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Serious Gamer Needs Advice on Upgrade PLZ HLP

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July 14, 2011 4:19:44 AM

My computer hardware specs are ATI 5870, 6G DDR2 RAM, Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 2.40GHz, 1000W Power Supply, ASUS P5Q Motherboard(5+yr old) and an Cooler Master Hyper TX3 cpu heatsink as well as a mid size tower with 200mmx2 fans for air circulation.

My problem is that I'm finding games like Badcompany 2, Fallout NV and Total War Shogun 2 are lacking FPS on the high/highest video settings. Im bearly getting a solid 40FPS when im intensive CPU/GPU situations.

My question is should I replace my CPU, MOBO and RAM to stop the bottlenecking or is that normal framerates? If I was to upgrade I was thinking of a Quad core CPU around 3.2GHz ($200.00-250.00 ish), obviously the 5+yr old MOBO has to go and finally the DDR2 too DDR3. What do you people think and thank you very much!
July 14, 2011 4:21:54 AM

#1 that is a OLD CPU! At least get a i5 or intel core quad @ 3.6
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July 14, 2011 4:24:49 AM

what about the mobo or that doesnt make as big difference as the CPU? Also will your CPU suggestion be around my price range? Should I be looking at the GHz or the Cache for Gaming?
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July 14, 2011 4:33:03 AM

bump
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July 14, 2011 4:56:39 AM

try if you get a performance boost by overclocking your Q6600. It can hit 3.0 Ghz easily. That should give some performance boost . If that does not work then look for upgrading CPU/Motherboard/RAM

possible overclocking guides would be like :
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2007/07/25/overcl...
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July 14, 2011 6:18:46 AM

What CPU do you have? There is no "Q4400". You also state you want to buy a Quad. I suspect you have an E4400.

What is your budget and resolution?
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July 14, 2011 3:14:59 PM

Too bad you didn't get a crossfire board. Anyway, the best thing to do is overclock that Q6600. With good airflow and a decent cooler you can hit 3.4Ghz or more on that CPU. I don't recommend spending money on a newer Quad Core for that platform only because the benefit of something like a Q9450 or Q9550 over your current CPU does not justify the price ($300-$400 new online) when you can transition to Sandy Bridge for about the same price.

So for now overclock your CPU, and save up for a new motherboard, CPU, and RAM, and perhaps a second 5870.
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July 14, 2011 3:15:39 PM

The usual best upgrade to improve FPS is a graphics card upgrade. In this case, however, your 5870 is already a very good card, and the Q6600 is dated.
Most games will not use more than two cores, and the performance per core seems to be the most important attribute of a good gaming cpu.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

1) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

2) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.
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July 14, 2011 3:52:57 PM

Thank you all for the positive comments! If I do OC my CPU how will that work since my MOBO is so dated, resulting in a difficult OC in BIOS.
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July 14, 2011 4:07:42 PM

P45 boards are actually pretty good for overclocking. Of course since you may have bought the cheap board in the P5Q lineup your BIOS options may be a little limited. Anyway read a Core 2 overclocking guide to get started ^_^
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July 14, 2011 4:42:59 PM

I've watched some Youtube videos on OC my CPU and some change the voltage when OCing to 3.0GHz and some dont why?
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July 14, 2011 5:04:05 PM

every cpu is different, its your luck that you can get your oc to 3.0 without a voltage bump.
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July 14, 2011 5:20:36 PM

should i have a fully updated bios before i try to OC to 3.0GHz?
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July 14, 2011 7:31:19 PM

Ok so I tried to OC my cpu to 3.0ghz by changing the cpu frequency value to 333. The default multiplier is 9 so that should put the cpu to 3.0ghz. I put my cpu voltage to 1.2v and when I reseted my computer it wouldnt load into windows 7 64bit it would load everything up to that then just restart the computer and loop.... I worked my way up to 1.21875 cpu voltage but still nothing then I defaulted the settings to get better information on this... what should I do??
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July 14, 2011 7:41:08 PM

PS I'm not getting any error messages while the system is starting up it just doesnt load the OS and resets and loops that process
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July 14, 2011 8:45:52 PM

Ok I did some digging and fixed my problem and for one when i said cpu frequency value i meant FSB. I got my cpu to 3.0ghz and its heat setting at lowest 67C highest 72C while under prime95 stress test for an hour which i'm happy with. I'm thinking of pushing it to 3.2ghz considering the cpu is old and ill buy a new one if it dies.
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July 14, 2011 9:00:37 PM

