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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ELLO

So basically, my brother is upgrading his graphicscard. I was recommending the 7950 because with a €100 worth of games bundled the actual cost for the card is about €150, which is redonkulous.

He fell in love with the Vapor-X 7970. I told him his CPU will bottleneck and he doesnt have the money to upgrade both mobo, cpu and gpu.

So I posted on overclock3d asking for tips about 7950 vs 7970, asking if he'd even see a difference, and basically I think the Intel fanboys have decended upon me.
Dont get me wrong, I'm using a 2500K and I'd sort of think of myself as an intel-fanboy, but people are recommending an I3-3220, a locked CPU that costs almost as much as a FX-8350, and that cannot be right.

I've been surfing youtube to check some gameplay with the 965, and the results doesnt seem that bad even with a 7970. The AMD 965 is overclocked to 3,9ghz so my question is:

Will there be a noticeable difference between 7950 and 7970 and will it be painfully obvious that the CPU is outdated?
 

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In my honest opinion, I never believed in buying the top of the top video cards as I could never justify the cost difference for the extra few frames. Both of those cards are extremely powerful for what the average person runs (1080p).

To test a bottleneck, what you can do is bench it with an overclock of 3.9ghz then one at 4.2ghz and see if there is an increase in the GPU score that is beyond the margin of error.

For example, you can run 3dmark11 with the cpu at 3.9ghz and then do the same benchmark with the cpu at 4.2ghz.

I do believe there will be a bottleneck and it is known that intel does provide a few higher frames. However, with AMD working hard with developers, optimization with their architecture will yield improvements over the years to come.

So the short answer is, yes there will be a bottleneck. But if it is noticeable or not, it depends on the games you play. If the game is cpu intensive, then you will hit a bottleneck that is more noticeable than a game that is not.

I hope this explains things and clears a few things up.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Originally Posted by S1L3Nt View Post

In my honest opinion, I never believed in buying the top of the top video cards as I could never justify the cost difference for the extra few frames. Both of those cards are extremely powerful for what the average person runs (1080p).

To test a bottleneck, what you can do is bench it with an overclock of 3.9ghz then one at 4.2ghz and see if there is an increase in the GPU score that is beyond the margin of error.

For example, you can run 3dmark11 with the cpu at 3.9ghz and then do the same benchmark with the cpu at 4.2ghz.

I do believe there will be a bottleneck and it is known that intel does provide a few higher frames. However, with AMD working hard with developers, optimization with their architecture will yield improvements over the years to come.

So the short answer is, yes there will be a bottleneck. But if it is noticeable or not, it depends on the games you play. If the game is cpu intensive, then you will hit a bottleneck that is more noticeable than a game that is not.

I hope this explains things and clears a few things up.
Great answer.

First of all yes, obviously it'll net more frames because the CPU will be sort of hampering the GPU.
My brothers rig will always be AMD I think. I use it as sort of a benchmark since I upgrade his with AMD and mine with Intel and then compare results, and even tho our last upgrades were AMD 965 BE for him and 2500K for me, Ive honestly felt from time to time that his rig has an overall better "feel" to it if that makes any sence. Add in that my rig costed €350 to upgrade mobo+cpu and his was €150 and I really feel that AMD is still very much in the game.

The GPU is overkill, but after watching a comparison between 6850 / 7950 and the FX-4300 (comparable to 965) actually got about a 100% performance increase : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_hps7TV4d0

Christmas will be interesting since we'll be upgrading our mobo+cpus again
smile.gif
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EDIT: My god... I just became an AMD fanboy didnt I?
 

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Well the 7950 is a lot more powerful. If you want to compare, even a 7770 beats the 6850 in most situations iirc. The 7950 beats a gtx 590 in many situations if you want to put things into perspective.

Also, you want to look at the overclockability of the cpu. Seeing how we are OCN, I am sure that people will give you the "the AMD fx 4300 is better because you can overclock it to high heaven and destroy the locked i3." This is true and I agree to that.

