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Upgrade advice, help!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 7, 2012 12:43:23 AM

Here's my situation. My current build is a AMD 955 Black Edtion @3.8, a ATI 4890 graphics card. 8gb DDR3 Ram. I have a budget

of 500$ to upgrade. I asked on another website about my cpu and a GTX 680 and they say it shouldn't be bottlenecked. I asked

on the cpu forum and I get mixed responses. I'm confused and don't wan't to blow my money on a card just to have a cpu that

can't keep up. I play muiltple games such as BF 3, Crysis 2, WoW, and Diablo 3 when it comes out. Thanks.... :pt1cable: 

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April 7, 2012 12:58:52 AM

There will be a bottleneck for some things and not for others. Overall it will be fine and not a waste. It will allow you to play all games on max at 1920x1080. It might limit wow slightly.

If you can find a 680 for $500 go for it.

edit: bottlenecking is not an on/off type of thing. AA, textures, lighting, etc are all gpu. Physics, hit testing units and a bunch of other things are usually cpu bound. This means that with your 680 you will be able to turn AA on max without performance loss (at 1920x1080 anyway) but in very crowded WoW areas or badly designed custom SCII games, your cpu will limit your fps while the gpu doesn't reach 100% load. Shouldn't happen too much though so the 680 is still very worth it.

And when I say the 680 is worth I'm assuming you are someone who requires everything to play awesomely. If you don't need absolute max graphics and full aa, go with a cheaper card. Like the 7870 or 6950 or 560ti. Saves you a ton of money and only drops the settings a tad bit (like high on bf3 rather than max).
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April 7, 2012 12:59:00 AM

It shouldn't restrict it too much.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
that is with a 7970 and different CPU comparison.
To combat it you could overclock the CPU more if possible, as of now yours is a bit faster than the Phenom ll 980 so look at those results it is at the stock 3.7GHz.
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April 7, 2012 1:02:13 AM

The 7950 @ $450 is your best choice for gaming(Doesn't make a different in gaming in PCIe 2.0 since it's kind the same FPS you get with PCIe 3.0)... Since you have PCIe 2.0, your best choice for PCIe 2.0 is either GTx 560 Ti in SLI $450 or GTx 580 1.5GB $420...
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April 7, 2012 1:04:35 AM

No current GPU can max out PCI-E 2.0 so PCI-E 3.0 won't be helpful until GPU can do that.
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April 7, 2012 1:08:31 AM

^+1
PCI 3.0 is purely future proofing. Even PCI 2.0x8 is enough to only barely limit the 680.
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April 7, 2012 1:09:26 AM

andrewcarr said:
No current GPU can max out PCI-E 2.0 so PCI-E 3.0 won't be helpful until GPU can do that.

Are you sure because in some 3D testing(something similar), there's higher score than on PCIe 2.0... can you explain why it's higher on PCIe 3.0 than PCIe 2.0?
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April 7, 2012 1:11:42 AM

Well as of now no PCI-E 3.0 is even enabled because it won't be until the ivy bridge CPU come out (not sure about AMD boards though), only ivy bridge supports it the sandy bridge based CPU's don't enable it.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-rev...
slight improvement I guess (but only in theory not in tests).
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April 7, 2012 4:02:23 AM

andrewcarr said:
Well as of now no PCI-E 3.0 is even enabled because it won't be until the ivy bridge CPU come out (not sure about AMD boards though), only ivy bridge supports it the sandy bridge based CPU's don't enable it.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-680-rev...
slight improvement I guess (but only in theory not in tests).

From what I heard is that SB-E support PCIe 3.0, am I not mistaken? People did test on the 3960x and saw different score between 3.0 and 2.0 when doing some 3D stuff or tests...
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April 7, 2012 4:51:10 AM

i believe the 680 doesn't have 3.0 support until ivy (going by memory). The 7xxx series does though. Games don't show a difference with the 7970, only gpu compute tasks (using the GPU's many cores to compute various calculations, folding might be an example). The 680 will have nearly identical results to the 7970 when pci 3.0 is supported.
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April 7, 2012 6:34:53 AM

To sum up what everyone said, no there is not a hindrance using PCI-E 2.0 vs 3.0 (no gains/losses at all). You CPU should be able to do quite good in most games but some it will slightly lower the FPS versus other Intel based systems similar to i3-2100 performance and since you can overclock possibly even better (if not maxed already at stable clock).
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April 7, 2012 4:50:45 PM

I've tried to get it over 3.7 the temps are ok it just blue screens, i'm don't know enough about overclocking to have an idea about what could be limiting me going higher. I figured since my cpu is stepping 2 and not 3 it's limited to how far it can go.
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April 7, 2012 7:10:40 PM

Best answer selected by BBN8.
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April 7, 2012 7:25:49 PM

to overclock more you increase the voltage. Look up a guide.
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