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Intel Core 2 Quad 9450 Gaming upgrade path – CPU or GPU ?

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cytg111

Lifer
Mar 17, 2008
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Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I want to come back to our very interesting discussion.

I ran Cinebench and Passmark tests and came to a conclusion that my overclocked e6300 @ 3.2GHz is about equivalent in performance to an e8400(stock) which in turn is equivalent to an i3-3220(stock, slightly faster).

I am running Fallout 4, at 1440p with a Radeon 6950, and I am getting anything from 13fps to 33fps or so. Average fps is about 26 to 31. May not be what most people prefer, but playable.

This is confusing to me, because the minimum requirements for Fallout 4 are:

Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent
8 GB RAM
30 GB free HDD space
NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or equivalent


and I have...


Only 4 GB RAM, much slower CPU and video card.

so...



Are my comparisons completely wrong? Am I missing something?

People told me many times that my CPU would be a bottleneck, but it seems like the only bottleneck is my video card. My CPU does get to about 98% load in task manager while game is running. And MSI afterburner often shows 100%. Yes, it is indeed a max load, but I am not sure if it's an actual bottleneck.

I will run the game at lower res and check...
- well, 13fps, muliply that with 3 for 'minimum requirement' and you're pretty much looking at that i5 no ?
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,905
305
126
Sorry to resurrect an old thread, but I want to come back to our very interesting discussion.

I ran Cinebench and Passmark tests and came to a conclusion that my overclocked e6300 @ 3.2GHz is about equivalent in performance to an e8400(stock) which in turn is equivalent to an i3-3220(stock, slightly faster).

I am running Fallout 4, at 1440p with a Radeon 6950, and I am getting anything from 13fps to 33fps or so. Average fps is about 26 to 31. May not be what most people prefer, but playable.

This is confusing to me, because the minimum requirements for Fallout 4 are:

Windows 7/8/10 (64-bit OS required)
Intel Core i5-2300 2.8 GHz/AMD Phenom II X4 945 3.0 GHz or equivalent
8 GB RAM
30 GB free HDD space
NVIDIA GTX 550 Ti 2GB/AMD Radeon HD 7870 2GB or equivalent


and I have...


Only 4 GB RAM, much slower CPU and video card.

so...



Are my comparisons completely wrong? Am I missing something?

People told me many times that my CPU would be a bottleneck, but it seems like the only bottleneck is my video card. My CPU does get to about 98% load in task manager while game is running. And MSI afterburner often shows 100%. Yes, it is indeed a max load, but I am not sure if it's an actual bottleneck.

I will run the game at lower res and check...
e6300 3.2GHz is way slower than an i3 3220 for gaming.

also, how far are you in the game? some areas will give you maybe half the performance you get on the initial areas, and the more you play and affect things the performance degrades even more...

try the corvega factory and boston downton to get a decent idea.

also, you can't take min requirements seriously anyway.... 4GB should be fine, the ram usage is not to high, the vram usage is more problematic.
 

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
3,923
53
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e6300 3.2GHz is way slower than an i3 3220 for gaming.

How do you know that? I want to know how people know these things. The only tools I have are the ones I mentioned. But apparently they cannot test gaming performance. What can?

Just running games and checking fps? Are there any game benchmarking tools which taken the video card out if the equation and only test cpu potential?


EDIT: I ran the game at much lower resolutions, and the interesting thing is that frame rate does not improve and the CPU still stays something like 97-100% in MSI Afterburner. This shows me clearly the CPU cannot handle this game. I went to other areas and I see that frames sometimes drop as low as 9 fps. This was a big eye opener for me, because most non AAA titles that I ran, would run just fine.

It's not that I cannot afford a better CPU. I am just really interested in testing the limits of older hardware. This is a lot of fun for me.
 
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TheELF

Platinum Member
Dec 22, 2012
2,967
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How do you know that? I want to know how people know these things. The only tools I have are the ones I mentioned. But apparently they cannot test gaming performance. What can?

Just running games and checking fps? Are there any game benchmarking tools which taken the video card out if the equation and only test cpu potential?
I3 has two more threads (hyperthreading) and since game threads are not demanding at all HT can really boost performance.
Also just because they have similar Ghz doesn't mean they have similar speed the I3 is more advanced and is faster at the same Ghz.

Are there any game benchmarking tools which taken the video card out if the equation and only test cpu potential?
No,but as you yourself hinted, lowering the resolution will get rid of as much gpu bottleneck as possible.
 

