TechSpot

CPU vs GPU

By AKirru
Dec 15, 2005
  1. Hi,

    I have some money to spend on some new PC stuff (max £250 student)

    Erm atm my system is starting to show its age:

    2400XP
    NV7-133R nforce board
    1 gig 2600 mem
    Saphire 9700

    At the moment I mostly play CS:source / SWG (both run poorly unless I turn everything down)

    I was wondering would I be better investing in something like a 6800GT or x800Pro for the time being. Or leave my graphics card and update my CPU to something like a 3000+ X64 (which probably means I'll really have to stretch my budget).

    Of course I want to update everthing eventually, but for the time being I just want to see a boost in performance in respective games.

    Many Thanks
    Andy
     
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    Getting a decent agp card would be a good step up for you. Getting a new amd64 cpu would also necessitate a new motherboard as well, and be a lot more work than just adding a gpu.
    Here, you can compare your cpu to a 3000+ a64.
    http://www23.tomshardware.com/index.html?modelx=33&model1=64&model2=85&chart=25
    It would be a good jump to go from a xp 2400+ to a 3000+ a64, but it would require a new motherboard.

    Here's what a jump from a 9700 to a 6800gt would be.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/2004/10/04/vga_charts_iv/page10.html
     
  3. Candyman

    Candyman TS Rookie

    Gpu

    My suggestion would be GPU given your budget, gameplay, and specs. The GPU is your bottleneck in CS right now, IMO.

    I just redid my whole system similar to yours from a P4 2.4G 512ram and 9700 pro to a AMD64 3000+ 1gb ram 7800GT DFI Nforce 4 MB. If you get a 16pipe card w/ 256 gddr like a 6800gt series in AGP you will see a bigger jump than you would in a cpu alone.

    Although, since AGP is being phased out you will eventually have to replace your mobo to run pci-express which means a new card, new ram DDR400 or DDR2 667+, new cpu maybe on top of that....basically you will need to get a whole new system when you get some ca$h :) .

    See what other modders have to say, but I think they will tell you the same thing.
     
  4. AKirru

    AKirru TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    Thanks for your replies guys.

    I think I'll go with a new card such as the 6800 GT 256 for the time being.
    At some later date when I come into some cash I'll probably build a new system.
     
  5. Kev_Boy

    Kev_Boy TS Rookie Posts: 30

    I'd wait until you have enough money for everything.

    You wouldn't want to throw away a good AGP card a couple months from now because you'll upgrade to a PCI Express motherboard. Now, I do believe there are AGP socket 939 boards out there, but it's best to just wait, even though there aren't any performance benefits it'll make upgrading your GPU in the future easier than the pickle we're in now ;)

    - Get a socket 939 board with PCI Express, no need for SLI. Chipsets this generation appear to be similar in performance and features.
    - Buy a 6800GS videocard because these equal the GTs and are only 200$!
    - And get yourself a 3500+ A64 or one of those new 939 Opterons if you want a little more risky purchase; The short story is that these are cheaper than comparable A64s and better, but something went on, either just a slip-up in pricing or something's actually fawlty about them.

    Ok, now.. after all this 'buy buy buy' talk, you can keep your memory :p
     
  6. barney_3d

    barney_3d TS Rookie Posts: 30

    you forgot Physics chips like the Ageis chip boards its not all CPU/GPU :approve:
     
  7. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    To get a new board, cpu, and video card, it will be at least L300.
    What you could do is get a 6800gt agp now, then when you upgrade to a new system, still use the 6800gt by getting a board like this that supports both agp and pci-e graphics.
    http://www.asrockamerica.com/Products/939DSATA2.htm
    6800gs isn't available in agp yet, but should be soon.
     
  8. AKirru

    AKirru TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    Thanks for that info dude :approve:

    I think I'll go for the 6800 GS

    Then eventually get one of those asrock boards etc and update my cpu

    Andy
     
  9. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 841

    I realy like my AsRock. I want to get a 6800gs too. Some of the ATi x800gto's can outperform it, with some tweaking.
     
  10. Arcanum

    Arcanum TS Rookie Posts: 202

    Good choice really,
    in your case, the best thing to upgrade would be the graphics card.

    6800 GS comes just under 200$ and it performs in a 6800GT range, somewhere quicker, somewhere slower (its all in 3-4% max), but the main thing is it's cheaper!

    That way, you'll get a decent upgrade and still have some cash to spend on games and whatnot.

    Also ASrock MoBos, maybe arent the king when it comes to overclockability/performance, but from what I've seen and heard, they're great, and the option to upgrade from K7 to K8 , or from Socket754 to 939 is just great for those people that have a budget to look out for.
     
