Would it be ridiculous to pair a 7970 with Q6600?

Shark974

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
378
Or spend the hypothetical money on other upgrades?

The thing is a truly decent video card with some future proofing is $300 anyway.

Looking at CPU scaling benches, the CPU typically has little effect anyway, as must games are GPU limited.

The Q6600 is overclocked to 2.8 and I'd imagine I could do 3.0 with no problem.

I guess the only fly in the ointment is the few games that are CPU dependent, Skyrim is one, and I there's at least another I cant think of right now...

Overall I can rebuild my whole rig with an i5 2500k and budget $300 for the GPU, for $800, with obviously a $300 GPU (nothing attractive now at 300, would wait for $300 HD 7000 series).

But it seems simpler, cheaper, and possibly just as good performance if not better in games, to spend $550 on a 7970 and keep my CPU? See what I'm saying? The former system would be "better balanced", but OTOH in reality does CPU even matter much (within reason of course)? I'm at 1080P btw.
 

CarpeDiem99

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 19, 2004
Messages
163
I think you are better off getting a 2500k upgrade and pair it up with a gtx 570 or even a used 580 might fall within your budget. 6950 2gb / 6970 are also good options.

Q6600 at 3.0 is still slow for the above video cards, never mind a 7970...
 

Teenyman45

2[H]4U
Joined
Nov 29, 2010
Messages
2,636
yes it would be ridiculous, but if you have $550-$600 to spare then you might as well give it a whirl because any high level video card is fairly ridiculous and I have two 7970s that will be crossfired once I have tested them individually to my satisfaction..

If you would rather go the used 580 route. My Galaxy GTX 580, the spec for which is in my signature, will be going to the for sale forum shortly.
 

cannondale06

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
16,180
yes that would be a bit ridiculous. cards like the gtx580 and 7970 are expensive and really need to be used with a more modern cpu for that cost to be justified. a Q6600 at 2.8 would mean a great deal of the 7970 would never be realized in many games. in games that only effectively use 2 cores, you would be throwing a massive amount of potential right down the drain. you could easily be losing 33% performance in many games and in games that don't effectively use 4 cores even much more than that.

bottom line is why spend that much money for a 7970 if you cant get 7970 performance?
 

Shark974

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
378
yes that would be a bit ridiculous. cards like the gtx580 and 7970 are expensive and really need to be used with a more modern cpu for that cost to be justified. a Q6600 at 2.8 would mean a great deal of the 7970 would never be realized in many games. in games that only effectively use 2 cores, you would be throwing a massive amount of potential right down the drain. you could easily be losing 33% performance in many games and in games that don't effectively use 4 cores even much more than that.

bottom line is why spend that much money for a 7970 if you cant get 7970 performance?

But it seems CPU limitation often comes in to play only at 70+FPS. Personally I'm far from a framerate whore and perfectly fine playing at 30 FPS (you may ask why I want 7970 then...well I AM a graphics whore, like to max things).

So if CPU lets me only run game X at 70 FPS instead of 130 I dont care...
 

snowcrash

Gawd
Joined
Apr 30, 2011
Messages
712
Have you guys seen some of these CPU scaling articles though?

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-cpu-scaling-performance-review/9

In that bench in BF3 @1080P with 7970, theres almost no difference between an Athlon 645 (seems to maybe be about equal to my Q6600 from what I can tell) and the highest end CPU.
This is just my own testing results. My E8400 with 6970 had lots of trouble with the Karkand expansion maps in medium setting. When I upgraded to i5 2500K everything ran fine in Ultra. No overclocking with both CPUs.
 

cannondale06

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
16,180
go play BF 3 multi player with your 2.8 Q6600 and you would be lucky to get 2/3 of what is is capable of.

your Q6600 at 2.8 is basically about as fast as Phenom X4 at 2.8 so. here in Skyrim, you can see 3.0 Phenom X4 can only deliver 50% of a gtx570 is capable of at 1920 with a 2500k at 4.0. if you are bottlenecking a gtx570 by 50% at 1920 with 4x AA then just think how much a 7970 would be limited.

