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Hardware  » Upgrade CPU or GPU?

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52 posts found
  jusomdude

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/21/06
Posts: 2341

 
OP  8/22/12 9:10:53 AM#1

I have a llano a8-3850 for CPU, and AMD 4850 for GPU and was wondering what I should upgrade.

I can only get one or the other (CPU+MB or GPU.)

 

Just the llano alone has done pretty well for everything I've played except for GW2. I just put the 4850 in that I had sitting around to try to get some better performance but it didn't have much of an impact on WvW.

I've seen someone say they were getting significantly better FPS than me with the 4850 but with a much better CPU in WvW. So I think my system is limited by the CPU.

 

Anyways, if I were to upgrade my CPU I was looking at the i5-3570K. And if I were to upgrade my GPU I was looking at the AMD 7850 OC edition.

Thoughts?

  simonwest80

Novice Member

Joined: 4/07/11
Posts: 173

8/22/12 4:14:10 PM#2

Well for playing games both the CPU and GPU is not very good and in all honesty what ever you dont change may cause bottle necks depending on what you want to do.  I would offer a 3rd suggest which is:

AMD 960 BE

Mobo

ATI 7770

That shouldnt be much more than a 3570 and mobo

 

Unless you have plans of changing the other thing within the next couple of months

  Cleffy

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/09/04
Posts: 5502

8/22/12 5:01:24 PM#3

I think its going to come down to other components and system settings.  Not the CPU or GPU.  The reason why is because the gaming world has not made any leaps in the last 6 years.  When you are working with low spec games, you can use low spec hardware.

The CPU is a quad core above 2 ghz.  Thats all you need for nearly all games.  Only exception are Strategy games that will lean towards more then 4 cores.

The GPU is a good GPU for games today.  The only question to ask right now for a GPU is can it play Crisis?  The HD4850 can.

This leads me to believe your problem is with settings like its trying to use the internal gpu rather then the discrete gpu.  Or the memory clock is low.  Or the motherboard is low spec unable to make full use of your system, but I doubt that.  Or your PSU is not providing enough power to the GPU.

The 4850 was in the top tier range part 3 generations ago.  Its more like 2 generations ago because there was not much of a bump from the 6xxx series.  The HD7850 is a tier lower then the current top range.  It will be more comperable to the top range from 2 generations ago.  So it would not be a serious bump up.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13309

8/22/12 6:48:44 PM#4

The downside of Llano is that you basically can't upgrade the processor.  Llano is Socket FM1, and the only chip for that socket.  Its successor, Trinity, is Socket FM2.

Still, if a 2.9 GHz quad core isn't enough to run a game smoothly, then ArenaNet will find a rather smaller audience for their game than they were hoping for.  I sure hope this isn't a case of badly-coded syndrome that ruins a promising game.

What I'd recommend is that you wait until the game launches, and then try turning everything to hard minimum graphical settings.  It will probably look ugly, but it's just a test.  See if you're happy with the frame rates at minimum settings.  If not, then you may well have to replace the processor, which would mean getting a new motherboard, too, and that likely means a new OS license.  That rather defeats the point of going with Llano for a budget machine.

If you're happy with the frame rates at minimum settings, then you can start turning settings up.  Turn things up one at a time, and see if they cause a major frame rate hit.  Most graphical options put additional load on the video card, but not much on the processor.  You might find that the game runs fine, but only if you turn off one or two particular things that you were using before.

One quick test of whether you're processor-bound is to turn on anti-aliasing, as that doesn't touch the processor.  If turning on anti-aliasing doesn't budge your frame rate, and you're not already capped by vertical sync, then you're processor-limited at your current settings.  If turning on anti-aliasing drops your frame rate substantially, then you're limited by the video card.

If you can demonstrate that the video card is the problem, then a Radeon HD 7870 will roughly triple your graphical performance.  That probably won't let you get any higher of frame rates than you can right now on hard minimum settings, as a Radeon HD 4850 is a decently capable card.  But it will let you keep the same frame rates that you can get now on minimum settings, while turning graphical settings way up.

I realize that you said a 7850, not a 7870, but the price gap between them isn't very big.  $230 with no rebate:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161411

Or $240 with no rebate for a premium cooler on the card:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161404

HIS IceQ isn't as good as the premium coolers that some other vendors ship, but it is substantially better than a cheap cooler from any vendor, so it should be a nice card.  If it fits in your case.

For comparison, the cheapest 7850s on New Egg right now are over $210 before rebate.

