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Please help me get a new CPU for BF3

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  • Battlefield
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October 25, 2011 6:29:46 PM

I recently bought BF3, but cannot play it. My process just isn't good enough. It's constantly at 100% usage and heating up. So I want to buy a new one. I have to use a LGA775 connector. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what to buy? I'd like to spend $80-150. I've seen a few myself, but I don't know which is better than the others.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/INTEL-CORE-2-QUAD-Q6600-2-4GHZ-...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-2-83-GHz-Quad-Core-Proces...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-2-33-GHz-Quad-Core-Proces...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Core-2-Quad-Q8300-Process...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Core-2-Quad-Q9300-Process...

The above are the ones I've looked into. Can someone tell me an order from least effective to most effective?

These are not the only ones I'm willing to buy. If you have a suggestion in my price range, feel free to suggest it. I'm just looking for the best processor for the price. Something that'll run BF3 mostly. Thanks in advance for whatever help you can give me.

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October 25, 2011 6:41:57 PM

evercross said:
I recently bought BF3, but cannot play it. My process just isn't good enough. It's constantly at 100% usage and heating up. So I want to buy a new one. I have to use a LGA775 connector. I'm wondering if anyone has any suggestions on what to buy? I'd like to spend $80-150. I've seen a few myself, but I don't know which is better than the others.

[...]

The above are the ones I've looked into. Can someone tell me an order from least effective to most effective?

These are not the only ones I'm willing to buy. If you have a suggestion in my price range, feel free to suggest it. I'm just looking for the best processor for the price. Something that'll run BF3 mostly. Thanks in advance for whatever help you can give me.


what graphics card do you have? those are most important. a friend of mine has a core 2 duo processor that also ran constantly at 100% in the beta, but with a new graphics card he still got around 40 FPS at full HD.

also, is your system pre-purchased? because then, if you buy either a new processor and/or a new graphics card you probably have to get a new PSU (Power Supply Unit) too, to power all that new hardware. what PSU do you have now? how many Watts and what brand? a decent PSU is quite important, because a bad PSU can break your system in case of a power outage, or a hardware failure.

anywho, i am not really informed with Quad-cores or core 2 quads. from what i can tell, the Core 2 Quad Q9300 would be the best choice. but someone has to confirm that, because that's just a guess.
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October 25, 2011 6:51:12 PM

nighthawk4 said:
what graphics card do you have? those are most important. a friend of mine has a core 2 duo processor that also ran constantly at 100% in the beta, but with a new graphics card he still got around 40 FPS at full HD.

also, is your system pre-purchased? because then, if you buy either a new processor and/or a new graphics card you probably have to get a new PSU (Power Supply Unit) too, to power all that new hardware. what PSU do you have now? how many Watts and what brand? a decent PSU is quite important, because a bad PSU can break your system in case of a power outage, or a hardware failure.

anywho, i am not really informed with Quad-cores or core 2 quads. from what i can tell, the Core 2 Quad Q9300 would be the best choice. but someone has to confirm that, because that's just a guess.



I have an ATI Radeon HD 4770 GPU. I changed the PSU already. I have a 750W Corsair. Thanks for the info.
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October 25, 2011 7:18:31 PM

1. What is your current processor?
2. When you say you cannot play it, do you mean you get really low FPS?
3. What resolution are you gaming at, and what level of detail do you want to achieve?
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October 25, 2011 7:19:49 PM

evercross said:
I have an ATI Radeon HD 4770 GPU. I changed the PSU already. I have a 750W Corsair. Thanks for the info.


nice. you can't go wrong with a corsair. i think a more powerful GPU is in order, instead of a new CPU. what exact CPU do you have? a Pentium 4? or a core 2 duo?

anyway, i would recommend an AMD Radeon 6950(which my friend has. he gets around 40 FPS, as i've told ;) ), or an AMD Radeon 5850, which is the one i have. people say AMD (or ATI, which is their name for graphics cards) have problems with their drivers, but i haven't had any problems whatsoever.

you should look for just 1 above the cheapest one. they all differ in only the cooling mechanism, and prices can be pretty far between.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l...

the one that's $78,- is a bit too good to be true,

but this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Diamond-Multimedia-ATI-Radeon-H...

it's very cheap, but it's second-hand which makes the price already a bit on the high side. getting a feel for the prices?

