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Worth upgrading LGA775 CPU?

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October 26, 2012 7:44:45 PM

Hey folks,

I'm looking into the idea of upgrading the CPU in my system to get another year of decent-ish gaming out of it. What I'm wondering is: Will I actually get a significant FPS increase from only a CPU swap?

Current system:
Intel e2180 CPU @ 2.4 GHz
ASUS P5N-D board
2x 2GB DDR2 800MHz
AMD Radeon HD 7770
Single monitor at 1920x1080
Windows 7-64

I currently get 10-30 FPS in congested areas on WoW/SWTOR and would like to try GW2 which is supposedly a little harder on the system than WoW. It's playable but kind of annoying. My goal is to bump that 10-30 up to more like 20-50 or 30-60 just to smooth things out. I assume I'm CPU-bound because I'm getting the same FPS with the new 7770 as I got with my old nVidia 9800GT...

I'm looking at either upgrading from the E2180 to either an E8400 or a Q9550 (running either with small overclock, 300MHz or so). Anyone have an idea whether I'll see a substantial FPS increase swapping to either of those and if so how much better the Q9550 would be than the E8400? It costs like $120-150 versus $40-50, pretty big difference.

I plan to build a whole new machine in 12-18 months so don't really want to spend money on anything else beyond a CPU for this machine - it will be demoted to file server status at that time and any upgrades will become a waste. Thanks!
October 26, 2012 7:58:57 PM

do you actually know that your talking about dinosaur cpu's? there is no Exxxx or Qxxxx anymore lol..you can get 10 times the their power with an A10 or i3
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October 26, 2012 8:04:23 PM

That would require purchasing a new motherboard and RAM.
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October 26, 2012 8:08:09 PM

i am sorry buddy but yes..i was like you and now i am suffering so don't go with a cheap CPU..i have a phenom x3 8650 2.3ghz and i got ati 7770 same as you and it works on 20% of power :l

Actually try going to MicroCenter near you or search their homepage they got all the old CPU's for very low prices :p 
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October 26, 2012 8:19:27 PM

Maher90 said:
do you actually know that your talking about dinosaur cpu's? there is no Exxxx or Qxxxx anymore lol..you can get 10 times the their power with an A10 or i3


Core 2's aren't dinosaurs bud. With that said you can go to ebay and search.
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October 26, 2012 8:31:02 PM

You've got one of the slowest core 775 processors Intel made. You can get a much faster one from ebay. Q6600 was very popular a very overclockable. I use a QX8650 from ebay and it ranks only 2 tiers below the modern cpus and up there with the first generation i5 and i7s.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

You could still get plenty of use from your old PC if you get a good replacement cpu. Add some ram and an ssd and it would be pretty good.
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October 26, 2012 8:36:03 PM

A QX9775 sold yesterday for $216 shipped. I saw 8400s for less than $50. I think it's worth it....
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October 26, 2012 8:38:58 PM

whooleo said:
Core 2's aren't dinosaurs bud. With that said you can go to ebay and search.


what i said was about their production they do not produce them as much as i know why produce a Q9xxx while you can get best of it and more from i3? :D 
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October 26, 2012 8:49:22 PM

They're not Nehalem/Whatever Bridge fast, but they're certainly not terrible. I used to use a Q6600 and it served me well. There wouldn't be much benefit upgrading to a dual core though, best to maximise your platform and go quad core. That being said, you're after double/triple your current framerates and I doubt a CPU upgrade will be able to deliver that.
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October 26, 2012 9:31:52 PM

sam_p_lay said:
That being said, you're after double/triple your current framerates and I doubt a CPU upgrade will be able to deliver that.


This is the main question. I'm not exactly looking for double/triple the FPS so much as bumping up the minimum from 10-15 to 25-30, avoiding those nasty slowdowns. It looks like other people with 7770's are seeing 30+ minimum fps so it is a question of whether the E8400 or Q9550 would be sufficient to shift the bottleneck back to the GPU.
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October 26, 2012 9:48:28 PM

troyguitar said:
This is the main question. I'm not exactly looking for double/triple the FPS so much as bumping up the minimum from 10-15 to 25-30, avoiding those nasty slowdowns. It looks like other people with 7770's are seeing 30+ minimum fps so it is a question of whether the E8400 or Q9550 would be sufficient to shift the bottleneck back to the GPU.


