerator is delivered in a large cardboard box, made in a characteristic color scheme of design. The back side lists the key features and advantages of the card: the presence of two BIOS, disabled fans with a proprietary blade design, support for 4K resolution, etc. Do not forget to mention the customizable system of RGB-backlighting.
The scope of delivery is standard and does not include any additional accessories. It included: a video card, a driver disk, a user’s manual and an adapter from six contacts to two “moleks”.
The design is classic, which frankly pleases against the backdrop of the dominance of bulky, futuristic casings from other vendors.
Dimensions of the card are 248x123x52 mm. It can easily be installed in most standard enclosures without problems, at the same time, when building the system, it is necessary to take into account that the cooler occupies 2.5 slots in height. The back side of the board is covered by a metal plate, designed to increase the rigidity of the overall design.
Connection of additional power is carried out by means of one six-contact socket located in the right extreme corner on the end face. The latch of the connector is pointing upwards, which facilitates the installation procedure.
The available display output connectors on the rear panel are: three DisplayPort 1.4 ports, one HDMI 2.0b and one DVI.
The cooling system consists of a nickel-plated radiator and two fans with a diameter of 90 mm each. The operation of the active CO mode is read from the mark at 55 ° C, until the moment it reaches the video card it remains absolutely silent.
The radiator permeates four heat pipes, but the contact with the graphic chip directly passes through a large plate. It covers the key elements of power, as well as memory chips, which improves the overall temperature regime of the device.
The external massiveness of the cooler in practice is a visual illusion caused by the peculiarity of the casing design. If you look closely at the picture below, you can see that in reality the width of the radiator is only about 80 mm. The remaining space is occupied by projecting heat pipes and fan blades.
Although the printed circuit board of the Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Jetstream 6GB has been modified, its GPU power subsystem has three phases, as well as the reference design models. Another phase is responsible for the operation of six gigabytes of Samsung GDDR5 memory. On the one hand, you can read about this, because most competitive solutions use for their graphics core at once 5-6 phases. On the other hand, in none of the previously tested GeForce GTX 1060 series accelerators the presence of more phases has provided a higher level of overclocking. In this case, the upper threshold of the clock frequency depends on the available power limit, which, in turn, is strictly regulated by NVIDIA engineers and does not depend on the number of phases involved.
The default review hero works on a reference for the GeForce GTX 1060 frequency scheme: the base core frequency is equal to 1506 MHz, the Boost Clock is 1709 MHz, the real Boost frequency in gaming applications is 1860 MHz, the effective memory frequency is 8008 MHz.
Checking the possibilities of the cooling system passed on an open test bench (ambient temperature 26 ° C). In the absence of a significant load, the core temperature was 34 ° C, watching videos on youtube or just surfing the Internet increased it to a maximum of 39 ° C. Ten minutes of the game in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt could warm the GPU to 68 ° C already, while the fan speed reached a small 990 rpm, and the generated noise level can be characterized as minimal. If the Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Jetstream 6GB is placed in a closed case, then, most likely, the user is unlikely to hear it on the background of the sound of the rest of the PC components, even during peak loads.
During manual overclocking, only clock speeds and Temp values were adjusted. Limit and Power Limit (the latter can be raised to 116%). Changing the GPU voltage is available in the minimal side-chapels, but it has absolutely no effect on the final result.
Having completed the above-described actions, the base frequency of the core was increased to 1,721 MHz. The value of Boost reached the level of 2101 MHz, with drawdowns up to 2063 MHz in the heaviest modes. The memory functioned steadily at 9508 MHz. As expected, the capabilities of a standard power system are enough to squeeze the full performance potential of the NVIDIA GP106 GPU. The maximum core temperature has increased slightly – up to 71 degrees. The fan speed increased to 1080 rpm. The noise level remained unchanged.
Complete with the Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Jetstream 6GB comes the proprietary utility Thunder Master. Its functionality completely repeats the well-known MSI Afterburner program, so the only reason that future owners should remember about the existence of the Thunder Master is the ability to adjust or turn off the backlight of the Palit logo located on the end of the video card.
As test video cards, two mid-budget models were chosen, one for each camp. Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Jetstream 6GB made the accelerator ASUS ROG Strix Radeon RX 480 8GB. Both video cards were tested at maximum frequencies, taking into account overclocking. The exact frequency patterns are shown in the table.
The processor pool consisted of five Intel Core i5 CPUs from five different generations: Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Skylake, Kaby Lake. Each of the processors was tested in two modes of operation.
