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Should i upgrade my CPU or GPU for better Gaming ?

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November 9, 2008 8:56:49 PM

Hello Every1,
I will be upgrading my PC after a few months, but i cant decide this!
I have this big problem that i keep on thinking about it. I dont know weather to upgrade my CPU or my GPU
for better gaming or a BIG boost in performance.

My Main specs are;
AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3Ghz
MSI K9A2 Platinum
HIS ATi Radeon 4850
Corsair 4GB DDR2 (with 800 bus)
Corsair HX 520w Psu

For Gpu i am planning to get 4870 or CFing my 4850 & for CPU im planning for Phenom 9850 or 9950 or the new upcoming CPU's on Jan 2008.

& 1 more thing,
I've been searching almost every reviews & guides that if my Corsair HX 520w Psu can support a 4850 CF ? & yet i get more Nos than Yes s . (& wat i think about it is that No it may not support but my Psu is Modular so maybe it can. Wat do u ppl think ?

More about : upgrade cpu gpu gaming

November 9, 2008 9:11:11 PM

your psu may not support a really large vedio card such as the x2

i would go with the crossfire - lower end gpu's use far less power and your psu is small for the X2

depends on the game - you could crossfirex a 4870!






November 9, 2008 9:13:44 PM

so u mean i can crossfire my 4850 with the same Psu ?
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November 9, 2008 9:22:54 PM

I think he meant to Either purchase a 4850X2 or use crossfirex and pair a 4870 with your 4850.
I think your GPU is awesome and you should be good to go for alteast half a year, I would wait for the newer AMD processors before going phenom.
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November 9, 2008 9:24:49 PM

I think the manufacturers recommend a minimum of 550W for crossfired 4850s. You might get away with it because that Corsair is a very good PSU, but you'd be running it right on the edge.
In a few months, prices and available offerings may be very different than they are today. I'd watch for deals on a quality 650W-750W PSU; this will give you lots of options down the road.

November 9, 2008 9:33:36 PM

taimur_111 said:
so u mean i can crossfire my 4850 with the same Psu ?



you can use the 4870 as you main card, for some games crossfire may not work well

then you crossfire your 4850 for most games and you see a performance boost compared to the 4870

looking at your system the 4870 should work since your cpu does not use alot of juice

if you have 8 raptors in raid10 then your have a power issue! if you have ony 1 hard drive you should be ok with that psu
November 9, 2008 9:49:13 PM

From what he has already got i think it depends on his monitor as to if it's even worth upgrading. If hes only on like 1028 X 768 or 1280 x 1024 etc it's not realy worth an upgrade as there would be hardly any difference for the amount hes spending.
Plus for gaming how many quad core games are there..in most games a faster clocked dual will do better than a quadcore and be a lot cheaper.
I'd save the $$$ for 6-12 months then upgrade.
November 9, 2008 10:03:28 PM

games only use 1 or 2 threads and the phonom is junk - belinda i think that is what you said?

the 3000 is better and it can be run faster per core - amd hopefully will make some decent cpus next year

as far as monitor it does not matter his question is what in my computer should up grade for better gaming - the answer is almost always the gpu.

the next question is how - by adding 2 or buying a new one
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November 9, 2008 10:13:14 PM

first of all AMD is weaker than intel, u can get better odds with asus mobo+intel duo than taht since u can ez oc the duo.

but in your case, i wouldent up anything, id save cash and make new system in about 2 years if u can wait that long.

and in 2 years, well we will see.
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November 9, 2008 10:19:51 PM

taimur_111 said:

& 1 more thing,
I've been searching almost every reviews & guides that if my Corsair HX 520w Psu can support a 4850 CF ? & yet i get more Nos than Yes s . (& wat i think about it is that No it may not support but my Psu is Modular so maybe it can. Wat do u ppl think ?


Buy another HD 4850. The minimum recommendation for HD 4850 CF is 550W, but that recommendation is made to accommodate so-called 550W PSUs like these models from Coolmax and Rosewill which deliver only 35A on the 12V rail. Your 520HX can deliver 40A, so it's actually more powerful than those two.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817159026
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817182010

LOL at "my Psu is Modular so maybe it can". Modular means you can detach the cables you don't need. It doesn't say a dashed thing about how powerful the PSU is and how many cards it can handle. And, in case you were wondering, painting the PSU yellow doesn't make it more powerful either :) 

Don't combine HD 4870 + HD 4850, it will dumb down the HD 4870 and you're just wasting the price difference.

