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Gpu to pair with Core 2 E8400

Oct 5, 2008
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A friend of mine is looking to build and of course spend as little as possible on the build. I have donated my Core 2 Duo E8400 2x2Gbs of Ram, and Asus P5Q Deluxe to the cause. I am trying to pair a reasonable graphics card with this system. It will be likely running on a 1080p monitor. I was thinking maybee a GTX 650 1GB, or my wife has a GTX 460 768MB, I could always upgrade hers and donate the 460(for 50 bucks) to the cause.

One thing to note, I have in the past overclocked the crap out of this system, running 3.8/4.0 ghz. I think it would be able to run something like a 3.6 ghz 24/7 despite being...4 years old.

I am just cautious about suggesting a card that would completely bottle neck the CPU, and match his budget. Maybe even a 7670 AMD?


Served 5k and counting ...
Mar 17, 2007
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It's not a single card that will bottleneck, but it's a dual card configuration that would. Do the gtx460 if you feel like the upgrade.
May 25, 2011
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With that P5Q Deluxe you can get a pretty good OC with that E8400 and adding a midrange videocard you can play most PC games in decent settings in 1080p. That GTX 460 768MB would do fine, especially with a decent OC on the GPU, except in games that are video memory hungry, e.g. GTA4, Battlefield 3 and so on.

Anyway, how big is the budget for the VGA? How about this one? The GTX 560 Ti-448 performance is mostly on par with a GTX 570.

As for CPU bottlenecks, I think it has more to do with the specific game your friend want to run with his PC. For example PC games that are optimized for 4 threads would run faster/perform better on PC with a quad core CPU than on higher clocked dual cores.
Dec 6, 2005
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As for CPU bottlenecks, I think it has more to do with the specific game your friend want to run with his PC. For example PC games that are optimized for 4 threads would run faster/perform better on PC with a quad core CPU than on higher clocked dual cores.
Well said. I have two Core2 systems, the slower is an E6600 OC'd to 3.6 Ghz. Paired with a $100 6850, it does ok. I ran some furmark bench/burn tests last night and now plan on seeing what I get with a brandie new 7870 that arrived on my doorstep Monday. The 7870 will eventually reside in the new 3570k system I'm building.
Oct 29, 2010
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I'm running on a second machine a GTX560SE (it's in the same category as the 7770 or 460) with an E8400 at stock though. The problem is that there is an increasing number of games which like strong CPUs, more cores/threads the better, speed and DDR3. Such a game is BF3 multiplayer which is basically unplayable due to the CPU/RAM that I have (single player is stuttering but acceptable) even if the GPU can handle it at lower settings.

On the other hand there are plenty of good games that run very well with such a setup. The idea is that the bottleneck is unavoidable when you play games that need CPU horsepower whatever card you have. So my advice would be to keep the costs reasonable and give him the 460 (though a 1GB GTX460 would be better).


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Apr 1, 2010
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GT 460 and let him save up for a used C2Q if he wants to play CPU intensive games, and he should play at 720p though
Aug 7, 2007
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A C2Q and a decent card (around 470) should last him 1-2 years, provided he plays the newest games at low settings. But honestly, I'm sure the day will come when the requirements to most new games will be having a dx10/11 capable card. Getting a 7670 or 7750 wouldn't be such a bad idea in the long term imo.
Sep 25, 2007
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a core 2 quad if he overclocks it to like 3.3Ghz is actually fine for most games but he is using a E8400 and more games are using quad cores and higher now.

for example with a E5200@3.6Ghz and FC3 the game is nearly unplayable with a GTX460 1GB for me but with the C2Q framerate is much much higher, you can play on very high(not ultra though) at 1680x1050 with the C2Q but with the C2D your playing on low - medium at that res.


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May 7, 2009
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7750 or a GTX 560ti will do fine