Nominal – the clock frequency corresponded to the default settings of the CPU and was not limited in any way. This mode should demonstrate the potential of processors out of the box, and will also be useful for owners of Core i5 without the index “K”;
In overclocking – the clock frequency was fixed at a single mark of 4400 MHz (with the exception of Core i5-3470). This mode should demonstrate the difference in the speed of the processors, depending on the architecture of the installed CPU.
Separately, we decided to check the relevance of the claim that the CPU Core i5-2500K even today is able to compete with its new counterparts due to stable operation at higher frequencies, which is provided by the presence of solder and good overclocking potential of Sandy Bridge. Our Core i5-2500K was able to overclock to the level of 4800 MHz, on which it was tested in addition. For the purity of the experiment, the Core i5-7600K was also overclocked in the same way to the maximum. He obeyed the clock frequency in the cherished 5000 MHz. The received indicators in this mode were added to the final results by a separate line.
As for the frequency of RAM, we did not call it, because we tried to conduct the test in conditions as close as possible to the real ones. Support for Skylake or Kaby Lake platforms with DDR4 memory is one of their key advantages, and if high-frequency memory is capable of affecting the final index of fps in games, this must be taken into account when deciding whether to upgrade the system.
In total, we used three test benches, which, taking into account all test modes, gives 22 different variations of “CPU + GPU” bundles.
Test stand number 1:
Test stand number 2:
Test stand number 3:
Measurements fps were conducted in 11 real game applications and in one synthetic test. The screen resolution was 1920×1080 pixels. The frame rate was fixed in-game benchmarks or using the Fraps utility v.3.5.99. Each test scene was repeated three to five times to minimize the possible error, after which an average result was output. In the final graphs, the values of the minimum and average fps are taken.
Graphics settings were set at the maximum or close to the maximum level. For all games, vertical synchronization of frames was forcibly disconnected. Where it was necessary, built-in fps delimiters were removed through console commands. An exact list of all settings and test scenes can be found in the description of each application.
3DMark Fire Strike, being a completely synthetic test, did not show a significant difference in performance between systems. We were primarily interested in the indicator Graphic score, which is formed by the results of subtests only the graphics core. For a video card from NVIDIA, the gap between the first and last place is only three percent. For the Radeon accelerator, it was even less – 1%.
Game applications based on the Source engine from the company Valve, have always demonstrated a high level of dependence of the frame rate from the installed CPU. The graphs clearly show that a significant increase in fps provides both a higher frequency and an updated processor architecture. The situation is equally typical for video cards from two camps. The advantage of overclocked Core i5-7600K over Core i5-2500K is 20-28%, fixing the frequency at 4.4 GHz reduces the gap to 15-25%.
In Dota 2, you can observe differences in behavior between the GeForce GTX 1060 6GB and the Radeon RX 480 8GB. Starting with the Skylake architecture, the CPU frequency factor does not play a role for the Radeon graphics card, while the number of fps continues to grow with the GeForce graphics card along with the increase in available processor power. The gap between the first and last place, depending on the installed video card, was 44 to 71 frames per second, which can be considered a weighty argument when deciding to upgrade the system, especially for owners of monitors with a high screen sweep frequency. In this situation, computers based on Sandy Bridge processors and Ivy Bridge, and in some cases even Haswell, most likely, will not be able to provide stable fps at the required level for a comfortable game.
In the example of Battlefield 1, we want to draw attention to the fact that for certain modern games, the architecture of the CPU used can come to the fore, rather than the frequency with which it works. In the green part of the chart, you can clearly see the performance jumps from Sandy Bridge to Ivy Brigde / Haswell and then to Skylake / Kaby Lake. Overclocking the Core i5-2500K from 3.3 to 4.8 GHz, similarly, as well as overclocking the Core i5-7600K from 3.8 to 5.0 GHz, did not provide a single additional fps. This pattern is less typical of the Radeon RX 480 8GB graphics card, although the overclocking efficiency of the latest Intel processors here also tends to zero.
In Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, to reveal the full potential of the mid-budget video card, it will be enough to have a Haswell processor or a newer processor, and it will not be necessary to resort to overclocking. Sandy Bridge lags with an equal clock speed of 7%. In the run-off mode, the gap increases to 8-11%.
Game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is immune to the type of processor used, which turned out to be a high density of the final results. Maximum delta fps between systems is only 1-2 frames per second. Additional overclocking does not significantly affect the overall performance in this application.
In Far Cry Primal we again see the gradation of the graphs, depending on the architecture of the CPU.Interestingly, the level of performance Core i5-3470, even at lower clock frequency was much higher than the overclocked to 4.8 GHz Core i5-2500K and very close to the results of the Core i5-4690K. It seems that the optimization of game under the veteran generation Sandy Bridge naturally start to outlive. Starting with the CPU Core i5-6600K in nominal operation, the card mode Radeon RX 480 8GB chapel reached its capacity, recording an average frame rate at around 62 fps.