In the end, I am very sure your brother should be able to push the 965 to 4.2 with ease. I had a 955 cooled by a hyper 212+ running at 4ghz at a vcore of 1.375v. 4.2 is easily attainable if you would invest in a better cooler. I do say invest because you will be reusing that cooler for your upgrade anyways.

Bottom line is, the 965 is still very good and there is no reason to push for an upgrade if money is a factor.

Personally, I am happy with my 6950 shaders unlocked and it has served me for around 2 years now. I play metro with everything set to very high and with dx 11. Sure there are times where I get 40 fps, but I can live with that.

Until the new consoles come out, I don't see a reason for anyone to really upgrade on a gaming perspective. No one needs 120+fps unless you like 3D gaming or have an extremely expensive 144hz monitor. If you have the money to buy that monitor, you should have a ballin' system anyways
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Anyways, long story short, the difference between the 7950 and the 7970 will be noticible (15% or so). But keep in mind that the 7950 will overclock like mad from what I hear. At ~$300 USD with the reloaded bundle, it is the best value. If you dont mind shelling out an additional $100+ for the 7970, then go with that. We shouldn't see any crazy jumps in gaming requirements for at least a year IMO as the new consoles don't come out until mid to late 2013 and the games that will be developed will come out even later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, I know how good the 7950 is. But the link i posted was between the 6850 (comparable to 560ti, maybe slightly worse) and then 7950. The gains were large enough to put my mind at ease, my brother will be happy
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Im going to look into overclocking the 965 a bit more... problem is with the mobo, it was a $80 mobo and its 3 years old, maybe not the best. 3.9 was the highest stable we could hit on whatever limit we set for ourselves vcore-wise.

EDIT: Oh and the FX-4300 is a bad processor. Its basically a 965 with less l3 cache and more l2 cache. Theyre extremely even, even tho the 965 is 500mhz lower frequency.
 

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Your "bottleneck" question is meaningless without referencing your specific software.

Basically: in SC2, you will be MASSIVELY CPU" bottlenecked". But this would also be true with an overclocked i5-3570k.
For, say, BF3 singleplayer, you will likely be "bottlenecked" by the GPU, not CPU, though whether you are "bottlenecked" at all depends on your monitor's resolution.

Relevant post I made on the subject:
There's a difference between different definitions of bottlenecking. If you mean the correct (according to me) definition, then no.
Correct definition: A bottleneck is a result of one piece of hardware not permitting another to function at its full capacity in any circumstance.

Correct definition example: You have a SATA3 SSD plugged into a SATA2 port on your motherboard. The SATA2 port is bottlenecking your SSD - you can never get faster than SATA2 speeds out of it, even though the SSD could perform much better.

Solution: Plug the SSD into a SATA3 port, possibly requiring a motherboard upgrade.

HOWEVER, lots of people use a different definition of bottlenecking. According to me, the incorrect one.
Incorrect definition: A bottleneck is when one piece of hardware is not performing up to its maximum potential in a specific task because another piece of hardware can't keep up.

Incorrect definition example: You have a 5850, which is capable (or nearly so) of displaying SC2 at maximum graphics settings at your monitor's resolution & maximum refresh rate (best possible image quality at maximum effective FPS), however, because your CPU (i5-2320) cannot run SC2 at maximum FPS (your monitor's refresh rate) when large armies are on the field, you aren't getting maximum theoretical potential out of your 5850.

The difference is that the second (incorrect) definition is task-specific. Sure in SC2, there's a CPU "bottleneck," but for the vast majority of games it's the opposite: your i5-2320 is more than enough power to do everything you want other games to do, but your 5850 will hold you back.

So to answer your question:
Your system has no bottlenecks (first, correct definition).
Your question is meaningless without giving us context in terms of what software you're running (second, more common but incorrect definition).

The reason the term bottlenecking bugs me so much is that people hear they have a bottleneck (incorrect definition) and assume they have a bottleneck (correct definition) and that there are magic hardware configurations that will never have bottlenecks (incorrect definition) when that outcome is, in fact, impossible.