  User Deleted
8/22/12 9:37:08 PM#5
Originally posted by Quizzical

The downside of Llano is that you basically can't upgrade the processor.  Llano is Socket FM1, and the only chip for that socket.  Its successor, Trinity, is Socket FM2.

Still, if a 2.9 GHz quad core isn't enough to run a game smoothly, then ArenaNet will find a rather smaller audience for their game than they were hoping for.  I sure hope this isn't a case of badly-coded syndrome that ruins a promising game.

What I'd recommend is that you wait until the game launches, and then try turning everything to hard minimum graphical settings.  It will probably look ugly, but it's just a test.  See if you're happy with the frame rates at minimum settings.  If not, then you may well have to replace the processor, which would mean getting a new motherboard, too, and that likely means a new OS license.  That rather defeats the point of going with Llano for a budget machine.

If you're happy with the frame rates at minimum settings, then you can start turning settings up.  Turn things up one at a time, and see if they cause a major frame rate hit.  Most graphical options put additional load on the video card, but not much on the processor.  You might find that the game runs fine, but only if you turn off one or two particular things that you were using before.

One quick test of whether you're processor-bound is to turn on anti-aliasing, as that doesn't touch the processor.  If turning on anti-aliasing doesn't budge your frame rate, and you're not already capped by vertical sync, then you're processor-limited at your current settings.  If turning on anti-aliasing drops your frame rate substantially, then you're limited by the video card.

If you can demonstrate that the video card is the problem, then a Radeon HD 7870 will roughly triple your graphical performance.  That probably won't let you get any higher of frame rates than you can right now on hard minimum settings, as a Radeon HD 4850 is a decently capable card.  But it will let you keep the same frame rates that you can get now on minimum settings, while turning graphical settings way up.

I realize that you said a 7850, not a 7870, but the price gap between them isn't very big.  $230 with no rebate:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161411

Or $240 with no rebate for a premium cooler on the card:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814161404

HIS IceQ isn't as good as the premium coolers that some other vendors ship, but it is substantially better than a cheap cooler from any vendor, so it should be a nice card.  If it fits in your case.

For comparison, the cheapest 7850s on New Egg right now are over $210 before rebate.

 

Ill be honest here, but my older (forgot the model number) 2.3 ghz intel quad core was never working full tilt during any game...

Im a firm believer that you almost always get oversold on the CPU when making a gaming rig, when the GPU is the most vital component and always the spot they skimp on when selling premade computers.  Really irks me to see a "gaming" rig with an i7 ivy and a gtx 550 being sold today (not 10 months ago)...and the sales rep will tell you its a monster gaming rig that will play any game on max when it probably wont play any new game on max.

 

I actually got an i5 for my new rig with a msi 680 and people in game laughed and said i was bottle necked at the cpu...and i just couldnt bare to respond...

 

Any advice i would give to anyone looking to upgrade their system is look at the GPU first (possibly an ssd if you need speed for programs) over getting a new over powerd CPU with multi threading that no game makes use of.

 

Youll see a major change in gaming preformance getting a 660 or 670 and chances are if you have an older gen amd or nvidia card you wont even need a power supply upgrade (though i would consider getting a new corsair psu to be safe)

  jusomdude

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/21/06
Posts: 2341

 
OP  8/23/12 12:40:23 AM#6

Thanks for the advice guys.

I can't get the 7870 since the new power supply I just bought only has 1 6 pin connector.

I thought I wouldn't need so much GPU power since I play at a pretty low resolution (1360x768)

 

I used core temp to check CPU usage and no core was maxed but they were all above 50%

 

I didn't get a chance to check it in a large scale WvW situation though, this was just in a PvE area.

 

Anyways, I'll fiddle with stuff at release, and if anytinng I'll try to stay away from larger scale WvW until I upgrade.

 

I think there wasn't much of a change between lowest graphics settings and auto detect is because most things with auto detect were already on low or medium.

The game runs absolutely fine outside of WvW. I kinda put blame on ANet for allowing so many people in WvW without proper character graphics options for poor performance.

  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 827

8/23/12 1:22:45 AM#7

 

While I can sympathize with those who don't have the ability to play a PC game beyond the low GFX level blaming a company who makes a game specifically to perform on a PC for not catering to that particular crowd is a bit much.  While it might be a stretch that’s like asking a government to base it's economical strategy to suite the poor.  

The reality is they allow for a minimum spec which gives access to the game but certainly isn't meant to have the same performance level in all situations.  At some point if you wish to cater to those who have extreme systems (I.E those who are willing to pay more for gaming in general) you have to set a certain standard that can only go so low in order to provide them their preferred gaming experience.

