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CPU vs GPU demonstration

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a c 78 à CPUs
December 23, 2012 6:33:52 PM

The subject of upgrading CPU vs GPU for gaming has come up a lot.

As someone who upgraded from a Phenom X6 to a 2600k, I have been advising people with decent AMD builds to spend money on GPU upgrades rather than CPU upgrades. (Particularly at sane resolutions on single monitors)

This is because the improvement I saw when I upgraded from my Phenom X6 @ 3.4 to the 2600k @ 4Ghz was not worth the money spent.

For this demonstration, I simply moved my two GTX 560's between the two rigs and used Afterburner to record game play from the same level, on the same settings.


There are a lot of graphs and charts on the matter, but this is what the difference actually looks like when playing a GPU intensive game @ 1680 X 1050, maxed out:

http://youtu.be/vbGUfaPg-Vo

There is a difference, but it's minimal. -Not worth the ~$400 spent to upgrade, IMHO.

BF3, a purported CPU intensive game:

http://youtu.be/DD3ucbL1B7w






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a c 95 à CPUs
December 23, 2012 6:55:19 PM

Huh. That's pretty interesting.

I can say I did notice a big difference upgrading from my Phenom II x4 to an i5-3570k, but I also upgraded from DDR 2 to DDR 3 memory, so that's likely a large part of it.
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a b à CPUs
December 23, 2012 7:42:08 PM

.... that is because you had your cards loaded down with DX11 and all the features in crysis 2. When you are running a primarily gpu dependent game, you will not see improvements with a faster processor. the pIIx6 is NOT as fast as the 2600k.
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a b à CPUs
December 23, 2012 7:44:32 PM

Play BF3 multiplayer on the Phenom, then your Core i7, thats where the difference is in gaming.
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a c 78 à CPUs
December 23, 2012 7:47:06 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
the pIIx6 is NOT as fast as the 2600k.


Apparently, it doesn't have to be. (At least not for GPU intensive games)

Render times for my HD movies fell by <10% IIRC. That's an improvement, yes. But not worth ~$400.


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a b à CPUs
December 23, 2012 7:52:28 PM

there isnt a 400 dollar difference.
you wasted your money getting the 2600k if you got it for gaming, you should have went with a 2500k
the price difference between a 2500k system and a comparable amd system is negligible when considering the performance difference. in SOME games, yes the primary load is on the gpu therefore wont need as fast of a cpu, but there is a huge difference in the performance between a 1055T and a 2600K.
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a c 78 à CPUs
December 23, 2012 8:09:45 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
there isnt a 400 dollar difference.


That's the point of this thread. The $400 reference is only in regards to upgrading an existing (decent) AMD rig.

The price difference from scratch is actually worth going Intel when an i5 or i7 is within reach. (Sometimes the i3 is even cost effective. Although AMD's 6300 is competitive in that price range)

FlintIronStagg said:
you wasted your money getting the 2600k if you got it for gaming, you should have went with a 2500k
the price difference between a 2500k system and a comparable amd system is negligible when considering the performance difference. in SOME games, yes the primary load is on the gpu therefore wont need as fast of a cpu, but there is a huge difference in the performance between a 1055T and a 2600K.


I got it on sale and thought it was a good time to upgrade since the 2600k was "so much faster" than the phenom. I actually wanted it to lower render times with quick sync but the difference was minimal. I expected to see that "huge" difference in video rendering, but it wasn't there either. (because Cuda, already does a good job at accelerating rendering)

And yes, it was a waist of money, for the small boost in gaming and rendering performance I saw.

I'm trying to visually quantify the improvement so that others can decide if it's a worthy upgrade when they already have money invested in a good AMD rig.



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a b à CPUs
December 23, 2012 9:31:58 PM

The only thing this proves is crysis 2 is gpu dependent.
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a c 78 à CPUs
December 23, 2012 11:17:50 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
The only thing this proves is crysis 2 is gpu dependent.


...And spending hundreds of dollars to upgrade from a Phenom II X6 @3.4 Ghz won't give you a noticeable improvement on Crysis 2.
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a b à CPUs
December 24, 2012 5:00:00 AM

Awww thats too bad that you didn't sell your older system as most would to offset the cost of your upgrade.
also crysis is NOT the only game out there and is a poor example of CPU bottleneck as it is a primarily gpu dependent game
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a b à CPUs
December 30, 2012 9:38:14 PM

Are you still on this? Wow thanks for reminding me to delete my flag for this thread.
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a c 78 à CPUs
December 30, 2012 9:49:57 PM

FlintIronStagg said:
Are you still on this? Wow thanks for reminding me to delete my flag for this thread.


"Crysis 2 is GPU dependent"
"Crysis 2 is GPU dependent"
"Crysis 2 is GPU dependent"
"Crysis 2 is GPU dependent"


What? Are you going to claim BF3 is GPU dependent now? :sarcastic: 

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a c 78 à CPUs
December 30, 2012 10:39:30 PM

hafijur said:
So you use cuda instead of the 2600k cpu. cpu transcoding gives better image quality. It would help actually using the 2600k instead of using the graphics card lol to compare. quick sync and cuda are already asuper fast but lower quality compared to cpu encoding. This is where the 2600k should destroy the phenom.

You are not even using the i7 cpu lol to compare. You could have done this with the i5 2500k and said the same thing I believe as you would get same performance for what you are doing. At least stress the cpu.


I have gone "heads up" on CPU rendering (disabled hardware acceleration on both rigs).

The i7 is indeed faster. It's just not $400 faster.

And without the i7's hyperthreading, it's probably a wash between the i5 and the X6 when it comes to CPU rendering. I thought I saw some Cinebench 11.5 multi-thread numbers that showed as much. (and that was vs ivy bridge)

I'm not trying to say that Intel isn't generally better than AMD. I'm simply giving people an idea of what "better" looks like when gaming so that they can decide if it's worth the money to upgrade from a decent AMD system to Intel.


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