Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Solved

Choice between CPU, Mobo, and Ram or new graphics card.

Last response: in CPUs
Share
April 6, 2010 10:00:33 PM

Hello all!

TL;DR: New quad core 965 BE over OC E8600 or new Nvidia 480 over Nvidia 9800GX2. Which is best for me?


I have a question, I am not too sure if it will fit here, so I will gladly delete it and move it if need be. I am in the market to upgrade my computer some, and I cannot decide what will be the best bang for my buck at the moment.

I have around $500, and am torn between a new mobo, cpu, and ram; or a new graphics card. For the cpu, I am looking at a Phenom X4 965 BE, mobo, and 4 gig of ddr3.

On the graphics card side, I want the new Nvidia 480 when it finally comes out. However, I really do not know which will suit me more.

My current computer is a Intel E8600 OC to 3.8. 4 gig of ddr2 at 1066. A Nvidia 9800GX2. I also have a intel solid state drive, but I don't think that will make a huge difference.

I mostly game, so I know my E8600 is a great processor for that, however I need to start my next generation quad core/ddr3 computer soon. I also know that some games are affected differently by cpu and gpu.

I just would like some more input. Thanks a lot!


April 6, 2010 10:05:53 PM

For sheer gaming power the 480 will give you the biggest boost by far, but you're going to start bottlenecking it soon running on a Core2Duo.
Personally I'd save a bit more and get a new i5/7 setup though.

For various reasons I'd also wait a bit if you do decide to get a 480.

Also which PSU do you have?
m
0
l
April 6, 2010 10:24:52 PM

what is your monitor resolution?

The 9800GX2 is still a good card at low res and you might not see a big difference in fps.
But if your res is high + eye candy you'll see a huge improvment over the 9800GX2 with the 480GTX.
m
0
l
Related resources
April 6, 2010 10:38:13 PM

flaminggerbil said:
For sheer gaming power the 480 will give you the biggest boost by far, but you're going to start bottlenecking it soon running on a Core2Duo.
Personally I'd save a bit more and get a new i5/7 setup though.

For various reasons I'd also wait a bit if you do decide to get a 480.

Also which PSU do you have?


I have a 750 watt PSU.
m
0
l
April 6, 2010 10:38:47 PM

nocteratus said:
what is your monitor resolution?

The 9800GX2 is still a good card at low res and you might not see a big difference in fps.
But if your res is high + eye candy you'll see a huge improvment over the 9800GX2 with the 480GTX.


I have two screens, both at 1900x1200.
m
0
l

Best solution

a c 345 à CPUs
a c 277 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 6, 2010 11:37:53 PM

To assess the possibilities, try a couple of tests:

1) Run your games, but reduce the resolution and eye candy to a minimum. This will simulate what will happen if you upgrade to a stronger graphics card. If your FPS improves, it indicates that your cpu is capable of driving a stronger graphics card to higher levels of FPS.

2) Keeping your graphics resolution and settings the same, reduce your cpu power. Do this by removing the overclock, or by using windows power management to set a maximum cpu% of perhaps 70%. If your FPS drops significantly, it indicates that your current cpu is a limiting factor, and that a faster cpu would help. 3.8 is already a good overclock. A i5 or i7 cpu will be perhaps 15% faster, clock for clock. You would have to do some work to get one safely to 4.0.
Share
April 7, 2010 12:32:50 AM

geofelt said:
To assess the possibilities, try a couple of tests:

1) Run your games, but reduce the resolution and eye candy to a minimum. This will simulate what will happen if you upgrade to a stronger graphics card. If your FPS improves, it indicates that your cpu is capable of driving a stronger graphics card to higher levels of FPS.

2) Keeping your graphics resolution and settings the same, reduce your cpu power. Do this by removing the overclock, or by using windows power management to set a maximum cpu% of perhaps 70%. If your FPS drops significantly, it indicates that your current cpu is a limiting factor, and that a faster cpu would help. 3.8 is already a good overclock. A i5 or i7 cpu will be perhaps 15% faster, clock for clock. You would have to do some work to get one safely to 4.0.


Thank you very much for this suggestion! I always wondered if there was a way to somewhat check what was bottlenecking what. I will do this over the next few days with a few demanding games, and decide which will provide the most power upgrade. Thanks again!
m
0
l
April 7, 2010 1:15:54 AM

Best answer selected by TheLightItBurns.
m
0
l
a c 345 à CPUs
a c 277 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 7, 2010 3:09:58 AM

TheLightItBurns said:
Thank you very much for this suggestion! I always wondered if there was a way to somewhat check what was bottlenecking what. I will do this over the next few days with a few demanding games, and decide which will provide the most power upgrade. Thanks again!



Do post your results.
m
0
l
April 7, 2010 4:02:54 AM

geofelt said:
Do post your results.


Ok, here are some quick and dirty results I got after I got off work. Just a few games, and just normal then lowest possible settings. I used Fraps to get fps.

Farcry 2: I went into firefights, caught stuff on fire.

Normal: max 54, low 15, avg 30.
Lowest: max 105, low 50, avg 90

Dragon Age: Walked around, talked to people, fought stuff.

Normal: max 105, low 25, avg 105
Lowest: max 150, low 60, avg 100

Mass Effect 2: Weird results, I think when it scans the computer whenever I try to adjust things, it will not let me just adjust textures ect. So I got the same results for both norm. and low for the most part. I also think it limits itself to 60 fps. I may have to play around with it later.

Max:60, low 45, avg 60.

Battlefield Bad Company 2: Ran around, drove vehicles, shot people.

Normal: max 70, avg 55, low22
Lowest: max 127, avg 80, low 60.


Those were the only tests so far, I will have to see what happens when I underclock my cpu tomorrow.
m
0
l
a c 345 à CPUs
a c 277 U Graphics card
a b Î Nvidia
April 7, 2010 6:54:09 PM

Good job!

It would appear that your CPU could still drive a stronger graphics card. The 9800GX2 is still a strong card. If you change out the graphics card, get sonething a couple of tiers stronger. Otherwise, you may be disappointed if you do not see a big difference. Such a card would be the 5870 or GTX480.

Some games do limit the FPS to 60. That is a typical refresh rate for LCD monitors, so some of the insanely high FPS numbers will not really show up.

A very strong card will have a good effect on minimum frame rates. I think sporadic drops in FPS are more disturbing than not achieving the max of 60.
m
0
l
April 7, 2010 9:50:27 PM

geofelt said:
Good job!

It would appear that your CPU could still drive a stronger graphics card. The 9800GX2 is still a strong card. If you change out the graphics card, get sonething a couple of tiers stronger. Otherwise, you may be disappointed if you do not see a big difference. Such a card would be the 5870 or GTX480.

Some games do limit the FPS to 60. That is a typical refresh rate for LCD monitors, so some of the insanely high FPS numbers will not really show up.

A very strong card will have a good effect on minimum frame rates. I think sporadic drops in FPS are more disturbing than not achieving the max of 60.


Thank you for your help, I will most likely get the Nvidia GTX480 when it comes out. Even if my CPU bottlenecks it a little bit, it should still make a difference. I am also excited about not having to deal with sli issues in some games, and having some microstutter. Thanks again!
m
0
l
!