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OC E8500 or upgrade to i3 2100?

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July 5, 2011 6:00:12 PM

Okay so I'm torn between upgrading my CPU to the i3-2100 or sticking with my current E8500.

Right now I currently have an older E8500 running at stock clock; my mobo really limits my overclocking abilities (ONLY lets me change multiplier). The GPU I'm pairing this with is a GTX 550 Ti and I'm planning on gaming on a 32" tv @ 1080p with a 1920x1080 resolution.

Is upgrading to the new i3-2100 (plus a new mobo) worth it to help run things more smoothly and possibly net higher frames? Or would it be better to stick with the E8500, pick up a mobo that has more OC options, and attempt to run my CPU up to 3.6-3.8ghz?

Thanks in advance!

More about : e8500 upgrade 2100

July 5, 2011 6:02:02 PM

Note: This is based on a low budget... GPU will not be replaced since it was a gift and costed me nothing! :) 
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a c 81 à CPUs
July 5, 2011 7:07:40 PM

You mentioning getting a new CPU + motherboard + possibly new ram is not exactly low budget stuff. Its a minimum 250$ investment. Having said that, the E8500 is still plenty fast for handling games.
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July 5, 2011 8:03:03 PM

Well I sold my previous 4gb of ram and an old cd/dvd burner I had laying around which covered the costs for my 8gb Ripjaws deal on newegg, so the ram isn't to worry.

If I were to stick with the E8500, I would have to buy a board that gives me acces to OC capabilities ($70-80+), and a decent HSF ($20-30+). With that said, spending an extra $50 wouldn't hurt the pocket too much if the i3-2100's performance really shines past the OC'd E8500.
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a c 81 à CPUs
July 5, 2011 8:15:22 PM

Here is a comparison of sorts -

www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/55?vs=289

These results are on stock speeds. As you can see, they both run almost same when it comes to gaming. The i3 is faster overall though. What is your main purpose with the PC?
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July 5, 2011 8:34:50 PM

Main purpose is for gaming, movies, then surfing (prioritized in that order); I don't play much cpu intensive games yet, but I'd like to once they're out (Diablo 3, GW2, etc...).

I don't see myself jumping into a quad core anytime soon as they're still kind of pricey, so the 2100 is my next option up. I just want to make sure I can still play those titles once they're out and not be bottlenecked too much by either cpu (plus with the 1155 socket, I'll have that availability to upgrade... Although it may be a H61 chipset).
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July 5, 2011 8:39:51 PM

Emperus said:
You mentioning getting a new CPU + motherboard + possibly new ram is not exactly low budget stuff. Its a minimum 250$ investment. Having said that, the E8500 is still plenty fast for handling games.

As emperus said, you'll need to change many things if you upgrade to i3.
You may need to upgrade your PSU as well depending on how much you want to OC. And your GTX 550 Ti uses quite some power too.

It's a balance really.
By spending some money and not overclocking, you remove the risks associated with OCing.
But by overclocking, you gain experience and it can be enjoyable (given you don't screw up like I did with my Pentium D). You will need a good CPU cooler and maybe a replacement PSU though.
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July 5, 2011 8:46:26 PM

Overclocking your CPU to 4.0Ghz might give you around a 25% performance increase, meaning it should help make up some of the performance deficit compared to the i3 2100. A good cheap P45 board and a decent tower cooler is an option, but honestly I think at 1080p your GPU might be the limiting factor more often than not. You should also consider that good LGA 775 boards are in short supply. Only do it if you can get a good board for no more than $70. Rather than spending more you're better off saving to move up to ivy bridge or bulldozer latter this year
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July 5, 2011 8:48:12 PM

or rather, next year since Ivy Bridge was a little delayed ^_^
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July 5, 2011 8:50:12 PM

without knowing your exact setup
I just wanted to point this board out
go OC'er and probably best bang for buck in LGAA775
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

and then maybe this
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

that is a Zalman 92mm cooler for $30 that is decent
there other other good 92mm coolers from other companies
like Xigmatek etc

what is nice the cooler could go with new build so is not lost investment

so cost would be $80 or so if using US Newegg

for what you use the computer for (games,movies and surfing)
a nicely OCd E8500 with the 550Ti would be plenty powerful

I use a E4500 C2D at 3.0ghz and for surfing and multimedia
and gaming it is fine

do realize though some higher end games are using more than 2 cores now
so this is a temporary upgrade for a year or two before you will have to start
thinking quad core

