Bottlenecking with a Core2Quad

Discussion in 'PC Hardware' started by flipicaneze, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. flipicaneze

    flipicaneze MDL Junior Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    58
    2
    0
    #1 flipicaneze, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
    Well it has come time that I built myself a new system with a Core i7 and an MSI X58 board. Computer runs fast and I am happy. Perhaps later on I will get the MSI Twin Frozr GTX580 to up the video performance to play a mean game of Zuma's Revenge. HAHAHAH!! For now I am running my old XFX 9800GT.

    So I had a few parts left over from the last computer (Optiplex 755) and decided to craigslist out the barebones computer and use the CPU, HDD, Power Supply, Video Card (from old build) and the DVD-ROM drive. Since DDR3 Ram is so freaking cheap now ($25 a piece for 2GB HyperX blu Kingston) I decided to get a DDR3 motherboard (Gave the old DDR2 Ram to a friend) to put together a system for my daughter who is starting to do some light gaming herself.

    What I am wondering is the best nVidia card I can get for this system without wasting money by having it bottlenecked by an older CPU? Here are my specs:

    - Core2Quad Q9400 @ 2.66ghz
    - 4GB Kingston HyperX blu @ 1333mhz
    - MSI P45-C51 motherboard
    - Western Digital Black 1TB
    - OCZ ModXtream Pro 650w Modular PSU

    I am willing to spend some money on this thing, but I don't feel like wasting money on power that can never be used. Will the 9800GT (that I plan on replacing anyways) be as far as I can go or can I go into a 400 series card? Thanks for the answers in advance.
     
  2. burfadel

    burfadel MDL EXE>MSP/CAB

    Aug 19, 2009
    2,627
    3,843
    90
    #2 burfadel, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
    You can definitely go better than a 9800GT, and in terms of the 400 series it depends on the price. Unless you know what you are doing, you can't really go by the number as there can be a big difference.

    I would personally overclock the CPU :) its as if they were designed that way from the start. I'm not saying running it at 4.5Ghz or anything silly, just upping the FSB from 333 to 400 :) - thats considered a very reasonable thing to do.

    The graphics cards you can consider are the Gefore 560ti, or a Radeon hd6950 2GB model (not the 1GB). I'm guessing you're a pro Nvidia regardless, anti AMD person, but I still would like to point out the stock HD6950's can be unlocked to a HD6970 (either just the shaders or you can do the clocks too), and the drivers are just about to go through a heavy 3-stage performance boost, stage 1 starting with the 11.4's currently available as a preview driver (latest build of which is 23 March, there are 2 older builds).

    If you do get an Nvidia anyway, do a little research into the driver update frequency and see if people are having any issues with that particular card - driver and other issues with Nvidia are usually considered anomalies, the same issue if occurring on an AMD GPU would be blamed on 'crappy drivers'.

    Google things like:
    9800GT issues
    nvidia 560ti issues
    nvidia 560 issues
    nvidia 470 issues
    nvidia 460 issues

    and other search terms (and hd6950 issues if you like)
     
  3. robalm

    robalm MDL Senior Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    330
    47
    10
    If you play at high resolutions the CPU play a smaller role.
    I would take a HD6950 2gb.
    Nvidia gtx 4xx series'd love to have a fast CPU to perform the best (I'm talking about their own experiences) and also credible facts on google
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  4. flipicaneze

    flipicaneze MDL Junior Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    58
    2
    0
    #4 flipicaneze, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
    (OP)
    I'm not really anti anything actually. I've had both and just like the nVidia line.

    I have had a bad taste however with shotty drivers like when I upgrade the drivers and can't get past 8-bit graphics all of a sudden.

    Never had an issue with nVidia whether its my age old GeForce 4200ti to my nVidia 9800GT and even between my AMD or nVidia notebooks (had two of each and NEVER had an Intel Graphics chipset) same issues.

    So yah for now I have the stock cooler on it, planning on going with something like a CoolerMaster n520 later on and yes, overclocking is definitely a plan.

    Just seems like an nVidia 500 series or a 6000 series would be a complete waste on a Q9400, versus kicking it into high gear on a Core i7 x58 system and really pulling the power out of it.
     
  5. robalm

    robalm MDL Senior Member

    Oct 21, 2009
    330
    47
    10
    Only "nvidia fanboys" who says that AMD's drivers are crap, AMD publishes a driver every month, while Nvidia can go three months between the driver is released, releasing hardly any drivers so it is of course less people who have problems.
     
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  6. burfadel

    burfadel MDL EXE>MSP/CAB

    Aug 19, 2009
    2,627
    3,843
    90
    I agree totally. Nvidia can go longer than 3 or 4 months without a driver! and then you have stupid version numbers! Least with AMD, year.month makes sense, and you know if the driver is up to date or not!
     
