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Is a GPU/CPU Upgrade the answer for Battlefield 4 on my Intel Core 2 Q6600 @ 2.4Ghz + GTX 460 768mb?

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November 12, 2013 3:26:08 AM

Hi guys,

I am pretty clueless when it comes to pc gaming, so am hoping for some straight up advice on what's best to do. I am currently playing BF4 on my PC (See specs below), but am struggling to run it on anything above med (even though its only on a 1280x1024 Monitor). I was able to play BF3 on ultra and it ran smoothly, but only by having the settings down to medium will it play like that on BF4. The auto settings puts it mostly on High though, but i get constant lag spikes if I use these, its playable but quite a poor FPS.

What I would like to know is, is it worth getting a 2nd GTX 460 and running them on SLI, or do I just upgrade the Card to something like the GTX 660?? another 460 is a cheap option (around £40 on ebay), but im not sure if that's going to make a massive difference? I am also concerned that the Q6600 is actually the problem and bottle necking it, so upgrading the card wont be worth it??

Specs -
Intel Core 2 Q6600 @ 2.4Ghz
Motherboard - Fatal1ty FP-IN9 SLI
600w PSU - not sure of make/model
GTX 460 768mb
8Gb DDR2-1066 Ram (4 x Corsair CM2x2048-8500C5D)
19" Monitor at 1280x1024 (hoping to upgrade if its worth it), Or, can use 42" LG 3d Full HD TV, but haven't yet.

I appreciate any help/advice you can offer me before I waste money on either a 2nd card or a new one altogether?

Thanks

a b å Intel
a c 188 à CPUs
November 12, 2013 3:30:15 AM

Nope, SLI is not the answer.

HOWEVER a GPU upgrade is not gonna completely fix your problem.
You need a platform upgrade too (RAM, CPU, and motherboard).

Now to the point, how much are you willing to spend?
November 12, 2013 4:09:01 AM

Thanks for the quick response novuake, to be honest as little as possible. I was looking at around £145 on a 2gb GTX 660, but do you think I will not see a massive improvement from this either? If i can avoid changing the CPU/MOBO/RAM etc, I will, as long as it means a smoother gaming experience for the time being. I am not looking at building a beast just yet.

So budget wise, i'm lookin at £1-200 max for now. Do you think a new cpu etc with my current GPU would be more suitable??

thanks again
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a b å Intel
a c 188 à CPUs
November 12, 2013 4:17:21 AM

In that case I would suggest a better GPU and then get a nice CPU cooler for a bit of overclocking (3.2GHz) on the CPU to relieve the bottleneck. Most cost effective option. :) 
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2013 4:22:13 AM

Novuake said:
In that case I would suggest a better GPU and then get a nice CPU cooler for a bit of overclocking (3.2GHz) on the CPU to relieve the bottleneck. Most cost effective option. :) 


I was running battlefield 4 on a Q9660 cpu yesterday and it basicly maxes out the CPU. 85-100%. Even with low settings. So I'm not sure his CPU, even when overclocked, would do the job. I was amazed at how hungry bf4 is when it comes to CPU usage.
a b å Intel
a c 188 à CPUs
November 12, 2013 4:24:09 AM

ZionZA said:
Novuake said:
In that case I would suggest a better GPU and then get a nice CPU cooler for a bit of overclocking (3.2GHz) on the CPU to relieve the bottleneck. Most cost effective option. :) 


I was running battlefield 4 on a Q9660 cpu yesterday and it basicly maxes out the CPU. 85-100%. Even with low settings. So I'm not sure his CPU, even when overclocked, would do the job. I was amazed at how hungry bf4 is when it comes to CPU usage.


Agreed. But an OC will help, his CPU is less a limiting factor here, at least I think so. Could be wrong. :) 

A platform upgrade will cost a lot more than a GPU for that resolution.
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2013 4:29:16 AM

Novuake said:
ZionZA said:
Novuake said:
In that case I would suggest a better GPU and then get a nice CPU cooler for a bit of overclocking (3.2GHz) on the CPU to relieve the bottleneck. Most cost effective option. :) 


I was running battlefield 4 on a Q9660 cpu yesterday and it basicly maxes out the CPU. 85-100%. Even with low settings. So I'm not sure his CPU, even when overclocked, would do the job. I was amazed at how hungry bf4 is when it comes to CPU usage.


