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Is there any way to calculate the likely gaming performance of a specific CPU+GPU combination?

No doubt referring to benchmarks is the best way to go, but what if ones aren't available for a given combination? A way to get an estimate (for a specific game and resolution) can be very helpful. Is there such a thing?
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  1. There is a way to accurately guess such a performance. (It comes with experience) But there is no way to calculate this type of things. You can try and calculate it, but then you need to know everything possible about CPU and GPU architectures, laws of physics, software development, programing, OS and drivers, optimizations and etc. (and that is something no single person can do)
  2. If you can't find benchmarks that use your combination of components then just try to find the closest match. That's about the best you can do...other than trying to find someone who actually has the exact component combo you are looking at and asking them.
  3. You have to determine which one of the components is going to be the bottleneck.
    Look at the GPU benchmarks and the CPU benchmarks separately.

    For example: If the CPU gets 45 fps on a certain game and the GPU 34fps, you will be able to run it at 34fps with the settings used in the GPU benchmark. If you turn down the settings or the resolution, you will get higher fps, but you can't go above 45fps as the CPU is not fast enough.
  4. Without a specific game, cpu, gpu, and display resolution you can only guess.

    My guideline would be to budget 2x the cost of your cpu for the graphics card.
  5. Let me give you an example. I'm looking to buy a laptop for (modest) gaming and have to choose between the following combinations:

    i5-4200M + GT 720M (Stronger CPU + Weaker GPU)
    or
    i5-4200U + GT 740M (Weaker CPU + Stronger GPU)

    The 720M lags the 740M by some margin:

    http://www.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/NVIDIA+GeForce+GT+720M/games
    http://www.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/NVIDIA+GeForce+GT+740M/games

    For example, if I take the game Battlefield 3 the 720M fails to meet Minimum requirements by -20% and Recommended requirements by -72%. The 740M on the other hands meets the Minimum ("Yes") and fails the Recommended requirements by -52%. Not a huge gap, and one that I'm curious whether the stronger i5-4200M CPU (coupled with the laptop with the 720M) could close to some degree.

    Here is some info about the differences between these two CPUs:
    http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i5-4200U-vs-Intel-Core-i5-4200M

    Thoughts?
  6. Best answer
    Prognathous said:
    Let me give you an example. I'm looking to buy a laptop for (modest) gaming and have to choose between the following combinations:

    i5-4200M + GT 720M (Stronger CPU + Weaker GPU)
    or
    i5-4200U + GT 740M (Weaker CPU + Stronger GPU)

    The 720M lags the 740M by some margin:

    http://www.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/NVIDIA+GeForce+GT+720M/games
    http://www.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/NVIDIA+GeForce+GT+740M/games

    For example, if I take the game Battlefield 3 the 720M fails to meet Minimum requirements by -20% and Recommended requirements by -72%. The 740M on the other hands meets the Minimum ("Yes") and fails the Recommended requirements by -52%. Not a huge gap, and one that I'm curious whether the stronger i5-4200M CPU (coupled with the laptop with the 720M) could close to some degree.

    Here is some info about the differences between these two CPUs:
    http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i5-4200U-vs-Intel-Core-i5-4200M

    Thoughts?


    As geofelt stated, the GPU is more important in gaming. I would get the i5-4200U + GT 740M combination since the CPU is also easier to upgrade in a laptop 99% of the time (if it ever starts to feel too slow).
  7. Eduello, as far as I know the i5-4200U is not upgradable (unlike the i5-4200UM). Also consider that this laptop is a gift for someone who will not go beyond the native resolution (1366x768) when gaming. Do these factors change your opinion in any way?
  8. Prognathous said:
    Let me give you an example. I'm looking to buy a laptop for (modest) gaming and have to choose between the following combinations:

    i5-4200M + GT 720M (Stronger CPU + Weaker GPU)
    or
    i5-4200U + GT 740M (Weaker CPU + Stronger GPU)

    The 720M lags the 740M by some margin:

    http://www.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/NVIDIA+GeForce+GT+720M/games
    http://www.futuremark.com/hardware/gpu/NVIDIA+GeForce+GT+740M/games

    For example, if I take the game Battlefield 3 the 720M fails to meet Minimum requirements by -20% and Recommended requirements by -72%. The 740M on the other hands meets the Minimum ("Yes") and fails the Recommended requirements by -52%. Not a huge gap, and one that I'm curious whether the stronger i5-4200M CPU (coupled with the laptop with the 720M) could close to some degree.

    Here is some info about the differences between these two CPUs:
    http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i5-4200U-vs-Intel-Core-i5-4200M

    Thoughts?


    This should have been your first question.

    Better yet, post in the laptop section and ask what laptop to get for a certain use in a certain budget.

    From just the CPU and GPU you listed, the faster video card is a better pick.
  9. Prognathous said:
    Eduello, as far as I know the i5-4200U is not upgradable (unlike the i5-4200UM). Also consider that this laptop is a gift for someone who will not go beyond the native resolution (1366x768) when gaming. Do these factors change your opinion in any way?


    Why couldn't it be upgraded? It uses the FCBGA1168 socket so the i5-4200U can be upgraded to this (for example): http://ark.intel.com/products/76616/
  10. Thanks for all the feedback. I got the laptop with the 740M at the end.
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