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Overclock or Upgrade

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May 3, 2009 2:50:00 AM

So I was playing Fallout 3 yesterday and I noticed some lag. Not a whole lot but enough to irk me. Whenever Ive built my pc I always buy on a budget and generally go for best bang for your buck parts. Here's what I got now:

Pentium Dual Core E2160 1.8GHZ 1MB L2 Cache slightly oc'd to 2.4ghz
EVGA 8800GS oc'd to 680/1900
2GB DDR2 800 GSKILL ram
Gigabyte DS3L P45 MB
Antec Earthwatts 380w PSU
XP SP3 32-bit

Now judging from the system my guess is the CPU is the bottleneck. Ive tried overclocking past 2.4 on the stock hsf without much luck. My case is a NZXT Guardian which is pretty big inside but only has the 1 stock 80mm fan in it. Im wondering if I should invest the money into overclocking it or upgrade to a whole new processor.

I figure to overclock I would be spending $30 on a AC7 or HyperTX or more on a Zalman. Then Id probably need more airflow and I have room for a 120mm and 2 80mm case fans in my case. Thats another $20. So it would be around $50 to overclock to probably around 3.2ghz.

The other option im thinking of is getting an E5200 for $70. It has a stock speed of 2.5ghz and an extra MB of cache. Its also 45nm which might overclock with the stock hsf to 3ghz, although the stock 2.5ghz isnt shabby. I could also futureproof a little with a E7400 at 2.8ghz and 3mb of L2 cache for $120.

So what are your idea's? Overclock? Upgrade? or do you think the video card is the big bottleneck? More ram maybe?

More about : overclock upgrade

May 3, 2009 3:43:51 AM

Since you only have an 8800GS, I'd buy the Xigma wusy recommended, and then run your Pentium into the ground. When it burns out, you become unsatisfied with it, or come into money, upgrade.
May 3, 2009 4:33:02 AM

I game mostly at 1680x1050. A 4850 does seem to be the obvious choice for a graphics card upgrade. For gaming do you think a 3.5 E2160 would be comparable to a 3.5 E5200 or E7200? Would I miss the extra cache?
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May 3, 2009 4:54:12 AM

I'd still buy a big heatsink and OC. It's a long-term investment.
May 3, 2009 5:26:15 AM

the wu'ster shows his face!

same practical suggestion as always :) 
May 3, 2009 5:36:55 AM

Can I have some of what you're smoking? Long term investment? Heatink and OC? :lol:  :lol:  :lol: 

I'm with wuzy here. Get a new graphics card, and you should see some substantial improvement.
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May 3, 2009 5:56:23 AM

SuperFly03 said:
the wu'ster shows his face!

same practical suggestion as always :) 


Why is everyone here suddenly?
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May 3, 2009 5:57:19 AM

Quote:
$32 with rebates for the S1283 actually. Whether saving $30-odd bux or not depends on whether 3.5Ghz is worth it and if a Q9550/E8400 as a possible upgrade in the future.
Well, the stock HSF with improved TIM can handle 3.2Ghz from the E2160, as long as case cooling is sufficient.

I think 3.2Ghz + HD4850 would be the best performance/$ upgrade for now if the 8800GS still isn't sufficient once overclocked


I think that cooler + HD 4770 might be better value.
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May 3, 2009 6:19:48 AM

Go for the 4770, or pay $10-$20 more for the 4850 or 9800GTX/GTX+/GTS250
if Newegg hasn't jacked up the prices yet.
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May 3, 2009 7:04:05 AM

Quote:
Definite not G92s in that price range if taking both heat and OC potential into account.
HD4770 is considered because of the headroom in RV740's 40nm and high rating GDDR5 as well. Although the HD4850 still can go higher with a simple vmod on stock cooling. G92 is obsolete, inferior in every way compared to what AMD has to offer.

I'm currently selling my 8800GTS 512MB. The uneducated still thinks G92 is a good deal over latest AMD offerings.


