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Which would be the better upgrade: CPU or GPU?

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by qubit, Nov 19, 2010.

  1. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    I'm musing the possibility of upgrading part of my system in the next few months.

    Basically, I want to achieve better minimum gaming frame rates in the latest games and perhaps have DX11 compatibilty, although that still aren't many games that really use and benefit from it. But I'd still like to have it. :D

    My system at the moment (the main bits relevant to this)

    E8500 3.16GHz dual core CPU at 4.11GHz
    4GB (2 sticks) OCZ Flex 2 PC2-9200 (1150MHz DDR2)
    GTX 285
    Corsair HX850W PSU
    1920x1200 LCD monitor

    I would be looking to spend around £300-£400 and I'm wondering if I'd be better off upgrading the CPU to a quad core i7-something, mobo & DDR3 or get a GTX 580. I'd like to get CPU & GPU of course, but that's just too much money to shell out.
     
  2. Nosada

    Nosada

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    With that system, I'd honestly go for i5 + GTX570 or HD6950. Going for the best GPU while neglecting the CPU is a no go imho, same for the reverse. Then again, with SandyBridge/Bulldozer so close, this might not be the best time for a full system upgrade

    ...


    screw it, get the GTX580.
     
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  3. n-ster

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    if you basically only game, GPU... If you do at least a little bit of stuff only CPU intensive... CPU
     
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  4. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    Quibit

    What motherboard you running? Just curious, I say i5 with an SLI capable motherboard and pickup a 2nd GTX285 while your at it.
     
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  5. n-ster

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    EP45-UD3P I'm guessing, looking at his System specs :rolleyes:
     
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  6. LAN_deRf_HA

    LAN_deRf_HA

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    I'd say get a card. Next year I think what, like 3 new sockets are going to hit? You'll have plenty of interesting stuff to choose from. I wouldn't blow a core upgrade on anything out now.
     
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  7. kurosagi01

    kurosagi01

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    Why not AMD 8xxG mobo,4GB DDR3 and Thuban 6 core CPU?
     
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  8. Fourstaff

    Fourstaff Moderator Staff Member

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    Good suggestion, but I don't see how any games released anytime soon can benefit from that. Probably getting the X4 BE is enough. Hold off purchase till Sandy Bridge and hope for price drops? Yeah, I know VAT is coming up...
     
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  9. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Thanks everyone. My CPU does still have a lot of horsepower, despite it being a generation behind and a couple of cores behind.

    So yeah, I'm glad you're saying the graphics card, because my heart was there. ;)

    And n-ster, it is indeed the EP45-UD3P. I didn't list it, because the mobo doesn't make huge odds to the raw performance of a PC nowadays, except for very large overclocks really. I don't count my 1GHz overclock as all that large or special, because I bought this CPU knowing it would do a 1GHz overclock without breaking sweat.

    @JR: I avoid going SLI or Crossfire, because it's expensive, tends to have issues with profiles and stuff and consumes a lot of power. But nice thought, adding a second GTX 285 (getting a bit hard to find now) isn't such a silly idea. :)
     
  10. DrPepper

    DrPepper The Doctor is in the house

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    I just got a GTX470 and I freaking love it. I reckon you should get a new GPU.
     
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  11. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Asus GTX 580 for cheap!

    Ok people, so I got the GTX 580 today from Amazon for a mere £311.25! Wasn't intending to buy it right now, but this price is too good to ignore. :D

    If you want to get one too, I posted about it here.
     
  12. assaulter_99

    assaulter_99

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    That was a damn good deal. $450 for a gtx 580 is very good indeed. So the price wars have started! bring it on!
     
  13. blu3flannel

    blu3flannel

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    I think that, when Sandy Bridge/Bulldozer comes around, you should sell your current parts, save the money you have, and buy completely new parts. My two cents. :toast:
     
  14. JrRacinFan

    JrRacinFan Served 5k and counting ...

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    :rockout: Just thought the same also.

    Good deal on that 580! If you got the cash get 'em!
     
  15. trt740

    trt740

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    gpu is always more important good buy.
     
  16. micropage7

    micropage7

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    dual core with 3 gig thats kinda enough since most of application today just utilize 2 core, 4 core will help but not all the core will run on high speed
    its better you upgrade your VGA
     
  17. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Thanks for all the positive feedback people! :toast:

    And as far as actually having the cash, it was more a case of "applying the credit card" as the deal was too good to miss... lol :laugh:
     
  18. Sir_Real

    Sir_Real New Member

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    I reckon you'd be better off with a gtx470 or 480. Running a gtx580 with your cpu & mobo you might be bottle necking the gpu.

    Plus how long you going to be waiting for amazon to get them asus gtx580's in stock ? Carn't see it being till 2011 now :ohwell:
     
  19. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Yes, it might bottleneck it some, but this CPU is running at over 4GHz and still has loads of horsepower, and my GTX 285 sometimes does slow down more than I'd like, so a card upgrade seems reasonable. Another way to look at it, is that getting an "overpowered" card allows me to turn up the eye candy without loss of performance ie no dropped frames leading to judders. This is especially important when running DX11 graphics and tessellation.

    And finally, I got the top card, because I don't like getting second best... :D

    I agree that this sale might be cancelled by Amazon, but hey, it didn't hurt to try.
     
  20. Sir_Real

    Sir_Real New Member

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    U overate your cpu ! An e8500 @ 4ghz is great for gpu's such as gtx470 or hd5850 but running a gtx580 with a e8500 even at 4ghz is asking a bit much. Its bond to bottle neck the gpu to the point where you'd be getting better frame rates if you had a gtx470 insted.
     
  21. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    No, that's where you're wrong. Using a more powerful card will always give you the same or better framerates. You're suggesting that the better card somehow loads the CPU more, but that's not the case.
     
  22. Over_Lord

    Over_Lord News Editor

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    wait till Jan 11 dude, then we'll have the HD6990 and Sandy Bridge.

    I think buying now would be a BAD decision
     
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  23. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Yeah, you're right. I haven't upgraded my PC in ages and I've got the buying itch! :laugh:
     
  24. Sir_Real

    Sir_Real New Member

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    That comment is totally wrong ! What do you think the term bottlenecking is referring to ?

    Putting a higher spec gpu in WILL put more load on the cpu & if your cpu isn't up to the job then you can see lower frame rates with a better gpu.

    You need to read up on bottle necking a gpu ;)
     
  25. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Honestly, it doesn't. I've been there with my old Athlon X2 setup, where I found that putting in a more powerful card gave me very similar performance to the older one and certainly no lower. That baby was CPU bottlenecked. You will also not see it explained the way you have, in any graphics card articles.

    I think your confusing it with the driver overhead in multi GPU setups, which can indeed lower performance with a weak CPU.
     

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