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Will a GPU upgrade be bottlenecked by my CPU?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Probably a question you guys get a lot, but anyway, currently my specs are :
i7 920 (2.67ghz)
Corsair Dominator 6GB
MSI GTX 480
Corsair TX750W PSU

So, I'm wanting to get one of the new 600series Nvidia cards that are coming out and want to know if my current CPU would bottleneck a GTX680. I used to have my CPU OC'd, but I was getting problems with that. I suppose I could try again...but I'm a bit hesitant too. Any help is appreciated!
post #2 of 12

I think you're fine with overclock. But not with SLI 680GTX...

 
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≡ Snowbaru ≡
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post #3 of 12
Well nobody knows what nvidia's 6xx cards will be like but you should be fine with a GPU upgrade. You have a powerful CPU... but It could use a little overclocking biggrin.gif

Get and after market cooler and bump that bad boy up to 4 ghz thumb.gif
Edited by Accuracy158 - 3/6/12 at 5:37pm
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post #4 of 12
overclock it a bit and you can do 7970 Crossfire i believe without a hitch a 920 is a really good CPU and still very viable in todays Video Card Selections. smile.gif
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post #5 of 12
You probably will run into some bottlenecking. Especially if you are shooting for the 680. I would just upgrade to an overclocked 2500k / wait for ivy bridge and do an overhaul at this point. If you have a Microcenter near you they sell 2500ks+ z68 motherboards for 179.99+ 50 dollars off the motherboard. It's in store only though.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
I had bought this heatsink http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835233029 back when I had upgraded my computer in April of '09. I suppose I will take another whack at OC'ing if I do choose to get a new video card. I want to see if I get any more recommendations for upgrading the CPU though. Majority think I should just stick with the 920? Preferably, I don't want to upgrade more than the GPU, but if OC'ing isn't going to be enough to stop the bottleneck, then I will simply save up more money and get a new CPU, Motherboard, and GPU.
post #7 of 12
The i7 920 are relatively hot chips, and will require decent cooling, and overclocking them is more invested and complex process than newer intel chips. The Xigmatek Dark Knight should be able to handle a mild OC - at a guess 3.6-3.8ghz on the 920. At these speeds you will not be bottlenecked to any significant degree with any single card from this or next generation, and you would handle crossfire/SLI mid/high range GPU's from the next gen fairly well.

The good thing about Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge chips is that they run much cooler, use less power and are much easier to overclock to higher levels.

So honestly, the 920 is enough, provided you overclock it some, and if in your shoes I would probably stick with it, learn to overclock and invest all my money in the best single GPU I could get (once the GTX680's are released).

If however you are a little overwhelmed at overclocking on the i7 920 platform, and you have enough money floating (or in the near future) to get an upgrade, then you will be doing yourself multiple favours. You can expect a Sandy Bridge i5 2500k to easily hit 4.5ghz and do so on the Dark Knight and without ANY difficulty on your behalf. This would handle basically any high-end (dual) GPU setup for the next couple years (excluding the "ultra" setups of 3 or more top-tier gpu's). Even better would be to wait for Ivy Bridge, with its even lower power-usage and temps, and potentially higher overclocks.
Edited by willibj - 3/6/12 at 11:06pm
 
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post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by willibj View Post

The i7 920 are relatively hot chips, and will require decent cooling, and overclocking them is more invested and complex process than newer intel chips. The Xigmatek Dark Knight should be able to handle a mild OC - at a guess 3.6-3.8ghz on the 920. At these speeds you will not be bottlenecked to any significant degree with any single card from this or next generation, and you would handle crossfire/SLI mid/high range GPU's from the next gen fairly well.
The good thing about Sandy Bridge/Ivy Bridge chips is that they run much cooler, use less power and are much easier to overclock to higher levels.
So honestly, the 920 is enough, provided you overclock it some, and if in your shoes I would probably stick with it, learn to overclock and invest all my money in the best single GPU I could get (once the GTX680's are released).
If however you are a little overwhelmed at overclocking on the i7 920 platform, and you have enough money floating (or in the near future) to get an upgrade, then you will be doing yourself multiple favours. You can expect a Sandy Bridge i5 2500k to easily hit 4.5ghz and do so on the Dark Knight and without ANY difficulty on your behalf. This would handle basically any high-end (dual) GPU setup for the next couple years (excluding the "ultra" setups of 3 or more top-tier gpu's).

I would love to just purchase a new CPU, but I would also have to purchase a new motherboard and new CPU cooler which I would have no problem affording if I wasn't too weary on spending money before I go to college next Fall. I am getting some big bucks in the next few months though, so I will for sure get a GTX 680 but may have to hold off on the processor and motherboard. Who knows though! I may be able to get them! Thanks for the input willibj as well as everyone else who has replied!
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krendog24 View Post

I would love to just purchase a new CPU, but I would also have to purchase a new motherboard and new CPU cooler which I would have no problem affording if I wasn't too weary on spending money before I go to college next Fall. I am getting some big bucks in the next few months though, so I will for sure get a GTX 680 but may have to hold off on the processor and motherboard. Who knows though! I may be able to get them! Thanks for the input willibj as well as everyone else who has replied!

You would definitely need a new motherboard, and probably RAM for good measure (given that 1366 is triple channel and 1155 is dual channel - and you'd want to sell your old CPU/MB/RAM as a package) if you were to upgrade. I think you'll find that any cooler that works on 1156 will also work on 1155 (thus Dark knight would be fine), but don't quote me on that tongue.gif The Dark Knight would also handle Sandy Bridge up to 4.5-4.6ghz easily. But I digress, and we are discussing the cheapest component in question, and it's thus largely irrelevant.

I think you should double-down on trying to overclock your CPU properly whilst you wait for GTX680's to come out. Take your time and do it step by step. If you find that your Dark Knight isn't handling things well, you could always upgrade your cooling to handle a better overclock on current hardware. And yeah, save you money for a new GPU and for college mate.

You never know, simply overclocking your current rig stably might give you all the performance boost you need to tide you over. In all honesty, your current rig is pretty beast - it could do with a solid overclock. If you had it running under water, you could probably overclock your GTX480 to GTX580 levels, and your CPU could get at least a 50% increase, all whilst running cooler and safer.

TL:DR - learn to overclock your CPU and GPU properly, and maximize your current rig first - THEN decide if you really need to upgrade at all thumb.gif
 
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post #10 of 12
+ Rep for being a nice guy who can converse properly and maturely about topics at hand (a fast becoming rare condition on many forums:P )

*Edit* - I welcomed you to OCN in your rep after seeing you had zero rep and only 6 points, but then looked up a line and realized you've been a lurking member for years lol. Best of luck with your OC!
 
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