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October 25, 2011 7:35:06 PM

nighthawk4 said:
nice. you can't go wrong with a corsair. i think a more powerful GPU is in order, instead of a new CPU. what exact CPU do you have? a Pentium 4? or a core 2 duo?

anyway, i would recommend an AMD Radeon 6950(which my friend has. he gets around 40 FPS, as i've told ;) ), or an AMD Radeon 5850, which is the one i have. people say AMD (or ATI, which is their name for graphics cards) have problems with their drivers, but i haven't had any problems whatsoever.

you should look for just 1 above the cheapest one. they all differ in only the cooling mechanism, and prices can be pretty far between.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=m570.l...

the one that's $78,- is a bit too good to be true,

but this one:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Diamond-Multimedia-ATI-Radeon-H...

it's very cheap, but it's second-hand which makes the price already a bit on the high side. getting a feel for the prices?


The ATI Radeon brand has been retired; from Wikipedia: "Products up to and including the HD 5000 series are branded as ATI Radeon, while the HD 6000 series and beyond use the new AMD Radeon branding."

I would also agree with the HD 6950 - you can find the 1GB version used for around $150 or so...
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October 25, 2011 7:35:20 PM

GGTY said:
1. What is your current processor?
2. When you say you cannot play it, do you mean you get really low FPS?
3. What resolution are you gaming at, and what level of detail do you want to achieve?


1. I currently have an Intel Core 2 Duo E6850.
2. It's extremely laggy to the point of jumping. Even at the start of the game.
3. I have all settings at low, which I am ok with playing on low. As for resol, I think 1440x900.
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October 25, 2011 8:01:18 PM

evercross said:
1. I currently have an Intel Core 2 Duo E6850.
2. It's extremely laggy to the point of jumping. Even at the start of the game.
3. I have all settings at low, which I am ok with playing on low. As for resol, I think 1440x900.


Okay, so your CPU is in the 5th tier according to the Gaming CPU Hierarchy Chart.

The recommendation from that article is to upgrade at least 3 tiers up:
"I don’t recommend upgrading your CPU unless the potential replacement is at least three tiers higher. Otherwise, the upgrade is somewhat parallel and you may not notice a worthwhile difference in game performance."

The CPUs you've looked at are a 1 or 2 tier upgrade.

I would highly recommend a better GPU; Check out the Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart here http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card-...

For comparison, I had a Q6600 (1 tier above your CPU) and an HD 6850 (3 tiers above your GPU), and I could run the BF3 beta on medium/low setting at 1680x1050.

The GPU upgrade is the way to go for your budget. Another advantage with a GPU upgrade is if you get a 5000 series and above, it will be DirectX 11 capable - your HD 4770 only supports up to DX 10.1

Good luck!
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a c 85 à CPUs
October 25, 2011 8:24:00 PM

however BF3 will use all four cores, and I think it needs to from some other 'i've only got a dual core' threads.
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October 25, 2011 8:27:10 PM

13thmonkey said:
however BF3 will use all four cores, and I think it needs to from some other 'i've only got a dual core' threads.



So, since it uses all 4, does this mean upgrading to a quad core from a duo core would be a bigger/more important upgrade?
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a c 85 à CPUs
October 25, 2011 8:35:34 PM

The 4770 is weak, so is the dual core in this instance, buying a new GPU you'll be able to reuse it in your next system, likewise with your psu.

A q9550 would do you ok, but you'll not get the full benefit with that GPU, so you need both, A Q8400 would be ok however too. Just remember that you'll be throwing it/selling it at the next platform upgrade, but that could be 2 years away, 2.5Ghz quads will be good for a while.

You're in a really tricky spot. My vote is one of the Q8xxx's if your mobo can take it.
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a c 85 à CPUs
October 25, 2011 8:36:20 PM

if you can run afterburner or precision whilst playing, have a look at your gpu usage, it'll give you a real idea as to whether your cpu is holding you back.
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October 25, 2011 9:29:47 PM

13thmonkey said:
The 4770 is weak, so is the dual core in this instance, buying a new GPU you'll be able to reuse it in your next system, likewise with your psu.

A q9550 would do you ok, but you'll not get the full benefit with that GPU, so you need both, A Q8400 would be ok however too. Just remember that you'll be throwing it/selling it at the next platform upgrade, but that could be 2 years away, 2.5Ghz quads will be good for a while.

You're in a really tricky spot. My vote is one of the Q8xxx's if your mobo can take it.


