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Upgrade (or am I bottlenecked?)

LeztaLezta Registered User regular
I have an oldish PC running a E8400 cpu and HD4850 gpu. It's served me well enough these last few years and I've been happy to run pretty much any game I fancy on full settings with it. Until I got to Saints Row: The Third which my system really didn't like at all - it runs but not particularly well. It got me thinking that this is going to start happening more and more. I'm saving to move house and also pay for a wedding so I can't justify buying a whole new system so an upgrade is looking tempting.

I'm considering throwing another 4 gig of ram (to bring it up to 8) and a HD7770 at it to get me through the next year to 18 months or so, after which I should be able to afford a new rig. I'm somewhat concerned that my old dual-core CPU is just going to bottleneck me though. Would I be making a wise investment?

I don't really use my PC to play the latest AAA games (I use consoles for that, mostly) but it is my go to machine for RPGs (it happily runs Skyrim at max) and strategy games (which I know are more CPU intensive but they also tend to be more forgiving spec wise) and I'd like to be able to buy the occasional 'blockbuster' cheap on Steam and not worry too much if it'll run - even if I have to run it on low settings.

Lezta on

Posts

  • urahonkyurahonky Dayton, OHRegistered User regular
    I'd honestly wait if I were you. Wedding is much more important than a new rig. That way you can get a new processor and video card.

    I had an E7400 processor and 6850 graphics card and my processor was running at 100% the entire time playing SR3.

    kaliyama
  • LogicowLogicow Registered User regular
    If I were you, the only upgrade I would consider, assuming you're running windows vista, would be a small SSD and upgrading away to windows 7 or 8. No significant difference for games, but drastic quality of life improvement in terms of booting and starting everyday apps like browsers.

    You can't really improve your gaming performance all that much without going all the way with all new components for everything.

  • mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    Logicow wrote: »
    If I were you, the only upgrade I would consider, assuming you're running windows vista, would be a small SSD and upgrading away to windows 7 or 8. No significant difference for games, but drastic quality of life improvement in terms of booting and starting everyday apps like browsers.

    You can't really improve your gaming performance all that much without going all the way with all new components for everything.

    An SSD would transfer nicely to a new rig in 6-12 months, too. 4GB of ram might help you here and there, and if it's super cheap I say go for it.

    And that E8400 is gonna bottleneck you. Replacing it will cost more than it's worth, since you'll still be stuck on the same platform even if you bump up to a C2Q. There might be a handful of games that will benefit from a GPU upgrade, but really most games that won't run at an acceptable detail level on the 4850 are going to want more than that E8400, too. An upgrade won't buy you much. Save that, and dump it into the new build when you can.

  • Descendant XDescendant X Outpost 31Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I'ma piggyback on this one if nobody minds, my question in the PC Build thread did not get noticed.

    I've got a Core i3 530, 8GB of RAM, and a GTX 460 SE. I was running FRAPS earlier this week and noticed that I'm only getting ~24FPS in Skyrim and Borderlands 2 at High settings, not maxed out, and Skyrim chugs a bit every now and again. I can afford a CPU or GPU right now, but not both. If I were to upgrade something this weekend, what would be the best upgrade in my case?

    Descendant X on
    Garry: I know you gentlemen have been through a lot, but when you find the time I'd rather not spend the rest of the winter TIED TO THIS FUCKING COUCH!
  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    I'ma piggyback on this one if nobody minds, my question in the PC Build thread did not get noticed.

    I've got a Core i3 530, 8GB of RAM, and a GTX 460 SE. I was running FRAPS earlier this week and noticed that I'm only getting ~24FPS in Skyrim and Borderlands 2 at High settings, not maxed out, and Skyrim chugs a bit every now and again. I can afford a CPU or GPU right now, but not both. If I were to upgrade something this weekend, what would be the best upgrade in my case?

    I'm sorry we missed you. Unquestionably the GPU. The GTX 460 SE wasn't that great when it was new, it's basically the lobotomized twin brother of the GTX 460. What's your budget for the card?

  • Descendant XDescendant X Outpost 31Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    I called my friendly local PC shop and I was quoted $259 for the 7950 (I think), which I could swing. It's likely the same price for a comparable nVidia card. That's pretty much the best I can do right now given my budget. Gotta keep in mind that I'm talking $CAN.

