In need of upgrade advice

I have been very happy with my current setup until Natural Selection 2 came along. I have a Core 2 Duo E7300, a Palit HD 4870 1gb ddr5 and 2x4gb corsair vengenace ram (1600 running at lower speeds), motherboard Gigabyte EP45C-D3S. I've had 2gb ddr2 and HIS HD 3850 OC in the past, recently upgraded to this 4870 which has 2 axial type fans and is pretty power hungry and noisy and hot (idles 60c, max 75c) at 750/950 or 790/1050, same temps, slight artifacts when using the overclocked bios switch, there's under 5% performance difference so I keep it on normal. My Core 2 Duo can overclock fairly well, I run it at 3.2Ghz for natural selection, since i've noticed a little improvement over stock clock (feels <10%). 

The thing is the game isn't that well optimized yet, I hope it will get better with time but I can't get my hopes up, I have a 2007-8 rig and it's showing it's age on new games (though most console port crap runs bad on anything). My T7700 2.4ghz laptop with nvidia quadro fx 570m ddr3 (an 8600gt with ddr3 and more shaders & pipelines)does a better job at low settings than my destkop, even when overclocked.

I want to run Natural Selection 2 and Chivalry a bit better than I currently do (10-20 more fps). I get 30 averege in NS2, 40-50 max, & as low as 15 in big fights or loading spikes, sometimes <20 in complex scenes, menu also lags.

I get the same results on any settings, r_stats shows me 0ms delay from GPU so it's clearly a CPU bottleneck. I tried 640x480/800x600 all low, even my native 1680x1050 all low, multiproc. on, around 35 fps, same as on high settings with the dreaded ambient occlusion on which doesn't make much lag. After testing some setings(max gives 35 fps as well), only Antialising and AO make it spike from 0ms to 7/15ms, but it's clear that my card can run it on high with no problem, on my native resolution.

There would be a definite benefit from upgrading to a quad core, but I can't spare much money now, as I figured buying a higher end cpu later would pay off later, and I don't need any graphical demanding games or programs to run.

My question is, what should I do, grab a second hand quad Yorkfield or even a q6600 to fit this rig or spend more on a newer quad core? Currently I am looking at the low end, around 200$, which would be enough in the states, prices here are 25% more. Not interested in i3 or other dual cores, they're not worth the investment, and if i can overclock to 4ghz, I might pass that, though heat will be a problem with my hd 4870, which i fear will only be solved with buying a new whole alltogether. (or reducing the 2d clocks and better airflow, anyone know if it's possible? idle temps are high but normal for this card, but the power consumption is not worth idling)

Thanks in advance.

Whew sorry for the block of text, tl;dr
I need better cpu for ns2 only, all else is cool, overclock advice/ upgrade advice (invest in old second hand/shiny new expensive stuff later)

Hmm...your system could do with some upgrades, yes. What about the i5 3570k? Or even the 3570? Shouldn't be much more than $200...

yeah well in my country that will set me back a lot, like 400$, including a low to mid range motherboard

If prices don't drop soon I'm probably getting something like that as soon as haswell comes out (this year ?), I won't need anything more than that i5 for some time, unless I'll start modelling.

Okay well if it means a new motherboard anyway why not opt AMD for the budget. The 4300 or 6300 will be more than enough and you can pick up a motherboard, whether that be ATX or Micro ATX for next to nothing

More than enough you sure? I've heard some bad reviews about Bulldozer zambezis, and Piledriver visheras too, though on one multithreaded game it went head to head to intel i5s. I understand AMD has nothing to compete with intel's high end.

AMD comes to a cliff edge when it comes to productivity and efficiency but for raw gaming it handles it beautifully. And for the money its amazing. All my gaming rigs use AMD. I only use intel for editing and 3D rendering.

I've been pretty ignorant to this. Do you know a good motherboard chipset for a vishera platform, 6300, under 100$?

My birthday is coming soon in march, so my plan is to get either the hexacore or the octocore. Which do you reccomend? I don't want to upgrade my PSU, I bet it can hold either, my HD 4870 requires 2 4pin, it should be enough, the AMDs would take an extra 30 or 60 watts. I'll check to be sure.

My PSU is actually an Enermax EG701AX VE 600W 35A (2x18A on 12V) SLi/CrossfireX ready, supported Pentium D extreme edition and prescotts which consumed 125W so I'm good to go. I'll have to get a cooler before this that fits a Piledriver socket.


any opinion on these?


The third link (cant be bothered to put the name) is a solid and stable AM3+ Motherboard. I'd go for that. But you wanna look into your storage options and such. Your PSU will be enough:D

Storage options? Sata 3 (even sata 2 limit isn't touched) is too much bandwidth for any hard disk drive, and I currently have no need for a SSD.

I see benchmarks and reviews favor intel on gaming and hd encoding, modelling, image processing editing in general, but any visheras fall behind by under 10% difference, which makes them a lot more worth it (a quad intel cpu = 6/8core amd cpu + good mobo). Now I have to see if the extra money and power consumption is worth it to get an fx 8320 or fx 8350, or the fx 6300 will suffice? (game benchmarks show an improvement, and the price is close too) I pay about 50$ more than US stores on this build, so maybe a cheaper motherboard, with a good chipset will be better, eh?

This ASUS Uefi bios seems interesting, might get asus just for that. Gigabyte and others with 990fx chipset are just about the same price, is there a big performance gap between 990fx and 970fx and other chipsets?

I've solved the heat problem with the video card by undervolting and underclocking, and fitting the case with a plastic tube which improved my now overclocked cpu temperatures drastically! Also better air flow. The performance in games and everyday applications (including load times) of the octocores vs the 6300 or the older bulldozers isn't that big and falls behind no more than 10 frames per sec in games, so I'm gonna go with the FX 6300.

Thanks for your help, I wonder why no one else replies, must've been buried in the sea of "look at my build" threads.