 

cannondale06

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
16,180
But it seems CPU limitation often comes in to play only at 70+FPS. Personally I'm far from a framerate whore and perfectly fine playing at 30 FPS (you may ask why I want 7970 then...well I AM a graphics whore, like to max things).

So if CPU lets me only run game X at 70 FPS instead of 130 I dont care...
you are being illogical. dont be an idiot and buy the fastest single gpu card on the planet to pair up with a cpu that will not even let it properly do its job. there will be games where you cant even average close to 60fps with that cpu.
 

cannondale06

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
16,180
I have a feeling this is not a thread asking for advice. its more of a thread letting us know he is going to get a 7970 no matter how silly it is. :D
 

cannondale06

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
16,180
This is just my own testing results. My E8400 with 6970 had lots of trouble with the Karkand expansion maps in medium setting. When I upgraded to i5 2500K everything ran fine in Ultra. No overclocking with both CPUs.
why on earth did you ever buy a 6970 to use with an E8400 in the first place? :eek:
 

bodan

Weaksauce
Joined
Aug 4, 2011
Messages
101
Buy the 7970 now if you want. However, I think the best idea is waiting for Ivy Bridge & mainstream 7000 series. You could also buy the 7970 and wait for IB, it doesn't really matter. With Kepler and mainstream 7000 series parts not so far away, it's not really prudent to do anything but wait. I mean, you still are using 2007 era equipment. You seem like you want to keep your stuff for a long time - so why not wait for Kepler (and either get it or a 7000 series, depending on results) + Ivy Bridge for another 4+ years of computing?
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Messages
650
Considering how much performance improved on my 5970 when I went from q9450 to i7 2700k... Your money is better spent on mobo/cpu/ram/ssd/...
 

Shark974

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
378
This is just my own testing results. My E8400 with 6970 had lots of trouble with the Karkand expansion maps in medium setting. When I upgraded to i5 2500K everything ran fine in Ultra. No overclocking with both CPUs.

e8400 is dual core though, i was advised to get a dual core with higher clocks for the same price back when i bought the q. luckily i saw through that...

i was also told to get a 512mb gpu since it was fine lol, glad i bought 1gb one as well.
 

cannondale06

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
16,180
I am guessing you still have the 6870? I would go Ivy Bridge in April and then sell all of your other stuff and then get a 7970 or 7950 at that time. the 7970 is just darn pricey at the moment to justify sticking it with a cpu that will not let it come close to its full potential.
 

Shark974

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
378
you are being illogical. dont be an idiot and buy the fastest single gpu card on the planet to pair up with a cpu that will not even let it properly do its job. there will be games where you cant even average close to 60fps with that cpu.

But dont you get it, lets say its a binary choice,

Good CPU (costs $$) with $200 GPU

OR

Q6600 with $550 GPU

As far as I can tell, the latter nets you much higher performance.
 

Shark974

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
378
I am guessing you still have the 6870? I would go Ivy Bridge in April and then sell all of your other stuff and then get a 7970 or 7950 at that time. the 7970 is just darn pricey at the moment to justify sticking it with a cpu that will not let it come close to its full potential.

Did you look at my past posts? Anyway nah, I returned that and currently have my ancient 4890 (pretty blazing fast card btw, for what it is).

Most likely I wont do this, most likely I'll just wait until the 7000 series that cost $200-$300 arrive. Dont think I have big enough balls to drop 550...

It sucks there are no affordable CPU upgrade options. Damn you AMD for Bulldozer sucking so bad and ruining competition...

I think most of the posts here are kind of kneejerk though, the 7970 CPU scaling benchmarks I've seen suggests any quad core CPU will do for the most part. But a worry is the CPU dependent games like Skyrim...
 

