More than dual core needed for gaming? Or not?

dennisresevfan

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I currently have an Intel Core 2 Duo E6700 2.66Ghz dual core processor. 1066FSB.

I've not had any major problems with games as yet, though STALKER and Supreme Commander run a bit slow. I cant really tell when a game is running slow due to the CPU or the Graphics card.

My system just suffered some damage due to bad installation of a power supply. I believe the damage was to the motherboard and graphics card only, but I can't be sure.

Anyway, basically my choice is either to get a replacement for the SKT-775 motherboard, and keep my processor and ram....

Or to get a new super awesome motherboard and get a processor upgrade while I'm at it. I was thinking of a Core i5 750 2.66Ghz quad.

Obviously the trouble is that doing so would result in me needing new RAM as well, and the end result would be expensive.

I think a roughly equivalent motherboard to the one I have now (ASUS SKT-775 P5B S/L), which is no longer possible to buy, it seems, would be something between £40 to £100.

I'd welcome a suggestion for a suitable board. I'm not looking for special features, just support for a single powerful graphics card for now (HD5970 or 5870, probably), and 4 slots for DDR2 800Mhz ram. FSB must be 1066Mhz or higher.
Must be available in the UK.


Now, as for the second option, I have already been recommended the following:
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/172755
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/180490
http://www.ebuyer.com/product/173537

377.14 pounds total.

If anyone thinks they know of a better motherboard for a similar or lower price, please let me know.

Otherwise, what I'd like to know is this.

Should I go for the upgrade, or should I just replace my motherboard with something roughly equivalent? I'm not sure how much games these days require a more powerful processor or DDR3 ram.

I'd like advice on whether or not a quad core processor is really any use for gaming yet. And just generally if the upgrade is worth that price. I can afford it, I just don't like the idea of wasting money. I won't get much for selling the old processor and ram on ebay.
 

dennisresevfan

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Uhoh. I just discovered some unwelcome information which might change things...

Apparantly the Core i5 will only let me run x8-x8 crossfire?

I wanted to use twin HD5870 cards some day (one at first).

Should I go for a Core i7 920 instead? It's quite a bit more expensive but I could get a whole bundle including an x58 motherboard and 6GB of ram for about £500. GPU would be seperate.
 
What exactly happened to you board that you think it got damaged? Depending on your budget you should look at an AMD phenom II x4 system the phenom II keeps up with the I7 in gamring for a hell of alot less money the I7 isn't all that great for gameing a good Phenom II system will hold its own against an I7. Then with the money saved get your dual 5870. A nice board for the AMD and supports x16 x16 is the ASUS crosshair III.
 

dennisresevfan

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Hm. I'll have a look at that. Thanks.

What happened to the board was that a pc repair guy stuck a pci-e power connector up the wrong hole. Specifically the EPS12V socket.

Presumably that caused a short.

Anyway, my graphics card was totally screwed afterwards. Kept resetting the system or causing freezes.

Replacing with a different and fully functional graphics card (8800GT replacing 8800GTX) improved matters, but didn't fix the system entirely. Previously the freezes were just while opening documents in Windows, and very occasionally in the bios or safe mode.
Now the freezing and resets only occurs when I either try to play a game or play a video.

What the problem is is rather mysterious. Supposedly all my components passed testing with some software called "PC check". Since it only has a problem when I do things that involve graphics, I'm thinking it's something related to the PCI-e slot or something that involves communication with the graphics card.

If you have any better ideas, let me know. I tried opening a 500mb rar file to see if the cpu would crash during that, but it was fine. Surely there's no need to test the ram again if PC check said it was ok.

Anyway, anyone else have a point of view about the processor?

Do I even need a better one yet?
 
Wekk i use my E8200 which is also a dula core i have it overclocked to 3.8 ghz and it will run everything i play no problems. Most games out only take advantage of 2 cores but most if not all games will start useinf quad cores to there full potential so with that being said you would prob be fine with that processor for another year but if you have to replace motherboard there is no sence of staying with a socket 775 you might as well go with a newer system eithier the I5 or a Phenom II. Now if you are really tight on cash and you sure a new motherboard will fix your proble you could replace it with this to get you by til you get enough cash for a real upgrade.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/191052

This will be a good board for time being and will overclock your older 65nm duo to atleast 3.4ghz no problem which will greatly improve your gaming experience.
 

unknown_13

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+1 to that

There is a very good amd mobo that supports x16/x16 like this one:

MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130223&cm_re=790FX-_-13-130-223-_-Product

add PII X4 955 to that, some DDR3 mem. and a nice HD 5870 and you'll have a flawless gaming rig:)
 

dennisresevfan

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Well, the MSI motherboard looks good for a Phenom, but the Phenom performs worse than a Core i5 on some benchmarks, and certainly worse than the i7 on most. Worth a thought though. It would allow x16 dual crossfire with no problems, right?

I notice it still sucks for quad crossfire though, since it says for quad, the speeds would be x8, not x16.

The motherboard from ebuyer is a weird one... Socket 775 is the same as mine, but it only supports DDR3 ram? No good, I'm afraid. My ram is DDR2 800Mhz. And why does it only have two ram slots? Seems odd for DDR3.
 
