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At what point are CPUs truly bottlenecking performance?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I still run a Q9550, but after playing the BF3 Beta, I can't help but wonder if it's holding my 5850 back. I was under the impression that most games these days hardly really strained CPU (aside from StarCraft II and similar titles), and GPU horsepower is what really mattered when gaming.

But, well, I could be wrong. Would I see more of an increase in FPS by upgrading to, say, a 2500k, or by grabbing another 5850?
Autistic Savant
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Autistic Savant
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post #2 of 8
Try OC your CPU, I think if you grab another 5850 your system will be badly bottlenecked...
My Beloved
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My Beloved
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post #3 of 8
was either your CPU/GPU at 100% usage?
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post #4 of 8
In my experience there is an obvious bottleneck, and a more hidden kind based on integer performance.

The obvious ones are when the CPU is running at 100% and the GPU is not.

The less obvious version is harder to find, but just as bad.
Take a look at my sig rig.
Athlon II X4 640 @ 3.3GHz and a GTX470 at 750MHz Core.
I get good performance all around, and im happy, but I know from experience my CPU is holding back my GPU even though it never runs at 100% to compensate.

I used to have a 955BE with this 470.
I would get good performance, and a solid gaming experience.
My 955 never obviously struggled with it.

I went up to a 1090T for a while and saw a 50% increase in fps with the same config.

How can the normal definition of bottleneck explain that?
It cant, so there must be a usage based bottleneck, and an IPC based one.

For you, Being at 4GHz and adding another 5850 couldnt hurt.
Though the biggest bottleneck in any system is the Mechanical Hard Drive.
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Micro Mule
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post #5 of 8
100% usage isn't really the telltale sign. You minimum frames will usually suffer first which pulls your average down dramatically.

Yes you would see a huge jump with another GPU and a 2500K!
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post #6 of 8
Your Q9550 maybe bottlenecking your single 5850 but if you were to go crossfire with another 5850 you would have a hell of a bottleneck. I would suggest going to sandybridge platform 2500k, because BF3 will be doing all physx off your cpu and with a possible slight bottleneck now from the 5850 you would never run it maxed out.
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post #7 of 8
@ 2.83 it's definitely holding you back but a nice OC to 3.4-3.6 would give it some leg room but if you went CF it would still hold you back much more.
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Ada
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Aegis
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post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
I ran the Beta OC'ed to 3.4GHz, but I forget the usage on both CPU and GPU. Odds are the CPU was maxed out. It ran okay at high, best at medium. Still leaning towards it being a GPU deal, seeing as a 6970 is recommended for BF3.
Autistic Savant
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Asus P5Q Deluxe Sapphire HD 5850 "Xtreme" Kingston DDR2-800  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS Seagate ST31000340AS Hitachi DeskStar Maxtor 500GB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
lol optical disks Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B Windows 7 Build 7601.17514.101119-1850 x64 HP w2207 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Corsair TX750  Custom A4 Tech Office 8K 
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RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 HP DVD-RAM UJ897 Derp Heatsink + Fan 
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Windows 7 Build 7601.17514.101119-1850 x64  HP BrightView 14.5" Panel HP Chiclet Keyboard 90W AC Adapter 
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Autistic Savant
(18 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9550 Asus P5Q Deluxe Sapphire HD 5850 "Xtreme" Kingston DDR2-800  
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Blue WD5000AAKS Seagate ST31000340AS Hitachi DeskStar Maxtor 500GB 
Optical DriveCoolingOSMonitor
lol optical disks Prolimatech Megahalems Rev. B Windows 7 Build 7601.17514.101119-1850 x64 HP w2207 
KeyboardPowerCaseMouse
Saitek Eclipse II Corsair TX750  Custom A4 Tech Office 8K 
Mouse PadAudio
Allsop Black JVC HA-M750 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i5-2410m Hewlett-Packard 3385 AMD Radeon HD6630 Kingston DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM 
RAMHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Samsung DDR3-1333 SO-DIMM Crucial M4 CT128M4SSD2 HP DVD-RAM UJ897 Derp Heatsink + Fan 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Build 7601.17514.101119-1850 x64  HP BrightView 14.5" Panel HP Chiclet Keyboard 90W AC Adapter 
CaseMouseAudio
HP Envy Shell Synaptics Touchpad w/ Optical crap Beats Audio 
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