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Question Will a Core 2 Duo E8400 bottleneck AMD Radeon R9 280?

Ashik549

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Nov 20, 2016
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I am upgrading my 10 years old pc. I'm severely tight on budget. My old system spec is -

CPU: Pentium Dual Core E5700
Motherboard: Asus P5-G41 TM LX
GPU: Radeon HD 5450
RAM: 2 GB

I have bought a Core 2 Duo E8400 for mere 6 dollars in my country. I am planning to buy a used 1/2 GB RAM with another 6-7 dollars so my total system memory will be 3/4 GB if I install a 64 bit OS.

Now I'm going to buy a Radeon R9 280 from a friend with 20-25 dollars. I'll need to buy a psu too. I'm planning to buy a Thermaltech LitePower 450 watt psu.

So my question is, will a Core 2 Duo E8400 (3 ghz, will overclock it to 3.3 ghz) bottleneck a Radeon R9 280? If it does then by how much? If I can at least squeeze out Radeon HD 7770 like performance then that'll be also okay.
And will the above mentioned psu can support this system?
Thank you.
 
Last edited:

King_V

Distinguished
There is no "how much bottleneck" - that's a concept you shouldn't have to worry about.

For a given combination of:
  • CPU
  • GPU
  • RAM
  • Monitor resolution
  • Monitor refresh rate
  • Which specific game you're playing
there is always going to be SOME weak point. With the same hardware, for one game, it might be the CPU that holds things back, or it might be the GPU, or it might be the amount of RAM, etc.

The GPU is definitely a big step up, and you will be able to run games at higher details than you could before. The upgraded CPU should also give you a boost, but I can't seem to find references to the D5700.

Don't get the LitePower.
The Thermaltake TR2 and Litepower series, even the newer revisions, should probably just be avoided altogether, along with the Smart series units, which are simply not good choices for use with gaming systems.
Take a look at the first two links in my signature for PSU recommendations.
 
Reactions: Ashik549
I think you are going to be disappointed on several fronts:

I do not see a D5700 processor; I assume you mean a E5700.
If so, while a E8400 may have a bigger number, it actually is an older processor that performs about the same as a E5700.
What is the make/model of your motherboard?
That will determine what your potential processor upgrades might be.
Some games actually require 4 threads to run.
You may need to look for a quad core upgrade to get any significant improvement.

What is the make/model of your current psu?
A R9-280 is an older and power hungry graphics card. It is a big upgrade over your current HD5450.
But, it needs more like a 550w psu .
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm
The psu looks like tier6 on this quality list:
A cheap psu can be dangerous; it can destroy all it is connected to if it should fail under load.

2gb of ram is too small.
Your motherboard will determine what ram upgrades are possible.
If you will have only 4gb, then you are better off with a 32 bit windows.
What is your current OS?

Try this test:

a) Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
This makes the graphics card loaf a bit.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

I understand severe budget issues.
You can likely benefit from added ram cheaply.
Almost any discrete graphics card that runs on slot power(only) will likely run on your current psu and be a sufficiently large improvement.
 
Reactions: Ashik549

Ashik549

Reputable
Nov 20, 2016
12
2
4,515
0
There is no "how much bottleneck" - that's a concept you shouldn't have to worry about.

For a given combination of:
  • CPU
  • GPU
  • RAM
  • Monitor resolution
  • Monitor refresh rate
  • Which specific game you're playing
there is always going to be SOME weak point. With the same hardware, for one game, it might be the CPU that holds things back, or it might be the GPU, or it might be the amount of RAM, etc.

The GPU is definitely a big step up, and you will be able to run games at higher details than you could before. The upgraded CPU should also give you a boost, but I can't seem to find references to the D5700.

Don't get the LitePower.


Take a look at the first two links in my signature for PSU recommendations.


Yes, I made a mistake. My previous CPU was E5700, not D. And I'll be running games on 1366*768 resolution.
Thank you for your PSU recommendation list. I myself wasn't that sure about the LitePower. From your PSU list, I can't afford any further than Corsair CV450 sadly. Will it be okay?
 
