Would a GPU or CPU upgrade improve game performance more?

Discussion in 'Computer Hardware, Devices and Accessories' started by Xuphor, Aug 4, 2012.

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  1. Xuphor
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    Banned Xuphor I have lied to all of you. I am deeply sorry.

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    I can only afford one or the other, and I have found significantly better upgrades for both CPU and GPU within my price range. I just do not know which one is holding back my game performance more.

    My current CPU is a AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+ (dual core 3.0ghz, but VERY old), and my current GPU is a Nvidia Geforce 260 GTX.

    Considering the age of my processor, I'm betting upgrading my processor will give me the most significant boost in games, but I'm not entirely sure. Which do you think would provide the biggest upgrade for gaming performance?
     


  2. Tom Bombadildo

    Contributor Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    Hmm...I think the CPU should be changed, as it's rather old and could be what's messing with your performance. However, I believe that CPU uses a AM2 socket correct? If so, you won't really be able to upgrade it to anything useful I think. I belive AM2+ type CPUs work with AM2 boards (with some drawbacks), so the best you could get would be this I think (someone else should confirm, I'm not 100% positive). I would suggest saving some money maybe so you can buy a whole new motherboard and CPU then maybe upgrade your GPU later.

    EDIT: It'd also help if we knew your budget as well.
     
  3. chains_of_androm

    Member chains_of_androm GBAtemp Regular

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    Yeah you definitely need to make sure the sockets fit first..otherwise its cash down the drain. For RTS CPU probably matters more, FPS GPU matters more but both are important.
     
  4. Xuphor
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    Banned Xuphor I have lied to all of you. I am deeply sorry.

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    I know all the socket info, my motherboard is a Asus M4A785-M, which supports AM2, AM2+, and AM3. The processor I can afford that should be compatible is the AMD Phenom II 965 Black Edition, which according to http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php is over 4x as good as my current CPU. I'm not a newbie to computers, and I'm 99.99999% sure it's compatible.

    But if my GPU would end up being worse, I'd rather upgrade that.

    I know a lot about individual parts and how they work, I just don't know how components overall compare with each other, like CPU vs GPU stuff.
     
  5. Tom Bombadildo

    Contributor Tom Bombadildo Honk!

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    Ah, knowing the motherboard might've helped haha.

    Then yeah, buy a new CPU and your GPU should do fine with most games on at least medium settings.
     
  6. marcus134

    Member marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    according to the asus website, you need a rev 1.01G board (and bios update 0405) in order to fit a 965
    http://support.asus.com/cpusupport/list.aspx?SLanguage=en&p=1&m=M4A785-M&hashedid=ef0qgvMIwOUagAVl
     
  7. ouch123

    Member ouch123 GBAtemp Fan

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    You should also consider the AMD FX-4100 Zambezi; I know it says its socket type is AM3+ but if I recall correctly it works just fine in motherboards that support AM3. It's one of the best CPU's out there right now for budget builds.

    Ah, found a source for my backwards-compatibility claim.
     
  8. Xuphor
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    Banned Xuphor I have lied to all of you. I am deeply sorry.

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    I just found this little rascal that's cheaper than the 965 Black Edition, and according to cpubenchmark, more powerful. Also factoring what Marcus said, I am unsure if I have 1.01g or not for my motherboard, so this one says ALL supported. Ontop of all that, that one is in stock in a real store ~30 miles from my house, I won't need to order online.

    Does anyone see any flaws with this new one I'm linking to and my setup?
     
  9. marcus134

    Member marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    your board revision number is written next to your board model number, right below your first pcie x16 slot (hidden by your gpu), I'm not sure but it may also be on your mobo's box, on the sticker with the serial number and a couple of code bars.

    about the X6, I know passmark gives an even much better score but it's because of the 6 cores as the individual core performances will be lower that the 965, and when it comes to gaming core speed is more important than the amount of cores. Also aside from the fact that it's not a black edition, overclocking headroom isn't as good.
     
  10. Xuphor
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    Banned Xuphor I have lied to all of you. I am deeply sorry.

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    Even if I don't overclock it though, won't it still be LOADS better than my current Athlon 64 X2 6000+ for gaming?

    Also(more important), I think it's risky having the 965, it's 125 watts. I use a crappy Cool Master 500W power supply unit, and my video card as you know is a 260gtx, which is pretty power hungry. Wouldn't getting a 125watt processor paired with that video card on that crappy of a PSU be kind of risky? If not, then the 965 Black Edition(Dif link from newegg) is definatly a better pick.
     
