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Q6600 @ 3.6 Ghz to i5 2500k Upgrade?

Th3Riju

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#1
Hey guys so I've been playing Far Cry 3/Hitman Absolution/GTA 4 lately and I think I might be having a CPU bottleneck. There's certain situations where my FPS drops to like 25 regardless of my video settings which leads me to think that my old Q6600 is bottlenecking my system even though it's running at 3.6.

For more info, I usually run most of my games (including Far Cry 3) on ultra.

I was just curious if I'd see a major improvement in replacing my Q6600 with the 2500k. Mostly using this pc for gaming and some audio recording. If I don't see that much of an improvement, then I think I would rather just save my money and get a new gpu or something.

My specs are as follow:

Q6600 @ 3.6 Ghz
Asus P5Q Se Plus
6GB DDR2 OC to 801 Mhz
Ati 6950 1gb
Ultra Lsp 550 PSU

Any help would be appreciated.
 
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#2
Definitely upgrade the platform. You should see a nice speed increase with an i5/i7 quad core and DDR3 (which will double your memory bandwidth that many games are hungry for these days). While the 6950 only has 1GB of RAM, it should still play the games decently, so upgrade it later if needed.
 
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#3
Do it! I made the same jump when I started playing battlefield bad company 2 and the difference was night and day, and that was with a GTX 470,

Everything is just better, faster, less power so less heat which means less noise and all of that with a good FPS bump in games
 
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#4
Why not a 3570k?
 

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#5

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#6
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#7
Big jump in performance. Might consider the 3570K if the price is similar.
 
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#8
Yep 3570K. It's an improvement for me even going from an i7 870 at 4Ghz. From S775 will be huge.
 

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#9
It will smooth games out thats for sure as thats what i noticed with Skyrim going from a Q9550. How ever isn't there a new chipset due early next year from intel ?.

And another thought that 1GB on that video card might be some what a issue.
 
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#10
It will smooth games out thats for sure as thats what i noticed with Skyrim going from a Q9550. How ever isn't there a new chipset due early next year from intel ?.

And another thought that 1GB on that video card might be some what a issue.
1GB seems perfect for a 6950. There might be some rockstar games that could use more.
 

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#11
No idea why you are having issues with GTA my second system is similar to yours i get 50fps fluidly!

get an IB system
 
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#12
I'm surprised no one has considered the 6950 as the culprit to the problems the OP is having....

No one seems to have taken into account that 1GB of vRAM @ 1080 & Ultra settings in the games he says he plays is not enough to maintain a solid 30+FPS without using his DDR2 system RAM as an offloading point. (for the purpose of this post I'll assume hes using a 22"+ monitor of some class/resolution)


Yes, the i5 upgrade will yield very nice improvements for the most part.... BUT, if the 6950 is indeed the problem it will only go so far to curing the issue and a new graphics card would be a much better investment at this point.... certainly so seeing as the Q6600 (at the OC mentioned) still does a very sound job in the gaming arena and I doubt is much of a "bottle neck" to any game out there currently... most of the titles on the market at the moment are console ports that utilize very little CPU power or graphical power, any way. :shadedshu


Maybe you regulars should give that some thought before you convince this guy he needs to spend 3x the amount and still have 25fps due to a poor amount of vRAM.




@the OP:
What resolution are you running at?
Is the 6GB of RAM you listed running dual channel (2x2GB+2x1GB) or single channel (2x2GB+2GB)?
 
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#13
I'm surprised no one has considered the 6950 as the culprit to the problems the OP is having....

No one seems to have taken into account that 1GB of vRAM @ 1080 & Ultra settings in the games he says he plays is not enough to maintain a solid 30+FPS without using his DDR2 system RAM as an offloading point. (for the purpose of this post I'll assume hes using a 22"+ monitor of some class/resolution)


Yes, the i5 upgrade will yield very nice improvements for the most part.... BUT, if the 6950 is indeed the problem it will only go so far to curing the issue and a new graphics card would be a much better investment at this point.... certainly so seeing as the Q6600 (at the OC mentioned) still does a very sound job in the gaming arena and I doubt is much of a "bottle neck" to any game out there currently... most of the titles on the market at the moment are console ports that utilize very little CPU power or graphical power, any way. :shadedshu


Maybe you regulars should give that some thought before you convince this guy he needs to spend 3x the amount and still have 25fps due to a poor amount of vRAM.




