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CPU future upgrade.

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May 16, 2012 8:25:47 PM

Hey guys. I recently bought an AMD Radeon HD 6850 and my CPU is too slow and i'm planing to upgrade it. I've had an Intel i5 2310 2.9 GHz in mind since it costs 170$ here and for such a CPU its worth the price. My current CPU is an AMD Athlon II X3 445 cpu 3.1 GHz and i can feel that its bottlenecking my system. i also have 8gigs of ram installed. do you guys think its a good option or i could buy a cheaper AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 3.4 GHz. it costs 120$ never mind the current socket i have i want to know which one is better for mostly gaming and i want a good cpu for my Radeon 6850

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May 16, 2012 8:39:55 PM

If you change to the intel cpu, don't forget you will need a new motherboard. if you replace the motherboard you may need a new copy of windows. That could quickly get more expensive. The cheapest upgrade would be the AMD 965, but you'll want to make sure that that cpu is on the list of cpus supported by your specific motherboard. You'll also want to make sure the BIOS version for your motherboard supports the cpu as well.
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May 16, 2012 8:45:57 PM

Where are you at exactly?

$170 for an i5-2310 sounds pretty high. In the U.S. I can get an i5-3450 Ivy Bridge for $150.

The Phenom 2 x4 955 or 965 will be a solid downgrade from the i5-2310. Like 1/3 less productivity kinda downgrade.

The 965 would still be about twice as good as the Athlon 2 445, but not 3x as good like the i5 would be.

The i5 would be a whole lot better for gaming than the AMD would be, if price is no object.

Either the i5 or the AMD 965 would be able to power the 6850 just fine, though. I am powering a 6850 off of something that is not super hugely better than your 445 right now and I honestly don't feel like the bottleneck is super huge.

Quigley - It really doesn't matter which you pair with which. There is no difference in performance. The AMD doesn't necessarily work better with the AMD than any other configuration would.
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May 16, 2012 8:48:25 PM

quigley0908 said:
I always found that pairing Nvidia with Intel and AMD with ATI always seemed the most logical.


Whenever I mention this, people respond like I'm crazy. There must be *some* greater guarantee of compatibility of parts for matching them, right?
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May 16, 2012 8:53:34 PM

Well most benchmarks for gaming lately compare Intel + Nvidia vs Intel + AMD, and i'm thinking if there was a real compatibility benifit to AMD + AMD and Intel + Nvidia i think that the benchmarks would have to test that way to provide apple-to-apples comparison. Just a thought.
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May 16, 2012 8:55:06 PM

anxiousinfusion said:
Whenever I mention this, people respond like I'm crazy. There must be *some* greater guarantee of compatibility of parts for matching them, right?


It makes "logical" sense, but in the real world, it doesn't matter. There are millions (probably, just a guess) of people that use an AMD GPU with an Intel CPU or a Nvidia GPU with an AMD CPU that have no problems whatsoever.
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May 16, 2012 8:56:32 PM

kelthic said:
If you change to the intel cpu, don't forget you will need a new motherboard. if you replace the motherboard you may need a new copy of windows. That could quickly get more expensive. The cheapest upgrade would be the AMD 965, but you'll want to make sure that that cpu is on the list of cpus supported by your specific motherboard. You'll also want to make sure the BIOS version for your motherboard supports the cpu as well.


Well i need a new motherboard anyways since i have a Biostar N68S3+ which doesn't support the 965 because it needs 125W and its max socket power output is 95W and this motherboard is too small not to mention that my R 6850 covers 4 SATA ports on the motherboard which leaves me with only 2 for my 2 hard drives. how about this situation? i need a new mobo for any of the 2 CPU's.
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May 16, 2012 8:58:10 PM

Also, now that i'm thinking about it, if AMD made their gaming gpus to work better with their own cpus they would pretty much put themselves out of the high end graphics business since they can't compete on high end gaming cpus. Why would someone with Intel cpu buy an AMD GPU if it doesn't work as well with the Intel CPU? That wouldn't make sense.
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May 16, 2012 9:00:30 PM

Lazar_99 said:
Well i need a new motherboard anyways since i have a Biostar N68S3+ which doesn't support the 965 because it needs 125W and its max socket power output is 95W and this motherboard is too small not to mention that my R 6850 covers 4 SATA ports on the motherboard which leaves me with only 2 for my 2 hard drives. how about this situation? i need a new mobo for any of the 2 CPU's.