There are PLENTY of options for PC gamers without the required hardware for specific games.  The fact you choose a game that it beyond your systems ability is NOT the developers problem.

  bubaluba

Novice Member

Joined: 7/23/12
Posts: 464

8/23/12 1:27:15 AM#8
i have x4 640, radeon 6870, 8gb ddr3 and everything works nice and fast
  jusomdude

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/21/06
Posts: 2341

 
OP  8/23/12 1:29:33 AM#9

I think they will be finding themselves with a very small customer base if they don't improve performance. They haven't even released recommended specs yet, and it's 2 days from release... guessing it's because they're so rediculously high that it would push buyers away.

Many players are finding that they have to OC thier CPU just to get acceptable framerates in large scale WvW. And that's with top of the line CPUs.

Don't come in here acting like you're entitled because you have a higher end system.

  bubaluba

Novice Member

Joined: 7/23/12
Posts: 464

8/23/12 1:36:17 AM#10
Guys all that crap about performance is made by hardware companies and game developers so you must buy all the time new hardware. I could play on my old 4850  and dual core athlon all fps multiplayer games and even old cod 2 have much better graphic then any new mmo. Remember bad performance in swtor, why for heaven you need  580 gtx for that stone age graphic??? I have better performance in cod black ops multiplayer then in swtor  questing. Imagine now all that bussiness with gw2
  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 827

8/23/12 1:40:05 AM#11
Originally posted by jusomdude

I think they will be finding themselves with a very small customer base if they don't improve performance. They haven't even released recommended specs yet, and it's 2 days from release... guessing it's because they're so rediculously high that it would push buyers away.

Many players are finding that they have to OC thier CPU just to get acceptable framerates in large scale WvW. And that's with top of the line CPUs.

Don't come in here acting like you're entitled because you have a higher end system.

While I can't claim the performance levels on a lower level system from personal experience the VAST majority of complaints about performance I have seen are indeed from systems that simply aren't up for WvWvW, even though they can handle general PvE.  The fact is you can't compare the needed hardware for WvWvW to that of standard PvE.  In an evironment that has to account for a LOT of players that can have drastic unpredictable movement it will crushes systems not designed to deal with it.  This is NOT new to the MMO scene.

 

Furthermore, if you think ANET is that worried about those who aren't willing to spend money on gaming you apparently missed the entire business model they are based on, Box price PLUS CS.  If someone is willing to spend more on a system than minimum specs they are most likely more inclined to spend more in general.

  bubaluba

Novice Member

Joined: 7/23/12
Posts: 464

8/23/12 1:44:25 AM#12
Originally posted by miguksaram
Originally posted by jusomdude

I think they will be finding themselves with a very small customer base if they don't improve performance. They haven't even released recommended specs yet, and it's 2 days from release... guessing it's because they're so rediculously high that it would push buyers away.

Many players are finding that they have to OC thier CPU just to get acceptable framerates in large scale WvW. And that's with top of the line CPUs.

Don't come in here acting like you're entitled because you have a higher end system.

While I can't claim the performance levels on a lower level system from personal experience the VAST majority of complaints about performance I have seen are indeed from systems that simply aren't up for WvWvW, even though they can handle general PvE.  The fact is you can't compare the needed hardware for WvWvW to that of standard PvE.  In an evironment that has to account for a LOT of players that can have drastic unpredictable movement it will crushes systems not designed to deal with it.  This is NOT new to the MMO scene.

 

Furthermore, if you think ANET is that worried about those who aren't willing to spend money on gaming you apparently missed the entire business model they are based on, Box price PLUS CS.  If someone is willing to spend more on a system than minimum specs they are most likely more inclined to spend more in general.

Ah and why are all fps multiplayer games with 1000x better graphic working so smooth. Stop to deffend bad engine optimization, we all know what is the reason for that--To buy new hardware! How for heaven Tera work so nice and smooth in any sitiuation?  And it is maybe with Rift best looking mmo today

  jusomdude

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/21/06
Posts: 2341

 
OP  8/23/12 1:57:25 AM#13

Yeah, there's no reason the game should run as badly as it does on a near top tier AMD quad core. It has more to do with bad optimization than anytihng else.

I didn't have that big of problems with games like WAR that had just as many people fighting sometimes.

GW2 has better graphics, but I'm pretty sure it's more of a CPU issue since I've tried it with both integrated graphics and the 4850 with similar results.