Last edited:

Ashik549

Reputable
Nov 20, 2016
12
2
4,515
0
I think you are going to be disappointed on several fronts:

I do not see a D5700 processor; I assume you mean a E5700.
If so, while a E8400 may have a bigger number, it actually is an older processor that performs about the same as a E5700.
What is the make/model of your motherboard?
That will determine what your potential processor upgrades might be.
Some games actually require 4 threads to run.
You may need to look for a quad core upgrade to get any significant improvement.

What is the make/model of your current psu?
A R9-280 is an older and power hungry graphics card. It is a big upgrade over your current HD5450.
But, it needs more like a 550w psu .
http://www.realhardtechx.com/index_archivos/Page362.htm
The psu looks like tier6 on this quality list:
A cheap psu can be dangerous; it can destroy all it is connected to if it should fail under load.

2gb of ram is too small.
Your motherboard will determine what ram upgrades are possible.
If you will have only 4gb, then you are better off with a 32 bit windows.
What is your current OS?

Try this test:

a) Run YOUR games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
This makes the graphics card loaf a bit.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

I understand severe budget issues.
You can likely benefit from added ram cheaply.
Almost any discrete graphics card that runs on slot power(only) will likely run on your current psu and be a sufficiently large improvement.


My motherboard is Asus P5-G41 TM LX. I looked for Q9650 but couldn't found better than Q6600 (Only 2.5 ghz). I am targeting mostly pre 2017 games, most of which AFAIK don't use more than 2 cores. I'll be using a 32 bit Windows 8.1 most probably, which will give me 3 GB of RAM at most.
 
Here is the cpu support list for your motherboard:

E5700 is a 2 thread processor with a passmark rating of 1073. That is when both threads are fully utilized.
The single thread rating is 1194.
The E8400 is not much of an upgrade with2 threads and a rating of 1160/1246.
Q9650 would seem to be your strongest upgrade. (4) 2372/1299.
If a Q6600(4) 1752/962 is the best available, I would go with that. My recollection is that the Q6600 processors could be reasonably well overclocked.

Your motherboard would support a 2 x 4gb ram kit.
 

King_V

Distinguished
Yes, I made a mistake. My previous CPU was E5700, not D. And I'll be running games on 1366*768 resolution.
Thank you for your PSU recommendation list. I myself wasn't that sure about the LitePower. From your PSU list, I can't afford any further than Corsair CV450 sadly. Will it be okay?
I would really strongly prefer to see a CX. That is the reliable budget PSU that I would trust. 450 would be enough with the CX model (make sure to get the 2017 version, it will have a 5 year warranty, and the model will be in black, NOT GREEN).

You can also do the CX-M. It's not quite as good, and really the CX would be preferred. From the second link in my sig, this is mentioned. From the CV series, jonnyguru only suggests the CV650 (not the 450 or 550).

Even then, the CX-M and the CV are in his "it will do, but I would never use them" list. If you must get a budget PSU, try to get the CX450. The 450W will be enough, even if you go with a 95W cpu. If you start dabbling in overclocking, though, then I would say get at least CX550.

Green label (AVOID) looks like this:


Black label (this is what you want) looks like this:
 
Reactions: Ashik549

Ashik549

Reputable
Nov 20, 2016
12
2
4,515
0
I would really strongly prefer to see a CX. That is the reliable budget PSU that I would trust. 450 would be enough with the CX model (make sure to get the 2017 version, it will have a 5 year warranty, and the model will be in black, NOT GREEN).

You can also do the CX-M. It's not quite as good, and really the CX would be preferred. From the second link in my sig, this is mentioned. From the CV series, jonnyguru only suggests the CV650 (not the 450 or 550).

Even then, the CX-M and the CV are in his "it will do, but I would never use them" list. If you must get a budget PSU, try to get the CX450. The 450W will be enough, even if you go with a 95W cpu. If you start dabbling in overclocking, though, then I would say get at least CX550.

Green label (AVOID) looks like this:


Black label (this is what you want) looks like this:

I will overclock my CPU but not that much. Highest ~3.5 ghz. Currently I've overclocked it at 3.3 ghz. There won't be any need to overclock the gpu I guess with this already old CPU.
 

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