One last Upgrade?

MightyMatt

Gawd
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Dec 23, 2006
Messages
532
Okay, I understand this thread isn't about the latest and greatest, but hopefully some of you experts can help me out. With Star Citizen and Fallout 4 out, I'm looking to see if I can push my system (see signature) to the limit without upgrading the motherboard, for gaming purposes.

Would two ATI cards in crossfire be more powerful than my GTX560TI? My Asus P5Q-E doesn't support NVIDIA SLI.
 

rtangwai

[H]ard|Gawd
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Jul 26, 2007
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I tried Crossfire'd HD6950's on the same CPU/motherboard as you overclocked to 3.73GHz and it was severely CPU bottlenecked. Even a single HD6950 spent a fair bit of time waiting for the CPU.

With Skylake out you might be able to pick up a used Sandy Bridge CPU/MB/RAM combo reasonably cheap. When I switched to a 3570K on the same 2 HD6950's my frame rate went up about 50%. A newer setup would have the bonus that it would support SLI so you are no longer limited in choice on GPU.

It would be a better balance - what's the point of turbo-charging a Ferrari with a 5-gallon gas tank?
 

mnewxcv

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 4, 2007
Messages
8,706
Do you have an upgrade budget? The only way you will see a large increase in performance would be upgrading both cpu and gpu. I think your better off saving for a new build than throwing in graphics cards now that will be outdated by the time u upgrade the rest.I would upgrade cpu first though since they tend to last longer and any in the past few years would be a huge step up than your old quad. It had a good run but it's time to move on!
 

Jeffredo

[H]ard|Gawd
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With your CPU just get a GTX 960. Its going to be bottlenecked to an extent, but its about all that a Core 2 Quad can handle. Multiple GPUs are definitely not needed or of any use with a Q9550. I would also stick with Nvidia with an old CPU like that. Lower driver overhead vs. AMD means less strain on the processor.
 

MightyMatt

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Dec 23, 2006
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Thanks, I appreciate the feedback from everyone! I like the GTX 960 idea. Whenever I do a build, I do it slowly, hoping for the best bang for the buck with each purchase. The mobo and CPU upgrade is one that I'm not looking forward to, because the RAM would have to come with it and it just adds up. I don't have a budget, yet.

The most attractive idea is buying second generation, used pieces from this community, and then selling what I have now, cutting the expenses.

What do used GTX 960's usually go for? Also, is there a graphics card comparison chart that shows the 960, my current 560, and the top of the line compared?
 

bigsnyder

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Jul 1, 2006
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725
Have you tried overclocking your CPU? I am assuming the system is the one on your signature? The Q9550 usually can be pushed to at least 3.5Ghz maybe even 4Ghz. This will give you a sizable speed increase as a short term solution.

Okay, I understand this thread isn't about the latest and greatest, but hopefully some of you experts can help me out. With Star Citizen and Fallout 4 out, I'm looking to see if I can push my system (see signature) to the limit without upgrading the motherboard, for gaming purposes.

Would two ATI cards in crossfire be more powerful than my GTX560TI? My Asus P5Q-E doesn't support NVIDIA SLI.
 

Nauseous

Gawd
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Jun 5, 2004
Messages
890
i know you dont wanna hear it, but its just time for a whole new rig, i'd say you gotten your moneys worth out of it.
 

buttons

2[H]4U
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Oct 12, 2011
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Id like to see your budget too, but if i were you id go for a GTX 970 instead of the 960 or even a used 290/290X. Ive been seeing them around $150. I got my Zotac 970 gtx for $229 shipped from jet.com with a 20% coupon -- not sure that deal still exists but paired with stock clocked amd a10-5800k i can max all the settings in the games i play (diablo 3, heroes of storm, guild wars 2, mechwarrior online, Rift, WoW)

i would think a CPU overclock to 3.5 plus a current generation GPU $150-200 would take a long ways before you have to do the CPU, motherboard, ram upgrade.
 

Runt.

Gawd
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Aug 18, 2011
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618
I would get a used GTX 760 for $100 or less instead of the GTX 960 and of course overclocking the CPU to 3.8GHz like I did on my old Q9550.
 

horrorshow

Supreme [H]ardness
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Dec 14, 2007
Messages
7,957
I would get a used GTX 760 for $100 or less instead of the GTX 960 and of course overclocking the CPU to 3.8GHz like I did on my old Q9550.

