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  1. #1
    Joined
    Jan 2009
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    5

    I have a decision to make

    Ok so here's the situation I'm in at the moment.

    Right now, I have an i7 950. I have two choices on an upgrade.

    I can either upgrade my graphics card from a GTX470 to a GTX580...

    OR, I can upgrade my CPU from the i7 950 to the i7 2600.

    The later will be much cheaper for me and I can do it now. The former I will have to wait about a month or so.


    So, my questions is, is it worth upgrading my CPU or my GFX card? I mostly play WoW, gonna play D3 when it comes out, and I do a lot of video editing and encoding.

    Most Blizzard games are more CPU oriented, so upgrading the GFX card might not be the best idea and could save me a huge amount of cash.

    On the other hand, the CPU upgrade is not that much and I don't know the performance gains would be worth the money. I've heard somewhere in the range of 10-15% better performance. The ability to freely overclock the CPU easily to 4GHZ is nice. I'll be buying a new fan/heatsink as well, if I go for the CPU upgrade.


    Ok guys, what do you think? CPU or GPU?


    Current system:

    i7 950
    Asus Rampage II Extreme MB
    12GB Corsair Dominator
    128GB Kingston SSD
    550Watt PSU CoolerMaster

    Everything is running stock atm.

  2. #2
    Joined
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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    6,010

    Re: I have a decision to make

    I think you would see the biggest change in the processor.

    A little personal experience:

    I have a GTX 580 and a i7 2600k. I've had a lot of problems with my GTX 580 (don't buy one from ZOTAC if you do get one) and I had to swap it out for my GTX 480 for a bit, and I actually didn't notice much of a difference. I could still run games at 1080p with most of the bells and whistles.

    I know you have a 470, not a 480, but the new Intel Sandy Bridge processors are really something and I think you'd see the biggest bang for your buck there.

  3. #3
    Joined
    Feb 2004
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    Janesville, Wi
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    5,910

    Re: I have a decision to make

    I'd save some money, and just OC what you have now.

    You would be moving from a 4 core hyperthreaded chip to another 4 core hyperthreaded chip.

    The clockspeed advantage you could possibly get from sandy-bridge just doesn't justify it in my mind. The only justification i see is the quicksync (video transcoding) stuff in SB

    Additionally you would need a new motherboard with the processor change. Personally I'd still keep what you have; and overclock it.


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  4. #4
    Joined
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5

    Re: I have a decision to make

    Well, that's one for the CPU and one for not doing a thing and overclocking.

    problem with the overclocking is that I've heard you can only get a few hundred MHZ as where the 2600K will give me the most overclocking potential.

    I should have specified in my original post that I meant the 2600K. Sorry about that.

  5. #5
    Joined
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    366

    Re: I have a decision to make

    Well, a i7 2600K will not net you all that much performance in most applications. Sure, the 2600K benchmarks a lot better, but in actual gameplay and everyday use... your i7 950 is still a smokin fast processor. I personally would not think that it is holding you back, and a i7 2600K would certainly not be a huge jump for you.

    On the graphics side the GTX 470 is still a really solid card. I think it likely is running all your games fine. Spending $500 on a GTX 580 will again not net you a whole lot, except if you run games which totally fills up the 1.2 GB of memory on the 470 and the 1.5 GB 580 would handle it a bit better. Even then I would just hold off and see how the HD 7970/7950 compares to the upcoming NVIDIA parts to be released this spring.

    If you absolutely can't wait though, I would say that a graphics card upgrade would give you a more visceral experience in "hey, this is noticeably faster".

  6. #6
    Joined
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Janesville, Wi
    Posts
    5,910

    Re: I have a decision to make

    Quote Originally Posted by Semus View Post
    <snip>

    problem with the overclocking is that I've heard you can only get a few hundred MHZ as where the 2600K will give me the most overclocking potential.
    Really ?

    Look at the "my system" dropdown.

    I went from 3.07 GHz to 4.03 GHz on my 950.


  7. #7
    Joined
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    5

    Re: I have a decision to make

    Quote Originally Posted by mmettin View Post
    Really ?

    Look at the "my system" dropdown.

    I went from 3.07 GHz to 4.03 GHz on my 950.
    Again, it's just what I heard. It's not gospel by any means. Yes, that's a great overclock.

    Unfortunately, I cannot see your system drop down. Could be either a google chrome issue or my addblock.

    Either way, it's a very good overclock and I am going to assume that this is with aftermarket cooling? If so, which heat sink did you choose?

  8. #8
    Joined
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Janesville, Wi
    Posts
    5,910

    Re: I have a decision to make

    It's a chrome issue in regards to not being able to see the dropdown

    And yes, any system I've ever had, the OEM heatsink goes into the trash. At present I'm using the Thermalright Venomous X. (on both the 950 as well as another on my 2600K)

    I'm thinking of going with the Corsair H100 at some point in the future


  9. #9
    Joined
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Central NJ
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    10,660

    Re: I have a decision to make

    +1 for keeping the CPU. mmettin and I have the same system and I'm running my 950 at 4.06ghz as well with a venomous X. I'd hold out for a new GPU


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  10. #10
    Joined
    Jul 2004
    Location
    NYC
    Age
    48
    Posts
    9,723

    Re: I have a decision to make

    well If my backup system keeps acting up I'll be getting the MicroCenter I5200K $50 off mobo deal. I'm only running the I7-930 with SLI 460's OC. I'd probably be an almost lateral move for me so I wouldn't spend the $$ unless I need the 2nd rig replaced.
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  11. #11
    Joined
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    366

    Re: I have a decision to make

    Considering your overclock... you would probably be happy with a GPU upgrade in the near future...

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