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New GPU or CPU

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 18, 2012 6:23:37 PM

So I have a GTX 560 Ti and a Phenom II X4 955BE( I have it running at 3,6ghz currently.) So I want to upgrade, there's two options what I thought of;

Buy a 2500k(and a mobo for it) and keep the 560Ti

OR

Buy a GTX 660 2GB(Probably Asus DCII OC) and keep the CPU

Which option would give me more performance/power in gaming?

The 955BE is still a good CPU for gaming so I the GTX 660 would be a good choice, but is it worth the upgrade from GTX 560Ti?
I can't afford the Ti version of 660, and I read that it's not that much better and the Non-Ti version is better for the money.

More about : gpu cpu

October 18, 2012 6:30:39 PM

New CPU and Mobo. 660 is not worth it unless you get the Ti. I got a i7 3770k and asrock mobo last week for 320bucks from microcenter.

They had a 660ti for 289.99..
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October 18, 2012 6:34:48 PM

I would choose the cpu/mb upgrade as the 560ti is still a capable card. You will see an increase in frame rates just from doing that.
Related resources
October 18, 2012 6:42:48 PM

Ok, hmm. Well, I could get the 660 for 229€ and the CPU and Mobo would be 300€. How much better is the 660 from the 560Ti? And most of the games nowadays are more GPU demanding, so I doubt it's not worth it even though I wouldn't get huge performance increase. More opinions?
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October 18, 2012 7:00:06 PM

can u SLI the 560 Ti?


Also, games no a days are WAY heavier on the GPU than the CPU.
So, even though I agree that both areas could use improvements, I really don't think that you're going to get much performance increase in gaming if you upgrade the CPU and mobo, compared to a GPU...
October 18, 2012 7:05:17 PM

My current mobo doesn't support SLI. And that's exactly what I thought too. I would get just general increase in performance if I bought the CPU(and mobo), but I would get even better gaming performance with the GPU, right?
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October 18, 2012 7:08:37 PM

Assuming your budget is approximately $200 to $250 let me comment:

1) It would not only cost about $250 or more for the 2500K and motherboard but you would not get much benefit as your graphics card is the primary bottleneck.

2) If you WERE to upgrade your CPU and motherboard it should be something like this:
- i5-3570K CPU
- Z77 motherboard with Virtu MVP (Virtu can be disabled but costs little extra. I saw a good Motherboard for about $100)

3) Assuming a $200 to $250 budget the only logical upgrade choice is the HD7850 2GB (make sure it's a 2GB version).

Best upgrade option IMO:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The above is a quality company and this card has 71 reviews of 5/5. It's relatively quiet, overclocked and $209 plus small shipping. Hard to beat!!

*Re: your GTX560Ti
Yes, this is still a good card and will play several games at full quality. The HD7850 will make many other games look better. It depends on the games you play.

CPU and bottleneck:
Some games will receive a little bottlenecking and others won't.

NVIDIA/AMD:
NVidia simply has nothing at $200 to compete for value. If you don't mind the hacked drivers, you may wish to investigate using the GTX560Ti as a PHYSX addon card. It would probably provide a benefit to games like Borderlands 2.
(For Batman AC, regardless of card I recommend disabling PHYSX and DX11 completely. It stutters and there's nothing you can do about it.)

SUMMARY:
I recommend the linked Sapphire HD7850 2GB. It will benefit many games and on your budget is the only logical upgrade IMO.
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October 18, 2012 7:10:04 PM

This is what you should do.
Right now you should purchase a new CPU and Motherboard, one that DOES support SLI.

Then in the future when you decide you need to upgrade the GPU.
Pick up a second 560ti and SLI them :) 

This would be the most appropriate course of action to take.
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October 18, 2012 7:13:17 PM

Strel0k said:
My current mobo doesn't support SLI. And that's exactly what I thought too. I would get just general increase in performance if I bought the CPU(and mobo), but I would get even better gaming performance with the GPU, right?