This.

A used 760 goes for around $100 here on [H] and the performance difference between it and the 960 is practically nill.

A quick googling of your Q9550 shows that you can overclock to 3.2 with a hand clap. 3.4 is also pretty damn easy.... Higher than that is when it started to get tricky typically.

So, spend about 5 minutes in your BIOS and up it to 3.2-3.5Ghz.

Then, watch [H] for a used 760/7950 for around $100.

I think you'd be very pleased :)
 

MightyMatt

Gawd
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Messages
532
This.

A used 760 goes for around $100 here on [H] and the performance difference between it and the 960 is practically nill.

A quick googling of your Q9550 shows that you can overclock to 3.2 with a hand clap. 3.4 is also pretty damn easy.... Higher than that is when it started to get tricky typically.

So, spend about 5 minutes in your BIOS and up it to 3.2-3.5Ghz.

Then, watch [H] for a used 760/7950 for around $100.

I think you'd be very pleased :)

Thanks so much for this. I was considering selling my mobo, RAM, and CPU, to upgrade to the next level (still not the top of the line), but I might have to OC the CPU.

Since my mobo is older, how much does a 760 get bottle necked with my board?
 

anon

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Jan 26, 2011
Messages
154
Okay, I understand this thread isn't about the latest and greatest, but hopefully some of you experts can help me out. With Star Citizen and Fallout 4 out.
Pascal will be out long before Star Citizen is. I would not upgrade your GPU right now with truly next-gen cards around the corner.
 

KickAssCop

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Mar 19, 2003
Messages
6,926
Make a budget. Post in the appropriate section and people will help out.

Buying a new card is pointless.
 

primetime

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Aug 17, 2005
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Sure you hole system needs updating, But that doesn't mean its a dumb idea to buy what ever newish mid range card. Yea don't bother with getting a 980ti or spending 600 bucks when your that cpu limited..get a 960,970 or a 380,390 for up to about 180 bucks and start planning a new skylake build:)
 

AltTabbins

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Jul 29, 2005
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20,265
i know you dont wanna hear it, but its just time for a whole new rig, i'd say you gotten your moneys worth out of it.

This. Your "last upgrade" should have been 2 upgrades ago. There have been 6 generations of cpu's since your current. Even the most humble budget systems today will be a big improvement. If you don't want to spend a lot, get an amd 8730, 8gb of ram, and a gtx 950. It will blow your current system out of the water and give you a platform to build on for a long time.
 

zadillo

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
140
Definitely time for an upgrade - I've been dealing with a similar question and realizing that there's no other way around it.
 

MightyMatt

Gawd
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Dec 23, 2006
Messages
532
Thanks guys! I was thinking a GTX 590 might have been an option. I don't quite understand what possibilities there are between a top end PCI Express 2.0 card versus a mid range 3.0 card on a 2.0 board. Can you have 3.0 cards on old boards and then just don't reach their full potential?

I understand my system I 6-8 years old, but I can still happily play FO4 on medium settings :)
 
Joined
May 15, 2008
Messages
5
Thanks for posting this - I am in the EXACT same situation. We even have the same motherboard and processor.... :)

This rig has lasted me many, many years with minimal upgrades, and up until the past 6 months or so could handle new games on Medium settings with relative ease.

For what it's worth, I've been pondering this question for awhile. I will likely be picking up a GTX 970 to help me limp by for a few more months. Then, I will finally be retiring the old girl and building a new Skylake rig once the prices normalize a bit in February or March.

The 3.0 cards should work just fine on a 2.0 board, the performance hit should be minimal to non-existent from what I've read. The main bottleneck will be the CPU, as noted by others in the thread.
 

RamonGTP

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Nov 9, 2005
Messages
8,150
I think you can easily stretch that system out for a bit longer with a cheap GPU upgrade, provided you OC the cpu. Q9550's OC quite well. I wouldn't go crossfire though. Check out the buy/sell/trade forum here and snag a used GPU.
 

tangoseal

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Dec 18, 2010
Messages
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Fallout 4 gets exceptionally boring after about 12 levels. Its not worth building a system just for fallout 4
 
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