The good news is your MB is perfect for Crossfire, it does it at 16x+16x just like the X48 motherboards.

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November 9, 2008 10:26:27 PM

Your processor is fine, a Phenom would be a downgrade, or at least no better than what you have for gaming.
Buy another 4850 and go crossfire, that will give you the biggest performance boost for the money.
Hope you have a nice monitor though, if you are limited by resolution, then you really don't need anything....except a nice monitor capable of supporting the resoltutions you be able to run with crossfire.
November 9, 2008 10:29:29 PM

iv got Flat 21` CRT.... its old but it stil works f9
November 9, 2008 10:32:59 PM

LOL at "my Psu is Modular so maybe it can". Modular means you can detach the cables you don't need. It doesn't say a dashed thing about how powerful the PSU is and how many cards it can handle. And, in case you were wondering, painting the PSU yellow doesn't make it more powerful either :) 

ahahahah thx man.... i thought it de same as u said lol
November 9, 2008 11:29:14 PM

yea everyone knows you have to paint em red to make em more powerful.
November 9, 2008 11:51:46 PM

i would think about waiting for the Deneb release that is supposed to happen late this month. the clocks is going to be 3 GHz, and the price around 300-400. That would probably be the best upgrade, because then you have room for the CF 4850's.
November 10, 2008 7:41:40 AM

I've changed from a x2 6400 to a phenom 9550 in my main machine.

The crysis demo ran fine in 19x12 with my 4870. However, CnC Kanes Wrath is noticably slower when there are lots of units to work the AI out for and I had to go back to the x64 on friday as the phenom couldn't cope with a true 1920x1080p .mkv film I had (720 works fine - just wish the codec could offload onto the vid card)

Personally I'd stick with the x2 6000 for now. The power saving features on the phenom are pretty good (my x2 couldn't set individual core voltages for example), but for raw performance on single threaded apps, it's a little dissapointing.
November 10, 2008 12:42:31 PM

I thought those ATI 4850/4870's did do a lot of the decoding of them .mkv files? Or is that depending on what player you are using??
I assumed they did, i've got a 4850 and assumed they did but have not tried any of the HD file types.
Sorry if i'm highjacking the thread asking this.
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November 10, 2008 12:49:39 PM

550w @ 80% efficiency = 440w
November 10, 2008 2:17:29 PM

I thought crossfire/SLI only worked with the same video cards. I didn't know you could mix and match. Obviously you can't do nvidia and ati but i didn't think two different ati cards would work either.
November 10, 2008 3:07:10 PM

Belinda said:
I thought those ATI 4850/4870's did do a lot of the decoding of them .mkv files? Or is that depending on what player you are using??
I assumed they did, i've got a 4850 and assumed they did but have not tried any of the HD file types.
Sorry if i'm highjacking the thread asking this.


I'm using VLC with it's default codec - I'm sure for blu-ray that the ATI drivers will take over the decoding work, but watching the resource meter (the built in CPU meter on my G15 keyboard is very handy for checking which apps are multi-thread) on every mkv I have they all rely on the CPU fairly intensively.

If I'm hijacking the thread too much, please PM me if you have a solution - I like the power-saving (and therefore noise reduction) of my Phenom and want to keep it as my main CPU :D 
November 10, 2008 3:23:37 PM

What resolution is the of your 21" CRT anyway? I have a 5000+BE OCed to 3.2GHz and a 512Mb 4870 . I am playing most games at 30+ FPS (Fallout 3, Bioshock, Dead Space, COD4, COD5 demo, Left 4 Dead demo) with max detail at 1680x1050. Crysis is the only game that still plays in the 20-30 FPS. It doesn't seem like you would gain much by going to a 4870, unless you were wanting to go all out for a 4870X2. I don't think a Phenom would benefit you much at all. It might even produce slower FPS in some cases since most games don't seem to be written for quad cores.

