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Processor Upgrade Suggestions i7 vs Phenom II...etc

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March 1, 2009 1:36:22 PM

I am looking to upgrade my current system, and wanted to get some suggestions as to what would be the correct upgrade path from where I currently am. This will be only a gaming system.
After doing a lot of research on this, I cannot decide on the i7 build or the Phenom II build. I have the money to go the i7 route, but it seems I might get similar performance from a Phenom II build and save some money. Even though I can afford the i7 build, I would definitely entertain the option of saving money for similar performance. I probably won't OC, although I have toyed with OC in the past, and won't completely rule it out of my purchasing decision.
I play a lot of WoW and a little of other FPS games, COD5, World in Conflict, Crysis, would be some examples of games I want to have the ability to play well.
I currently have a 26" and 22" Samsung with the 26" as the focused SLI display. I do keep things like ventrillo, guild website, dkp excel spreadsheets, etc... up on the 22" while playing Wow on the 26".

I am running an AM2 64 5600+ with 8 GB DDR2 Corsair Dominator (Cas Lat 4.4) on an MSI K9N SLI v2 board.
(2) 8800 GT's in SLI. I use an Antec Neopower 550 PS and (2) WD caviar 7200 sata drives in raid 0.

I have always been able to see the clear winner where money is no object build and best bang for the buck build and built my systems accordingly. But currently, I cannot seem to get a clear grasp of that as of today.

I have good gaming performance atm, but I am looking for a significant increase at a bang for your buck price point. Or I am willing to jump and drop some coin if that's what it is going to take to get that performance. I want the best gaming performance I can get, but don't have to have the absolute best that's out today for double the money and 3-5% performance increase.


Native res is 1920x1200 and my goal is to game at with high to very high settings turned on and good/great fps.

Any suggestions in an upgrade path would be greatly appreciated.

Tak
a c 83 à CPUs
March 1, 2009 9:15:31 PM

If your motherboard supports it just purchase a Phenom II processor. The I7 will require a new motherboard, cpu, and DDR3 memory. A Phenom II upgrade wins cost/performance without a doubt if thats the case.
Related resources
March 2, 2009 5:34:13 AM

1.

http://global.msi.com.tw/html/popu [...] index.html
remember ----> Beta BIOS(A7390AMS.123)
The upgradeable BIOS allow the previous Socket AM2+ mainboard to support the AM3 and AM2+ 45nm processors....
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2009 12:37:14 PM

http://global.msi.com.tw/html/popup/MB/45nm/en/index.ht...
Here is a better link, and your board is listed as one that the new BIOS will add support for the Phenoms on your board.
My advice, simply upgrade the processor you have now with a PII.
Personally, I would buy the 940 with the unlocked multiplier.
After that, I would start looking at better GPU solution.
The old 8800GTs, even in SLI, are becoming a little dated if you are a high res, high detail type of demanding gamer.

PS, at where you are, there is really nothing that is going to give you a lot of bang for your buck. Nothing. No matter what you upgrade to, the benefit you see is not going to be mind bending, as you have a decent system now. You may want to just keep going with what you have for a couple/three more months and see what is available.
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2009 1:38:34 PM

where did the O.P. say his board was the platinum model????? check your links again.
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2009 2:14:40 PM

Well, as far as I can see, he didn't say anything about a "Platinum" model.
And we didn't post anything specifically about a Platinum model either.
Where did you get that?
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2009 3:07:53 PM

nevermind i see it at the bottom
March 2, 2009 3:08:48 PM

My board is the last one listed on the chart on the link by jpain.

Thanks for the input guys. Do you think going to the P2 would improve my speed and fps much playing wow with multiple apps up on the 2nd monitor?

