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Reconsidering my future upgrades. Q9450 and 4870X2

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#1
Okay, as you can see from my sig, i am going to be doing some upgrading of my PC, and it was gonna be when I get paid at the end of this month (and when 4870x2 was due out, lol)

Now I have been having a think. Am I buying stuff for the sake of it, and effectively wasting my money.

I had originally decided to go quad core with a q9450 and then update my graphics card with a 4870X2. The rest of my upgrades arent changing its just these (mind you they are the biggest!).
I originally wanted to future proof for two or three years. So I thought a quad was a good idea cus I reckon games will be made to make good use of them in that time.
But I know what I'm like, come next summer, I will be wanting the new intel platform, new cpu and mobo, so i thought, why spend £200 on a q9450 when games now and over the next year will only use two of the cores?

I know the setup could get some nice 3dmark scores but thats not what it is about really.

So enough of the background here are the questions:

1, Would it be better for me to get an e8400 over a q9450 if I am likely to change to the new platform in 12months.

2, Is it even worth getting an e8400 over an e6600? i want to OC the CPU to at least 3.6Ghz (obviosuly 4Ghz if the e8400) but is it worth £115??

3, I will be gaming at 1680x1050 on my new monitor. All the benchmarks of the latest gfx cards (4870X2 inc) are done at ludicrous resolutions. I want to be able to run games now and over the next year at as close to their highest settings as possible, all eye candy on (with the exception of crysis, lol!) Am i going to get any benefit getting an X2 over a normal 4870 at my resolution?


Any help greatly appreciated. I think Q1 is quite obvious but I'd like to see what you guys think anyway, but 2 and 3 i am really stuck on.

Cheers!

EDIT:
Only other things I have thought of are that I obviosuly dont want the CPU to bottleneck the graphics, but also IF my dad's CPU fails to boot again, we will be swapping processors, and if it doesnt fail in my machine,
I could end up with a Q6600 G0 [Pack date 08/16/07] (we got it when it first came out), which I believe mussels says can clock better. Could I get 3.6Ghz out of it?
 
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#2
1. yep
2. nope. thers isnt any mayor architectural difference. 3.6GHz vs 4GHz: ridicolous fps difference with your gpu
3. nope: at that resolution the 4870 should be enough for a year at least (max settings), 3870 (maybe with mid/high settings) for 8 months i believe.

conclusion: just keep what you have mate! The first thing i'd change is the vid card, but i think the 3870 is still a fantastic one!

ah and why zerotherm nirvana as cpu cooler upgrade? it isnt the best nor the most economic (tbh its quite expensive). a hdt-1284 or a sunbeam corecontact freezer (they are almost the same) are the best air coolers atm, and far cheaper
 
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#3
...ah and why zerotherm nirvana as cpu cooler upgrade? it isnt the best nor the most economic (tbh its quite expensive). a hdt-1284 or a sunbeam corecontact freezer (they are almost the same) are the best air coolers atm, and far cheaper
Temp difference isnt that much different to the zerotherm. and I was looking at those two coolers. i spent quite a while deciding, but I decided to sacrifice 1-2 degrees for the looks of the zerotherm. :p
 
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#4
I was also looking at the nvidia 200 series graphics cards, what with the recent price drops, plus i prefer the nvidia software. Would I gain anything from getting a 280 over a 260 @ 1680x1050??

its really hard working out whether spending £100 more on a "better" graphics card will actually increase FPS at my resolution, other than benching
 

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#5
yep -. nope.- maybe - what ever u want
 
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#6
the look, uh? why dont you look for a TRUE black edition? i love it!
 
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#7
the look, uh? why dont you look for a TRUE black edition? i love it!
nice, but it says call for price on scan and its nearly 800g without a fan!!! :eek: I wouldnt be at all happy, hanging that off my mobo. Thanks for pointing it out though.
 
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#8
The 260gtx has been shown to reach near 280gtx performance in some games w/ proper oc'ing. I'd say that would be a good upgrade. I would wait for the new platforms from amd and intel before deciding on a quad or further, as by that time they will be more the norm, more software will be around for them, and they will likely put current quads to shame.

An e8400 would be a decent upgrade, not so much in anything you would directly notice performance wise, but you could have some fun oc'ing it. If you can sell your e6600 that shouldn't set you back too much. Also, you may wanna try to hold out longer though, b/c there is still the e8600 coming out, which supposedly will drive the e8500 price to ~$200 (like the e8400 now).