As for your brother wanting the 7970... well of course the 7950 is a much better deal performance wise and it's highly unlikely you'll see a performance difference without a gaming resolution of at least 2560x1440 (maybe higher). But Vapor-X branding & your own brother's desire for obtaining a sensation of power through purchasing "the best" has changed the equation. He's obviously not looking for the best deal he can get. He wants to spend money to buy a short-term psychological high, and he's worked himself into a situation where that's not possible with the 7950. So remember he's not looking for a good deal, or real-world performance. He's looking for a day-or-two-long brain chemistry high that will come when he makes the purchase and again (stronger) when it arrives in the mail.

It is very hard to persuade someone to not chase that. For an example, consider half the people on this website.
biggrin.gif
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by S1L3Nt View Post

Well the 7950 is a lot more powerful. If you want to compare, even a 7770 beats the 6850 in most situations iirc. The 7950 beats a gtx 590 in many situations if you want to put things into perspective.

Also, you want to look at the overclockability of the cpu. Seeing how we are OCN, I am sure that people will give you the "the AMD fx 4300 is better because you can overclock it to high heaven and destroy the locked i3." This is true and I agree to that.

In the end, I am very sure your brother should be able to push the 965 to 4.2 with ease. I had a 955 cooled by a hyper 212+ running at 4ghz at a vcore of 1.375v. 4.2 is easily attainable if you would invest in a better cooler. I do say invest because you will be reusing that cooler for your upgrade anyways.

Bottom line is, the 965 is still very good and there is no reason to push for an upgrade if money is a factor.

Personally, I am happy with my 6950 shaders unlocked and it has served me for around 2 years now. I play metro with everything set to very high and with dx 11. Sure there are times where I get 40 fps, but I can live with that.

Until the new consoles come out, I don't see a reason for anyone to really upgrade on a gaming perspective. No one needs 120+fps unless you like 3D gaming or have an extremely expensive 144hz monitor. If you have the money to buy that monitor, you should have a ballin' system anyways
tongue.gif


Anyways, long story short, the difference between the 7950 and the 7970 will be noticible (15% or so). But keep in mind that the 7950 will overclock like mad from what I hear. At ~$300 USD with the reloaded bundle, it is the best value. If you dont mind shelling out an additional $100+ for the 7970, then go with that. We shouldn't see any crazy jumps in gaming requirements for at least a year IMO as the new consoles don't come out until mid to late 2013 and the games that will be developed will come out even later.
I agree with about 95% of this statement. But pushing a 965 to 4.2 with ease is a major stretch. I really don't understand how seemingly half of OCN believes all Phenom II Black Edition CPUs do 4.0ghz+. That simply is not the case with conventional cooling. Just something to consider and a pet peeve of mine.
 

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You will get slightly less fps, depending the games you want to play. Take my Q6600 for example, I could have spent that 500$ on upgrading the cpu ram and mobo, but then I'd be stuck with a fast CPU with a HD4850(my previous card) and that simply will not do for games of today.

I've compared FPS (youtube benchmark videos) between people who had i5s, and at most there is a 20~ FPS difference. So instead of me getting around 55 FPS during the opening scene of BF3, I get around 35 using the same card (although the reviewer had his clocked much higher). The point being, yes the CPU might hold that card back, but not as much as you would think. Jumping platforms costs lots of money, at the very least 500$ if you can find some AMAZING deals, and that probably will not include aftermarket cooler. It just is a lot of money to pay for 20~ FPS.

I do understand his thinking, getting one of the fastest and best currently available. Yes I do agree that buying the 7970 over the 7950 will get him that high he is after, I've been there. But it actually is not a bad buy, lets face it the 7970 is not going to be too outdated anytime soon. There are plenty of people still on 460 while running 1080. Point being he will still have the "king" of that generation, long after AMD has released their newer series. I know I would be at least tempted to look around if I had gone for a 570 instead of the 580. Instead, I got my 580 in my rig sitting pretty and I don't think I will even think about replacing it anytime soon.

