No need to upgrade to i5 or i7?

I currently have:

Intel Q6700 2.66GHz~ 3.33GHz
ATI HD4850 ~ overclocked 10%
DDR2 OCZ Reaper HPC 1066MHz 4GB ~ 1167MHz
MSI P45 Neo

So I have been meaning to make the jump to i7 for the longest time but looking at the costs, since I would have to bundle new RAM, Mobo, and Processor, it seemed a bit high. Plus, while my computer was in pieces, my graphics needed an update as well. All new components besides my case and psu ran up the cost.

So I decided after alot of research that i5 was just as good as i7 for gaming which is why I use my computer anyway. And best of all, it lowers the cost. Not to an unbeatable level, but a couple hundred bucks here and there.

Then I was wondering if I kept my current rid and just forgot about upgrading processor and just upgraded graphics and maybe a new CPU cooler, I could save even more!

So my question is, how high of a graphics card could I go with my processor. Its quite fast and I can overclock it to 4GHz with a new cooler, like the Megahalems. Also, wouldn't that processor do just as good as any i5 or i7 processor. Sure plus or minus 5fps but thats pretty negligible.

I could even put on an aftermarket cooler or water cool the card so I can overclock the hell out of it and get even more juice. I've been looking at the ATI 5850's because they have beaten the nVidia 470's in nearly every game and are about 50 bucks cheaper. But could i put on, theoretically, 4970's in crossfire without a bottleneck caused by the CPU?

Any thoughts or advice?

P.S. Ultimately the goal is to have a killer gaming PC that can not only stand up to this new Crysis, but also get more than my measly 35fps on the old one.
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  1. No responses??

    Tom's did an interesting article on comparing different CPU's with different GPU's. The whole article is interesting and includes Crysis but here is the conclusion. Look primarily at the second graph.,2625-16.html

    If you see a flat line with a GPU, that means that the CPU is more than enough and that the GPU is working full tilt. If you see the light go up, then the CPU is holding it back. You don't see this second scenario until you get to a nVidia 295 OC or an ATI 5970. Here, not my CPU, nor the preceding i5 or i7 CPU's are enough because we just don't have the data and it doesn't level off.

    So would not be the conclusion be, stay with my current rig but don't buy above a nVIdia 295 level GPU? Because if i do, I will be holding the GPU back with my dated CPU.

    According the the article, put in terms of numbers. If I go i5 AND have that level of GPU, I would see an minimal increase of 200fps total across the 27 tests that the article ran. But is that worth the extra 500 or so dollars? I'm starting to think not lol
  2. Best answer
    This is just personal preference, but I've upgraded my old system with a new video card, and some small upgrades etc... and it was nice for a while, but it didn't last long. It just isn't as beneficial to me. If I were you, I'd wait until you have the money for an entire new system. Unless, you want to buy a beast card now that you would use in a future system.

    Just ask yourself how long you'd be satisfied with a new card.. and how far down the line you'd want a new CPU. Just try to future proof yourself without breaking the bank is what I'm saying.
  3. Buying a new CPU wont yield you much FPS unless you play GTA 4. Q6700 to a i5 at same clocks may be 2-5 FPS difference.

    Like redechelon said get a new video card.

    Don't look at GTX 295'S they are outdated and don't have DX11 look at the 5830 Or 5850.

    If you are looking for a big upgrade that wont date in 2 years look at the 5970.
    It is a dual GPU but it supports DX11 and you can migrate it to a later system.

    You only noticed the CPU difference if you are in LOW resolutions where you aren't using all of the video card, and the FPS is limited on how fast the CPU can go.

    PS: You will always be limited by some part of your system weather it be RAM,GPU, or CPU. You just get to pick which one. Many people get video cards because the have the greatest effect.
  4. Best answer selected by Elite_47.
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