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Vanzagar
08-07-08, 02:36 PM
What would you all recommend as the best bang for your buck CPU that won't bottleneck a high end video card setup.

In other words if I had a tri-sli gtx280 setup and wanted to play Crysis on very high and with aa/af, what would be approximately that cheapest CPU that wouldn't slow down my gpu...

Thanks,

rh

Medion
08-07-08, 02:41 PM
C2D E8400 or C2Q Q6600, and OC the crap out of it.

CaptNKILL
08-07-08, 02:54 PM
What do you mean by efficient?

a12ctic
08-07-08, 02:56 PM
Intel Atom

Bearclaw
08-07-08, 02:57 PM
E8400 or Q6600. Both have amazing prices right now. :thumbsup:

Vanzagar
08-07-08, 04:46 PM
What do you mean by efficient?

Efficient in terms of lowest cost yet not a bottle neck (I was originally going to say "bang for my buck")... but I didn't say bang for my buck casue it could mean it's cheap and powerful but still bottlenecks my gpu, in this case I would not want it...

rh

Vanzagar
08-07-08, 04:54 PM
C2D E8400 or C2Q Q6600, and OC the crap out of it.

Hmm, I thought q9450 or maybe E8600... I was also thinking of waiting until Nehalem, but it sounds to me like these would be overkill and I would be buying some future proofing, is that correct?

Everyone keeps telling me to wait for Nehalem, but if my primary usage is PC gaming, is it worth the wait?

How much % increase is expected with Nehalem, given say refresh of a given model (i.e. replacement of q9450)...

Sorry for my ignorance in cpus...

rh

Yaboze
08-07-08, 07:00 PM
Best bang for the buck is a Dual Core probably, all of the quads have equal or slightly bigger cache, but lower clock speeds. The 3.0ghz clocked quads are still very expensive. Of course, you could overclock a Q6600.

The Q6600 is 2.4 and 4meg cache, the 8400 is 3.0. My point is that not much uses the quad core and I think you're better off with a faster, newer Dual Core over a Quad.

Personally, I am waiting for the Nehalim.

Vanzagar
08-07-08, 07:47 PM
Personally, I am waiting for the Nehalim.

Why exactly?

Xion X2
08-07-08, 08:15 PM
Nehalem will bring new tech like the triple-channel memory controller which should improve performance a good bit.

For right now I'd go with a budget quad like the Q9450. Even a dual at 4.2GHz like I had my Wolfdale to recently will become bogged down with intensive multi-threaded apps whereas the quad will keep going strong.

jcrox
08-07-08, 10:08 PM
Nehalem will bring new tech like the triple-channel memory controller which should improve performance a good bit.

For right now I'd go with a budget quad like the Q9450. Even a dual at 4.2GHz like I had my Wolfdale to recently will become bogged down with intensive multi-threaded apps whereas the quad will keep going strong.

What are these "intensive multi-threaded apps" I keep hearing about that a gamer would run into that utilize 4 cores? If you're not a tard and don't try running a movie while encoding video and trying to play Crysis all at the same time dual core is just fine.

On a side note, if a person is asking about CPUs, they're not likely going to be doing anything that would require a quad core. It's like recommending a $500 driver to a a guy that's going out for his first day of golfing.

Vanzagar
08-08-08, 12:55 AM
What are these "intensive multi-threaded apps" I keep hearing about that a gamer would run into that utilize 4 cores? If you're not a tard and don't try running a movie while encoding video and trying to play Crysis all at the same time dual core is just fine.

On a side note, if a person is asking about CPUs, they're not likely going to be doing anything that would require a quad core. It's like recommending a $500 driver to a a guy that's going out for his first day of golfing.

Ah yes exactly... I don't really care about running more than 1 application at a time, I have a seperate computer for encoding and crap like that, I just want a dedicated gaming machine where I would just run one game and that's it, then put the rest of my $$ into the gpu(s)...

So it sounds the E8400 is about the cheapest, and with a E8400 I would not get any bottlenecking even if I had three gtx280's?

Thanks,

rh

kazna
08-08-08, 01:04 AM
So it sounds the E8400 is about the cheapest, and with a E8400 I would not get any bottlenecking even if I had three gtx280's?
Crysis may be an exception to the rule, but most CPUs are gonna be bottlenecked by that setup unless you're gaming on a 30". lol

Still, a heavily overclocked E8400 seems to be what you're looking for (since Crysis isn't coded for quads). You can overclock it to 3.6 without having to touch the RAM, and as long as your RAM is quality you can hit 4Ghz on air.

Xion X2
08-08-08, 02:02 AM
What are these "intensive multi-threaded apps" I keep hearing about that a gamer would run into that utilize 4 cores? If you're not a tard and don't try running a movie while encoding video and trying to play Crysis all at the same time dual core is just fine.

