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Is it easy and/or necessary to overclock my Athlon II X4 640 (to avoid bottleneck with high-end GPU)?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
The Athlon II 640 is the CPU on the system on my Sig, and I'm thinking of upgrading the graphics card so i can turn this machine from a server to a gaming PC. But I've been told i should overclock for maximum results. So is it really necessary to do so, or can i run demanding games decently on maximum resolutions on a 7870 card on stock values of CPU?

If i have no option but to overclock, can i do so easily on this CPU, without need of advanced cooling, much noise, and heat? I have a Coolermaster Hyper 212+ Cooler on top of it.
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Athlon 64 II x4 640 Gigabyte 880-GA UD3H rev2.1 Gigabyte Radeon 5770 Silent Cell 2x 2GB Kingston 1333 DDR-3 
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Athlon 64 II x4 640 Gigabyte 880-GA UD3H rev2.1 Gigabyte Radeon 5770 Silent Cell 2x 2GB Kingston 1333 DDR-3 
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2x Vertex 2 (RAID 0) + 4 Samsung F4 Storage Windows 7 Home Premium Seasonic X-650 CoolerMaster HAF 912+ 
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post #2 of 6
I believe a 7870 easily outperforms a 6950, and my 940BE is almost at full capacity trying to keep up with my 6950. You will definitely need to overclock your CPU, and even then, I think it will be a bottleneck with a 7870. I assume you're running a 1080 monitor...if you want to keep that CPU, might as well go for a slightly lower card, perhaps a 7850, and then OC the CPU as high as possible.

Sounds like you're new to OCing? Read some guides around here - you can start on the OC already while getting more advice on what to do about upgrading your GPU.
 
13" beast
(6 items)
 
HTPC
(8 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Lapped X4 940BE @ 3.5Ghz / NB @ 2.4GHz Biostar TA790GX 128M 1GB HD6950 @ 965/1360 (1.26V) Kingston Hyper-X 2GB x 4, 1066 MHz 5-5-5-15-22 ... 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 64GB SSD, WD 640GB x 2 none Scythe Katana 3 Win7 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 24", Samsung 17" x 2 Logitech Illuminated Antec Earthwatts 750W Antec 300 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i5 2410M @ 2.3 Ghz stock Intel HD Graphics 3000 4GB 500 GB 
OSMonitor
Windows 7 WXGA (1366x768) 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X2 245 GA-MA785GM-UD2H Onboard HD4200 Kingston 2GB 
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WD 2TB x 2 Windows 7 Ultimate Benq Wireless Antec NSK1480B 
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13" beast
(6 items)
 
HTPC
(8 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Lapped X4 940BE @ 3.5Ghz / NB @ 2.4GHz Biostar TA790GX 128M 1GB HD6950 @ 965/1360 (1.26V) Kingston Hyper-X 2GB x 4, 1066 MHz 5-5-5-15-22 ... 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 64GB SSD, WD 640GB x 2 none Scythe Katana 3 Win7 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 24", Samsung 17" x 2 Logitech Illuminated Antec Earthwatts 750W Antec 300 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i5 2410M @ 2.3 Ghz stock Intel HD Graphics 3000 4GB 500 GB 
OSMonitor
Windows 7 WXGA (1366x768) 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X2 245 GA-MA785GM-UD2H Onboard HD4200 Kingston 2GB 
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WD 2TB x 2 Windows 7 Ultimate Benq Wireless Antec NSK1480B 
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by mongen View Post

I believe a 7870 easily outperforms a 6950, and my 940BE is almost at full capacity trying to keep up with my 6950. You will definitely need to overclock your CPU, and even then, I think it will be a bottleneck with a 7870. I assume you're running a 1080 monitor...if you want to keep that CPU, might as well go for a slightly lower card, perhaps a 7850, and then OC the CPU as high as possible.

Sounds like you're new to OCing? Read some guides around here - you can start on the OC already while getting more advice on what to do about upgrading your GPU.

How can you tell that the CPU is having a hard time keeping up? In your experience with your 6950, what tipped you off that the CPU doesnt cut it?

I''m on a 1680x1050 monitor at the present but if i get decent hardware i may upgrade my Monitor as well.

I've had past experience but it wasn't pleasant, cause there was lot of trial and error involved, always worrying about the temperatures and wear n tear of the CPU, fans making lots of noise, so i became an advocate against overclocking. But now i see it may be an option in order to avoid buyings omething stronger. Besides that, Phenom aren't available anymore, and the best i can get without changing socket is a phenoxm 965, which isn't much of an upgrade tbh.

Plus My previous and only experience was with core i7 so AMD Architecture is different, and may have different techniques in practice.
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Athlon 64 II x4 640 Gigabyte 880-GA UD3H rev2.1 Gigabyte Radeon 5770 Silent Cell 2x 2GB Kingston 1333 DDR-3 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
2x Vertex 2 (RAID 0) + 4 Samsung F4 Storage Windows 7 Home Premium Seasonic X-650 CoolerMaster HAF 912+ 
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Athlon 64 II x4 640 Gigabyte 880-GA UD3H rev2.1 Gigabyte Radeon 5770 Silent Cell 2x 2GB Kingston 1333 DDR-3 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
2x Vertex 2 (RAID 0) + 4 Samsung F4 Storage Windows 7 Home Premium Seasonic X-650 CoolerMaster HAF 912+ 
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post #4 of 6
True, a Phenom II probably won't be much of an upgrade from your Athlon, unless you can get a 955 for minimal outlay after selling your chip off.

Easy way to see if you are bottlenecking is run task manager's performance window, and something like GPUz at the same time you are playing a few games. If either is at 100%, you have reached its maximum performance. In my case, running BF3 at 1080 will run the GPU at 100%, and the CPU at about 90%. So with my setup, it's about even-stevens depending on the title, but with a 7870, or higher, the CPU is going to start hitting 100% before the GPU will.

