I'm planning on upgrading my HTPC for gaming. I'm wondering whether my CPU would bottleneck a GTX 660. Would it be worth spending the extra $$ for a 660 over a 650 Ti, or would the two cards give me about the same gaming performance with my Core 2 Quad Q8300? My max budget is $250, so I can't afford to upgrade the CPU (or mobo).
Here are my specs:
CPU: Pentium Core 2 Quad Q8300 2.50GHz
CPU Cooler: Stock cooler
Motherboard: GIGABYTE GA-EP43-UD3L LGA775
Graphics Card: SAPPHIRE Radeon HD 4670 GDDR4 512MB
HDD: Western Digital WD6400AAKS 640GB SATA 3.0Gbps
Memory: A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model ADQVE1B16K
PSU: Corsair VX450W CMPSU-450VX 450W
Case: SilverStone Lascala LC17 SST-LC17B ATX
Optical drive: LG Black Blu-ray/HD DVD-ROM & 16X DVD±R DVD Burner
OS: Windows 7 32 bit
GTX650 Ti would probably be better for the bottlenecking reasons you mentioned, but GTX660 is far better bang for your buck if you do upgrade CPU at some point in the future, when the remaining potential of the card would be unlocked. That said, although Q8300 is pretty old, it's certainly not a bad CPU at all, so you're not looking at huge bottlenecking issues anyway.
Thanks and happy New Year. Would the bottlenecking be game-specific, or would at least some games benefit from the 660 over the 650 Ti? The first games I'm planning on playing are X-Com and Far Cry 3.
I checked out the gtx460 and would consider getting it, since it's not far behind the 650 Ti in performance and costs about half as much used. But the power consumption is a bit higher. Would my 450 watt PSU be able to handle a 460, along with the Q8300 and 3 Western Digital Green storage drives? I am planning on replacing my OS drive with an SSD, which should save some power.