You need to clarify why you are recommending Q8400 rather than Q9550...
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October 25, 2011 9:36:31 PM

Just buy the biggest baddest graphic card and you should be fine. When time comes you can dump the computer and put the card on your next computer. But if you buy old processor it will be no use
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a c 85 à CPUs
October 26, 2011 9:07:22 AM

GGTY said:
You need to clarify why you are recommending Q8400 rather than Q9550...


throwing less money away on a dead platform, assuming its cheaper than the Q9550. The slight clock speed drop is not an issue 2.66 vs 2.83, the cache reduction is generally not an issue in the real world. The OP appears to not have a lot of cash to throw at this the Q8400 is the economical choice.

and you need to tell me why you asked for clarification like a teacher asking a student to explain their workings, a bad teacher at that. By the way I'm not just reading from the teir charts, which don't take account of BF been able to use a quad core fully, its more generic than that.
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a c 85 à CPUs
October 26, 2011 10:25:55 AM

and some memory, its going to cost a lot more than 80-150 nett
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October 26, 2011 10:53:38 AM

i dont see why it wont run i had a amd dual core athlon 2x2 3.3 ghz with a 440 gt and i could play the beta on med
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a b à CPUs
October 26, 2011 11:50:19 AM

For a CPU only upgrade you may consider an Intel Core 2 Quad Q8300 or Q9550 according to your budget. In order to play BF3 at maximum eye candy you should upgrade your current graphics card to a Radeon HD 6950 1GB or a Radeon HD 6870. Hopes you have a good PSU to support these cards..............

Happy Gaming.................. :sol: 

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October 26, 2011 12:15:49 PM

I would recommend a new GPU at @$150. I saw an Asus Radeon 6850 for $159 at newegg. Much more bang for the buck. Per you specs you have a 750W Corsair PSU so you have plenty of power for a new graphics card. Probably much more effective than trying to upgrade the cpu.
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October 26, 2011 4:46:30 PM

13thmonkey said:
throwing less money away on a dead platform, assuming its cheaper than the Q9550. The slight clock speed drop is not an issue 2.66 vs 2.83, the cache reduction is generally not an issue in the real world. The OP appears to not have a lot of cash to throw at this the Q8400 is the economical choice.

and you need to tell me why you asked for clarification like a teacher asking a student to explain their workings, a bad teacher at that. By the way I'm not just reading from the teir charts, which don't take account of BF been able to use a quad core fully, its more generic than that.


I'm just going to ignore your bad analogy. Who's the "student" and who's "bad teacher" here? This isn't a competition. I don't know about you, but I'm just here to contribute whatever knowledge I have, and to provide explanations for the suggestions I make.

I asked for clarification because the way you worded your response was confusing to say the least:

"A q9550 would do you ok, but you'll not get the full benefit with that GPU, so you need both, A Q8400 would be ok however too."

Clarify this: What is "would do you ok" versus "would be ok however too" ?

"...the Q8400 is the economical choice" <- that would've explained why you picked it. Thanks for clarifying.

---

No one here knows the full story and anyone seriously wanting to help would not be "just reading from the teir charts" Do you know exactly how much CPU utilization vs GPU utilization BF3 uses? What aspects of BF3 gameplay uses more CPU? How does it compare in multiplayer versus single player? How big are the servers he's joining if it is indeed multiplayer? How is the CPU load distributed on a dual-core versus a quad-core? Did you know system requirements include the dual-cores? Do you know the whole story regarding his current system performance? There are far too many factors to consider unless you want to make a physical visit and check it all out. Here's an extreme example: for all we know, an antivirus program could be stealthily using up resources while the game is running.

The point is: All we can really do is gauge relative performance from other comparable systems and make a recommendation. We only know as much information as the OP has revealed to us, and with each piece of the puzzle we can all help to solve the problem.

Sure the OP could spend more money on a newer platform, but that's not why he posted the question.
He wants a minor $80-$150 upgrade to get better performance out of his current system. (OP correct me if I'm wrong)
By all means, if the budget is there, go for a full system upgrade...

But for someone who doesn't have the money to throw away on a new platform (or doesn't want to at the moment),
the "dead platform" is pretty much still alive.

And yes, the OP was regarding CPUs, but we know he's concerned about BF3 performance. While not directly answering his original question, we have learned a lot about his system specs, and I still think the better recommendation is to get a new GPU - for these reasons, mentioned by myself and a few others in prior responses:
1. Your CPU upgrade is vastly limited due to the relatively old LGA775 socket. You probably won't see a vast improvement because your upgrade paths are few.
2. A new GPU at the $150 price point would give you a lot more performance than your current card.
3. A new GPU can be reused in a new system, when that time comes.

