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Better GPU or Better CPU?

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June 30, 2012 5:50:43 PM

Hi,
So Ive got some money I want to spend on improving my homebuilt PC. My Current Specs are:
Intel Core i7 CPU 930 @ 2.80GHz
AMD Radeon HD 6850 1GB DDR5
Gigabyte X58A-UD5 Motherboard
8GB RAM 1600MHz
Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate Edition 64x

I cant Decide whether I want a better CPU or A better GPU.
My budget is around 500 - 600 $.
Since I'm not happy with AMD if I get a new card it will be Nvidia most likely.
My 2 main desires is that I get a very good frame-rate while playing and that my computer will run faster in general.
I play Graphic heavy games A LOT and I work with heavy graphic software such as Maya Often to.
I am not in a hurry to get these things so if there is some product I should wait for than I have no problem with that...
If I didn't make myself clear enough or you need more info please ask.
Thanks guys :) 

More about : gpu cpu

a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a c 78 à CPUs
June 30, 2012 7:29:40 PM

A better video card is the way to go, theres no reason whatsoever to ditch the i7, they're a couple generations old but more than enough to handle any game. I dunno why you're not happy with AMD graphics cards. The 6850 is a very decent entry-level gaming card. But whatever suits your needs.

In that budget range you can afford a GTX 670, and thats the way I'd go. The 680 is a 100 bucks more and not going to give you your money's worth on better gaming for the extra cash.
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June 30, 2012 7:49:58 PM


thing is this int just for gaming, I'm wondering if getting a better CPU will also speed up my PC and might make it worthwhile...
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a c 78 à CPUs
June 30, 2012 7:59:26 PM

True.. Well, the problem is, to upgrade the CPU you'll need a new motherboard. Intel is using the LGA1155 socket, your board is an 1156, and there is no backwards compatibility. It should be noted that Intel further next year will be going to the LGA1150 socket, yup, again, no backward compatibility.

Is overclocking the i7 you have an option?
June 30, 2012 8:25:10 PM

yeah I guess it is, especially cos this motherboard has an unlock for it. I even have a better cooling fan, but I dont know much about Overclocking and what I saw to be my main problem is I cant keep the CPU that cool. its like on 60 C when nothing is happening. The cooling fan is an Arkasa Venom And I have thermal paste so thats no the problem.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a c 78 à CPUs
June 30, 2012 8:57:29 PM

As long as its under 80c it should be fine, I would perhaps consider trying a new application of thermal compound to see if that improves the cooling. Sometimes if you don't get a good application it can do more harm than good (using too much is the most common problem, or air bubbles from the first application).

And what program are you using to monitor temps? I would suggest HWmonitor, its the "core temp" you need to watch. Getting hot might be part of the problem why you're finding the system isn't doing the job for you now. Although like I said, the 6850, while a decent card, is entry-level.

June 30, 2012 9:33:40 PM

I'm sure the thermal compound is ok. so that isn't the problem. Yes I use HWmonitor, it always shows around 60-65 C when Nothing is happening. So I'm scared of even trying to overclock.
June 30, 2012 9:45:21 PM

If you want to speed up your PC "over all," an SSD will make more of a difference than a new CPU by a big margin. If you watch the various online retailers, you could pick up a 240GB SSD for under $200 and then spend the rest on a new video card. That would make the biggest difference overall IMO.

--Russel
June 30, 2012 9:45:55 PM

Are there other ventilation problems with component proximity or case vent issues? Is there adequate space around the tower? Is the ambient temp of the room above normal? I would assume that there is no build up of dust, pet hair, etc down deep in the heat sinks.

What case and fan set up are you currently using?
What aftermarket cooler are you using?

Please excuse my questions if they seem condescending. Just trying to get an idea of the situation.
a c 118 B Homebuilt system
a c 78 à CPUs
June 30, 2012 9:53:19 PM

An SSD is not going to improve FPS rates, it will merely reduce loading time of games, Windows, and transfers.

But yea, I'd ask about what kind of case you have. If you have a toaster oven case that can make a big difference. Honestly though, that CPU should be able to handle 80c. Although, what kind of voltages is the CPU running at?

This is a pretty comprehensive guide on overclocking a 930:
http://www.overclock.net/t/538439/guide-to-overclocking...

As far as anything else, well if the CPU isn't doing what you need it to do anymore, its either overclock that one, or buy a new mobo and a newer i7. Although they're going to run you $300 bucks or more, plus the mobo.
June 30, 2012 11:31:24 PM

nekulturny said:
An SSD is not going to improve FPS rates, it will merely reduce loading time of games, Windows, and transfers.


You're right, but with the OP's $500-$600 budget, a $200 SSD + $300-$400 video card will both improve the frame rates in games and overall performance, which is the OP's goal. I just don't see an i7-930 as a bottleneck in much of anything at the moment, and don't think there would be any value in replacing it - especially with the additional cost of a motherboard.

--Russel
July 1, 2012 12:17:45 AM

rusabus said:
You're right, but with the OP's $500-$600 budget, a $200 SSD + $300-$400 video card will both improve the frame rates in games and overall performance, which is the OP's goal. I just don't see an i7-930 as a bottleneck in much of anything at the moment, and don't think there would be any value in replacing it - especially with the additional cost of a motherboard.

--Russel



No one is considering the cpu as a bottleneck either. Just pointing out that "for the money" a gpu upgrade is the best bang for the buck. The idea of overclocking the cpu was brought up as well. Making improvements in both these areas could get the op where he wants to be.
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