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Gaming CPU

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May 21, 2009 10:13:45 AM

Hi there

I'm assembling a new gaming rig and so far I've decided on a pair of ATI Radeon HD 4770's and a P45 chipset motherboard.
What kind of CPU should I be looking for considering those parts and an average/slighty above average budget?

More about : gaming cpu

May 21, 2009 10:24:43 AM

Why don't you go with AMD? My suggestion is to buy a 790 motherboard and Phenom II 940.
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May 21, 2009 10:31:44 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums mate :) 
If u want to CF 2 HD 4770s,then go for a X38 board instead because P45 support CF @ dual 8x mode compared to dual 16x of X38,and it may hit your performance.
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May 21, 2009 10:50:31 AM

Maziar said:
Hello and welcome to the forums mate :) 
If u want to CF 2 HD 4770s,then go for a X38 board instead because P45 support CF @ dual 8x mode compared to dual 16x of X38,and it may hit your performance.



Thank you :) 

That certainly sounds interesting. What kind of CPU would go well with a X38 board?
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May 21, 2009 11:46:28 AM

what sort of budget? what sort of games?
May 21, 2009 12:02:54 PM

mi1ez said:
what sort of budget? what sort of games?



As mentioned, a fairly moderate budget maybe a bit above. Not certain about games as I play a lot of different games both new and old. Well not so much new games at the moment, but that's what the new rig is for :) 

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May 21, 2009 12:49:04 PM

wuggi said:
As mentioned, a fairly moderate budget maybe a bit above.
US$1500~$2000?
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May 21, 2009 12:53:16 PM

A higher end dual core like the e8400 or e8500 are great gaming cpu's.
May 21, 2009 12:57:31 PM

More and more games know tri-core at least so buying a dual-core isn't such a good idea.
May 21, 2009 1:05:50 PM

WR2 said:
US$1500~$2000?



1500 seems about right.


How does a AMD 790 compare to the Intel X38?

Thanks for all the responses so far by the way. This certainly is one of the more helpful communities that I've come across :) 
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May 21, 2009 1:15:17 PM

$1500 will get you a really nice AMD system, and it could even stretch for an entry level Core i7. Do you need a monitor in that $1500? Or what size monitor/resolution do you already have?

I think the 790 chipset has a better future upgrade path than the X38/X48 socket 775 motherboard.

For the 790 motherboards the X3 720BE or X4 940BE are good all round and gaming choices.
May 21, 2009 1:19:50 PM

790 is the highend chipset for AMD socket AM2+ and AM3.
X38 was highend for Intel 775 socket.
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May 21, 2009 2:43:53 PM

hefox said:
More and more games know tri-core at least so buying a dual-core isn't such a good idea.


There aren't too many games YET that utilize more than 2 cores.

With that kind of budget, it wouldn't be too difficult to get into a i7 or phenom II x4 system.
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May 21, 2009 3:44:01 PM

They tested 3 games. Not a huge sampling.

I simply suggested dual core b/c the OP was talking about p45 boards. The higher bus speeds on the high end dual cores will outperform the phenom x3 cpu's in some games. The e8500 will even outperform the i7 in some games.
May 21, 2009 4:04:09 PM

Yes, the games that don't know more than 2 cores, of course. Clock per clock i7 is better than Core 2 duo so is not the case here.
Anyway you can deny this as much as you can but now all the new games know more than dual-core so I really don't see the point of buying a dual-core anymore except if you just need a office pc. Also you have to look for what future application will need, so quad-core is the way to go.
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May 21, 2009 4:18:42 PM

You may not see it, but there are many aspects that go into a build. Budget, application priority, future plans...

And your entire point is based on the fact that their are 2 uses for pc's: games or office. There's a lot more uses than those 2.

