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A Generational Upgrade

Comparing the current lineup of hardware offerings in PC gaming right now can be confusing…

If you have used any gaming system built in the last couple of years, it is safe to say that the performance on offer will be impressive. Modern PC hardware at every price point offers impressive value for money. From lower price point systems featuring entry level hardware up to extreme class systems designed for ultimate gaming performance, there is a consistent performance output at every budget.

With AMD and Intel both offering a plethora of system configurations and options, the decision on what hardware to select can become quite daunting. It becomes even more difficult to advise new PC Gamers on what hardware to select when the offerings available are split over multiple generations.

In January 2023 there are currently four different processor generations from Intel and three different processor generations from AMD that are active and available. This means that every price point has something available for everyone, but as a customer it can be difficult to decide what product suits your needs the best.

At Stormforce Gaming we are slowly moving away from some of the older products as they begin to be phased out. We believe that it is really important to offer a good selection but older hardware becomes less desirable over time.

Our recent range refreshes have seen the introduction of Intel 13th Generation processors as well as the AMD Ryzen 7000 processors. These new platforms bring cutting edge computing performance to our range, but the fact is that they cost more money than the older products.

Latest Platforms

Intel 13th Generation processors work with all of the latest LGA1700 motherboards featuring the H610, B660, Z690, B760 and Z790 chipsets. This means that the latest intel products have access to a flexible platform that can use the latest hardware as well as older standards of memory and storage. Every current Intel chipset motherboard in the Stormforce Gaming range features strong connectivity.

AMD Ryzen 7000 is a little more specialist but does offer bleeding edge technology. The new AM5 socket from AMD is found on some of the most advanced motherboards on the market today. With a host of ultra performance X670, X670E, B650E and B650 motherboards featuring support for Ryzen 7000 processors, there is a plethora of options for power users, gamers and content creators looking for a multitasking powerhouse.

Last Generation

Intel 12th Generation and AMD AM4 processors are all still really good choices. The hardware in the market right now that is a year or two old is still really good value for money and will run any modern game or application. Products like the Intel i5 12400F still represent amazing value for money in gaming performance for the average gamer who wants a good value system to play a wide variety of games. Meanwhile any of the AMD 5000 series processors are still a fantastic choice for gamers and content creators who want strong multicore performance at a reasonable price point. System featuring the Ryzen 9 5950X are great options for power users who want the best of gaming and workflow performance without breaking the bank. Meanwhile, the more affordable 5600X Ryzen 5 is still a gaming powerhouse that covers all bases without the extra cost of DDR5 memory and other brand new components being mandatory inclusions in the build.

The high performance options from the latest hardware generations can take advantage of DDR5 memory, as well as high performance NVME storage solutions. Typically these bleeding edge products are higher cost which raises the value of the system significantly. They do add performance but where this is most noticeable is usually in intensive computing tasks like rendering, video editing and other professional application workflows. If you have specific applications that you use for work or creative purposes then it may be worth looking at these options a little closer to maximise your all round computing experience.

The typical gamer may not notice a tangible performance benefit by going for the latest and greatest but there is still a strong argument to go for the best you can afford. In many cases, a high performance graphics card will usually produce much higher results when paired with a high performance CPU. Getting the balance correct is really important.

All Stormforce Gaming pre configured systems are designed in a way that strikes a balance between price, performance and minimising potential bottlenecks in the capabilities of the system.

Stormforce Gaming Custom Systems have a sensible core configuration designed around the results of our extensive testing. Even when selecting your own storage, RAM, CPU and cooling choices, there is no way to get a ‘bad configuration’. We only pair products together that we have qualified ourselves as being a good compliment for each other.

 

What does the performance difference look like?

Our expert technical team have put together some CPU testing and game benchmarks to showcase how the leap from last generation to current generation hardware will look like for application performance, gaming and your wallet!

Rendering comparisons between the top two flagship products from AMD and Intel below show a significant difference between the two generations of processors in a rendering task.
We use Cinebench R23 to do a quick comparison that outlines the difference you are likely to see in computational performance for single threaded and multi threaded workloads.

