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Improving game performance: CPU or GPU

Last response: in Systems
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December 14, 2010 12:44:41 AM

Hello,

I'm looking to improve the quality of my games visually without taking a hit in performance.

At the moment, I have a:

Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E8400 @ 3.00GHz
4.00 GB RAM
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 Core 216 896 MB
650W PSU

So at this time, I'm debating whether I should utilize my SLI capable motherboard and see a significant boost there, or should I jump on the quad core train and get my performance boost there.

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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December 14, 2010 7:22:47 AM

Hello and welcome to the f orums
Adding another GTX 260 will give you more performance than adding a quad core CPU,because most games are GPU limited;however, what resolution do you play at ?
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December 14, 2010 7:45:31 AM

If you got a quad core you might see between 5-15FPS increase in games depending on if they make use of the extra cores (as not all games or applications do). If you got a second GTX 260 you're FPS could gain almost 95%.

I have two GTX 260 (216)s in SLI myself, and if I disable/enable SLI the difference is night and day. Playing Crysis at 1920x1080, Ultra settings (modded .cfg) I get between 10-25FPS with one card, with the second card in SLI I get between 25-45FPS.

Only issue you might get is that if you get a second card, your CPU would bottleneck them some-what, which means you either need to overclock your CPU a good chunk (above 3.5 is what I would suggest) or get a quad anyway.
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December 14, 2010 5:03:56 PM

Okay, great!

Thanks for all the feedback - I didn't think going with the additional GTX 260 would have net me such results.

@Maziar: I typically play at 1920x1080 (on account I'm on an HDTV).

@acer0169 & malmental: I'll look into overclocking my Core 2 Duo.

Thanks again!
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December 15, 2010 10:52:07 AM

Then,definitely get another GTX 260.It will give you a great boost on your resolution
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December 15, 2010 3:11:30 PM

1920x1080 makes full use of SLI, and trust me - two GTX 260's rival the very top cards on the market today and can handle every game I've tried so far. Crysis, Hot Pursuit, COD, MOH.. all of them - forget about it.. just crack to highest settings and enjoy gorgeous gameplay.
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December 19, 2010 2:20:28 AM

Now I'm at an odds.

It appears my PSU isn't outfitted to handle SLI.

With regards to that, should I perhaps just save buying a new PSU and GTX 260 for perhaps a GTX 570 or 580 down the line?
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December 19, 2010 10:22:31 AM

Even a single GTX570 is quite a chunk of change, but, if playing at 1080P or above, might extend the life of the current PC for another year or even two, depending on the effect of the Rage-engined games.
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