WiL11o6

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 20, 2007
Messages
478
Your CPU would be a bottleneck. I played BF3 on default high settings on his computer which had a stock Q6600 with a 6870 and it was pretty choppy. He didn't have a FPS counter, but it was not a smooth and fun experience at 1080p with things exploding and such. It was playable, but it wasn't a smooth experience. Couple weeks past and his PSU died on him so he let me borrow his 6870 on my i5 2500k and I was getting average 60fps on high settings. There were barely any dips and the gameplay was so fluid compared to his Q6600. Granted his Q6600 was stock, but I doubt OCing it help that much. If I were to guess, his FPS was probably floating around 30-50 with lots of drops here and there from explosions.

A 6870 is only $150, low middle range, and it wasn't even that great on his Q6600 so if you were going up to a $550 new tech 7970 it would be pointless and would not see much gains. I tried that 6870 in my i5 2500k and it was much, much, much more enjoyable than on his Q6600. The image quality from high and ultra isn't even that noticeable and I that even questioned why I have spent $700 SLI GTX 570 to set it on ultra.
 

cannondale06

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
16,180
e8400 is dual core though, i was advised to get a dual core with higher clocks for the same price back when i bought the q. luckily i saw through that...

i was also told to get a 512mb gpu since it was fine lol, glad i bought 1gb one as well.
you did not see through anything. an E8500 was faster than a Q6600 in 95% of cases. I bought an E8500 oced it to 3.8 and a Q6600 did not stand a chance in more than a couple of games during the period I owned on . yes you could oc the Q6600 but the power consumption is massive by the time you get the speed high enough to match a mildly oced E8500 during that same period. by the time the Q6600 started looking good, it was already surpassed by much better cpus. I upgraded from the E8500 to the 2500k at the same time I would have even if I owned a Q6600. and again during that time the E8500 was by far the better processor for gaming anyway.
 

cannondale06

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
16,180
Did you look at my past posts? Anyway nah, I returned that and currently have my ancient 4890 (pretty blazing fast card btw, for what it is).

Most likely I wont do this, most likely I'll just wait until the 7000 series that cost $200-$300 arrive. Dont think I have big enough balls to drop 550...

It sucks there are no affordable CPU upgrade options. Damn you AMD for Bulldozer sucking so bad and ruining competition...

I think most of the posts here are kind of kneejerk though, the 7970 CPU scaling benchmarks I've seen suggests any quad core CPU will do for the most part. But a worry is the CPU dependent games like Skyrim...
um a 2500k is barely over 200 bucks and is as good as any other cpu out there when it comes to gaming. it uses very little power and has tons of overclocking headroom. if anything we are lucky to have access to one of the best bang for buck cpus ever released.

that being said, Ivy Bridge is only 3 months away so if you can wait then do that. if you cant wait then by all means get a 2500k.
 

Shark974

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
378
you did not see through anything. an E8500 was faster than a Q6600 in 95% of cases. I bought an E8500 oced it to 3.8 and a Q6600 did not stand a chance in more than a couple of games during the period I owned on . yes you could oc the Q6600 but the power consumption is massive by the time you get the speed high enough to match a mildly oced E8500 during that same period. by the time the Q6600 started looking good, it was already surpassed by much better cpus. I upgraded from the E8500 to the 2500k at the same time I would have even if I owned a Q6600. and again during that time the E8500 was by far the better processor for gaming anyway.

But today and for the past years my Q6600 has been great and it's still viable today. In addition it was never a problem vs faster dual core's in the past, so I didn't lose anything.

Yeah, it was surpassed by much better CPU's while they were expensive, good call. If you didn't upgrade to until 2500k it was either expensive because you bought too early or your E8500 was crap for games.

Sure if you upgrade every year or whatever, you dont have to think about the future, get the short term solution. As of today I'm very glad I didn't.