TheELF

Platinum Member
Dec 22, 2012
2,967
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EDIT: I ran the game at much lower resolutions, and the interesting thing is that frame rate does not improve and the CPU still stays something like 97-100% in MSI Afterburner. This shows me clearly the CPU cannot handle this game.
This is a quirk of the game code,use riva to limit your FPS way below of what you would get (go to a place where you get some decent fps) you will see that cpu usage will not change.

Also (random) FPS drops in this game are almost always due to data being read and not reaching your GPU fast enough.
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,905
305
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How do you know that? I want to know how people know these things. The only tools I have are the ones I mentioned. But apparently they cannot test gaming performance. What can?

Just running games and checking fps? Are there any game benchmarking tools which taken the video card out if the equation and only test cpu potential?


EDIT: I ran the game at much lower resolutions, and the interesting thing is that frame rate does not improve and the CPU still stays something like 97-100% in MSI Afterburner. This shows me clearly the CPU cannot handle this game. I went to other areas and I see that frames sometimes drop as low as 9 fps. This was a big eye opener for me, because most non AAA titles that I ran, would run just fine.

It's not that I cannot afford a better CPU. I am just really interested in testing the limits of older hardware. This is a lot of fun for me.
e6300 is core 2 duo with 2MB of l2,

I think you would need to run it at at least 3.5GHz to be near an e8400 for gaming,

and
http://anandtech.com/bench/product/677?vs=56

benchmarks will show you that the i3 you mentioned is clearly a lot faster.

if you want a cheap upgrade, you can probably get a moded 771 xeon with 12MB of l2 and 4 cores (basically same as the q9450, but cheaper and with higher stock clock), like an e5450 for cheap, it will probably be a lot better, but still, not ideal for this game.
 

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
3,923
53
91
e6300 is core 2 duo with 2MB of l2,

I think you would need to run it at at least 3.5GHz to be near an e8400 for gaming,

and
http://anandtech.com/bench/product/677?vs=56

benchmarks will show you that the i3 you mentioned is clearly a lot faster.

if you want a cheap upgrade, you can probably get a moded 771 xeon with 12MB of l2 and 4 cores (basically same as the q9450, but cheaper and with higher stock clock), like an e5450 for cheap, it will probably be a lot better, but still, not ideal for this game.

This is amazing! I had no idea about the Xeon mod. How can I know for sure its compatible with my mobo?
 

SPBHM

Diamond Member
Sep 12, 2012
4,905
305
126
This is amazing! I had no idea about the Xeon mod. How can I know for sure its compatible with my mobo?
if it supports any C2Q 45nm and if it's not a x38/x48 board there is a big chance that is compatible, but the best you can do is to google for your MB model and 771 mod or something, there is a huge thread about the mod on overclock.net and this http://www.delidded.com/lga-771-to-775-adapter/

people are also now selling the processors modded, with no need for you to modify the socket and use any "sticker", so basically you can get a "q9650" (e5450) for $20-30 easily,
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
21,197
719
136
How do you know that? I want to know how people know these things. The only tools I have are the ones I mentioned. But apparently they cannot test gaming performance. What can?

Just running games and checking fps? Are there any game benchmarking tools which taken the video card out if the equation and only test cpu potential?


EDIT: I ran the game at much lower resolutions, and the interesting thing is that frame rate does not improve and the CPU still stays something like 97-100% in MSI Afterburner. This shows me clearly the CPU cannot handle this game. I went to other areas and I see that frames sometimes drop as low as 9 fps. This was a big eye opener for me, because most non AAA titles that I ran, would run just fine.

It's not that I cannot afford a better CPU. I am just really interested in testing the limits of older hardware. This is a lot of fun for me.
Exactly. This seems like the best place to post about old stuff @AtenRa, but if it is hijacking let me know and I will delete it and start my own thread.

Old thread but still relevant for folks like myself. I recently rescued a Asus M2N68-AM SE2 with a AMD64 X2 5200+, and 2x2GB DDR2 800, win 10 pro activated/attached, from going in a landfill, when I upgraded a client. I have a soft spot for nVidia (they spelled it that way back then iirc) chipsets. Many fond memories of using boards based on them. Used to be the Soltek forum moderator at NforcersHQ bitd; man did I love the Golden Flame https://www.tweaktown.com/reviews/447/soltek_sl_75mrn_l_golden_flame_motherboard_review/index9.html Anyways, I have a Phenom II x4 960T that will be here any minute, so this necro for the updates is serendipity baby!

I have it updated to the latest firmware 1801 8/15/2012, but I don't think it has support for unlocking the extra cores to x6. Provided they are undamaged. Going to find out for certain shortly.

With the X2@2.8GHz and the bus and ram overclocked/along for the ride since it is multi locked, SATA SSD, and a GTX 1070, it can decode 1440p60 Youtube with CPU usage hovering around 35 percent. Web is fairly snappy, but there is a perceptible slight pause/wait to loading pages a modern AM4 with a 12T CPU does not have. Only played a vintage game, Ghost Recon Advanced War Fighter 2006 so far, and it ran great with everything maxed@1440p. For comparison, Win 10 pro, on a Ryzen 1600, DDR4 3200, same GTX 1070, it averages about double the frame rate. The X2 never fully maxes both cores in the title, and it uses only about 2.3 GB of ram. the 960T is unlocked so I will see if it will do at least 3.8-40GHz with a 6 heat pipe Zalman cooler rated for 140w? I had sitting in a parts bin.

Going to play Fallout 4 like @ibex333 was doing. I have seen youtube vids with most of this gear, but it really is a lot of fun to mess with this old stuff. I do not think I ever owned a Phenom series CPU so that is a bonus.
 
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ondma

Senior member
Mar 18, 2018
920
188
86
Well, that is a thought. I could resurrect all my old computers and see what games I could play on them. Plenty of time now that I just retired and cant even go out to eat or to a movie due to Covid restrictions.
 
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DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
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Well, that is a thought. I could resurrect all my old computers and see what games I could play on them. Plenty of time now that I just retired and cant even go out to eat or to a movie due to Covid restrictions.
It is a good time. One of the things I am dealing with is the Phenom II series lacks some modern instructions certain games require, but there is an emulator that allows those games to run. Performance is another matter, but that is where the fun starts.
 

ibex333

Diamond Member
Mar 26, 2005
3,923
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I am sure you already know this, but there are plenty of folks on YouTube who do exactly what we are discussing here. Test old hardware to see its limits. I LOVE watching those videos! So much fun and super educational.
 
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mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
989
287
96
Well, that is a thought. I could resurrect all my old computers and see what games I could play on them. Plenty of time now that I just retired and cant even go out to eat or to a movie due to Covid restrictions.
Meh, i used to do that but find it a waste of energy. I keep my old stuff merely as back ups. I did have some fun messing around with a gtx285 recently in my 7700k build.
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
Moderator
Aug 22, 2001
21,197
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I am sure you already know this, but there are plenty of folks on YouTube who do exactly what we are discussing here. Test old hardware to see its limits. I LOVE watching those videos! So much fun and super educational.
Yeah man, mentioned it in my post, but again, it is way more fun doing it myself. Posting from the 960T and there is a very noticeable improvement over the slower dual core. For the moment it is running 3.6GHz on stock voltage with just a multi change. This board was from a Dell XPS, and not much overclocking support in the bios. FO4 vanilla is very playable at 1440p60 mix of Ultra thru medium settings, although there are drops to the 20s and 30s in some areas. The OG frame killer when you first look down into diamond city is real for this CPU. hit 29fps for a moment. Frame pacing is off sometimes too, but overall quite fun.


Meh, i used to do that but find it a waste of energy. I keep my old stuff merely as back ups. I did have some fun messing around with a gtx285 recently in my 7700k build.
Meh, If I wanted easy/low energy, I'd go back to console gaming. I am on hiatus due to the human malware, so in between other stuff, this old hardware is providing me with hours of entertainment.
 

mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
989
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Meh, If I wanted easy/low energy, I'd go back to console gaming. I am on hiatus due to the human malware, so in between other stuff, this old hardware is providing me with hours of entertainment.
Yeah pc gaming has some amazing bang for buck, cause we can do more then game on these things. I got a i3 2100 htpc that may see some Xp gaming,i got a new sealed Emachines oem xp disk never used, if it would install and work on the Dell based i3 2100 rig i got no idea. I think those disks have preinstalled drivers for like said Emachines that it came with? i3 2100/8gb/gtx285 would be a riot to mess around with.

I had hoped last year that the purchase of this Retro build with like 20 hours or so on the hard drives could have been turned into the ultimate xp retro build, Antec Sonata,C2D E8500 4gb and a gtx285 with dual 1tb drives would have been hype but the motherboard was bricked. Everything else but that mobo/cpu/ram is either working confirmed or is in function like the Corsair 750 watt psu, the hard drives which each is in a pc and the Sonata houses a build consisting of a i5 4670/8gb/4gb gtx960 which is out on loan and meeting all expectations for LOL. 150+ fps with discord open at 1080p maxed isn't bad for something i retired!
 