A 4870x2 would certainly be overkill, a 4850 (or 9800gtx) is actually probably all you would need for a while. However, getting a beastly card like a gtx 280 or 4870x2 will not be a complete waste, b/c there will eventually be a gaming need for the performance they offer. Those cards could probably last you over a year w/ comfertable gaming if you wanted them to. Of course, after a year or so something will have far eclipsed it using less power and such.
 

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#9
Farlex is right about the gtx260, sounds very promising...just got home from work...made a healthy ammount of extra cash...think I may pick on up myself...granted I'm only on PCI-E 1.1.

The e8400 should be plenty of you want to go with a newer CPU, but I wouldn't think overall necessary....the e6600 should really be sufficient I would think. And unless you are really fiending to hit possibly 4.0ghz on an 8400, just really don't see the point imo. If you could find a cheap q6600 that is known to oc to 3.6 that should really be plenty...more than enough.

Are your primary goals gaming and benching or more gaming than benching? If you want better bench scores, a quad is a healthy improvement for these newer ones...like you know most games don't utilize quad cores and hell some still don't utilize dual cores...so that's kind of up to you, I'm happy I went quad, it's hard saying just how good the next gen intel/amd stuff will truly be, and the price-point will sting for a bit I'm sure.

Also like farlex says, an HD4850 or 9800GTX would also do a good job at a lower price point, the 9800's seem to OC quite well to boot, the 4850's I'm sure will become unlocked and modded to the point of higher OC's tho, I personally tend to stick with single card/single gpu per card solutions, lower power consusmption, lower heat output, and you can still net pretty damn good performance.

It'd be a tough call between the lower priced @ 300 gtx260 (EVGA has one Shipped at $299.99 on Newegg!) and the around $200 9800GTX/HD4850's (before MIR's)...I suppose the cost here could also be taken into account how much you game now, plan to in the future, how long you possibly plan to keep this hardware before upgrade and if the sting of higher priced cards really bother you or not. $300 is about as high as I'd ever go for a GPU...and really it's still too high imo. But from what I've read on the GTX260, with some driver maturity, it could turn out to be one very powerful card that OC's to GTX280 speeds and beyond, and puts out some pretty impressive single card numbers...but the 4870 is also close on the territory of the GTX280...man it just never stops does it! :D Well I'm done, I'm sure I over-regurgitated what you already know...sorry!

:toast:
 

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#10
as of now... i would say it's in everyones best interest to sell as much as they can and get by with minimalistic systems until nehalem comes out. only ram, mobo and cpu will need to be changed so you can go ahead and get whatever video card you want, such as the 4870 or 4870x2 or be it an nvidia card if you want. this may sound crazy but think about it... by time nehalem comes out to retail locations, what we all have now will be only worth 1/2 of what it's worth now. that means things like my e8500 will only be worth $160 or so.....and q9450 will be about $200 used on a good day. this has happened many times over in the past but you dont have to take my word for it, history repeats itself.
 
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#11
Okay well I'm thinking that as i was originally going to go for a £300 gfx card and a £200 CPU, I could spend about £300 on CPU and GFX.

To give you some ideas:

GFX:

4870 512mb ~ £175

GTX260 896mb ~ £200

GTX280 1gb ~ £280

9800GTX+ 512mb ~ £135

9800GX2 1gb ~ £320

4870X2 2gb ~ probably £300-£350??

And cpus:

E8400 £115


4, How easy is it to get an e8400 to 4Ghz on a P5Q Deluxe and what sort of temps, would it be okay to run 24/7,same question for running my e6600 at 3.6Ghz.

5, How much difference in game would 3.6ghz vs 4ghz and an extra 2mb cache make?



I'm leaning towards nvidia atm, I'm getting sick of how I cant "force" settings on catalyst control centre which I can on my dads. (like some games dont enable vsync or aa), but obviosuly i dont want to waste my money when ati would out perform it for the same or less money.


Cheers for all your help so far guys!
 
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#12
An e8400 is pretty much garunteed to hit 4ghz on air usually. It would likely just take a small increase in voltage. The e6600 would likely need around 1.4-1.45v to hit 3.6ghz. So, the e8400 is much cooler. Difference in games? Nothing probably. A few fps here and there, but you probably wouldn't notice unless you benched it.
 