SLI and Crossfire introduce micro-stutter which can be very, very annoying. NVidia even tried to fix it in the GTX690 (dual-GPU) with "Frame Rate Metering" which SLIGHTLY improved things only.

You'd also be limited to the amount of VRAM on the single GPU (it's cloned, not added) which I'm guessing is 1GB. It's best to get 2GB of VRAM for $200 or better graphics cards.

SKYRIM (vanilla plus official HD texture pack) can run with 1GB of VRAM, but will use up to 1.5GB if you have a 2GB card which should prevent texture loading at times.
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October 18, 2012 7:19:41 PM

azathoth said:
This is what you should do.
Right now you should purchase a new CPU and Motherboard, one that DOES support SLI.

Then in the future when you decide you need to upgrade the GPU.
Pick up a second 560ti and SLI them :) 

This would be the most appropriate course of action to take.


I completely disagree:
a) he already said he's on a budget ($200 to $250 it seems) so the CPU + motherboard would eat his entire budget

b) SLI/Crossfire adds micro-stutter, and some games don't support SLI well

c) VRAM will be limited (I'm guessing he has 1GB)

d) Two of these cards are going to run FAR LOUDER than a single HD7850

e) There are other advantages to newer cards.

f) *Windows would have to be REINSTALLED and most likely can't legally be installed on the new motherboard.

*The most important issue here is you're recommending he blow his budget and then "upgrade in the future" to a card that's already disappearing while also receiving very minimal benefit to his current setup?
October 18, 2012 7:19:57 PM

Yeah, that's why I'm not really interested in SLI/CrossfireX. And I can't afford an SLI mobo. I don't need one either.
October 18, 2012 7:21:52 PM

I'm talking about euros,not dollars. I can currently use like 240€, so It's pretty much the same with dollars. If I'm gonna upgrade the CPU and Mobo I have to save some more money.

Sorry doublepost,I thought I couldn't edit.
October 18, 2012 7:28:44 PM

I actually watched that already, but he's using like beast i7 and stuff so I'ts a bit difficult(for me atleast)to get something out of it, other than that the 660 is better than 560Ti.
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October 18, 2012 7:30:58 PM

Not sure why no one asked this but... What type of games do you play? if its First person shooters GPU (for the most part) is what you will see a bigger improvement from , but if you are playing MMO's or maybe even starcraft 2 CPU might give you a bigger FPS improvement. What do you plan to use your system for?
October 18, 2012 7:33:32 PM

I play mainly FPS's. Some other random games, but not really RTS's and MMO's.
October 18, 2012 7:33:55 PM

Strel0k you should listen to photonboy.
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October 18, 2012 7:35:55 PM

Strel0k said:
I play mainly FPS's. Some other random games, but not really RTS's and MMO's.


Then I will have to agree with upgrading the GPU.

But given your current GPU I think it might e better for you to just save up for another month or whatever it takes and get a stronger card than a 660, but that's just what I would do.
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October 18, 2012 7:37:36 PM

doh double post
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October 18, 2012 7:42:06 PM

Strel0k said:
I actually watched that already, but he's using like beast i7 and stuff so I'ts a bit difficult(for me atleast)to get something out of it, other than that the 660 is better than 560Ti.



as are most reviews. kinda insulting to all of us. it was just to show the difference in cards. unless you're that good at over clocking you're not going to reach those numbers with either processor.

the system you have now is pretty balanced but I had 560's ( ti's ) and all were beaten "performance" wise ( totally forgetting FPS ) by going to a faster 2gig card, Lots of people will still argue otherwise but that's okay.

you're kinda in the middle. My thoughts are a bigger card now, upgrade in a year or so for the processor/mobo/ram. By then new stuff will be out and you'll have different choices to make ( all that will probably be faster at stock speeds.
October 18, 2012 7:56:21 PM

I think I'm still gonna go for the 660. I like Nvidia more than AMD because they have better drivers and PhysX are cool. I like Borderlands 2 alot but I haven't played it that much because it's a bit choppy with the 560Ti on high settings. I hope the 660 will run it pleasantly.