That would be a doubling (or slightly more infact) though of your minimum framerate. Although the absolute gain seems low, the relative gain is pretty big. I think it's unlikely a CPU upgrade could deliver that. Bear in mind also that the 7770 is only a little faster than the old 4870s, and a 4870 coupled with an old Core 2 Duo/Quad processor certainly wasn't considered a bottleneck.
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October 26, 2012 9:56:34 PM

sam_p_lay said:
That would be a doubling (or slightly more infact) though of your minimum framerate. Although the absolute gain seems low, the relative gain is pretty big. I think it's unlikely a CPU upgrade could deliver that. Bear in mind also that the 7770 is only a little faster than the old 4870s, and a 4870 coupled with an old Core 2 Duo/Quad processor certainly wasn't considered a bottleneck.


FWIW I just started experimenting and I'm running at 100% CPU usage sitting in Stormwind. Overclocking the 7770 does not change the minimum framerate at all.

CPU at stock 2.0 GHz minimum framerate = 10 fps

CPU overclocked to 3.33 GHz minimum = 18 fps, still at 100% CPU, OC on the 7770 still has no effect

I think if I can get up to near 20 on this processor, perhaps 25 or 30 is not unreasonable for the E8400 or Q9550?
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October 26, 2012 9:57:28 PM

For the amount of money that you would have to put into the CPU you would be better off making the lunge into a i3/i5 system or like others have suggested a10 platform if you are on a budget. the q9550 is quite expensive online and the e8400 is still a dual core and you will want a quad if you plan to upgrade with the price of a q9500

Core i5 2500k 220 dollars
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard 89 dollars
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
Motherboard
Ram 40 dollars
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
=349 dollars

Versus the q9550 for 10 dollars more then all of that :p 
http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Processor-2-83GHz-1333MHz-B...

Put your socket 775 to rest
Current Build.

Intel Core i5 2500k
Asrock Z68 EXTREME4 Gen 3
Gigabyte GeForce GTX 670 2GB OC
Corsair Vengeance DDR3 1600 8GB (2x4)
Samsung 830 256GB SATA III SSD
Seagate Barracuda 500 GB SATA II
LG 12x Super Multi Blue WH12LS38
CM Storm Sniper
Corsair AX850 PSU
Corsair Hydro H100
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October 27, 2012 8:38:45 AM

troyguitar said:
FWIW I just started experimenting and I'm running at 100% CPU usage sitting in Stormwind. Overclocking the 7770 does not change the minimum framerate at all.

CPU at stock 2.0 GHz minimum framerate = 10 fps

CPU overclocked to 3.33 GHz minimum = 18 fps, still at 100% CPU, OC on the 7770 still has no effect

I think if I can get up to near 20 on this processor, perhaps 25 or 30 is not unreasonable for the E8400 or Q9550?


Based on your testing, the solution seems pretty clear! There's really no arguing with those results, CPU is clearly determining performance there. And a 66% clock speed increase producing an 80% performance increase is nuts. So maybe grabbing the E8400 is your best choice. It's clock speed that the game seems to be craving and the E8400 is 3GHz stock.

I'm inclined to agree with bigshootr8 about the Q9500 - I'd feel like I was being ripped off at that price for a processor that was replaced over four years ago. It's not your retailer, it's just unfortunately what you pay for these where you can still find them.
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October 27, 2012 2:39:27 PM

I agree, probably E8400, E8500, or E8600 would be your best bets. Higher clock rates the better.
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October 28, 2012 12:58:45 AM

Ended up grabbing an E8400 for $45 shipped, I'll give it a shot and if it isn't enough I'll just resell it and switch over to an i3-3220 or something. I'll report back with results when it arrives for anyone who might be curious.
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October 28, 2012 11:21:42 AM

Sounds like a good plan. Good luck!
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November 2, 2012 8:14:10 PM

Update: Mission accomplished.

E8400 @ 4.0GHz + 7770 @ 1100/1250MHz clock/memory = 85% CPU usage, 100% GPU usage with 25+ FPS in Stormwind on max settings (ultra, 8x AA) at 1920x1080.

CPU swap pretty much doubled the minimum framerate, the E8400 also runs much cooler. E2180 took 1.5 vcore for 3.0GHz, the E8400 is at 1.26 for 4.0GHz!

Now I feel like I should upgrade the GPU! :lol: 
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November 2, 2012 8:14:57 PM

Best answer selected by troyguitar.
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November 2, 2012 9:51:20 PM

Good stuff - glad you got the result you were after! I'm also going to need a graphics card upgrade soon, but do what I'm doing if you can wait and see what next year brings ;-)
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