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Will my CPU hold back a decent graphics card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 30, 2011 6:31:07 PM

I've got an Intel Core 2 Duo E6300 (1.86 GHz in my desktop) and my GeForce 8600 GTS recently failed on me. I want to get a new graphics card but I'm worried that if I purchase a modern mid-high end card, my CPU will in a sense bottleneck it. I use a lot of Photoshop but I also want to do some gaming and I realize gaming computers have a nice CPU to go along with their graphics cards. I'm considering cards in the low $200s like the Radeon HD 6950 or GTX 560 Ti.

Basically, would it be a waste to buy these cards with such an old processor? :ouch: 
If so, would it be better to get a lower quality graphics card (which one!) or upgrade my CPU and get my desired card?

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a c 235 U Graphics card
a c 105 à CPUs
March 30, 2011 6:35:03 PM

pretty much. if you are willing to spend $200+ then i would start looking at cpu+mobo+ram combos. maybe get an ATI 5670 to hold you over, its solid enough for modern gaming without bells and whistles

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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March 30, 2011 6:45:41 PM

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March 30, 2011 6:57:20 PM

Alternatively you can see if your motherboard supports a CPU ugrade and get either a faster C2D like an E5400 2.7ghz for cheap or even a C2Q. A 6950 would still get bottlenecked though, but a 6850 would be alright. To not bottleneck a 6950 you actually need a pretty beefy CPU, like 3.6ghz or more (depends on resolutions and such though)... speaking of which, what resolution?
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March 31, 2011 1:09:46 AM

wolfram23 said:
Alternatively you can see if your motherboard supports a CPU ugrade and get either a faster C2D like an E5400 2.7ghz for cheap or even a C2Q. A 6950 would still get bottlenecked though, but a 6850 would be alright. To not bottleneck a 6950 you actually need a pretty beefy CPU, like 3.6ghz or more (depends on resolutions and such though)... speaking of which, what resolution?

1080p, and yeah i'm pretty sure my mobo can support some quad-cores! I'll see if I can stick one in there.... any suggestions?
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March 31, 2011 2:48:24 AM

Nevermind...best processor my mobo supports seems to be the E6600. If I buy this processor, will it bottleneck the gfx card? Or should I just buy the Radeon 6850 :cry: 
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March 31, 2011 3:42:36 AM

I'm in the same boat you are except my CPU is a 2.0 C2D. I'm thinking of updating my socket 775 to Quad 3.0 Gig and grabbing a 560 ti.
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a c 125 U Graphics card
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March 31, 2011 5:19:34 AM

Well it really depends... I mean... if you can just hold off and upgrade the system (cpu, mobo, ram) in the next little while then you might want to just get whatever GPU now and still see benefits, and then upgrade the rest asap.

I think for many games even a fast dual core could bottleneck it, but, at 1080p I'm sure you could throw enough graphical settings at it to bring it more inline lol.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
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March 31, 2011 5:57:09 AM

What motherboard do you have exactly and does it allow for overclocking? It shouldn't be hard to get another gigahertz out of that processor if so. Then it would be ok(though not great) for most current games.
BTW if your motherboard can only use up to an E6600 then that is NOT referring to the 3ghz wolfdale E6600 you'll see for sale these days. It means the 2.4ghz conroe E6600 which isn't nearly as much of an upgrade and isn't really worth the money imo. If you can't OC your current processor then I would recommend just replacing the CPU/MB and perhaps the ram as others have suggested. If you want to go cheap an Athlon II x3 and a motherboard that can unlock the fourth core(80-90% success rate) and use your current DDR2 ram should be about $125.
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a c 235 U Graphics card
a c 105 à CPUs
April 11, 2011 10:58:08 PM

if you stick with your C2D 6300, i doubt you would see any increase in performance when going to better cards.
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April 11, 2011 11:07:18 PM

ct1615 said:
if you stick with your C2D 6300, i doubt you would see any increase in performance when going to better cards.

Just read about the card...has the highest value to benchmark ratio on the passmark website! I'll be purchasing it then. Thanks a bunch!
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April 11, 2011 11:07:27 PM

Best answer selected by barronlroth.
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