And the X4 955BE at 3,6ghz won't be a problem with it right?
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October 18, 2012 8:08:10 PM

you may not get too many more FPS but it will help with higher settings ( AA/AF, etc. ) and help with the physx. I think it's the right choice right now.
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October 18, 2012 8:28:29 PM

It will take you from unplayable to playable at higher settings from the benchmarks I looked over. If you can get good money for your 560ti, I agree that you should get the 660. Personally though, I would wait a bit for prices to come down on the new cards. Nvidia is going to have to lower them to better compete with AMD's rapidly dropping prices in the midrange.
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October 18, 2012 8:39:21 PM

a 560ti to a 660 is not that exciting of an upgrade.

sell the 560ti for $125 and add that to the $250 you have and get a gtx 670 for ~$375 playing the rebate game.

if you don't do that then do nothing until black friday and see what 670s are on sale, if any.
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October 18, 2012 8:50:28 PM

I'm agreeing on the GTX660 as well.

For some reason, the benchmark list I found all favoured the HD7850 but I really should look around more.

The benchmarks depend strongly on the settings. Anti-Aliasing highly seems to shift the value to the HD7850 so you need to read these benchmark results carefully.

There are several choices. My top choice would be this one:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This card has an excellent cooler, and for $10 more than the other Asus has a slightly higher overclock with a BETTER BINNED GPU (they test them).

PHYSX:
*You should definitely keep your GTX560Ti as a PHYSX card. It probably will benefit but I still recommend trying a game with PHYSX with and without the addon card enabled (just change in software, no need to physically remove).

Again, it will VARY by the game so try each game with and without the GTX560Ti as an addon card.
October 18, 2012 8:56:48 PM

I would suggest a video card upgrade rather than a cpu+mobo upgrade. The best card for that price is the HD 7870. It's comparable to 660 ti. Their will be gains in getting a new mobo/ cpu.. but in games getting a 7870 will instantly give you ultra 1080p gaming.
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October 19, 2012 3:57:48 AM

arnoldlouie said:
I would suggest a video card upgrade rather than a cpu+mobo upgrade. The best card for that price is the HD 7870. It's comparable to 660 ti. Their will be gains in getting a new mobo/ cpu.. but in games getting a 7870 will instantly give you ultra 1080p gaming.


It appears he's pretty much set on the GTX660.

HD7870 vs GTX660:
http://www.anandtech.com/show/6276/nvidia-geforce-gtx-6...

If you read all the benchmarks and the conclusion, it's clear that there's no clear winner based solely on benchmarks. It totally depends on the game and settings.

NVidia seems to have the win though if you factor in the following:
- can use his GTX560Ti as an addon PHYSX card (should make a big difference in games like Borderlands 2)
- Adaptive VSYNC
- FXAA (when supported in upcoming UNREAL 4 engine etc)

As for PRICE, I found a $240 Asus GTX660 OC card and a $240 Sapphire HD7870 OC card so price is comparable.

I think I'm still going to recommend that Asus GTX660 OC I linked above somewhere.
October 19, 2012 8:33:38 AM

Oh wait, Can I still use the 560 as a PhysX card with an AMD card?
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October 19, 2012 6:26:44 PM

no, not worth the hassle. and you don't even know if it will work.
October 19, 2012 6:38:05 PM

yes, you can do that. But their is no guarantee that it might work. I am seeing some people having problems using a dedicated physx card..also a lot more heat and power. Anyway, you can do it because you can. Hehehe... post back here if it did work.
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October 19, 2012 8:05:28 PM

swifty_morgan said:
no, not worth the hassle. and you don't even know if it will work.


How is it a big hassle?