In terms of heat, both GTX+ and GTS250 runs cool around 50'C idle...cooler than 60'C idle for the 4850.
And they can OC as good as the 4850. Only the 4770 has better OCing potential.

Furthermore, the 9800GTX+/GTS250 rivals or beats the 4850 in every benchmark.

The G92 is an old but still very good model. You can't exactly compare it with the latest AMD offering since the latest Nvidia offering is the GTX200 series.

May 3, 2009 7:22:21 AM

It looks like 9800GTX+ is pretty much on par with 4850.
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May 3, 2009 10:21:32 AM

Quote:

And when I talk about heat I don't mean temperature, I mean heat output in watt which HD4850 and 9800GTX+(GTS250 obviously slightly higher) were around the same (dictated by core and not stock HSF), but RV740 totally dominated with 40nm.


Isn't the GTS 250 a relabeled 9800GTX+?
May 3, 2009 11:55:41 AM

why don't you just buy the cooler, overclock and see how long you could be satisfied with the overclocked system.

After that you can still upgrade to whatever you want and the money for the Xigmatec wont be lost because you can overclock the new cpu again!

I have the feeling that you started the thread wanting to spend a little money and now you ended up buying expensive parts....

I would overclock and wait for next gen Gpu (and maybe Cpu) and buy a new system (with the Xigma) then
May 3, 2009 4:58:48 PM

That's what I meant by saying the heatsink would be a 'long-term investment'. But Wusy is right, of course, his videocard is likely just as big a bottleneck.
May 3, 2009 10:44:04 PM

erdinger said:
I have the feeling that you started the thread wanting to spend a little money and now you ended up buying expensive parts....


I actually wanted reassurance on buying a new processor. I felt that my e2160 had become outdated. I bought my wife a dell with a e7300 and put a 8600GT in it and it seems to scream while mine seems constantly limping. I monitor my msconfig and do virus and registry scans religously and it seems like hers boots twice as fast even though she has a bunch of bloatware starting with her pc.

Ive also gotten discouraged from overclocking but my only attempts have been with the stock hsf with one 1 case fan pushing around hot air. Taking the overclock route is cheaper but more aggrevating, but I think i'll give it a shot from the comments Ive seen posted.

Is everyone in aggrement with the Xig S1283 being awesome? Ive had my eye on the AC Freezer for awhile. The AC Freezer 7 has 3000 reviews on newegg vs the Xig's 800 but then again the AC Freezer has been on the market 4 years. I do realize the AC is 92mm vs the Xig 120mm but I wasnt sure if the design made a difference. Also Ive read if I get the Xig S1283 I should get the XIGMATEK ACK-I7751 Retention Bracket. Is that worth getting too?

Thanks everyone for your input :bounce: 
May 3, 2009 11:05:29 PM

Well actually, with an e2180, you can probably get it up to 2.6 ish ghz with standard cooling... and no voltage increase, you might want to see if that helps before spending any money (i didn't read the whole thread btw - its nearly 1 in the morning)
May 3, 2009 11:11:26 PM

spuddyt said:
Well actually, with an e2180, you can probably get it up to 2.6 ish ghz with standard cooling... and no voltage increase, you might want to see if that helps before spending any money (i didn't read the whole thread btw - its nearly 1 in the morning)


I've managed to get it to 2.4 with the lowest voltage (cant remember what it actually is) and my temps top out around 65c on prime.
May 3, 2009 11:13:33 PM

Quote:
As mentioned before, ~3.2Ghz max. with stock cooling or 3.6Ghz max. with a new 120mm-class cooler (with the upgrade path to overclock a quad).

But playing at 1680x1050 the main FPS increase you're going to get from is from your graphics card as I said before you can either try improve it's cooling to stretch it's overclocking potential or if that still isn't enough then buy a new card which we've discussed extensively above.


Yeah I think im gonna go ahead and buy the Xig and some case fans and OC my cpu and graphics card more to see what I can squeeze out. Thanks for your help Wusy!
May 4, 2009 12:42:56 AM

If you're getting 65C at 2.4, you might want to reseat your heatsink before buying a whole new cooler.
!