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Faster Processor or 2nd Graphics Card

Last response: in CPUs
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March 5, 2011 8:25:55 AM

Current Specs:

Win7 x64 Ultimate
Antec 1200v3
EVGA x58 SLI LE
Core I7 920 D0 @ 2.8ghz
6 GB Corsair 1600 8-8-8-24 in triple channel
EVGA GTX 460 Superclock 1GB
2 WD6400AAKS in Raid 0
850W Power Supply
1920x1080 Monitor

So, my system is several years old (Except for the video card), and I'm wondering what would best improve gaming performance. Crysis 2 is coming out, and I might want to play around with a 3 monitor setup on a few games. My processor isn't stable above 2.8, made me a bit sad when I got it, but it did it's job then, though not so much now.

Would I be better off grabbing another GTX 460 and doing an SLI setup, or is my processor the bottleneck right now? If the consensus is that I need a faster processor what do you all think is the best suggestion (using the same socket)?
a c 804 à CPUs
a c 1323 U Graphics card
March 5, 2011 11:08:29 AM

You will get a bigger boost from a second GPU like Dadiggle says above. With an aftermarket cooler you should be able to get more free performance from that CPU with a higher overclock.
a b à CPUs
March 5, 2011 2:31:17 PM

Well I have the GTX460 768MB running at stock speeds and an i7 920 D0 right now running at stock speed 2.66ghz and it seems like it easily runs the Crysis 2 Demo at 1080p w/ max settings inside the demo. But either way, i'd get a second GPU.
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a c 125 à CPUs
March 5, 2011 4:49:21 PM

Second GPU. That Core i7 920 is laughing at your feeble GTX460.
March 5, 2011 6:33:23 PM

Perhaps I should take back my comment about the processor not being stable above 2.8 ghz. Just woke up after staying up all night giving the overclock one more go (after 2 years of sitting at 2.8) Used to be I couldn't keep the voltage below 1.25 and have prime95 not bluescreen on anything above 2.8 ghz.

Now I'm running at 3.6ghz with only 1.235 volts. Makes me feel like a moron, I don't have any clue why it's working now. Something must have settled when I swapped cases a while back. Anyway, it ran prime95 for 4 hours straight without a single error on any of the eight threads.

Sounds like you guys are right, and I just need to get another graphics card to bolster my system. I just need to figure out where to stick it. My motherboard has a funny setup. It goes x16, x8, x4, x8.
March 5, 2011 6:44:08 PM

I've got an EVGA x58 SLI LE motherboard.

And I do have an aftermarket cooler, but it's been so long that I don't remember the brand. It's working fine though - now that the overclock actually seems to be working I think I could go even higher if I up the voltage a bit further. Temps under full prime95 load don't go above 72 with the case fans all on low - on medium the cpu temp drops to 68-69.

ETA:
Yeah, I plan on leaving it at 3.6ghz for right now - it's such a big improvement over 2.8 that I don't even want to bother with going higher. Crysis 2 demo is downloading right now, and If I need some better graphics I think I'll be getting another gtx 460.
a b à CPUs
March 5, 2011 11:42:47 PM

^I download the Crysis 2 demo and graphics are awesome, haven't played it enough to judge if the first crysis was better but you'll be walking around looking at the graphics more then playing I bet, ya there're that good.
March 6, 2011 12:49:00 AM

^

Yup, I'm playing it right now. The graphics are definately better (was playing warhead earlier today) and it runs better than the original on max settings. Doesn't even seem to tax my setup whereas warhad struggles with max settings and vsync enabled.
a b à CPUs
March 6, 2011 1:48:32 AM

^I think the final version will have a lot more settings available in the graphics department rather then just a vague bar asking which general preference you need.
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