New build, info saturation

I’m prepping for a new build and am getting overwhelmed with YT reviews. My typical build is with year old components, just not interested in throwing a lot of money on a box. With that said my current spec which is about 5 years old:
MSI Z170A Gaming M5
i7-6700K Quad at 4GHz
EVGA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB

What I’m considering is:
MSI Pro B660M-A WiFiI DDR4 LGA 1700 Intel B660
EVGA GeForce RTX 3060 XC, 12GB GDDR6
Intel Core i5-12500 6-Core 3GHz

The questions I have are:
It seems I would be stepping down from a 4GHz CPU to a 3GHz. Would 6 cores make a difference?
I’m attracted to the 12Gb GPU since I still have P3D5, and it’s a VRAM pig. I also do Photoshop work, and potentially Blender.

Thanks for any suggestions.

The amount of cores isn’t really the concern with MSFS. Single-core performance is. The 12500 seems to have a decent advantage over the 6700K according to some benchmarks I’ve seen.

You are looking at the base frequency, where it seldom runs when under load. The i5-12500 has a boost frequency of 4.6 GHz. The older i7 is 4.2 GHz.

Depending on how much you use Photoshop and what you use it for, you’ll need a lot of CPU AND GPU. The computing profile of Photoshop is very different than MSFS. It is so much different that NVIDIA has different drivers for gaming and media work like Photoshop. You will have to make compromises or use two separate computers.

You can’t compare Clock speeds across generations or architectures like that anyway, it’s meaningless in isolation.

Good choice of parts overall, it just comes down to budget as ever!

What is your main monitor resolution?

FS2020 performance relies on:

A good foundation system: Fast single core speed (note you cannot compare statistic s on paper across different CPU generations/brands to work this out, GHz means nothing, you need benchmarks of actual performance), at least 4 but preferably 6 cores, but you gain basically nothing beyond 6 cores. Large L3 Cache is a major bonus.

RAM, at least 16Gb, 32GB if possible, but no gains beyond that worth the money. However, decent Ram speed, and tight timings do also lift CPU performance. 3600Mhz Cl16 Ram is the sweet spot on alder lake, and TBH on AMD Zen 3 as well.

And then GPU that’s appropriate for your monitors/playing resolution. 3060 will do 1080p great, 1440p at reduced settings well.

Given your other usage, if you can get a 12700 (non K) that has larger L3 cache and slightly higher boost clocks which both aid performance, and will help with demanding productivity work. Still fine to go onto the MSI Pro B660M-A.

And then the Ram, 32GB 2x16GB if possible, also a bonus to your productivity for +50 local currency units.

I believe all the current gen Intel CPUs boost to 4Ghz on all cores at the same time if needed. Even the 12100F should be a considerable improvement over your existing one. Note that Intel is working out on Raptor Lake at the moment to be released later this year, it will be compatible with the same motherboards as Alder Lake so you don’t necessarily need to make any kind of long term choice on CPU at the moment. Raptor Lake promises among other things an expanded cache, which seems important for MSFS.

For MSFS, your CPU candidate should be fine for both 1080p and 1440p (I run 1440p with 12400F without any stutter in normal gameplay) though note that you might need new memory (preferably 3600Mhz) to go with the new CPU. Your GPU might struggle to keep constant 30fps on 1440p on the default Ultra settings when the game starts throwing rain on your windows and such, though it’s probably fine for 1080p. You might consider a Radeon card if you want something faster with more memory.

Correct, thus he should be even less concerned about the base frequency differences.

Thanks for all the great suggestions, guys. I wasn’t sure if the 3GHz vs 4 was valid, especially on a new gen cpu. @WeirdNeville my monitor is at 1920x1200 at 60Hz. I run MSFS mostly on High settings. I’ll take a look at the 12700.