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Is it true that GPU's get bottlenecked by CPU's over time?

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June 12, 2012 8:04:41 PM

My friend said that if I get a core i3 with a 7850 that the CPU will bottleneck it over time when games start using more than 2 cores, is that true?
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June 12, 2012 8:09:20 PM

In a way yes. Some game make use of 4 or more cores (like BF3) and in that case a dual cored CPU could possibly become a bottleneck. However good dual cored CPUs will still last a few years.
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June 12, 2012 8:12:01 PM

So, should I stay with an i3 go with something like a Phenom II X4? I really don't want to pay over $150 for a CPU.
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June 12, 2012 8:20:43 PM

I Wish I did, but I live near a Fry's.
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a b à CPUs
June 12, 2012 8:26:21 PM

Agreed with DJDeCiBeL, an i5 would be a great way to go, depending on how much you can find one for. I've been using a Phenom II x4 980, and you can get one OEM on newegg within your budget if you can't find an i5 at a reasonable price.

Phenom II x4 980 for $139

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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June 12, 2012 8:37:33 PM

I decided to raise my budget to $200 for the CPU.
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a b à CPUs
June 12, 2012 10:44:03 PM

Oh my lord guys! Get off the damn i5 bandcamp.

@op, for a budget an i3 is fine with a 7850 and will give you very good FPS on everything. It will NOT hold back a 7850.

In 2-3 years time, upgrade then, but for now an upper end i3 is more than adequate for HD gaming.
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a c 179 à CPUs
June 13, 2012 12:02:10 AM

I only have an i7-860 (HT disabled) which is almost as good as a 2500K. I've done some experimenting with various games and have found mostly very little benefit to overclocking.

I'm using an HD5870 graphics card.

I'll evaluate this again when (if?) my GTX680 arrives.

What really blew me away was how much the Virtu MVP technology could in some cases boost game performance. The issue though is that some games at certain resolutions performed WORSE.

However I believe they had one game perform 70% better with an HD7870 which is just crazy.

I wasn't sure about the motherboard, but if you're still undecided I highly recommend something like a Z77 Asrock for roughly $120. These boards will support the newer 22nm CPU's so you can upgrade easier in the future if need be, have PCIe v3, SATA3, possibly better Realtek audio than previous etc.

And of course Win 7 64-bit (or Win 8 64-bit Release Candidate for now).
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a b à CPUs
June 13, 2012 2:08:46 AM

teh_gerbil said:
Oh my lord guys! Get off the damn i5 bandcamp.

@op, for a budget an i3 is fine with a 7850 and will give you very good FPS on everything. It will NOT hold back a 7850.

In 2-3 years time, upgrade then, but for now an upper end i3 is more than adequate for HD gaming.



There is a reason people are saying get an i5. It's not because we're fanboys or bleed Intel silicon, it's because, on a budget, the i5-2500k or 3570k, depending on the budget, is the best performer. If he doesn't want to have to worry about bottlenecks for the next 3 years or so, it's the best way to go. He asked for our opinions and we're giving them, but that obviously pisses you off for some strange reason.
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June 13, 2012 2:21:28 AM

it will only bottle neck if you play heavy cpu requirement games at a high resolution
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a c 283 à CPUs
June 13, 2012 2:21:31 AM

^ Agreed. An i3 may well last for 2-3 more years for gaming, but an i5 (especially a 2500K/3570K that can be OC'd) will last at least a year or two more than that in gaming and everything else outside of gaming as well.
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June 13, 2012 4:40:15 AM

@Keanu Reeves

At the end of the day, for most gamers, (given the most popular resolution according to Steam http://store.steampowered.com/hwsurvey only 25% of gamers use Hd resolutions) an i3 2120 will delivery 60fps + on almost every game when coupled with a sufficient on almost every setting and actually BEATS the highest 6 core AMD 1100 on alot of things!

I fail to see why they need to spend 300 dollars when a CPU for HALF THAT PRICE will give them a beneficial upgrade most of the time.

We need to ask more questions, such as resolution, graphics card and games they play before telling a user to buy a 300 dollar CPU, cause I will eat my keyboard if HALF the users we tell to buy an i5 2500 WILL EVER utilise it to it's full potential!

my apologies, nothing here is personal, but I get angry when I see users spend their hard earned cash on stuff they will not ever utilize to it's full potential. It's both a waste of money, and a waste of hardware.
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a c 283 à CPUs
June 13, 2012 5:01:58 AM

The argument against an i3 is the need to upgrade to an i5 down the line. It's great for now, no doubt, but a current i5 will outlast it. For me personally, I don't plan to upgrade anything but my GPU until Skylake, and an i3 will probably be struggling with the current games of that time, but my 2500K will still be a VERY viable CPU well into that time frame, if for no other reason than the ability to OC.

I don't have any problems at all with an i3 for a cheap solution to play current games (best buy around, IMO) but beyond that, with future games, an upgrade will almost definitely be necessary.

The ONE caveat to that is that we have NO idea what requirements for games will be in the future, but my guess is that with new consoles coming out at some point in the relatively near future, developers will start to actually make more games with higher requirements because they won't be hamstrung from developing a game for an underpowered console and porting it to an overpowered PC (PC only games are exempt from that, of course, but how many of those are there? lol).

Beyond gaming, an i5 will last longer too, so it's basically a pay now or pay later proposition.
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June 13, 2012 6:04:11 AM

@DJDeCiBeL
Now that is a reason to buy an i5, rather than just 'cause it's better.' :) 

I completely and utterly agree with you, to be honest my apologies I have read alot of threads recently that are exceptionally biased towards i5, especially in the intel vs AMD threads, with most of them starting with, should I get a phenom or a i3, and without asking why, most jump on the 'omgyouneedani5' bandwagon. My complete apologies to the OP, DJDeCiBeL is the man to listen to.
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June 13, 2012 6:37:35 AM

What's wrong with the i3, really?It seems that on this forum if someone said they were going for a celeron they'd end up with advice to get an i5 :p  , yes it's better but it does literally cost twice as much. Get the i3 and spend the difference on GPU. The i5 Ks aren't the best CPU on a budget because they're expensive, not massively so but they're expensive none the less and not 'budget' at all.
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June 13, 2012 6:39:43 AM

Robi_g said:
What's wrong with the i3, really?It seems that on this forum if someone said they were going for a celeron they'd end up with advice to get an i5 :p  , yes it's better but it does literally cost twice as much. Get the i3 and spend the difference on GPU. The i5 Ks aren't the best CPU on a budget because they're expensive, not massively so but they're expensive none the less and not 'budget' at all.


I completely agree that an i3 is the best "budget" CPU (by far), but look at my reply above Teh_Gerbil's to see my reasoning for an i5.
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June 13, 2012 6:46:24 AM

The i3-2100, Celeron G530, Pentium G8XX series of CPU's won't bottleneck a 7850 at all.
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June 13, 2012 9:06:54 AM

Best answer selected by thenerdal.
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