budget build question for fallout 4, black ops 3

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Golden Member
Jul 24, 2003
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I could use your advice here...

I'd like to be able to play Fallout 4 and BlackOps 3 in 1920x1080 with all the fancy eye candy turned on. But, my system is a bit old:

CPU: Intel® Core™ i7-860 Processor (8M Cache, 2.80 GHz)
RAM: 16gb DDR3 1600
GPU: AMD R9 270 2GB
monitor: 1920x1080​

Am trying to limit the upgrade to just a few key parts (CPU, mobo, and maybe...the GPU), and re-use the rest of my system. I googled a popular hardware site, and one of the recommended budget builds was:

CPU: Intel Core i3-4170 (about $200 w/new mobo)
GPU: AMD R9 380 (about $200)​

Do you think these two upgrades would enable my system to run those two games in their full glory? I am a bit of a cheapskate, though. If I only upgraded the CPU, would that even make a meaningful difference?

Also, I dabble in postprocessing RAW digital photos, and use programs like DXOmark and Lightroom. Would I take a performance hit if I switched from my CPU to the i3?

Any thoughts and advice would be appreciated!
 

Newbian

Lifer
Aug 24, 2008
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The problem is if you are going to get a entire new motherboard it would be better for a higher build as spending only $200 on a cpu and it will hurt you more then help usually.

Either OC it and get a better video card as was suggested or it's time for a new computer but I would run the game first and see what it's like however even with decent computers the game has optimization problems and will for awhile so even with a great one it may still have issues as many others have.

Downgrading to a i3 is really something you should never do if you can help it these days.
 

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Golden Member
Jul 24, 2003
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Thanks guys. Sounds like the biggest bang for the buck is with a new GPU. I'm kind of surprised...I heard that CPUs aren't as important for gaming, but I am rocking a really old chip from a few yrs ago.

And thanks for the great observation about the optmization problems on the new games. They don't seem to make them like they used to...
 

bystander36

Diamond Member
Apr 1, 2013
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That i7 is a 4 core version without HT, correct? Anyways, you could get a decent aftermarket HSF and OC it so it lasts a bit longer. Its current speed can hurt your FPS a ton. If you play with low settings, and are trying to get competitive FPS, a CPU will help you there, but if you are looking at higher visuals, and don't your current low FPS (play at low and you can see the max FPS you'll get no matter how fast of a GPU you get), then get a GPU. An i3 probably isn't going to be much help and very likely will be a slow down.
 

Oyeve

Lifer
Oct 18, 1999
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Dude, I play FO4 and GTAV on a socket 775 q9500 with 8gb of DDR2 ram and an r290x.

I get 45-60+ fps on 1920x1080p with everything turned on max or ultra settings. The biggest updates I have done in the 8 years of owning this PC was the r290 and SSD hard drives. It plays everything beautifully. I think the only thing you need is a better GPU but I cant see that as being a weak link. Your system is way better than mine and I can get all the eye-candy.
 

Denithor

Diamond Member
Apr 11, 2004
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Your i7 860 is actually a 4-core/8-thread chip (it does have Hyperthreading just FYI). Factory clock speed is 2.8GHz, rather low by today's standards. But still a solid chip.

I'd suggest two things: buy a better CPU cooler (preferably something that will fit your socket 1156 motherboard but will also support the latest socket motherboards, just in case) and a new GPU. Once you have good cooling on the CPU, crank it up. I'd think you should be able to get up into the 3.5-4GHz range pretty easily. Once there, this chip will provide plenty of horsepower. For the GPU, as suggested a 970 or a 290/290x level card should be good.

If you don't already have an SSD, that would be a final suggestion - nothing changes the feel of a system like a good SSD. And they're so damn cheap these days - I picked up a Crucial BX100 250GB drive the other day on Amazon for $64.
 

Midwayman

Diamond Member
Jan 28, 2000
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I'm on a SB i7, so almost as old. No CPU upgrade in the near future for me. Just OC the piss out of it. Spend the money on a good GPU. Buy a SSD while you're at it.
 

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Golden Member
Jul 24, 2003
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hi guys - thanks again for the recommendations. it didn't even occur to me to OC my CPU - gonna get a well-regarded HSF and see how far that takes me. my wallet and I thank you all!
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
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hi guys - thanks again for the recommendations. it didn't even occur to me to OC my CPU - gonna get a well-regarded HSF and see how far that takes me. my wallet and I thank you all!

I7 860 should be very easy to overclock.

http://www.overclock.net/t/743111/g...e-core-i7-860-to-4-0ghz-on-a-evga-p55-ftw-200

The biggest things are locking PCIe bus to 100, and keeping QPI/Vtt/IMC below 1.25V, disable load line calibration. I7 920 could handle much higher QPI of 1.35-1.4V but for i7 860 Lynnfield IIRC, it was recommended to stay below 1.25V. This is an i7 920 sample:
bios-best.jpg


Some boards had trouble hitting 200 BLCK so you could try 20 multiplier x 190 BLCK etc. With 1.35V CPU voltage, a lot of i7 860s can overclock to 3.8-3.9Ghz. 4Ghz+ is harder with Hyper Threading enabled. Keep HT enabled though as it helps in modern games.

Another guide:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/263043-29-1156-core-core-overclocking-guide

Grab an MSI Gaming GTX970 LE off Newegg for $280 and a good CPU cooler; just make sure it can fit inside your tower. This is one of the best CPU coolers for $40 in terms of both performance and noise:
http://www.nansgaminggear.net/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=TS-140-BW-RevA-TY147A

graph-3.png


If your budget is tighter, this $27 CPU cooler is also very effective for the $.
 
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Golden Member
Jul 24, 2003
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Thanks RussianSensation for your Very helpful advice!

All- big thanks to all. you've went way way beyond what I could have expected when i started the thread. I think I'm going to overclock first...will let you know how things go.