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What is the cheapest CPU for 5970?

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April 16, 2010 10:10:52 PM

Hello,

I am wondering what is the cheapest CPU that can be used with a 5970 without being the bottleneck (even in newer games like metro2333). I wanted to get an i5-750 but my budget is a little tight and I dont want to buy something I wont even be using anyways.

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April 16, 2010 10:20:05 PM

If you can't afford a CPU to go along with your GPU maybe you should get a crossfire board (8x/8x or better), and a single 5870 and save up for a 2nd.

A 5970 is the strongest card out there, you're going to want the CPU power to back it up.

If you play at a high resolution using eyefinity or a 30" monitor then a Phenom II would do ya fine.
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April 16, 2010 10:22:26 PM

Well, depending on what it is you're trying to do, if you're strictly looking for Eyefinity support, you can probably step down into a socket 755 platform. There's some really good deals to be had out there on Core 2 Quads. If you're in it for the gaming, you really may be better off stepping down to a 5830 or 5850 and putting the money into your CPU.
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April 16, 2010 10:28:41 PM

mrossco said:
Well, depending on what it is you're trying to do, if you're strictly looking for Eyefinity support, you can probably step down into a socket 755 platform. There's some really good deals to be had out there on Core 2 Quads. If you're in it for the gaming, you really may be better off stepping down to a 5830 or 5850 and putting the money into your CPU.


im sorry, but that is a really bad idea.

OP, a phenom II 955 would be a litle cheaper. you could always get a 550/720 too, nethier should be any significant bottleneck if overclocked. and you can always get a better CPU later on.
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April 16, 2010 11:06:30 PM

Thanks for the replies!
Its not that I dont have the money, its more that I can't really justify spending too much. I'm asking this question because I want a build that will be future proof in terms of gaming. For the other uses of my computer, my current thinkpad x61 (with a L7500 c2d) is plenty fast. I mean, as long as i can watch some movies, right my reports and run Eclipse, I dont have a use for a really good CPU.
I don;t think ill be using eyefinity and my monitor is a 24in 1920x1200. I've been told that 5970 is overkill atm, but I am thinking in a few years it may be worth it as I dont intend to upgrade (possibly for a significant amount of time since I'm graduating next year)
I would like your opinion on if this (low-end CPU/ 5970) is a good idea at all. Based on my knowledge, if a c2d is fine for anything other than gaming, I should only spend enough money on my CPU to ensure it doesnt bottleneck my video card in gaming correct?
Also keep in mind that I don't intend on overclocking anything. Would the aforementioned 550/720 be an option at stock clock? What about i3?

Thanks again all!

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April 16, 2010 11:44:50 PM

matt314 said:
Thanks for the replies!
Its not that I don't have the money, its more that I can't really justify spending too much. I'm asking this question because I want a build that will be future proof in terms of gaming. For the other uses of my computer, my current thinkpad x61 (with a L7500 c2d) is plenty fast. I mean, as long as i can watch some movies, right my reports and run Eclipse, I dont have a use for a really good CPU.
I don;t think ill be using eyefinity and my monitor is a 24in 1920x1200. I've been told that 5970 is overkill atm, but I am thinking in a few years it may be worth it as I dont intend to upgrade (possibly for a significant amount of time since I'm graduating next year)
I would like your opinion on if this (low-end CPU/ 5970) is a good idea at all. Based on my knowledge, if a c2d is fine for anything other than gaming, I should only spend enough money on my CPU to ensure it doesnt bottleneck my video card in gaming correct?
Also keep in mind that I don't intend on overclocking anything. Would the aforementioned 550/720 be an option at stock clock? What about i3?

Thanks again all!


you are right, but a bottleneck IS going to occur on such a high powered GPU if you dont spend enough money. a 550BE should be fine at stock, though if you play any games that are heavily multi-threaded you will certainly be losing some performance. at 3.1ghz though it should be capable of supplying the GPU with enough processing power. i would certainly recommend overclocking though.
a core i3 would be an awful choice though. they are weak, low-end processors. not path worth taking.
but if you are going to spend that much on a GPU, it seems silly not to get a decent quad. a 955 isn't that expensive in comparison. and with that you certainly don't need to worry about a bottleneck.
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April 16, 2010 11:52:39 PM

I3 is great, but if your looking for the most all-around bang for the buck i'd go with a single 5870 and a Phenom II 955.

http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/radeon_hd_...

Give that a read. As you can see the dual cores keep up on dual optimized games, and fall behind on quad optimized/cpu dependent games.

You may be best going with a single 5870 and Phenom II. That seems to be the sweet spot. 5870 is already overkill for most games, even at 1920x1080.

Honestly if you want the best all-around performance and future proofing you should go i5/5870 crossfire or 5970.
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April 17, 2010 12:26:47 AM

@welshmousepk: Ya, I understand your point. I'll definitely consider the 955. Would the GA-770TA-UD3 be a viable mobo for use with this and a (single) 5970? Its a very inexpensive board and I'm scared it may have drawbacks im unaware of. Also, would the Phenom X3 720 be a possible alternative to the 955? Any performance difference gaming wise?

@raidur: Well thats just it, I dont really want an all-around system. I really dont need the extra CPU power for dvd encoding and whatever else. For a long time i considered the ud4p/ i5/5870 build but I just today I started wondering if taking a hit in the mobo and cpu department and upping to a 5970 may be worthwhile for my needs.
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April 17, 2010 1:54:41 AM

matt314 said:
@welshmousepk: Ya, I understand your point. I'll definitely consider the 955. Would the GA-770TA-UD3 be a viable mobo for use with this and a (single) 5970? Its a very inexpensive board and I'm scared it may have drawbacks im unaware of. Also, would the Phenom X3 720 be a possible alternative to the 955? Any performance difference gaming wise?

@raidur: Well thats just it, I dont really want an all-around system. I really dont need the extra CPU power for dvd encoding and whatever else. For a long time i considered the ud4p/ i5/5870 build but I just today I started wondering if taking a hit in the mobo and cpu department and upping to a 5970 may be worthwhile for my needs.


That board is a great choice for a budget gaming build. It lacks the frills, but its a meat and potatoes board and a good one.

The 720 only makes sense if your going to overclock it a little because the 440 is just as fast stock and a lot cheaper. With the unlocked multiplier, you can easily OC it to 3.2 Ghz and then it would be worth it. Nice mild overclock. And you might be able to unlock the 4th core also.
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April 17, 2010 3:35:39 AM

as falcon said, the board is fine. it will do the job no problem.

if you dont get the 955 id recommend the 550 first. the higher clockspeed will be better at alleviating the bottleneck than an extra core. so in all but highly threaded games it will offer the best performance. a 720 would only really be worth it if you can get a considerable (3+ghz) OC on it.
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April 17, 2010 3:51:04 AM

Best answer selected by matt314.
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April 17, 2010 3:53:31 AM

Thanks all for replying! I'm tempted to go the 955 route to be safe!
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April 17, 2010 4:00:36 AM

If you do, get the C3 stepping (the 125 watt version) unless the 140w version is cheaper. Last I checked, they were the same price.

edit: both c2 and c3 are 125 watts on the 955. I was thinking the 965. Still, the C3 is the better choice.
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April 17, 2010 4:26:44 AM

no problem matt, happy to help.

i agree with falcon's above post too. get the lower TDP chip and you have a cooler (and hence quieter) chip, with more OC headroom if you decide to try it.
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