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Upgrade GPU or CPU?

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by wolf, Dec 23, 2010.

?

sould I upgrade my CPU first or my GPU ?

  1. Upgrade CPU

    15 vote(s)
    68.2%
  2. Upgrade GPU

    7 vote(s)
    31.8%
  1. wolf

    wolf Performance Enthusiast

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    so basically I want to do both within the next two months, but which do you think will give the most benefit now? suggestions of which to use appreciated too.

    specs;

    Asus 785G based Mobo
    Athlon 2 X2 240 @ 3.5ghz
    4gb DDR2 800
    XFX 9800GTX BE 512mb (essentially 9800GTX+)
    Corsair CX500W

    for the CPU I was thinking X4 955 BE, for the GPU GTX460, or maybe wait on 560...

    EDIT: monitor/gaming resolution is 1080p and the primary use of this machine is gaming.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2010
  2. Wyverex

    Wyverex

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    Well, that depends. What do you use your computer for? Most games still don't use more than 2 cores... but then again, Phenom's L3 cache does help it...

    If you're not in a rush, I'd wait at least until GTX 560 gets out. If nothing else, it'll probably drive prices of old cards down :)
    wolf says thanks.
  3. jellyrole

    jellyrole

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    I would go with the CPU right now if you plan on keeping that motherboard. No matter what you will be keeping that general setup so you should go ahead and upgrade the core component now. Graphics cards will only get cheaper in time, so keep that in mind as well.
    wolf says thanks.
  4. Lionheart

    Lionheart

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    I would definitely go with a CPU upgrade first, I just googled your mobo and it seems it should support AMD's 6 core cpu's with a Bios update, gotta love AMD's backward support:toast:
    wolf says thanks.
  5. p_o_s_pc

    p_o_s_pc F@H&WCG addict

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    The GPU and CPU both are kinda weak. I would overclock that CPU up to around 3.8ghz and grab a new GPU right now or if you can swing it get a PII X4 940 BE (can be had for ~$100) and a 6850/5850 or GTX460/465 and be happy. Keep in mind that Bulldozer is around the corner soon and the AM2+/AM3 socket isn't going to be upgradable any more then a 6 core. So with that being said i would just save the money and wait to see what bulldozer/Bobcat/Sandy bring to the table in 2011.
    wolf says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  6. dark2099

    dark2099

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    I would go with a new GPU, most games now are better coded to use a GPU way more than CPU or any other resources, so that probably will give you the biggest boost of all.
  7. Magikherbs New Member

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    I would upgrade the mobo and ram first. ;) With DDR3 ram/mobos priced soo low nowadays, it would be a shame to see nice gear like that stuck in DDR2 land ! hahah... I paid almost double 5 months ago for my ram lmao !

    Peace
    wolf says thanks.
  8. PopcornMachine

    PopcornMachine

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    It's a great time to shop for a GPU, and the prices should keep dropping a bit for a while.

    But I do think a CPU upgrade would help you as well, and also prepare you for a higher end GPU later.
    wolf says thanks.
  9. ngokhikho New Member

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    How many hours you're going to spend on gaming. For me, it seems a new CPU is better, because your video card can well handle most of modern games.
    wolf says thanks.
  10. wolf

    wolf Performance Enthusiast

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    well I went with a new CPU :D

    decided to go all out and smash in a 1090T, gaming has improved heaps already, sooo happy.

    now i get much closer to 60fps in my games and much higher GPU useage on the 9800GTX.

    goes to show an Athlon II 240 @ 3500mhz was bottlenecking a 9800GTX quite badly, sometimes under 50% GPU useage.

    now I will wait on a GTX560 vs 6950 review for sure, tho an unlockable 6950 is very tempting.
  11. Magikherbs New Member

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    Congrats wolf ! :toast:

    If you are not getting 100% gpu usage, it may mean that v-sync is turned on in the game. With v-sync off, my old 9800GT would do about 120-150 fps @ 100% gpu. When on, gpu useage averages 50-60% and fps are steady @60. Thats running NFS Shift, btw.

    What games/apps ?
    wolf says thanks.
  12. Hayder_Master

    Hayder_Master

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    cpu for sure but first there is something, did your mobo have unlock bios cores features or maybe there is an bios for it, if it's pick athelon 2 x3 445 and unlocked it, it will as phenom 2 x4 940
    wolf says thanks.
  13. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Congrats on the 1090t wolf! Now for your gpu, go HD6950 or GTX570! That's only if you notice no issues playing at 1080p with your current GTX with games you play. Oh also, stay on AM2+ for a little bit and when the time is right get an AM3+ board and ddr3.
    wolf says thanks.
  14. wolf

    wolf Performance Enthusiast

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    mostly NFS:shit Hotpursuit 2010, and Dirt2 for the moment, I loves mah racing games :)

    cheers for the vsync tip too, I really do't like vsync much so I have it off where possible, especially FPS games.

