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Will an Nvidia GTX 650 ti make a big difference to my PC's gaming performance?

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July 12, 2013 2:46:49 AM

My old desktop pc's current specs are:

Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 3.16GHz 6Mb 1333MHz CPU
MSI P4M900M2-L mobo
Nvidia GeForce 8400 GS
2gb ram

I know that this is a dated setup and that the processor, graphics card and ram are all lacking. My current motherboard however will not support a processor or ram upgrade, so my question is, would buying and installing a mid range graphics card i.e. An Nvidia GTX 650 ti make a huge difference and mean I could play modern pc games on good quality or would the graphics card be held back by the other components?
July 12, 2013 2:53:35 AM

dude my Q8400 bottlenecks my gtx 650 ti
better to upgrade processor or buy a last gen card like HD 5870 or gtx 460 (given that you have a good psu)
a 650 ti will make a huge difference, as it did for me (i had a 9800gtx+)
simply putting it, the gtx 650 ti will make a HUGE difference but you processor will not let it work on its full potential
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July 12, 2013 2:53:58 AM

The GPU will make a huge difference, but it will still be held back by your other components. It will be better to buy a but lower card, because the GTX 650TI can't reach its potential. If you plan upgrading the rest of the system soon then you can get it. But if you don't plan on upgrading the rest of the system - grab a Radeon HD 7750. It will still be sky high upgrade.
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July 12, 2013 2:55:36 AM

+1 to both of the above. Huge benefit but CPU will hold it back slightly. Only slightly though, and only in some games. You'll get 90% of the benefit so I'd say go for it. If you drop down to a GTX650 or 7750 then you're looking at 35-40% less performance - a fairly large drop.
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July 12, 2013 3:12:45 AM

Thanks for the quick replies, I was hoping to be able to play fairly demanding games (such as skyrim or bioshock infinite) on low/medium settings and slightly older games (like gta iv and just cause 2) on higher quality settings. Would I be able to play these types of games on the settings I want on a gtx 650 ti, gxt 650 or radeon 7750?
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July 12, 2013 3:18:11 AM

Agreed with the guys above. I recently upgraded an old PC, Core 2 Duo E8400, 4Gb of RAM and a geforce 8800GT to a geforce gtx 460. £47 second hand on Ebay, bargain. Gives me Direct X 11 and is powerful enough for playing most games with decent settings.

I decided spending more was a waste of money as the processor quickly becomes a bottleneck.

Skyrim, for example, isn't very demanding, I can play that with every setting turned to high @ 1680x1050 resolution. Just Cause 2 struggles, but plays well enough on medium.

I do own GTA4 but don't have it installed. Would you like me to test it for you with my setup over the weekend? i remember from the reviews at the time that the game is amlost entirely CPU limited and benefits hugely from a quad core processor, rather than a better graphics card.
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July 12, 2013 3:26:01 AM

That's right about GTA4 being heavily CPU-bound. It's a bit of a pig actually.
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July 12, 2013 3:37:12 AM

gopher1369 said:
Agreed with the guys above. I recently upgraded an old PC, Core 2 Duo E8400, 4Gb of RAM and a geforce 8800GT to a geforce gtx 460. £47 second hand on Ebay, bargain. Gives me Direct X 11 and is powerful enough for playing most games with decent settings.

I decided spending more was a waste of money as the processor quickly becomes a bottleneck.

Skyrim, for example, isn't very demanding, I can play that with every setting turned to high @ 1680x1050 resolution. Just Cause 2 struggles, but plays well enough on medium.

I do own GTA4 but don't have it installed. Would you like me to test it for you with my setup over the weekend? i remember from the reviews at the time that the game is amlost entirely CPU limited and benefits hugely from a quad core processor, rather than a better graphics card.


You're very generous to offer to test gta but there's no need to put yourself out thanks :)  Can you please tell me what the most powerful graphics card an e8400/e8500 can support without bottlenecking is? I understand the term "bottleneck" but don't no how to determine whether or not potential cpu/gpu combinations would bottleneck. If I don't intend to upgrade my entire system and only want to get the most out of the e8500 what's the absolute best graphics card that won't be hindered?
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July 12, 2013 4:00:57 AM

What you need to understand is that while many people on here will talk like they're bottlenecking experts and have all the facts, 99% of the advice given is guesswork. Though there have been a few actual articles done on various sites examining bottlenecking, each only examines a limited amount of hardware, and many of these studies are outdated. So while we can say with certainty that a Pentium 4 will bottleneck the hell out of a GTX780, situations like this are less clear-cut interms of recommending the ideal card.

There's also the fact that heavily CPU-bound games like GTA4 you could argue are bottlenecked right up to the i7 (if they're continuing to gain performance as they gain CPU power). But is that really a bottleneck if 99% of games aren't held back, or is it just a CPU-bound game?

A GPU close to the GTX650 Ti was tested a while ago with an AMD CPU comparable your Core 2 Duo and that was the GTX460. Bottlenecking didn't seem to be a big issue there so you could try finding one second hand. Or simply get a GTX650 Ti, enjoy 100% of its potential in most games and accept that one or two games will limit it to 90% of its potential. That's what I'd do.
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July 12, 2013 4:33:09 AM

sam_p_lay said:
What you need to understand is that while many people on here will talk like they're bottlenecking experts and have all the facts, 99% of the advice given is guesswork. Though there have been a few actual articles done on various sites examining bottlenecking, each only examines a limited amount of hardware, and many of these studies are outdated. So while we can say with certainty that a Pentium 4 will bottleneck the hell out of a GTX780, situations like this are less clear-cut interms of recommending the ideal card.

