Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Best CPU to pair with a HD5870

Last response: in CPUs
October 31, 2011 8:37:02 AM

So, I just got BF3 and sadly.. my old core 2 duo is bottlenecking me now, I believe. (running 100% cpu on both cores in bf3 and even sometimes in Rift even when reducing the resolution to 800x600), i normally run at 1920x1080

I recently had a gpu fry on me, but luckily it was an XFX, and they replaced it with a (hearty) upgrade in an HD5870.

I'm running it with a E6550 overclocked to 2.97 ghz with a tuniq 120 air cooler, it never gets close to hot, but was never stable above 3 ghz for some reason. I'm not an expert (my brother helped me build this rig, as it was my first, about 4 years ago), but have since built a few setups for friends.

i have ~$300 for a new mother board/CPU.

Basically, im wondering what would be best to avoid bottlenecking the 5870?

Would I be fine with a FX 4100 (i know how "crappy" bulldozer turned out to be) overclocked to 4.8 or so (i see a ton of people getting this easily, apparently)? I ask this because i can grab a 4100 for $100 shipped from amazon right now, and that would open up my options for a nice mother board.

If not, the i5 2500k is obviously a proven processor, but what mother board could i use to keep it around $300?

thanks! Ive always read reviews/etc here but havent upgraded or had questions enough to have to make an account until now :kaola: 

More about : cpu pair hd5870

a b à CPUs
October 31, 2011 8:43:57 AM

Not much. The i5 2500k would eat up most of your budget!
October 31, 2011 8:48:47 AM

No kidding! A big reason i though i was being bottlenecked is i saw the benchmark results from this site on BF3, the 5870 was averaging 59.12 fps on high on 1920x1080 (which is what i tried first, and got a dismal ~20-30 max on any decent sized level)

Nothing else would hamper my performance that badly, I wouldnt think. I recently upgraded ram as well (as i blew a 4 year old stick randomly when changing PSU's)
Related resources
October 31, 2011 8:57:51 AM

If you don't want to buy a new mobo, ram then go for Q9450 or one from these series. Look on ebay and other sites with used products. You might fine a cheap one and OC it.
October 31, 2011 8:59:24 AM


What about the 4100 (since i can get it for literally half the price of a 2500K) overclocked? Or would a good enough mobo to OC it significantly negate the price difference? I wouldnt think it would bottleneck my 5870 even stock, would it? Thats all im trying to avoid, as i just got it, and wont be going for another gpu for a few years, realistically.

As for the 2500k and upping the budget, it's possible, but might take a bit (poor college student all)

why would I need new ram on a new mother board?

edit: thanks for the really fast replies :o 
a b à CPUs
October 31, 2011 9:11:32 AM

LGA1155 would need DDR3 RAM's. Yours would be DDR2 i assume.
October 31, 2011 9:20:27 AM

Ah. yeah. crap... true. So, with that in mind.. would the 4100 suffice? assuming $100 for the processor, ~$150 for a good motherboard and $40 for new ram, that a bit under my $300.
a b à CPUs
October 31, 2011 10:03:30 AM

FX4100 would also mean a new motherboard. But that would be a decent upgrade but nothing too much for gaming!
October 31, 2011 10:09:31 AM

Well, BF3, according to the tomshardware article, if you have a decently modern CPU, there really isnt a difference.. is there a better option at the price range, amd or intel? Like i said, I probably wont be upgrading until i consider a complete system rehaul in a few years, so what would work to "un-bottleneck" my 5870 for now?

..or should i just wait a while and get a 2500k?

I think the big thing for me is that i have the gpu for BF3, but its running like crap cause of my cpu :( 
a c 101 à CPUs
October 31, 2011 10:27:22 AM

I don't think BF3 is held back much by the CPU as "Battlefield 3's single-player campaign doesn’t care if you’re using a £100 Core i3 or £300 Core i7. It doesn’t care if you come armed with two Hyper-Threaded cores or four Bulldozer modules. It just. Doesn’t. Care.

In fact, after getting a little overzealous swapping out Lynnfield-, Clarkdale-, and Sandy Bridge-based chips, I tried one AMD CPU and decided to call it a day. Any reasonably-modern processor is going to be held back by graphics long before hamstringing performance itself."
I suggest you consider the i3 2100, the FX4100 is unlikely to be better than a 955BE for gaming.
October 31, 2011 10:45:41 AM

Thanks again for all the replies guys. I think it might be smarter to just go with the proven 2500K.

I'll save up a bit and go for that, as I'd rather upgrade and spend ~$100 more now and have it last a few years rather than go for the AMD or i3 and have to upgrade again in a year from now.

so lets say im at the i5. I only plan on ever running one GPU slot, is this my best value option, seems like everyone uses it to pair with the 2500k?
a b à CPUs
October 31, 2011 10:53:42 AM

Yup its almost the same as the one i linked above! But this one has more slots. and you're getting it cheaper as well. So i think it is a great option.
October 31, 2011 11:01:28 AM

I have ~$200 left on an amazon gift card (i traded in the last 3.5 years worth of textbooks and got a huge amazon gift card lol) which will cover that board +ram. I hate to sound noob again but since im here.. should i go for any specific ram, or will "basic" 1333 or 1600 work, without it being a fast timing "gaming" specific ram.. I've always just used basic corsair line
a b à CPUs
October 31, 2011 11:03:23 AM

1600MHz with CL7 timings are great! Brands like GSKill, Corsair, Patriot, Mushkin are the best one's out there! GSKill is my personal favorite!
October 31, 2011 11:20:54 AM

I agree on the G.Skill RAM - good prices on newegg and good performance.
October 31, 2011 11:27:45 AM

If only someone would buy my extra bass, I'd have $800 to throw into this XD


edit: that gskill looks perfect, it's even "optimized for the sandy bridge platform" and lower power consumption is always nice.