Your advice, perhaps is a little ahead of it's time. Games are moving that direction, but they aren't there yet.
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May 21, 2009 4:21:43 PM

hefox said:
Clock per clock i7 is better than Core 2 duo so is not the case here.
How about $ for $? E8600 $270 vs Core i7 920 $280
Crysis Warhead and FarCry2 benchmarks
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May 21, 2009 5:22:03 PM

^ +1

Even the e8400 beat out the i7 920, phenom II quad, and phenom x3
May 21, 2009 5:56:51 PM

^ i'd still prefer the x3, maybe with the cash I save from paying for the e8600 I can buy some LN2.
May 21, 2009 6:13:14 PM

WR2 said:
How about $ for $? E8600 $270 vs Core i7 920 $280
Crysis Warhead and FarCry2 benchmarks



What I get from those benchmarks is that my E8400 is still one hell of a beast!

Yeah, sure some Quads beat it, but by how much? 3 FPS? 5 FPS? Pfff...

E8400, still one of the best chips around.
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May 21, 2009 6:32:30 PM

I don't think there are any games around that recognise 3 cores that wouldn't see 4. the increase from dual to quad is probably down to windows processes being shifted to the 3rd core.
May 21, 2009 9:34:38 PM

aford10 said:
You may not see it, but there are many aspects that go into a build. Budget, application priority, future plans...

And your entire point is based on the fact that their are 2 uses for pc's: games or office. There's a lot more uses than those 2.

Your advice, perhaps is a little ahead of it's time. Games are moving that direction, but they aren't there yet.


Maybe you didn't see that he said clearly that we wants a gaming rig. My entire point was based on the games and I said about an exception for dual core. My suggestion to you is to read the entire article that I gave you and also you can check and see that are many similar. Also all the games from The tech report are shooter no strategy or other types of games.
Are you talking about bugdet? Maybe you missed that but he said the has around $1200 to spend. So no problem to go for i7 920.
Do you want to tell me that your E8400/8500 is future proof? I don't think so. I don't think that from now on the games will know less than 3-4 cores.
May 21, 2009 9:48:01 PM

hefox said:
Maybe you didn't see that he said clearly that we wants a gaming rig. My entire point was based on the games and I said about an exception for dual core. My suggestion to you is to read the entire article that I gave you and also you can check and see that are many similar. Also all the games from The tech report are shooter no strategy or other types of games.
Are you talking about bugdet? Maybe you missed that but he said the has around $1200 to spend. So no problem to go for i7 920.
Do you want to tell me that your E8400/8500 is future proof? I don't think so. I don't think that from now on the games will know less than 3-4 cores.


What the hell are you talking about? Are you trying to say, that ALL OF A SUDDEN, dual cores will be left to cry in the corner? :lol: 

Seriously, Quads have been around for 3 YEARS! Yes, 3 years! And where are your Quad optimized games?

You need to get a reality check: More and more games will become multi-core aware, but that doesn't mean that suddenly Dual Core is the new stone age artifact.

Plus, you are totally ignoring the fact that multi-core is (at least it should) about performance scaling. And even right now, in some games, you see Quads being faster than duals, but you've never seen high-end Dual being a slow poke in ANY GAME.

High-end Duals have at least 2 years of life left in them, gaming-wise.

www.yougamers.com <- go here, and check how many games from 2009, so called "games of the future" actually require anything more than a measly Pentium 4 to run.

5% of them, TOPS. Yeah that's right. we're in 2009 and 95% of games only require a single core to run. And you're telling ME that from now on, games will only be Tri/Quad core pieces of software.

GET REAL.

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May 21, 2009 10:02:19 PM

^ exactly. Current games still don't tap out the dual cores, let alone 3 or 4. The programmers just aren't there yet.

When I mentioned budget, I was speaking in general, not about the OP in specific. You had mentioned there was no point for dual cores, hence the general response.

BTW, nothing is future proof. Technology changes too quick. Even the i7 and phenom II will soon be outdated. That doesn't mean they are useless.
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May 22, 2009 1:35:37 AM

You really should take gaming benchmarks with a pinch of salt however.

Do you usually skip past the test setup part and go straight to the benchmarks? If so, maybe you should read some of the test setup notes first.

Benchmarks are normally run on fresh installations with nothing except the games and benchmarking software. Does that sound like your system?

