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Athlon 3200+ vs new cpu

Last response: in CPUs
February 10, 2007 6:17:22 PM

I've got a gracefully ageing athlon 3200+ - i'm just wondering how much difference a new CPU - say an e4300 - would make for gaming?

My PC also has a 7800gs and 2gb of RAM - still OK but the most recent games really make it chug and it seems that the CPU is the main bottleneck

Sorry if it sounds like a stupid question, but the way cpus are named these days its really hard to work out how much quicker they are

I thank you all.....

More about : athlon 3200 cpu

February 10, 2007 6:28:56 PM

is that an athlon xp or athlon 64?
February 10, 2007 6:40:30 PM

athlon xp
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February 10, 2007 7:00:26 PM

Hey Ali303, I have owned an Athlon 64 3200+ (754) before. It can't even compare to the e6300. The e6300 is the Core 2 Duo 1.8 GHz dual core chip. I am not familiar with the e4300.....You can OC e6300's from 2.5-3+ GHz. As far as performance, My Athlon 64 4000+ @ 2.89 GHz (939) w/ 2 GB's of a ram and an 8800 GTS gets outperformed by a mile by the e6300.

But then you have to upgrade other components.....
February 10, 2007 7:02:58 PM

for the vast majority of games, a newer cpu wont make a large difference in improving performance, even going all the way up to an E6800, as the gpu would oftentimes become the bottleneck, severely hindering any real performance improvements the cpu could 'really' bring, typically at higher resolutions too

the 7800GS is still a great gpu, but not quite at the top anymore performancewise, even for agp...

if you check THG vga charts, and compare the 7800GT to other gpus, youll see where it compares against other newer gpus, both from ati and nvidia... they didnt have the 7800GS that i saw, only the 7800GS+, but thats more of a 7900GS, i believe... and the 7800GS is close enough to a 7800GT anyhow

you cant get much faster than a 7800GS for agp anyhow... so if youre wanting noticably improved gaming performance, youre gonna have to make the move to pci-e, and thus a whole new system for the most part, cpu/memory/motherboard/gpu (as pci-e is where nearly all of the faster gpus are now, and the widest variety in prices then too, when considering something faster than what you already have... by comparison, theres only 1 noticably faster gpu for agp, the x1950 pro, ~$300, but for that price, it may be worth considering a new system as it is)
February 10, 2007 7:47:29 PM

Judging from the CPU charts it would make a fairly big difference. a 64 3000+ gets 90 fps compared to 121 fps of an e6400. that is a 30% increase which is a big deal. But at that point you are buying a new motherboard and a new CPU for $300+. And also you probably have DDR and not DDR2 Memory? So you'll need new ram (thats ~200 for 2 GB) and if your 7800GS is AGP then you'll need a new videocard anyway.

I think your best bet is to get a new computer next time you have some spare cash.
February 10, 2007 7:52:34 PM

for all practical differences, they might as well be the same fps... the demand placed on the gpu in that instance isnt enough to make it where anyone would complain about poor sluggish performance, again, putting the stress back on the gpu as a limiting factor in nearly all cases for newer systems... at 60+ fps, you really cant tell much of a difference if at all, and if youre getting 90fps, youre probably not looking to upgrade for the sake of more fps then
February 10, 2007 7:55:09 PM

I am not suggesting that 90fps will look any different than 121 fps. This is simply showing that performance in games will increase by a significant amount.
February 10, 2007 7:56:19 PM

well, it can, youre right, theres always going to be a bottleneck, 90 to 121... in that case, the resolution is most likely low, or, the graphical demand is low, or the gpu is something like a 8800GTX, with all graphical settings turned up to max, and, the cpu is then too slow to keep up
February 10, 2007 7:58:25 PM

yep, just answering is question.

I've got a gracefully ageing athlon 3200+ - i'm just wondering how much difference a new CPU - say an e4300 - would make for gaming?
February 10, 2007 8:05:07 PM

yep, just answering is question.

I've got a gracefully ageing athlon 3200+ - i'm just wondering how much difference a new CPU - say an e4300 - would make for gaming?

but that wasnt directly his concern though... he was wondering if his cpu was causing his performance to chug along (<20fps)... for newer games, at medium or higher details and resolutions, the demand is greatly going to be placed on his gpu, not his cpu
February 10, 2007 8:13:35 PM

What is your problem? I simply pointed out the difference in fps in an old processor compared to a newer one like he asked.

What do you suggest he does? spends ~$200 on an x1950 pro to get very little return?

His CPU IS holding back his system. the 7800GS can run newer games just fine. (ie prey at 1280x1024 at 50fps)

Really his whole system is holding back his video card, not to mention that his videocard will start to show its age fairly soon. Thus I suggested a new system.