NVidia Control Panel->
"3D Settings"->
"Configure surround, PhysX"->
"PhysX Settings - Processor"->

Then simply CHOOSE your GTX560Ti as the PHYSX processor.

The ONLY drawback really is the added noise.

*To TEST, simply run a game with the GTX560Ti assigned to PHYSX, then repeat and use the GTX660 instead and compare the frame rate (in a repeatable area).

You can't really screw up which card is assigned as your main card as you'll have your monitor plugged into it.

IS THIS REALLY THAT HARD?
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October 19, 2012 8:08:48 PM

Strel0k said:
Oh wait, Can I still use the 560 as a PhysX card with an AMD card?


Not without HACKED drivers, but I thought you just decided on the GTX660?
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October 19, 2012 8:31:28 PM

photonboy said:
Not without HACKED drivers, but I thought you just decided on the GTX660?

the drivers do not needed "hacked"
Hybrid PhysX Mod 1.05ff

@ OP honestly, to run a 560ti as dedicated PhysX card for a lower mid range card (whether 660 or 7870) isn't worth it. now for a 670+ then its a different spin . . .

first question is:
do you have a PSU with enough PCI power connections?
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October 19, 2012 9:18:48 PM

qbsinfo said:
the drivers do not needed "hacked"
Hybrid PhysX Mod 1.05ff

@ OP honestly, to run a 560ti as dedicated PhysX card for a lower mid range card (whether 660 or 7870) isn't worth it. now for a 670+ then its a different spin . . .

first question is:
do you have a PSU with enough PCI power connections?


Points:
1. Drivers don't have to be hacked? This is from the first paragraph in the link you gave:
"thus are available only through special driver hack, known as Hybrid PhysX Mod.. "

2. GTX560Ti isn't worth it as an addon card?
It will VARY by the game, but does it really hurt to TRY?
If you haven't personally TESTED this scenario or can provide links to benchmarks then your comment means nothing.

It actually makes MORE sense to use an addon card for PHYSX if the main GPU isn't good enough to process the game AND handle the PhysX.

The only issue is that the PHYSX card must not be PROPORTIONATELY too weak compared to the main GPU card or a bottleneck can occur while it processes PhysX causing the main GPU to wait.

*The bottom line is, simply TEST this for each game and see if it works. It's not hard.
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October 19, 2012 11:22:52 PM

qbsinfo said:
a 560ti to a 660 is not that exciting of an upgrade.

sell the 560ti for $125 and add that to the $250 you have and get a gtx 670 for ~$375 playing the rebate game.

if you don't do that then do nothing until black friday and see what 670s are on sale, if any.


375$ AFTER rebates? hahaha. where have you been? NCIX.ca, you can get a GTX 670 for 300$ after rebates and a gtx 680 for 410$ easily. i'm picking up a MSI 680 soon from that site for 450$.

as for the askers question, the CPU will do fine for a little bit. there will be bottlenecking though. i highly suggest selling your 560 ti for about 150$ (not sure how much that is in pounds) and get a good gtx 670 for about 320$ (again, not sure how much that is in pounds, or if the prices are as low as they are in canada.) i'm guessing a 670 would be about 250 pounds. not sure. you should stay under the budget though.

and if your mobo can overclock, i'd suggest raising that clock speed to about 4.2GHz. do some research about overclocking if you aren't experienced with it, and make sure you watch those temps.

after doing all of the above, you should be rocking with a decently high end PC. it's just that CPU will slow you down a tiny bit, but not much especially if you OC it. have a great day. :) 
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October 20, 2012 2:47:31 AM

photonboy said:
Points:
1. Drivers don't have to be hacked? This is from the first paragraph in the link you gave:
"thus are available only through special driver hack, known as Hybrid PhysX Mod.. "

2. GTX560Ti isn't worth it as an addon card?
It will VARY by the game, but does it really hurt to TRY?
If you haven't personally TESTED this scenario or can provide links to benchmarks then your comment means nothing.

