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Thread: How important is CPU for gaming?

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    Default How important is CPU for gaming?

    Today my friend and I got into an argument. He said that a Core i3 2100 won't be good for gaming, no matter how good the GPU is. I explained to him that a 2nd Gen Core i3 will never bottleneck a GTX590 or 690 even, unless there are multiple displays. But he said that there will be a 10 to 15 frame rate increase if the Core i3 is replaced with a Core i7. So here I am, asking you folks, is CPU really that important in gaming? To me a Core i3 2100 is enough.

    For example: I buy a PC with Core i3 2100 and Sapphire HD 7950 card. Will a Core i5 2400 with HD 7850 be better than the i3? Lets also consider this: The core i3 and the i5 both get HD 7950 as their GPU.

    Which will perform better? Combo 1: Core i3 + 7950Combo 2: Core i5 + 7850Combo 3: Core i5 + 7950I know that the i5 with 7950 will practically give more frame rate, so lets talk about Combo 1 and 2.
    Last edited by Robin Rayhan; May 8th, 2012 at 21:15.

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    i dont know how much fps will increase but of course fps will increase if you replace 2100 with a 2400

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    definitely an increase in fps with combo 2....

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    well at lower resolution and heavy cpu dependent games processor does matter, but at higher res 1080P or above processor matters less n less


    Guess what??? scan it??:

    Good enough GAMING RIG

    HApPy GAMing

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    A GTX590/690 will def perform better with an i7 or i5 than i3. But yeah its more Dependant on the res. Though the i3 would neck the 7950 but still combo 1 would be better. U could just get a Z68/77 board & upgrade the CPU down the road.

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    Combo 3 will definitely be the best.

    The thing is bottlenecks strictly depend on the game, and yes it is possible that an i3 might not bottleneck a 590 but thats game dependent and is highly unlikely to happen. For instance, Starcraft 2 requires little GPU power but requires more powerful processor regardless of resolution because of the number of the AI units on screen.

    These days most games are console ports, and console games are usually more CPU dependent than GPU. So its best if you don't get an unbalanced rig like Combo 1 cause some games may fly but then some (probably more) will crawl. PLus there's also games that use both CPU and GPU, and if you pair an i3 with a 590, then you won't be able to fully exploit the power of the 590.

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2O View Post
    Today my friend and I got into an argument. He said that a Core i3 2100 won't be good for gaming, no matter how good the GPU is. I explained to him that a 2nd Gen Core i3 will never bottleneck a GTX590 or 690 even, unless there are multiple displays. But he said that there will be a 10 to 15 frame rate increase if the Core i3 is replaced with a Core i7. So here I am, asking you folks, is CPU really that important in gaming? To me a Core i3 2100 is enough.

    For example: I buy a PC with Core i3 2100 and Sapphire HD 7950 card. Will a Core i5 2400 with HD 7850 be better than the i3? Lets also consider this: The core i3 and the i5 both get HD 7950 as their GPU.

    Which will perform better? Combo 1: Core i3 + 7950Combo 2: Core i5 + 7850Combo 3: Core i5 + 7950I know that the i5 with 7950 will practically give more frame rate, so lets talk about Combo 1 and 2.
    Depends on many things.
    So there is no straight forward conclusion for this argument.

    For example, for most the games you would get almost 2x performance while going for GTX 570 SLI from regular GTX 570.
    But you won't get 2x performance for upgrading to core i5 from i3.

    In some games, where CPU has great impact, you may get better performance with better cpu.

    As I don't have idea about 7850 vs 7950 can't pick any combo.

    But for gaming give more importance to gpu if you already have a decent cpu.





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    Last edited by abir; May 8th, 2012 at 22:16.

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    obviously cpu matters.. and exampl is myself.. i got XFX 6770 .in youtube,i've seen a lot of videos of BATTLEFIELD 3 gameplay,which has been played by 6770 gpu in ultra details..their FPS was 55+-.. but with a high-end build cpu..my proc is C2D, BF3 khelle pura cpu usage thake 100% ..and fps thake 30/34..so obviously CPU maters..

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    a better cpu usually gives better minimum frame rates.

    it is best to maintain balance between the components.

    generally a midrange part should be coupled with another midrange part so that depending on the situation, one does not bottleneck the other.

    again, in a few gaming/hardware forums, few people posted a "rule of thumb" for optimum gaming performance: "the price of the gpu should be at least 1.5 times or greater than the price of the processor for the optimum gaming performance."

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    I know a better CPU + GPU will obviously give better performance. But is it wise to buy high-end range cards such as 7870 or 7950 and pair them with a i3? If I opt to buy i5 or i7, GPU budget will go lower. So, the question is wether its better to invest more in a GPU than a CPU? I am asking this coz many of my friends ask me to give them a PC config, they can buy, and I always suggest them to go for i3, save the money and buy a better GPU. AS @emroz_2272 vaiya mentioned, higher CPU would mean higher minimum frame rate, I will go for i5, and not buy a GPU at all. Wait a few months and save money for a good GPU. But those who want to buy CPU+GPU combo, what should be the budget ratio? 1:2 right? (CPU:GPU)

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    my opinion - 1:1.5 seems to yield the best balance

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    Buy a i5 quad core and buy a very good graphics card if you play in >1400x900 or 1280x720 resolution. In higher resolution, GPU becomes dominant.

