T3600, best GPU before bottle-necked?

I acquired an old Precision T3600 from work and have finally decided it may be worth trying to upgrade it. It has a 635 watt PSU, 32 GB of RAM and the base Xeon E5-1603. I just bought a used E5-1660 to get the clock speed up, which will be an improvement no matter what else I do. Now I'm wondering about the GPU.

I've been eyeing the GTX 1660 Super due to its strong performance for its relatively low price (~$250). However, I'd like to get the most I can out of the GPU for a bit of future-proofing. The major limitation is going to be the CPU. The T3600 build guide says to expect some "strong" bottle-necking once you get to an RTX 2080. How much bottle-necking would be expected from the RTX 2060 Super? Will it be enough to offset any increase in performance? For example, why spend 50% more for a GPU if it's severely bottle-necked and only results in a few more frames?

While the system was free, I'm still not looking to break the bank on a PC that's seven years old. I think $400 will have to be the limit since I still need to set aside some money for an NVMe SSD. I don't know if or when I'll commit to a new build. I don't want to over-spend on a GPU now when I can't benefit from its performance, then it be out-dated by the time I do build a new system.

It's also bad timing since Ampere and RDNA 2/Big Navi are coming soon and expected to shake up prices and performance. Is it worth waiting to see what's revealed about those cards, or is it likely I won't be able to benefit from the improved performance? I'm not in a rush, and don't want to waste money on a GPU that's about to be superseded. But if they drop the prices enough on the current generation, it may be worth the wait to reap the savings, especially if I can't use the newer cards.

Thanks!

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  • cowboy_wilhelm I've had good results installing these gpu's in to T3600 Workstations:

     

    EVGA NVIDIA GTX1660 Ti 6GB Graphics Card***

    EVGA NVIDIA RTX 2060 6GB Graphics Card

    EVGA NVIDIA RTX 2060 Super 8GB Graphics Card

    EVGA NVIDIA RTX 2070 8GB Graphics Card

    EVGA NVIDIA RTX 2070 Super Graphics Card

     

    The best value for the T3600 is probably the GTX 1660 TI. 

     

    What games do you play?

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    • Jbigticket23 Thanks for the feedback.

      Typically FPS and similar, which is why I'd like to get as much GPU as the system can handle. I really enjoyed the mods for GTA IV back in the day and would like to do the same in GTA V. RDR 2 would be nice, and I'm hoping Cyberpunk 2077 will run whenever it comes out. I know it won't be on ultra settings and 4k. I'm not expecting a miracle.

      Ray tracing isn't a huge deal to me, but I figured it would be nice to bump up to 8 GB with the RTX 2060 Super, if the CPU can handle it. I'm not in the green camp or red camp, but I wish the RX 5700 XT didn't consume so much power.

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    • cowboy_wilhelm The RTX 2060 Super is also a good card.  However, they are around $150 more than a 1660 Ti and you might only see 10% incease in FPS.  Keep us updated on what card you end up going with and what FPS you are achieving.

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    • Jbigticket23 That's what I'm thinking, that's it's probably not worth the extra money for a slight increase in FPS.

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  • cowboy_wilhelm

    Jbigticket23

    Hi, I hope you don't mind me hijacking your question because I'm about to do the same thing! Will these graphics cards mentioned be "plug and play" hardware-wise, in original case? Or would I need any extra parts? I'm not experienced in upgrading. Thanks!

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    • andres cuevuu Mostly, depending on the card. You may need a PCIe power adapter. The 635 watt PSU comes with two 6-pin adapters, while many cards now require 8-pin or 8-pin and 6-pin connectors. I've gone ahead and purchased a Dual 6 Pin Female to 8 Pin Male adapter on Amazon.

      Also, depending on the height of the card, you may need to remove the padded support bracket on the inside of the removable side panel. The rivets holding it in place can be carefully drilled out and the rivets "popped" using a small flat head screwdriver and mallet between the bracket and panel.

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    • cowboy_wilhelm

      Thanks! Please do update once you make a decision and let me know how it goes. Best of luck.

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  • On my T3600 i have an 1050 ti and it does all the games currently play , scum , mist survival , miscreated , dayz , generation zero , and almost all arma 3 addons some do not correctly with my card.

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  • MSI GeForce GTX 1660 Ti GAMING X installed....

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