Agreed. But an OC will help, his CPU is less a limiting factor here, at least I think so. Could be wrong. :) 

A platform upgrade will cost a lot more than a GPU for that resolution.



Well i was running everything on low with a GTX 660. frames were between 40-56. So who knows.

My brother has a 3570k with a gtx560 ti and the game ran a lot better. It's difficult to say.
a b å Intel
a c 188 à CPUs
November 12, 2013 4:33:30 AM

ZionZA said:
Novuake said:
ZionZA said:
Novuake said:
In that case I would suggest a better GPU and then get a nice CPU cooler for a bit of overclocking (3.2GHz) on the CPU to relieve the bottleneck. Most cost effective option. :) 


I was running battlefield 4 on a Q9660 cpu yesterday and it basicly maxes out the CPU. 85-100%. Even with low settings. So I'm not sure his CPU, even when overclocked, would do the job. I was amazed at how hungry bf4 is when it comes to CPU usage.


Agreed. But an OC will help, his CPU is less a limiting factor here, at least I think so. Could be wrong. :) 

A platform upgrade will cost a lot more than a GPU for that resolution.



Well i was running everything on low with a GTX 660. frames were between 40-56. So who knows.

My brother has a 3570k with a gtx560 ti and the game ran a lot better. It's difficult to say.


Remember by dropping to low you move the bottleneck to the CPU, INCREASING settings moves it to the GPU.
a b å Intel
a c 188 à CPUs
November 12, 2013 4:33:43 AM

Sorry, double post.
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2013 4:40:43 AM

Novuake said:
ZionZA said:
Novuake said:
ZionZA said:
Novuake said:
In that case I would suggest a better GPU and then get a nice CPU cooler for a bit of overclocking (3.2GHz) on the CPU to relieve the bottleneck. Most cost effective option. :) 


I was running battlefield 4 on a Q9660 cpu yesterday and it basicly maxes out the CPU. 85-100%. Even with low settings. So I'm not sure his CPU, even when overclocked, would do the job. I was amazed at how hungry bf4 is when it comes to CPU usage.


Agreed. But an OC will help, his CPU is less a limiting factor here, at least I think so. Could be wrong. :) 

A platform upgrade will cost a lot more than a GPU for that resolution.



Well i was running everything on low with a GTX 660. frames were between 40-56. So who knows.

My brother has a 3570k with a gtx560 ti and the game ran a lot better. It's difficult to say.


Remember by dropping to low you move the bottleneck to the CPU, INCREASING settings moves it to the GPU.


True yeah.
November 12, 2013 4:56:31 AM

wow, thanks to you both for the replies, its a huge help. I've never considered overclocking (like i said, clueless! ;)  ) so may look into that, any recommendations on a decent cooler on a budget?

so do you think the gtx 660 is a good option or would i be better off with a lower spec card for now?

thanks again guys!!
a b à CPUs
November 12, 2013 5:00:58 AM

The Coolermaster 212 evo is a good budget cooler afiak. Not for high end overclocking. But basic overclocks.

a b å Intel
a c 188 à CPUs
November 12, 2013 5:07:11 AM

GTX650ti Boost 2GB is much cheaper and performs within 10%, better option in my opinion.

The hyper212 EVO / Xigmatec GAIA are great options at their prices.
a b å Intel
a c 104 à CPUs
November 12, 2013 6:00:12 AM

Don't get a new graphics card.

Someone already said his Q9660 was already a complete bottleneck. When a CPU is that much of a bottleneck it's mostly pointless in getting a better graphics card.

It would likely make a small difference. It's really hard to tell though. i think your average frame rate would go up but the bottleneck would still enforce the LOWEST frame rates when things get intensive.