  Cleffy

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/09/04
Posts: 5502

8/23/12 2:06:07 AM#14

Like I said, check your settings.  Your hardware should be plenty good enough for Guild Wars 2.  Its not your hardware, it has to be a bug making poor use of the APU or it has to be something like V-Sync.  It might also be malware in the background eating up processor.  When a core is overloaded its going to appear as 25% for a quad core system, 50% if the game makes use of 2 cores.

It is and always will be bad coding if a game does not operate on a modern midrange desktop cpu.

  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 827

8/23/12 4:09:07 AM#15

Again I am not here to argue one point or another regarding overall performance but to compare a FPS which is limited in its number of players in a map versus a MMO that allows for a significant more is a null statement.

 

It is a well documented fact they have some performance issues with GW2 with regards to CPU vs GPU at the moment.  If you aren't aware basically a higher clocked CPU (per core) will net you more performance than a more balance CPU/GPU combination.  That said in the end if ANET decides to optimize higher clocked CPU over GPU's or vice versa budget "gaming" systems will still have the same problems in the end.

 

A better CPU will in most cases require a new MB which usually equates to the same performance gain (and usually overall cost to replace, give or take) as a new GPU if you are talking about the same performance overall.

 

Debate all you like, the fact still remains trying to run a game on minimum or far from optimum specs will result in reduced game play when pushed on an engine trying to meet modern PC requirements.  There is NOTHING new about this.

 

There is bad programming (AoC, VG, EQ2, etc) examples out there but the reality is GW2 is FAR from one of them.  Better optimization is obviously something they should (dare I say, need to) work on but that doesn't mean they aren't meeting the expectations of their intended audience.  Case in point, if their competitors weren't worried about ANETs launch they wouldn't bother responding in the way they have.  Business decisions speak for themselves.

  jusomdude

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/21/06
Posts: 2341

 
OP  8/23/12 4:10:02 AM#16

Scanned with AVG and Malwarebytes and found nothing. So I guess that's not the problem.

 

I think they just need to handle large amounts of players in one area better. Need a better lod system or something.

  jusomdude

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/21/06
Posts: 2341

 
OP  8/23/12 4:20:49 AM#17

They need to man up and release recommended requirements instead of trying to win more customers with their minimum requirements that'll get players 5 fps.

Here's something to think about: WoW's recommended requirements are about the same as GW2's minimum requirements.

  miguksaram

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/29/03
Posts: 827

8/23/12 4:33:12 AM#18
Originally posted by jusomdude

They need to man up and release recommended requirements instead of trying to win more customers with their minimum requirements that'll get players 5 fps.

Here's something to think about: WoW's recommended requirements are about the same as GW2's minimum requirements.

Which may or may not be their end goal.  WoW's minimum requirements at LAUNCH, if you dare to compare to GW2, had the same issues (oh good ol'WoW world PvP for not reason other than to kill the otherside), shitty game load up, rather than effectively play.  I'm not trying be the bearer of bad news but the fact remains that the MAJORITY of gaming companies list specs that allow the game to play at listed specs.  These specs are not intended to be truly playable configurations but rather those which will allow the game to load and show off its GFX.

 

As I said in my OP, I do feel for those that have less than optimal specs (seriously) but the fact remains PC games are tempermental and simply can't be equated to one another from a performance level at release (no matter how much we as consumers would love to believe otherwise).  This the driving factor behind why so many companies prefer to, if not exclusively, release games for consoles.  It's simply easier to release a game on a platform that uniform.

 

But again this brings me back to my original point.  GW2 may not at launch, if ever, have minimal specs to compete with WoW.  And that is OK.  Certain games cater to certain audiences.  Whether or not every potential member of that audience likes it is totally irrelevant if the overall revenue speaks for itself.

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13309

8/23/12 8:51:32 AM#19
Originally posted by jusomdude

I can't get the 7870 since the new power supply I just bought only has 1 6 pin connector.

What power supply do you have?

  Quizzical

Guide

Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 13309

8/23/12 8:54:36 AM#20
Originally posted by miguksaram

WoW's minimum requirements at LAUNCH,

Part of the problem is that different games can mean rather different things by their minimum requirements.  At launch, WoW's minimum requirements listed 256 MB of system memory.  I tried to actually play it on a computer with 256 MB of system memory.  It wasn't until after I upgraded the computer that I learned that flight paths are supposed to show you actually flying smoothly between the endpoints, rather than having the screen freeze for most of your trip.  It once took me about 20 minutes to get from one place in Ironforge to another place in Ironforge, because the screen kept freezing and tossing me into a ditch.

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