It was the same with people telling me "get the 512 MB card, you'll never need 1GB, before your card is too old". Good thing I was smart cause my 1GB 4890 is still good today.
 

WorldExclusive

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 26, 2009
Messages
11,175
I have a feeling this is not a thread asking for advice. its more of a thread letting us know he is going to get a 7970 no matter how silly it is. :D

I just don't get how people will hold onto aging CPUs, RAM and motherboards, but will spend a ton video cards, cases, cooling etc.
The most important components in the build are being neglected. It's like buying a brand new car and you still live with your parents. You're parents are holding you down bro, get an apartment first, in this case a CPU.
 
Last edited:

XacTactX

Supreme [H]ardness
Joined
Dec 13, 2010
Messages
4,132
A 7970 with your current CPU will perform like a GTX 570 or something like that. You might as well get a used 6970 for $250 from the forum and put the other $300 you were going to spend toward an SB platform. Keep your system well-rounded it pays off.

I am guessing you still have the 6870? I would go Ivy Bridge in April and then sell all of your other stuff and then get a 7970 or 7950 at that time. the 7970 is just darn pricey at the moment to justify sticking it with a cpu that will not let it come close to its full potential.

+1 cannondale is a sensible fellow, if you can wait it'll be worth it.
 

cannondale06

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
16,180
But today and for the past years my Q6600 has been great and it's still viable today. In addition it was never a problem vs faster dual core's in the past, so I didn't lose anything.

Sure if you upgrade every year or whatever, you dont have to think about the future, get the short term solution. As of today I'm very glad I didn't.
again though the E8500 was the overall faster cpu by far for those 3 years that I owned one. GTA 4 was probably the only game where having a quad gave a playable experience but even the E8500 at 3.8 gave me over 40 fps in benchmark for the settings I was using. it would not have made sense for me to get a Q6600 over 4 years ago because by the time quads become important, we already had faster and better cpu architectures. if someone was willing to OC their Q6600 by quite a bit and put up with the big power consumption increase though then yes it was not a bad choice.

just look at what we have now though as a 2500k at 4.0 uses less power than a much slower stock 2.4 Q6600.
 
Last edited:

WorldExclusive

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Apr 26, 2009
Messages
11,175
Does the OP have a SSD? SATA 6.0? USB 3.0? PCIe 3.0? 16GB of RAM? 5GHz Quad?

Man he's missing out.
 

Shark974

Limp Gawd
Joined
Aug 4, 2009
Messages
378
um a 2500k is barely over 200 bucks and is as good as any other cpu out there when it comes to gaming. it uses very little power and has tons of overclocking headroom. if anything we are lucky to have access to one of the best bang for buck cpus ever released.

that being said, Ivy Bridge is only 3 months away so if you can wait then do that. if you cant wait then by all means get a 2500k.

It's 225, and yeah I consider that kind of high. For me coming from an overclocked 6600, there's just nothing both enticing and cheap, meaning like $120-$130. I looked into the Phenom II X4's a while back, but they arent enough faster than an overclocked 6600 to be worth the price or a total overhaul for a stopgap solution. It's basically 2500 or nothing, and yeah I consider $225 kind of steep.

I agree 2500 is a great CPU, I just wish there was something cheaper nearly as good. If you're new to the market you can put together a decent Phenom rig, or at least you could I think theyre short stock now, for cheap, but there's no point for someone already on a Q6600.

And I dont know why you guys keep talking up Ivy Bridge, Anand already showed it's not much better at all. I guess maybe you guys want it for the assumed better overclocking? Then again 2500's are overclocking beasts anyway aren't they?
 

Dangman

Ninja Editor SuperMod
Joined
Dec 15, 2005
Messages
46,062
Have you guys seen some of these CPU scaling articles though?

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-cpu-scaling-performance-review/9

In that bench in BF3 @1080P with 7970, theres almost no difference between an Athlon 645 (seems to maybe be about equal to my Q6600 from what I can tell) and the highest end CPU.