@the OP:
What resolution are you running at?
Is the 6GB of RAM you listed running dual channel (2x2GB+2x1GB) or single channel (2x2GB+2GB)?
I, for the most part, disagree. The GPUs of yesteryear (I'm looking at you, NVIDIA) typically had 1GB-1.5GB of GDDR5, and consoles themselves only have 512MB of RAM themselves. A game I commonly reference for a measurement of CPU power is Team Fortress 2, and it runs significantly better on my 4.3GHz i7-3770K than it did with a 4GHz Phenom II X4 955BE and especially my office Intel X3210 @ 3GHz with DDR2-940. An HD 5770 1GB easily maxes out the game even with full VRAM.

I've played plenty of games on a GTX 460 1GB and honestly many of them ran more smoothly at 1080p than my 7950 does (drivers).
 

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#14
Yea, I can tell you when I moved from a Q9550 @3.8Ghz to a 2600K it was like night and day on my gaming rig. I had 2x 5850's in CF and felt like I should be getting better performance so I made the switch and it paid off. :toast: I've got 2x 2500k's and they are really good chips. I have them both clocked at 4.7ghz on good air unit. :toast:

EDIT: I'm with everybody else.. for the money get a ib 3570k :toast: Unless of course you can get a 2500k dirt cheap like $100 Microcenter was offering
 
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#15
I am still running my Q6600 and have a new 2500K.

The old quad makes a good system, but I can tell you there is a big boost from the new chip.

The 2500k has carried on the Q6600's mantel of being the best quad core for the money.
 

Th3Riju

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#16
Thanks for all the replies guys. The only reason I figure that my cpu is bottlenecking is because a friend of mine has the exact same GPU as I do but his setup includes an i7 2600k and 8 gigs of ddr3. The reason I'm going for a 2500k is cause a guy at work wants to sell his for $120. He's been using it for a few months and just bought an i7 2600k cause he's really into video encoding.

About my ram, its a mixture of Nanya, Corsair, and Crucial. I'm currently using 2 x 2gb and 2x 1gb.

I use a Samsung 28" 1080p monitor so I've done my research on video memory. I found out (by swapping with 2 gig cards) that I honestly don't benefit a whole lot from the 2gb vram option. It's give or take a few frames. Most people say that they can get by with just 1 gig for 1080p anyways.

I should also point out that FC3 runs great on ultra, for the most part getting 45-50 frames throughout except for when it comes to towns or cities. I've tested this recently and saw that my GPU usage goes from 99 to 45 while the cpu is pegged at the same percentage. Like I mentioned before, it doesn't change with different graphical settings. I get around 25-30 in villages regardless of ultra/high/med/low.
 
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#17
The village areas would be a lot more CPU intensive than running through the island jungle areas.
Didn't think it would be than CPU intensive that an overclocked Q6600 would struggle with it.

Either way, the 2500K is a great CPU and a big jump in performance compared to the Q6600.
For instance, video conversion from VOB to AVI through AutoGK.
Q6600 1hr14min
i5 2500K 20min
 
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#18
i5 2500K is the best CPU Intel has released since the C2D E8xxx, IMO.

Stroooooooong performance, nice prices and overclocks like a beast! Put it in a good Z77 MB, set it to something around 4.2~4.4 GHz (my i5 is rock stable at 4.2 Ghz undervolted), and you will see huge improvements over your current system.

PS. HD 6950 is still a very nice card, and 1GB of vram is not the best option, but still works nice. You will get much more impact swapping your platform. Exchange your current card for another 6950 with 2 GB is a a waste of money, and a better card would increase your bottleneck even more.
 

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#19
Do it, you will see a BIG improvement even if you only change the CPU(and of course the Motherboard too)

I played Metro 2033 back then with a Q8200 2.4 Ghz + HD 5850 around 20-30 FPS.

I upgraded to i7-2600k, OC'ed it, and replaced my HD 5850 with a HD 6870(which have similar performance) and the FPS jumped to around 40-60 FPS
 
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#20
I went from a Q6600@4ghz to a 2500k@5ghz and the difference is literally night and day. Even in simple tasks it just blows the Q6600 away. Gaming is a whole new beast as well!
 
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#21
Seeing as GTA IV is not only poorly coded and buggy with most cards (least of all the 6950 due to driver support, or lack of), but will use about 950mb - 1.1GB of vRAM @ 1680x1050 with everything on max and Draw Distance @ only 60, I see no reason why full 1080 and a draw distance maxed out (100 without mods) won't use up-to 1.5GB.