Cinebench is an industry standard benchmark application that shows a score based on the performance of a processor when rendering a scene using a single CPU core or all of them together.

Uplift Between Generations
AMD 5000 vs 7000 series – 49%
Intel 13th gen vs 12th gen – 33% 

 

Uplift Between Generations
AMD 5000 vs 7000 series – 25.7% 
Intel 13th gen vs 12th gen – 14.5% 

You can see that there is a mild increase in performance between generations for both AMD and Intel processors on single core renders. However, we are testing high performance i7 and Ryzen 9 processors here so the real test is the multi core scores. The uplift between generations for the i7 models from Intel show a nice boost of 33% and the AMD Ryzen 9 comparison shows a staggering 49% increase.

These numbers really showcase that going up to the latest generation of hardware offers real benefits if you need them.

Gaming comparisons are where uplifts like this are a little more difficult to pinpoint. Information about average framerates are more relevant to gamers who only care about performance info.

For our gaming comparisons we tested two processors using the exact same platform for all tests. We avoided using AMD as their new platform uses a different motherboard and memory type.

We did three benchmark runs on each configuration and took the average framerate on each run, then took an average of all three runs to get our results.

Using the same platform across all of our games tests gives us a nice baseline that only shows the difference between processor performance and how this helps to boost the graphics card too.

We also used a 360mm Corsair Capellix H150 liquid cooler to remove any chance that the processors could throttle down performance due to thermal limitations of the cooler.

Intel Core i7-12700K – 8 performance cores, 4 efficient cores, 20 total threads, 5.0GHz Max Boost Frequency
Intel Core i7-13700K – 8 performance cores, 8 efficient cores, 24 total threads, 5.4GHz Max Boost Frequency

360mm Corsair H150 AIO
16GB DDR4 Corsair Vengeance RAM 3200 MHz
750W PSU
ASUS TUF 3080 Ti
WD SN770 500GB NVMe
Win 11 22H2

Shadow of the Tomb Raider is a classic PC gaming title for benchmarking a wide range of hardware. at 1080p we are not testing the capabilities of the video card and are instead focussing on the differences between CPU generation. The 12th Generation i7 CPU throws up a score of 168FPS compared to the 200FPS produced by the 13700K. This shows a 19% performance uplift which is significant. On an older title like this, the difference will be much wider at a lower resolution. Typically the video card in this test should be used at much higher resolutions than 1080p where the performance delta would reduce. By testing this way, it helps identify bottlenecks in the system configuration and show how things perform in more CPU limited situations.

 

Moving onto the recently released Guardians of the Galaxy. The increase from 117FPS on the i7 12700K up to 147FPS on the 13700K shows just under 26% improvement in framerate performance by going with the faster CPU. This game is quite demanding at higher resolutions and from our testing, does like processors with lots of cores and fast frequencies.

 

Cyberpunk 2077 is this generations ‘system killer’ title that needs high power hardware to even begin approaching high framerates. The two CPUs both performed admirably on our Cyberpunk testing with a respectable 80.54FPS coming from the i7 12700K and 95.87FPS generated by the 13700K. An uplift of 19% improvement on the newer chip.

In summary, if you are looking to buy a new computer, the best option you have available to you is the latest hardware. The latest generation of Intel and AMD processors will provide you with staggering performance at every price point and give you plenty of power for the latest games and applications. With every latest gen CPU offering major multicore performance improvements at every pricepoint over their older predecessors, you will be making a solid decision by going for the current gear.

With that being said, those bar charts above this paragraph show big gaps. The reality is that whilst there is a performance difference in games, the lower result still shows perfectly fine gaming performance. The older CPU generations are still no slouch in multitasking and ultimately are providing you with another option at a lower price point.

You cannot go wrong with any of the current range of modern processors or hardware platforms on the market right now. You can certainly save some money in areas that don’t matter to you, but the tradeoff for going for older product models does mean that you can usually take advantage of a lower price point for similar performance.

If you are considering a new Stormforce Gaming system and would like to discuss your needs, our webchat, phonelines and contact forms will get you through to one of our expert team who can advise you on the best platform to power your passion.