Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

How low can I go when pairing processor with video card for gaming?

Last response: in CPUs
Share
January 17, 2012 10:52:04 AM

Firstly, thanks in advance for any help you all can give with this new build!

I want to create a pc that is capable of playing current/upcoming games (Skyrim and Mass Effect 3) on the highest available settings at 1920 x 1080 definition.

For the graphics card, I am waiting for the Radeon 7850s to come out because that *should* be good enough to accomplish that (please correct me if I am wrong).

Now my question is, what is the cheapest Intel processor I can pair with that graphics card and accomplish what I am after?

I know a lot of people recommend going with the Core i5 2500K since most games are not that threaded and don't benefit from multiple cores.

By that same logic, could I cheap out and get a Core i3 instead - like the i3 2120?

Could I even take it further and drop down all the way to a Sandy Bridge Pentium like the G620 or G850?


I guess my question is, at what point does the CPU become the bottleneck instead of the graphics card?

Thank you!
a b à CPUs
a b U Graphics card
January 17, 2012 10:59:22 AM

i would stick at 2500k

dont forget that with a decent cooler most of them will overclock to the 4.5ghz area

m
0
l
January 17, 2012 11:02:49 AM

If most games are not CPU-bound, but are graphics-bound, what would the point be of OC'ing in the first place?
m
0
l
Related resources
a c 478 à CPUs
a c 363 U Graphics card
January 17, 2012 11:03:54 AM

Yeah, you can go with a Core i3-2120 ($130) or you can opt for the quad core Core i5-2300 ($185).

Generally speaking if you drop too low on the CPU you may find that in the near future you CPU will become a bottleneck especially in a game were both CPU and GPU are nearly as important. Also, when you decide to upgrade the GPU you may find that you need to upgrade the CPU as well.

If you are looking for a low cost CPU that can handle game well enough, then consider the:

AMD Phenom II X4 960T for $125
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

m
0
l
a c 478 à CPUs
a c 363 U Graphics card
January 17, 2012 11:07:23 AM

aemami99 said:
If most games are not CPU-bound, but are graphics-bound, what would the point be of OC'ing in the first place?


OC'ing can still provide a few more frames per second, but it varies from game to game. Here's Skyrim as an example.



http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-...
m
0
l
January 17, 2012 11:35:41 AM

Thank you jaguarskx for the info and chart.

Let me ask this... would I be better off going with a i3 2120 paired with Radeon 7870 ... or go with i5 2300 and Radeon 7850?

Lastly, I ruled out AMDs cause they sound like they run hot and I want this to be a relatively quiet gaming rig. Plus I've never had an AMD computer and kind of wary of them compared to Intel
m
0
l
a b à CPUs
a b U Graphics card
January 17, 2012 11:55:30 AM

aemami99 said:
Thank you jaguarskx for the info and chart.

Let me ask this... would I be better off going with a i3 2120 paired with Radeon 7870 ... or go with i5 2300 and Radeon 7850?

Lastly, I ruled out AMDs cause they sound like they run hot and I want this to be a relatively quiet gaming rig. Plus I've never had an AMD computer and kind of wary of them compared to Intel


Probably i5 2300 and Radeon 7850 is better.

i5 2300 have a considerable more power than i3-2120 (considering scalability in softwares)
And the HD7870 should be close enough to HD7850.. it looks like the best decision is to stick with the quad-core + weaker VGA (but still 'oh my god wtf strong card')
m
0
l
January 17, 2012 11:57:53 AM

aemami99 said:
Thank you jaguarskx for the info and chart.

Let me ask this... would I be better off going with a i3 2120 paired with Radeon 7870 ... or go with i5 2300 and Radeon 7850?

Lastly, I ruled out AMDs cause they sound like they run hot and I want this to be a relatively quiet gaming rig. Plus I've never had an AMD computer and kind of wary of them compared to Intel




Most games stress the GPU fathur than the CPU but some games like Skyrim also hit the CPU good. Personally if you aren't going to wait for Ivy Bridge to drop then I would buy a 2500k and have future proofed yourself for quite awhile. The different between the 2120 and the 2500k is around 100 bucks. Going less than the 2100/2120 is foolishness cause the amount of money saved is very minimal.

AMD hasn't been a legitimate competitor to Intel for awhile now, especially in the gaming department.
m
0
l
!