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Birthday present GPU or CPU help

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 16, 2012 2:56:47 AM

Hi Forum,

First of all my specs are:
- CPU is currently a i7-950 at 3.9Ghz with Arctic Freezer 13 Pro CO
- GPU is a MSI 7970 at 1190 core clock.
- PSU is a Corsair 850W TX Power supply
- 6 GB of RAM
- 1920x1080p gaming
- Computer used solely for gaming (Battlefield 3, upcoming Guild Wars 2, Skyrim, Dragon age 2, COD etc).

Now my birthday is coming up and my girlfriend has agreed to buy me some computer parts.
Based on my gaming needs (i prefer max settings, and generally focus alot more on FPS competitively), so i wanted to ask,

Would there be any real advantage FPS wise of significant magnitude to upgrade from my I7-950 @ 3.9Ghz to a I7-2600K (new motherboard and ram of course) to clock it to 4.5-4.8Ghz?

Or should i just stick with another 7970 graphics card (i intend to go 120hz for FPS gaming soon anyway).

Any advice/recommendations etc is appreciated.


Thanks.
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May 16, 2012 3:05:14 AM

If she really loved you she'd get rid of your 7970 and buy 2 gtx 680 and a 120hz 2560x1440 monitor (catleap revision B from ebay). Only because a 7970's pixel clock can only do around 85hz at 1440p. Thats true love
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May 16, 2012 3:06:50 AM

The benefits from either option are going to be pretty small, you've already got very good hardware. Why not get something cool like a custom water cooling loop?
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May 16, 2012 3:15:03 AM

Honestly I would say your computer is completely fine for now. I wouldn't upgrade it for now, you'll probably be pulling max FPS in all games for quite awhile. Maybe you could get some other stuff, like a new hard drive or even an SSD. Maybe some case lighting or something fancy.
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May 16, 2012 3:17:47 AM

How about an SSD?
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May 16, 2012 3:18:22 AM

If you're playing in a competitive FPS environment, then you need probably both of these things:

*a monitor that handles 120 Hz
*a second 7970

That is assuming I read your post correctly and you mean you focus on "first person shooters" competitively rather than just "frames per second."

Anyway, if you're playing competitively, you should definitely get the 120 Hz monitor first. You can always drop the settings a bit to get higher frames per second. Then get another 7970 later. Some people will say that another 7970 is overkill, but of course it is not if you're trying to achieve 120 FPS.
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May 16, 2012 6:43:32 AM

bavman said:
If she really loved you she'd get rid of your 7970 and buy 2 gtx 680 and a 120hz 2560x1440 monitor (catleap revision B from ebay). Only because a 7970's pixel clock can only do around 85hz at 1440p. Thats true love


That's the best part, we're not in love yet :)  so my life isn't over yet.

What do you mean when you refer to pixel clock? Could you please elaborate.
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May 16, 2012 6:44:02 AM

monsta said:
How about an SSD?


I will be getting that later on regardless, so i don't need to decide on that at the moment.
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May 16, 2012 6:49:56 AM

Deemo13 said:
Honestly I would say your computer is completely fine for now. I wouldn't upgrade it for now, you'll probably be pulling max FPS in all games for quite awhile. Maybe you could get some other stuff, like a new hard drive or even an SSD. Maybe some case lighting or something fancy.


Depends on what you mean by MAX FPS.

In battlefield 3 (64 player conquest) in firefights (where it actually matters), i get anywhere from 60-75 (this is not on maximum settings). That indeed is fine, but if i were to play competitively at 120hz (future desire) i suppose the 7970 would be required.

I'm just curious to see what sort of FPS improvement i would receive from using a 2600K OC, opposed to my current i7-950.
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May 16, 2012 7:11:33 AM

the i7 2600k will not be an good upgrade over an highly oced i7 950@3.9ghz the non overclocked i7 2600k will give about only 1-5 fps high then what you have now but when i7 2600k is overclocked then it will give about 15-20 fps high then your oced cpu in my opinion you should not upgrade your system its fine for now just upgrade ssd for fast bootup,fast game loading etc.:) 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...
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May 16, 2012 7:33:08 AM

expensivecomputer said:
That's the best part, we're not in love yet :)  so my life isn't over yet.

What do you mean when you refer to pixel clock? Could you please elaborate.


When Vsync is enabled (the video card waits for the monitor to refresh before pushing another frame to the screen), this represents the actual fps a card can push to the monitor, with a hard cap at the monitor's refresh rate. This can be very different than the framerates a card would otherwise produce.

The Catleap monitor is kind of a holy grail for enthusiats but it's a little rough for most people. One of the rough edges is that to achieve 100+hz, you need to manually overclock the monitor (there are tutorials up for this, but it involves manually setting resolution/refresh rate profiles). With this specific monitor, Nvidia Cards tend to fare better than AMD; the 125hz record on this monitor was set with an Nvidia card. The AMD record last time i looked was 92hz.
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May 16, 2012 7:46:23 AM

Hunt up a decent CRT.
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May 16, 2012 11:05:05 AM

quilciri said:
When Vsync is enabled (the video card waits for the monitor to refresh before pushing another frame to the screen), this represents the actual fps a card can push to the monitor, with a hard cap at the monitor's refresh rate. This can be very different than the framerates a card would otherwise produce.