  11. marcus134

    Member marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    passmark
    X6 1045t (2.7ghz) : 5015 /6=825
    X2 6000 (3ghz) : 1630 /2=815
    x4 965 (3.4ghz) : 4201 /4=1050

    while K10 improved the number of instructions per cycles, getting a cpu with a lower frequency negate the advantage, so all you'll get by getting the X6 is a bigger cache and SSE4, as the only games I can think of that actually takes advantage of more than 2 core are BF3 and a certain build of PCSX2. If you're doing video editing however, it'll be a huge upgrade.

    about your psu, your current config (calculated with 1 hdd, 1 dvd and no usb powered devices) should be around 375w of combined power (while probably being a bit generous on some power consumption figures)
    Looking at newegg for a 500w cooler master psu and on the sticker it's written " combined power shall not exceed 431.5w"

    considering the difference of 36w it does look like a tight fit between your actual cpu and the 965, but it's not impossible to pull.
    (does your psu get hot when your comp is at full load?)

    if you're looking at other options, on newegg I saw a X4 955 95w 3.2ghz ( HDX955WFK4DGM - the 955 exist in both 125 and 95w), I also saw a X2 560 3.3ghz BE 80w.
     
  12. Xuphor
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    Banned Xuphor I have lied to all of you. I am deeply sorry.

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    Unfortunatly, I'm now limited to either the 965 Black Edition 125 watt or the 1045T 95 watt one, the only two that are compatible with my mobo in Microcenter.

    Using google, I found out that my current processor (Athlon 64X2 6000)comes in 2 iterations, one is 89 watts, the other is 125 watts. Is there any way I can figure out if I have the 89watt or the 125watt one (I seriously cannot find any difference between the 2 on google)? If it turns out I already have a 125 watt processor, then the 965 should not be any problem whatsoever.

    EDIT: Oh, and I have 2 SATA HDD's, 3 USB powered devices, and a 240mm fan with some smaller fans and non-turn-off-able LED lights on my case.

    EDIT: According to http://www.thermalta...ision.com/Power a DVD-RW/DVD+RW drive takes a good 35 watts of power. I never use the thing, so I'll just remove that drive from my computer entirely. Would this removal make getting the 965 safe?
     
  13. Lanlan

    Member Lanlan Tits

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    Also, make sure whatever processor you get has a DDR2 memory controller! Muy importante!!! Your mobo is DDR2!!!
     
  14. Xuphor
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    Banned Xuphor I have lied to all of you. I am deeply sorry.

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    It does, along with socket type, that's one of the first things I check. Again, I'm not a computer building noobie.

    Could someone please answer my previous question? If I take out the DVD-RW drive in my computer, would that make it safe enough to support the 965 without a lot of concerns?
     
  15. Lanlan

    Member Lanlan Tits

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    I read the topic and I see nothing regarding DDR2 memory controllers other than my post. So what are you talking about you crazy person.
     
  16. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    IIRC, DVD drives are 5-12W depending on the model. It won't make much difference.
     
  17. Lanlan

    Member Lanlan Tits

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    Well once a friend built a PC with a power supply that wasn't quite up to par, every time his dvd drive spun up his computer powered off.
     
  18. Xuphor
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    Banned Xuphor I have lied to all of you. I am deeply sorry.

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    Go to http://www.thermaltake.outervision.com/index.jsp and enter your computer (or any computer) specs. Calculate it with a DVD-RW/DVD+RW drive, then calculate it with no optical drive. It shows an ~35 watt difference.
    Maybe it only uses ~35 watts when it's burning something? I don't know.

    Still, I'll probably end up trying the 965, if it doens't work I'll probably return it and get the weaker 95 watt one.
     
  19. marcus134

    Member marcus134 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    there are several way of differentiate those two, the 89W part number starts with ADA..., while the 125W one starts with ADX..., their operating voltage ( below or over 1.35V), also the 89W came out in august 2007. more info: http://en.wikipedia...._F3.2C_90_nm.29
    You can also use CPU-Z


    I Find those number pretty hard to believe as a quick search on the web gave me those:
    37.5W http://gfx.cdfreaks....24/image014.png (dvd-rw)
    25.5W http://gbatemp.net/p...57modififed.jpg (dvd-rw)
    25W http://www.txcesssur...D417C-label.jpg (dvd-rw)
    21.3W http://dl.x-ex.com/i...047_Label_x.jpg (dvd drive)

    you can also have some fun comparing a ssd to a WD black
    http://www.xbitlabs....dup/p14.jpg&1=1
    http://benchmarkrevi...=1&limitstart=1

    I understand there's a difference mean power draw and max power draw, but calculating with the max power draw is ideal as it may prevent a situation where multiple piece reach higher than their average power draw in such manner that would result in a overload.

    Well, that's the issue as overloading a psu can have different result depending on how well it's built. some real cheap can literally catch fire when overloaded, but on a more general note, physical damage to the hardware is possible.
     
  20. Xuphor
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    Banned Xuphor I have lied to all of you. I am deeply sorry.

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    Oh, that's great. CPU-Z doesn't tell me squat information usefull for finding the watts mine is though.
     
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