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E8500 to i5 2500k for gaming - is it worth it?

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May 24, 2011 10:09:36 AM

I'm thinking of upgrading my rig a little to 'futureproof' it for the likes of BF3, possibly the new MW3 and other games like SW:TOR etc. Right now I'm running an E8500 at stock, P5Q Pro Mobo, 4GB HyperX 1066Mhz RAM and a 1GB Palit 4870 Sonic Edition.

I can sell these parts to a friend and replace them with an i5 2500k, P8P67 Pro Mobo, 8GB G.skill 1600Mhz RAM and one of a few cards (1.5GB GTX 480 OC, 2GB 6950 Twin Frozr III, possibly 2 x 1GB 6870 or 1GB 560 Ti Twin Frozr II OC) - all for the rough estimated spend on top of ~£200.

I need some help & advice. Is this a worthy upgrade as a whole, just in parts or not at all?

Any help is much appreciated!
May 24, 2011 10:11:47 AM

it would be nice if you could name the games as we would be able to tell you what parts to get.
May 24, 2011 10:18:18 AM

Oop, my bad, sorry dude! Right now I play Battlefield Bad Company 2, CoD: Modern Warfare 2, Black Ops, Crysis Warhead, Crysis Wars, Crysis 2, Company of Heroes and a few others RTS games like Men of War: Assault Squad and a little StarCraft II. Trying to play Brink but I've all but given up on that.

And for the future I'll be looking to play most of the flagship FPS and RTS games such as Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare 3, Diablo III, Star Wars: The Old Republic etc, possibly Duke Nukem Forever etc.
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May 24, 2011 10:21:11 AM

Forgot to mention I'll be playing at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 too
May 24, 2011 11:47:04 AM

IMO it would be a huge upgrade, I upgraded from a C2d @ 3ghz to the 2500k and my fps in BC2 multiplayer went from 20-40fps to 90-150 fps and I'm sure Battlefield 3 will likely run better on a quad core.

And you can OC the hell outta it.
May 24, 2011 12:56:29 PM

Thanks for the input, malmental. That was along the lines of what I was thinking about because of getting a higher res screen. Am I right in thinking it's a lot more about the graphics card then it is about the CPU, in terms of gaming performance, once you have a dedicated graphics card and CPU?

The only thing that would perhaps force my hand to upgrade now would be the trade off of my current rigs' sell-on price now compared to what it will be worth once Ivy Bridge comes out scaled against the projected performance difference between Ivy Bridge and Sandy Bridge.

Do you have any thoughts on it?
May 24, 2011 1:32:33 PM

I see your point there, about the prices of E8500. I too have noticed they haven't shifted much recently.

When you say 6 months ago you would have said yes, do you say that because in effect 6 months ago Sandy Bridge was brand new and worth the upgrade, where as now it's almost in the middle of the cycle as the 'top end' CPU?

Lastly, only going on what we've agreed on here but why should I have reason to not upgrade now to a better processor if the i5 2500k is likely to last me for a few years given that GPU is the more decisive factor in gaming?
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May 24, 2011 4:39:09 PM

I went from an E8400 @ 3.6ghz and a pair of 8800GT's to a 2600K and a pair of GTX560's and I can say with hand on heart that it truly is an upgrade and if you can't notice the difference then you are probably dead and someone forgot to bury you. ;) 
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May 24, 2011 4:51:56 PM

My old rig was a Q8400 @ 3.2gb OC 8gb ram and GTS250. Now my new rig runs like hell. You should grab that Corei5 2500k and a pair of GTX560Ti or a single GTX570, it's worth the upgrade.
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May 24, 2011 5:04:24 PM

I'm letting my C2Q hold me off til Ivybridge. I get full frames out of my 6970 so far, plenty for any game to this point.

BF3 scares me though!

Anyone with a Core2 upgrade their GPU before their CPU? I did and I'm still getting pretty good performance. Once you get a good ways above 3ghz you can take on any single GPU setup out there from what I've seen.

Lets not forget Core2 is still faster than Phenom II clock4clock. :) 
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May 24, 2011 5:43:24 PM

Raidur said:
Anyone with a Core2 upgrade their GPU before their CPU?