In this case, if you can afford to pair the i5 you looked at with an ASRock Extreme 4, you'd be sitting pretty.

EDIT: you'll also want to make sure your RAM is compatable.
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May 16, 2012 9:00:49 PM

quigley0908 said:
AMD would work better i believe with the ATI only because they are sisters. I have the 955 X4, all cores unlocked and overclocked to 3.6 and i have no problems what so ever. Windows rated experience of 7.6 on the CPU. And the 955 is even cheaper and you just overclock it past the 965's clock performance and save a few bones. I always found that pairing Nvidia with Intel and AMD with ATI always seemed the most logical.


Heh we share a common theory that Nvidia should be paired with intel and AMD with AMD. I've always wanted to own an AMD Phenom II X4 but i never owned any intel cpu except the pentium celeron from my first pc and i know that intel i5's are known to eat any AMD cpu but i only know that an intel i5 2500k can do that.
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May 16, 2012 9:01:50 PM

kelthic said:
Well most benchmarks for gaming lately compare Intel + Nvidia vs Intel + AMD, and i'm thinking if there was a real compatibility benifit to AMD + AMD and Intel + Nvidia i think that the benchmarks would have to test that way to provide apple-to-apples comparison. Just a thought.

The gaming performance characteristics between Intel and AMD CPUs are drastically different and heavily in Intel's favor, which would make it absolutely impossible to have a fair comparison between Nvidia and AMD GPUs without using the same platform to drive both.

Some GPU reviews include both AMD and Intel CPU results but reviewers who only have the time/resources to test on only one platform usually choose the one most likely to get the most out of the GPU. In other case, the platform choice is also to provide a common baseline system performance for comparison across multiple GPU generations.
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May 16, 2012 9:02:48 PM

Eh, I've always been partial to Nvidia, so no matter what CPU I've had, be it Intel or AMD, I've always paired it with a Nvidia GPU.
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May 16, 2012 9:19:02 PM

quigley0908 said:
Don't get me wrong I totally am reading you on that one. I mean the i7 extreme is by far a killer of all. But that is why AMD came out with the AMD FX-8150 again no comparison to the i7 extreme but comparable to lower priced i7's and i5's. I don't really know if Tom's ever did a comparison like we are talking about have they?


i'm really not sure you could and still be objective. doing this would eliminate the control group in the expiriment. because of the differences in cpus, you'd still need a variable that remains constant. Keeping the gpu the same really only tells you the difference between the cpus. Keeping the cpu the same tells you the difference between gpus. In order to validate that AMD is more compatable with AMD than with Nvidia gpus and that Intel is more compatable with Nvidia than with AMD GPUs, you would have to test Intel + Nvidia vs AMD + AMD, which means there is no variable that remains constant, therfore no control group.
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May 16, 2012 9:26:45 PM

quigley0908 said:
I can't ever remember seeing an intel and radeon combo done by a large manufacturer though...

Many years ago when Nvidia made a series of manufacturing mistakes that caused solder balls, substrates, bonding and other things to fail at abnormally high frequencies which Nvidia blamed on their suppliers for several months before accepting to compensate their OEMs for excessive field failure costs, Dell switched to ATI/AMD GPUs on many Intel desktops and laptop product lines for a while.
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May 16, 2012 9:43:46 PM

Also, taking this all a step further (and i know we are side-tracking this post here), i think it's important to remember that Intel and Nvidia are competitors in the mobile market. It's seems unlikely that they would have any sort of special relationship in the computer market when they have already butted heads in the mobile market (and i believe i read that Intel was quoted as saying they are not in the business of helping their competitors over the last couple months)

From a business standpoint, it does not make sense for Either AMD or Nvidia GPUs to eliminate themselves from any customers by making their hardware perform better with either Intel or AMD cpus. They would want to be as competitive for the price as possible while maximizing their profits despite whatever other hardware exists in the machine.

