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CPU & GPU upgrade - yay or nay?

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  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
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February 26, 2013 2:25:32 PM

Hi folks!

New to the forum, but not to the site! Got a very specific question - so do bear with me.

Currently running this 2 year old setup:

AMD Phenom II X6 1075T
Gigabyte GA890GPA-UD3H Rev 2.1
Kingston Hyper-X KHX1600C9D3K2 / 16GB (quad sticks)
Sapphire HD 6950 2GB GDDR5 Crossfire
Silverstone Strider Gold 1200W
Western Digital WD30EZRX Green 3TB
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit


Everything is stock, no overclocking etc as I'm not comfortable with it. I'm a gamer, I play only 3D games mostly at max details, 1680x1050, 4XAA and 8XAF. So far the only games that have challenged this rig is Crysis 2 (with HD pack), GTA IV, ARMA II and LA Noire.

Crysis 3 has practically melted my machine and with the realisation that I will be coming up against new games like GTA V in the very near future, was thinking that an upgrade might be in order. Have done some research, but am lacking finer technical knowledge to understand implications on my existing setup.

Thinking of getting a new CPU and GPU's in the next 2 months:

AMD FX 8350
Sapphire Vapor-X HD 7950 3GB OC Crossfire (yes, 2 cards)


I'm trying not to change my mobo to avoid OS hassles, plus this fits within my budget. Don't intend to do a major overhaul, just plug and play so to speak. So my question is basically as follows:

Would the CPU and GPU upgrades be worth the money - will I see a significant performance improvement on current games such as Crysis 3 and Far Cry 3?

If I upgrade, I intend for it to last at least another 2 years. Thanks in advance to whoever who would take the time to provide your honest views. Cheers!

More about : cpu gpu upgrade yay nay

a b B Homebuilt system
February 26, 2013 2:49:37 PM

yes i think its worth the money, make sure to update your mobo's bios so it will support the new 8 core and also you could check on manufacturers webside for that product if it supports the 8 core just to be sure

with two 7950's you will be able to max out crysis no problem you can look up crysis 3 benchmarks nvidia gtx titan vs two 7970's in crossfire. only issue with dual cards is you have to stay up to date with drivers and game patches to utilize both cards to the fullest
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 26, 2013 2:51:12 PM

The GPU upgrade would be noticeable, but not the CPU upgrade. I would only recommend going the GPU route.
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February 26, 2013 4:05:41 PM

Hmm, so the only game you are wanting to upgrade for is GTA V? Please don't take GTA IV as a meaningful indicator of any type of useful performance, It was a horrendous console port.

That being said man I don't think upgrading would be worth the amount of money spent. Its either 200 bucks for a CPU or going from xfire 6950s to xfire 7950s which isn't really worth it. Specially not for 600 bucks total.

Dunno man. I think if anything upgrading to an i5 would be your best bet.
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/cpus/2012/05/01/intel-...
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February 26, 2013 4:11:57 PM

Yeah that would be the best bet to ugprade your GPU's and see how you like the results. a Cpu may squeeze out a few more fps but I wouldn't bother until after you do your GPU's. Though you may want to think about getting 7970 instead with the "left over" money for not upgrading your CPU at this time. I believe that a 7970 is on the same level as a 7970 however with out any the of CF drivers issues on new on games (ie waiting for new profile as games get released) and you can add another 7970 down the road when you need it or have the cash.
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February 26, 2013 8:25:40 PM

Well, this is disappointing. I just purchased a 6950 for the purpose of playing Crysis 3. (My prior vid card was a 6450). I'm sure the single 6950 will work for me as I will be mostly playing at 720p with medium-high settings. . .
For your set-up, I think I would just do the gpu's for now.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 26, 2013 8:37:08 PM

I would upgrade the GPU's only for now and then upgrade the CPU once steamroller comes out at the end of the year

Big gains going from 6950 to 7970ghz
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 27, 2013 6:04:25 AM

I suggest just playing it simple. Get a single 7970 and see how it goes. If you find it too slow (i dont know how unless you decide to run 3x 1080p eyefinity?) buy another for crossfire.
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March 6, 2013 6:29:21 AM

Thanks everyone for your views and advice. Guess I'll look into a solid GPU first before forking out for anything else.

I'm very surprised though that most people view that upgrading from a Phenom II to the highest end FX 8-core chip will not yield noticeable improvements. Is it because of a bottleneck elsewhere in my system? I would've thought this jump would give it quite a boost.

dragonlord12832 said:
Well, this is disappointing. I just purchased a 6950 for the purpose of playing Crysis 3. (My prior vid card was a 6450). I'm sure the single 6950 will work for me as I will be mostly playing at 720p with medium-high settings. . .
For your set-up, I think I would just do the gpu's for now.


Don't worry, a 6950 is more than adequate to run Crysis 3, just not at the absolute maximum. Even at lower settings, the game looks better than almost everything out there in the market. I'm almost obsessive with graphical details, so don't take my assessment as the best representation of performance vs quality.

You may want to check this out: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/crysis-3-performanc...

Also, after the latest patch and upgrading the drivers to 13.2 beta, I noticed a significant improvement in framerates...
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March 7, 2013 6:15:21 AM

The first thing I'd do is go to a intel platform. I think if you crossfire 7970's you will bottleneck your currant cpu and if you go to the 8350 you will bottleneck that as well. I have 670's in SLI and I started out with a FX 8150 and my GPU usage never went over 60% usage I switched to the i7 and am running at 100%.

Games don't use all the cores and the bottom line is AMD just doesn't make the best gaming chip. You would be much better off with a i5 and a new mobo. then pop in the 7970's in crossfire and you will be in good shape.
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