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    The $500 Gaming PC Upgrade

    Firing Squad's new article, The $500 Gaming PC Upgrade: Call of Duty 4, Crysis, Unreal Tournament 3 Performance Explored, offers an upgrade path for those interested in improving performance on their systems. Includes testing on UT3 Demo with multiple processors.

    WARNING: Intel duo fans will not like their conclusion. GO AMD

    #2
    Nice find. I just upgraded to the x2 6000+. With plans for the 8800gt.

    I'm hoping I can achieve those numbers with my setup also.

    Comment


      #3
      They selected the 8800gt because it's a great graphics card for the ones that have a nice monitor, don't want crappy graphics, want highest fps, etc... Still, there are tons of ways to scale down details, and the card is used just for gaming.

      But at the same time neglect everything else, when there's not much to scale down on the CPU side, and is used for the OS and all programs of one's PC. Up to the point that on a 500$ budget, it's fine to spend 250$ for the gfx card, but then for the remaining 250$ (CPU + motherboard + 2GB RAM) they had to go cheapo and save 20$ here and 20$ there to avoid passing that 500$ mark.

      Honestly, this $h1t is beyond me.

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        #4
        Originally posted by cel4145 View Post
        WARNING: Intel duo fans will not like their conclusion. GO AMD
        hehe, it's the reason I haven't sweat a bit. Mine is the 3800+ X2 but that's not far behind and according to that simple article, it shows why the margin of so many cpus (not just the X2 AMD series) is so much more acceptable than naysayers will have people believe.

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          #5
          Originally posted by theeDEATHMASTER View Post
          hehe, it's the reason I haven't sweat a bit. Mine is the 3800+ X2 but that's not far behind and according to that simple article, it shows why the margin of so many cpus (not just the X2 AMD series) is so much more acceptable than naysayers will have people believe.
          I upgraded my PC from an AMD X2 4200+ to the X2 5600+. I've probably gotten about 5 FPS just as the article would indicate. Doesn't sound like there is much of any reason for you to rush out and upgrade the CPU just for UT3.

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            #6
            Yeah, I'm guaranteeing that I can last at least past 2009. Whether I do or not is a different question though. I'm thinking about using stuff like ebay for selling some parts in case I do want to upgrade anytime, if the cost is barely marginal (I'm not talking even near $500 in net cost). But a performance gain worth a thousand awes is well worth a cheapo price, or an extremely large price if that's the type of person you are. I just choose to not spend as much

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              #7
              I wish I wasnt so cheap on myself lol.
              Ill be rocking UT3 on a 2.8 p4 single core, 1 gig ram, and a 7800 gs agp.

              Comment


                #8
                If you can find an AMDx2 + MB for <$100, then that would be a deal.
                But IMHO, an Intel E2160 is still the best choice for a VALUE system, because it is so easily overclockable to hit performance on par with a E6550. Firing Squad didn't even include the $77 E2160, currently only $12 more than the tested 4000+.

                Also, I'm not sure if they did "real-world" test, with firefalls, external voice chat, etc running in the background. So I'd think I'd go with a slightly faster CPU anyhow, or one that is good with overclocking.

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                  #9
                  It's true that AMD gives you the best value for your dollar. It's always been like that

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Current AMD CPUs are not a very good choice for UT3. I just upgraded from an X2 4200+ to an E4500. The video card remained the same (7900 GTO).

                    With the 4200+ I was getting FPS drops, in certain arieas of ShangriLa my FPS would fall to 40, no matter what resolution I was using.

                    With the E4500 at stock speed my FPS was about 30% better in those areas. Overclocked to 3 GHz my FPS never falls below 75 (vsync limit).

                    Bottom line: Core 2 Duo is the way to go for UT3 IMO.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I can understand going for AMD if you're on a tight budget. Doesn't change my upgrade decision I've been researching for the past few months though.

                      If you really want to spend your money well, make your own decisions and learn about the products for yourself. While articles like that are helpful, they aren't the be all and end all.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by tqz View Post
                        Current AMD CPUs are not a very good choice for UT3. I just upgraded from an X2 4200+ to an E4500. The video card remained the same (7900 GTO).

                        With the 4200+ I was getting FPS drops, in certain arieas of ShangriLa my FPS would fall to 40, no matter what resolution I was using.

                        With the E4500 at stock speed my FPS was about 30% better in those areas. Overclocked to 3 GHz my FPS never falls below 75 (vsync limit).

                        Bottom line: Core 2 Duo is the way to go for UT3 IMO.
                        Certainly, the E4500 would out perform the 4200+. No reasonable person would deny that. But so will the 5600+, the AMD CPU with comparable price. Look at Anandtech's CPU comparison with UT3 Demo, and it's a pretty difficult claim to support that your Intel Core 2 Duo is somehow better at stock than the 5600+.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          At stock those CPUs may have a similar performance, but why would anybody run a Core 2 Duo at stock? 3 GHz is easy with these CPUs, with my old 4200+ I couldn't get much more than 2,3 GHz. And let's not forget that Core 2 Duos are up to 30% faster at the same clock.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Certainly for overclockers that makes sense, but only a small percentage of people overclock their equipment. I don't do it even though I know how to. Now I definitely recognize the fun/enthusiast aspect of overlocking. But its pretty limited to me as a "value" proposition.

                            I've test overclocked my equipment at various times over the years, but I'm more interested in long term stability since I recycle my personal desktop equipment for other uses (e.g. upgrade for my kid's computer, servers). Without a doubt, overclocking shortens the life span of components.

                            Then there are the power consumption and heat issues associated with it. For instance, it's never seemed that cost beneficial to me when to overclock responsibly, it's typically best to buy a $40-$50 cpu cooler to replace stock coolers. That tends to push the benefits of overlocking out of an effective cost/performance ratio considering that one should also typically buy RAM with better timings and higher mhz range to support the overclocking of the CPU.

                            So enjoy the overclocking, but keep in mind that part of the value of it is situated in that enjoyment for the people that do it. Remove that factor, and other considerations which are dependent on the individual can reduce the cost effectiveness of it.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by ScottUT View Post
                              I wish I wasnt so cheap on myself lol.
                              Ill be rocking UT3 on a 2.8 p4 single core, 1 gig ram, and a 7800 gs agp.
                              Running the demo on one of my PCs which the P4 single core (only at 3.2) with 256 Meg GF7800 and it runs it SURPRISINGLY well. Game looks good and in Heatray getting consistent 40-50 FPS. Only drops much below 30 in the courtyard in Shangri. This is my son's rig, and if he can stabilize around 30 FPS with consistent frame rates it's certainly runnable...and it looks good to boot.

                              I'm floored at how well this game scaled down to lower end hardware.

                              On the other end, the Crysis Demo runs like **** on my e6600 dual core with an 8800GTS in. The cutscenes run choppy as hell and I'm not approaching 30 FPS in gameplay...this kills me since I often top out the UT3 demo at 90-100FPS.

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