Hello Toms, I tried to search and the board gave me the finger
Can anyone tell me offhand where the CPU starts to limit the performance of a 4870? I'm currently looking at an E5200, E7200, and E8400. Obviously the less I spend the better, but I want to have the CPU umph to make it all even out. I know the 4850 will give enough power for my resolution, but I only build about once every 5 years, so I'd like to buy as top end as I can afford for extended survivability. (But that's beside the point of the thread...)
go for a quad DEFINITELY if you want to keep your computer for that long
get a q9550 ... i know its about twice as much as the e8400... but you'll get much better performance in the long run with a quad vs a dual... and they can overclock really well too... i have mine at 3.85 ghz
^ Gotta go with thogrom. If you are planning on running it for that long before another build, get a fast quad. It is more money, but in the long run you won't regret it.
And the standard right now that everyone generally agrees on, is 3.0ghz (Intel) is fast enough. More is always better, but at that speed, you are in great shape.
Definitely go quad if you intend to keep that rig for 5 years, but I don't recommend OC'ing it. OC'ing significantly decreases the lifespan of the chip (from what I've seen and heard, often times, over half), so there's a chance a heavily oc'd chip will not last 5+ years. You're choice though.
I did a test on bottlenecking with my system. I underclocked my E8400 all the way down to 1200Mhz (lol), and there was some serious bottlenecking there. However, anything above 2400Mhz+ had very little bottlenecking... so even the E5200 should be fine (though it doesnt have much cache)
An overclocked chip wil not decrease the "usual" lifespan of the chip. Chips are designed to live for decades, closer to a century. Overclocking takes a few years off. A chip only surviving five years is rediculous unless you overvolt the hell out of it.
^+1. The only time life of the processor comes into effect is if youre doing extreme overclocking, requiring LN2 and massive voltage, like the systems K1ngp1n and what not use at the OC torunaments. Those PC's cant even be turned on for more than a few minutes.