ATI vs nVidia- which will benefit more from a CPU upgrade?

Discussion in 'Video Cards' started by Direfox, Mar 20, 2012.

  1. Direfox

    Direfox [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,947
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    No, this is NOT a flame bait post, so please dont start yelling and screaming at each other. Here is my situation. I have the current rig in my sig with a just a couple differences.

    q9550 at 3.5 with a thermaltake v1
    GA-P45T-ES3G mobo
    16 gigs ram (will be 8)
    gtx 480 (instead of the toxic 6950)
    PC Power and Cooling 750 quad

    Parts are ordered for a new build, and my family will be using both computers. New build is-

    2500k with a xigmatek s1283v dark night (hoping for 4 to 4.4 oc)
    GIGABYTE GA-Z68XP-UD3P
    16 gigs ram
    Seasonic x750
    Dell u2412m 1920x1200 (dont have this ordered yet, I will be using a 1080p monitor for now)
    and either the gtx 480 or the 6950 toxic- whichever one I use will be moderately overclocked - and the other one used in the older rig will also be moderately overclocked.

    So my question is which card will benefit MORE from the 2500k, the gtx 480 or the 6950 toxic? The other card will be used in the old rig. Some of the games that will be played are Skyrim, SWTOR, maybe Mass Effect 3, and anything new that comes out (come one stalker 2 and thief 4). I have no plans on any other upgrades besides SSD drives for both computers sometime in the future. Both computers will be used heavily and will be playing many of the same games, so just sticking the faster card in the new machine isn't really important. I have no plans on SLI or Xfire at this time.
     
  2. Gordo74

    Gordo74 Gawd

    Messages:
    759
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    I'd say the 6950 based on the power consumption and heat..

    But I'd sat GTX 480 for performance.

    I'd say 6950 for games with tesselation and DX11.

    I'd say GTX480 for everything else.
     
  3. Runt.

    Runt. Gawd

    Messages:
    567
    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    The higher the resolution the more video RAM you need available so if the 6950 is a 2GB then hook it up with the 1920x1200 monitor and the 480 to the 1080p monitor :D
     
  4. NanoHavoc

    NanoHavoc Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    302
    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2012
    Honestly, I don't think there will be any bottle necking with any setup. Both setups should really be able to handle any games out right now with flying colors.
     
  5. Skripka

    Skripka [H]ardForum Junkie

    Messages:
    12,686
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Depends greatly on the game. Given my 6970 2GB and 5300x1050 resolution:

    Mass Effect3 for example doesn't at default-max-everything like to use more than 900MB of RAM...versus Skyrim at max defaults eating everything I have.
     
  6. Direfox

    Direfox [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,947
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    Your most likely right. I'm kind of OCD about this type of thing though! :D I can try it both ways, but thats a lot of driver shuffling.
     
  7. LigTasm

    LigTasm 2[H]4U

    Messages:
    3,416
    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2011
    Nvidia cards are typically less forgiving of CPU horsepower than AMD cards (obviously they will all have problems if the mismatch is too large). For a single card though I think your C2Q might be fine with either.
     
  8. Yakk

    Yakk [H]ardness Supreme

    Messages:
    5,816
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    Can't fine it right now, but I believe [H] had done an article about this a while ago...
     
  9. Direfox

    Direfox [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,947
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    I thought they did too, but couldn't find it. I don't feel bottlenecked in games with my q9550, but if there is a little more performance to be had, no reason not to put the 'less forgiving' card in the 2500k build.
     
  10. Falling Anvil

    Falling Anvil [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,571
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2007
    IIRC Tom's Hardware(I know, I know) did an article trying to run high end cards on lower end machines and found that Nvidia cards tended to be bottlenecked significantly more by slower CPUs than their comparable AMD counterparts for some reason.
     
  11. Direfox

    Direfox [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,947
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004

    Found it, its a two part (part one, part two) article and is pretty interesting. Seems like on most things once you get to 2 cores with 3 ghz very close to maximum. Even Metro 2033 and a few of the other more modern titles dont benefit much. Of course they are using a gtx 460, so its going to have its limits anyway.
     
  12. Solomutt

    Solomutt Limp Gawd

    Messages:
    200
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    My experience has always been that, as of 4800 series (that I noticed) AMD cards seem to offload the processor more. This actually synchs with NV's strong desire to maintain a frame rate lead, even at the expense of picture quality then, and (it seems) processor loading now.
    With the exception of the new post-process(morph AA, etc) anti-aliasing, ATI/AMD has always had better real time image quality, in my experience. At this stage of the game, resolutions are so high on most gaming desktops that, unless you are running a 30" plus monitor, I wouldn't see a need for any anti-aliasing. The blurring is always there, and, as we get higher resolutions, and more details in the source fed to the card, I wouldn't want to lose any.
    On the latter note, if monitor sizes continue to climb, and people still sit close, AA might be on some folks' list.
     
  13. BlockheadBrown

    BlockheadBrown n00bie

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2010
    Thank you for this.
     
  14. gigiba

    gigiba [H]Lite

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Personally, I will go with Nvidia 480GTX.
     
  15. Sodalink

    Sodalink [H]Lite

    Messages:
    120
    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    I agree to this. When I got a 480 for $160 I couldn't be any happier with the performance, but I did not like the heat. Still it wasn't that bad since my case has very good air flow(Phanom).
     
  16. RECON-UK

    RECON-UK n00bie

    Messages:
    11
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2012
    A GTX 480 will eat most games alive up to 2560x1600.
    These cards were made specifically for higher res gaming at the time of release.
    The Vram may be limiting in a few titles such as, ARMA II/ GTA IV/ Metro 2033 with DOF and 4xAA at 2560x1600 res.
    Not alot else will make a 480 struggle with regards to Vram.

    However the good alternative to a 480 is a 6970 not a 6950.
    2GB is handy but the gpu on the 6950 will run out of puff before you can fully utilise it's memory.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2012
  17. Direfox

    Direfox [H]ard|Gawd

    Messages:
    1,947
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    True, but this is a 6950 Toxic, and its unlocked to 6970 plus I can put a pretty good overclock on it if I need to.