Okay, here are the results.
Bear with me as I have not purchased any newer games lately as I was running an aged 9800gtx+.System specs:
OS: Windows 7 64-bit
CPU: Q9550 2.833GHz 1.25v @ 3.4GHz 1.12v
Mobo: Asus P5Q-Pro
RAM: 4GB (4X1GB) Corsair DHX 4-4-4-12 @ 800MHz
HDD: several (all SATA 3GB/s running via HDTune at about 105 to 110 mb/s)
PSU: Corsair TX750
Monitor: Spectre @ 1680X1050 60Hz
GPU(s): EVGA 9800GTX+ SSC 512MB @ 756MHz (bought back in '09?)
MSI GTX 650ti 1GB @ 980MHz (new)
XFX HD7850 1GB @ 860MHz (new)
Alright. For the quick answer: no. The Q9550 at 3.4GHz doesn't bottleneck either of the new cards at 1680X1050.
This is not to say a newer system with an i5/i7 or even an i3 (in the Tom's article linked above from LatiosXT) wouldn't have substantially higher frame rates. But it's what I got.
Like I stated earlier I haven't had the gpu umph to run any of the newer games so I haven't bought any.
The most demanding in my library with a built-in benchmarking tool was Far Cry 2. I know, old, right?
Well, I received the GTX 650ti from Newegg on Tuesday. Immediately after the install I decided to fold a few work units on it. When I suspended folding back in the mid summer 2010 the 9800GTX+ was netting about 7 to 7.5k PPD. As I skipped over the whole Fermi generation I was anxious to see what the Kepler series cards could do. A few moments into the first work unit the 650ti was showing about 17.5k PPD. Wow! Huge gain over the 9800GTX. It was hard but I left for work and came home later on. Then the fun began!
Yesterday, the kind UPS man dropped off another box. This time it was the HD7850. Yeehaw. Let the battle commence!
First things first, right?
Here's some pictures of the exact GPUs I am talking about here.
EVGA 9800GTX+ 512MB
MSI GTX650ti 1GB
XFX HD7850 1GB
Windows Experience Scores:
Q9550: 7.4 calculations/second, 7.4 memory operations/second
9800GTX+: 5.9 graphics, 6.4 gaming
GTX 650ti: 7.5 graphics, 7.5 gaming
HD7850: 7.9 graphics, 7.9 gaming
What a joke. I really need to shelve this benchmark. The results were useless.
Far Cry2 Benchmark:
1680X1050, Small Ranch, optimal, bloom: on, d3d10, 3 runs
Unigine Heaven v4 Benchmark:
1680X1050, d3d11, high quality, normal tessellation
Temps (Celcius - fans running at 75%):
Now the 9800GTX+ probably has some dust in her so temps are a little high as I haven't blown the card out in a couple months.
Power Draw (via Kill-A-Watt meter):
I'm not sure why there was less power draw on all cards when running the Heaven bench compared to the FC2 bench.
Thanks for reading. I just wanted to let you all know the results!
Okay, nuf of this. Now off to game. Thanks again guys for all your help!