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matching the appropriate GPU with your CPU

Easy Rhino

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#1
so assuming that a slow CPU will bottleneck a fast GPU, at what point does it become useless to upgrade. for instance, i have the x2 3800+ at 2.0ghz, if i buy a 3870 will i be spending my money in vein? should i save cash and get the 3850 since my slow CPU will bottleneck performance? or will the extra boost the 3870 provides over the 3850 give me what i need?
 

erocker

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#2
I would just hang on to what you have and eventually do a full blown upgrade. But if you want to do it in pieces, I guess the video card is a good place to start since you can use it right away.:toast:
 
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#3
Well, the 3870 will be faster than the 3850....but probably not enough to justify the price difference.
 
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#4
i got my 3580 and i can tell my X2 3800+ is bottle necking it a bit. plan to upgrade to a 4200 or higher soon.
 

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#5
Get rid of the slow AMD and go INTEL..............ftw
 

Easy Rhino

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#6
yea, i dont have the funds to do a full blown upgrade since in the past 4 months ive bought a 42 inch 1080p hdtv, the 80 gig ps3 and a mid range digital receiver. my wife would kill me if i spent 1200 on a full blown upgrade! :laugh: so i think i can get away with doing it one component at a time which would mean buying for the future which would mean getting the 3870 and knowing my cpu is crippling it.
 

erocker

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#7
yea, i dont have the funds to do a full blown upgrade since in the past 4 months ive bought a 42 inch 1080p hdtv, the 80 gig ps3 and a mid range digital receiver. my wife would kill me if i spent 1200 on a full blown upgrade! :laugh: so i think i can get away with doing it one component at a time which would mean buying for the future which would mean getting the 3870 and knowing my cpu is crippling it.
That's what I would do. Plus (I know how wives are), just buy one component at a time. Heck, with the video card down, you just have CPU, mobo, and memory to go! Since memory is so cheap right now, perhaps sneak that into your video card purchase.;) But, yeah, don't piss her off too much... With every purchase there is a consequence...
 

Easy Rhino

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#8
That's what I would do. Plus (I know how wives are), just buy one component at a time. Heck, with the video card down, you just have CPU, mobo, and memory to go! Since memory is so cheap right now, perhaps sneak that into your video card purchase.;) But, yeah, don't piss her off too much... With every purchase there is a consequence...
:laugh: i figured you would understand. so i guess what i really should do is decide between intel or amd because if i go with the 3870 i will most likely want the option of going crossfire. of course, that is what i thought when i bought the x1800xt and i havnt even bothered with crossfiring that...
 
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#9
there is no exact answer to this one by the way..

the vast majority of games are grafix card limited at the resolutions we play (or would like to play) our games at.. so a faster cpu wont make a deal of difference..

a 3870 will make a big difference to your games even with the cpu u have.. fact..

####

but.. with something like 3Dmark 2006 at its default resolution a faster cpu wil start to show higher scores.. this applies to all cpus no matter how fast or how many cores.. the faster the cpu the higher the score..

however raise the resolution and settings high enough in 2006 and the faster cpu will ceases to show any gains..

to put it another way.. a faster cpu will make 100 fps into say 120 fps at a low enough resolution..

but it wont make 15 fps into 20 fps at a higher resolution..

so a slow cpu is okay for games at the higher resolution we play but crap for 2006 scores at the lower resolution it runs..

so yes your slow cpu will bottleneck a 3870 and no your slow cpu wont bottleneck a 3870..

trog
 

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#10
why not get a 8800gt - that should kill the ati's
 
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#11
probably just go ahead and buy one because it will make a big difference no matter your cpu
then you can later on keep the new card and upgrade the motherboard cpu ect ect

i have a x2 4600+ just wondering if i get a 3970 will it bottle my pc that much

BTW no intel comments because i dont want to upgrade my board and cpu i have a decent crossfire board already
im in a sinilar situation here but my cpu is a better one tho
 
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#12
there is no exact answer to this one by the way..

the vast majority of games are grafix card limited at the resolutions we play (or would like to play) our games at.. so a faster cpu wont make a deal of difference..

a 3870 will make a big difference to your games even with the cpu u have.. fact..

####

but.. with something like 3Dmark 2006 at its default resolution a faster cpu wil start to show higher scores.. this applies to all cpus no matter how fast or how many cores.. the faster the cpu the higher the score..

however raise the resolution and settings high enough in 2006 and the faster cpu will ceases to show any gains..

to put it another way.. a faster cpu will make 100 fps into say 120 fps at a low enough resolution..

but it wont make 15 fps into 20 fps at a higher resolution..

so a slow cpu is okay for games at the higher resolution we play but crap for 2006 scores at the lower resolution it runs..

so yes your slow cpu will bottleneck a 3870 and no your slow cpu wont bottleneck a 3870..

trog
Nicely put trog.

