Balancing the system

I finally sold my Pentium D 950, and got my money from Amazon for it. Now is the time for decisions. Problem is I can find NO data reguarding the point of diminishing returns for a CPU/GPU combo.

At current my system is as follows:
Asus P5N-D BIOS 1101
Crucial PC2-6400 (800 Mhz) 2Gb
Corsair TX 750

My budget is ~$150 or so. My computer is used about 50/50 for gaming and heavy office apps (Excel, and some C++ programming) so I want a quad. Problem is, as I said before, I want balance so neither CPU or GPU gets bored waiting on the other. I'd like just enough overhead for SLI when I find more gainful employ.

My games most demanding games are:
Oblivion with every "make it pretty" mod ever made.
Fallout 3
COD 4 and MW2

Premptivly, lets avoid the "Go AMD and/or i3,5,7" suggestions. And I know I need more RAM.
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  1. buy a cheap used q6600 with a cooler and overclock it to 3.2ghz it ll act like q9550 i think ... and add 2gb with remaining money
  2. I'm not sure you can get any of those for $150. The Q6600 normally goes used for $150, not sure what the price of the 8400/9400 are. Getting a fast dual core might be the only route you have.
  3. you'll never get a perfect balance as it will change from game to game, especially if you also want the 'overhead for sli'

    Get what you can afford, eating is more imporant than gaming.

    Agree with the Q6600 comment, will be plenty for your gpu, and get the extra ram you already know you need.

    what res are you playing at?
  4. For got my res. I generally play at 1600x1200, or 1920x1080 (if no body will be in the living room for a few hours :) )

    Also, I know that "perfect balance" dosen't exist, but lets say 15 random titles (barring stuff like FSX) what combo is the most balanced?

    And to the monkey whom makes this a bakers dozen (its only funny if you already understood it) the ~150 budget already takes into account my 3000 calorie BMR.

    As for the Q6600, I am OC challanged. So going from 2.4 to 3.2 Ghz probably won't happen. Plus all the Q6600s one the market are proably going to be a gamers rejects as they seek 4Ghz and test core after core for that potential.
  5. buy q8200 that ll b near 150$
  6. id say go for a q8400 or 9400 since your OC challange u can easily raise them upto 3.0 or 3.2 ghz with stock voltage with ease and will have no problem feeding your GFX stay away from dual core unless u are planning on upgradeing again in a year cause most games comeing out take advantage of quad cores. Unless you can find an E8500 for around 100 and then grab somemore ram. But IMO go for the q8400. The Q8200 might not give you what your are looking for with its 2.33 ghz clock and they arent ver overclock freindly with there low multiplier so stick with the Q8400 or 9400 they both the sam processor just one has 2 more MB of cach if u find the Q9400 for only a cple dollars more get it if not the Q8400 with a minor OC would be fine.
  7. azconnie said:

    And to the monkey whom makes this a bakers dozen (its only funny if you already understood it) the ~150 budget already takes into account my 3000 calorie BMR.

    You'll be surprised how many people ask for upgrade advice after stating that they have absolutely no money but want to spend $xxx on a component. Ok its not actually that many, but its enough to have to ask the question. The Q8xxx's will be ok, obviously the faster the better, i'd suggest that diminishing returns start to happen much higher up the CPU scale, the benefit is probably inversely proportional to the pricing gaps.

    The Best Buys for Jan 2010,review-31791.html will help give you some idea, at your resolutions you are more gpu than cpu limited, if you are looking at the difference between a Q8300 and a Q8400, personally i'd get the slower cpu and get another 2GB. Unless I knew I could spend another $50 in a few months in which case get the better CPU and buy the RAM later. I think that +2Gb will give you more than +0.16Ghz, or a 0.5 multiplier step. Unless you are only using a 32bit OS, in which case 1Gb more would be all you could really use. But it would still help a lot.

    Well that was not as clear as I'd hoped it would be, no wonder the missus hates it when I start looking at upgrades and wants me to just get on with it.
  8. Beginning with 13, I know what you mean about people telling you to get on with an upgrade. I have been making noises about a new CPU since I got my GTX 260 in Sept. and only got 26 FPS in ET:QW because of my old CPU.

    As for the rest of you, thank you for all your help. The best prices I could find for the Q8400 and 9400 were 180 and 190 respectivly. Then the gods saw fit to take pity on me and some guy listed a 14 mo. old Q9450 for $180. Expected to arrive between Jan. 25 and Feb. 1. I hate Amazons' vague shipping estimates.

    Happy gaming to all, and to all a good match.

    I think I owe someone money now.
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