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AMD PhII x4 (C2) @ 3596/2552mhz enough for CF 6850, or need 1090t @ 4ghz+???

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
So my x3 720 C2 stepping can unlock and overclock to at least (but not much at all more than) the settings in my sig-rig.

I currently run @ 3580 and 2530 on the CPU and NB respectfully to cut down on volts by a setting in my mobo.

My RAM (rated for 1600mhz 7-7-7-20) refuses to run at even 1400mhz at CL7 let alone above, and refuses to clock lower timings at even as low as 1230mhz than 6-7-6-24. My assumption is that my IMC is holding back the RAM. (can someone confirm this?)

Anyway, I am fairly certain that I want to crossfire my 6850. It works beautifully maxed with AA in 90% of all games currently @ 1080p, but there are those infrequent points where it can't handle everything.

Skyrim is coming soon. I'm losing my mind already over it Cannot wait. I NEED to be able to max this game out when it arrives, preferably with at least some AA (Oblivion with MLAA is fairly wonderful - I'd like the same honestly)

I'm also finding my PC ever so slightly sluggish at times (I feel sick not appreciating what I have, as I'm lucky, but still I love the pursuit of performance) yet I'm also heavily limited in budget, permanently, so bang-for-the-buck is paramount.

So my question - to crossfire 6850's overclocked, will my CPU be enough in games at the clocks it's now basically limited to?

Do I need to upgrade my CPU in order to make full use of the CF setup @1080p?

What should I do? Upgrade the CPU now and CF later, or CF now and CPU later?

Side note - I also find myself running out of RAM whilst browsing and multitasking. Will getting my RAM running at rated speeds assist or should I bite the bullet and head to 8gb soon also?

Cheers
Edited by willibj - 8/7/11 at 6:45am
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post #2 of 36
Thread Starter 
Perhaps this question should be in the AMD CPU section, seeing as nobody has an opinion on the matter in here. Mods, please move it if it would do better in the AMD processor section.
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post #3 of 36
If skyrim is your only worry, you wont need another 6850. Bethesda wont make it too demanding because majority of rpg players are not enthusiasts that upgrade everytime there is new tech.

A 3.5 ghz phenom II will be enough for Xfire 6850 for a constant 60fps.
I suggest just sell the 6850 and get a 6950 2gb.
There is no point in upgrading to a 1090T because bulldozer will be out by november
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post #4 of 36
It will give you a boost. If there is any CPU bottleneck, it will be too small to notice.
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post #5 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by edalbkrad View Post
If skyrim is your only worry, you wont need another 6850. Bethesda wont make it too demanding because majority of rpg players are not enthusiasts that upgrade everytime there is new tech.

A 3.5 ghz phenom II will be enough for Xfire 6850 for a constant 60fps.
I suggest just sell the 6850 and get a 6950 2gb.
There is no point in upgrading to a 1090T because bulldozer will be out by november
Good to know my CPU should be enough for CFX and good to know that Skyrim won't stress my system. Are you sure of that 2nd point. How sure?

Selling the 6850 and getting a 6950 seems like a waste - 6850 crossfire outperforms a GTX580 basically across the board, sometimes by a decent margin.

And the point to a 1090t is that:
a) it works on my current MB
b) it will reach over 4ghz CPU and near or more than 3ghz NB
c) it will allow my RAM to run at or above specs, instead of way below like currently

Bulldozer is of no interest to me since it would be a full platform upgrade also requiring MB and RAM (mine is 1.85-1.95v)
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post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jellis142 View Post
It will give you a boost. If there is any CPU bottleneck, it will be too small to notice.
The boost is obviously expected, but you think the CPU bottleneck won't affect GPU scaling? The 6850's should get 80-95% scaling depending on the game. Can I get this?
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post #7 of 36
It won't effect scaling, but whether it will be able to feed both to 99% is questionable. Some games that are more GPU-bound will probably show 99% using both, others that are more CPU-needy won't be able to keep up.
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post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 
Awesome, thanks for the helpful info. So there's a potential that my CPU won't be able to keep up, but it'll only be in some games?

Would a 1090t overclocked to 4ghz with the NB around 3ghz overcome those potential problems, or is the AM3 platform the fundamental problem (that Sandy Bridge/Bulldozer would fix for instance)?
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post #9 of 36
Yea the phenom is enough for xfire 6850's. Just to be sure, though, when you get another 6850, check the cpu and gpu usage. If cpu usage is @ 99%, but gpu is trailing, below 70-80%, then you have a bottleneck. I'd assume even if it does bottleneck, it won't be that significant. In other words, you will be able to run skyrim on high
    
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post #10 of 36
Thread Starter 
Does anybody have any direct experience with crossfire 6850's/6870's on an AM3 platform, either an x4 or x6, running at various speeds between 3ghz and 4ghz?

I'd like so evidence from someone who's dealt with the situation first hand if possible.

Or has anybody seen any on the internet? I've found CPU scaling for these crossfire setups on Intel Core i7 systems, but all the reviews seem to use these CPU's in eliminating CPU bottleneck potential, exactly the problem I want to know about.
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