What do you find so wrong about my advice that you must debate with me?
February 10, 2007 8:28:45 PM

the cpu is not realistically holding his gaming performance back, thats what im saying, for practical uses, unless hes just going for benchmarks, and not actual gaming (20-30 fps is all you would 'need'), not 50 fps that you pointed out... an xp 3200+ is roughly equal to almost an a64 3000+... and an a64 3000+ isnt going to limit gaming performance by much at all, for what would matter...

also suggesting he go for a new system too i did, especially for the price of an x1950 pro
February 10, 2007 8:32:04 PM

Why don't you think its holding his system back? What is holding his system back then? because a 7800GS can run newer games at high fps.
February 10, 2007 8:38:38 PM

you can run at higher fps, as high as you want... but to avoid chugging fps, you only need above 20 fps, which was what he was concerned about, and what i addressed in my first post... when youre above 20 fps, youve officially fixed the worst parts of the issue... the more above 20 fps you are, the better... if an xp 3200+ was limiting his performance down to below 20 fps, i would agree with you, that his cpu was infact holding him back
February 10, 2007 8:44:32 PM

Unless this system is only used for gaming, get the new CPU/upgrade since it will benefit everything besides gaming.

Other replies have it right that your CPU may be able to maintain an acceptible framerate in most games, until the video card becomes a bottleneck moreso, so in the grand scheme of things your video card is now slightly bottlenecked by the CPU but if you buy one of those CPUs, the video card will be more of a bottleneck than the CPU is presently. ( I mean IF the two could be used together, if the card wasn't AGP).

As for chugging along in newer games it depends on what game you're talking about, seek benchmarks online to see how that game responds to various system differences.
February 10, 2007 8:56:00 PM

his computer is not running games that his 7800gs should be able to run. Thus his CPU is holding him back right.
February 10, 2007 8:57:14 PM

what games?
February 10, 2007 9:01:03 PM

the 7800GS can run prey at 50fps, oblivion at 80fps, HL2 70fps all on med. settings. If his computer is "chugging" at under 20fps as you put it, it is not his video card that is holding him back.
February 10, 2007 9:12:10 PM

okay... maybe we should just suggest he just change his settings to all medium then, he should get reasonably close to those fps, which, by the way, again, are much more than you need for even an FPS to be enjoyable. that much above 20 fps isnt entirely necessary, unless youre trying to have everything be completely smooth, which wasnt what he was asking about
February 10, 2007 9:26:56 PM

hahaha, you are so weird...

Something is stopping his videocard from getting these FPS, I have given my explanation, I would like to hear what you think it is.

Edit: And make your answer straight forward. Don't fill it with a bunch of mumbo jumbo.

Here is my answer.

The reason he isn't getting the high fps noted above is because his system (namely CPU and RAM) is holding his videocard back.
February 10, 2007 9:39:57 PM

i think its just because hes running his settings too high for his gpu to handle how he wants

and consequently, his cpu might not be able to handle those high settings either, having to feed that much data to the gpu for it to render

sorry about all the extra wording, thats just out of habit
February 10, 2007 9:48:47 PM

Dude, if u have a athlon xp 3200 and a agp video card, you either need to replace everything , meaning build a new system or nothing, meaing use if util you can do better.
February 10, 2007 9:52:51 PM

So you don't think that there would be any gaming performance difference with a 7800GS and C2D E6300 compared to a 7800GS and an Athlon XP 3200+?
February 10, 2007 10:02:37 PM

not too much to be honest, except at lower resolutions and detail settings

i have a 7800GT though also... even when i have my X2 3800+ @ 2.4, much above medium to high settings (and 1152x864 or 1280x1024 resolutions, let alone higher), you really start taking a dive, unless you start sacrificing settings

games like oblivion, company of heroes, age of empires 3, black and white 2, games like that... SM3.0 i believe would play a large part in why fps would drop like that though too... if you only have SM2.0 or lower being used, the GPU should be less of a bottleneck, and you should get higher fps ingame
February 10, 2007 10:20:20 PM

hi ali303
think there are some definite gains in performance to upgrading your cpu, but
if you chose that route you might be looking at all new components
-newer motherboard for (amd). (intel)
-newer ram if your current ram is not compatible with newer board
-power supply
just to mention a few, my suggestion would be to take your time and compare the cost and benefits of a cpu change
February 10, 2007 10:48:53 PM

Maybe this is a stupid question, but is your CPU overclocked and, if not, might overclocking it provide you with more headroom?
February 10, 2007 11:09:39 PM

I was wondering when somebody would finally point him in that direction to give him a fairly clear idea of what to expect.
(the platform articles i mean......)
February 11, 2007 12:00:49 AM

If he reads the articles that I posted it should give him a fairly good idea of how his system will/should perform with some modern games and what he should expect if he upgrades to a faster CPU.

It would help if he listed the specs of his entire system.