Sort of, I was running the 560's in the E8400 rig for a couple of weeks until my friend kicked my butt into gear and made me put the SB rig together.
May 24, 2011 11:23:15 PM

Seems to be a slight conflict of opinion to be honest and there are a couple of outside factors that are definitely swaying me into doing the upgrade now:

A. My cousin who will buy my current rig will benefit from a nice rig (for him) at a nice price.

B. In 1 year and 3 months time I'm going to uni, so I'd rather have the upgrade for this year and a bit rather than wait, upgrade later only to use my PC a lot less...

C. I'm definitely a little impatient!

Thanks for all the input dudes, but I think my choice is made!
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May 25, 2011 2:33:57 AM

Personally, I'd upgrade now. You'll be waiting nearly a year for Ivy Bridge which is only a mere 20% better at most (which will really not be noticeable anyways in most scenarios)

Get the new gfx card, overclock the i5 2500K to around 4-4.5 ghz and you'll be in a whole new world
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May 25, 2011 2:45:46 AM

Somebody posted some SuperPi results from their OC'd 2500k and I compared them to my E8500 at 3.8GHz. The 2500k was double the speed of my cpu, for a single-threaded app. Toms tests in the past have shown that some games make use of more than 2 cores, some don't. Your games can benefit from the faster cpu, and some can benefit from more cores.

I've always read that once you get to his level of cpu power the cpu doesn't matter so much, you have to focus on your gpu system. I don't know how to justify the expense of the new motherboard and cpu, but it definitely is a lot faster than the e8500.
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May 25, 2011 4:01:43 AM

Actually a faster CPU will help no matter what, even if there is a GPU bottleneck. It may be small, but the less latency there is the less the GPU is waiting for info to process. A 2500k will boost your performance noticeably even with the same 4870 in your system.

Check this out with a GTX 280 in the system:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...

Now with a card with 2X the speed of the 4870, you should definitely see more than 2X the performance. It'll probably be around 2.5-3x the FPS.

The E8500 is still a decent cpu and is a good proc for the 4870, so it wouldn't be too bad to keep it. But since you can sell off the system and get a newer 2500k and video card, both being more power efficient for the frames, it might just be worth it at this time. And do not buy a 400 series card unless it's the GTX 460 1GB, all others are terrible!!! I would get the 6950 just for the 2GB of memory.

There's only one problem. In supposedly a month AMD should be releasing Bulldozer; I would regret buying a system and then one month later having a better processor come out for the price. I kinda regret buying this i7 when they were switching over to D0 stepping processors; I lost out on a much better proc.
May 25, 2011 9:10:33 AM

Interesting, I'd not given AMD a look in seeing as I haven't been keeping up with the CPU scene recently.

Haserath, my problem is this - my current situation seems to favour the upgrade now, but wouldn't the new AMD motherboards and chips still cost £20+ more than the i5 2500k & P8P67 counterparts I could get at £279? Cost is a big thing to me and if the performance increase is strictly relative to the price then I'd definitely rather stick to Intel here. I guess the only issue there is that the AMD chips may drive down the price of the Intel chips significantly, but I've not really seen that before?

Another thing I'd noticed before was that AMD chips don't really like being overclocked as heavily as Intel's. I mean I doubt we can speak for AMD's latest chips but just going on previous... But in terms of boosting performance per price, and my current situation, would you still not say I'm in a position to upgrade now?

The thing I have to remember is that this system is only going to be for gaming and watching the occasional HD movie (along with general tasking), and that my budget is my budget.
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May 25, 2011 5:01:01 PM

Yeah. Unless Bulldozer is a monster, Intel will keep their prices where they are for the most part. It probably won't change much with the release on price/performance, but AMD might have a high clocking arch because that is what they focused on. They also have HKMG this time around which should help leakage thus clocking higher.

Since it's favorable to upgrade now, you might as well just go for a 2500k and OC it up to 4.5-5ghz. I just want to make sure you know what's going on in the cpu world before you do. ;) 
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May 28, 2011 6:11:47 PM

If you're going to school in 15 months then upgrade now!
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