I'd grab a 3870, and then go about upgrading the rest in stages.

Either way you're going to have to upgrade your motherboard, CPU and memory at the same time. I really can't recommend upgrading your current CPU/mobo combo. I did that and was sorely disappointed.
 
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#13
If I were you I'd wait for the next round of GPUs. At the moment there aren't really any options that play the DX10 games at a decent resolution, so I'd avoid the temptation and get a new DX10.1 PCIe2.0 card when there's a decent one out!

But if your definately buying at the moment, don't worry about cpu bottlenecking and just get the best value card you can find. I'd avoid the 256Mb versions of the 8800GT and 3850 though!
 
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#14
Nicely put trog.

I'd grab a 3870, and then go about upgrading the rest in stages.

Either way you're going to have to upgrade your motherboard, CPU and memory at the same time. I really can't recommend upgrading your current CPU/mobo combo. I did that and was sorely disappointed.
most folks really dont grasp how this "fast" cpu thing works.. both cpu reviewers (who always use silly low resolutions) and the out of date futuremark paint a totally false picture..

trog
 
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#15
My recommendation would be to go ahead with a new VGA adapter - it'll at least give you a boost for the moment to hold you over until you pick up a new CPU and a new mobo.

I've been doing stuff in pieces, too, as I can afford it (last few months have killed any savings, though), and I managed to get ahold of another 1950 for dirt cheap. The boost of going crossfire has kept me very happy, as I'm still saving up for a new CPU - this P4 is a massive bottleneck.

Although, even with the mobo I picked up back in Aug, and the DDR2-6400, I'm kinda kicking myself now that DDR3 is starting to roll out - oh well, getting ahold of a Q9650 will still put this system at a point where I won't need to further upgrade the GPU's for another year or two.
 

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#16
actully he has a perfectly fine system right now and AMD isnt trash like you intel fanbois would claim, when are you going to realize not everyone overclocks.

Ok to give you good advice, just crank AA and AF with the 3870 and you will get close to same speed you do with no AA or AF untill you go super res. For your CPU id recomend a nice x2 6000 or 6400, they preform very competivly at stock speeds with intel.
 

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#17
actully he has a perfectly fine system right now and AMD isnt trash like you intel fanbois would claim, when are you going to realize not everyone overclocks.

Ok to give you good advice, just crank AA and AF with the 3870 and you will get close to same speed you do with no AA or AF untill you go super res. For your CPU id recomend a nice x2 6000 or 6400, they preform very competivly at stock speeds with intel.
First, thanks for the first sentence, people really don't understand how good K8 still is. He is using s939 though, and cannot upgrade the cpu. Again, going one purchase at a time, a x38 board, and a E8400 would do crossfire very nicely. Just take it slowly.;)
 

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#18
well in that case id actully look for a 2nd hand FX60, 2.8ghz and not slow at all, Ive seen them as low as 200 on fleabay
 

erocker

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#19
Too much money for old tech. Believe me, I've thrown way too much into my old s939 system. For the same price you can get a new E8400. The FX60 is a pretty darn awesome chip though. Just looking at ebay, there is one new going for $25 bucks with 22 hours left. However, it looks like when they actually sell they are going for $200 minimum for used and there is one up to $380 with a couple hours left!:eek:
 

candle_86

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#20
yea but its worth it if you dont have alot of money. Sure an e8400 is 200 bucks, but a motherboard good enough to use it is another 100
 

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#21
Having gone through a bargain upgrade recently myself I can confidently say that the 3850 is a decent choice.

MSI Motherboard+E2200 CPU: $165
Radeon HD3850: $159

Spiced up with a little overclocking, that's $324 to transform my dog slow P4 system into a 10,000-point-in-3DMark06 relative beast of a rig. While it won't win any benchmark competitions it will play every modern game excellently. In terms of bang for the buck it's hard to beat. And it's cheap enough that when the next big thing comes down the pike I can upgrade without any regrets.

Of course, you're likely to have to purchase some DDR2 RAM, but a couple gigs of that can be had for $40 or less. All in all you should be able to manage a pretty radical overhaul for $350-$400 total.

Or just get the HD3850 by itself. It's the least expensive of the truly competent video cards of this generation. It should still provide a decent accounting even coupled with your current CPU.
 
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#22
actully he has a perfectly fine system right now and AMD isnt trash like you intel fanbois would claim, when are you going to realize not everyone overclocks.