Given all of that, i really don't see a logical reason that AMD would want themselves to be more competitive when paired with an AMD GPU, but i really don't see a legitimate reason to even consider that Nvidia and Intel would do so. really what you could say is that AMD has an opportunity to work better with AMD because they are the same company, and Nvidia/Intel has no such opportunity, or even incentive to do so.

Really, if you could test the actual performance of an AMD GPU with and AMD CPU against an AMD GPU with an Intel CPU that performs exactly the same (no such thing) as the AMD CPU, you would have some sort of idea about whether they work better together or not.
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May 16, 2012 9:52:11 PM

Somebody could test this if they wanted to.

They could get one of each CPUs and one of each video cards and try both cards in both systems.

Write down the FPS over time from something like Furmark in all configurations.

Anything significant should show up in the numbers.

Also, you guys should note that many motherboards have an Nvidia chipset. IIRC, it is called Nvidia 7025 or something.

Mine is one of those. I have a Nvidia chipset motherboard with both an AMD processor and an AMD/ATI Video card. Go figure that one out.

The point is, Intel doesn't want to kill all the sales it could have if it sucked with AMD video cards and AMD doesn't want to kill all the sales it could have if it sucked with Nvidia video cards. Therefore they both make their processors to use both equally.

Besides, there is nothing magical about this stuff. The processor sends something down the wire to where it knows a video card is. The processor doesn't need to know what kind of video card it is. The processor only knows that it sends thing X and receives back thing Y.

From the video card's perspective, it just knows it receives thing X and sends out thing Y on the other side. It doesn't care what the processor is or what it does with that information.

For the most part, these things are designed to be completely modular (as in any good system).
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May 17, 2012 2:18:52 AM

quigley0908 said:
hahahaha. Well since AMD does own ATI. You would think that they would obviously make ATI run better on their own chips, since that is probably what they care about the most when they are benchmarking their hardware. I am not positive I am just sayin. HAHAHA. It's like, why would a company be like, I have my own cpu and my own gpu, but for some reason we can't get our CPU to work with our GPU. our competitors CPU works much better with our GPU (or vice versa)......psssssssh highly unlikely. This is what i believe AMD has to their advantage in some cases. Matching sets are so much more appealing to me....mmmmmmm 25% the cost and matching.


I think that's it, the matching set mentality. It would bother me if I bought a Honda and opened the hood only to see a Ford engine. Sure it works but it just doesn't seem... right.
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May 17, 2012 2:38:32 AM

kelthic said:
Why would someone with Intel cpu buy an AMD GPU if it doesn't work as well with the Intel CPU? That wouldn't make sense.

AMD and Intel have their own in-house code optimizations and specially optimized in-house libraries so it is quite possible that some AMD code optimized specifically for AMD CPU architecture might not run quite as well on Intel CPUs just like code complied with ICC (Intel C Compiler) using CPU-specific code paths may not perform quite as well on AMD CPUs.

Still works but potentially not optimally unless the software includes every CPU-specific code path optimization.
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May 17, 2012 5:09:57 PM

anxiousinfusion said:
I think that's it, the matching set mentality. It would bother me if I bought a Honda and opened the hood only to see a Ford engine. Sure it works but it just doesn't seem... right.


It is more like if you buy some random car and replace the wheels with Momo lightweight alloy wheels and then you look at your shift knob and you all of a sudden feel bad that it isn't a Momo shift knob since the same company that makes your wheels also makes shift knobs and you aren't using everything you could be using from the same manufacturer.

Then you realize you don't have a Momo steering wheel too.

Then you realize you don't have Momo seats.

I mean if the same maker makes all these things they should be made to work well together, right?
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