There are several. Mass Effect utilizes quad-core. So does Medal of Honor Airborne. So does F.E.A.R., so does Lost Planet and so does Assassin's Creed. There are many others. Chances are that any game where lots of characters are on-screen or in the general vicinity at once will see a benefit from it.

He also referenced a multi-GPU setup. Well, multi-gpu setups carry extra overhead. In games that push a dual-core to the max, the quad will benefit on these. And if he wants a CPU "that wouldn't slow down his GPU" and bottleneck his system, then he needs to go quad core, because there are already several games out right now that will bottleneck his system if he goes with a dual and will be more to come in the future.

CaptNKILL
08-08-08, 03:32 AM
There are several. Mass Effect utilizes quad-core. So does Medal of Honor Airborne. So does F.E.A.R., so does Lost Planet and so does Assassin's Creed. There are many others. Chances are that any game where lots of characters are on-screen or in the general vicinity at once will see a benefit from it.

He also referenced a multi-GPU setup. Well, multi-gpu setups carry extra overhead. In games that push a dual-core to the max, the quad will benefit on these. And if he wants a CPU "that wouldn't slow down his GPU" and bottleneck his system, then he needs to go quad core, because there are already several games out right now that will bottleneck his system if he goes with a dual and will be more to come in the future.

Overall, I agree that a quad will probably be better later on and will help a lot in specific situations, but I disagree with the bolded part.

The games you listed plus two or three others (UT3 and Supreme Commander) are about the extent of the current quad-core optimized line up. And there are no rules as to what will perform better with multiple cores. Every game will have to be programmed to make use of multiple cores individually. The UT3 engine is probably the biggest hope for multi-core gaming right now since most PC games that use it seem to show a good increase in performance on a quad. Anything else is a crap shoot though, and with GPU Physx being big now, its even harder to say where things are going.

You can't go wrong with a high clocked quad core obviously, but if money is a factor you can have the same or better performance in at least 90% of current games with a dual core that will hit higher clocks for a fraction of the price.

One example:
http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=3293&p=8

In the tests that show little or no increase in performance due to the number of cores, look at how easily they scale with clock speed. With a $170 E8400 and a decent cooler you could easily tack 1Ghz+ onto any of those clock speeds and see the increases continue. Quads that can manage the same speeds will cost an arm and a leg.

npras42
08-08-08, 04:16 AM
The question you've also got to ask yourself is when are you next likely to upgrade? If I was to buy knowing that I would get a new SLI setup in 9 months to a year I'd go for the dual core right now because as people say support is not all there for quads yet. However, a better long term investment might be a quad core.

CaptNKILL
08-08-08, 04:35 AM
The question you've also got to ask yourself is when are you next likely to upgrade? If I was to buy knowing that I would get a new SLI setup in 9 months to a year I'd go for the dual core right now because as people say support is not all there for quads yet. However, a better long term investment might be a quad core.

I agree.

With Nehelem coming, I wouldn't worry too much about "future proofing" with a quad unless you definitely won't be upgrading for another 2+ years. Getting a quad now to run multithreaded games in two years won't do you much good.

Heinz68
08-08-08, 05:33 AM
I'm definitely waiting for Nehalem. The reason: I like my upgrade to last for some time.
Don't like to spend money too often on COMPLETE upgrade. (Meaning, CPU, Mobo & RAM)
I's going to cost me more money but than I also saved money skipping some upgrades.

Most likely if I had Intel or even AMD later system I would just look for good priced CPU upgrade and wait for Nehalem to become mainstream or wait for the Westmere the 32nm shrink of the Nehalem.
Who knows maybe later on even AMD might be my option again.

The fact is people are at different stages for upgrading and also have different needs.
Few people also have unlimited budget for upgrading so no one shoe fits all.

dookika
08-08-08, 09:35 AM
Why is it that the only people that bash on quad core cpu's are the exact same people that have absolutely ZERO experience with one?

I have gone from a dual core cpu to a quad myself and the difference in certain games are huge, especially the ones that xion mentioned and there are others out there that also benefit from it namely flight sim x.

dookika
08-08-08, 09:36 AM
Getting a quad now to run multithreaded games in two years won't do you much good.

WTF are you talking about in 2 years? there are plenty of games out RIGHT NOW that make good use of a quad core cpu.

npras42
08-08-08, 11:13 AM
WTF are you talking about in 2 years? there are plenty of games out RIGHT NOW that make good use of a quad core cpu.

Put it this way, if I had $200 to buy a CPU now and knew that i would have another $200 to buy another CPU in one years time, I would get a dual-core CPU this time round and wait until next year for a quad.

CaptNKILL
08-08-08, 03:38 PM
WTF are you talking about in 2 years? there are plenty of games out RIGHT NOW that make good use of a quad core cpu.

There are some, there are not "plenty". The vast majority of games do not make good use of quad cores right now, and I doubt we'll see any huge change in that in the next year since quads have already been out for almost 2 years. In two more years most games will hopefully have either adopted multi-core support or GPU Physx... hopefully both.