I had thought about upgrading to Phenom myself, but have decided to wait and see what the next generation of AMD cpus bring to the table. If AMD is still lagging behind Intel, and it appears they will be, I might make the switch to Intel.
November 11, 2008 12:45:27 AM

i mostly play on 1280 x 1024. After reading all of the comments...... i guess i'll go for CFing de 4850.
November 11, 2008 1:32:05 AM

taimur_111 said:
i mostly play on 1280 x 1024. After reading all of the comments...... i guess i'll go for CFing de 4850.

I was all for recommending crossfire HD4850, until seeing you play at 12x10 res. Isn't one 4850 enough? I wouldn't expect too much benefit from that second 4850 at that res and your system.
November 11, 2008 4:54:08 AM

30" LCD and 4870x2 FTW! Use your CRT for a second monitor or a paperweight.
November 11, 2008 6:59:34 AM

Truthfully with my 4850, i play every game on high in vista 32, but sum times it lags... u know wat im talkin abt. So i just want to improv de performance. I dont care weather a card or a processor would do so most of u guyz tellin me to Cf.
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November 11, 2008 9:15:34 AM

Maybe the lag is due to network latency or game server issues.
November 11, 2008 9:26:02 AM

im talkin abt the new games like crysis warhead, Brothers in Arms etc
November 12, 2008 1:36:39 PM

Did you mention what kind of hdd you are using? It seems like the performance increase your looking for is minimal. A Velociraptor might help with that small performance increase. If the lag you mentioned does not refer to online play, then I think the chances are slim that you will be able to reduce all in game lag without a serious system overhaul. I think all systems might lag on occasion, no matter how powerful they are.

Did you mention what frame rates your are getting now? At 1280 x 1024, I would think most games would run flawlessly with your rig.
November 13, 2008 8:27:00 AM

im using a 80 gb WD :D  lol. Hope thtz not an issue.
+ i dunno how to chk de frame rates, can any1 tell how to ? right now im playing COD5.
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November 13, 2008 12:34:22 PM

taimur_111 said:
im using a 80 gb WD :D  lol. Hope thtz not an issue.


A new hard disk would make your levels load faster, and prevent the games from stopping from time to time to read. I don't think it would make a big difference in fps though. That usually depends on the GPU, CPU, amount of RAM.
November 13, 2008 3:24:40 PM

taimur_111 said:

+ i dunno how to chk de frame rates, can any1 tell how to ? right now im playing COD5.


Like pauldh said, download FRAPS. You can press one of the function keys (F9, I think, I can never remember) and it will track FPS for a set amount of time. Then you can look at the file it created and see the min, max, and average FPS. Post your results for some of your games. I am playing COD5, now too, and it runs flawlessly on my rig at max detail , 4x AA, and @ 1680x1050. I haven't actually checked to see my FPS yet in COD5, but I will let you know what I am getting, so you have something to compare to.

aevm said:
A new hard disk would make your levels load faster, and prevent the games from stopping from time to time to read. I don't think it would make a big difference in fps though. That usually depends on the GPU, CPU, amount of RAM.


I agree. He wouldn't get much improvement with a faster hdd, but it sounds like the OP is going for minor improvements anyway. Lets see what his results from FRAPS can tell us.

November 14, 2008 7:10:14 PM

Thought I would follow up with you. I ran the FPS benchmark for 120 seconds 3 times last night and the average was 54 FPS. Again, this is with a 4870 and with my 5000BE @3.11GHz, and I was playing 1680x1050 with max detail and 4xAA. I would think your rig with the 4850 should be more than enough, especially at the resolution you are playing it.

Here are the results from the benchmarks with FRAPS:

Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
6570, 120000, 32, 93, 54.750

Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
6736, 120000, 43, 74, 56.133


Frames, Time (ms), Min, Max, Avg
6297, 120000, 31, 85, 52.475
November 15, 2008 3:59:34 AM

Nice benchmark results. Good min numbers. given those results, the 4850 should be fine.
November 15, 2008 9:02:26 AM

Wisecracker said:
550w @ 80% efficiency = 440w


Not quite, 550w at 80% efficiency means the PSU will pull about 687 watts from the power outlet to convert it to 550W DC.

