Earlier this week I ordered a radeon 7950, and a new power supply. The next step of my upgrade process is going to be upgrading my CPU. I just want something that isnt going to bottleneck most games. Im aware my current CPU is the bottleneck of my current build. In the past I have usually gone with AMD for my gaming builds, but im not against intel if the price to performance is reasonable. I would like to keep it under 300 (both cpu and mobo), but the lower the better. From what I have already read on these forums most people seem to recommend intel over AMD, so im not sure if thats just an extreme bias on the site or if this generation of AMD is just lacking. Anyways, thanks in advance!
The fastest Intel CPU worth considering for gaming is the i5-3570k for ~$220.
As far as "extreme bias", every hardware review site that runs game benchmarks at low enough detail to avoid getting GPU-bound show that the 3570k is well ahead of anything currently being made by AMD.
Should be stated though your current motherboard will support a Phenom II 965BE which is easily overclocked and will not bottleneck that GPU....... that upgrade would cost you just over $100
How much better is that processor over the one I have now? I may get that one to hold me over until the next gen AMD to see how that turns out. If that isn't up to par either, probably go with an intel.
According to toms' charts the phenom 2 will be approximately 40% faster (per core) than your current cpu, but the 4th core won't help much in gaming. The big difference is that the sandy bridge platform is about 80% faster than the athlon chip you currently have, again per core.
There's no denying that any new build for games should be Intel. The 965BE has to be overclocked even to equal an i3-2100 in games.
That said, I'm inclined to agree more with wr6133. In an existing build, if the improvement you need can be provided by a CPU upgrade, that's a much cheaper, low-hassle way to go. If you have the budget for a rebuild (including a new Windows license to go with the new motherboard), then bite the bullet and go Intel. If money is tight (or you have better uses for it), then an Athlon II -> Phenom II upgrade may make sense. Just be sure (from benchmarks) that it will give you the improvement you need.
Intel took back the performance crown from AMD back in mid-2006 when they released the Core 2 Duo / Quad series. Since then there has been no looking back.
Assuming the same clock speed compared to an Athlon II generation CPU:
Core 2 Duo / Quad = roughly 10% more processing power
1st Generation Core i3/i5/i7 = roughly 21% more processing power
2nd Gen "Sandy Bridge" Core i3/i5/i7 = roughly 35% more processing power
3rd Gen "Ivy Bridge" Core i3/i5/i7 = roughly 43% more processing power
Generally speaking, as long as the CPU is powerful enough, it will not bottleneck a powerful GPU. Also, if you have a typical 60Hz LCD monitor, then your frame rates will be capped at 60FPS no matter how powerful your CPU/GPU combination is. 120Hz LCD monitors can display up to 120FPS though.
Also, if you have a typical 60Hz LCD monitor, then your frame rates will be capped at 60FPS no matter how powerful your CPU/GPU combination is.
Only if you play with VSync on without triple-buffering. If you disable VSync or enable triple-buffering, frame rates can go beyond the display's refresh rate. With VSync off you get tearing when frames finish rendering out of sync with vsync while with triple-buffering you get discarded frames whenever the newest frame finishes rendering before the previous rendered frame gets a chance to get displayed. In either case, the main idea is to let the render loop run as fast as it will go to reduce the input-to-output lag by a few milliseconds. Most people cannot tell the difference but some hardcore gamers swear they do.