AMD is also awesome for getting into a good quadcore (phenom II - 955
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...) cheap
and decent AMD mobos for about $75 or even under
Something to think about
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July 5, 2011 8:54:46 PM

I would just get another board and a good heatsink and oc you cpu to 4ghz I doubt you would see a huge difference with an i3.
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July 5, 2011 9:08:04 PM

For your usage
A OCd E8500 for a cost of $80-100 would be the way to go

otherwise move to AMD AM3 quad for under $200
if you want to be set for awhile
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July 5, 2011 9:29:52 PM

since the P43 is a better OCer
than this would be decent
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

$60 and free shipping

try not to spend too much on mobo
LGA755 is dead (though I love the Old Girl)
and just not worth investing too much into

Me personally I would want to keep mobo/cooler under $100 as much as possible

you can buy a 1155 mobo for $75
and a AMD3 mobo for $50
so that is something to remember


EDIT: no particular preference for Biostar-just the way it worked out

wouldnt want anybody to think I was biased
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a c 102 à CPUs
July 5, 2011 9:39:25 PM

I don't think there is any point in spending money on any CPU &/or motherboard unless you upgrade the graphics card as I don't think your current CPU is holding it back.
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July 5, 2011 10:02:35 PM

going by toms hierarchy chart the 550 Ti is equal to a 460 768mb and a HD5770/6770
so I think I have to agree with simon12

getting good OC of the E8500 would be good for other uses on the computer
but for getting better FPS in games probably wouldnt matter since the
CPU isnt holding back the card at stock speeds

I got caught up with upgrading the mobo without realizing the OPs
question about the CPU holding back the video card
which in this case it wouldnt

but a nice OC would be good for overall performance of the computer
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July 5, 2011 10:20:06 PM

I think I came across asking the question wrong... I know the 550ti is nothing to brag about and I dont expect it to give me higher frames with an upgraded or overclocked cpu. I get good frames already, but in some areas it may feel choppy even though the frames aren't dropping and still the same. I figure it would probably be the cpu or ram; after upgrading ram, it's helped some, but this problem still occurs. So I'm left to think it's the cpu that needs to be upgraded or overclocked.
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July 5, 2011 10:30:43 PM

King, that first mobo and HSF looks pretty simple enough to get the job done; the second mobo only supports 4gb ram so that's out of the question (I have 8 and want to use 8 lol).
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July 5, 2011 10:45:22 PM

Board http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Supports DDR3 so you can sell the rest of what you have in DDR2 and recover some money

cooler http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I was also looking at this cooler as well for a friend
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

this also does not look too bad
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

After further review I kinda think you are wasting money on this and should just save some more money and buy something worthwile
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a c 309 à CPUs
July 5, 2011 11:03:49 PM

1) See how you do with the new 550ti.

2) I would not pour more money into replacing an obsolete motherboard and cpu. They were good in their time, but we are now two generations further down the road.
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July 5, 2011 11:35:47 PM

looking at the feedback for that board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it is a good OCer from user reviews

then go with the Zalman at $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or this one spentshells recommeded
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and you are looking at about70-$80 invested


you want to look for a cheap cooler that also will work for AM3 and LGA1155
so it can be moved to new build
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July 5, 2011 11:39:45 PM

but as geofelt said
you are putting money into a dead platform

but the cooler can be used for new build

and then you can hopefully sell current mobo and new 775 mobo with your CPU
and hopefully you really dont end up spending any money with doing this 775 upgrade

but again I dont think the CPU is really holding back your 550Ti
but again it would be nice to have the boost in performance with the OC
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July 5, 2011 11:52:57 PM

geofelt said:
1) See how you do with the new 550ti.

2) I would not pour more money into replacing an obsolete motherboard and cpu. They were good in their time, but we are now two generations further down the road.


I've been using the card for a couple weeks now and it's great. Plays all my game like I want, but like I said in an earlier post, some areas get choppy while the FPS still shows the same without dropping.


king smp said:
looking at the feedback for that board
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
it is a good OCer from user reviews

then go with the Zalman at $30
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

or this one spentshells recommeded
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
and you are looking at about70-$80 invested


you want to look for a cheap cooler that also will work for AM3 and LGA1155
so it can be moved to new build


I'm going to try to use a friend's psu to see if it will let me OC my cpu some... the current 500w I have is a cheap one that came with my cheap case; I don't think it's putting out the power required for an OC. Whenever I attempt to change the cpu fsb (only option that you can change in BIOS), I only reach 3.22ghz which reboots and goes back to stock after 3-4hrs of gameplay.

