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New CPU vs New Video Card

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December 13, 2011 1:12:07 PM

Hey, just wanted to run something by the more knowledgeable(than me) people here.

I built an ok system about 18 months ago and want to do some upgrading.

The dilemma I'm having is whether or not to buy a new CPU/Motherboard or a new video card and OC my old CPU. Right now I have an i5 750 and HD 5870. So I was thinking of either getting the 2600k and a new mobo with a water cooling system or go for an HD 6870/GTX570-ish card with a water cooling system and OC the i5 to a modest 3.2ghz.

I also have 16gb of 1600 RAM that I just bought.

What I'm wondering is what you would do and what upgrade is going to help my systems performance all around(not just gaming) the most, although I'm curious how much of an effect an OCed 2600k would have on gaming vs a stock i5 750?

Thanks.

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December 13, 2011 1:19:15 PM

wait till q3 next year for ivy bridge and new 28 nm gfx cards, see how they turn out. amd's trinity and piledriver would be out as well.
December 13, 2011 1:31:19 PM

So you think go for the CPU and hold of for video?
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December 13, 2011 1:45:29 PM

Garrett87 said:
So you think go for the CPU and hold of for video?

both your cpu and gpu are close to top tier for gaming.
cpu hierarchy chart
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overcloc...
gfx hierarchy chart
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-ca...
core i5 750 vs core i7 2600k
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/109?vs=287
radeon hd 5870 vs nvidia gtx 570
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/294?vs=306
December 13, 2011 1:51:35 PM

de5_Roy said:
both your cpu and gpu are close to top tier for gaming.
cpu hierarchy chart
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-overcloc...
gfx hierarchy chart
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-ca...
core i5 750 vs core i7 2600k
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/109?vs=287
radeon hd 5870 vs nvidia gtx 570
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/294?vs=306


Hmm interesting, thanks.

The thing is though, new games I'm not able to max out. What's the difference between maxed settings on Skyrim or BF3 and High settings?

Seems like my video card is closer to the top than my CPU.
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December 13, 2011 2:46:02 PM

Garrett87 said:
Hmm interesting, thanks.

The thing is though, new games I'm not able to max out. What's the difference between maxed settings on Skyrim or BF3 and High settings?

Seems like my video card is closer to the top than my CPU.

star wars tor performance analysis
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/star-wars-gaming-te...
skyrim performance analysis
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-...
bf3 performance analysis
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/battlefield-3-graph...
imo skyrim is slightly more cpu bound while bf3 is gpu bound. only times you might run into cpu bottlenecks are during outside view in skyrim and in intense multiplayer sessions in bf3. as for maxing out bf3, even high end cards struggle a bit with it. for gaming, as long as you successfully shift the gfx load onto the gfx card (by raising resolution, aa, physx, msaa etc), the cpu shouldn't matter as much.
December 13, 2011 2:58:34 PM

Agree with de5_roy

BF3 is a beast, To achieve ultra(maxed) settings, you need a dual video card, or from what i hear a single 6990 AMD card, or a GTX580 type card. Which is big money.. (kind of a waste)

Definitely wait till the next gen to get a new mobo and CPU/video card. The performance gained won't be much if you switch it out now.

Talking from a Q9550/6870 ATI card.

I'd love to max BF3 out, but i'll wait till a 7xxx series card comes out or something that is twice the speed or at least 1/3 faster than my current card. Sometimes doesn't pay to upgrade just for one game.

If you have the option for a dual card, could always slap another 5870 in, but may have some stutter issues.... I'm tempted on a second 6870 myself.

Currently this system should last awhile, even into 2013! You have a strong QUAD core already.
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December 13, 2011 3:03:16 PM

BF3 is more GPU bound IF you going to play single player, or low qty of players in multiplayer.
When you go for HUGE maps, with LOTS of players things changes a bit. CPU starts to play a major role..
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December 13, 2011 3:17:04 PM

+1 to the above comments. Your CPU and GPU are both good and any upgrade will not give a huge performance increase, so unless you have loads of cash to burn I agree wait for the next generation of CPUs and GPUs.
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December 13, 2011 3:21:28 PM

5870 is better than 6870. 570 would be faster, but probably not noticeable enough to be worth spending +$300. If you can find another one, it might be worth it to crossfire that 5870. Otherwise wait for the new 28nm cards.