Ok to give you good advice, just crank AA and AF with the 3870 and you will get close to same speed you do with no AA or AF untill you go super res. For your CPU id recomend a nice x2 6000 or 6400, they preform very competivly at stock speeds with intel.
Except it's EOL. When I had my old 939 system I put money into it, and was really disappointed with it. The performance was no better than my system before, even though I'd gone from single, to dual core.

AMD isn't trash, in fact I have over 7 systems running AMD, but it's not as good as Intel either.

The fact is that either way he upgrades he's going to have to get a new motherboard and memory. Might as well go Intel as currently it offers the best performance.

I can NOT recommend upgrading that 939 system any further. You'll be putting money into it to get virtually nothing back.

(And having done it just 6 months back I know EXACTLY what I'm talking about)
 
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#23
my upgrade path over the last two months..

for 1.5 years i ran a 939 single core sandy amd chip at 3 gig.. with 1900xtx

i swopped to.. first

abit an52 mobo and 6000+ chip pus 2 gig ddr2.. in real life at 3 gig i didnt notice the slightest difference between a single core 939 chip at 3 gig and the 6000+ dual core chip at 3 gig.. they even scored exactly the same in super pi and ran all my games exactly the same..

so i bought one 3870 card.. yep a nice gaming boost..

next i bought a new msi 790x board and another 3870 card.. no real life gaming gains over the single card and the new 790x board didnt go as well as the abit am52..

next.. sell second card and new 790x mobo.. back to an52 and 6000+ nicely clocked at 3.350 gig.. happy gaming bunny.. as good an amd system as its possible to get..

next... catch benchmarking bug.. know i need intel to play benchmarking game..

next.. sell amd chip board and cooler..

buy abit pro ip35 board and e6750 dual core chip plus new cooler..

next.. realize i need a higher multiplier to hit 4 gig...

sell e6750 chip and buy new e8400.. have 24/7 4 gig.. end of line i hope.. he he he

so i can at least say i have bin there done that..

whoops forgot one.. last night i ordered a new 22 inch wide screen monitor to replace my 20 inch wide screen.. i must stop.. i must stop.. i must stop.. i must stop..

and i blame this place for it all.. he he he

trog

ps.. i go thru this expensive but interesting process roughly every two years.. its lasts a relatively short time then i just use my computer and go fishing and do other sensible things.. he he
 
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#24
i am loving my overclocked e2140 system, it was cheap, real cheap, like bargin bin cheap, and fast enough to sorta keep up in just about everything :?
 
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Location
Sector ZZ₉ Plural Z Alpha
System Name УльтраФиолет
Processor Intel Kentsfield Q9650 @ 3.8GHz (4.2GHz highest achieved)
Motherboard ASUS P5E3 Deluxe/WiFi; X38 NSB, ICH9R SSB
Cooling Delta V3 block, XPSC res, 120x3 rad, ST 1/2" pump - 10 fans, SYSTRIN HDD cooler, Antec HDD cooler
Memory Dual channel 8GB OCZ Platinum DDR3 @ 1800MHz @ 7-7-7-20 1T
Video Card(s) Quadfire: (2) Sapphire HD5970
Storage (2) WD VelociRaptor 300GB SATA-300; WD 320GB SATA-300; WD 200GB UATA + WD 160GB UATA
Display(s) Samsung Syncmaster T240 24" (16:10)
Case Cooler Master Stacker 830
Audio Device(s) Creative X-Fi Titanium Fatal1ty Pro PCI-E x1
Power Supply Kingwin Mach1 1200W modular
Software Windows XP Home SP3; Vista Ultimate x64 SP2
Benchmark Scores 3m06: 20270 here: http://hwbot.org/user.do?userId=12313
#25
Except it's EOL. When I had my old 939 system I put money into it, and was really disappointed with it. The performance was no better than my system before, even though I'd gone from single, to dual core.

AMD isn't trash, in fact I have over 7 systems running AMD, but it's not as good as Intel either.

The fact is that either way he upgrades he's going to have to get a new motherboard and memory. Might as well go Intel as currently it offers the best performance.

I can NOT recommend upgrading that 939 system any further. You'll be putting money into it to get virtually nothing back.

(And having done it just 6 months back I know EXACTLY what I'm talking about)
I agree, AMD isn't trash, either - although I do prefer Intel procs.

I'm glad, though, that when I got hold of my "kick-start-my-ass" system, it had a 775 P4 and not a 438. The 775 socket is probably one of the best Intel sockets in-so-far as to the options available for it. If you can't find a processor to suite your taste and/or needs on the LGA775 . . .