Can you honestly say you don't install games or download torrents while playing? Or hell just running WMP in the background? This is when the 3rd and 4th cores start to count.

I'm not saying dual cores are bad, but I wouldn't buy one now - certainly not an expensive one. Simple fact is, the industry is slowly but surely moving away from dual core computing, and all it will take is one killer tri/quad game that fails on a dual core to make every dual core obsolete.

Considering how cheaply you can pick up a tri/quad core now, it's well worth consideration if buying a new cpu.
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May 22, 2009 2:48:46 AM

He should get a good dual core now (but not a E8600, which is overpriced) like an E8400-E8500, which will save him a lot of $$$

Then when the 1366 and 1066 platforms actually become mature with better chips and actual software to support it, he should switch to that down the road.
May 22, 2009 3:13:18 AM

OR he could get a Phenom II 940 and a 790 motherboard on Newegg for under $270 which is almost the same price as an E8500 with a P45 board. Here is a link http://secure.newegg.com/Shopping/ShoppingCart.aspx?sub...

I just bought an i7 system so I am not a Fanboy of any brand. The best performance per dollar is usually the best brand to get. With that being said, a PII 940 with an AMD board paired with 2 ATI 4770s would be an amazing system for the price.
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May 22, 2009 3:36:55 AM

I don't think anyone is disputing the price/performance of the phenom II 940. But the point was the best cpu for gaming. The phenom II 940 is not as good of a gaming cpu as the high end dual cores or i7, as the benchmarks above have shown.
May 22, 2009 7:34:42 AM

Everyone is severely underestimating Dual Core, especially the good ones (E8x00).

Plus, multi-core means more than 1.

Look at it like this: It's all like a NASCAR race. Dual core is one car, Quad core is another car. They are BOTH Powerful enough to COMPETE, but one of them will make it to first place.

Hope you get the analogy... How much do you want to bet that you'll still be playing games with a Dual in 2011?

People, more than 90% of games today run on a Pentium 4... In my download rig (Pentium 4 @ 3.2ghz + 8600GT) I can still play ANY (don't mention GTA4) game to date... and not necessarily on low settings.

RECENT Games I tried and played acceptably on my download rig: Mirror's Edge, FEAR 2, COD 4 & 5, and last but not least, Zeno Clash & Tom Clancy's HAWX.

Now if these games from 2009, run ACCEPTABLY on a low-end setup like my download system... imagine how they run run on my OCed E8400 plus 8800GT volt modded @ Core: 730mhz shaders:1750mhz Memory:2060mhz.

It doesn't even cross my mind that this CPU will run out of juice in the next 2 years.

It won't happen.
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May 22, 2009 7:48:30 AM

I don't get it.

I'm gonna take a bet, by 2011, quad-cores will be mainstream. I'd rather invest in a higher clocking, more power efficient Core 2 Duo. Rather faster Ghz for current games, then spending more for more cores.
May 22, 2009 8:10:52 AM

nightsilencer said:
Everyone is severely underestimating Dual Core, especially the good ones (E8x00).

Plus, multi-core means more than 1.

Look at it like this: It's all like a NASCAR race. Dual core is one car, Quad core is another car. They are BOTH Powerful enough to COMPETE, but one of them will make it to first place.

Hope you get the analogy... How much do you want to bet that you'll still be playing games with a Dual in 2011?


I think you have a major problem. Maybe you should read all my post before "talking". Did anybody said that you will not be able to play games in 2011?! Did anybody said that E8x00 are bad?! Stop putting words in my mounth. Of course you will be able to play games in 2011 as you can play games right now with a Pentium 4. But comparing now a Core 2 duo with Pentium 4 in games is another story. The same thing it will happen in one/two years. Now I hope you get the analogy.
If he has the money to buy Core 2 quad/ i7 and wants something future than what's the point of buying a Core 2 duo.
As Jennyh said there are more than the games that are running and as I said on the tests were only shooters. You should check all types. For example http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/charts/desktop-cpu-charts... check this out. OPS!!! All the quadcore from Intel and AMD and even the tricore from AMD manage to beat E8x00.
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May 22, 2009 8:13:35 AM

