Best GPU that a Q6600@3.3ghz can handle?

Current system:

4 gb Ballistix ram
512 8800 GTS

I game at 1920x1200. I like AA, etc when I can do it.

I'm looking at upgrading the GPU. From reading around about the GTX 280/ seems like guys are overclocking these cards on i7 920@~4ghz and running into processor bottlenecks, but only after they've OC'd the GPU.

So on my system:
Is the GTX 280/285 going to perform better than a GTX 260 216 or 4870 1gb?
Does anyone have a OC'd Q6600...what's your experience with the higher end GPU's?

Does it make sense to upgrade just my GPU? Or should I pony up for an i7 system :o (currently I'm thinking upgrade the GPU, and build an i7 system in 2010).
8 answers Last reply
More about best q6600 3ghz handle
  1. Its all relative,
    Any "bottlenecks" which are more correctly restrictions will be caused by the way the architecture works or how the games are coded etc.
    If you had a game properly coded to take advantage of all 8 threads the i7 can process then i doubt there is a GPU built that would give it half a problem.

    You want your GPU to be faster than your CPU in any case, very roughly you need X amount of GPU power to draw and colour the scene then you need another X amount to take care of the AA/AF, shading etc. This is normally the thing that defines how good a card is, does it run fast and can it use lots of Quality settings. You can have cards that run fast but crawl almost to a stop when you enable even modest AA levels. Then there are cards that dont run so fast but dont slow down badly when the AA gets turned on.

    Anyway your CPU should push enough frames through either of those cards to keep you happy, depending on the game and your in game settings of course, and besides you need those kinds of cards at that resolution anyway.
    My Personal preferance would be the 4870 1GB, and i certainly wouldnt be paying out for an i7 system just yet.

  2. Well looks like I found the answer

    It's a good article in case anyone else has the same question.
  3. You are fine your Q6600 is not going to bottleneck your GTX 280/285. I have a GTX 295 with a Q6600@3.2ghz and the difference from a corei7 920@~4ghz with GTX 295 is around 15% faster.
  4. Yeah, that's basically what the article says, especially at 1920x1200 or higher resolutions with the post processing turned up :)

    Well discipline says to wait for a price drop. There's no new games out (that I can't play) and rumor has Nvidia and ATI are going to shake things up with new releases.
  5. There's not going to be any "bottleneck" in any case. PCI-E technically runs at 100Mhz. Regardless of the CPU, the GPU that is paired with it will preform just fine. You could have the worst "stock" Intel CPU out there and still use a 4870X2 with no problems. And when your gaming at 1900x1200 or higher, than a gtx 260, would work fine. I would say in this case, the 4870 1GB is worth it. The main things to think about when gaming are: GPU, PSU, and RAM.
  6. Yeah, I just looked at the 4870 1gb harder today. I'm not sure Tom's is fair to that card. It ranks it with the GTX 260, but the 4870 will hang with the GTX 280 in quite a few games at 1920x1200 with the goodies turned on. In terms of bang/buck, the 4870 is taking names and kicking butt right now too.
  7. Another question is how good do you need to be for good gameplay?
    I like this article for guidance:

    Most lcd's will refresh at 60hz. Does it make sense to try for higher FPS?
    It seems that if you get a duo or quad clocked at 3.0 or higher, you will do just fine.
    There are games like crysis that can't run at 60fps with any sort of a value system.
  8. Well it depends on what games you're playing, and if you're playing multiplayer or not. For example, a lot of competative multiplayer games are based upon the old quake 3 engine (The entire Call Duty series is)...and multiples of 125 fps are a sweet spot on that engine. It has to do with the way the game calculates your position in space. Anyway if you're interested, google it or checkout They've got some articles on it. But at the end of the day, if you're running 125fps (or a multiple of that 250, etc) you can jump higher, move faster, etc.
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