Either way, a 1080 monitor will make a massive difference to your gaming experience, however your 5770 won't cut it if you want to run the latest games at a decent quality...

Best option I'd recommend in your case is to upgrade to a 1080 monitor anyway, cos that would make a huge difference to everything. Seems you also have 4GB, so you could also throw in another 2x2GB of the same set, or just replace with 2x4GB for real cheap. Then find a secondhand x4 955 (if you want to replace the CPU) and 7850/70 (this is most important), and sell your components off. That rig will keep you going for another year or two for quite a minimal outlay. Probably not worth changing sockets and boards in your case yet.
Edited by mongen - 2/24/13 at 4:21am
 
13" beast
(6 items)
 
HTPC
(8 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Lapped X4 940BE @ 3.5Ghz / NB @ 2.4GHz Biostar TA790GX 128M 1GB HD6950 @ 965/1360 (1.26V) Kingston Hyper-X 2GB x 4, 1066 MHz 5-5-5-15-22 ... 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 64GB SSD, WD 640GB x 2 none Scythe Katana 3 Win7 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 24", Samsung 17" x 2 Logitech Illuminated Antec Earthwatts 750W Antec 300 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i5 2410M @ 2.3 Ghz stock Intel HD Graphics 3000 4GB 500 GB 
OSMonitor
Windows 7 WXGA (1366x768) 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X2 245 GA-MA785GM-UD2H Onboard HD4200 Kingston 2GB 
Hard DriveOSKeyboardCase
WD 2TB x 2 Windows 7 Ultimate Benq Wireless Antec NSK1480B 
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13" beast
(6 items)
 
HTPC
(8 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Lapped X4 940BE @ 3.5Ghz / NB @ 2.4GHz Biostar TA790GX 128M 1GB HD6950 @ 965/1360 (1.26V) Kingston Hyper-X 2GB x 4, 1066 MHz 5-5-5-15-22 ... 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Crucial M4 64GB SSD, WD 640GB x 2 none Scythe Katana 3 Win7 64bit 
MonitorKeyboardPowerCase
Dell 24", Samsung 17" x 2 Logitech Illuminated Antec Earthwatts 750W Antec 300 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
Intel Core i5 2410M @ 2.3 Ghz stock Intel HD Graphics 3000 4GB 500 GB 
OSMonitor
Windows 7 WXGA (1366x768) 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon II X2 245 GA-MA785GM-UD2H Onboard HD4200 Kingston 2GB 
Hard DriveOSKeyboardCase
WD 2TB x 2 Windows 7 Ultimate Benq Wireless Antec NSK1480B 
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post #5 of 6
if you are satisfied with its performance, there is no need to overclock.
There is some bottlenecking with your athlon but it wont be more than 20fps, and quite alright if you dont experience any lag or stuttering while gaming.


Imagine these two cpus playing Crysis:

i7 3770K + HD7870 = 80 FPS
Athlon II 640 + HD7870 = 60 FPS

the athlon will have lower fps but its still way above 40fps, which is the minimum I would recommend for a game to be playable.

If you still want to overclock there are several guides here http://www.overclock.net/t/792461/amd-overclocking-guides-essential-threads
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Seagate 1TB Seagate 1TB Sony DVDRW CoolerMaster Hyper212+ with 2x140mm Deepcool UF140 
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Windows 7 x64 / Mint x64 BenQ E2220 1080p Aerocool Strike-X 500watts CoolerMaster Elite 430 
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A4tech X7 710BH 
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Rabasu i7-3770K
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Rabasu FX6100
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
i7 3770K ECS H77H2-M3 MSI RX 580 Armor 8GB OC 2x8GB Kingston HyperX Blu 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Seagate 1TB Seagate 1TB Sony DVDRW stock 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 x64 BenQ E2220 1080p Seasonic M12II Evo 620W Coolermaster Elite 430 
Mouse
A4tech X7 710BH 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX 6100 4.0 Ghz 6-core Asus M5A78L-MLX3 AM3+ Powercolor HD7730 1GB DDR5 16GB (2x8GB) Corsair Vengeance LP 1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Seagate 1TB Seagate 1TB Sony DVDRW CoolerMaster Hyper212+ with 2x140mm Deepcool UF140 
OSMonitorPowerCase
Windows 7 x64 / Mint x64 BenQ E2220 1080p Aerocool Strike-X 500watts CoolerMaster Elite 430 
Mouse
A4tech X7 710BH 
CPUGraphicsRAMHard Drive
A8 7410 2.5Ghz Radeon R5 M335 2GB 4GB DDR3L 1 TB HDD 
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post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
An alternative option ive been thinking about, is getting a cheaper card like GTX 550/650ti as a main card, and grab GTX 275 from one of my older systems to use as PhysX and get 7870 on the future to use on a better system. How does this sound? I just want to get the most out of my money, and i;m not sure if i should buy something i may not be using completely....
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 II x4 640 Gigabyte 880-GA UD3H rev2.1 Gigabyte Radeon 5770 Silent Cell 2x 2GB Kingston 1333 DDR-3 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
2x Vertex 2 (RAID 0) + 4 Samsung F4 Storage Windows 7 Home Premium Seasonic X-650 CoolerMaster HAF 912+ 
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Server
(13 items)
 
  
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Athlon 64 II x4 640 Gigabyte 880-GA UD3H rev2.1 Gigabyte Radeon 5770 Silent Cell 2x 2GB Kingston 1333 DDR-3 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
2x Vertex 2 (RAID 0) + 4 Samsung F4 Storage Windows 7 Home Premium Seasonic X-650 CoolerMaster HAF 912+ 
  hide details  
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