It actually makes MORE sense to use an addon card for PHYSX if the main GPU isn't good enough to process the game AND handle the PhysX.

The only issue is that the PHYSX card must not be PROPORTIONATELY too weak compared to the main GPU card or a bottleneck can occur while it processes PhysX causing the main GPU to wait.

*The bottom line is, simply TEST this for each game and see if it works. It's not hard.


1. again NO, the driver(s) are not "hacked". the MOD stops the driver from blocking physX when an AMD gpu is detected; the driver itself is not hacked.

2. it is not worth using the 560ti for a low mid range card especially if the PSU would need to be upgraded, thereby increasing the cost or if the games being played do not use PhysX or only a few are played. don't need any links or benchmarks to validate my comments in your's or anyone else's eyes.

it would be better, as i said before, to sell the card and use the money to get a better card like a gtx 670 that will provided better performance in ALL games. so unless you have person experience from testing and can provide links and benchmarks showing differently; your comments are meaningless. (see what i did there? :lol:  )
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October 20, 2012 2:51:19 AM

marshal11 said:
375$ AFTER rebates? hahaha. where have you been? NCIX.ca, you can get a GTX 670 for 300$ after rebates and a gtx 680 for 410$ easily. i'm picking up a MSI 680 soon from that site for 450$.

i'm in the u.s. mate.
http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#c=101&sort=a5
some are ~$350 but a better non reference are a few dollars more.
blame canada!
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October 20, 2012 3:18:59 AM

qbsinfo said:
1. again NO, the driver(s) are not "hacked". the MOD stops the driver from blocking physX when an AMD gpu is detected; the driver itself is not hacked.

2. it is not worth using the 560ti for a low mid range card especially if the PSU would need to be upgraded, thereby increasing the cost or if the games being played do not use PhysX or only a few are played. don't need any links or benchmarks to validate my comments in your's or anyone else's eyes.

it would be better, as i said before, to sell the card and use the money to get a better card like a gtx 670 that will provided better performance in ALL games. so unless you have person experience from testing and can provide links and benchmarks showing differently; your comments are meaningless. (see what i did there? :lol:  )


If he could easily sell his card and get at least $125 to put towards a GTX670 then I'd definitely agree there. I have no idea if that's possible but worth looking into.

On the hacked issue... whatever. I'm just quoting your own link. I did hear that NVidia keeps trying to keep those hacks from working so you may need to periodically get a new version. (I've got mixed feelings on whether NVidia has a legal right to even stop their own NVidia card being used as a PHYSX card.)

As for the GTX560Ti as an addon Physx card. I can NOT provide links to benchmarks. I simply said it was worth trying if he had the GTX560Ti still.

For example, let's say he went from 45FPS to 65FPS in Borderlands 2 by adding in the GTX560Ti. That would be pretty neat (and use Adaptive VSYNC to get 60FPS most of the time).
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October 20, 2012 3:22:39 AM

qbsinfo said:
i'm in the u.s. mate.
http://pcpartpicker.com/parts/video-card/#c=101&sort=a5
some are ~$350 but a better non reference are a few dollars more.
blame canada!


:lol:  i'm guessing you are referring to south park. i love that show. the canadian jokes are hilarious. you are just jealous of our healthcare system and cheap hardware. :lol: 
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October 20, 2012 3:34:52 AM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cbww3dhzK0M

Linus from NCIX:

*Remember, it will VARY by the game. It would be nice to see about five games tested like this.

The MORE demanding the PHYSX is, the more likely the addon card is to become a bottleneck. Therefore it is feasible to see a scenario where an addon PHYSX card would work better on LOW PHYSX but should not be used with HIGH PHYSX.

I'll say the GTX560Ti would definitely be best sold if you can get $125 and put that towards a GTX670. Gigabyte has a good one for about $400:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
!