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CPU upgrade or SLI?

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July 25, 2008 10:24:26 AM

Hi :hello:  first sorry if this is in the wrong thread but wasn't sure whether to put in graphics or CPU so I went option 3 and put it here :p 

I've recently bought my first gaming PC, and a few weeks ago I upgraded from an 8500GT to a GTX 260 - annoyed I didn't wait with price drops and 4870 outperforming but meh still happy. I also have an E8400 3.0GHz.

I'm thinking of what I should upgrade next - whether I should upgrade to a quad-core CPU (2.66GHz probably) or get another 260 in SLI? I ran Crysis benchmarks at high settings and had average FPS of about 32 FPS for GPU and around 21-22 for CPU. I would think from this that it's my CPU that needs upgrading, but which would I get more performance out of?

BTW I haven't overclocked the CPU yet - I'm wary of voiding warranty :sweat: 

I'll might be looking at upgrading in maybe a month or two.

Thanks in advance for your help.

More about : cpu upgrade sli

a b à CPUs
July 25, 2008 11:38:52 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums mate :) 

You have a solid rig, GTX 260+E8400 is a solid combination,if i were u i wouldnt upgrade the CPU,because 3.0GHZ is plenty fast.

Also GTX 260 is a very good card,so i say keep both and don't upgrade it unless u play @ 1920x1200 or higher (which u will benefit from second card)
July 25, 2008 12:03:45 PM

^What mazair said :D .

The only thing I would mention is that I noticed that your video card is the XFX brand. If you've registered the card with them within 30 days after purchase, you get lifetime warranty AND you'll be allowed to overclock the card without voiding it. That's probably your best move for better performance, and hey, it's free and doesn't have any major drawbacks! :kaola: 

GL [:wr2]
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July 25, 2008 12:05:50 PM

Ok that's good not having to part with my money :p  So CPU won't be bottlenecking GPU then? I play at 1680x1050 though I also have an HDTV connected that I run in dual monitor setup at 1680x1050, it would be good to use this in WiC and have the map up on that screen or even watch TV via tuner card while gaming and I guess SLI would be good for that, but probably not worth the extra $$ at this stage.

In regards to Avenger, unfortunately for me I live in New Zealand and the double lifetime warranty doesn't exist here and instead I get a mere 2 years warranty, although I think it does cover overclocking.

I might consider overclocking the CPU...
July 25, 2008 12:16:07 PM

gazza_27 said:


In regards to Avenger, unfortunately for me I live in New Zealand and the double lifetime warranty doesn't exist here and instead I get a mere 2 years warranty, although I think it does cover overclocking.

I might consider overclocking the CPU...


Oh well, that stinks. If that's the case than you may as well overclock it anyway, though. You'll be covered for two years, and once the warranty runs out there's nothing to void :D . Overclocking the CPU might improve performance, but it would also void the warranty and might not bring much (or any) in-game performance boost. It's all up to you in the end, though. :p 
a b à CPUs
July 25, 2008 12:25:22 PM

For 1680x1050 keep the GTX 260,my old 8800GTX is still kicking in that resolution for me :D 
July 25, 2008 12:32:27 PM

I might give overclocking the graphics a go, although I'll double-check with XFX first and make sure the warranty does cover overclocking. Thanks for the help.
a b à CPUs
July 25, 2008 1:03:02 PM

OC'ng the GPU wont make a noticeable difference in games.
July 25, 2008 5:31:23 PM

It should with this card. Tom's recently did a review where it showed the OC'd GTX 260 tying or beating the performance of a GTX 280.
July 25, 2008 5:36:21 PM

Get another GTX 260, unless you're willing to get a QX series processor or overclock a q6600 or q9450.
July 25, 2008 5:40:41 PM

If you use Vista, play Crysis on All High on DX9 instead of DX10. Only use DX10 if you want to up some settings to Very High. From playing DX10 All High and playing DX9 All High, the DX9 path is much faster.
a b à CPUs
July 25, 2008 6:37:28 PM

OC both the GPU and CPU, you'll see about a 12% average increase in performance, give or take... if you have good ventilation, you can bump the GPU up a lil bit (though they do run pretty hot) and you can rip the ever-living outta that E8400

God Bless
July 25, 2008 11:04:26 PM

I'll try Crysis in DX9 though in-game performance now at All High is very acceptable, I'm really looking to see now if I can get it running with some AA smoothly, so hopefully it will be playable at 2x or 4x with DX9.

My case is a Lexa Blackline and the airflow seems to be quite good, I've got 120mm front intake, 120mm side intake and 80mm bottom intake plus 120mm rear exhaust and 80mm top exhaust and using the case's temp diodes the ambient temp inside case rarely exceeds 20 C, placed just above the graphics it's usually about 30 C and jumps to around 35 C-40 C in games. That's using the automatic fan control for the 260, in nTune I can manually adjust that and I ran it overlocked to about 1180|680 (RAM|GPU) and with the fan at 60% speed and stressing it with Crysis Very High + 4x AA the actual temp of it didn't exceed 65 C (that temp was monitored in nTune so is actual temp, not ambient).

I have heard good things about what you can do with an e8400 even on stock air, and I may get extra cooling if my OC'ing gets serious, but I'm still reluctant to break the warranty so I'll just hold off for now until I'm sure that it's necessary, but by then I'll probably SLI (or maybe a whole new card) and get a new processor.

I'll definitely give overclocking the GPU a try, any tips for a newbie?

Edit: Tried Crysis in DX9, I can now run at All High + 4xAA and is very playable. Thanks for the tip :bounce: 
!