I guess ill be getting these asap, lol

edit: whats the difference between the X and these:

looks the same except it says its "optimized for intel" essentially
October 31, 2011 12:33:16 PM

Newer heat sink....but mainly that i sent you an 8gb set and your link is to 4gb. I would highly higly recommend the 8gb....esp since its only $12 more :) 
October 31, 2011 12:45:02 PM

300 budget, I recommend a I5 system. You need change mobo+ cpu+memory. 8g memory around 40-50, a decent mobo will around $110(z68). today the I5 2500 is $195 after 15$ coupon. so your total is around 340. 20 more dollar will bring you to I5 2500K.
AMD is still good and price/performance is ok, but not for gaming.
October 31, 2011 3:00:58 PM

inanition02 said:
Newer heat sink....but mainly that i sent you an 8gb set and your link is to 4gb. I would highly higly recommend the 8gb....esp since its only $12 more :) 

wow durp. I think my computer heard i was talking about this, it just started having issues (i have been running a big OC for about 4 years straight) and it only wants to post about half the time suddenly.. hmm..
October 31, 2011 4:52:07 PM

If you're going the 2500K route, I would look at this board:

Pretty basic, but enough to run that 2500K; pair it up with that G.Skill Ripjaws X series, and you're good to go!!!

I know that'll run you passed your budget to around $350-360, but if you can find them... there are Intel's Core i5-2400 that would be plenty enough to run BF3 that can be had for around $150 or so (which would bring you within budget).
October 31, 2011 5:09:54 PM

I remember seeing the 2500K for $170 2 weeks ago at Microcenter. Check that out if there's one around you.
a c 91 à CPUs
October 31, 2011 5:36:31 PM

currently you have a socket 775? then a q9550 would be a great choice. as would a q8400 anything less would be a waste of money. i know most would say jump platform, but you on a tight budget. so why not just upgrade the cpu for about $150
both chips wil have enough grunt to handle the 5870. but you will have to oc the q8400.
October 31, 2011 6:56:39 PM

FLank_Sinatra said:
I remember seeing the 2500K for $170 2 weeks ago at Microcenter. Check that out if there's one around you.

Wow, I've been on MC looking for a deal like that and there's none with that price :( 
a b à CPUs
October 31, 2011 7:13:41 PM

4150 a mobo with no overclocking needed would be fine. DDR3 couldn't be cheaper. You could also recover moeny from your DD2 you can sell on ebay or local for a small recovery the CPU is really at the edge of usefullness.
October 31, 2011 8:25:36 PM

there isnt even a microcenter in my state, sadly.
in case it helps anyone else:
I'll tough it out a few days or something and see if newegg throws a sale on it. thats -$15 sale on newegg was for the 2500, not the 2500k. and i'd definitely be overclocking this.

I figure its about time to "switch platforms" I guess, as if i upgrade to the i5 and OC it well, it'll last me another 4 years like this core duo did.

A big thing with me is customer service, and i read some pretty bad reviews on gigabytes service... any of you guys had to deal with them? tons of ppl are getting boot loops and theres no US phone number to call, apparently. That sketches me out..
October 31, 2011 9:05:22 PM

Microcenter also has an online store in which you can just order and have them ship it to you...
November 1, 2011 1:18:04 PM

toneekay said:
Microcenter also has an online store in which you can just order and have them ship it to you...

yes but that deal is listed as "in store only" hence, my comment about not having one in my state. :( 
November 1, 2011 2:03:27 PM

Ahh... I didn't see that little caption. I went out to Microcenter yesterday and noticed that you can purchase the 2500K or 2600K paired with a P67/Z68 as a combo AND recieve an additional $60 off.
a b à CPUs
November 1, 2011 2:10:36 PM

@OP: You decided on what you want to get?
November 1, 2011 5:35:03 PM

toneekay said:
Ahh... I didn't see that little caption. I went out to Microcenter yesterday and noticed that you can purchase the 2500K or 2600K paired with a P67/Z68 as a combo AND recieve an additional $60 off.

ugh. wish one was near me :( 

I looked heavily into that gigabyte board, and half.. literally HALF of the threads/etc i found on people getting one involved them trying to RMA it because of issues or bent pins when it arrived.

I'm looking at this, and its basically an extreme4 with one less PCI slot, which I'm only using one anyway:

then, i5, obviously:

and this gskill ram (though it looks kind of lame lol):

comes out to $392 with a tube of thermal paste as well, since ive moved and i forgot my email since i last ordered from newegg (years ago for my original setup) so i got a $10 off new customer thing.

as for cooling, im using my tuniq tower 120, that will fit right? The "new" 120 says it fits the old and new boards, id assume this will fit?

I wish i could afford a new case, since im pretty much rebuilding the whole thing, but i dont have the $$ for one :( 

The problem is i cant find that board on amazon, so im getting the core there. which after the gift card came out to like $25 lol
November 1, 2011 5:44:44 PM

I was looking at that board, it looks sooo awesome! I've yet to try it myself, but I'm on the same path as you with the components.
November 1, 2011 6:01:21 PM

Im all set to pull the trigger, but the g skill ram is showing as $59 on my cart o.O

might just grab some corsair vengeance, its a tad cheaper anyway and ive been running corsair ram overclocked for 4 years straight with no blips

also - the 25% off thermal paste coupon isnt working.. its only about $3 difference, but still.
November 6, 2011 5:08:50 PM

Got in the i5 2500k, extreme3 mobo, and ram, then stripped my old case of the psu, gpu, wires/etc, cd drive, and whatnot. just waiting on the case to get here monday.

hope my tuniq 120 fits