  11. satchmo

    satchmo TS Rookie Posts: 129

    If you're planning to upgrade the CPU within the next six months, I would save some money and get the whole mobo and GPU upgrade at the same time. You don't want to get a nice graphics card but then have to waste it because of an PCI-e slot on your mobo six months later.

    Otherwise, go for the graphics card.
     
     
  12. barney_3d

    barney_3d TS Rookie Posts: 30

    i'd say quite often a GPU gives more direct benefit then a CPU
     
  13. werty316

    werty316 TS Rookie Posts: 246

    Especially with todays games.
     
  14. AKirru

    AKirru TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    How about this?

    Hightech X800GTO IceQ II Turbo 256MB PCI-e - £130
    or a Leadtek GeForce 6800 GS - £170

    Gigabyte K8NS nForce3 - around £50
    Sempron 2800+ - £53

    The I was gonna overclock it :hotbounce

    Will my memory hold me back? .. should I get some new stuff?
     
  15. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 841

    Best thing about some(not all) x800gto's is flashing the BIOS will unlock all 16 pixel piplines, from 12. See this review,
    http://wwww.vr-zone.com/print.php?i=2891
    Flashes and OCs to a x800xt. I herd that the Connect3d wont unlock to 16 any more. I think all the GTO2's still will.

    If it works you have a card thats better then a 6800gs. If not just flash back to the x800gto BIOS., and you have a card that cost less than the 6800gs.
     
  16. AKirru

    AKirru TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    Yeah thats what I was thinking dude .. only thing that sways me towards the GS is HDR and SM 3.0.

    Think the cpu is a good choice for clocking that mobo and my 2600 mem?
     
  17. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 841

    You need Nforce4 for PCI-e, Nforce3 is AGP, and junk for the most part. I dont know of any 754 or socket A pci-e mobos. So no Semproms. You need more like ;
    Chaintach VNF4, or Asrock Dual Sata2 for mobo and,
    3000+, or 3200+ Vinice for CPU,
    Your memory should work, but for better perfomance with one of these PC3200 is in order.--WOW starting to look nice!

    Better just look at AGP...
     
  18. AKirru

    AKirru TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    Thanks for pointing that out .. I wonder if the Hightech X800GTO IceQ II comes in AGP? ..hehe


    sempron 2800+ (if I get the GTO it will give me way more money to spend on cpu) 3000+ x64 looks tempting though and its within my reach if I go for the GTO.

    AGP mobo
    6800 GS or I could get a x800GTO AGP and hope the bios update works.
    Still a nice card without it though for the price.
     
  19. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 841

    I don't think BIOS flashing is going to work with a AGP. Sapphire makes X800GTO agp. I've not seen and 6800gs in AGP.

    Your Radeon 9700 is not all that bad of card, maybe the AsRock and CPU now, video card and memory latter would be a good upgrade path?
     
  20. AKirru

    AKirru TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    Thanks for all of you help man !! :wave:

    You are right ..hehe

    for the time being:

    ASRock 939Dual-SATA2
    3000+(or maybe a 3200 ..hehe) x64 athlon
    is for me.

    Thanks for staying through all my posts :grinthumb
     
  21. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 841

    I hope you like it, this is my rig:

    Asrock 939 Dual Sata2
    3200+ Venice DH-E3 at 2.60ghz (had it faster but crashed folding, that's hard work)
    OCZ Gold PC4000 VX at 216mhz(need Vdimm mod. to get it to speed)
    Radeon 9200-Saving for PCI-e (realy like to win one of those 7800gt's!)
    FSP 450 ATX2 PSU
    on and on.... :giddy:
     
  22. AKirru

    AKirru TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    Nice rig dude :approve:

    I'm depending on one of those 7800s too :haha:

    How is that memory? (nice overclock btw, I guess my mem wont get me thouse kinda speeds :eek: )
     
  23. Mirob

    Mirob TechSpot Paladin Posts: 841

    It is one of the best 2x512 kits you can buy, but needs more volts than my AsRock has(I'll fix that soon.) With the 2.7 I've had it to 240 2-3-2-11, but need the devider(4:5) for this clock. It's rated 2-2-2-5, DDR500 at 3.3v.

    You can still get good clocks with PC2700, but need lower deviders. Memory bandwidth will bottleneck your performance overall. Hope you have two matching sticks as dual chanel helps 939 alot more than it did socket A. People say deviders don't realy hurt AMD's 939s, I say it's not true. Benchmarks show big a difference.

    I like my rig so far. I need a video card bad, and a bigger hard drive. I want a better CPU cooler then I can Vmod my Vcore and try for 3ghz! :D
     
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