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Old 05-14-2012, 02:29 PM   #46
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Ohhh the joys of PC gaming!

Tweaking tweaking and more tweaking, its the sacrifice one makes when going with a "value" or "bargain" card.

As to your CPU, what CPU do you have again and why do you want to upgrade it?

I know this subject has come up many a times but so long as you have a competent CPU, they MAKE very little differences in 95% of games. Unless you are a strategy game enthusiast you will see maybe a 1-3 frame difference.. I posted a link in the thread Kam made showing a dual core i3 versus a top tier i7 and in all but strategy games there was barely any difference, AMD included. Unless this is for something other than gaming like transcoding, photoshop work ect ect, then yea by all means. But if this is purely from a gaming standpoint, it wont make the difference one would think..
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Old 05-14-2012, 02:35 PM   #47
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Here is that link I was talking about and mind you this is all using the i3 as a reference point.

Link


EDIT: So in all but Starcraft and Metro, CPUs are rarely the limiting factor so long as one has a decent quadcore. However with all that said, DO whatever floats your boat!
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Old 05-14-2012, 03:13 PM   #48
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As to your CPU, what CPU do you have again and why do you want to upgrade it?
I know you're right. I just have an itch that doesn't need to be scratched. I keep thinking that it will make a big difference, even though I know it won't. Maybe I'll just overclock it.

I still want the 670 and SSD, though.
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Old 05-14-2012, 04:31 PM   #49
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Here is that link I was talking about and mind you this is all using the i3 as a reference point.

Link
I'll reiterate that I haven't seen a whole lot of i3 articles, but I do remember being a PC gamer when Bad Company 2 came out. It was the death knell for dual core (yes I know i3 have 4 threads), but IMO, buying one would be pretty reckless if you plan on putting it in your primary gaming rig. It didn't matter if you had the biggest pimpin Core2Duo at the time. If you didn't have a quad, you weren't getting over 40fps. No matter what nuclear reactor you used for a GPU. So many hurt PC fanboys that day. "it's teh not optimized!", no, consoles run on at least 4 threads (360) and as many as 7 (PS3) so with ports, you could run into some brickwall problems that virtual threading may not fix. It's not like the i5's are significantly more $$$.

As shown on the charts it's not about "now" it's about 9 months from now.

Now, a bedroom HTPC meant for light gaming and media consumption? i3 it up!
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:00 PM   #50
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I'll reiterate that I haven't seen a whole lot of i3 articles, but I do remember being a PC gamer when Bad Company 2 came out. It was the death knell for dual core (yes I know i3 have 4 threads), but IMO, buying one would be pretty reckless if you plan on putting it in your primary gaming rig. It didn't matter if you had the biggest pimpin Core2Duo at the time. If you didn't have a quad, you weren't getting over 40fps. No matter what nuclear reactor you used for a GPU. So many hurt PC fanboys that day. "it's teh not optimized!", no, consoles run on at least 4 threads (360) and as many as 7 (PS3) so with ports, you could run into some brickwall problems that virtual threading may not fix. It's not like the i5's are significantly more $$$.

As shown on the charts it's not about "now" it's about 9 months from now.

Now, a bedroom HTPC meant for light gaming and media consumption? i3 it up!
This isnt me recommending an i3 (although look at its performance!!) or even a dual core. I was simply showing that a decent newer quadcore will not bottleneck a 7970 and in all but a small handful of games a better CPU wont net as many frames as one would think.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:23 PM   #51
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I know. I was just throwing in my 2cents on the matter. i3's are great for what they are, I'd just advise against anyone buying one for main gaming PC. Laptop or HTPC with light gaming? Go for it.
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Old 05-14-2012, 05:54 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamspy View Post
I'll reiterate that I haven't seen a whole lot of i3 articles, but I do remember being a PC gamer when Bad Company 2 came out. It was the death knell for dual core (yes I know i3 have 4 threads), but IMO, buying one would be pretty reckless if you plan on putting it in your primary gaming rig. It didn't matter if you had the biggest pimpin Core2Duo at the time. If you didn't have a quad, you weren't getting over 40fps. No matter what nuclear reactor you used for a GPU. So many hurt PC fanboys that day. "it's teh not optimized!", no, consoles run on at least 4 threads (360) and as many as 7 (PS3) so with ports, you could run into some brickwall problems that virtual threading may not fix. It's not like the i5's are significantly more $$$.

As shown on the charts it's not about "now" it's about 9 months from now.

Now, a bedroom HTPC meant for light gaming and media consumption? i3 it up!
Just to add to this, a Core i3 Nehalem is about 40-50% faster in single thread and about 60-70% faster in multi-thread than an Allendale or Clarksdale Core 2 Duo.

Intel refined their Hyperthreading and with Turbo Boost, you can't compare the previous generation Dual/Quad cores to the current generate dual cores + Hyper Threading - there is just no comparison.

Intel won't have Haswell ready until late 2013 or early 2014, and unless AMD some how captures 80% of the CPU market, I doubt gaming will move towards more than 4 active threads.