If you are unaware of this or think otherwise then you obviously haven't experienced the goodness (or not) or GTA on a PC. :laugh:


Far Cry 3 is a slightly different story.... its a new game so drivers are still pretty lame in supporting it with any form of correct optimization and that should be taken into seriously consideration when attempting to play this title. Also, the recommended cards to play this game maxed out are either a GTX680 or 7970, for all effects and glory enabled.

Hi-Performance Specs
Latest DirectX11 graphics card
Latest quad core CPU
8GB Memory
Example hi-performance (NVidia/Intel)
NVidia GTX680
Intel Core i7-2600K
Example hi-performance (AMD)
AMD Radeon HD7970
AMD Bulldozer FX4150

If you chose to add further enhancements such as AA or AF to these two games the issue will get even worse and frame rate will suffer heavily.



Also, for the record, I think an upgrade to another, more modern CPU/mobo/RAM IS worth doing, at some point..... however, I see a bigger potential issue with the 1GB of graphics memory and the games you(OP) are wanting to play, you're native resolution and the in game quality you choose to play at.


Have you considered a "lower end" setup from AMD or Intel (FX6xx/i3) instead of the more expensive i5 range? It will be faster than your current setup by a far margin and will allow more "wiggle room" once you to sell your current card and allow you to get an upgrade in the graphical department too.... a more well rounded system is always more useful, certainly one that wont have only 1GB of vRAM that is rapidly becoming too little for 1920x1080 (has been for a while IMO).


End note: 1GB is simply not enough for GTA and Far Cry 3 on "Ultra" for various reasons.
 
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#22
So I thought I'd provide some closure to this thread. I ended up buying the i5 2500k for $120 and the difference is ridiculous. I thew in an Asus P8Z68 mobo with 8 gigs of Vengeance 1600 ram and I have to say, I couldn't be happier. I got at least a 30 - 50% jump in performance in almost every game I played. I swapped out my 6950 (1GB) with my friend's 6950 (2GB) and honestly didn't see any change. This was all at max settings with AF at 16x and AA on 2x for some games. I could really care less about AA, I never use it anyways.

There was about a 1 - 2 frame difference with Gta IV with the minimum frame rate at 43. This is with as many texture packs/traffic mods as I could find. There was no frame rate difference with Crysis 1 using all Hi res texture/foliage texture packs. I'm sure if I knocked up the resolution to 1440p or turned up anti-aliasing I would require more video memory but everyone I have asked has stated that 1GB is enough for 1080p. Besides, the card does great with pretty much anything I need it to do and the tests the ran didn't show much reason to change anything video card related either.

Just wanted thank you guys for all your help and input for my build. I'll try to contribute more to the forums from now on :)
 
Joined
Oct 29, 2010
Messages
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System Name The Sheriff / The Deputy
Processor 2500K / G4560
Motherboard ASRock P67Extreme4 / Gigabyte GA-Z170-HD3 DDR3
Cooling CM Hyper TX3 / Intel stock
Memory 16 GB Kingston HyperX / 8 GB Kingston HyperX
Video Card(s) EVGA GTX 960 SSC / Gigabyte GTX 1050 Ti LP
Storage SSD, some WD and lots of Samsungs
Display(s) BenQ GW2470 / Samsung SyncMaster T220
Case Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced / Thermaltake Core v31
Audio Device(s) Asus Xonar D1/Denon PMA500AE/Wharfedale D 10.1/Senn HD518
Power Supply Corsair TX650 / Corsair TX650M
Mouse Steelseries Rival 100/ Mionix Avior 7000
Keyboard Sidewinder
Software Windows 10 / Windows 10 Pro
#23
Enjoy!
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2012
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Location
Juiz de Fora - MG / Brazil
System Name Mec Machine
Processor Core i5 2500K @ 4.5 GHz
Motherboard Asrock Z68 Extreme3 Gen3
Cooling Antec 620 Kuhler
Memory 2x 2GB Adata 1333 @ 1866 9-10-9-27
Video Card(s) Diamond Radeon HD 7970
Storage Seagate 1TB 7200.12 / OCZ Vertex 4 128GB
Display(s) LG LCD W1942SB 19'' 1680x1050
Case Thermaltake Commander
Audio Device(s) Onboard
Power Supply 3R System Iceage 450w
Software Windows 7 Ultimate x64
#24
I swapped out my 6950 (1GB) with my friend's 6950 (2GB) and honestly didn't see any change.
I told you hahaha

Enjoy your new rig and be happy! :toast: