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What should I upgrade? CPU or video card?

globe

Member
Oct 9, 1999
187
0
0
I currently have Q6600 (2.4ghz) and EVGA 8800GT (1920x1200 on 24" Dell), and I use this system mainly for gaming, I mosly play FPS like Battlefield Bad Company 2, Mass Effect 2, MW2, etc. I want to get better performance, what should I upgrade? Will I get better bang for the buck if I just upgrade the video card? How much performance will I see if I get new CPU (i7)/RAM/MB?

Also, I've read a few forums, and seems like ATI is the way to go on video card now, true?
 

crazylegs

Senior member
Sep 30, 2005
779
0
71
Quick answer = Overclock your CPU and buy a new GPX card. That CPU overclocked will not hold you back in *any* games.

Get a new GPX card, with 1GB RAM (i.e. 5850 / 5870) and you'll have a much more balanced system :)

IMO ATI do offer better 'bang for the buck' especially if you're not interested in any of the extra 'features' NV offer.
 

fffblackmage

Platinum Member
Dec 28, 2007
2,548
0
76
You're not going to see a huge difference in just upgrading the cpu. Definitely go with getting a new graphics card.
 

digitaldurandal

Golden Member
Dec 3, 2009
1,828
0
71
The cpu you have is okay, it WILL have an impact in games though specifically for minimum framerates in the latest titles with full eyecandy.

What about the option to save, wait a while and buy new of both?

You're going to most likely run into an issue once you must update your cpu of needing a motherboard, power supply, and RAM.

So if you must keep that system go with the first suggestion and overclock your CPU assuming you have or can afford an aftermarket cooler and grab a new solution from ATi. Nvidia's only recent worthwhile solution is like 500+
 

toyota

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
12,957
1
0
Quick answer = Overclock your CPU and buy a new GPX card. That CPU overclocked will not hold you back in *any* games.

Get a new GPX card, with 1GB RAM (i.e. 5850 / 5870) and you'll have a much more balanced system :)

IMO ATI do offer better 'bang for the buck' especially if you're not interested in any of the extra 'features' NV offer.
actually even overclocked it would still hold it back a "little" in GTA 4 and maybe some others. anyway I certainly would not fool with upgrading it though when all it needs is decent oc.

OP get that Q6600 to a little over 3.0 and get a 5850 or 5870 and enjoy.
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
21,882
971
126
The 8800GT is absolutely crippling your system, so buy the fastest single GPU you can afford.
 

zerocool84

Lifer
Nov 11, 2004
36,041
469
126
Overclock cpu. The Q6600 overclocks EASY so that's a no brainer. Get a 5850 and you'll be a happy camper.
 

globe

Member
Oct 9, 1999
187
0
0
Thanks for all the suggestions! I'll try to overclock the CPU. I have the Abit IP35-Pro mb, and I'm trying to oc the CPU using its oc'ing program (Abit uGuru). How do I determine whether the CPU is stable after oc'ing? Is there some stress programs?
 

heyheybooboo

Diamond Member
Jun 29, 2007
6,278
0
0
A 5770 1Gb for $150-$160 would be a nice upgrade over the 8800gt.

And when you are ready to upgrade your cpu/mobo a 5770 Crossfire goes toe-to-toe with a 5870 in some games.




--
 

RussianSensation

Elite Member
Sep 5, 2003
19,458
745
126
Get 5850 and OC it to 5870 speeds.
Abit board you have is perfectly fine for 3.4ghz on Q6600! It's so easy.

Flash mobo to the latest BIOS
Lock PCI express to 100
Multiplier of 9 x 378 FSB
Lower your CPU:RAM Ratio so that ram is running within spec (unless you want to overclock it, but I don't recommend this since it makes 2% difference for C2Q architecture).
You may need to increase FSB voltage by +0.1 and/or northbridge voltage by +0.1

Get an aftermarket cooler for the Q6600. Cooler Master 212 Plus is $30.
 

globe

Member
Oct 9, 1999
187
0
0
Thanks for all the input, I think I'm planning to get a Sapphire 5850 Vapor-x or Toxic, however, will this card work with my older motherboard Abit IP35-Pro?
 

Qbah

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2005
3,754
10
81
OC your CPU to 3.0GHz+ and get a HD5850 / HD5870 :) Pretty much in line with what everyone else suggests (cause it's a good advice :p).
 

jthunderloc

Senior member
Dec 28, 2009
606
0
0
yes, but not by much. PCIE 1.0 @ 16X is the same as PCIE 2.0 @ 8X. I doubt you'll see more then a 5% loss, nothing you cant make up with an overclock to the GPU.

-Wes
 

toyota

Lifer
Apr 15, 2001
12,957
1
0
yes, but not by much. PCIE 1.0 @ 16X is the same as PCIE 2.0 @ 8X. I doubt you'll see more then a 5% loss, nothing you cant make up with an overclock to the GPU.

-Wes
um if the bandwidth from the slot is a limitation then how would overclocking the gpu help?
 

Childs

Lifer
Jul 9, 2000
11,450
7
81
I had the same components as the OP, except my G0 was oc'd to 3Ghz. I upgraded my 8800GT to a 260 216 that was on sale, and it has played everything at 1080p with med/high settings and 4xAA pretty well. I even played the same games recently...ME2 and BFBC2. I typically play with vsync on so I dont have exact numbers, but rarely do I get less than 45-60fps, mostly 60fps. At the very least get a 5770 class card and do the easy cpu OC that I did. I would think 2 5770's would cheaper than 1 5850.
 

evolucion8

Platinum Member
Jun 17, 2005
2,867
3
61
It has been proven with reviews around the net that PCI-E 2.0 at 8x can't even bottleneck an HD 5970, even at 4x, it still performing around 80% of its total performance, it will be a long time before PCI-E bandwidth can limit a card, specially with larger frame buffers.
 

tcsenter

Lifer
Sep 7, 2001
17,848
24
81
How much RAM? If only 2GB, then more RAM would be in order, but if you're already at 4GB, then going beyond that becomes an exercise in diminishing returns.
 

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