I do like to turn up the settings as high as possible and play at native 1920x1200.
a b à CPUs
March 2, 2009 4:30:30 PM

Multiple apps? You bet. A fast quad will help considerably. Not to mention a 3.0ghz quad is going to show a decent improvement over the processor you have right now all around, and the multi-app thing, there will just be no comparison. The Phenom 2's are faster clock for clock than the X2's were, by about 10-25% depending on which benchmark you look at.
I just went from a 4600X2 running at 2.8ghz (overclocked from 2.4) to a PII 920, running at 2.8ghz.
My 3d Mark 06 score went from right at 10,000....to just over 15,000, same video card, BFG 8800GTS 512 OC.
And you can TELL the difference. Yeah, you can really tell the difference.
You could spend more and go i7, but really I would try the CPU upgrade on what you have. I think you will feel you spent your money more wisely, than spending more and really not getting that much more in return.
March 2, 2009 6:02:55 PM

takiat said:
Do you think going to the P2 would improve my speed and fps much playing wow with multiple apps up on the 2nd monitor?



You specifically asked about WoW. Most of that game is not CPU or GPU bound; it is more dependent on your internet speed and latency.

In big cities the world's fastest overclocked QUAD with the best QUAD SLI/XFIRE video card system still won't get more than 20-60FPS on the average if you have just an average internet provider.

Out in the wilds you might get a gain in FPS with a better CPU. But most people don't really care if their FPS goes from 120FPS to 350FPS when they are in the middle of nothing... so we will have to conclude you are more worried about big cities and/or RAID/Dungeons. In which case, as I said before your internet latency will be more important.

Also it would depend on what the "multiple apps" you plan on running. Browsers, e-mail, skype in the background and things like that won't matter. Encoding or folding would.
March 2, 2009 6:50:26 PM

Hello

1. MSI K9N SLI v2 board might have some issues with power demans of PII 940, but 720 x3 is not that power hungry. I have no links to back this up, but some AM+ motherboards can not cope with new high cpu power demans... Since AM+ socket is quit old... and since it seems that MAX wat support is 95W on 9850...
But im not 100% on this.

http://global.msi.com.tw/index.php?func=prodcpu2&prod_n...


2. 720 X3 has also a unlocked multiplier.
March 2, 2009 6:55:48 PM

keithlm said:
You specifically asked about WoW. Most of that game is not CPU or GPU bound; it is more dependent on your internet speed and latency.

In big cities the world's fastest overclocked QUAD with the best QUAD SLI/XFIRE video card system still won't get more than 20-60FPS on the average if you have just an average internet provider.

Out in the wilds you might get a gain in FPS with a better CPU. But most people don't really care if their FPS goes from 120FPS to 350FPS when they are in the middle of nothing... so we will have to conclude you are more worried about big cities and/or RAID/Dungeons. In which case, as I said before your internet latency will be more important.

Also it would depend on what the "multiple apps" you plan on running. Browsers, e-mail, skype in the background and things like that won't matter. Encoding or folding would.




I have Road Runner Extreme 20 Mbps/1 Mbps, so my latency is not a prob. I run lots of mods, for raiding, etc... and I have ventrilo running always. I also run office with a dkp spreadsheet for real time dkp tracking. I also run winamp or windows media player sometimes as well when playing. I do dual box from time to time, but that is an entirely different story.
I use the dual view and play wow in windowed mode, however, its expanded to cover all of my monitor real estate on my 26" and all the other apps are run on the 22" monitor.
I know wow has traditionally not required too much cpu/gpu power, but in wotlk major cities, raids, bgs, etc.... even with the fastest roadrunner that you can buy I see huge dips in FPS. And I used to get 100+ fps pre lich king using one 8800 gt and just the 22" mon running 1680x1050, however at 1900x1200 post bc I am getting around 30-40 ish. Sometimes it even dips below 20. I have used the /consolemaxfps 200 command since i know wow puts a cap and this removes it but to no avail. I would like to be back around 100fps or at least 60-70 with all settings maxed, which obviously cannot happen with the 5600+ / 8800 gt sli configuration. I may have to wait until next generation, but I was looking at possibly upgrading the cpu and getting a 285 for $350, or the 4850x2 for $310 dollars. Only concern with ati is if it would support dual view, like the nvidia control panel allows me to. My guess is it would, so the 4850x2 would still be an option. It does seem so far like the proper upgrade path is to the P2 940, (if that is actually going to increase my fps) and the SLI is still up in the air as no one has gave a recommendation of replacing it for any of the exisiting cards out as of Mar 09.

!