Quantcast
Why you really don't need to buy in i7 CPU for gaming (or even an i5).

Forums - PC Discussion - Why you really don't need to buy in i7 CPU for gaming (or even an i5).

After some recent benchamarks I've come to the conclusion that people really don't need to buy expensive CPUs or i5s and i7s to get the most out of their gaming.

Below are the 3 scenarios I tested.

 

Scenario 1 - budget gamer gaming on 720p-1080p on lower settings with a 100 dollar GPU

Test -  AMD Phenom X3 8850 with a Radeon 7750 VS i5 2500k and 7750

Result - CPU bottleneck exists on low settings and 720p resolution but GPU is the main bottleneck when we go to 1080p. Furthermore, CPU bottleneck that I saw happens over 60 fps. COD4 for example at 720p was running 70 fps on Phenom and 120 fps on i5. Considering that 99.9% of the population use 60 hz monitors, you are not able to see framerate over 60 fps. So essentially its just a waste to disable VSYNC and game over 60 fps (unless you have a true 120 hz monitor)

 

Scenario 2 - mainstream gamer looking to run games at 1080p with a 200-300 dollar GPU.

Test - Overclocked Phenom X4 940 (3.6 GHZ) with a GTX 670 VS i5 2500k with a GTX 670

Phenom X4 cpu will bottleneck some games, compared to an i5 2500k. However it will do so well over 60 fps. You will get 90 fps + with a Phenom vs 150 fps with an i5 for example. But again...60hz monitor is holding your frame rate back to 60 and when VSYNC is enabled there is no CPU bottleneck.

 

Scenario 3 - Power gamer looking to run eyefinity, nvidia surround, 3D vision or resolutions of 2560x1440+. Price is not the issue.

Test - Overclocked Phenom X4 940 (3.6 GHZ) with a GTX 670 SLI VS i5 2500k with a GTX 670 SLI and 3 1080p monitors

No matter what game benchmark I tried, CPU was never the bottleneck. It is always the GPU. The moment you start rendering 2 or 3X 1080p resolution, the GPU starts to tap out before the CPU ever will.

 

Conclusion - For the most part you really don't need to shell out 250-300 dollars on the latest CPU if you want to have an exnjoyable gaming experience. You are much better off spending $100 on the CPU and $300 on the GPU than $200 and $200. 

The old Phenom X4 CPUs are going really cheap these days and are excellent gaming CPUs.

Something like this in a gaming PC will last you for many years to come.

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2375447

http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2372719&CatId=4433



Around the Network

Yes and no. Often the reason to having one the newer CPUs is memory speed supported. You're mostly right though. Being GPU bound is the usual suspect for poor performance.



A warrior keeps death on the mind from the moment of his first breath to the moment of his last.



Too late.

The future is where I'm looking - of course that's not needed now. Neither is a GTX 690 (unless you have a multi-monitor set-up). I took a look at some of those CPU benchmarks back in July, but decided having it now wouldn't hurt if I could afford it and having it later means I won't need to buy again for a whiiiiiile. 'Sides, not much of a fan of AMD / ATi.



                                                                                                                                            

dharh said:
Yes and no. Often the reason to having one the newer CPUs is memory speed supported. You're mostly right though. Being GPU bound is the usual suspect for poor performance.

You're right but most of us have some DDR2 memory around and older parts that could put together to make a solid gaming rig. One just needs to slap a current gen GPU and they should be good to go.

Look at my situation... I took a 3 way SLI AM2+ mobo (Asus M3NHT), 8 GB of DDR2 800 memory and Phenom X4 940 BE and overclocked the crap out of them. They are running Crysis 2 on 3 monitors as good as my friends newly built i5 2500k rig with DDR3 1600 Memory with same GPU hardware.

PCIe 3.0 vs 2.0 also makes no difference.



CGI-Quality said:

Too late.

The future is where I'm looking - of course that's not needed now. Neither is a GTX 690 (unless you have a multi-monitor set-up). I took a look at some of those CPU benchmarks back in July, but decided having it now wouldn't hurt if I could afford it and having it later means I won't need to buy again for a whiiiiiile. 'Sides, not much of a fan of AMD / ATi.


If you have the money...sky is the limit. But there is a certain satisfaction when you build a gaming rig for least amount of money possible and have it do everything you need it to. Anyone can go out and spend 1000s of dollars and get performance. Howeer when you spend less and get the performance you want, you feel extra good. :)

Also I disagree with the whole "futureproof" idea when it comes to CPU...and here is why.

Games which are clearly CPU bound in my testing: FEAR, COD4, FEAR 3, Resident Evil 5

Games which are not CPU bound: Metro 2033, Crysis 2, Crysis, Battlefield 3

Which of those games are the future in your eyes?

Future is GPU bound and not CPU.



Around the Network

so, is the affiliate id a real affiliate id in the link?

€dit: at least not from op^^



crissindahouse said:
so, is this affiliate id a real affiliate id in the link?

Probably... I got it from here - http://forums.redflagdeals.com/td-amd-phenom-ii-x4-955-black-edition-quad-core-processor-69-97-40-off-1231160/ 



disolitude said:
CGI-Quality said:

Too late.

The future is where I'm looking - of course that's not needed now. Neither is a GTX 690 (unless you have a multi-monitor set-up). I took a look at some of those CPU benchmarks back in July, but decided having it now wouldn't hurt if I could afford it and having it later means I won't need to buy again for a whiiiiiile. 'Sides, not much of a fan of AMD / ATi.


If you have the money...sky is the limit. But there is a certain satisfaction when you build a gaming rig for least amount of money possible and have it do everything you need it to. Anyone can go out and spend 1000s of dollars and get performance. Howeer when you spend less and get the performance you want, you feel extra good. :)

Also I disagree with the whole "futureproof" idea when it comes to CPU...and here is why.

Games which are clearly CPU bound in my testing: FEAR, COD4, FEAR 3, Resident Evil 5

Games which are not CPU bound: Metro 2033, Crysis 2, Crysis, Battlefield 3

Which of those games are the future in your eyes?

Future is GPU bound and not CPU.

Of course the future is GPU bound, but that's not what I was arguing (and no piece of tech is ever 100% future proof). I can get an i7-Quad now and won't need to upgrade anytime soon (though my case is unique because I plan to anyway, I do more than just game and more cores = more for me to work with). I'm just saying getting a CPU now that's more than needed (along with 32GB of RAM and the best Nvidia GPU out there), leaves nothing to really need to upgrade for quite sometime. 

Regardless of CPU heavy games, I'll have a GPU that will do more than pick up the slack. 



                                                                                                                                            

disolitude said:
crissindahouse said:
so, is this affiliate id a real affiliate id in the link?

Probably... I got it from here - http://forums.redflagdeals.com/td-amd-phenom-ii-x4-955-black-edition-quad-core-processor-69-97-40-off-1231160/ 

ahh ok i see. sry for the question, i don't even have something against people posting links as affiliate in most threads but in a thread like this it could have been the whole reason for the thread, that's why i asked.



Guild Wars 2 is CPU bound at the moment. You need an i5 to get good performance.