I'm never going to say that Quads are inferior to dual cores, I just find it hard to recommend a quad that may or may not make it past 3.2Ghz with a good cooler when you can get a dual that can hit over 4ghz easily for less money. High clock speed will benefit all games, more cores does not even come close to helping in as many games.

If there was a $200 quad that could easily hit 4Ghz on air cooling right now (without burning my house down), I'd say buy it. But there isn't...

By the time more games make use of quads, there will be far better quads available and they'll most likely be faster clock for clock than anything we have now, even in non-multithreaded apps.

Xion X2
08-08-08, 04:23 PM
If there was a $200 quad that could easily hit 4Ghz on air cooling right now (without burning my house down), I'd say buy it. But there isn't...


You can get a Q6600 right now that will clock easily to 3.6GHz on a Tuniq or Thermalright Ultra for 184.99$...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115018

A Q6600 at 3.6GHz is a much stronger CPU than a dual at 4.0GHz. Take it from someone who knows; I just made the switchover for the 2nd time. I thought that if I could get a dual over 4GHz (actually made it to 4.2) that it would outrun the quad, but even when just opening up a few windows in Vista at once the quad is noticeably faster at a lower clock speed. Even at 3.2GHz it is noticeably faster navigating through Windows apps than my dual at 4.2GHz was when trying to handle just 2-3 at once. And you can bet your bottom dollar that if multi-threaded gaming apps do become the norm, which is already the case with at least 8-10 popular titles and the most popular Unreal Engine utilizing it, that the quad will blow the dual out of the water--no matter how high you have it clocked.

People's opinions will differ on this, but I see no logical reason for someone who theorizes that they may go Tri-SLI to create an intentional bottleneck in their system anywhere. It just doesn't make sense. It's hard to understand that unless you've been there, though, and seen them in action.

CaptNKILL
08-08-08, 04:36 PM
You can get a Q6600 right now that will clock easily to 3.6GHz on a Tuniq or Thermalright Ultra for 184.99$...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115018

A Q6600 at 3.6GHz is a much stronger CPU than a dual at 4.0GHz. Take it from someone who knows; I just made the switchover for the 2nd time. I thought that if I could get a dual over 4GHz (actually made it to 4.2) that it would outrun the quad, but even when just opening up a few windows in Vista at once the quad is noticeably faster at a lower clock speed. Even at 3.2GHz it is noticeably faster navigating through Windows apps than my dual at 4.2GHz was when trying to handle just 2-3 at once. And you can bet your bottom dollar that if multi-threaded gaming apps do become the norm, which is already the case with at least 8-10 popular titles and the most popular Unreal Engine utilizing it, that the quad will blow the dual out of the water--no matter how high you have it clocked.

People's opinions will differ on this, but I see no logical reason for someone who theorizes that they may go Tri-SLI to create an intentional bottleneck in their system anywhere. It just doesn't make sense. It's hard to understand that unless you've been there, though, and seen them in action.
I guess you're right, I haven't run a quad personally.

I know that I noticed absolutely NO improvement (at all, in any game or in general usage in summer of '06) going to a 2.5Ghz Athlon X2 from a 2.5Ghz Athlon 64 under XP, so I guess that has me biased against throwing more cores at everything.

If there is a significant general improvement in using a quad in Vista, then that's a plus. Most game benchmarks show little to no improvement in using more cores though.

I agree with you that if he's considering Tri-SLI he should get the best CPU he can afford, and I'd recommend getting a newer quad than the Q6600 so he can hit higher clocks. They're definitely capable, they just cost an arm and a leg.

Vanzagar
08-08-08, 07:12 PM
I used the tri-sli as an example, in reality I can't afford that, so I will probably go sli 260gtx, maybe 280gtx or 4870x2 (once I see real benches)... BUT if in a year I wanted to add another 280gtx or another 4870 x2 I didn't want to hit a wall...

So for now it seems my decision is down to:
A. Q6600, $185
B. Q9450, $330
C. Wait for Nehalmn, $???

So which would you take:
1. Q6600, with 260GTX SLI................$187+$250x2 = $700 (approx)
2. Q9450 with 280gtx or 4870x2.........$330+$400 or $500 = $750-$800 (approx)...
3. Wait 2 months or longer for Nehalmn with (no new vid card looks imminent, so same as #2 I guess)

I'd like to have my machine built by mid October, mid Nov by the very latest... although if there is little to no benefit in waiting I'd like to build my machine now!

To simplify things, bottom line all I want is best gaming experience (don't want to get into fps vs. micro stuttering debate here), given the best cpu/gpu combo around $800, for say the newer strenuous games (i.e Crysis, Farcry 2, Fallout3 ..etc) - I know there are no benches yet, my point being I don't see the benefit in having 130fps in older games...

By the way thanks for all the advice and recommendations...

rh

reference:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115018
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819115042
http://www.nvnews.net/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=116536