Can I get away with an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 for upcoming games

So, I have this EVGA 750i FTW mobo and an old Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550.  I was thinking about slapping into a budget rig for a friend in hopes that it will perform decently at 1080p or higher.  Future uses include GTA 5 When it comes out, and Witcher 3.  What video cards would pair well with this? for now I was thinking GTX 660 and if it performs poorly buying another to run in SLI. 

The  GTX 660 out performs the 750Ti but it is really power hungry 133% more power need to run

How much ram will you have on this board? The Q9550 will pair very nicely with a gtx750ti 2gb. I highly recommend the EVGA ACX version. With the Q9550/4gb ram/ gtx750ti this PC will play modern games at medium/high settings 1080p.

Now on the other hand I also have a XFX 750i board/Core2 Duo E8300/4gb ddr2 800mhz. Any game I've tried more demanding than COD MW3 at high settings 720p I get  a Windows error saying system memory is running low and it shuts down the game. I'm thinking its the 4gb ddr2 800mhz that is my problem. I don't remember if these old boards will run ddr3. But if you got some ddr3 1066mhz and the board will take it you may have to go that route. Its not a big deal for me since I only us my old PC as a HTPC and not for any gaming. I've tested this with a gtx650ti sc 2gb and a Radeon 6450 1gb and either card I get the low system memory error from Windows. 

I would recommend at least 6 to 8 gigs ram or it will greatly shorten the life span of hard drives from constantly having to write cache to drive.

A lot of the core 2 quad boards max out at 8 gigs 4 slots 2 gigs per slot.


Depends on which games we talk about.

But in my opinnion a Core to Quad is not good enough anymore, for upcomming games.

Take Watchdogs as an example very demending game, for both cpu and gpu. The core 2 quad will not handle this game very well.

And Watchdogs is just an example of whats is comming to us, the upcomming years. ☺

It will be sufficient for a while longer, until the new CPU generations come out that feature a noticeable improvement (i.e. Haswell-E in a shrunk-down version for consumers or the next AMD FX or Phenom line). Buying a new gaming system feels like a waste of money to me to be honest.

CPU's are at a generation update point both in the Intel and AMD camps, nVidia has noticed that they have to come out with something better than Maxwell, and AMD has dropped the R9 285, but I believe that is a decoy strategy for Tonka. So what can you actually buy right now that makes sense for a long term gaming system? I dunno... it's not even clear if everyone is still going to have Windows on his gaming PC by this time next year...

Lol, Watchdogs. They stripped it down to make it playable for the consoles and it's still a very demanding game? Talk about a shit game.

People should play Deus Ex if they want a cool cyberpunk game.

I currently run a Q9650, the one step up, with a R9 290X.

In current games, I see 50-70% CPU usage. In Crysis, Metro, and a fewer of the "too damn demanding games" take up to 90-100% and I finally get to see a bottleneck.

I only use 4GB of ram and in most games, that are averagely optimized (basically some dev actually paid attention to ram limitations in certain OS), I run above 60fps at 1080p. I can only think of two games that have saturated my 4GB; Max Payne and Watch Dogs.

One thing that most builders forget: If you are building a gaming rig, your budget should be mainly given to your gpu. The cpu, the ram, and storage will not hamper your frames and putting money towards them is exponential for small gains. Your motherboard may and your psu definitely will but other than that.. Get the best gpu you can and don't look back.

its just because those core 2 quads are just so slow core for core.

Offcourse for gpu demending games, it does not matter that much, but cpu + gpu demending you will definitely see an potentional Bottleneck. higendcards start to fall back in load.

Not true. My gpu is usually at 100% while the cpu is not 100% even in cpu bound games.

why do you guys recommend the 750ti??? the 270 isn't much more

If you can get a good overclock you should be fine for awhile. I have seen them pushed to 4 to 4.3 Ghz. But the vcore was at 1.425 or something like that. Just off the top of my head I think Intel only recommended a max of 1.36v. I am most likely wrong but you can look that up.

With Mantle, DX12, and Open GL trying to reduce CPU utilization you may be surprised by a old quad core can do still in a few years. I have no proof of this. Just a crazy guess off me messing with mantle and older processor's like the Phenom 965.    

 PCIe 3.0 GPUs is backwards compatible and could be reused in an upgraded system . It would also allow for you to get by for now with what you have and save for upgrades. you would need some ddr2 ram and then buy decent case, PSU & drive that can also be used in upgraded system

In some games, more so with newer games but as old as Battlefield 3, You will be bottle necking on your CPU. I have experienced this with my Q9550 and GTX 560.  It will become more of a problem with newer higher end games.

I wasnt even able to push my q9550 to 2.9. I got a dud but it was fucking solid at 2.83

you are kidding right?

Do you realise the scenario´s wenn things are becomming cpu bound?

For example, go and play BF4 multiplayer, on a 64+ people server in a big map like china 1080p or 1440p maxed out. lets see what happens with your gpu load. show screens of the graph of msi afterburner.

i know for sure your gpu will not be at 100% load anymore. it will drop down allot, because the cores of the core to quad are not fast enough to keep up with that 290X gpu, if it has to render constantly 64+ people on the same map moving everywhere.

Or another example try skyrim, watchdogs, or Metro. and see if your cpu is realy capable of holding that 290X on full load constantly.

i can tell you for now, it wont!

Yes a GPU that supports mantle could be an option

especially heavily modded games

exactly ☺

Even some of todays cpu´s struggle with this...

I have a q9550 in my other pc. Its not too shabby a chip depending on how well yours overclocks but the platform as a whole is showing its age. Id probably snag up a cheap r9 280  then look into swapping out that core2 for an i5 when you feel up to the investment. Maybe after the upcoming die shrink.