Well you obviously have your mind made up not sure why you asking us if you dont like what we tell you

Heres a bench mark between a Phenom II x4 965BE and an I5

http://www.anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=102&p2=109&c=1

Now the phenom holds its own and beats it in a couple things as for the gameing benchs thats for a single card you put an I5 750 next to a Phenom II x4 965BE with dual 5870 the Phenom with its x16 x16 graphics support will tear apart the I5.

Also these benchmarks tend to favor intels better in real world use the AMD might even beat an I5 750

Now for the crosshair II being x8 in quad crossfire mode do you honestly think your gonna do a quad GPU setup i mean cmon not many people have them setups and the ones that do don't even utilize that power.
 

unknown_13

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Like Sailleo said you won't need a x16/x16/x16/x16 quad crosfire

And if you wanna x16/x16 on Intel platform you HAVE to go with X58 and Core i7 and tripple DDR3 will cost you like hell if compared to phenom II x4 955/ dual DDR3/ X16/X16 Xfire

I suggest going for AMD
 

dennisresevfan

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Nah, I'm probably never going to even attempt quad crossfire. I just found it strange how they were trying to claim the board is capable of it when in actual fact you'd have trouble doing it with newer gpus. Then again I always thought quad crossfire was a huge waste of money for very little performance gain anyway.

Yeah, the AMD system sounds good for saving some cash... Hmm. I'll think about it. Money isn't in short supply, but then again I don't have a job right now. Might be best to go for that.

Or possibly to wait a while for the upgrade.

What's rather annoying at the moment is I can't seem to find an SKT-775 motherboard that supports all my ram sticks. That one you just linked to seems good in every way but one. It only has two ram slots. I have 4 ram sticks. I'd end up using only 2GB of my 4GB of ram.

Do you know of one with 4 slots? It could cost a little more as I may be able to get the guy who damaged the old motherboard to buy the new one.
 

dennisresevfan

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Hey, I think I may have found the source of my confusion. You said an AMD Phenom II X4. But there's more then one of those! I probably saw a benchmark for the wrong one.

Which did you mean?
There seem to be three on here alone.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/phenom-x4-965,2389-5.html

The 965 O/C 3.8Ghz
The 965 BE 3.4Ghz
The 965 BE 3.2 Ghz.

Or is the top one just the one below it overclocked? I don't really know my way around AMD processor types.
 
The top one is just the 965 overclocked which is quite easy to achieve anyone can do it with a 15 min read of a overclocking guide. As you see in those benchs the AMD beats the I7 in a few of those and is not far behind in the others. The only real advantage the I7 has is the triple channel Ram which does not yield that much extra performance. So IMO for a gaming rig AMD is the way to go rite now until games really start takeing advantage of useing the 8 threads an I7 has its a waist of money at the moment for a gaming rig.


Found this Gigabyte MoBo i used to have this one its a decent board and it will allow a good overclock of your present CPU.

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/165987
 

duk3

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The top one is just the one below it overclocked.
And x8 slots are only a 2%-4% performance difference vs x16 slots. Not much of a loss.
 

jesmoke

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For most games a good AMD CPU will be about equal to a Core i7. Very few games can take advantage of a Core i7 at this point in time so AMD is a good choice to save your hard earned cash.
 

dennisresevfan

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Hey guys, I just found a bundle deal on ebuyer

http://www.ebuyer.com/product/196584

•AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition 125W Processor and Cooling fan
•Asus M4A79XTD EVO AM3 Motherboard
•GEIL 4GB DDR3 1333 CL7 Black Dragon Memory
•Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64 Bit
•Colin Mcrae Dirt 2

I was thinking of getting windows 7 so this might be a good deal...

What do you think of the price? And the motherboard and ram, for that matter?

And I just saved that Gigabyte motherboard to my favourites list. That's exactly what I was looking for if I stay with this system for now! Nice one.
 

dennisresevfan

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Oh goddamit, ok, forget that, that motherboard is useless. Apparantly if I use one PCI-e 2.0 slot as x16, the other is x0.

I need one with two slots at x16 and x16. Any suggestions?
 

dennisresevfan

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Aha, built in X-fi? My friend has an X-fi card and it's giving him serious problems with sound in windows 7. Any idea if that would be the case with a built in one?
 

Raidur

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Fyi the difference between an 8x and 16x slot for a 5870 is around 2% and sometimes nothing.

Tbh i5 is the better route if you can afford it. You'll bottleneck a phenom ii before reaching 16x let alone 8. :p

I paid $250 for my lga755 16x/16x and I'm wishing I didnt with how well 8x/8x is holding up.
 


he is right x8 is only a cple percent difference in performance. I love intel and all but the price you pay for an I5 rig just dosent make sence to me for a gameing rig and as for bottlenecking dual 5870 i highly doubt that. The 965BE will OC to 3.8 4 ghz without missing a beat and will noway bottleneck dual 5870s on the crosshair III board i just posted.
And with AMDs 6 core comeing out soon which will drop right into this board it will smack the crap out of an I5.
 

Raidur

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Oh I wasn't saying Phenom II would be bottlenecked by 2 5870s, especially when OCed that chip can take them.

I was saying that the Phenom II would be bottlenecked before the time the 16x bandwidth itself is bottlenecked.

The thing about 6 cores is... games are barely using 4 cores (even then dual cores keep up) and quads have been out for quite some time now.

If it was me and I had the budget I'd go i7 and get the whole pie.

AMD is still a good choice if BD drops in to those.