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    Everyone here has a point and all are correct, honestly.

    Start from the basics, think CPU as 'ComPuting Unit' and GPU as 'Game Powering Unit'. That's it: companies creates better CPU to improve performance in (almost) all sectors of a computer. Where, (discrete) GPU is created now-a-days for (mainly) gaming. If you don't game, you don't need a (discrete) GPU [most of the cases].

    Then, a better GPU is always guaranteed to increase fps (exclude GPU/vendor exclusive games). Where, a better CPU is not always guaranteed to increase fps. Better fps due to better CPU depends on many things, like: a CPUs' generation (like: G620 is faster than i3-530), how many core/thread can a game utilize, performance-per-core ratio, clock speed, games' resolution, games' graphics settings etc. That's why sometimes better CPU performs slower in games.

    Then, there's a thing called 'bottleneck'. Which means: "barrier in the way of getting full performance."
    Todays' example: G620 (5.6k) & 7870 (35k) costs 40.6k ; i7-2600 (28k) & 7750 (11k) costs 39k. Both costs almost same. Now, you tell me: doesn't the first config performs much better than the second even if G620 is the bottleneck here? According to my personal analysis: counting G620 performs 0.6x of the benchmarks' CPUs' is a safe margin, it performs much better in many cases though. So, if 7870 gets 38 fps in a benchmark, you'll get 38 x 0.6 = 22.8 fps with G620, according to this analysis. And, that will still be much faster than 7750 + i7-2600 combo.

    P.S.: Reviewers gets better results by using 2400MHz RAM's; X79 mobos'; disableing anti-virus, many background processes, services, programs etc. Which we won't do in real-life. So, also counting a 5% decrease in performance won't be a bad decision, IMO.

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    *facewall*

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    Quote Originally Posted by FilClaw View Post
    Everyone here has a point and all are correct, honestly.

    Start from the basics, think CPU as 'ComPuting Unit' and GPU as 'Game Powering Unit'. That's it: companies creates better CPU to improve performance in (almost) all sectors of a computer. Where, (discrete) GPU is created now-a-days for (mainly) gaming. If you don't game, you don't need a (discrete) GPU [most of the cases].

    Then, a better GPU is always guaranteed to increase fps (exclude GPU/vendor exclusive games). Where, a better CPU is not always guaranteed to increase fps. Better fps due to better CPU depends on many things, like: a CPUs' generation (like: G620 is faster than i3-530), how many core/thread can a game utilize, performance-per-core ratio, clock speed, games' resolution, games' graphics settings etc. That's why sometimes better CPU performs slower in games.

    Then, there's a thing called 'bottleneck'. Which means: "barrier in the way of getting full performance."
    Todays' example: G620 (5.6k) & 7870 (35k) costs 40.6k ; i7-2600 (28k) & 7750 (11k) costs 39k. Both costs almost same. Now, you tell me: doesn't the first config performs much better than the second even if G620 is the bottleneck here? According to my personal analysis: counting G620 performs 0.6x of the benchmarks' CPUs' is a safe margin, it performs much better in many cases though. So, if 7870 gets 38 fps in a benchmark, you'll get 38 x 0.6 = 22.8 fps with G620, according to this analysis. And, that will still be much faster than 7750 + i7-2600 combo.

    P.S.: Reviewers gets better results by using 2400MHz RAM's; X79 mobos'; disableing anti-virus, many background processes, services, programs etc. Which we won't do in real-life. So, also counting a 5% decrease in performance won't be a bad decision, IMO.
    nice point . + for u

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    All your answers are *HERE*

  17. #17
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    If you need to spend more on one component, then spend it on the GPU but make sure the PC is not unbalanced.

    I have no idea what Filclaw is smoking, but G620 + 7870 is exactly the type of PCs you should not be building.

    Does your budget allow i5 2400 and 7870 (or equivalent)?

    PS:
    CPU = Central Processing Unit
    GPU = Graphics Processing Unit, not Game.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by aayman View Post
    I have no idea what Filclaw is smoking, but G620 + 7870 is exactly the type of PCs you should not be building.
    Yeah, none should do that as that's a lame config. I was just giving an example.

    Quote Originally Posted by aayman View Post
    PS:
    CPU = Central Processing Unit
    GPU = Graphics Processing Unit, not Game.
    ROFLOL. I added "think" and "as".

    Quote Originally Posted by FilClaw View Post
    think CPU as 'ComPuting Unit' and GPU as 'Game Powering Unit'.

  19. #19
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    Ummm why would he even think that anyway? You said 'lets start from the basics' and then told him 2 things which aren't true (CPU was somewhat close).

  20. #20
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    FilClaw is actually right using his analogy. Though the G630 is somewhat underpowered for a 7870. A more balanced config would be a i3 2100 and a 7850. Though he's wrong with the 0.6 ratio. I always support buying a high end GPU paired with a mid end CPU such as the 2400 but the prices here are obnoxious.

    @FilClaw , btw the prices you quoted there, are these correct? I'm planning on buying a G630 myself, but need to know the prices/shops/availability.

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