CPU vs. Graphics Card for Gaming

Awk76

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Sep 20, 2006
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So would it be better in terms of playing games, on a gaming computer, now and in the future, e.g. Starcraft 2, Diablo 3 to have:

GTX 295 + Core 2 Duo 8500
4870 x1 + i7 920

I find even a Q9550 with the GTX 295 would work out to be cheaper b/c or the overhead associated with the more expensive MB and RAM that goes with a i7.
 

foolycooly

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As of now, the GTX 295 + E8500 would blow the 4870 + 920 out of the water. It's hard to say when programmers will begin optimizing games for more cores and it really depends on what you mean by "and in the future."

If you're looking to build a gaming PC, you should NOT skimp on the GPU in a trade off for a faster processor (within reason). If the rig is purely for gaming, you will generally be better off going with a 775 processor and a high end GPU than a high end CPU and a lower end GPU.
 

Awk76

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That's kind of what I was thinking. The Q9550 + GTX 295 is in my budget though, so I was thinking of getting that over the E8500 + GTX 295....I figure this might buy me a little more longevity in the gaming market when programmers do start coding for multiple CPUs. Your thought?
 

foolycooly

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Sounds like a good plan, however you should be aware that the E8500 might overclock higher (per core) and therefore slightly outperform the Q9550 in terms of gaming. I'm not sure how big the difference will be on.

On the flip side, I believe games like GTAIV and FSX will run much better on a quad core setup. I think if the i7 is not in your budget that going with the Q9550 is an ok choice. Someone will have to confirm though as I don't pretend to be an expert.

Someone might also suggest the Q6600 as I believe it is overclockable to near the same levels as the 9550 for cheaper.
 

Awk76

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Ahhh...I should have mentioned that before. I don't think I'l be overclocking. I haven't done it before......Don't know how comfortable I am doing it. Maybe I'll read all those "how to's" one day and figure it out. Thanks.