Two things affect the degree (aka frequency and severity) of cpu-bottlenecking on any given set of hardware:
1) The level of cpu-dependency of the test (game/bench) you're running. Loosely defined, this means "How much work does the GPU require of the CPU per frame rendered?". Various applications vary WILDLY in this regard. Not only is every application different, but it's an ever-shifting variable over the course of every test you ever run, and
2) The graphical difficulty level of the test (game/res/settings) relative to the power of the graphics solution. This is because the graphical difficulty (obviously) impacts the FPS at which the test is running, and hence how OFTEN the GPU makes requests for data from the CPU (see #1).
Since FPS is always going to vary, and the cpu-dependency is also always going to vary, depending on what's going on onscreen, the phenomenon of cpu-bottlenecking is a very dynamic situation.
Basically, on *every* frame *ever* rendered on your system, either the CPU or the GPU will be the bottleneck.
The bottom-line all this is, the faster your CPU is relative to your GPU(s), and the higher the level of graphical difficulty, the less frequently it will be the case that the CPU will become the limiting factor to FPS.
There is no 'magic number' afa a clock speed (or even what CPU/architecture), it is more of a continuum, and it's dictated by the physical hardware, and what test you run, and the settings you run that test at.
I consider the cpu/gpu combo you are proposing to be a nice match, however there will occasionally be scenarios where you get a bit lower FPS than someone w/an i7 or SB. For sure, that will happen ... but it shouldn't affect playability
Originally Posted by Buffal0;12282049
Think people are confused with the term bottleneck...
Bottleneck = Cant play the Game CAUSE IT LAGS.
You won't suffer from this you should be able to play any game at the moment and be perfectly fine!
That isn't what 'bottleneck' actually means ... You can make up your own definition if you like, but it's not technically accurate.
However, I do agree that by your definition, he won't be bottlenecked Edited by brettjv - 2/6/11 at 9:41am