Not a really useful article IMO unless you're only playing BF3's single player (which is what that article writer tested). It's been noted many times before that BF3 multiplayer performance is completely different from BF3 single player performance

EDIT: If you don't mind being limited to a 3.6Ghz OC, the $190 Core i5 2400 is a viable choice.
 

cannondale06

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
16,180
It's 225, and yeah I consider that kind of high. For me coming from an overclocked 6600, there's just nothing both enticing and cheap, meaning like $120-$130. I looked into the Phenom II X4's a while back, but they arent enough faster than an overclocked 6600 to be worth the price or a total overhaul for a stopgap solution. It's basically 2500 or nothing, and yeah I consider $225 kind of steep.

I agree 2500 is a great CPU, I just wish there was something cheaper nearly as good. If you're new to the market you can put together a decent Phenom rig, or at least you could I think theyre short stock now, for cheap, but there's no point for someone already on a Q6600.

And I dont know why you guys keep talking up Ivy Bridge, Anand already showed it's not much better at all. I guess maybe you guys want it for the assumed better overclocking? Then again 2500's are overclocking beasts anyway aren't they?
well when you are building a pc from scratch then the relatively small increase in price for a 2500k over any other cpu for gaming is easily justifiable. a $1000 cpu on the other hand will give you no better single gpu gaming experience. so its just crazy not to be impressed with the 2500k when all factors are looked at.

yes Ivy Bridge's main benefit for people around here will be higher overclocking.
 

Tsumi

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Mar 18, 2010
Messages
13,480
It's 225, and yeah I consider that kind of high. For me coming from an overclocked 6600, there's just nothing both enticing and cheap, meaning like $120-$130. I looked into the Phenom II X4's a while back, but they arent enough faster than an overclocked 6600 to be worth the price or a total overhaul for a stopgap solution. It's basically 2500 or nothing, and yeah I consider $225 kind of steep.

I agree 2500 is a great CPU, I just wish there was something cheaper nearly as good. If you're new to the market you can put together a decent Phenom rig, or at least you could I think theyre short stock now, for cheap, but there's no point for someone already on a Q6600.

And I dont know why you guys keep talking up Ivy Bridge, Anand already showed it's not much better at all. I guess maybe you guys want it for the assumed better overclocking? Then again 2500's are overclocking beasts anyway aren't they?

Phenom II x4s will overclock much higher than your 6600. Most will reach 3.8 on stock, and 4.0 fairly easily.

You also have to remember the IPC difference. Your 6600 would have to be clocked to 4.0 ghz or higher to match the performance of a 2500k at 3.3 ghz. And the 2500k will easily hit 4.2 ghz. There's a massive performance difference here, and that $225 is justified, and something you should really consider doing before you consider any video card upgrade. And if you have a Microcenter nearby, it's $180, with a $50 discount with any motherboard.

Ivy Bridge is on 22nm tech. That means power consumption will go way down, and with lower power consumption comes higher overclock headrooms. IPC will be identical or better than the Sandy Bridge. Additionally, it's replacing equivalent Sandy Bridge processors at the same price points, which means we'll likely see price drops on Sandy Bridge. Even if you can't overclock higher than Sandy Bridge, power consumption will be much lower, so getting more (better efficiency) for the same price is worth it.

And yes, the other posters are correct in saying that at the time you bought the Q6600, a faster dual-core was the better choice. By the time quad-cores became relevant, we have much higher clocked and better performing Phenom IIs, Nehalem, and Lynfield (sockets 1156 and 1366). The relatively low clock speed of your Q6600 keeps it from being relevant. Additionally, most games still run on only two cores, so the advantage goes to higher clocked dual cores. What's more, games that can run on four cores typically demand much more performance than your Q6600 can provide. Try to justify it all you want, but at the end of the day, holding on to that Q6600 while aiming for an expensive graphics card upgrade is just not a good idea.
 

xTrident

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jan 20, 2011
Messages
384
But dont you get it, lets say its a binary choice,

Good CPU (costs $$) with $200 GPU

OR

Q6600 with $550 GPU

As far as I can tell, the latter nets you much higher performance.

