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What to upgrade? CPU or GPU?

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  • Homebuilt
  • Gtx
  • GPUs
  • CPUs
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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June 26, 2012 6:47:57 PM

Hey everyone,

Thinking about updating my 2 year old home made rig.
Currently running a phenom x4 @ 3.0
And a gtx 460 gigabyte

I'm a gamer, currently looking forward to guild wars 2, and I'm trying to figure out what would make gaming with a bunch of players onscreen the smoothest.

Upgrading CPU to x4 975 at 3.6 and getting a gtx 570?
Or getting a gtx 670 and keeping my CPU.

Any suggestions ?

More about : upgrade cpu gpu

June 26, 2012 7:06:22 PM

There is really no point in upgrading from a quad core to a quad core. I suggest overclocking to 3.4GHz or higher if you have a good cooler. Then pair it with a GTX670 and you should be set to go with any game. How much RAM do you have?
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June 26, 2012 7:19:02 PM

The only reason I was going to upgrade it because the 975 black edition is one of the last of the am3 socket, and only costs 100 bucks.

Currently running 8 gigs of ddr3 at 1333

Also, gpus with pci-e 3.0 still run fine on old mobos with 2.0 right?

What do you suggest?
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June 26, 2012 7:34:24 PM

I think you should be fine. Also, go for the newer GTX. Much, much higher performance for your money than doing a small CPU upgrade. See, you have to remember that clockspeed isnt a HUGE player in CPU performance anymore. -^^- good luck with your updates.
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June 26, 2012 7:36:31 PM

Im running a PCIe2.0 x16 card on a PCIe1.0 x16 for the moment. Im waiting on my new computer parts to arrive (im building an entirely new system). But the GPU runs fine. MY problem is processor bottlenecking. When you try to run games with the Pentium 641 CPU, you see its age. :I You, on the other hand, shouldnt be hampered by PCIe 2.0, or CPU, or ram. :p 
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June 26, 2012 7:50:08 PM

Thanks very much for the response! So the gtx670 3.0pcie won't be hampered by the fact that it's running in a 2.0 x16 slot? It should still come up with great performance, correct?
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June 26, 2012 8:13:57 PM

awto said:
Thanks very much for the response! So the gtx670 3.0pcie won't be hampered by the fact that it's running in a 2.0 x16 slot? It should still come up with great performance, correct?


No, it won't bottleneck, even the pcie3.0 card aren't capable of using the bandwidth yet so it won't affect your performance.
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a b B Homebuilt system
a c 143 à CPUs
June 26, 2012 8:27:00 PM

I don't know if you participated in the last Beta Weekend Event for GW2, but people all over their forums were reporting poor performance. Right now, the game has lots of debugging and trace code in it, and will not perform anywhere near as well as the final product.
At the time, I had my 970BE OC'ed to 3.8. With a HD7770, I was seeing FPS only in the mid twenties (mid fifties in cut scenes). I have since upgraded to a HD7870, but I suspect that the CPU was the bottleneck, because FPS did not improve even if I lowered settings. That last point is key; if lowering settings improves FPS, then the graphics card is the bottleneck.

Edit: I am hoping that performance is notably better in the next one. I've OC'ed to 4.0GHz now, and if there is not at least some improvement, I may need to plan an Intel build.
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June 26, 2012 8:59:58 PM

mac_mac_attack said:
No, it won't bottleneck, even the pcie3.0 card aren't capable of using the bandwidth yet so it won't affect your performance.


As he said. :p  He beat me to response. I just made some BLT's so I wasn't able to respond.
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June 26, 2012 9:01:00 PM

awto said:
The only reason I was going to upgrade it because the 975 black edition is one of the last of the am3 socket, and only costs 100 bucks.

Currently running 8 gigs of ddr3 at 1333

Also, gpus with pci-e 3.0 still run fine on old mobos with 2.0 right?

What do you suggest?



well I know that PCIe 2.0 card would work in 1.0 slots the performance would just be limited by the bandwidth of 1.0 slot. So the same should hold true in this situation as well but it's just a guess at this point.

Also if the CPU is only 100 bucks then you have a bargin.
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a b à CPUs
June 26, 2012 9:11:35 PM

thedeathclox says Quote "See, you have to remember that clockspeed isnt a HUGE player in CPU performance anymore." Are you serious? Maybe if you have an I5 or I7
that is not bottlenecking a system - if you have a lower clocked less efficient cpu, as jtt283 points out, frequency can make a huge difference depending on the game .
-Bruce
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June 26, 2012 9:28:07 PM

Onus said:
I don't know if you participated in the last Beta Weekend Event for GW2, but people all over their forums were reporting poor performance. Right now, the game has lots of debugging and trace code in it, and will not perform anywhere near as well as the final product.
At the time, I had my 970BE OC'ed to 3.8. With a HD7770, I was seeing FPS only in the mid twenties (mid fifties in cut scenes). I have since upgraded to a HD7870, but I suspect that the CPU was the bottleneck, because FPS did not improve even if I lowered settings. That last point is key; if lowering settings improves FPS, then the graphics card is the bottleneck.

Edit: I am hoping that performance is notably better in the next one. I've OC'ed to 4.0GHz now, and if there is not at least some improvement, I may need to plan an Intel build.


I actually didn't have too much of a problem running the BWE2 weekend, with settings at about medium. My real problem was in the huge WvW zergs, when there are like 200 players casting spells on the screen. That really started to drop my FPS big time.

Unfortunately I'm a total noob when it comes to overclocking. Did you use AMD OverDrive to OC your processor or do you recommend I use it ? I feel like if I overclock my 3.0 to 3.3-3.4 and get a GTX 670, I'll be in really good shape.

Also I have a Zalman 120mm heatsink/cooler, my current temps are like 27C idle 45C load, so I think I will be able to raise my clock speeds with my current cooling
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a b B Homebuilt system
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June 26, 2012 10:41:34 PM

I used the BIOS for my overclock, but since it's a BE, I only had to raise the multiplier and set the automatic voltage adjustments to be more aggressive. I won't be able to participate in tomorrow's 4-hr stress test (as I'll be at work), but the next BWE I'll be closely monitoring performance and reading the ANet forums.
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