What is the relevance of new CPUs for small scale gaming?

My understanding is that typically only open world or large scale games tax the cpu very much. I'm a multiplayer first person shooter snob, i have a i7 2600, a 970, and a 144hz monitor. I love very high frame rates, and want to avoid dips below 100 when possible, but i also only play very small scale games, like 5v5 which is becoming pretty popular. Am i likely taking a significant hit from using a 5 year old cpu? Or should i basically just get a new high end GPU to maximize frames per second?

Yeah well, cpu's are still relevant wenn it comes to gaming.
Especialy at 1080p and 1440p.
However even though your sandybridge i7 is allready 5 years old,
Its still a realy good performing chip.
If you have the unlocked version the 2600K for example, and you overclock it,
They can still keep up with the current haswells pretty well in games.

The CPU you are using is perfectly viable for the type of games that you're playing.

I wouldn't se any reason to upgrade already.
It might be a 5 year old CPU but the technology used in that chip and it's architecture are not far from current generations.

Of course there is a difference, but I don't think it is worth buying a new chip, motherboard and RAM which is gonna cost you a dandy coin!

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Yes i agree for gaming its not realy that interesting.
Especialy not with a midrange gpu like a GTX970.

Intel has not been that innovative wenn it comes to raw cpu performance in the mainstream desktop market.
But they did add a few very usefull instruction sets to their cpu´s since Haswell, like avx2.0 for example.
This instruction set realy does improve certain workloads like rendering for example allot.
And they also added vt-d support to their Unlocked sku´s since devils canyon.

Also with the newest Skylake Z170 platform, the dmi bus is now pci-e gen3,
which also is a realy nice improvement in terms of flexability with connectivity arround the board.
And ofc there are also some other things like NVME etc.

But this all isnt realy that interesting for most gamers.
The only reason to upgrade to skylake for gamers to me, would be if they want to go with the highend gpu´s like the 980Ti´s for example.
But then still its questionable.

Yeah, one of the reasons to lean towards upgrading is to get a mobo compatible with m.2. With SSDs getting larger and cheaper, its getting pretty compelling to buy a large one, and i wouldn't want to get stuck using sata3 ssd that i'll be stuck with after upgrading the cpu and mobo a year or 2 later.

I'm hesitant with buying a very high end gpu because of the whole g sync and v sync thing. Buy a really good videocard and then 2 years down the line maybe the v sync or g sync is clearly better than the other and i'm stuck with a very expensive card only compatible with the inferior technology. So i want to upgrade the gpu and monitor at the same time and i'm not going to justify doing that at least until 2017's tax return, and also not until i'm confident in a single gpu running high resolutions at high frame rates, so probably at least 1 gen after the one being released later this year.

Yeah if you are looking into upgrading your storage with a bunge of ssd's.
Then it might be worth it to upgrade in the near future.
If you are mainly a gamer, then Skylake would be a nice platform to jump at.
Or maybe Kaby lake that comes later this year.

The socket 1155 Sandybridge platform is ofc starting to show its age,
wenn it comes to connectivity arround the board.

Low res, high frame rate gaming is where you will see the most impact on performance from the cpu. Higher res is almost completely gpu bound (in almost all modern games anyway), but the lower number of pixels means less stress on the gpu. Getting to higher frame rates, regardless of the resolution will require that no bottleneck be present in your system. If your cpu is capable of 150 fps but your gpu is capable of 70 fps, then you will see 70 and the same is true for vice versa. The test is to look at cpu and gpu utilization while in game. Whichever is being maxed is the one that is causing the frame rate to be where it is at (more or less). So 100% cpu utilization and 70% gpu utilization means a cpu bottleneck. My guess is that you aren't likely seeing a very big bottleneck if any. Those parts seem pretty well matched to my eyes.

Also, current rumor is that Zen is releasing in October and should offer an 8 core, hyperthreaded cpu with IPC around Broadwell for around the price of an i7. I would personally be looking at that if you aren't needing to upgrade right now.

I'll probably wait at least until Zen or November, not in a huge rush. Just trying to plan what to spend my tax return on. For gaming there are two reasons to upgrade: for a specific game or a special price or i guess a 3rd: limited availability