I get it, and I'd personally rather have the good GPU with a lesser CPU than a good CPU with a lesser GPU. But to the extent of a 500+ dollar 7970... That'd be quite a bit more than I'd be willing to spend pairing it with the Q6600.
 

spaceman

[H]F Junkie
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
14,820
You get 2500K NOW.

Seriously, that is the cpu to have for the next few years. In a new game like BF3, a 2500K + a 4890 will probably do better than a 6600 + a 7970 lol.
 

kandor

Gawd
Joined
Aug 24, 2005
Messages
628
Just to chime in, don't be fooled by these benches that show no cpu dependency in games. It just isn't true, bf3 maybe isn't cpu bound in single player but multiplayer is a different story. In fact I upgraded from an i5-750 @ 3.8 to an i7-2600k @ 4.9 and achieved an fps increase of almost 30% in multiplayer. q6600 is old now.
 
Joined
Jun 6, 2010
Messages
9
On a GTX 470, going from a E8500 to a 2500k made all the difference. The E8500 was the major bottleneck while playing, as you can see in some before/after benchmarks I did. Yes there is a difference in RAM (DDR2 to DDR3) but the benchmarks indicate the CPU was purely the problem. Generally, when there is a drop in pixel count and there is no or barely any framerate increase, this indicates a bottleneck other than the GPU, which in this case was the CPU.

Old = E8500 with 4 GB of DDR2 and GTX 470
New = 2500k with 8 GB of DDR3 and GTX 470
bf3%20benchmarking%20gtx470%20new.jpg


I clicked on the link because it said 7970 (and I just recently got one) and this benchmark shows the difference between the GTX 470 and 7970 with the 2500k, DDR3, etc. If I hadn't gotten rid of my CPU and RAM already, I would have shown you the E8500 with 7970 vs 2500k with 7970, but I cannot.

Old: 2500k with GTX 470
New: 2500k with 7970
bf3%20benchmarking%207970.jpg



As someone mentioned earlier, this was done in single-player during a cut-scene to try to get the most consistency.
In multiplayer, it uses more CPU.

As another note, I currently play BF3 on 4960x1600 on low on 64 player maps and run ~55fps. It's a beast of a card, but you can't hold it back with an older CPU.
 

That's_Corporate

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Sep 30, 2006
Messages
1,738
as someone in the same boat (Q6600 owner, wanting a 7970) who has done a lot of research on the subject, i say "DON'T"

the simple fact is you're thinking of spending $550 on a video card

if you run it with a Q6600 you won't be getting $550 worth of video card performance

so why pay more when you'll end up with less?
 

sdlvx

Gawd
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
567
M

mls1995

Guest
as someone in the same boat (Q6600 owner, wanting a 7970) who has done a lot of research on the subject, i say "DON'T"

the simple fact is you're thinking of spending $550 on a video card

if you run it with a Q6600 you won't be getting $550 worth of video card performance

so why pay more when you'll end up with less?

Yeah, I agree. Don't put any more money into an older setup I had a Q6700 water cooled PC and I donated it to Goodwill in May of 2011. It was a losing proposition to try to keep that PC up with modern hardware.
 

owenhehe

Weaksauce
Joined
Sep 12, 2008
Messages
76
I recently upgraded my pc,

first from Q8200 -> 2500K
then from GTX 260 -> 560 Ti

Q8200 have same performance as a stock Q6600 so it is comparable. I play BF3 on medium setting. Man, upgrading only the CPU massively improved (I'd say about 25% increase) FPS in BF3 with my aged GTX 260. Since I used the same setting in the game. The difference is so huge that I am seriously thinking not upgrade my graphic card. But that's another story.
 
Top