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New GPU with a dinosaur CPU?

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January 29, 2010 12:21:45 PM

currently I have an old skt 939 +3800 x2 with an ati 1950 gfx card.

I don't have the time or money for a full rebuild just now, but to update my system a bit I've been looking at the ati 5770's as they seem very well spec'd card for the £120ish price range I'm looking at (and would be good for when i do get round to doing a full rebuild).

What i'm wondering is would this be a worthwhile upgrade when considering my dinosaur of a processor? What i'm thinking is that I wont see any actual in game improvement, as my processors just not up to the job.

Any thoughts or opinions please?

More about : gpu dinosaur cpu

a b B Homebuilt system
January 29, 2010 1:01:43 PM

Hi newcomer and welcome to the Tom's hardware forum.

You need upgrade both for increase the performance of your machine. Bear in mind that eith a CPU upgrade you also need new RAM, new mobo and new PSU.
January 29, 2010 1:20:33 PM

yeh ultimatley I will be upgrading my whole system, but do you think I would see an improvement by just upgrading my card for now? or would I just have too much of a bottle kneck due to the poor cpu?
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January 29, 2010 1:22:31 PM

My old S939 4000+ CPU couldn't run an ATI 4870 at it's max even when oc'ed to 3 ghz but that was à singel core CPU, your dual core will work alot better, but you would need to manage a 2.7-2.8 ghz clockspeed. Even then you will not be able to max out the potential of the 5770 but you will get much better frame rate then what you're at now! For a temperary upgrade it should be great!
January 29, 2010 1:24:53 PM

paw81 said:
yeh ultimatley I will be upgrading my whole system, but do you think I would see an improvement by just upgrading my card for now? or would I just have too much of a bottle kneck due to the poor cpu?


Yes, for sure!
a b B Homebuilt system
January 29, 2010 2:24:36 PM

paw81 said:
yeh ultimatley I will be upgrading my whole system, but do you think I would see an improvement by just upgrading my card for now? or would I just have too much of a bottle kneck due to the poor cpu?


None, the performance of the rig depends of all components of the system, not only of the CPU or GPU. Like i said up, if you really want a performance increase, you need change all the system, not only the GPU or CPU.
January 29, 2010 3:04:02 PM

saint19 said:
None, the performance of the rig depends of all components of the system, not only of the CPU or GPU. Like i said up, if you really want a performance increase, you need change all the system, not only the GPU or CPU.


I disagree, the system is slow, but the gpu is the most important part when gaming! The rest of the system can cause bottlenecks and that will be the case with his current system, but a 5770 will most definitly increase his game performance! His CPU will be a bottleneck, but his games will run MUCH better. At a later stage he could upgrade his system.
January 29, 2010 4:03:33 PM

thanks for the opinions. I've done a bit of searching online and forund a worrying amount of ppl with 939 based motherboards that have refused to run 5xxx cards outright.

Anyway found an ati 4830 localy for £80 which is pretty comparable to what you can pick one up for online - and so i can take it back easier if its useless :D 

With the Bad Company 2 beta demo I'm currently getting a lousy 12-15 fps average. I'll come back and post the results with the new card!
a b B Homebuilt system
January 29, 2010 4:12:50 PM

Tridec said:
I disagree, the system is slow, but the gpu is the most important part when gaming! The rest of the system can cause bottlenecks and that will be the case with his current system, but a 5770 will most definitly increase his game performance! His CPU will be a bottleneck, but his games will run MUCH better. At a later stage he could upgrade his system.


Install a 5870 with a celeron or sempron, test the system and let me know the results. Install the same 5870 with an i7-920 or P II X4 955 and test the system.

Does you get the same FPS?, finally read this:

1- Building a balanced gaming PC Part 1

2- Building a balanced gaming PC Part 2

The CPU and GPU must be in the same performance level.
January 29, 2010 4:28:46 PM

saint19 said:
Install a 5870 with a celeron or sempron, test the system and let me know the results. Install the same 5870 with an i7-920 or P II X4 955 and test the system.

Does you get the same FPS?, finally read this:

1- Building a balanced gaming PC Part 1

2- Building a balanced gaming PC Part 2

The CPU and GPU must be in the same performance level.


No, really? Are you just pretending to be thick??? Can you actually read?
The CPU will be a bottleneck! But it will be a great improvement over his current ati1950! And when he decides to upgrade his entire system his gpu will at least be up to date.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 29, 2010 4:47:06 PM

Tridec said:
No, really? Are you just pretending to be thick??? Can you actually read?
The CPU will be a bottleneck! But it will be a great improvement over his current ati1950! And when he decides to upgrade his entire system his gpu will at least be up to date.


Quote:
The CPU will be a bottleneck


Yea, i read that, and maybe he can get a better performance, but IMO don't have sense spend money in an old card till he can upgrade the CPU and the other components.

Quote:
ppl with 939 based motherboards that have refused to run 5xxx cards outright.


Himself says, the 5xxx isn't more an option. He will buy a 4830, that is equal or more old that my GTX260

Quote:
when he decides to upgrade his entire system his gpu will at least be up to date.


With a 4830 i don't think that.
January 29, 2010 4:54:44 PM

saint19 said:
Install a 5870 with a celeron or sempron, test the system and let me know the results. Install the same 5870 with an i7-920 or P II X4 955 and test the system.

