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Would a Pentium B960 CPU bottleneck a nvidia GT 635m GPU?

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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March 23, 2013 10:32:26 AM

Hi,
I ve just come across a Lenovo configuration that would both satisfy my moderate gaming needs and my budget. Now, as far as I understand the nvidia GT 635m is capable to deliver some moderately decent gaming experience, but the P B960 CPU just seems to be a little too weak as to compared with the graphics card.
My question is, could this CPU let through the GPU's full performance? An other option would be some slightly better i3 CPU, but with a higher pricetag which Im unwilling to pay unless it would deliver some serious FPS boost (like 5-7 fps).

thanks for your answers in advance!!

cheers
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March 23, 2013 11:33:33 AM

You should see benchmarks of models you consider ot buy. Guys on youtube love to post gameplays of latest games so i'm pretty sure you'll find what you are looking for.

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March 23, 2013 1:07:33 PM

Cnaeus said:
Hi,
I ve just come across a Lenovo configuration that would both satisfy my moderate gaming needs and my budget. Now, as far as I understand the nvidia GT 635m is capable to deliver some moderately decent gaming experience, but the P B960 CPU just seems to be a little too weak as to compared with the graphics card.
My question is, could this CPU let through the GPU's full performance? An other option would be some slightly better i3 CPU, but with a higher pricetag which Im unwilling to pay unless it would deliver some serious FPS boost (like 5-7 fps).

thanks for your answers in advance!!

cheers


Probably not that much if at all. perhaps some in very cpu heavy games such as gw2, hitman. In those games you might notice a 5 fps boost.
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March 23, 2013 1:21:58 PM

Thanks for your answer, I did just that, but my question really was that how bad a CPU must be to hold back the GPU's performance? And if I want to check this, what are the attributes I should look for? I mean, what CPU specs could possibly hinder GPU performance?

EDIT: thank you whyso for your insight, I didn't see your answer when I posted my answer. Even though your answer quite solved my dilemma, the question above still is interesting to me...
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March 23, 2013 1:31:43 PM

Cnaeus said:
Thanks for your answer, I did just that, but my question really was that how bad a CPU must be to hold back the GPU's performance? And if I want to check this, what are the attributes I should look for? I mean, what CPU specs could possibly hinder GPU performance?


Look at clockspeed (within cpu families--you can compare sandy and ivy bridge (ix-2xxx is sandy bridge and ix-3xxx is ivy bridge as roughly similar, add about 100-200 mhz to the ivy bridge cpus becuase they are slightly better at the same clockspeed). You can't do this for amd vs intel cpu because amd generally are much worse per ghz.

I expect that on average you will need about 2.5 ghz (no turbo) on an ivy or sandy bridge to avoid bottlenecking that gpu under almost all conditions (this estimate is on the high side). An i3 should be fine but in cpu heavy games such as gw2, hitman absolution, etc you will se a significant boost increasing cpu speed.

If you can get a a10 + 7670m for the same price i'd get than. The cpu is slightly stronger and hybrid crossfire really helps (though is will stutter at low fps).

As a sidenote, what is your budget and where are you located?
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March 23, 2013 2:05:17 PM

Well the configuration I just described is a lenovo with above mentioned CPU and GPU + 500MiB HDD and 4GB DDR3 RAM - and it costs something like 510$ (in Hungary). Now, for a 85$+ I could get the same lenovo configuration with +2GB ram (which would be useless as I wont install any 64 bit OS for sure) and +500GiB HDD capacity (absolutely dont need that much space) and a Core i3 2348M (2.30 Ghz) cpu - the only reason for which I would consider buying this configuration, if it delivered some significant boost to VGA performance.
Now I compared the two cpu's, and core i3 is better in multicore performance, but B960 slightly beats the i3 in single core performance - which is said to have more impact on gaming. On the other hand i3 is hyperthreaded, though I dont know if it stands for anything as far as 3d applications are concerned...
As for the AMD/ATI: I had Intel/nVidia all my life, both in my desktop and laptop, so sorry but Im not planning to go for an AMD system at least not with a new laptop - of that im certain.
Either way, thanks your detailed answer :) 
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March 23, 2013 3:47:20 PM

Cnaeus said:
Well the configuration I just described is a lenovo with above mentioned CPU and GPU + 500MiB HDD and 4GB DDR3 RAM - and it costs something like 510$ (in Hungary). Now, for a 85$+ I could get the same lenovo configuration with +2GB ram (which would be useless as I wont install any 64 bit OS for sure) and +500GiB HDD capacity (absolutely dont need that much space) and a Core i3 2348M (2.30 Ghz) cpu - the only reason for which I would consider buying this configuration, if it delivered some significant boost to VGA performance.
Now I compared the two cpu's, and core i3 is better in multicore performance, but B960 slightly beats the i3 in single core performance - which is said to have more impact on gaming. On the other hand i3 is hyperthreaded, though I dont know if it stands for anything as far as 3d applications are concerned...
As for the AMD/ATI: I had Intel/nVidia all my life, both in my desktop and laptop, so sorry but Im not planning to go for an AMD system at least not with a new laptop - of that im certain.
Either way, thanks your detailed answer :) 


Hmm, not sure where you got those benchmarks, but the i3 is generally about 5-10% faster in singlethread. They are the same processor on the same node but the i3 is 2.3 ghz vs the 2.2 ghz of the pentium (the i3 also has hyperthreading). In multithread the difference is much larger because of hyperthreading (20-40%).

Generally speaking in games that are not cpu-bound there will be no difference in performance. In games that are cpu bound but only use two cores (skyrim, starcraft, etc) there will be a minimal difference. In games that are cpu bound and use more than two cores you will notice a large difference and it will be worth it to buy the i3 (because there could be a 20% difference in fps). If you will be playing games such as gw2 buy the i3 for sure.

Generally speaking more games in the future will be using more cores. We are at the point now where faster dual cores are beginning to lose to slower quad cores (sometimes significantly). I would recommend that you get the i3 as 20% in future games is significant ( Its the difference between 30 and 36 fps) and because cpu bottlenecking is much worse than gpu bottlenecking. You can also turn down games settings to improve fps but if you are cpu bottlenecked then its probably there to stay. However, if it is outside your budget then don't bother ($85 is rather high for the upgrade-- I would expect more like $50, in which case it would be worth it, sorry you also get more ram and a bigger hdd).
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March 23, 2013 5:52:56 PM

Thank you Whyso you were of so much help! I will consider what you ve just said about the future of gaming. I ve read something about the cpu bottleneck being like a rooftop, in that it does not affect fps directly, but rather it indicates a barrier above which fps rate cannot go. In that case B960 CPU seems fine as I saw youtube videos with b960 scoring an average 33 fps playing Skyrim (with a somewhat weaker gpu).
As for the benchmarks, I looked up a comparison on cpuboss, which gave B960 5.1 points and Core i3 2348M 4.7 points for single core performance, and 1.8 and 2.4 respectively for multicore.
Anyway, it seems to me that my modarate gaming needs will be quite satisfied with this configuration (after playing through ME2 with an nvidia g 103m, gaming will be like a charm on this new one, I guess).
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