I just read some reviews on my board and some people are able to OC with no problems. This is what I'm using: Foxconn G41MXE-V
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July 6, 2011 12:08:01 AM

Like everyone is saying it kinda already looks like the 550ti and the E8500 are a pretty smart match try a different power supply and when you game close everything else don't download or virus scan ect and if you are playing real time strategy just dial back on the shadows
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July 6, 2011 12:30:10 AM

Yea the only game i play that gives me that problem is guild wars (old i know), but i usually have that choppiness whenever i leave a town. It happens when i enter too, but thats expected since the many people in a town... But it happens a lot when leaving a portal and sometimes in the middle of fighting. FPS maybe drops like 1-2 fps (usually bounces back), but sometimes it's choppy where i feel like im lagging, even though its minimal.

Maybe it's just me? Lol...
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July 6, 2011 12:54:41 AM

a PSU upgrade plus a cooler that fits 775 and 1155,AM3
would be a good upgrade

I just saw this PSU on Newegg
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
$50 after rebate with free shipping
also Emperus recommended this one on another thread than looks good
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

I trust Emperus's recommendations
so I think either of those plus a good $30 all in one 92mm cooler
would bring you to about $80

and hopefully you could get some good OCs with the Foxconn board
if you have been using the stock Intel 775 HSF then that could be the problem
Intel 775 HSF wasnt very good for OCing

and then they would carry to the next build :) 
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July 6, 2011 12:57:28 AM

toneekay said:
Yea the only game i play that gives me that problem is guild wars (old i know), but i usually have that choppiness whenever i leave a town. It happens when i enter too, but thats expected since the many people in a town... But it happens a lot when leaving a portal and sometimes in the middle of fighting. FPS maybe drops like 1-2 fps (usually bounces back), but sometimes it's choppy where i feel like im lagging, even though its minimal.

Maybe it's just me? Lol...



I have a HD 5670
Running DX11 is a fast slideshow LOL
I am actually tolerant of a little lag (have to be with a HD 5670 :)  )
How do you know the FPS is dropping 1-2fps?
I dont think I would even notice the difference without a FPS meter running
I also have very thick glasses LOL
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July 6, 2011 1:35:44 AM

There's a little spot where you hover your mouse over to see the fps and ping or what not; i usually leave my cursor there upon leaving towns and in fights just to see how the card is holding up compared to my older gt430.
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July 6, 2011 2:30:00 AM

I figured it you had a FPS meter
But I cant figure out how 1-2FPS is noticeable
for me it is not unless I am right on the line of acceptable FPS
for example I wouldnt noticea change of 50>48 FPS
But I would notice 25>23 FPS

But again I dont have very good eyesight LOL
For me gaming at 1920x1080 at medium settings or
1600x1200 at high settings is acceptable

for some people it is not
I assume for people with 20-20 vision it is much different
than my 20-300 vision (without glasses) :) 

but to get back to the original post

I think that a PSU upgrade and adding a decent multi-fit $30 cooler
would be a smart move
Could really help with OC
and would be great for future build
and you could keep it to about $80 in cost

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July 6, 2011 2:52:02 AM

Well my video card caps the fps out at 60 on GW (with vsync on)... I don't exactly think the 1-2fps drop is what's making me choppy during those times mentioned or assume that's what's happening. I just know that when it IS choppy, the fps happens to be 1-2fps lower than it were if I was in an area where nothing was happening.

But really... 1-2fps is hardly noticeable to anybody, I just happened to notice it happens whenever I'm in a laggy area (which is obvious for the drop).
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July 6, 2011 2:53:30 AM

My friend is lending me his cx500 tomorrow, so we'll see if it is my cheap psu that's keeping me from OCing like I should! If it's the PSU, then I'll be looking around for a nice 600w to carry over into future setups along with a nice little HSF, and then problem solved (sticking with E8500 OC :) )!
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July 6, 2011 3:16:16 AM

Using a stock Intel HSF would really hurt your OC
after you drop in your friends cx500
take off the side of your case and aim a fan at it
and try a OC
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July 6, 2011 3:29:18 AM