In GTA V availability of modern the CPU, running at a higher clock rate, it justifies itself in full. As is the case with the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, a positive effect on the performance of the graphics card has, as an additional overclocking of the CPU, and an updated architecture. The configuration of PC-based Core i5-7600K / Core i5-6600K able to provide notable handicap 17-19% over older members of the family Core i5.
The Shadow Warrior 2 come first optimization technology. In this case, the difference is clearly visible in their work depending on the manufacturer installed iron. Graphics card from Radeon has shown very equal measure frame rates on all test cords – delta fps is not more than 2%. video results from the GeForce divided into two blocks of 85 frames per second at an average frequency of fps for processors Core i5-2500K and Core i5-3470 (bottleneck is clearly proved it is the architecture Sandy Bridge / Ivy Bridge) and the subsequent steady increase in performance of the CPU current models .
In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition CPU Haswell advantage, Skylake, Kaby Lake, measured 4-8%. The effectiveness of the additional acceleration is low, and may have a positive effect on some configurations only in terms of the minimum frame rate.
Game The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – fourth, but not last application where performance problems continued to haunt processors Core i5-2500K / Core i5-3470, at least in conjunction with the video card GeForce GTX 1060 6GB. Installing modern CPU itself provides additional gains in the 5-6 fps, but what is more important – this increase makes it possible to achieve a comfortable strap in 60 frames per second.
Watch Dogs 2 – demanding applications, make good use of all the potential provided by the power. Here Skylake / Kaby Lake processors are the clear favorites, pulling ahead by 13-14%. According to the schedule, the additional acceleration of bearing fruit, but their level is so insignificant that it is unlikely to be noticeable the user’s eyes.
Test results determined the game will be helpful if this game is for you the most priority. But in order to understand whether it is already time to think about upgrading the whole PC and which processor is best suited for this purpose, it is necessary to analyze the overall level of performance of each of the tested cords. For this purpose, a separate lower derived graph where 100% is taken result Intel Core i5-7600K processor operating at the rated frequency. Thus, clearly the difference between the generations of processors and efficiency of their additional acceleration.
The best results, it is expected, managed to get on the overclocked to 5 GHz CPU Core i5-7600K. Speeding up the clock frequency to the limit mark can improve PC performance in modern games at 5% in tandem with the video card Radeon RX 480 8GB and 10% in tandem with the graphics accelerator GeForce GTX 1060 6GB. At equal frequencies processors Core i5-6600K and Core i5-7600K show an equal level of performance, which indicates inappropriate Skylake transition from generation to generation Kaby Lake for the average user.
As for the older CPU generation, the model based on Haswell and Haswell the Refresh architectures are quite relevant and at the expense of additional acceleration to 4.4 GHz can compete with his older brothers at their nominal frequencies. ostavanie processors Sandy Bride and Ivy Bridge for more than significant, and in this case even higher overclock to 4.8 GHz does not save the situation – the advantage of stock Core i5-7600K measured 8-9%.
We should also note that the Radeon video card proved to be more demanding on the processor used. Drawdown performance relative’s reference were up two percent for each test cords.
We can say that for the last 6 years of evolution, for which Intel Corporation was represented by seven generations of Core i5 processors, CPU of the same name did not as a significant step in front, if the basic situation of a PC for you are computer games. Our testing has shown that even with high acceleration, the spread of the results missed the 20%. A similar way of overcoming the video in just one generation. However, the current tests involve a mainstream segment graphics accelerator, which means that the efficiency of the older models cards current generations justification or further upgraded to new GPU will be much more significantly depend upon the processing power of the CPU.
The owners of Core i5-2500K, Core i5-3470 and similar models, now may well be justified to do an update of its platform. Holders of CPU Haswell and newer, should resort to additional overclocking, which will quietly wait for the market introduction of new multi-core solutions such as from Intel, as well as from AMD, at affordable and reasonable prices. This step will help to save money or simply forward them to improve other components of the system.
Returning to the video card Palit GeForce GTX 1060 Jetstream 6GB, which became one of the heroes of the direct view, then after many hours of testing it has established itself as a quiet and effective solution at an affordable price. Their advantages can be identified high overclocking potential of video and typical for all members of the family of GeForce GTX 1060 crackdown on video core. If you fall into the category of advanced users and are able to overclock the video card yourself, then pay extra for Super Jetstream version definitely not worth it