Does you get the same FPS?, finally read this:

1- Building a balanced gaming PC Part 1

2- Building a balanced gaming PC Part 2

The CPU and GPU must be in the same performance level.



I agree with Tridec here, and here is my reasoning:

try a 5870 with a Celeron, you might get 10 FPS
try a 5870 with a Pentium 4, you might get 15 FPS
try a 5870 with a Core 2 Duo @ 3.0, you might get 30 FPS
try a 5870 with a core i7 or core 2 quad, you might get 45 FPS

BUT

try an ATI x1300 with all of the above CPU's and you will not get past 15 FPS...

@ OP, you WILL benefit from upgrading the video card BUT it will not be to the full potential, when you upgrade the motherboard/CPU/RAM, you will see the full potential.

Athlon x2 3800+ with 1950 video card = 12 FPS
Athlon x2 3800+ with 5770 video card = 30 - 35 FPS
Phenom II x4 955 with 5770 video card = 55+ FPS

ALL of the above are just examples, but you get my point...
January 29, 2010 6:43:32 PM

well the 4830's in - Fps on Bad Company 2 beta are averaging about 18 now so not a massive increase - However visial quality is greatly improved, I'm guesing as the now I'm running on DX 10 rarther than 9.

Game is also much more playable as doesn't grind to a halt when stuf starts blowing up. All in all £80 well spent if it gives one last lease of life to my PC before I have to do a full rebuild
January 29, 2010 7:00:04 PM

Glad to hear things are a bit better, you could always try overclocking your CPU a bit for some extra performance. If you need some help, I could probably help a bit. Greets Dylan
January 29, 2010 7:22:32 PM

i upgraded from a X1950 pro to HD4830 also. The CPU was quite similar.

The difference was legendary, all graphical settings go to max now. The FPS might not improve, but the graphical quality is alot better.

Also, when i build a new machine i will have the HD4830 left to use, so no loss really.
January 29, 2010 7:36:16 PM

That's what I thought! You should be able to bump up your CPU to 2.5/2.6 ghz by increasing your vcore to 1.45v, droping your ht to 3x, uping your CPU from 200 to 250 and setting your CPU multiplier to 10x, you might need to decrease you memory speed a little but you should be able to use these setting on your stock heatsink!
January 29, 2010 7:53:09 PM

Quote:
The difference was legendary, all graphical settings go to max now. The FPS might not improve, but the graphical quality is alot better.


This hits it exactly on the money. A more powerful graphics card will allow you to turn on more eye candy (maxxing settings at your current res) because those are functions of the GPU. The logic processing and other non-drawing related processing, which are handled by the CPU will still cause a bottleneck which won't allow you to get past a certain FPS.

The BFBC2 Beta is quite taxing, so don't be surprised that you are getting low rates. You didn't mention what Resolution you play at but I bet if you lower it (just as a test), your CPU will be able to process it better thus resulting in a bit higher FPS (gain of 10 or so, depending on res).
January 30, 2010 11:43:30 AM

Thanks for the offer Tridec but my CPU just doen't want to seem to be OC'd. Have tired the one you sugested and many other seen on this forum and elsewhere. But it seems that if i raise my CPU clock anything over 215 it wont boot or gives me the BOSD. If you have any idea about where I'm going wrong though I'd love to hear them!

I've never been one of these ppl has always has to have the newest & fastest - pricing it up last night and recon I could get all and need to get a quad core AM2 system up for arround £200
January 30, 2010 12:39:46 PM

You need to lower your HT (hyperthreading) to 3 or maybe even 2!
January 30, 2010 2:23:48 PM

OO have tried lowering it to 3 before but never 2 - i'll give it a shot and see what happens!
February 1, 2010 10:22:51 PM

Well tried the OC you sugested but still no joy. Think I'l just call it a day on trying as at uni just now so need my PC for actual work aswell so don't want to accidentally kill my PC.

Back to the gfx side though - tied out COD: World at War with my new card and what a diffrence! Used to struggle getting 20 fps and now getting an average of arround 45 at max settings. Not quite rinning smoth as silk and sometimes does take a bit of a dip into the low teens when things start getting a bit hectic sometimes, but it looks so dam good now I can hardly believe it!

The blurb EA released with the bad company 2 beta said to expect performance enchancements and tweaks and so I'll wait to see what performance I get with the retail, if its still not up to scratch I'll start saving for an upgrade. Recon i'll definatley updrade by the end of the year though as I can see the new Medal of Honor being a bit of a killer in terms of minimum spec
February 1, 2010 10:29:29 PM

Oh and I wanted to ask sorry, do AMD still do the whole Intel equivalent thing with naming? If so does that make my +3800 x2 equivalent to a 3.8ghz dual core Intel chip?
February 2, 2010 3:33:01 AM

Not any more, but when your chip was made they did.
February 2, 2010 11:56:59 AM

paw81 said:
Oh and I wanted to ask sorry, do AMD still do the whole Intel equivalent thing with naming? If so does that make my +3800 x2 equivalent to a 3.8ghz dual core Intel chip?



trick question, Intel never even made a 3.8ghz Dual Core Chip
!