The Catleap monitor is kind of a holy grail for enthusiats but it's a little rough for most people. One of the rough edges is that to achieve 100+hz, you need to manually overclock the monitor (there are tutorials up for this, but it involves manually setting resolution/refresh rate profiles). With this specific monitor, Nvidia Cards tend to fare better than AMD; the 125hz record on this monitor was set with an Nvidia card. The AMD record last time i looked was 92hz.


So your saying when vsync is enabled, the maximum fps the 7970's can actually sync is around 92 fps (it will never be able to sync up to 120 fps?).


Now, i'm assuming this applies on to Vsync on, which i have no intention on using (due to input lag, even if it is cut in half to that of 60 Vsync).

So i should be in the clear regarding that matter as i don't intend to use Vsync? Please confirm.
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May 16, 2012 2:04:53 PM

sunnk said:
the i7 2600k will not be an good upgrade over an highly oced i7 950@3.9ghz the non overclocked i7 2600k will give about only 1-5 fps high then what you have now but when i7 2600k is overclocked then it will give about 15-20 fps high then your oced cpu in my opinion you should not upgrade your system its fine for now just upgrade ssd for fast bootup,fast game loading etc.:) 

http://www.anandtech.com/show/4083/the-sandy-bridge-rev...



Where are you getting these "1-5 fps" figures? and these "15-20 fps" figures?

Don't get me wrong, i just like to see where people get numbers from to eliminate misinformation based on peoples "opinions" or uneducated guesses.

I had a look at your link, and so far what i did see is the i7-950 is approximately 11% slower than the i7-2600K, which is expected because the 2600K is clocked at 3.4, which is about 11% faster than the i7-950 at 3.07 Ghz.

But it looks like a 10-20 FPS wouldn't be as good as 60-100 fps from a GPU upgrade. I guess i'm more or less getting to my answer.
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May 16, 2012 2:55:13 PM

expensivecomputer said:
So your saying when vsync is enabled, the maximum fps the 7970's can actually sync is around 92 fps (it will never be able to sync up to 120 fps?).


Now, i'm assuming this applies on to Vsync on, which i have no intention on using (due to input lag, even if it is cut in half to that of 60 Vsync).

So i should be in the clear regarding that matter as i don't intend to use Vsync? Please confirm.


I think its the same way when vsync is disabled, not 100% sure though. I know that the only card thats able to get 120hz is the GTX 680 (maybe the 670 can, but I haven't checked)...I know even the older 5xx gtx cards can't hit 120hz exactly, but fall a little short. It's a nice setup if you have a lot of money to blow, but if you don't i'd stick to a 120hz monitor for gaming and get another 7970 so you can have constant high fps.
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May 17, 2012 2:09:26 AM

expensivecomputer said:
So your saying when vsync is enabled, the maximum fps the 7970's can actually sync is around 92 fps (it will never be able to sync up to 120 fps?).


Now, i'm assuming this applies on to Vsync on, which i have no intention on using (due to input lag, even if it is cut in half to that of 60 Vsync).

So i should be in the clear regarding that matter as i don't intend to use Vsync? Please confirm.


That was just an explanation of vsync.

Vsync is a tradeoff in games. It makes them look better as the displayed frames are more evenly spaced among the cards potential output, but it introduces input lag. Without Vsync, if the monitor isn't ready to display the next frame when the video card is, the video card simply dumps the frame. This can lead to an uneven looking framerate sometimes, but usually isn't noticeable.

No matter what you do, the catleap isn't going to clock much higher than 92hz on current AMD cards, and 125hz on Nvidia 600 series. So even if your card can push 500 fps, you'll only get whatever the monitor's refresh rate is actually displayed, vsync or not.
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May 17, 2012 2:18:00 AM

quilciri said:
That was just an explanation of vsync.

Vsync is a tradeoff in games. It makes them look better as the displayed frames are more evenly spaced among the cards potential output, but it introduces input lag. Without Vsync, if the monitor isn't ready to display the next frame when the video card is, the video card simply dumps the frame. This can lead to an uneven looking framerate sometimes, but usually isn't noticeable.

No matter what you do, the catleap isn't going to clock much higher than 92hz on current AMD cards, and 125hz on Nvidia 600 series. So even if your card can push 500 fps, you'll only get whatever the monitor's refresh rate is actually displayed, vsync or not.



Okay i think i've gotten a bit confused from the different posts.

I will be getting a 120hz monitor if i get another 7970.

I most likely will be getting a 7970 for crossfire.

I do NOT use Vsync.

So with that being said, am i going to receive the full effect of 120hz smooth gaming (for rapid first person shooter games), with the "catleap" thing being irrelevant??


