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Old October 28, 2008, 03:45 PM
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Default Opteron 165 to an e5200 worth the upgrade?

Hi all!

I've put off upgrading for quite some time, as I'm currently doing my Master's in English (having paid my own way, with the help of student loans), and trying to save my pennies toward a wedding in July. However, I'm interested in playing some new games like Farcry 2 (which I'm hoping my g/f will buy me for Xmas), and even with some of my more recent games things are starting to feel a little bottlenecked. On the bright side, I snagged an 8800GT when they dipped below $100, so all I need is mobo/ram/cpu.

My current setup is:
Asus A8N-E
Opteron 165 @ 2.5ghz
2GB OCZ PC3200 RAM
8800GT
Silverstone ST500F 500W PSU
XP Pro

Because funds are so low, I was thinking the best route would be for me to see if I could get my hands on used parts, probably an e5200 (which I would OC the hell out of), a Gigabyte EP45 (or 35) mobo and preferably 4GB of Mushkin RAM. I'm hoping to put it all together for about $150-175.

Would I see much of a performance increase if I could get all of this together? I hear the e5200 OCs like mad, and it's the next gen of architecture, so I would hope there would be some improvement there.

Any thoughts?

Cheers!
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Old October 28, 2008, 04:05 PM
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Night and day between an opty and a C2D when you consider that even the newer AM2 procs are underperformers when compared to intels.

How much of a boost will you see??? Seems to me the thread I was reading on Farcry 2 suggested that it was quite CPU dependant so you should see a fair boost.
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Old October 28, 2008, 04:35 PM
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I recently downgraded to a 5000+ from an E8400, and noticed no difference difference. Unless you are playing at low resolutions I found CPU's don't play a huge role when it comes to gaming.
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Old October 28, 2008, 05:15 PM
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I guess it depends what you consider low res...I'm running at 1680X1050.

Oh, and thanks sswilson. That was more or less my thinking, too, but I have no way to qualify my assumption. I've found a few benchmarks for CPUs, but I don't really know which of the benchmarks they use are a little more "real world" performance oriented...How fast a particular program encodes 720p video is interesting, but doesn't really tell me much about day to day performance, and gaming performance; that's why I'm looking for some opinions here. Thanks for yours!

Last edited by vulcan500rider; October 28, 2008 at 05:42 PM.
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Old October 28, 2008, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by lowfat View Post
I recently downgraded to a 5000+ from an E8400, and noticed no difference difference. Unless you are playing at low resolutions I found CPU's don't play a huge role when it comes to gaming.
seriously.. that is kinda odd.. E8400 is a real nice processor it should have been a bit better than the 5000+.

but hey thanks for the honest opinion.
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Old October 28, 2008, 09:21 PM
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Just overclock your rig to as high as you can while keeping the temps for the CPU under 55C to 60C. A quick search seems to indicate that you already overclocked your CPU.

I personally would stick with your CPU and just overclock the parts. I used to have an AM2 rig that's similar to yours except that I had a X850XT and I loved that system except that I couldn't play the latest games at a good FPS with decent quality. Now with my current rig, I feel that my 9600GT is underpowered since my CPU is clocked so high, but being a casual gamer has it's up and downs.

So back to the main point. Games are usually more GPU bound than CPU bound so if you do switch to a E5200 setup, you may notice maybe a 5 to 10 FPS increase in your games, but I'd say not enough to warrant the need of a upgrade.
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Old October 29, 2008, 01:45 PM
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I could try to push the overclock a bit, but I'm not sure how much more I'll get out of the chip. I remember people getting close to 3 ghz with really good batches, but the highest I could ever get mine to stably was 2.7, but at that speed I ran into problems with NB heat under load. I HAVE switched the (abysmal) stock heatsink with something better, but I don't think the extra 200mhz will make much difference.

That said, maybe the upgrade wouldn't either, in which case maybe I'm better waiting for a while yet, until something better comes down to my price range; it was only a few months that the current price for an e5200 would only get you a e2180, so maybe things will be better once the next gen makes its debut. I just want to be sure I don't miss the "crest of the wave" so far as this gen's price/performance ration goes, and end up chasing EOL processors, or abandoning the whole idea and waiting until something in the next gen becomes affordable (which could take a while).
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Old October 29, 2008, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vulcan500rider View Post
I could try to push the overclock a bit, but I'm not sure how much more I'll get out of the chip. I remember people getting close to 3 ghz with really good batches, but the highest I could ever get mine to stably was 2.7, but at that speed I ran into problems with NB heat under load. I HAVE switched the (abysmal) stock heatsink with something better, but I don't think the extra 200mhz will make much difference.

That said, maybe the upgrade wouldn't either, in which case maybe I'm better waiting for a while yet, until something better comes down to my price range; it was only a few months that the current price for an e5200 would only get you a e2180, so maybe things will be better once the next gen makes its debut. I just want to be sure I don't miss the "crest of the wave" so far as this gen's price/performance ration goes, and end up chasing EOL processors, or abandoning the whole idea and waiting until something in the next gen becomes affordable (which could take a while).
It will be a noticable difference IMO, I went from a 3800x-2 @2.6 skt939 and some redline pc-4000, to a phenom and some more redline acsent pc-8000 and it is night and day with a 88gt.

My cpu/ram was the bottleneck for the 88gt @ 1680x1050.

Realworld I saw a noticable difference everything from gaming to encoding to just surfing/music.
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Old October 29, 2008, 04:49 PM
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Thanks, Supergrover! Which Phenom did you go with? I wonder how much difference came because of the additional core(s), and how much because of the speed...
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Old October 29, 2008, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sswilson View Post
Night and day between an opty and a C2D when you consider that even the newer AM2 procs are underperformers when compared to intels.

How much of a boost will you see??? Seems to me the thread I was reading on Farcry 2 suggested that it was quite CPU dependant so you should see a fair boost.
I cannot agree. C2D performs better when overclocked (only because they overclock so much better), but decent AM2 CPU's will keep right up stock for stock. I believe the 6000+ can keep up with the 8400+ stock VS stock. Same with Quads. Too bad AMD's just won't OC that far.
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