72C! :o  I think that's a little too toasty for that CPU. I think you may need a better CPU cooler
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July 14, 2011 9:05:19 PM

ya now that i dug even deeper into threads that is bad.... What's even worse is a have an aftermarket heatsink ($20-30) and used artic thermal paste not even a year ago on the cpu...
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July 14, 2011 9:10:41 PM

O_o Oh that's not good. Exactly what cooler and what case do you have?
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July 14, 2011 9:28:51 PM

my core voltage from CPU-Z is at 1.408 when idling if that helps..I ran Prime95 for 1 hr and 30minutes no problems and was just wondering with every passed test does it ramp up the stress on the cpu at all? cause it looked like it was...
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July 14, 2011 9:42:34 PM

Bump
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July 14, 2011 9:42:55 PM

1.4v :o  too high!!!

You may just want to start over and read a Core 2 overclocking guide, it will be easier ^_^. Also be sure to orient the heatsink and fan so that it blows air UP and out the case. That should be more effective than blowing it out the back. I'm also going to assume you didn't screw with the fan orientation.
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July 14, 2011 9:43:25 PM

-_- don't bump, it's annoying
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July 14, 2011 9:50:01 PM

sorry about the bump didn't mean to annoy anyone. I'll try to set the cpu voltage in bois lower then 1.4v and see if i can get lower also when im running prime95 im doing a Large FFTs test as opposed to a Small FFTs test does that matter at all?
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July 14, 2011 10:42:40 PM

He has a Q6600, 65nm tech. 1.4V should be fine. Max is 1.5V for 65nm right? It would be high if he has a 45nm chip, but he doesn't. Lower is always better, but I wouldn't be concerned if he is using 1.4.
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July 15, 2011 12:18:55 AM

OK so I'm trying everything to drop my loading tempature that I can think of. I've cleaned from top to bottom every fan as well as reapplied high grade thermal paste. I've also lowered my cpu voltage from 1.4 to 1.3 and yet when I run Prime 95 it creeps up to 70C which I'm using Core Temp, CPU-Z and Speed Fan to monitor. The cherry on top is when my cpu is idling the tempature is 35Cish that's pretty cool in my opnion. I read in a thread about Prime 95 which stated below:
Prime 95
Small FFTs = CPU
In-place Large FFTs = IMC/Memory
Blend - CPU + IMC/Memory
can anyone agree with this?
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July 15, 2011 12:24:06 AM

I don't mean to hijack your post but I clicked "solved" on my post by mistake and don't want to annoy people by making a new thread. Since my computer shares similar specs I figured I'd post my intended upgrade here.

http://www.mysterybyte.com/latest-builds/74/

So far I'm thinking of upgrading the video card to a 95, swapping out the i-7 for an i-5. But beyond that I'm at something of a loss.
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July 15, 2011 12:40:08 AM

Ghatt that setup is more then enough to play any game out there for a long time...It's not necessary to make a thread about something only yourself can make the small decision about in the end. It comes down to preference really.
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July 15, 2011 1:30:35 AM

ok so after spending the whole day tuning my oc from 3.0ghz to 2.8ghz to finally 2.6 which is .2 faster then my stock settings. Ive come to the conclusion that I'm just going to buy a new CPU/MOBO/RAM instead of buying a new after market heatsink that will sound like an airconditioner in the room I share with my wife. The two 200mm fans and the heatsink I currently have are already somewhat loud but anyways THANK YOU ALL for helping me in this thread OCing isnt for me sorry!!!!!
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July 15, 2011 2:53:39 AM

sierra6 said:
ok so after spending the whole day tuning my oc from 3.0ghz to 2.8ghz to finally 2.6 which is .2 faster then my stock settings. Ive come to the conclusion that I'm just going to buy a new CPU/MOBO/RAM instead of buying a new after market heatsink that will sound like an airconditioner in the room I share with my wife. The two 200mm fans and the heatsink I currently have are already somewhat loud but anyways THANK YOU ALL for helping me in this thread OCing isnt for me sorry!!!!!

If your budget will allow a $200 cpu, then look at the 2500K. At stock, it is about the best gaming cpu around. The "K" suffix gives it an unlocked multiplier. All you do is change it from 33 to 40 -45 and you have an easy overclock. That is what it is designed for.
Don't give up on the OC idea , The sandy bridge "K" chips make it easy.
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July 15, 2011 8:40:17 AM

oc is hell easy with sandy bridge k models.
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!