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How Windows 7 Users Utilize the Full Power of Latest GPUs

Keylonta
Level 7
Does anyone know why Windows 7 drivers are still being supported for the latest graphics cards?

For example, the ROG Strix GeForc RTX 2080 SUPER OC edition has the driver and GPU TweakII available for Windows 7.

How are Windows 7 users utilizing the full power of the mentioned graphics card if the last supported (and most powerful) Windows 7 CPU is the Intel Core i7-6700K?
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TesseractSpace
Level 7
They probably don't get the full power of the graphics card. Unfortunately some people just don't want to keep up with the times, and bought into all the negative hype from when windows 10 first came out and now they just won't use 10. I see it all the time when I do tech support. Got more than a few who get bent out of shape using anything newer than XP.

Keylonta
Level 7
If that's the case and people probably aren't getting the full power, do you know what specifications I would need to compare between a graphics card and the i7-6700K so they are of equal power?

When I used a bottleneck calculator, it suggested that the i7-6700K would produce around 12% bottleneck when using the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphic card. But I can't work out what that calculation is based upon, because the turboclock speed of the i7-6700K is 4000 MHz, and the boost clock speed of the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 is 1830 MHz.

This is what the bottleneck calculator said:

Intel Core i7-6700K (Clock speed at 100%) with NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (Clock speed at 100%) x1 will produce 12.08% of bottleneck.

Intel Core i7-6700K
Clock: 4.0 GHz (4000 MHz)
Turboclock: 4.2 GHz (4200 MHz)

NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
Core Clock: 1365 MHz
Boost Clock: 1830 MHz
Effective Mem. Clock: 14000 MHz

There's heaps of articles on the web about how to pick the right graphics card for your CPU, but not one of them mentions anything about exactly what specifications need to be compared so that the GPU power is matched to the CPU power.

jab383
Level 13
A comment on why to include Win 7 support for the latest graphics cards: Competitive overclocking. For the latest cards - GTX 1080, 1080 ti, 1070, 1070 ti, RTX 2080, RTX 2080ti etc - to be competitive in contests that include older legacy benchmarks, there has to be support for the operating system in which those benchmarks run best.
In a few cases, that even means Windows XP. I'm at a disadvantage since I don't use XP.
In many important cases, that means Windows 7. Examples are 3dMARK Ice Storm, Cloud Gate and Sky Diver benchmarks. There are a handful of others. I get the "full power" of a RTX 2080 ti with z390 mobo with i9 9900K CPU for those benchmarks in Win7.
Certainly in any benchmark using DX12 or RTX features, Windows 10 is required. Firestrike benchmarks are found in the same 3dMARK software package as the above. The Firestrikes don't use any Win10 specific features, but the run best in Win10. There are DX12 and RTX benchmarks in that package, too.

Keylonta
Level 7
Very interesting. The last CPU and chipset generation to officially support Win 7 was the 6th generation Skylake processors and the Z270 chipset. How are you and others in the OC community getting Win 7 to work with a Z390 mobo and the i9 9900K CPU when the motherboard retailers and Intel don't supply any drivers or utilities for Win 7?

I was planning on building a Win 7 system with all the last generation compatible hardware, but from what you're saying, I can use the latest hardware for the build?

You also mentioned that for benchmarks using RTX features, Win 10 is required. Does that mean RTX features aren't supported for Win 7? Would I be better off getting a last generation GTX graphics card for Win 7?

jab383
Level 13
DX12 and RTX features don't and won't happen in Win7, neither does AVX-512 even when the CPU does it. Drivers for Intel embedded graphics have been Win10-only since Kabylake. These are enough that a 24/7 gaming/productivity rig really needs Win10 if it is using the later CPU or graphics generations. If you're trying to hold back to Win7 for 24/7 use, yes older generation hardware will work better: Skylake or older CPU, z270 or older chipset and GTX graphics. See my PC specs. Ebay is your friend.

A few other things don't work on the latest chipsets. For example: z390, and i think z490, chipsets include a USB hub for which the only existing driver is embedded in Win10. There is no driver for the Intel USB ports that can be slipstreamed into Win7. We get Win7 USB support only when the MOBO maker includes a third party USB hub, eg Asmedia. ASUS' APEX models include two PS-2 sockets to cover keyboard and mouse. That way we don't need USB for a mouse in Win7 or XP.

When I say I'm using Win7, it's only for benchmark apps that were written for CPUs and graphics of the Win7 era. Even with the latest hardware, those apps use only older features. That's a narrow application range. At least with ASUS motherboard drivers and some utilities, amazingly many of them do good things in Win7 even if ASUS has to label them Win10. Some work, some don't. The more a given utility does for you, the less likely it is to work with older operating systems.