Thanks for the tip! I was actually going to only OC it to around 3.4ish (since I had trouble with 3.2ghz); I hear it's pretty safe around that clock with stock cooling.
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July 6, 2011 3:37:15 AM

C2Ds are usually pretty good OCers
I always upgrade cooling if I am OCing
heat is usually the biggest limiting factor with an OC
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July 6, 2011 3:45:00 AM

Yea, I've never really tried to overclock besides the cpu I had before (E5300), and that was using stock heatsink with a coolermaster fan. Never really pushed it past 3.25ghz as that was already fast enough with my previous setup :p 
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July 6, 2011 4:20:41 AM

Oh there is no such thing as "fast enough" is there?

Seriously I am sort of an obsessed cooling nut
I am in the northeast USA and it goes up to about 95-100F at worst of summer
and the house with window AC units goes up to about 78F max
usually around 75F during July-August
so I am careful how far over 70C my CPU gets
generally with C2Ds under real life heavy loads you dont want to average over 65C
with Prime95 I hit about 72-73 max in a 75F room
realize that you will not hit the temps that the stress programs like Prime95
hit
right now running a %30 OC on my C2D as I am writing this I am at 65c in a 75F room since I am
encoding a Windows Media Center file into a ipod mp4 HQ format
while running Outlook,IE9 and a bunch of background programs
If could get it down to 60c at realistic max load I would be happier

Sorry to babble
the point is to keep your temps as low as possible to extend the life of a computer
that is why server rooms are heavily ACd
heat is the major cause of death for electronics
(other than my kid spilling drinks on them LOL)

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July 6, 2011 5:34:40 AM

Yea I'm getting into cooling as well... I want a case that would allow me to run 5-6 fans lol.
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July 6, 2011 5:41:42 AM

Tell me about it
I have a Dell Optiplex Slim Desktop 745
and I have 4 main fans with two on the video card also
so all together 6 fans counting the GPU
but actually reasonably quiet
my CPU HSF doesnt go over 1600rpm
and the other fans i picked out from scrap towers (i am a refurbisher/reseller of older systems) and are chosen for sound level plus CFM
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July 6, 2011 5:55:58 AM

140MM intake above and in front of SM 212
120MM CM on the 212
120MM behind the CM 212 Exhaust
120MM feeding my Grphx card Intake
there is room for 2x140mm or 2x120mm
seems like a lot but it I won't add the other two
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July 6, 2011 6:22:11 AM

I really like the Antec 300 case, 2 intake in front, 1 exhaust in rear top and up top, also can poke out the pci slots in the rear of the case and rig another fan there for the gpu fan blowing down along with the psu blowing up... Ohhh wee!
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July 6, 2011 4:35:58 PM

So I had someone get in contact with me about purchasing my mobo & e5300 cpu. After everything was all said and done, I just now ordered a new mobo & fan... a cheap little purchase which in turn helped me make money off the sale as well as got me what I needed. The PSU is still yet to come though :(  suppose to be meeting with someone about picking up a CX600 brand new for $40 ;) 

Here's the mobo & fan I chose:
- BIOSTAR G41D3C ($40)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
- EVERCOOL HPFI-10025 100mm Ever Lubricate CPU Cooler ($17)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The mobo is the same that was listed above, but reduced to only 2 SATA ports which I'm aware of. I won't be needing anything else besides my HDD and CD drive, so the ten bucks was a nice save. The HSF has some pretty good reviews and fits my ideal cooling for OC (3.6-3.8ghz), budget, and color scheme. Those items are being paired with my Ripjaws so it'll look pretty cool in there ;) 

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July 6, 2011 9:19:46 PM

I don't know about that Biostar board. Does it even have any overclocking options?
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July 6, 2011 10:18:58 PM

I hope so! It's the same as the G41D3+ above, but with less features (only 2/4 sata, different audio and lan chipsets). The D3+ has a couple of reviews of people OCing, and hopefully those OC capability is still there with the lesser board.
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July 6, 2011 10:29:53 PM

I'm pretty content for now with buying things for the older 775 sockets, so far I've spent roughly $160 for the new biostar mobo, copper core tower HSF, 8gb 1333 ram, and cx600 psu (which I'll be getting tomorrow). Altogether I would say around $300-350 for a pretty well built rig when all said and done... Not complaining.

Attempting to push the cpu pass 3.6+ghz is the fun part that I cant wait for ;P
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