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#13
That's a tough one...personally I'm leaning on getting a GTX260 atm, so that's what I'll vote for, granted it's not the best bang for the buck in that list, but this time around I wanted more power to last me a little longer than my usual vid upgrades. :D

Question 4...I'm sure it's easy to do man...as far if it would be okay 24/7 YMMV, depends on voltage, cooling, chip's abilities and stability, can't really guarentee ever on something like this man...there are those that can, but most will give you a good idea of how to get there...from that point it's your job to see if you can make the higher OC 24/7...but I have seen some 8400's around 4.0 claimed as 24/7 so I'm sure it is likely. I don't know about the 6600, but really much over 3.0GHz isn't going to be a huge increase in gaming performance...hell I don't notice more than maybe a few frames in games I play going from my Q6600's stock 2.4 to it's oc'd 3.6...so my OC of 3.6 is more of a perosonal preference than actual necessity...just a thought there. GPU power will be the largest impact here in a modern dual/quad core system. Sure having a speedier PC with more speedier RAM helps, but from a certain base-line there's not as much point to pushing the CPU/MB/RAM and more point to getting more powerful GPU's and OC'd GPU's.

:toast:
 
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#14
K, well i don't really like the idea of pushing my e6600 on that much voltage and I hate having a hot CPU. i think I could probably sell my 3870 and e6600 and pay for most of an e8400. plus i would love to be able to have a 4ghz CPU :D

In terms of graphics then, if I were to get a GTX260 I would probably get this one:

BFG NVIDIA GeForce GTX 260 OC 896MB (590MHz)

http://www.bfgtech.com/bfgrgtx260896oce.aspx

Never bought a BFG before.

One thing I hate about all these benchmarks and reviews is that they are done at crazy resolutions that most people dont play at. What would actually be the benefit at 1680x1050 of getting a 280 over a 260? or even a 4870X2 over a 4870? I wish they would show the differences at "normal" resolutions.

It comes down really then to whether or not to spend £200 or £300 on a gfx card, and whether ATi or nvidia route?

Cheers guys!
 
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#15
When you say actual benefit your just talking gaming experience? Nothing, no difference at that res right now. They would perform identically pretty much, they will both max out any current game easily. Looking 6-12months down the road, the gtx 280 would be able to keep maxing out games (at 1920x1200 if you go that high) for longer than the 260 would. However, like I said, many have said the oc capabilites of the 260 can put it at the same speed as the 280, so that may not be true either.

Basically, if your just gaming, 260 hands down. If your benching a lot and want to show it off a bit, 280 will get you further.
 
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#16
When you say actual benefit your just talking gaming experience? Nothing, no difference at that res right now. They would perform identically pretty much, they will both max out any current game easily. Looking 6-12months down the road, the gtx 280 would be able to keep maxing out games (at 1920x1200 if you go that high) for longer than the 260 would. However, like I said, many have said the oc capabilites of the 260 can put it at the same speed as the 280, so that may not be true either.

Basically, if your just gaming, 260 hands down. If your benching a lot and want to show it off a bit, 280 will get you further.
Okay, thanks. It is really hard when looking at benchmarks to know how it will perform. And yes I do mean in game terms. Thing is a lot of sites have said the 4870 outperforms the 260 at stock. OC'd not os, but how will the 4870 OC? I think I willhave to give it some thought. and see what happens to the prices of the next couple of weeks. Are there any plans to further reduce prices on ati or nvidia cards?

Thanks for your help everyone, if you got any ideas keep posting. Ohterwise I'll post back in a few weeks and see how prices are and which is best to get.

Cheers!
 
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#17
Okay, thanks. It is really hard when looking at benchmarks to know how it will perform. And yes I do mean in game terms. Thing is a lot of sites have said the 4870 outperforms the 260 at stock. OC'd not os, but how will the 4870 OC? I think I willhave to give it some thought. and see what happens to the prices of the next couple of weeks. Are there any plans to further reduce prices on ati or nvidia cards?

Thanks for your help everyone, if you got any ideas keep posting. Ohterwise I'll post back in a few weeks and see how prices are and which is best to get.

Cheers!
4870 is slightly faster at stock. gtx260 gets faster when oc'd. That may change w/ future drivers, who knows. Prices will drop, performance will increase, when going w/ one or the other difference will likely just be preference.
 