  7. flipicaneze

    flipicaneze MDL Junior Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    58
    2
    0
    #7 flipicaneze, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
    (OP)
    Gawd I ask a question and ending up with the AMD vs nVidia deathmatch. Where had I gone wrong?! LOL

    OK I will edit the question so perhaps later on everyone else can benefit from this thread. What would be the best ATI and the best nVidia cards I can run without bottlenecking the card with a Q9400 and DDR3 ram? Gimme one of each and I will take it from there. Thanks all!
     
  8. R29k

    R29k MDL GLaDOS

    Feb 13, 2011
    4,677
    4,282
    150
    560Ti is a very good bang for buck card. I have a GTX 470 and the 560Ti outperforms that due to the higher clocks. The Nvidia drivers are not good right now. They have horrible latency issues, but the recent betas have improved that a bit. Maybe future WHQL's will be better, one is supposed to be out either this month or early next month. From an ATI point of view I can't tell you anything personally since I don't own any but I have friends with the HD 6870 and they love it. Only issue is that the 6870 isn't as fast as the 560Ti but it's quite decent in terms of power and heat.
     
  9. flipicaneze

    flipicaneze MDL Junior Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    58
    2
    0
    So I take it a Q9400 won't bottleneck the 6870 or 560Ti? If that's the case I will get either one, to hell with it.
     
  10. burfadel

    burfadel MDL EXE>MSP/CAB

    Aug 19, 2009
    2,627
    3,843
    90
    #10 burfadel, Mar 24, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2011
    The HD6870 is the replacement model for the HD5770. A HD6950 would be much better, and like I said earlier a reference design (I said stock earlier), the ones which look all the same as the others, can have the extra shaders unlocked. I personally wouldn't run it at HD6970 speeds (or flash it with a hd6970 bios). I'd use the Bios tools available that can mod your existing HD6950 to unlock the extra shaders. I'd then give a modest overclock to the GPU and a bit more to the memory.

    Also shop around, price can vary quite a bit between stores. Also, no point saving $20 buying it online if the shipping is $15 (or even $10) :) - added risk.

    So, definitely go with the HD6950 :D

    Only exceptionally poorly coded games are bottlenecked by a CPU such as the Q9400, especially one thats overclocked. GTA IV is a good example of a pathetic excuse for game coding.
     
  11. flipicaneze

    flipicaneze MDL Junior Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    58
    2
    0
    Trust me, I'm good at price hunting......half the fun of shopping girlfrienz!!! (j/k) NewEgg, CompUSA and MicroCenter. CompUSA and NewEgg price matches and MicroCenter (even if the site seems higher) they will priceBEAT anybody (except Amazon) and give you a 2GB flash drive. shopping.google.com, shopping.yahoo.com, pricegrabber.com, pricewatch.com.......
     
  12. R29k

    R29k MDL GLaDOS

    Feb 13, 2011
    4,677
    4,282
    150
    Can't say about ATI, but all GTX 400 + are bottlenecked by Core2 anything. It's not horribly bottlenecked,
    but you will get a boost in performance with a Nehalem or Sandy Bridge. The problem is your Q9400 is a budget chip,
    at the lower end of the Core2Quad spectrum. If you get a current generation video card you should, with caution, overclock
    your processor to about 3.4 Ghz . You don't have to but it would help a bit.
     
  13. flipicaneze

    flipicaneze MDL Junior Member

    Dec 18, 2009
    58
    2
    0
    Well MY own current system is a Core i7 950 on an X58 board and planning on running a 580GTX really soon.

    The system I am building up is something that I am building for my daughter (she is going to piece it together cause it will be interesting to have a 12 year old gilr know how to build a PC when all of the schools out here are running MAC) She wants to start playing WOW and some other online games. She is a PS3 COD player as well.

    A friend of mine played on the Q9400 when it was on an Optiplex 755, 4GB of PC6400 RAM OCZ ModXtream 650w and a 9800GT when he came to stay at my place when his ex kicked him out. It was doing about 60 - 80 FPS, not overclocked at all. Not bad I thought considering at the time the socket 1366 was at it's prime and it was being played on a Dell Optiplex. I figured getting my little girl a halfway decent video card would help out when she starts wanting to get into some crazier games.
     
  14. R29k

    R29k MDL GLaDOS

    Feb 13, 2011
    4,677
    4,282
    150
    :DFor her it will be cool, WoW is not exactly demanding. If you're talking Metro 2033 that's another case entirely.
    I went from a 9800GT to a GTX 470 and it's about 3 times faster so no comparison.
     
  15. burfadel

    burfadel MDL EXE>MSP/CAB

    Aug 19, 2009
    2,627
    3,843
    90
    The Q9400 is more middle of the range quad core chip, and was the chip before the prices starting skyrocketing vs gain. The bottom of the range would be the Q8xxx series.
     
  16. R29k

    R29k MDL GLaDOS

    Feb 13, 2011
    4,677
    4,282
    150
    Nope Q9400 replaced the Q8400 it's the low end Quad, the Q9450 was considered the midrange, Q9550 and Q9650 where the higher end products. The ones ending with 50 have 12 MB L2 cache, Q8400 4MB and Q9400 6 MB