If he can afford it without going hungry, go for it.
 

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-10 fps compared to a 3570K, give or take.
not really a concern since he will still be able to max out everything with 60+ fps or higher.

Get the 7970 if he wants it, not all games will get the slight bottleneck.
There are some games that push gpus harder like metro2033 for example.
I imagine his phenom 965 will get the same fps when compared to an i5 in that game.
 

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As someone currently running a PII X6 and a 7970, I'd say to go for it.

Your performance gains will be massive and as long as the CPU is overclocked, won't hold things back a very noticeable amount.

The PII is getting long in the tooth now though, I'd plan to upgrade by around the end of the year. PII has seen a great 3 - 4 year run but it will soon really be time to move on.
 

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If the 965 cannot get to 4.1 ghz it will bottleneck the 7950/7970, even at 4 ghz the phenom II X4 is not good enough, that has been my experience in BF3 MultiPlaya

Your best bet is to get the 7950 instead of the 7970 and OC it to 1100mhz+ then add $30 to the difference in price and get an fx 6300 and then OC it to 4.4 ghz+, and you'll be good(your brother that is) Now that will be a much better balanced system
 

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If you play cpu intensive games you will get bottlenecked. Thats why you need to push the 965 at 4ghz +. I have a 7970 and a 965 on my second rig and its fine if you dont play rts or something really bad coded(skyrim).You must expect around 10 fps
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well we are upgrading the cpu in a few months, but buying a 6300 and a 7950 will net an average of less fps than a 965 and a 7970 according to pretty much every benchmark out there. Also buying a 6300 which is actually not a very great cpu is a waste of money, if youre going for an AM3+ board then in my oppinion the 8350 is the only real way to go (maybe a 8150 if youre short on cash). Otherwise there are intel-paths that has better longevity AND performance for about the same price.

His cpu is running at slightly above 3.9ghz, we could probably do slightly higher now since we can go a bit higher on vcore (since hes upgrading anyways). And Im having a hard time believing that 3.9ghz = 10 fps while 4.1ghz = 60 fps.

RTS games (mainly starcraft then) is already pretty much maxed out on his current rig, since theyre not very GPU dependant as a rule, and skyrim is a VRAM hogger with texturepacks, but it should manage 60 fps i hope
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An fx-6300 is going to perform about the same as an fx-8350 or fx-8320, assuming you overclock the CPUs. It's a good deal for a gaming CPU (only AMD cpu I often recommend, actually).

Because if you're not going to overclock, it's a rare case you should get an AMD cpu at all - just get a locked Intel CPU, it'll run better for the price.

Also, you have to be careful with benchmarks when comparing overclockable processors - most only measure CPUs at stock. You can see some of the difference in the few benchmarks that do measure overclocked performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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Originally Posted by MisterFred View Post

An fx-6300 is going to perform about the same as an fx-8350 or fx-8320, assuming you overclock the CPUs. It's a good deal for a gaming CPU (only AMD cpu I often recommend, actually).

Because if you're not going to overclock, it's a rare case you should get an AMD cpu at all - just get a locked Intel CPU, it'll run better for the price.

Also, you have to be careful with benchmarks when comparing overclockable processors - most only measure CPUs at stock. You can see some of the difference in the few benchmarks that do measure overclocked performance.
Everyone who can overclock a processor gets a rediculous bang/buck-increase by buying overclockable processors. The "blablabla... IF YOU OVERCLOCK IT" argument isnt really applicable to CPU comparison since the cpu youre comparing to can also be overclocked.
It is however applicable to cases where an X mhz overclock on 2 different hardware items SCALE differently.

The 6300 scales exactly the same as the 8350 as far as I know.

This argument is mostly used by nvidia/amd fanboys to compare hardware. "660ti beats 7970, IF YOU OVERCLOCK IT", well the 7970 can be overclocked too, and the procentual gains from overclocking AMD have tended to be larger than the keppler series (Nope, no sources just biased oppinions). "7950 beats 680... IF YOU OVERCLOCK IT" well the 680 will pull the 7950 into a dank cellar and violate it if you overclock that too.