By the way, what kind of memory do you have?
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a c 85 à CPUs
October 26, 2011 5:33:16 PM

GGTY said:

No one here knows the full story and anyone seriously wanting to help would not be "just reading from the teir charts" Do you know exactly how much CPU utilization vs GPU utilization BF3 uses? What aspects of BF3 gameplay uses more CPU? How does it compare in multiplayer versus single player? How big are the servers he's joining if it is indeed multiplayer? How is the CPU load distributed on a dual-core versus a quad-core? Did you know system requirements include the dual-cores?


yes, i've been watching a Q9550 at 80-90% on all cores, whilst a GTX470 is running at 100%, on Metro, and roughly the opposite on caspian.

So the difference between a Q8400 and a Q9550 is not going to be that great.

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October 26, 2011 6:36:26 PM

So I presume this is your personal experience on BF3.

If your GTX 470 is running at 100%, what % loads do you expect to see from a far less capable HD 4770?
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a c 85 à CPUs
October 26, 2011 6:58:54 PM

Yes this is my experience (Beta, but i'd suggest correct to within 10%)

My GTX is running at 100% at 2048x1152, and with a Q9550 driving it, with only a dual core driving it, at more normal resolutions (none mentioned so far), i'd suggest the 4770 would not be 100%, or it will be waiting for data, or perhaps a bit stuttery.

Thats my opinion. He really needs both though.
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October 26, 2011 7:06:01 PM

He mentioned that the resolution would be at around 1440x900 and he's fine playing it on low settings.

I agree that both CPU and GPU could use an upgrade, but if he had to choose one or the other...
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a c 85 à CPUs
October 26, 2011 7:31:15 PM

I'd go CPU right now, the main reason being that he can still get new quads that will fit in his board and at 2.5-2.8GHz will give him another 2+ years of life (I'm contemplating an upgrade from a Q9550, but in gaming terms there's no real point, and won't be until it can't feed my GPU).

I think this would give a little boost and ensure that the 4770 is being trashed to within an inch of its life.

If however he got a better GPU, then in 6 months time when the processor is really struggling (being only dual core), then he may not be able to anything except buy a whole new rig. And I suspect it is really struggling already given that A Q9550 is nearly maxed on BF3. He'll always be able to buy a new PCI-E gpu, but not always a 775 Quad.

He's really finely balanced already in my opinion, which is why both are needed, but i think that the quad is better move to keep a rig viable for the next 2 years, and to give some performance increase, then beg for a GPU for christmas, also GPU's will only come down in price, 775's will only go up as they get rarer.

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October 26, 2011 7:31:53 PM

GGTY said:
I'm just going to ignore your bad analogy. Who's the "student" and who's "bad teacher" here? This isn't a competition. I don't know about you, but I'm just here to contribute whatever knowledge I have, and to provide explanations for the suggestions I make.

I asked for clarification because the way you worded your response was confusing to say the least:

"A q9550 would do you ok, but you'll not get the full benefit with that GPU, so you need both, A Q8400 would be ok however too."

Clarify this: What is "would do you ok" versus "would be ok however too" ?

"...the Q8400 is the economical choice" <- that would've explained why you picked it. Thanks for clarifying.

---

No one here knows the full story and anyone seriously wanting to help would not be "just reading from the teir charts" Do you know exactly how much CPU utilization vs GPU utilization BF3 uses? What aspects of BF3 gameplay uses more CPU? How does it compare in multiplayer versus single player? How big are the servers he's joining if it is indeed multiplayer? How is the CPU load distributed on a dual-core versus a quad-core? Did you know system requirements include the dual-cores? Do you know the whole story regarding his current system performance? There are far too many factors to consider unless you want to make a physical visit and check it all out. Here's an extreme example: for all we know, an antivirus program could be stealthily using up resources while the game is running.

The point is: All we can really do is gauge relative performance from other comparable systems and make a recommendation. We only know as much information as the OP has revealed to us, and with each piece of the puzzle we can all help to solve the problem.

Sure the OP could spend more money on a newer platform, but that's not why he posted the question.
He wants a minor $80-$150 upgrade to get better performance out of his current system. (OP correct me if I'm wrong)
By all means, if the budget is there, go for a full system upgrade...

But for someone who doesn't have the money to throw away on a new platform (or doesn't want to at the moment),
the "dead platform" is pretty much still alive.

And yes, the OP was regarding CPUs, but we know he's concerned about BF3 performance. While not directly answering his original question, we have learned a lot about his system specs, and I still think the better recommendation is to get a new GPU - for these reasons, mentioned by myself and a few others in prior responses:
1. Your CPU upgrade is vastly limited due to the relatively old LGA775 socket. You probably won't see a vast improvement because your upgrade paths are few.
2. A new GPU at the $150 price point would give you a lot more performance than your current card.
3. A new GPU can be reused in a new system, when that time comes.

