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Which way to go? Better CPU or Better GPU?

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June 7, 2013 2:07:15 AM

Currently I have an Athlon X4 640 and an EVGA GTX 280 SC+. Have about $300 to spend and trying to decide if worth upgrading to an i7-3570K and new MOBO/Ram or just stick with the Athlon and upgrade to a GTX 660Ti...

Running 4GB DDR2-800 with my Athlon, obviously would be going 8GB DDR3-1600 with the new combo...

Also, gaming at 1440x900 right now, looking for a new monitor somewhere around end of this year...

TLDR: Athlon X4 640 + GTX 660Ti or i7-3570K + EVGA GTX 280SC+?

Thanks in advance!

More about : cpu gpu

June 7, 2013 2:23:59 AM

Do the CPU and RAM first, then save up and wait for the new AMD 8000 series or the mid range GTX 700's. Your setup will bottleneck the 660ti quite badly.

For the CPU and motherboard, get Haswell instead, or with your limited $300 budget, consider an updated AMD build.
June 7, 2013 2:30:15 AM

jk47_99 said:
Do the CPU and RAM first, then save up and wait for the new AMD 8000 series or the mid range GTX 700's. Your setup will bottleneck the 660ti quite badly.

For the CPU and motherboard, get Haswell instead, or with your limited $300 budget, consider an updated AMD build.


I did look into Haswell but the performance wasn't really there IMO compared to the cost of the Ivy Bridge setup that's the only reason I didn't consider it really...
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June 7, 2013 2:44:34 AM

Yeah there isn't much of a gain but it will be on a new chipset which means you won't be able to upgrade to any new CPU (apart from another Ivy Bridge) in the future.

Unless you are getting a Ivy Bridge i3, I would suggest a Haswell system as you are starting from scratch with your cpu, mobo and ram.

You'll need a better power supply as well.
June 7, 2013 2:51:04 AM

jk47_99 said:
Yeah there isn't much of a gain but it will be on a new chipset which means you won't be able to upgrade to any new CPU (apart from another Ivy Bridge) in the future.

Unless you are getting a Ivy Bridge i3, I would suggest a Haswell system as you are starting from scratch with your cpu, mobo and ram.

You'll need a better power supply as well.


Does Haswell have a different power coupling requirement vs Ivy? I have a Thermaltake TR2 RX 850W modular unit in my PC right now (I know a bit overkill for what i'm running but I got an awesome deal on it!).
June 7, 2013 3:01:38 AM

I doubt it, it just some marketing gimmick about power supplies being 'haswell certified'. The Haswell's have a slightly higher TDP than Ivy, but by no more than 5-10%.

Your power supply is good, I just assumed it was older relative to the rest of your hardware.
June 7, 2013 3:07:57 AM

jk47_99 said:
I doubt it, it just some marketing gimmick about power supplies being 'haswell certified'. The Haswell's have a slightly higher TDP than Ivy, but by no more than 5-10%.

Your power supply is good, I just assumed it was older relative to the rest of your hardware.


Alright then, Haswell it is, gonna go pick up at local Micro Center today! thanks again mate!
June 7, 2013 3:19:30 AM

No problem, happy gaming!
January 12, 2014 6:39:19 PM

The haswell certification refers to the c6/c7 sleep states and low power modes. apparently older psu's don't support the super low power sleep modes or something like that.
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