If you really want to determine how much power a PSU can reliably supply then you'll have to look at the quality of its components to see how much they can handle. Some of the higher end models can go well over their manufacturer's power rating.
November 15, 2008 11:38:17 AM

HEY man i got a really good fps......
1600x1200 res 70fps Avg :D  coooool
November 15, 2008 11:39:43 AM

with 4AA & everything set to very high in vista.....pretty cool
November 15, 2008 12:50:59 PM

taimur_111 said:
HEY man i got a really good fps......
1600x1200 res 70fps Avg :D  coooool


taimur_111 said:
with 4AA & everything set to very high in vista.....pretty cool


Did you use FRAPS?

So, you have increased the resolution all the way to 1600x1200, you are averaging 70FPS, and you are happy with this? But, you weren't happy with the performance at 1280x1024?
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November 15, 2008 3:02:59 PM

turboflame said:
Not quite, 550w at 80% efficiency means the PSU will pull about 687 watts from the power outlet to convert it to 550W DC.

If you really want to determine how much power a PSU can reliably supply then you'll have to look at the quality of its components to see how much they can handle. Some of the higher end models can go well over their manufacturer's power rating.


I don't think it works that way.

The overall wattage rating is 'at the wall'. The conversion to direct current is not made prior to the rating - which is why it is recommended to add 20-30% 'overhead' to the stated rating.

I agree that peak wattage may be greater (and internal components are of primary importance) but peak is not intended for continuous operation.
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November 15, 2008 9:01:01 PM

Nope. Turboflame got it right. Here's an example from PC Power & Cooling's site:

http://www.pcpower.com/technology/myths/

Quote:

Model Efficiency @ 550W Input Power @ 550W
Silencer 750W 83% 662W
Standard 550W 73.8% 745W

For the same output power, the Silencer 750 uses 83W less input power.


That is, if the PC needs 550W of DC and the PSU works at 83%, the input power (measured at the wall) is 550/0.83=662W.


November 15, 2008 9:52:42 PM

Primus462 said:
Did you use FRAPS?

So, you have increased the resolution all the way to 1600x1200, you are averaging 70FPS, and you are happy with this? But, you weren't happy with the performance at 1280x1024?


Well i didn't mean't tht i was not happy with tht res, i just wanted to be more better than this. & i never
used FRAPS or anyother softwares for fps show so....... so i guess now i know how gr8 my card is :D  lol.
anywayz guyz im still stuck with the question UPGRADE ! (cpu or gpu or aaa mayb a HDD)
November 15, 2008 10:11:40 PM

crossfire and sli really are not the best options - that is why i told you to get a 4870



best thing is to sell it and buy a used q6600 system from me with 3870 x2! lol! i just got myself in trouble! joke to mods! do not email me for a used system!

the best thing is the sell yours and get intel system - ebay yours and get a used ebay system
November 15, 2008 10:32:52 PM

ahahahah, sorry dragon, but im AMD fanboy :D 
November 16, 2008 4:00:27 AM

absolutely nothing currently from amd will even push 2 4850's in cross fire, go intel, WWWAAAAAAYYYYYY better
November 16, 2008 2:53:06 PM

hey guyz... i was thinkin abt HDD change so i thought of;
1; Seagate's Barracuda ST3500320AS. 500GB 7200 rpm & 32mb cache.......
2; Western Digital Caviar Black 500 GB 7200 rpm & 32mb Cache.......!!!!

& i guess i'll take de advice for waiting till june 2009 (half a year).
After tht i'll be taking;
1; AMD's new phenom deneb processor (if got any better than 9950)
2; His digital ATI radeon 4870 OCed edition (780MHz)
3; de HDD.

I hope this is the rite decision..... if still any problem then do comment plzz.
November 16, 2008 3:14:57 PM

& 1 more thing......
I dont understand wat exactly will be the benefit from upgrading a 800bus memory with 1066 bus memorys? ( im thinking abt changing my corsair 4 gb 2x1gb DHX 800 bus with a dominator )
November 17, 2008 3:02:31 AM

the diff between 800mhz and 1066mhz is neglectable cause the 800mhz ram has tighter timings, personally go 800 like mine at 4-4-4-8@2.0vlts
!