I do not know a whole lot about computers compared with most of the people on this website, just enough to hook up a new rig and install windows, do basic troubleshooting, etc. but I do not understand most of the technical terms that are thrown around regarding hardware, so please excuse me if I am making some simple mistakes when I say the things I do.
My questions are:
1) Will upgrading to the 460gtx be pointless without also improving the CPU? Do I need to upgrade the CPU in order to run Skyrim well? (Bethesda lists under Recommended Settings "Intel Quad Core processor" but that is extremely vague)
2) Will the 6000 series quad core processors be downgrading or upgrading?
3) Will the E8500 be downgrading or upgrading?
4) My friend mentioned something about running the 9000 series quad core processors on my current motherboard. Does anyone know if this possible?
5) Is there any way to greatly optimize the current CPU setup I have or am I going to have to upgrade the motherboard for that?
My last PC was actually a 650 SLI with an E8500 which was OC'd to 3.8GHz and an ATI HD 5850. It was plenty fast and I don't think I ever really had an issue with bottle necking. The only reason I got rid of it was because my brother needed a PC after his died and I wanted something new but needed an excuse...
ok thanks for the info. unfortunately, the criteria that this comparison system uses mean very little to me. which criteria are most relevant for playing games, and how much of a difference in these criteria is a big difference? I have no frame of reference haha
Not true, the benchmarks towards the end are direct measurement of fps in a number of popular games which should give you some indication of performance in Skyrim as requested.
So, what I get out of looking at the benchmarks provided by AnandTech is that the E8500 will be a minor upgrade, the Q6600 a pretty decent upgrade in terms of Skyrim since it's multi-core capable, and the Q9xxx series a pretty good upgrade (but quite spendy).
In real world terms I'd wait to collect some cash for an upgrade if I was you. Many of the better Core 2 and Core 2 Quads are still quite expensive on the used market and you'd probably be better served by ponying up a couple hundred extra on a new CPU/MB combo or GPU.