There's also the issue of not enough VIDEO RAM, and while I actually would recommend SLI considering how cheap it is, I don't think 768MB would suffice (2x768MB is still 768MB usable in SLI).

also,
Do you have 64-bit Windows?
(just verifying as you should not get a 2GB card if you don't).

Summary:
- I think a GTX660 would be a small benefit but not worth it.
- CPU overclock would help a bit so sure, a better cooler like the EVO as mentioned if you have a stock one and look up tips online.
- SLI would probably be your cheapest route and worth considering. Not sure about Video RAM.
- 32-bit or 64-bit Windows?
November 12, 2013 6:11:39 AM

best advice:
buy the strongest gpu you can afford today...nevermind the bottleneck...get a 770 if you can...upgrade your cpu/mobo/ram later
a b å Intel
a c 104 à CPUs
November 12, 2013 6:44:34 AM

a1blaster said:
best advice:
buy the strongest gpu you can afford today...nevermind the bottleneck...get a 770 if you can...upgrade your cpu/mobo/ram later


Not to be rude, but that's pretty bad advice. He already said he's not looking to upgrade his system for a while so you're telling him to get an expensive card that is completely bottlenecked by the rest of the system?
a c 92 à CPUs
November 12, 2013 6:52:47 AM

a1blaster said:
best advice:
buy the strongest gpu you can afford today...nevermind the bottleneck...get a 770 if you can...upgrade your cpu/mobo/ram later



Thats terrible advice.

I have seen BF4 running well on an i7 with a GTX 460. This game is very CPU limiting.
November 12, 2013 4:48:15 PM

photonboy said:
a1blaster said:
best advice:
buy the strongest gpu you can afford today...nevermind the bottleneck...get a 770 if you can...upgrade your cpu/mobo/ram later


Not to be rude, but that's pretty bad advice. He already said he's not looking to upgrade his system for a while so you're telling him to get an expensive card that is completely bottlenecked by the rest of the system?


lots of people like you make mistakes by buying mediocre parts at the same time....
why worry about bottleneck?? you will upgrade your cpu later on anyways..
November 12, 2013 4:51:04 PM

RobCrezz said:
a1blaster said:
best advice:
buy the strongest gpu you can afford today...nevermind the bottleneck...get a 770 if you can...upgrade your cpu/mobo/ram later



Thats terrible advice.

I have seen BF4 running well on an i7 with a GTX 460. This game is very CPU limiting.


well, he won't stay with a q6600 for the rest of his life...buying a 770/760 now and upgrade to i5 later on is better than buying mediocre parts today..
a b å Intel
a c 188 à CPUs
November 12, 2013 9:16:52 PM

RobCrezz said:
a1blaster said:
best advice:
buy the strongest gpu you can afford today...nevermind the bottleneck...get a 770 if you can...upgrade your cpu/mobo/ram later



Thats terrible advice.

I have seen BF4 running well on an i7 with a GTX 460. This game is very CPU limiting.


Can you fit a decent quad core system(or AMD equivalent into the OPs budget? If not, then his advice really is not that bad at all.
November 12, 2013 11:52:32 PM

@musefan2001

more or less, im in the same situation as you, especially about the upgrade budget.
the differences is my mobo is abit ix38 quadgt, psu superflower 500w, my ram is ocz reaper series pc2 8500 2 x 2 gb

at first, i want to upgrade to i3 4130, but after reading this :
http://www.ocaholic.ch/modules/smartsection/item.php?it...
originally i know that link from here :
http://www.tomshardware.com/answers/id-1866632/q6600-re...

i think im gonna OC my q6600, and you should think about it too.

Best solution

a b à CPUs
November 13, 2013 12:04:15 AM
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I personally feel that overclocking isn't going to solve this issue. The CPU is about less than a third of an i7 2600. Overclocking needs a better cooler and then you still need to learn how to do a proper overclock. Getting a faster GPU now with that system won't help as much due to the limitation of the CPU

In games like Battlefield 4 I feel that the overclock won't make the difference you need. Getting a new GPU is fine and all but you still need a good CPU to run all of this on. My recommendation is to look into getting a new CPU and Motherboard. Maybe an overclock will help you a little in the mean time but you will have to look at upgrading if you plan on playing games like bf4.