    the Athlon II's are unfortunately not unlockable, as they are based of a different die altogether, no L3 cache and no extra cores availaible at all.

    athlon x3's can become X4's, Phenom x2's can become x3-x4's and semrpon single cores can unlock to athlon x2's ... as I understand it.

    the only thing about the 6950 or GTX570 that holds me back is my PSU at this point, Corsair CX500w, which would be a hec of a tight squeeze on a GTX570 I think now with a 1090T... 6950/6970 would probably be ok, as would a GTX460 and (at this point) I assume 560 too.

    thanks for the feedback dudez, and for the record, the 1090T is already cranking out 3.6ghz :D :rockout: BE FTW.

    :toast:
  15. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    The corsair 500W SHOULD hold a single card like a 570 or 6950 (Unlocked)
    Crunching for Team TPU
  16. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Oh that's a cx500? Either way .....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2010/12/07/nvidia-geforce-gtx-570-1-3gb-review/1

    ... my whole point is this, it would be plenty up to the point to where you want to go multi-gpu!
    wolf says thanks.
  17. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Here is another shot as well

    [​IMG]
    wolf says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  18. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Surprisingly enough, the 9800GTX+ peak load is about the same as an HD6870.
    wolf says thanks.
  19. Magikherbs New Member

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    Give me Laguna Seca.. Give me Life !:rockout:

    Gpu load temps are another reason I prefer v-sync on hehe.. and what do you think of this ?..
    http://www.xtremesystems.org/forums/showthread.php?t=231697

    Peace
    wolf says thanks.
  20. wolf

    wolf Performance Enthusiast

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    reassuring mate cheers! I'll plop in just about any GPU I can afford then... but alas it needs to wait at least a month for another paycheck, bonus and some saved up tips ;)

    this is what turned me over on a 1090T, I was thinking X4 955/965, then in 2 days I made another ~80 Euro's in tips so I was like.... why the fark not aye.

    also yeah my current specs dont show this system, they need an update! tis a CX500 indeed, lovely PSU tho.

    cheers, agan good to know I can chuck in a 570 if money permits.

    this ones an XFX 9800GTX BE, which essentially means GTX+ clocks but unfortunately being 65nm not 55nm, slightly higher consumpton.

    damn I'm suprised what this card can still pull out given the right base system tho.

    ahhh I like the seca, but TBH I just can't get enough of Nurburgring :D I can just go lap after lap on that in NFS Shift, especially with a G25.
    Magikherbs says thanks.
  21. Hayder_Master

    Hayder_Master

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    are sure bro, try gogle it L3 cash athelon 2 x3 unlock

    http://en.inpai.com.cn/doc/enshowcont.asp?id=7395&pageid=6252
    wolf says thanks.
  22. p_o_s_pc

    p_o_s_pc F@H&WCG addict

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    The ONLY Athlon II that can't be unlocked are the X2s because they are made on a different die that is only a dual core and no L3. On the other hand the X3s can be unlocked. You have a few ways that it could "unlock" here are a few possibility:
    1.unlock to Phenom II X4 (4 cores,full L2 and L3)<--- best
    2.Unlock to a Phenom II X3(3 cores, full L2 and L3)<-- ehh,something for free
    3.Stuck with a Athlon X3(3 cores,no L3)<--- teh sucky.

    There was the AII X2 5000+(45nm PII based dual core, no L3) that unlocked to a "Phenom FX" that was a full out Phenom II X4(4 cores,L2 and L3) i wish you could still get them. They had a high unlock %.

    also on another note. Upgrade the cooling from stock and get that CPU up to 4ghz :D
    wolf says thanks.
    Crunching for Team TPU
  23. Neo4

    Neo4 New Member

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    You have a decent board there to build on so I would suggest getting the GTX 460 1 gig to start with and you will see an immediate improvement. Later on get the quad core and it'll even be better. :rockout:
    wolf says thanks.
  24. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    This one is AM3 capable

    This one AM2+ only

    The one you were mentioning is the AM2+ version.
    wolf says thanks.
  25. wolf

    wolf Performance Enthusiast

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    yeah mines an athlon II X2, so no unlock, thats what I meant so say originally, not that all Athlon II's could not unlock, as I know about the x3's

    yeah the X2 240 is what I was stuck with...

    I need a new cooler, so far shes running rock stable 3800mhz, 3000mhz NB on the stock cooler, and absolutely honking along, problem is the stock cooler is noisy :mad:

    too late buddy, decided on a x6 1090T and a decent overclock, turns out this gave my system the kick in the chops that it needed.

    well.... that I needed :)

    now I wait to see what happens with the GTX560, and by then hopefully 570/6950/6970 prices will have come down a bit too, at least settled at MSRP.
    Hayder_Master says thanks.

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