I reckon the E7500 after OC is a great bargain for games... almost half price.
May 22, 2009 8:54:11 AM

E8400/8500 just about the strongest cpu you can buy for games ofc short of the E8600 but E8600 isnt a 10 20 dollar difference like the 4/5 is and a few instances where i7 and higher end Phi II beat it in 4 core enabled games

In general you can go wrong with E8400 or E8500 for purely gaming esp if you oc it to 3.6Ghz+

Only advantage that the Phi II 950/940 or i7 offers is that if you go with DDR3 ram you have a good bet that you can still be using those parts 2-4 years down the line a bit without having to do a complete overhaul of the computer. Assuming you stay the path of amd or intel cuz one is tri channel the other is dual channel. And that you bought your psu with good headway in the wattage to account for loss of ability due to aging.

Also the quadcores def beat the E8x00 in other types of applications that use all 4 cores, usually :) 

hefox said:
I think you have a major problem. Maybe you should read all my post before "talking". Did anybody said that you will not be able to play games in 2011?! Did anybody said that E8x00 are bad?! Stop putting words in my mounth. Of course you will be able to play games in 2011 as you can play games right now with a Pentium 4. But comparing now a Core 2 duo with Pentium 4 in games is another story. The same thing it will happen in one/two years. Now I hope you get the analogy.
If he has the money to buy Core 2 quad/ i7 and wants something future than what's the point of buying a Core 2 duo.
As Jennyh said there are more than the games that are running and as I said on the tests were only shooters. You should check all types. For example http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/charts/desktop-cpu-charts... check this out. OPS!!! All the quadcore from Intel and AMD and even the tricore from AMD manage to beat E8x00.

RTS games favor powerful cpus also supreme commander is well done in it's ability to use all 4 cores effectively, not all games do even though quadcores have been around for awhile games usually lack support of great support like in sup. cmder. But i mean the difference from E8500 and i7 920 is 5 fps in a game that can easily be played at 24fps (if starcraft is rendered at 23.973~) and that's the fastest rts i know around in terms of game play 24fps is all you need in a rts :) 
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May 22, 2009 9:00:02 AM

wuggi said:
Thank you :) 

That certainly sounds interesting. What kind of CPU would go well with a X38 board?


You can use all Core2 Duo/Core2 Quad CPUs on it.
May 22, 2009 5:52:31 PM

I would get P45 board with Core 2 Quad Q9550 or i7 920 and x58.

If You want AMD then 790 m/b with Phenom II x4 940 or x3 720. I would not go for dual core unless You want to upgrade in years time.

Remember times when first dual cores came out many people sugested sticking witth higher clocked single core instead of dual core. And look at it now you can't do much more then web browsing, office stuff on single core, but You can still play games on old low/mid end dual core. You will not get top performance but still playable. More games are getting coded multithreaded and will make better use of quad cores.
Like for GTAVI quad core is pretty much a must have, Flight simulator X uses quad. Look at recommended specs of new/upcoming games and You will see quad recommended.
For example Terminator Salvation-
Quote:
Terminator Salvation
Publisher: Evolved Games
Developer: GRIN

Minimum System Requirements
OS: Windows XP SP2 / Windows Vista
Processor: Pentium Dual Core E2180 (2 GHz)/AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ (2.2 GHz)
Memory: 1 GB
Hard Drive: 8+ GB Free
Video Memory: nVidia GeForce 8 series/AMD Equivalent (Shader Model 3.0)
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound cards
DirectX: 9.0c
Keyboard & Mouse
DVD Rom Drive

Recommended System Requirements
OS: Windows Vista
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 (2.83 GHz)/AMD Equivalent
Memory: 2 GB
Hard Drive: 8+ GB Free
Video Memory: NVIDIA GeForce series 200/ AMD equivalent (Shader Model 3.0+)
Sound Card: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound cards
DirectX: 9.0c
Keyboard & Mouse
DVD Rom Drive
Controller support: Microsoft X360 USB game pad preferred
!