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Does the CPU actually have a drastic influence on the Frames in Games?

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November 3, 2007 7:32:24 PM

I was wondering if you had a better cpu in your rig if it really improved your computers performance. Would it be a huge improvement or just minor...For example I upgraded 512 in my old computer to 1 gig and Farcry didn't lag anymore. But when I changed the cpu other than the load times I didn't see much of an improvment...in doom 3 there was some.
I just upgraded from a Athlon 3800+ (2.4 OC) to a Athlon 5000+ (3.2 OC) will it make a huge difference?

Thank You
November 3, 2007 7:57:52 PM

CPU makes minor improvement in majority of games, they are more video card bound. Lets say such rig: AMD X2 4000+, 8800GTX, 2GB RAM and for the same money - Intel Q6850, 8600GTS, 2Gb - AMD rig will be much faster in games.

In other words, any dual core cpu, 2GB memory and the fastest video card you can afford will give you the best game performance for money.
November 3, 2007 8:41:32 PM

first person shooters as such tend to show little benefit from a faster cpu (unless your cpu was 5 or more years old, then it was probably worth upgrading your whole system even, for game performance purposes)

rts games however, and games like microsoft flight simulator, tend to be strongly cpu bound, due to all the individual AIs and different things occurring simultaneously... and sometimes just due to the games engine itself and how it was designed. UT2004 (if i remember correctly) was a strongly cpu bound fps game, but most other fps games arent.

but, the kinds of games you mentioned will show little benefit from a faster cpu alone as far as framerates go, and you would get more benefit going from single to dual core, than you would getting a faster dual core over a slower dual core.

quad core for gaming is going to be the same situation again, once a lot of games start taking advantage of it... and getting a slower quad core would then make more sense, than a faster dual core.

as far as level loading, definetly. the cpu performance and memory amounts tend to play a very large role in how fast a level will load. if you only have 256MB of pc3200 system ram for instance, its going to take a whole lot longer to load a game like crysis, than if you had 2GB+ of pc1600 ram (that is if it was even possible to play on only 256mb).
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November 3, 2007 10:11:26 PM

hahah I guess that answers my question:)  But 1 more my system use to restart alot on heavy load, with the new CPU it doesn't restart anymore...I have 620Watt PSU 2 video cards (8800 GTS) could it have been lack of power or just faulty CPU?
November 3, 2007 10:35:05 PM

Its hard to understand how the CPU helps the GPU in games where thing are multithreaded, its not a % boost to FPS or anything but in games that can use multiple cores it can proccess things faster, soon CPU's may do physics which will definatly help.
November 4, 2007 10:35:55 AM

thats fine i just want to know that I have a decent computer:p  lol I love the 5000 though :)  its an awesome overclocker!!!
November 4, 2007 11:44:30 AM

L1qu1d said:
hahah I guess that answers my question:)  But 1 more my system use to restart alot on heavy load, with the new CPU it doesn't restart anymore...I have 620Watt PSU 2 video cards (8800 GTS) could it have been lack of power or just faulty CPU?

Were you overclocking? If yes, may be your voltage was too low and when under heavy load, could not handle it. With newer CPU, they may require less voltage. Did you run a program that will simulate a full load for hours to test stability?

What was your old CPU and new one?
November 4, 2007 12:12:08 PM

I had a Athlon 3800+ X2 ...(yes it was Overclocked but even when I down clocked it was still restarting)
Now I have a Athlon 5000+ X2 Black Edition, I have it overclocked at 3.2 :)  and its stable I ran everything...3D mark CPU stress test...The pie calculation program. Prima95...It never restarted once!
Also the old CPU use to restart my computer when ever I did the Vista Rating and Video Encoding...Now it doesn't anymore:) 

I did have a period where the System ran slow because of the Overclock but Now it Runs AMAZING
November 4, 2007 1:02:26 PM

CPU has a large impact on performance. Graphics cards are designed to handle graphic output, just as sound cards are designed to handle audio output. Computational power for AI, physics, etc. is delivered by the CPU, which also handles graphic duties offloaded by the GPU. Thus it is easy fro the CPU to bottleneck your system. TH has an article somewhere about the 8800GTX being bottlenecked by the CPU ... best performance is achieved by a balanced component selection. Many graphic benchmark apps include a CPU test.
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