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[Toms's] CPU vs GPU upgrade: extensive tests

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
The idea of this article is relly superbe, it gives you a base gaming platform and analyses what would be the most FPS-friendly upgrade: the GPU or the CPU. Rarely a review has so much common sense, read on to see why.

The tests changes VID cards from the old 6800 Ultra, the mainstream 9600GT and the current nVidia high-ends. The CPUs are Intels from the cheapo Pentium Core to a nice powerfull quad. It may not contain AMD/ATI parts, but one can make an educated guess from those numbers what would be the tendency in that case.

Tom's review
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post #2 of 33
Very interesting info. These tests show that a GPU upgrade makes the biggest difference in gaming, however if the GPU is not backed by a decent CPU it won't do as well as it could.
post #3 of 33
nice find!
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post #4 of 33
Good article. I will say, though, I think of PC upgrades in terms of overall performance and not exclusively in games. Since I do many other things while I game, I think the CPU is taxed a bit more than by gaming alone. Also, most of the threads I see of people wanting to upgrade, already have a C2D or an 8 series card anyway. I don't think there is anyone out there with a P4 and 6800GT that thinks one or the other will make drastic difference in performance, but I could be wrong.
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post #5 of 33
Thread Starter 
This is an enthusiast's forum and the members have generally pretty powerfull rigs quite oftem with C2D/AM2 and dx10 class VID cards, but the usefullness of the article lies somewhere else in my oppinion. There may be more than one that has a C2D and a GF8 and wanting to upgrade, this may be an article that shows them one side of the coin: how to gain the max FPS with minimum $$$.

The other side is that obviously there's more to PC than gaming for some, it may be also the sound quality, the color gamut of the LCD, the silence or even reliability - MTBF of the rig in general.

From the casual's gamer perspective it's a good article tho. I'm under the impression that Tom's HW may make a good return as a hardware site, it had gotten pretty low in the past. Cheers to a much awaited comeback, eh?
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post #6 of 33
the Pentium dual cores can OC like crazy and end up as powerful as a 2.6-2.8ghz Core2duo so why upgrade when you can OC?


Good lil guide though nice find
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post #7 of 33
This leaves me seriously confused now. I don't know whether to go for a Q6600 or another 9600GT for my next upgrade. It was a good article, but the pathetic 2.4Ghz overclock they had on the E2160 was disappointing. It would have been great to have an E2160, E6750, E8400, Q6700 and Q9450 all at the same clock and then shown the difference in gaming frames per second.

Overall not a bad read but it seems that Tom's Hardware is catering more for the casual crowd rather than the enthusiast crowd these days.
post #8 of 33
Another 9600GT would give you much more gaming performance than moving to a quad core.

I recently went from an E2140 at 400x8 to an E8400 at 500x8 (meaning 800MHz more, higher IPC, and six times the L2 cache), and quite frankly, the difference in games is pretty small. I was far more limitied by a an 8800GTS 512 with a 20% OC than by my E2140.
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post #9 of 33
Wow I didn't realise bottlenecks were that tight! I think my cpu is just about perfect for my card luckily.
post #10 of 33
Duh?

This is completely obvious...
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