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Old 08-09-2010, 08:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default CPU, GPU and Gaming - answers wanted please :)

Hey fellas

Was trying to figure out how important CPU and GPU were for gaming.
As far as i know, GPU are most important, so if FPS and performance are max priority, graphic card(s) is what you need to pay most attention to.
But what about CPU?

Lets say i had $X to spend on CPU + GPU. If i was interested in mainly gaming, how would you divide this x between CPU adn GPU? i.e. 0.75X GPU 0.25X CPU or something.

Also, again in terms of hard gaming, how important is CPU? If i was to choose from following:
Prices are PURELY for examples, i have no clue how much they cost really.

i7 980X Overclocked To 4.0GHz Per Core costing £800
i7 960 Overclocked To 3.80GHz Per Core costing £300
i7 875K OC Overclocked To 4.0GHz Per Core costing £400
i7 980X Extreme Edition Processor (3.33GHz,12MB Cache) costing £700
what would you say was the most cost/performance efficient processor?
(ofc im not talking about taking 3.2ghz single core or whatever, but choosing double core 4ghz when i will only be using say 6 ghz is a waste of money).

Any replies kindly appreciated

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Old 08-09-2010, 12:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU, GPU and Gaming - answers wanted please :)

Gaming, the CPU is very important. Best CPU to get is the i7 920 or 930 (just under £200), and then spend the saved money on a decent motherboard for overclocking, and a good CPU cooler too. Though, if you have the extra money available to get an i7 980X, then by all means get it - but only if it means you won't be skimping out on other parts.
Hopefully this answers your general question, in a round-about way :P

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Old 08-09-2010, 01:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU, GPU and Gaming - answers wanted please :)

Thanks yami

Well i have a topic in this very forum already - a few threads down i think - deciding on one of the following quotes from retailers i like
So if you could tell me which quote you like more & whether you would swap some things out/in, id appreciate it

Quote 1: £3240 + 24" TFT included

Intel® Core™ i7 960 Quad Core Processor (3.20GHz,8MB Cache) - LGA 1336
Microsoft® Windows® 7 Home Premium pre-installed
Thermaltake Element 'V' Gaming Chassis
1200W Cougar Desktop Power Supply
Akasa Freedom Tower Heat pipe quiet cooling, CPU Overclocking, specialist cabling
Asus P6X58D-E-USB3 - Intel Core™ i7 & i7 Extreme Edition - LGA1366 Socket(ATX)
G.Skill 12GB DDR3 1600MHz Memory (6x 2GB KIt)
128GB MLC SSD SATA Solid State Drive + Installation Kit
2TB (2x 1000GB) Serial ATA 2 Hard Drive with 32MB Buffer
Blu-Ray Combo Optical Drive ***Special Offer *** (Blu-ray ROM, DVD/CD RW)
2x 2GB ATI Radeon HD5970 - CrossFireX Configuration
=====>>>Monitor=====>>>24" Widescreen TFT Monitor - Full HD 1920x1080 5ms D-Sub
Multi-Format Memory Card Reader -(52-in-1 Internal)
7.1 High Definition onboard sound card - for 8 Channel Cinema sound
Supports up to 8 USB 2.0 ports (4x mid-board, 4x back panel) + 2x USB 3.0 ports - P6X58D-E
2 x 1394a port(s) (1 at mid-board; 1 at back panel) - P6X58D-E
Gigabit LAN, featuring AI NET2 - ASUS P6X58D-E
ASUS PCE-N13 Internal 802.11N WiFi Adapter - 300Mbps

Quote 2: £3200 no monitor

Thermaltake Element V Gaming case
Antec 1200W True Power Quattro SLI/Crossfire Ready Power Supply
Noctua CPU Heatsink and Cooler
Corsair or OCZ 12GB PC12800 DDR3 1600MHZ RAM with Heatsink
2 x 1000GB S-ATA 7200RPM Hard Drive 32Mb Cache
7.1 Chanel HD Audio Integrated
2 USB Port on Front
6 USB Port on Back including 2 x USB3.0 Ports
10/100/1000 Gigabit Network integrated
TP-Link 802.11N 300mbps PCI Wireless Network Card
Firewire Port on Back

Regarding processor - yeah, id like 980x too, but im not sure if 750£ increase for dual 3.33 to dual 4.00 freq upgrade is worth it for me.

Also, do you reckon i should get some extra (not mentioned in quotes) cooling (i.e. water cooling or something) for the dual GPU / CPU?
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Old 08-09-2010, 01:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU, GPU and Gaming - answers wanted please :)

If going with an i7 there is little reason to go above a 920 or 930 for gaming. The 980 is the only exception, it is 6 core instead of 4 so if you're going to be multitasking a lot it may be a good option, but only if you multitask to the absolute extreme. As for a 940-960 there is no point, these are simply higher-clocked versions of the 920/930 chips and you can overclock your 920/930 above and beyond the stock 940-960 speeds easily (it is pretty easy to hit 4.0GHz or higher on a 920 or 930 with decent cooling). Between the 920 and 930 there isn't much difference. The 930 is only $10 more but is again the same chip as the 920 just clocked a tiny bit higher (1x higher multiplier). In the end you'll probably lower the multiplier to get a stable high-end overclock so the slight advantage is meaningless and 920's are generally said to overclock better.

Overall: Go with the 920, 930, or if you really need extreme multitasking, 980. All the other ones are a waste as the difference can be made up by overclocking.

Edit: You appear to be thinking wrong about speeds and cores. Multiple cores doesn't allow you to add the speeds. A 4GHz, 4 core processor does not equal a 16GHz processor. For things that utilize multiple cores it can improve performance, but for single-threaded applications it will only ever be a 4GHz processor with extra unused cores. Multi-core processors help for multi-tasking (running many apps at once) but the 2 extra cores on the 6 core chips will do nothing for gaming.

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Old 08-09-2010, 02:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU, GPU and Gaming - answers wanted please :)

Thanks calc, your advice is appreciated.

However i am pretty much 0 at hardware, so "overclocking" is a scary tale to me. I know what it is, but im too scared to do it (or have someone else do it to my stuff).

Is price difference really that significant? Are we talking 50$, 500$, 150$ or?

Edit: Thanks for clarifying about the CPU cores. My question is then, should i try to get some kind of "dual core 8 Ghz" (not sure if it even exists lol just writing this out of my mind) or is quadcore 3.2-4GHz pretty much normal?
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Old 08-09-2010, 02:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU, GPU and Gaming - answers wanted please :)

As far as overclocking goes, it's not scary, it's fun

But seriously, the chances of damaging your equipment are pretty slim. Pushing the clock (the frequency that the system operates) up isn't really a concern, it may cause your system to crash but shouldn't overheat or break it (if it crashes just lower the clock speed to a point where it's stable). The real issue with overheating comes from voltage. Without touching the voltage you can usually get a slight overclock which is what I'd recommend if you're cautious. If you get a good cooler then you can try messing with voltage, but pushing voltage too high can damage the chip.

As for dual core 8GHz, no such thing exists. In fact, there really aren't any CPU's marketed at 4GHz. If you want a 4GHz CPU you'll have to overclock. The i7's overclock fairly well and with good cooling it is easy to get to 4GHz without any risk of damaging your hardware.

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Old 08-09-2010, 03:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: CPU, GPU and Gaming - answers wanted please :)

Well unless the price difference is significant, i think i would still stay with the processor i chose. Yeah, its a "noob" way, but thats what i am with hardware - a noob

Skipping CPU, do you think i need to get some extra cooling, taking in regards my cpu/crossfire GPU/gaming case/etc? If yes, which you would advice?

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