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Upgrade Dual Core CPU to quad of upgrade RAM

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October 9, 2011 9:10:13 PM

Current Set Up:

Windows 7 64bit
Intel Pentium Dual-Core E5300 "LGA775 Core 2" 2.6Ghz (800fsb)
Seagate Barracuda 7200 12 500GB SATA-II 16mb cahe - OEM
Nvidia GTX470 1024mb
Gigabyte GA-G41M-E2SL Intel G41 (socket 775) PC-I Express DDR2 Motherboard
Corsair 600w psu
Corsair XMS2 4 GB (2 times 2gb) DDR2, TwinX Dual Channel




Hi, I'm having a little trouble playing the latest games on my system. I have just upgraded to a gtx470 I found on the cheap, but in high performance games (i've been trying to play battlefield 3 beta) the fps are 20 or below (sometimes 15).

Should I upgrade my CPU (the best I think I can get for my motherboard (Socket 775) and limited funds is an intel duo quadcore 2.66ghz). Or should I upgrade to 8gb RAM?

When playing games my Free Physical Memory hovers on zero and CPU usage is 100% (according to performance manager)

Any help would be really appreciated.

Thanks :) 
a b à CPUs
October 9, 2011 9:17:41 PM

your RAM is fine, CPU will struggle in CPU demanding games. if you can get a quad CPU cheap (socket 775 is old) it would be a good step up.

October 9, 2011 9:58:42 PM

Thanks dirtyferret, much appreciated!
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October 9, 2011 11:05:02 PM

As you can see in my signature I have much of the same hardware as you but with a quadcore. My machine handles BF3 without a glitch ;) 
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2011 12:15:28 AM

are you looking at a q6600 or a q9400 ?
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2011 11:22:38 AM

ben034 said:
I was looking at the q9400

http://www.pc-titan.com/product_info.php?currency=GBP&i...

I've also seen a Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 LGA775 'Yorkfield' 2.5GHz 4MB-cache for slightly cheaper than the above.

I would appreciate your opinion. Thanks




Go with the Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 or higher and if possible overclock the CPU to 3 to 3.4Ghz and that would be fine for a nice gaming experience. Also since you have a GTX470 ensure that you have a good PSU to power the system......... :wahoo: 
a c 80 à CPUs
October 10, 2011 12:02:47 PM

quad will make a huge difference, i've the same gpu but a better CPU and BF3 was quick enough
October 10, 2011 1:08:47 PM

Cheers, I have a brand new 600w corsair CX600 psu. That should be fine right?
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2011 1:14:25 PM

ben034 said:
Cheers, I have a brand new 600w corsair CX600 psu. That should be fine right?


plenty of power
October 10, 2011 1:59:37 PM

Actually scrap PC Titan website - looks like a scam.
October 10, 2011 2:29:55 PM

Also does anyone know where I could find a Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 reasonably priced. There doesn't seem to be many out there. I can find plenty of Q8400's for £120ish. Is there that much difference between the two?
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2011 3:08:39 PM

I dont think a quad will help him much. I have a Q6600 and it runs as same as duals with a bit higher speeds.
Look at the I5- second generation, they actually are better in games since games dont use more than 2 cores anyway.

i would not suggest upgrading the cpu to a quad but getting a new platform or overclocking your CPU.

a b à CPUs
October 10, 2011 3:33:03 PM

Actually BF3 and some other games are a lot happier with a slower quad than a fast dual, and do use the extra cores extensively.

I'm surprised you are seeing 15-20 FPS in BF3, the duals in the above benchmark run 40+ average and they are not much faster; you may be GPU limited if higher than 1080p.

If you cannot find a reasonable priced core 2 quad consider a core 2 duo like the E8400, or a LGA1155 setup since DDR3 is so cheap right now.
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2011 3:57:31 PM

newegg has recertified q9400's
my q6600 is faster at 3ghz than my e5300 at 4ghz
October 10, 2011 4:30:11 PM

spentshells said:
newegg has recertified q9400's
my q6600 is faster at 3ghz than my e5300 at 4ghz



Newegg is a US company? I've seen a q8400 for £120 inc delivery, so might go with that, fingers crossed. Thanks for the help!
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2011 4:39:54 PM

Better quad = more money, so go for whatever is available in your budget.

However, you have a quality system (good PSU, GPU, RAM) aside from the CPU and I would certainly go for the quad... it will keep you gaming for a while yet.
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2011 5:38:04 PM

As for dual core vs. quad core, that depends on your programs. Some people have addressed that issue above.

You can overclock your current processor. Check old tom's articles where they have gotten that processor to near 4 GHz. You would need a new CPU cooler for that, and maybe a new motherboard. Or you could just try it with your current motherboard to see how high it will go.

The Q6600 and Q9400 are good processors but require a lot of other stuff for a successful overclock. The Q6600 has a multiplier of 9, the Q9400 has a multiplier of 8. My experience is that the Q9400 will overclock a little higher. I took a Q6600 to 3.5GHz and that was as high as I could go. With a multiplier of 9 this requires system bus speed of 389 and 800MHz ram. Your motherboard might or might not do this. A Q9400 can go higher, mine went to 3.8GHz, but with the multiplier of 8 this requires a real good motherboard that can run at 475MHz and ram that will run at 950MHz.
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2011 5:48:45 PM

yeah cadder that is tops for my q6600 8x475 ram 1:1
a c 87 à CPUs
October 10, 2011 6:22:18 PM

I'm not sure where his chip is compared to those in the chart, but my guess is the Athlon II down at the bottom. That chip scores 40FPS, but it clocked nearly a gig higher. OCing his CPU might help, but if he can score a quad cheap enough it should keep him gaming for a lot longer. OCing his CPU is also probably not possible in his case as he has a G41 chipset. Not known for their OCing abilities. I'm on the other side of the pond and don't know your websites.
a b à CPUs
October 10, 2011 6:38:07 PM

4745454b said:
I'm not sure where his chip is compared to those in the chart, but my guess is the Athlon II down at the bottom. That chip scores 40FPS, but it clocked nearly a gig higher. OCing his CPU might help, but if he can score a quad cheap enough it should keep him gaming for a lot longer. OCing his CPU is also probably not possible in his case as he has a G41 chipset. Not known for their OCing abilities. I'm on the other side of the pond and don't know your websites.


Agreed...

By the way the E5300 is only about 10-15% slower than that Athlon x2 250, despite the clocks...
October 11, 2011 12:49:05 AM

Sorry guys, one more question...

I've been tinkering with my Bus Speed. In CPU-Z the multiplier fluctuates between 6 and 13 (the core speed appears to jump between approx 1412mhz and double that value)

Why is this please? Is it to do with some sort of energy saving setting? How can I accurately assess my increased CPU speed after overclocking?

Thanks
a c 87 à CPUs
October 11, 2011 1:15:05 AM

Correct, in Intel's case its called Speedstep.

When your computer is idle or doing a light load, it will leave the multiplier at 6x. This saves you money, power, and emits less heat into your case. When you are doing a demanding CPU task like a benchmark or game, it will go back to its default (or setting you entered in the bios) automatically. Normally you want to leave it alone as its nothing to usually worry about.

Edited for spelling.
!