There's also the fact that heavily CPU-bound games like GTA4 you could argue are bottlenecked right up to the i7 (if they're continuing to gain performance as they gain CPU power). But is that really a bottleneck if 99% of games aren't held back, or is it just a CPU-bound game?

A GPU close to the GTX650 Ti was tested a while ago with an AMD CPU comparable your Core 2 Duo and that was the GTX460. Bottlenecking didn't seem to be a big issue there so you could try finding one second hand. Or simply get a GTX650 Ti, enjoy 100% of its potential in most games and accept that one or two games will limit it to 90% of its potential. That's what I'd do.


If the 650 ti would work to it's full potential most of the time that's what I'll go with. It seems to be worth the risk of a bit of bottlenecking since it'd only cost me €50 more than a 650 (non ti). Thanks a lot :) 
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July 12, 2013 4:33:23 AM

Hmmm, interesting. I was looking at your motherboard to see if overclocking was a possibility. With a good cooler your CPU should be good for at least 4Ghz. I was thinking that you could spend 20% of your budget on a good heatsink and fan and overclock, so best of both worlds.

And I realised your motherboard doesn't support your processor...in theory your combination of hardware is impossible:

http://uk.msi.com/product/mb/P4M900M2-L.html#/?div=CPUSupport
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July 12, 2013 4:48:11 AM

gopher1369 said:
Hmmm, interesting. I was looking at your motherboard to see if overclocking was a possibility. With a good cooler your CPU should be good for at least 4Ghz. I was thinking that you could spend 20% of your budget on a good heatsink and fan and overclock, so best of both worlds.

And I realised your motherboard doesn't support your processor...in theory your combination of hardware is impossible:

http://uk.msi.com/product/mb/P4M900M2-L.html#/?div=CPUSupport


I've already ordered the cpu because it was very cheap online and I believed it would work with my motherboard :(  Do you think If I can't return it do you think I should just accept that I've wasted €25 and buy a different processor or by a motherboard to suit the more powerful e8500?
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July 12, 2013 5:11:09 AM

Glad to help :-) And you should be able to return the CPU, especially if you don't even open the box. Who did you buy it from?
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July 12, 2013 5:21:26 AM

sam_p_lay said:
Glad to help :-) And you should be able to return the CPU, especially if you don't even open the box. Who did you buy it from?


Thanks ha, it was from a store that uses ebay and they do have a return policy on unopened goods I can send it back under. Sorry but I'm not sure, does your advice about buying the gtx 650 ti still apply if I bought an intel core 2 duo e6700? I believe that's actually the best processor my mobo supports :/ 
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July 12, 2013 5:24:20 AM

Absolutely. There's honestly very little difference between those CPU models. The major step up is when you move up to Core i3/i5/i7.
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July 12, 2013 5:27:03 AM

Thanks a million sam you've been a massive help to me. Have a good day :) 
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July 12, 2013 5:30:20 AM

Glad I could be of help :-) Same to you mate.
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July 12, 2013 5:50:49 AM

sbch said:

I've already ordered the cpu because it was very cheap online and I believed it would work with my motherboard :(  Do you think If I can't return it do you think I should just accept that I've wasted €25 and buy a different processor or by a motherboard to suit the more powerful e8500?


They are lovely and cheap, yes! I upgraded from a e5200 to an e8400 for the same reason.

Buying a new motherboard will mean that you have to reinstall Windows, before making any kind of decision, bear that in mind first

The E6700 looks like the best bet for your current motherboard. Simplest solution is to return your e8500 and buy that instead. If they won't accept a returm just Ebay it, you'll get your money back. Considering how old your system is, this is probably the most sensible course of action.

If you aren't feeling sensible and want a little project and can afford to spend some money buy something like the Asus P7N SLI motherboard cheap second hand on Ebay, decent aftermarket cooler (Does the Coolermaster Hyper 212 support socket 775 anyone?) and overclock the crap out of that e8500. This is what i would do :) 


Also, yes, get the geforce 650ti. I agree with you nad Sam on this one.


(edit: I started writing this post about an hour ago, got distracted, went to lunch, then just hit 'post'now an hour later. Imagine this was posted about 5 posts higher and it makes much, much more sense becuase Sam has already answered most of it already!)
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July 12, 2013 8:19:03 AM

sbch said:
Thanks for the quick replies, I was hoping to be able to play fairly demanding games (such as skyrim or bioshock infinite) on low/medium settings and slightly older games (like gta iv and just cause 2) on higher quality settings. Would I be able to play these types of games on the settings I want on a gtx 650 ti, gxt 650 or radeon 7750?


i maxed out bioshock infinite with a 650 ti but you NEED a better cpu
trust me i have a gtx 650 ti, it can play all games Ultra and High with FXAA or no AA at 1680x1050 with 35 fps
my gpu usage seems to be only 60-75%
so i KNOW what you are getting into
P.S i have experience of this bottleneck via monitoring usage of both my cpu and gpu through msi afterburner, sorry but this is a fact that you have to accept
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5 minutes ago

could 8500 motherboard sappor core i3 processor
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