Thanks.
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May 17, 2012 5:10:55 AM

What do you mean "with the catleap thing being irrelevant"?

If you have a 1080p/1200 monitor 120hz monitor, you'll get 120hz with your 7970s

If you have a 1440p 120hz monitor your limited to 85-90mhz with amd card

That simple
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May 17, 2012 6:29:14 AM

expensivecomputer said:
Where are you getting these "1-5 fps" figures? and these "15-20 fps" figures?

Don't get me wrong, i just like to see where people get numbers from to eliminate misinformation based on peoples "opinions" or uneducated guesses.

I had a look at your link, and so far what i did see is the i7-950 is approximately 11% slower than the i7-2600K, which is expected because the 2600K is clocked at 3.4, which is about 11% faster than the i7-950 at 3.07 Ghz.

But it looks like a 10-20 FPS wouldn't be as good as 60-100 fps from a GPU upgrade. I guess i'm more or less getting to my answer.


well its from persnol experience look your i7 950 is at 3.9ghz its overclocked one in that review the i7 950 is non overclocked one thats you are getting it 11% slower but when when u will compare the overclocked i7 950 at 3.9 ghz to an non overclocked i7 2600k u will see ur cpu is giving nearly similar performance as the i7 2600k so thats why i said when u will compare your cpu to non oced i7 2600k to i7 950 oced one u will see only 5 to 10 fps difference or less and when u will compare your cpu to oced i7 2600k you will see about 15 fps difference or less or more i think u undrstand.:) 
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May 17, 2012 8:31:29 AM

bavman said:
What do you mean "with the catleap thing being irrelevant"?

If you have a 1080p/1200 monitor 120hz monitor, you'll get 120hz with your 7970s

If you have a 1440p 120hz monitor your limited to 85-90mhz with amd card

That simple


Thank you for making that clear.

I was trying to determine how catleap was going to affect me because someone brought it up and i had no idea what it really meant. I'm not sure why 1440p gaming monitors are discussed, because i stated i'm gaming at 1080p at the start.

But thank you for answering my question, appreciated.
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May 17, 2012 8:38:46 AM

sunnk said:
well its from persnol experience look your i7 950 is at 3.9ghz its overclocked one in that review the i7 950 is non overclocked one thats you are getting it 11% slower but when when u will compare the overclocked i7 950 at 3.9 ghz to an non overclocked i7 2600k u will see ur cpu is giving nearly similar performance as the i7 2600k so thats why i said when u will compare your cpu to non oced i7 2600k to i7 950 oced one u will see only 5 to 10 fps difference or less and when u will compare your cpu to oced i7 2600k you will see about 15 fps difference or less or more i think u undrstand.:) 



Ahhh so your basically just trying to say for :

i7-950 @ 3.9 Ghz vs i7-2600k Stock - My cpu will be 1-5 fps faster.

and when,

i7-950 @ 3.9 Ghz vs i7-2600K @ 4.5-4.8 approx - My cpu will be slower by 15 FPS approximately.

If that's not what your saying then sorry, i don't understand what you are trying to say.


Thanks :) 
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May 17, 2012 8:41:40 AM

expensivecomputer said:
Ahhh so your basically just trying to say for :

i7-950 @ 3.9 Ghz vs i7-2600k Stock - My cpu will be 1-5 fps faster.

and when,

i7-950 @ 3.9 Ghz vs i7-2600K @ 4.5-4.8 approx - My cpu will be slower by 15 FPS approximately.

If that's not what your saying then sorry, i don't understand what you are trying to say.


Thanks :) 


yes thats what i was saying. but 15 fps difference will be with oced 2600k vs your non overclocked cpu or more.
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May 17, 2012 9:55:09 AM

If you don't have an SSD get an SSD. Otherwise extra graphics :D 
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May 17, 2012 5:56:18 PM

expensivecomputer said:

I was trying to determine how catleap was going to affect me because someone brought it up and i had no idea what it really meant. I'm not sure why 1440p gaming monitors are discussed, because i stated i'm gaming at 1080p at the start.



I originally brought it up in the first post because everything looks better in 1440p :D 
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May 18, 2012 1:41:31 AM

bavman said:
I originally brought it up in the first post because everything looks better in 1440p :D 


I am inclined to agree with you on the image quality that 1440p would provide. However being an avid First Person Shooter fan, and competitive, I will be going down the 120hz fluid gaming for now.
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May 18, 2012 4:03:49 AM

demondevon said:
If you don't have an SSD get an SSD. Otherwise extra graphics :D 


Will a SSD in anyway contribute to improved game play (not loading times etc, but during actual game play) with improved fps or reduced spikes or something?
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May 18, 2012 5:39:26 AM

expensivecomputer said:
Will a SSD in anyway contribute to improved game play (not loading times etc, but during actual game play) with improved fps or reduced spikes or something?


no with ssd only loading time will improve not any fps improvement in gameplay.:) 
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