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How much would the CPU affect 1080p gaming performance?

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May 13, 2013 1:14:00 PM

I have a relativity simple question to ask that I can't seem to find a straight answer for anywhere.

My CPU is the AMD 720 BE x3 2.8Ghz, Currently with the 4th core unlocked and the clock speed set to 3.2Ghz.

My GPU is the EVGA GTX 650 1GB 1058Mhz core and 5000Mhz GDDR5 memory. This is overclocked by 200Mhz on both core and memory.

To me, this card seems ok, it overclocks well and gets good temps. I'd go higher, but I'm just to lazy to find the sweet spot for the voltage. It runs games fine at about 720p and a little higher, but when I try to play games in 1080p, everything gets slower than I originally thought.

Starcraft 2 goes from 55 to 32 (ultra)
Planetside 2 drops from around 45 to 30, this game suffers HUGE fps drops in larger battles. Dow to about 18. (low?)
Call of Duty 4... now this was surprising, it was always 60+, but at 1080p it almost became unplayable! (Ultra)
BUT Call of Duty 5 plays at 38+ with that res. (Ultra)
This leads me to think my CPU is bottle-necking, and that CoD4 is not optimized for 4 cores.

Can anyone explain this, why is this happening? If it does turn out to be the CPU, can you suggest one? Particularly an AMD 3+ CPU for a 95w socket. Also a good motherboard, but at the lowest possible price.

Oh, and get this though, CryEngine 3, while map testing, runs nearly playable at ULTRA! It gets around 38 fps! It would be playable, minus the occasional fps drops which cause minor stuttering. It plays high fine though.


EDIT

Can I put say a 125 wat CPU in my slot, which is a 95 wat socket?
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May 13, 2013 1:31:45 PM

there is no simple answer because you are talking about several specific games but in general it's your GPU that is holding you back. Going from 720p to 1080p puts a great deal of stress on your video card (much more then your CPU). Then setting games to Ultra (a setting whose only purpose it to help sell high end cards) puts further stress on a mid rang card like yours.

if you want a CPU recommendation; it would be the FX-6300 but frankly I would recommend a video card as your CPU is solid enough for modern gaming.
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May 13, 2013 1:49:30 PM

No, do NOT put a 125W CPU in a mobo that can only handle 95W.
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May 13, 2013 1:54:15 PM

You can not put a 125W CPU in a 95W socket (obviously).

Increasing resolution has very very little affect on the CPU and will always increase the load on the gpu. Going from 720p to 1080p is TWICE the number of pixels. Your GPU has to do TWICE the work and frame rates are going to drop in half. You are much more likely to be CPU limited at 720 than at 1080. And the 650 is a pretty weak card. It was never meant for playing 1080p at ultra, and only has a gig of memory.

You might hit CPU bottlenecks here and there depending on the game, but at 1080p ultra the problem is going to be your gpu.
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Best solution

May 13, 2013 2:11:49 PM

The reason you cant get a straight answer is because there are too many variables that come into play. Such as, what games your playing, what drivers your running, how the game is optimized etc. However I can give you some sort of idea on what you should get for your computer if you would like to run modern games at 1080P with good frame rates. It will cost some money but I will have various setups for different price points. Also just a heads up, I doubt the problem is from the CPU. What the problem looks like to be is the GPU. However it definitely might be time for an upgrade so I will also include CPU's.

Below I have various price points for CPU's and GPU's you should get:

OVERKILL:

Graphics card (GPU)
NVIDIA GTX 690: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*NOTE* This might be a little bit overkill. The price for this alone is $999 however if you can afford it this is definitely going to be able to run any games on max for the next few years. If your a fan of AMD you can get its competitor the 7990. Also a very capable card.
CPU:
AMD FX 8350: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*NOTE* This is the top of the line flagship AMD processor. I can honestly say, dont waste your money on intel. Im not saying this as a fanboy im saying that if your going to be doing gaming and maybe some streaming/video processing this is going to be the IDEAL choice. Plus its cheaper than the Intel 3570K and virtually the same in gaming.

Total: $1199.98

PERFECT:

GPU:
AMD Radeon 7970 GHz Edition: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*Note* This is one of my favorite graphics cards. Its cheaper than the NVIDIA GTX 680 and even beats in some games. This would be the ideal GPU to pair with the AMD FX 8350.
CPU:
AMD FX 8350: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $650

AFFORDABLE


GPU
AMD Radeon 7870 GHz Edition: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*NOTE* This also being a great card can definitely handle anything you throw at it. Nuff' said.
CPU
AMD FX 8350: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Total = $450

BANG FOR YOUR BUCK

GPU
AMD Radeon 7850: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*NOTE* This is going to be the best card that you can get for the money. Coming in at only $209 this is going to be the way you want to go if you want to save some cash but you still want a powerful card. This can easily push 45-60+ FPS in Battlefield 3 running with a good CPU
CPU
AMD FX 6350: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
*NOTE* This is a brand new chip that just came out just over a week ago. This is definitely going to pack a punch with its 6 cores.

Total = $350

All in all, these are the setups that I would recommend if you want to run the new modern in 1080P, especially if you want it to be moderately "modern proof". You may have noticed that I dude not include any Intel CPU chips, thats mainly because while they do deliver great performance, more and more games are being optimized for AMD and soon games will be utilizing all 8 cores that the 8350 has to offer. All I can say is, I really hope this helped (took me a while to get this all down haha) and I look forward to knowing what you choose!

*NOTE* DO NOT BUY ANY GRAPHICS CARD HIGHER THAN THE 7870 AS YOUR CPU WILL BOTTLENECK IT!
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May 13, 2013 2:13:49 PM

Should I make my CPU pre-render more frames to help out the GPU then? I'm not sure what benefit pr- rendering frames gives, so could you explain?
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May 13, 2013 2:16:27 PM

DukeOvilla said:
Should I make my CPU pre-render more frames to help out the GPU then? I'm not sure what benefit pr- rendering frames gives, so could you explain?
Pre rendering typically isnt used for gaming but it might add a little bit. I recommend you look at the comment I posted just a few minutes ago. It goes in depth on what your options are.

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May 13, 2013 2:21:33 PM

I'd be able to spend 450$. That might work out for me.

Aside from that, for the time being, would switching to a 550 ti show any performance gain for me? I have one in my work computer, I'm sure they'd not mind me doing a switch, seeing how those computer's hardly use it.

I personally don't mind playing at medium with a better res, buy why settle for less?

And I'd not call the 650 weak, it makes a great 720p gaming GPU. As I said, I can run pretty much everything on ultra when I run at 720.
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May 13, 2013 2:25:02 PM

DukeOvilla said:
I'd be able to spend 450$. That might work out for me.

Aside from that, for the time being, would switching to a 550 ti show any performance gain for me? I have one in my work computer, I'm sure they'd not mind me doing a switch, seeing how those computer's hardly use it.
A friend of mine has a 550Ti and honestly it wouldnt do you much good. He cant even play BF3 on medium playing at 720P. If you can afford the $450 setup. I highly recommend thats what you go with.

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May 13, 2013 2:35:41 PM

1 last question, somone will be getting my old rig, so would it be beneficial to move PhysX to my CPU instead of my GPU?
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May 13, 2013 3:43:46 PM

DukeOvilla said:
1 last question, somone will be getting my old rig, so would it be beneficial to move PhysX to my CPU instead of my GPU?
Sorry it took me so long to respond - Straight and simple

No.

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