    EDIT: Bah, I'm probably wrong about the price on that card. $250 and tax is the best I can do right now though.

    EDIT AGAIN: Would $199 for this be a decent purchase?

    Descendant X on
    Garry: I know you gentlemen have been through a lot, but when you find the time I'd rather not spend the rest of the winter TIED TO THIS FUCKING COUCH!
  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    That's a decent price, and the 650Ti will be a nice jump from your current card.

  • Descendant XDescendant X Outpost 31Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    That's a decent price, and the 650Ti will be a nice jump from your current card.

    I'm glad you said that, because at about 18:40 I found myself at Future Shop asking if they would do a price match with TigerDirect at $147 and we settled at $150. I just finished installing it and after some trial and error with the drivers and a CPU Over Voltage Error (!) I'm all set. In Skyrim at 1920x1080 and High settings I was getting ~24 FPS with the GTX 460. Now with the 650 Ti I'm getting ~40 FPS at Ultra settings.

    Thanks for the help!

    Descendant X on
    Garry: I know you gentlemen have been through a lot, but when you find the time I'd rather not spend the rest of the winter TIED TO THIS FUCKING COUCH!
    Donovan Puppyfucker
  • Donovan PuppyfuckerDonovan Puppyfucker A dagger in the dark is worth a thousand swords in the morningRegistered User regular
    That's a decent price, and the 650Ti will be a nice jump from your current card.

    I'm glad you said that, because at about 18:40 I found myself at Future Shop asking if they would do a price match with TigerDirect at $147 and we settled at $150. I just finished installing it and after some trial and error with the drivers and a CPU Over Voltage Error (!) I'm all set. In Skyrim at 1920x1080 and High settings I was getting ~24 FPS with the GTX 460. Now with the 650 Ti I'm getting ~40 FPS at Ultra settings.

    Thanks for the help!

    I feel like awesomeing this with the button wasn't quite good enough.

    :(|)

    Descendant X
  • MyiagrosMyiagros Registered User regular
    @Lezta I have the exact same CPU and GPU as you do, I'm not really seeing many problems on newer games but I haven't booted up SR3 or The Witcher 2 yet which are probably my most graphics intense games I own. Since the GPU doesn't seem to be a big issue I decided to go with a new motherboard, CPU and RAM(DDR3 is 1/3 the price of DDR2 which is what I assume you are running on like I am). From NewEgg I went with an i5 Ivy Bridge CPU($190), Gigabyte mobo($130) and 8GB RAM($38), so for $371 after shipping and taxes I expect that I'll have much better performance until I can afford a new GPU. The nice thing is that I can crossfire my 4850 with the onboard graphics of the i5 for a bit of a boost in the meantime.

    iRevert wrote: »
    Because if you're going to attempt to squeeze that big black monster into your slot you will need to be able to take at least 12 inches or else you're going to have a bad time...
    Steam: MyiagrosX27
  • Day of the BearDay of the Bear The Qun demandsRegistered User regular
    Crossfire only works with other same series amd gpus, so it won't work with the intel igpu

    m6eoUgQ.jpg
  • MyiagrosMyiagros Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    The reviews on the motherboard I got sounded like it was possible to crossfire the GPU on the i5 to the pcie cards, if not then I should still be fine with my 4850, I'm getting Ultra settings on Skyrim with good fps.

    Myiagros on
    iRevert wrote: »
    Because if you're going to attempt to squeeze that big black monster into your slot you will need to be able to take at least 12 inches or else you're going to have a bad time...
    Steam: MyiagrosX27
  • AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    Myiagros wrote: »
    The reviews on the motherboard I got sounded like it was possible to crossfire the GPU on the i5 to the pcie cards, if not then I should still be fine with my 4850, I'm getting Ultra settings on Skyrim with good fps.

    Many Z68 and Z77 boards offer a feature called "Virtu" which uses virtualization to provide relatively seamless graphics-switching between the integrated GPU of the processor, and your discrete card (4850 in this case). This doesn't actually do anything to enhance performance, but it does help reduce heat and power usage when you're not doing anything that really demands GPU horsepower.

    Day of the Bear
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