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Is my CPU bottle necking my GPU that bad?

post #1 of 55
Thread Starter 
Hey guys, just a quick question.

I'm running a HD 6950 1GB overclocked to 880mhz, and 5350mhz memory. With this I've got a cheap AMD Phenom II 840.

Is the CPU making a really bad bottleneck, like, a huge bottleneck? I'm looking at getting a 2500K, will that give me better performance in games?

All answers are welcome smile.gif
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post #2 of 55
The best way to know if you have a CPU bottleneck is to look at the cpu usage while running your 3D application (game?).

If you see the CPU topping out at 100%, then you most probably have a CPU bottleneck. In that case you might as well check on the GPU usage. If the GPU usage is NOT at 99% and you do not have Vsync enabled, that pretty much tells you straight forward that the CPU is bottlenecking.
     
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post #3 of 55
GPU usage is the best method to use because some games are poorly threaded. For an example Heroes of Newerth's engine is a pile of steaming crap that can only use a single core so while my CPU usage is only at 25% its still the bottleneck because the GPU is falling asleep at only 50% usage.

It really depends on the game OP.
post #4 of 55
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derp View Post

GPU usage is the best method to use because some games are poorly threaded. For an example Heroes of Newerth's engine is a pile of steaming crap that can only use a single core so while my CPU usage is only at 25% its still the bottleneck because the GPU is falling asleep at only 50% usage.
It really depends on the game OP.

This is good advice. Yes it's possible that your CPU is bottlenecking your 6950. I would follow this advice and come back with what you've found. A good program to use is MSI Afterburner, and just use the on-screen display to watch your GPU usage in game.

I would even go so far as to say see what you can find with your current AM3+ motherboard. This isn't to alarm you, but don't expect AM3+ to have a long lifespan like AM3.

Josh Walrath at PCPerspective has a bleak look considering what AMD said a few weeks ago: AMD also looks like they will start funneling the enthusiasts towards FM2 platforms and Trinity based parts. While AMD looks to support AM3+ with Piledriver based cores, my best guess here is that AM3+ will be phased out sooner rather than later.

(Source)

(Source 2)
Edited by Macabre215 - 3/4/12 at 9:56am
post #5 of 55
Assuming that you are playing at 1080p, then you will only be seeing CPU a bottle neck in a very small handful of poorly coded games (GTA: 4 comes to mind). FYI even people with 2500k's will be seeing CPU bottlenecks in those games.
    
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post #6 of 55
wouldn't count on am3+ going away that soon as they already stated a version of excavator is also coming for am3+
post #7 of 55
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys,

The reason i Think there is a huge bottleneck is i cant even play Skyrim on highest settings. I have to have low shadows, and no AA or AF in order to get 60fps. And yet i see people with a 2500K, and a smaller graphics card playing it easy as pie on highest settings.
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post #8 of 55
Some games (i guess skyrim based on what you found) will bottle neck but most probably wont. Is your cpu overclocked? If no then a hyper 212evo for overclocking would be a much better way money wise to end a bottle neck if there is one, since you already have a cpu and mobo for amd
post #9 of 55
Thread Starter 
Yes, it's overclocked on a Cooler Master V6. And once again, its a 80 dollar CPU, so it doesn't overclock much higher than 3.8ghz without making a ton of heat.

I was watching ncix tech tips on you tube. The bottnecking video clearly demonstrated how a cheap CPU can make a large gpu like a gtx 480 run way slower than it could if it was on a high end cpu.

Oh, and I'm changing over to intel in April when they get ivy bridge by the way, much better performance than this silly AMD cpu.
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post #10 of 55
don't always believe the videos on those sites, they really just want you to buy a new cpu. Also a cheap cpu will bottle neck big gpu, but I don't think your 3.8ghz one would except the few select cpu limited titles, or poorly coded ones. Also if your board is am3+ (is it?) you may want to wait on piledriver before you switch to intel. Also steamroller and excavator might be backwards compatable. Just a thought. And if you got your current prov at just $80, i think thats awsome, not silly.
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