By the way, what kind of memory do you have?



Thanks to everytone for all the info provided thus far. You are correct about the upgrade over a new system. As for memory, I have 6GB DDR2. I did find a relatively cheap Q9300 so I bought it and will try it out. if it fixes my issues, awesome. If not, I'll have to save up a bit more and will get a new GPU since that's the other suggestion people have made. I'm ok with upgrading both honestly. As soon as I have the extra money anways. Just means the system will last a bit longer.
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October 26, 2011 7:34:11 PM

13thmonkey said:
I'd go CPU right now, the main reason being that he can still get new quads that will fit in his board and at 2.5-2.8GHz will give him another 2+ years of life (I'm contemplating an upgrade from a Q9550, but in gaming terms there's no real point, and won't be until it can't feed my GPU).

I think this would give a little boost and ensure that the 4770 is being trashed to within an inch of its life.

If however he got a better GPU, then in 6 months time when the processor is really struggling (being only dual core), then he may not be able to anything except buy a whole new rig. And I suspect it is really struggling already given that A Q9550 is nearly maxed on BF3. He'll always be able to buy a new PCI-E gpu, but not always a 775 Quad.

He's really finely balanced already in my opinion, which is why both are needed, but i think that the quad is better move to keep a rig viable for the next 2 years, and to give some performance increase, then beg for a GPU for christmas, also GPU's will only come down in price, 775's will only go up as they get rarer.


You've made some very good points here and I appreciate them and your help. I didn't even think about asking for a new GPU for Christmas. That's a brilliant idea. Thanks a lot.
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a c 85 à CPUs
October 26, 2011 7:50:42 PM

let us know how it works out for you, it'll be interesting to see what happens.
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a c 85 à CPUs
October 28, 2011 9:22:56 AM

looks like I was wrong, surprising given how much of my Q9550 is being used, have to wonder what its actually doing (perhaps its smoother).

Based on Toms BF3 review there's not much to gain from 2-4 cores, perhaps 10-15%

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November 1, 2011 2:57:09 AM

I have received and installed the Q9300. I am now able to play BF3 on low settings maximized on a 32" TV screen. I'm not having lag issues either. The processor runs between 50-80% now while also running more than I had before. Previously, having only BF3 up my processor would run at 100%. My GPU's activity rate also dropped with the new CPU. The old CPU had it running at 95-100%. Now it runs around 65-80%. All in all, changing the processor has worked out for me. I will more than likely get a new GPU at some point to jack the graphics up, but I'm good at low. Suggested settings for my GPU are medium, so that might work too, but for now I'm just gonna leave it at low. Thanks for all the help. Appreciate it.
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a b à CPUs
November 1, 2011 3:04:22 AM

Don't the old quads cost more than the newer stock?
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a c 85 à CPUs
November 1, 2011 7:14:34 AM

but they cost less than new stock + mobo + ram. That Q9300 will be good for as long as a quad from new stock to within a single game release.

Evercross, really glad to hear that, justifies my first opinion, but not my second, its probably a smoothness issue rather than a framerate issue. The auto settings are quite good from what I've seen.
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November 1, 2011 9:29:07 PM

Good points - I assumed it was a framerate issue - "2. When you say you cannot play it, do you mean you get really low FPS?"

It's understandable why the CPU load decreases as it's spread out over four cores now... but why would the GPU load decrease?

I'm curious as to what frames you get now with the beefier CPU - i.e. what is your definition of playable? Or better yet, what is the gameplay like with auto settings?

Great sleuthing 13thmonkey.
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November 4, 2011 3:12:45 AM

I'm running 1900x1080 resol. I'm having almost no lag. Sometimes the game will freeze for a second, then move on, but it's not too often. And I can't tell you my FPS atm. Not sure how to check it in game yet.
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a c 85 à CPUs
November 4, 2011 6:55:33 AM

use evga precision or msi afterburner to monitor temps and fps, I find precision works, whereas afterburner stops games from working since a recent update.
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a c 85 à CPUs
November 4, 2011 7:20:30 AM

not sure what happened, but after (probably a windows update), not a single game would launch if afterburner was open, changed viedo drivers, reinstalled afterburner, tried latest betas, there was some chatter on forums that a windows update had improved security and controlled what could be observed and controlled, and the afterburner writer had fixed it yet.

Lived with it for a month, got concerned about temps, tried precision and it worked, odd given that they are the same internals.
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