What people fail to understand about games like Starcraft is they are dual threaded and rely heavily on clocks:



This graph does a great job showing you everything I just said:

Note the dinky Core i3 is equal to a high end quad core of the Core 2 generation. That's a dual core processor versus a quad core, the improved pipelinel, so clock for clock it is about 100% faster (since it is matching it with 2 cores less.)

Now look at the i3 versus the i5, clearly 2 physical cores are still better than 2 virtual as the 4 threaded Core i3 (2 cores + 2 virtual cores) loses by a good 12 frames to the 4 threaded Core i5 (4 cores) at the same clock speed.

As you move up the graph, looking at the Core i5 to the Core i7 nets you only 6 more frames on average at the same clock speed. That just goes to show how improved Intel has made their cores. Starcraft 2 can't utilize the other threads (i5 has 4 (4 cores), i7 has 8 (4 cores + 4 virtual threads)) so they are limited by their cache (which the i7 should have 1mb more.)

Processors are so powerful now (thank you Intel) that they are rarely the bottleneck anymore - unless the game is heavily coded to be CPU bottlenecked.
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:00 PM   #53
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So would you recommend an i3 in a main gaming PC build?
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:12 PM   #54
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I'm gonna have to agree with kams here.. I wouldn't honestly recommend anything less than an i5/Phenom II X4 for gaming.. one to make sure you don't bottleneck a high end GPU and two for those games that do get massive benefit from CPU usage
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:14 PM   #55
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So...as long as I stay away from Starcraft II, I will be fine?
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:42 PM   #56
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and games like it, yes..
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Old 05-14-2012, 06:42 PM   #57
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I couldn't even rec any AMD CPU now. 6 months ago yeah. Now the PIIs are showing dimishing returns. There were Witcher 2 CPU benches and a Sandy Bridge KILLED a AMD PII x4 at the same clock speed. Talking like 10fps at least.
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Old 05-14-2012, 07:53 PM   #58
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So would you recommend an i3 in a main gaming PC build?
If prices is a concern, sure. There is no visible gain in most games going from an i3 to an i5. You'd be hard press to find it.

Once you get into 1080p resolution domains, you'll most likely be GPU bound. When you aren't GPU bound you'll be in the 100+ frames. Again, this only applies to games that aren't designed with the CPU being the limiting factor.

On the AMD side, anything not Bulldozer is using an architecture that got beat by Core 2 Duo. Sandy Bridge would demolish anything AMD has. The two aren't comparable.
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Old 05-14-2012, 09:11 PM   #59
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So...as long as I stay away from Starcraft II, I will be fine?
Even in those games you will be fine but yes there are a handful of games where a beastly CPU can net you a lot of frames. Look at the link I posted, that is BF3 arguably one of THE best looking PC games out there and Phenoms and core i7s are all within 1 frame of eachother..


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I couldn't even rec any AMD CPU now. 6 months ago yeah. Now the PIIs are showing dimishing returns. There were Witcher 2 CPU benches and a Sandy Bridge KILLED a AMD PII x4 at the same clock speed. Talking like 10fps at least.
Poor coding like Crysis or intentionally tough to drive?

Look at the majority of games out there, CPU is rarely the limiting factor but when it is, well it is

Its tough to advise otherwise when someone is just getting into PCs. I did just that with one of my buddies, he liked what he saw with my modest rig when you helped me build it way back when so he decided to have my help him build one. He wanted a killer rig more powerful than mine, so he spent the money (roughly a grand iirc) and once he started getting into it, he realized it wasnt fo him. He hated PC gaming and constantly tinkering with shit and the online for him was HORRID!!!

Long story short, he still rips me for letting him build a power rig for his first time in. That happens to a lot of people, so now I usually recommend a low to mid tier rig like JM. a 6870 with a Phenom is a great mid tier rig that is capable of 1080p with solid frame rates in the majority of games out there. However he has gotten into it and now wants MORE, that upgrade-itis hits hard. Its tough when advising others of what we think is right, thats why its our job to provide as much info as possible that depicts both scenarios and I think we as a whole do a good job of that.
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Old 05-15-2012, 05:41 AM   #60
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That happens to a lot of people, so now I usually recommend a low to mid tier rig like JM. a 6870 with a Phenom is a great mid tier rig that is capable of 1080p with solid frame rates in the majority of games out there. However he has gotten into it and now wants MORE, that upgrade-itis hits hard. Its tough when advising others of what we think is right, thats why its our job to provide as much info as possible that depicts both scenarios and I think we as a whole do a good job of that.

That's exactly what happened to TwoPlusTwo.

It's also exactly what happened to me. On the one hand, I do wish I'd spent more money on a higher end build to begin with. Then on the other, I'm glad I went conservative because I know the difference between what I have and what is possible. It makes me appreciate it a lot more. I just really wish the components weren't so dang expensive! A new GPU is like buying a new console every other year.
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