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#18
Okay well I'm thinking that as i was originally going to go for a £300 gfx card and a £200 CPU, I could spend about £300 on CPU and GFX.

To give you some ideas:

GFX:

4870 512mb ~ £175

GTX260 896mb ~ £200

GTX280 1gb ~ £280

9800GTX+ 512mb ~ £135

9800GX2 1gb ~ £320

4870X2 2gb ~ probably £300-£350??
I'd go with 4870 and get an RV800 after christmas XD
4870 is pretty good for overclocking. Pair it with a DuOrb cooler and jack it up to 825 for some fun. I bet that'd get you pretty darn close to a gtx 280 for a load cheaper.
 
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#19
4870 is slightly faster at stock. gtx260 gets faster when oc'd. That may change w/ future drivers, who knows. Prices will drop, performance will increase, when going w/ one or the other difference will likely just be preference.
Just thinking back to it. At what sort of speed would you say a processor would stop making a worthy difference in game. I.e stop bottlenecking a GTX280 for example? at 1680x1050 (e.g 3ghz, 3.2, 3.4...4Ghz??)
 
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#20
Just thinking back to it. At what sort of speed would you say a processor would stop making a worthy difference in game. I.e stop bottlenecking a GTX280 for example? at 1680x1050 (e.g 3ghz, 3.2, 3.4...4Ghz??)
Couldn't say for sure. Proc and game would vary I would think. Either proc over 3ghz would do fine I would think, maybe a little higher for the e6600 as it is a tad slower clock for clock.
 
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#21
Couldn't say for sure. Proc and game would vary I would think. Either proc over 3ghz would do fine I would think, maybe a little higher for the e6600 as it is a tad slower clock for clock.
So do you reckon I would do okay with my e6600 at 3.2ghz?

just thinking I could then go for a GTX280 with my current cpu at 3.2ghz (upto 3.6Ghz depending on temps)

I want a gfx card that will pretty much max out every game for the next 12months (other than crysis ;) ). I'm worried that a 4870X2 is great for benching and stupid res cus it crossfire, but would a single gpu perform better at lower res single monitor?
 
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#22
So do you reckon I would do okay with my e6600 at 3.2ghz?

just thinking I could then go for a GTX280 with my current cpu at 3.2ghz (upto 3.6Ghz depending on temps)

I want a gfx card that will pretty much max out every game for the next 12months (other than crysis ;) ). I'm worried that a 4870X2 is great for benching and stupid res cus it crossfire, but would a single gpu perform better at lower res single monitor?
No. Dual GPU does not suddenly become retarded when you lower the resolution. If Dual GPU works in a game, it'll outperform single GPU. It's like processors, it's better when more are allowed, but if not, it's still good. There's maybe 1 game I've seen that the 4870x2 lost to a gtx 280 in at all.
 
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#23
The only thing to worry about w/ the dual card is crossfire problems. If ati has fixed those for the most part, then the x2 is the better choice. If it's still hit or miss, the the 280 may be a more sure bet.
 
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#24
No. Dual GPU does not suddenly become retarded when you lower the resolution. If Dual GPU works in a game, it'll outperform single GPU. It's like processors, it's better when more are allowed, but if not, it's still good. There's maybe 1 game I've seen that the 4870x2 lost to a gtx 280 in at all.
Okay I have now decided :p . I'm gonna get an E8400 (or an E8500 if it drops in price over the nextcouple of weeks) and run it at about 3.6, possible 4 depending on temps/mobo etc. Then I'm gonna stick with what I had originally planned and go for the 4870X2 (so long as they get the price right).

As much as I would like the nvidia drivers, I do like the 4870X2 more, plus a lot of the games Ilike seem to do better on ati than nvidia hardware (guess that is what they wrote it on, hence the logos at the game start ups). I want my gfx card to last into the new intel platform and seeing as I'm saving £100 on the CPU I think I would always feel I wish I had got the r700.

Is there anything out there that is similar to nhancer but for ATi??? i want to force AA and vsync for some games, I have done it on my dads with nhancer but CCC just doesnt "force" it enough!
 
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#25
The only thing to worry about w/ the dual card is crossfire problems. If ati has fixed those for the most part, then the x2 is the better choice. If it's still hit or miss, the the 280 may be a more sure bet.
Also going on that, I have read that ati have fixed the issues like the microstuttering on the 3870X2, so its looking good!

i just hope they sort out those power issues!