You wont pass an AMD cpu through anything worse than skyrim for gaming comparisons.

With a 25% increase in performance through overclocking (which is great to be frank) it BARELY beats the 8350, which was 15% faster to begin with. Overclocking the 8350 would most probably top it.

Also, the 8350 is better at EVERYTHING, the exception might be a very very slight loss at singlecore IPC performance, which really shouldnt be the case.



Note that not everyone can get their cpu up to 4.85ghz.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliew View Post

The 6300 scales exactly the same as the 8350 as far as I know.
Both the fx-6300 & the fx-8350 can be reasonably expected to be overclocked to say the 4.7, 4.8 range - sometimes more if you put more effort/cooling into it. However the fx-6300 starts at a much lower stock speed than the fx-8350. This is why looking at benchmarks with both CPUs at stock is dumb. The fx-6300 should achieve a larger Ghz boost from an overclock than the fx-8350.

They're the same architecture after all - the difference is one module & the stock clocks. This is why it's dumb to assume they will gain the same percentage benefit from overclocking when you already know the fx-6300 will gain a larger Ghz boost.

Long story short, it's foolish to look at comparisons of the fx-6300 @ 3.5ghz vs the fx-8350 @ 4.0ghz and assume that the fx-8350 will retain the same advantage when they are both at 4.7ghz.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by charliew View Post

Well we are upgrading the cpu in a few months, but buying a 6300 and a 7950 will net an average of less fps than a 965 and a 7970 according to pretty much every benchmark out there. Also buying a 6300 which is actually not a very great cpu is a waste of money, if youre going for an AM3+ board then in my oppinion the 8350 is the only real way to go (maybe a 8150 if youre short on cash). Otherwise there are intel-paths that has better longevity AND performance for about the same price.

His cpu is running at slightly above 3.9ghz, we could probably do slightly higher now since we can go a bit higher on vcore (since hes upgrading anyways). And Im having a hard time believing that 3.9ghz = 10 fps while 4.1ghz = 60 fps.

RTS games (mainly starcraft then) is already pretty much maxed out on his current rig, since theyre not very GPU dependant as a rule, and skyrim is a VRAM hogger with texturepacks, but it should manage 60 fps i hope
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Dude I'm talking from experience not some benchmark on a website, a 965 needs to be @ minimum 4.1ghz to feed a 7950 how much more a a 7970.

My 7950 is running @ 1165 and the B65 cannot keep up with it @ 4.0ghz. Simply put if you cannot get 4.1ghz you are simply underutilizing the GPU. Those phenoms do not overclock as well as the piledrivers do so it should be easier to get 4.0ghz+ on a PD

I believe the FX 6300 needs at least 4.4ghz to beat a 965 @ 4.1ghz
 

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The skyrim bench dont make a sense. Skyrim use only 2 cores so they results must be the same between 6300 and 835 except if there is a clock difference. Maybe its the common problem of the bethesda engine with vsync off. 6300 has the same gaming performance as the 8350.I would choose 6300 over 965 every day
 

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You can look at the valley benchmarks to get a glimpse..

#132 Jopel II 955 HD 7970 49fps

He beat out some ivys and 8350s..

I think in most games you wouldn't see much of a difference. 5-10 fps and if you are at 1080p you should be getting 60+ in most cases anyways.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarhell View Post

The skyrim bench dont make a sense. Skyrim use only 2 cores so they results must be the same between 6300 and 835 except if there is a clock difference. Maybe its the common problem of the bethesda engine with vsync off. 6300 has the same gaming performance as the 8350.I would choose 6300 over 965 every day
Skyrim mainly use ONE core, its not fully optimized for even 2 cores afaik.

Thats why its a good test to measure core for core performance.

If we start benching software that can use all the 8350 cores... who would you expect to win that? Really?
 
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