Currently have a 4850 and was looking to swap to nvidia and upgrade to a 560ti, but right now I have a E8500 cpu. Will the cpu bottleneck the 560ti too much? I am not going to upgrade the cpu at this time, would I be better off getting a 550 or something even lower, or can the E8500 hold up if it's OC'd (can do 4ghz if needed). Sidenote: mostly upgrading gpu for sw:tor
In TOR, the performance analysis article that TH did shows about 33% lower on a dual core 3GHz processor vs a modern quad core (using a 6970). Now, part of that ground would be made up if you OC'ed ot around 4GHz but that assumes your cpu will clock that high and that you have cooling to accomodate it.
Even if it does bottleneck you a bit, it may still be worth the upgrade vs what you're using now. Your 4850 should perform a bit below a 5770. Recommend you check out the article and see what kind of performance you can expect at various settings.
TH did a great article about 1.5 years ago where they showed that a dual core processor OC'ed to 3.5GHz+ impacted performance VERY LITTLE compared to even OC'ed i7-920's. There are exceptions, but you can go pretty far if you stretch your dual-core's legs.
Thanks for such a great reply. That article really was almost exactly what I was looking for.
I had the PC at 4ghz stable for months, but didn't see any real purpose for my use... sitting at 3.6 right now, so doesn't appear I'll have to change that. Looks like a 550ti worked good enough staying at 4x aa, so I'll probably do the 560ti to try and keep minimum frame rates at 30+. (and b/c I'm a sucker who's buying into the "I NEED more... because... because...because I CAN DAMMITT!" mentality aka: "I am male")