I'd save the $100 and go with a i5-2500k unless you have a need for the i7's hyper-threading. Like your GPU, you probably don't need to upgrade your CPU yet, and can wait for the next generation, but i5-2500k is easily the best performance CPU buy right now.

I would completely abandon the water cooling idea unless you're in it for the hobby or challenge. It's going to be a lot more expensive and a lot harder to maintain than a decent air cooler. I don't think 3.2Ghz would be any problem for your current CPU on air.

If you're really looking to drastically increase your computer's performance, get a SSD. It won't make your games run better, but everything will load much faster.
December 13, 2011 3:47:04 PM

Hey thanks for the responses. Good advice.

What I meant by water cooling is one of the basic Hydro series types, not going to get into putting it together myself.

I'm still tempted to upgrade my CPU, simply because I OCed it from stock 2.67 to 3.2 just for a few minutes and noticed a difference in the speed of my computer. I'm not sure how that will translate into games, probably not much, but it was a noticeable difference.

I'm not going to go for a new GPU but I may look at the 2500k like hapkido said.

Also, I only have the stock CPU fan and OCed it went up to over 90C(in game) so I'll have to get some sort of better cooling system.
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December 13, 2011 4:14:22 PM

don't oc with the stock fan. get a decent cpu cooler like one from cooler master, hyper 212+.
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December 13, 2011 5:46:32 PM

Buy a decent air cooler like a CM Evo and oc your cpu.
i5's OC like mad!
The 5870 is still a very good gpu.
I'd play with what you have for now!
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December 13, 2011 7:44:00 PM

Garrett87 said:
I'm still tempted to upgrade my CPU, simply because I OCed it from stock 2.67 to 3.2 just for a few minutes and noticed a difference in the speed of my computer. I'm not sure how that will translate into games, probably not much, but it was a noticeable difference.

That would be what is called a placebo effect if all you did was load up windows. The CPU shouldn't bottleneck a hard drive or solid state drive.

You should save your money until April when Ivy Bridge and the next gen AMD/Nvidia cards should be out. That CPU and GPU are near the top performance wise. You would need at least a GTX 570/HD 6950 to have an upgrade, and even then, that's a ton of cash for a slight upgrade.

If you buy a heatsink for the 1156 socket, you can reuse that heatsink for the 1155 socket. You should try a new heatsink and overclock that cpu then upgrade later.
December 13, 2011 11:08:17 PM

Its to close to next gen all ready. Its best to wait and see what comes out worst case you get the 2600k cheaper. And gtx 570 would own 5870 and you would probly see the better fps but 6 series is all most here also witch will drive down the cost of the 570 if you don't like the gtx 670 price. The gtx 570 owns all amd single chip cards right now. Just think what the 670 is going to do to amd chips next year.
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December 13, 2011 11:52:36 PM

smokeymicpot42 said:
Its to close to next gen all ready. Its best to wait and see what comes out worst case you get the 2600k cheaper. And gtx 570 would own 5870 and you would probly see the better fps but 6 series is all most here also witch will drive down the cost of the 570 if you don't like the gtx 670 price. The gtx 570 owns all amd single chip cards right now. Just think what the 670 is going to do to amd chips next year.


570 is similar in performance to a 6970. 570 certainly doesn't "own" 6970. 5870 is similar in performance to a 6950 or 560ti.

Also, AMD is beating Nvidia to the market with the new chips. I won't be surprised when Nvidia releases the fastest single GPU (like they have the 580 now), but it will be months later, and at a price most enthusiasts will just crossfire/sli for more performance anyway.

There's nothing wrong with being a fan of a specific manufacturer, but don't spread blind nonsense.
December 14, 2011 8:13:22 AM

What makes me blind is never haven driver problems or bad parts like with ati cards. Been buying nvidia cards for 6 years not one problem. Buy one top of the line 6970 asus dead the first day. And its sad how the gtx 570 beats ati top single gpu card.
January 6, 2012 6:13:26 AM

Yea I'll be honest I used ATI for a while and I now just upgraded to the Zotac GTX560ti 448 cores and I can't be happier. ATI just gave me so much problems and bad performance. Drivers were really bad. Nvidia cards make you pay a good chunk of money but you get a really good quality product and great drivers. I also just got an SSD and yea it really wont increase game performance but for my Diablo 3 beta it did. Since D3 has to load up so many assets having the SSD made them load so quick I now have no stutter problems or general frame lag. The SSD loads up textures, monsters and other things so quick it sorta in a way increased my games performance.
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