I ran an i7 930 and it used roughly 60% of the CPU while playing battlefield 4. I've tested it on the q9660 and it was basicly running at 80-100% the whole time with constant frame drops etc. All of this was on a GTX 660 which is suppose to run bf4 on high settings. When I tested this I started with ultra settings. Moved down to high then medium and eventually low and the funny thing is, It didn't make any difference to my fps.

If you really want to overclock the CPU to try and help with this issue then just be aware that doing a basic overclock won't yield a huge gain in performance. Sadly there's no easy way around this.
November 15, 2013 9:15:41 AM

Thanks for all the helpful comments guys, i appreciate the input a lot! its seeming to me like upgrading the cpu will be the way forward, so i think i am going to have to bite the bullet and save a little more to make it worth while. If I can get it running on the 460 on a better cpu, then thats what i'll do, then get a new gpu one day in the future!

so now im going to ask which cpu you recommend? is it worth shelling out for an i7??
thanks in advance!
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a c 188 à CPUs
November 15, 2013 9:20:05 AM

No, stick to I5s for gaming if you have a semi limited budget.
a b à CPUs
November 15, 2013 10:54:40 AM

I5 3570k or so is awesome for gaming
November 15, 2013 12:23:14 PM

Cool thanks guys, i've found this i5 on hotukdeals which looks tidy, just gotta get a campatible budget mobo now. - http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00CO8TBOW/ref=nosim

any recommendations?? also, will my ram be compatible with a newer mobo or will that have to go too??? (8Gb DDR2-1066 Ram (4 x Corsair CM2x2048-8500C5D)

thanks again :) 
a b å Intel
a c 188 à CPUs
November 15, 2013 12:53:06 PM

No, your RAM will need to be replaced with DDR3
a b à CPUs
November 15, 2013 2:37:59 PM

Get the 650Ti as it would definitely be worth the money, but if you want, go ahead and purchase the 660.
November 15, 2013 3:26:45 PM

ok, so new cpu, new mobo, new ram....wow this is adding up, haha! if i get all this and stick with my GTX 460, do u think that card will keep me ticking over for a while?? what kinda fps should i expect on bf4?
a b à CPUs
November 15, 2013 3:57:56 PM

Id say medium settings. Its difficult to tell due to how a CPU effects Battlefield 4. I've seen guys say that they run high settings with the 460 1gb cards and get decent frames. Just make sure you get the latest drivers. Makes a rather big difference with performance.
a c 92 à CPUs
November 17, 2013 2:21:30 PM

At your resolution I think you will find the 460 still quite capable with a better cpu.
November 18, 2013 2:08:13 AM

I'm in the same boat as you, planning an upgrade from Q6600 and mainly focusing on BF4 at the moment. I've been doing research and I'm probably further from a decision than when i started.

Buck for performance i5 (haswell or ive) looks like the right choice right now. Though in future some argue that since next gen consoles are 8 core more games will utilize it. And i would hope new cpu+mobo would last me ~4 years like my current q6600 had.

From reading different discussions and benchmarks some say amd fx 8350 (8 cores) has better results than i5 in games that use more threads (some benchmarks even showed it being better in BF4, though other are contradictory). Other say it's not much difference cause GPU will do most of the work but in our case having weaker GPUs (my gpu is 560ti) can make the difference in frames bigger.

I'm leaning towards spending that extra and getting i7 (4 cores but 8 threads) to be more future proof. Will wait till xmas/after xmas to try and get a better deal.
March 10, 2014 7:58:12 AM

Dell Precision 390 6 GB ddr 2 800mhz, q6600 (no OC), win 8.1. 64 bit and GF9800 gtx+....Battlefield 4 running on high, ultra 1280x1024 2xMSAA. For a most of the game i didn't see any slow downs...there is stable 30 FPS on my eye but i will chceck using kind of meter and bring a proof :) 
!