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bigboxes

Lifer
Apr 6, 2002
30,882
11,048
146
Re uploaded all broken review charts
So, I'm reading along. It's a good read.

Then, I get this feeling that I've read this before. I skip from page one to the last.

Finally, I glance at the date.

2015.

WTF

Who bumped this dead thread??


Got me again.
 

JWade

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
3,098
40
91
www.heatware.com
i have been messing around with older stuff, ranging from a p3 slot as well as socket, to slot A on up. forgot all that was involved in loading windows 95/98/ME, eventually all came back. I have been setting up old systems in my house, each game gets its own computer hahaha
 
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AtenRa

Lifer
Feb 2, 2009
13,177
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So, I'm reading along. It's a good read.

Then, I get this feeling that I've read this before. I skip from page one to the last.

Finally, I glance at the date.

2015.

WTF

Who bumped this dead thread??


Got me again.
ehm sorry for the necro but all the charts were broken and i had to upload them again.
 
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DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
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Aug 22, 2001
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Nah great stuff, I retired my Q9650 October(ish). That machine gamed real well and I just recently started to have problems.
Hardware problems or gaming problems?

For those bored enough to read this thread, the 960T made it to 4GHz stable enough to play FO4. Did not make much difference. A game that was poorly optimized and 5 years newer, chugs at times. I can see why people were complaining about the game when it came out. I am going to turn on Gsync compat with my monitor and see if that smooths it out at all. I expect the frame pacing will still suck.

This board is limited to 4GB DDR2. Don't think extra ram would help based on tech tuber experiences. The game gets to 3.35GB used, which does not seem to cause any issues.

I think it is cool that AMD was pushing cores and value, to stay relevant. This CPU works in AM2+ and AM3 boards, supports DDR2 and DDR3,, and featured up to 6 cores. Some of you were unlocking the 3 and 4 cores, to 4 and 6 cores for extra value back then. You could keep your DDR2 system and drop one of these in with a bios update, much like now. Adding years of gaming life to your old boxen. I was stuck on consoles as my son was only 10, and I did not want to throw money at PC gaming too.
 
Feb 4, 2009
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Hardware problems or gaming problems?

For those bored enough to read this thread, the 960T made it to 4GHz stable enough to play FO4. Did not make much difference. A game that was poorly optimized and 5 years newer, chugs at times. I can see why people were complaining about the game when it came out. I am going to turn on Gsync compat with my monitor and see if that smooths it out at all. I expect the frame pacing will still suck.

This board is limited to 4GB DDR2. Don't think extra ram would help based on tech tuber experiences. The game gets to 3.35GB used, which does not seem to cause any issues.

I think it is cool that AMD was pushing cores and value, to stay relevant. This CPU works in AM2+ and AM3 boards, supports DDR2 and DDR3,, and featured up to 6 cores. Some of you were unlocking the 3 and 4 cores, to 4 and 6 cores for extra value back then. You could keep your DDR2 system and drop one of these in with a bios update, much like now. Adding years of gaming life to your old boxen. I was stuck on consoles as my son was only 10, and I did not want to throw money at PC gaming too.
BIt of both, machine was still reasonably stable but it tended to have problems with windows updates
Most games ran acceptably to me, some did not.
Main reason was I do use it for work and I had a nightmare scenario happen after an update that took hours to fix. Ended up using my iPad to do the work stuff and it was miserable.
 

DAPUNISHER

Super Moderator and Elite Member
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Aug 22, 2001
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Looks like others are getting bit by the old school bug. Hardware Canucks is joining in.

 
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mopardude87

Senior member
Oct 22, 2018
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Looks like others are getting bit by the old school bug. Hardware Canucks is joining in.

I had a bit of fun with a 8350, i thought the cpu as a whole was god awful. I had a 2500k constantly faster in games in comparison i swear. Shamefully AMD has not won the maximum fps performance crown in a while. Hopefully 4000 series changes that. I am amazed how bad off that 8350 was and i can't imagine a 1ghz boost making things all that much better, everyone i knew was on Intel or x4/x6 Phenom 2. No one i knew touched bulldozer with a 10 foot stick till years later. Only played with a 8350 cause this friend of mine bought into the 8 core crap and bought one like in maybe 2015?. He got his well mine now 7700k up and running and just blown away how much faster it was.
 

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