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Upgrade CPU to Quad or replace all

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November 30, 2010 7:33:28 PM

Hello all,
I currently have an Asus P5QPro/wolfdale e8500 3.0ghz 4gb Ram, with crossfired Radeon 4850's and its not getting the job done fully at 1680 - 1920 resolution with COD and ARMA2. They run, and at medium settings are playable, but I need smoother game play and higher fps at high to max settings. Seems to me im bottlenecked on cpu and gfx side, not to mention im tired of ati crossfire support and drivers.

I know I can upgrade to a socket 775 Core 2 Quad, and maybe newer video card. Is the Quad upgrade worth it money and performance wise, as this is old tech now? I need to not break the bank so is it more cost effective to get a new i5 cpu and motherboard or upgrade.
November 30, 2010 9:48:11 PM

Wats your budget for new upgrade?
a b B Homebuilt system
November 30, 2010 10:03:51 PM

It would be better to get the i5. The reason I say this is that the Core 2 Quad does not have Turbo Boost which is a handy thing to have as most games are still single thread programs. The Quad is good for video editing and multitasking but is no match for the i5 especially in single thread applications. If you cant afford an i5 just upgrade your GPU. I would recommend you save your cash and avoid the Core 2 Quad. It wont help you in your gaming.
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a b B Homebuilt system
November 30, 2010 10:35:50 PM

Quote:
I currently have an Asus P5QPro/wolfdale e8500 3.0ghz 4gb Ram, with crossfired Radeon 4850's and its not getting the job done fully at 1680 - 1920 resolution with COD and ARMA2. They run, and at medium settings are playable, but I need smoother game play and higher fps at high to max settings. Seems to me im bottlenecked on cpu and gfx side, not to mention im tired of ati crossfire support and drivers.
I'd upgrade GPU over CPU..... at least just to see.... Try OCing the CPU too... if you don't have an after market cooler, get a Hyper 212 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ~ 30$..... If the new GPU, and OC doesn't lift the bottleneck wait for sandy bridge to launch on 5th of january(becomes available for retail on the 9th Both of those upgrades can be used for a later build... so your money isn't wasted(It might be on the cooler for SB... just because of a difference in brackets)....

Also, what size is your PSU?

Quote:
It would be better to get the i5. The reason I say this is that the Core 2 Quad does not have Turbo Boost which is a handy thing to have as most games are still single thread programs. The Quad is good for video editing and multitasking but is no match for the i5 especially in single thread applications. If you cant afford an i5 just upgrade your GPU. I would recommend you save your cash and avoid the Core 2 Quad. It wont help you in your gaming.
If you are going to upgrade your CPU, do what he says =p....

Quote:
Wats your budget for new upgrade?
+1
a b B Homebuilt system
November 30, 2010 11:16:27 PM

COD, both MW2 and Black Ops, use all four cores of my Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550.

I play both COD:MW2 and COD:BO at a resolution of 2560 x 1600 on a 30" LCD monitor with maxed out graphics settings and the frame rate stays above 60 with SLI graphics cards but the quad core CPU is never a bottleneck.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 30, 2010 11:20:22 PM

Quote:
I play both COD:MW2 and COD:BO at a resolution of 2560 x 1600 on a 30" LCD monitor with maxed out graphics settings and the frame rate stays above 60 with SLI graphics cards but the quad core CPU is never a bottleneck.
Not impressive.... both are low GPU intensivity...
a b B Homebuilt system
November 30, 2010 11:30:53 PM

@motoxguy said "Seems to me im bottlenecked on cpu and gfx side".

How was that determined? Were both cores of the e8500 pegged at 100% when the game was running? If not then the GPU is the bottleneck.
November 30, 2010 11:48:09 PM

Wamphryi said:
It would be better to get the i5. The reason I say this is that the Core 2 Quad does not have Turbo Boost which is a handy thing to have as most games are still single thread programs. The Quad is good for video editing and multitasking but is no match for the i5 especially in single thread applications. If you cant afford an i5 just upgrade your GPU. I would recommend you save your cash and avoid the Core 2 Quad. It wont help you in your gaming.

i agree. pc games won't fully utilize the quad core capabilities for another three years and even then dual cores with hyper threading will still be able to play them. going for the i5 is a smart choice, as it is exactly what i am going for. :-)

quad cores are only good if you intend on doing a lot of things at once, such as music, graphics editing, video editing, etc... all at the same time. and, again, dual cores with hyper threading could easily accomplish this task as hyper threading gives the dual core a "fake" two extra cores.
a b B Homebuilt system
November 30, 2010 11:56:20 PM

Quote:
i agree. pc games won't fully utilize the quad core capabilities for another three years and even then dual cores with hyper threading will still be able to play them. going for the i5 is a smart choice, as it is exactly what i am going for. :-)
What you you reading? the average game uses 2.75 cores.... Bad Company 2 uses 4... =p
Most games are going to move forward(with the exception of call of duty), and move to more cores, and 64 bit game engines....
Quote:
quad cores are only good if you intend on doing a lot of things at once, such as music, graphics editing, video editing, etc... all at the same time. and, again, dual cores with hyper threading could easily accomplish this task as hyper threading gives the dual core a "fake" two extra cores.
no that is what hexacores are for, we use quadcores for gaming.... most games today are going to be pushing into DX10/11.... Battlefield 3(mid-late 2011) will be 64 bit, and only in DX10...! Hyper threading is only possible if the application is threaded properly... my i7's Hyperthreading has done.... roughly 5 tasks, and I've owned it since june... Hyper threading is good, but don't count your CPU as a quad core, just cause it has hyperthreading..
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2010 12:01:16 AM

^ Just going to stick this little info into a reason why he may be bottlenecking. A lot of people who bought BO for the PC is lagging because most of the people who are lagging are the people who are running dual cores. To be honest right now. Upgrade to the quads. (Wait for the SB quads though those will be a better deal) Wait it out and upgrade when SB comes out.

Alot of games are already optimizing for quads. BC2 like Totalnoob said is for quads. Mafia 2 was a game I saw that my CPU was using 60-70% on all my cores on my 955 when running. Napoleon TW and Medieval TW both run for quads (mainly because they're RTS)

The most cost effective upgrade would be to get the Q6600 though if you don't want to spend more than... err 200$?

SB: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...
a b B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2010 12:02:44 AM

Quote:
SB: http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871 [...] s-in-a-row
you know.... I just went to look for that review.... *uses whiney voice* I WASS GUNNA POST IT!!!!

Edit: soooooo bored.... curse this stupid 2.6 gig patch for Bad co 2...
December 1, 2010 9:26:32 AM

@motoxguy dont upgrade anything right now, just wait for Jan and save some cash till then and upgrade accordingly.
December 1, 2010 1:20:06 PM

in the mean time get that e8500 to 4ghz and volt mod the 4850s... should provide a very noticeable bump in performance
a c 83 B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2010 1:21:04 PM

As a general rule, games are limited more by the graphicsconfiguration than the cpu. Unless your games can use more than two cores,(and most can't),then look first to graphics for improvement.

Try running these two 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.

You might want both gpu and cpu upgrades.

For cpu, I suggest waiting to Jan 9 when sandy bridge cpu's will be available.
Read a preview here:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/3871/the-sandy-bridge-pre...

For graphics, there should be some high end Nvidia and ATI launches in December.
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2010 8:16:35 PM

^ January 5th.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2010 8:22:34 PM

9th is the retail date
a c 91 B Homebuilt system
December 1, 2010 8:28:01 PM

Ahh then the 5th is... I could have sworn Tom's did a new article on this.
!