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Is My CPU bottlenecking my GPU?

so I've heard off several different people that my gpu is good (which i know) however when i play games like arma 2 or arma 3 alpha, i get really poor frames (low 20's) and i know its not my GPU because i can run BF3 ultra with no problems what so ever, also my cpu usage goes upto 80% when playing Feed-The-Beast ultimate.. so im certain its my cpu, so tomorrow im thinking of getting either an fx8350 or a second GTX480..

FX4100 @ stock 3.6ghz
8gb 1333mhz RAM
120gb OCZ agility 3
500gb western digital 7200rpm
gigabyte 990XA-UD3
TX650 corsair enthusiast
GTX480 1.5gb
27 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cpu bottlenecking gpu
  1. We need more information about your system specs before we can help with suggestions etc. You did not mention what CPU for starters that would be good info. Full system specs would be better.

    Mactronix :)
  2. You should tell us your systems specs so we can help you.
    -Bruce
  3. mactronix said:
    We need more information about your system specs before we can help with suggestions etc. You did not mention what CPU for starters that would be good info. Full system specs would be better.

    Mactronix :)


    sorry just updated
  4. what is your full configuration?
    what is your budget should you choose to buy new parts?
    don't leave anything out. it'll help others with identifying your problem and advising.
    the cpu may be an issue. have you tried overclocking it? the rest of your rig seems to be up for it... except there seems to be no aftermarket cooler. try oc'ing the cpu with the help of a cooler master hyper 212 evo.
  5. de5_Roy said:
    what is your full configuration?
    what is your budget should you choose to buy new parts?
    don't leave anything out. it'll help others with identifying your problem and advising.


    well im british so it would be in GPB currency and roughly £170
  6. de5_Roy said:
    what is your full configuration?
    what is your budget should you choose to buy new parts?
    don't leave anything out. it'll help others with identifying your problem and advising.
    the cpu may be an issue. have you tried overclocking it? the rest of your rig seems to be up for it... except there seems to be no aftermarket cooler. try oc'ing the cpu with the help of a cooler master hyper 212 evo.


    ive been told many times to purchase the 212 evo however i know alot about computers but not familiar with OC'ing CPU's and GPU's
  7. Personally I would get a FX 6300 and an aftermarket cooler to assist with overclocking the CPU. Then either hold onto the 4100 as a spare or sell it on to help with the cost of the new parts.

    Mactronix :)
  8. mactronix said:
    Personally I would get a FX 6300 and an aftermarket cooler to assist with overclocking the CPU. Then either hold onto the 4100 as a spare or sell it on to help with the cost of the new parts.

    Mactronix :)


    im not sure tho, im really interested in the 8350, its is on par with the 3570k and beats it at some things and loses at others. I know intel users would say different but i have put alot of research into this.
  9. tyroneplowes said:

    ive been told many times to purchase the 212 evo however i know alot about computers but not familiar with OC'ing CPU's and GPU's

    i suspect that the stock fx4100 is bottlenecking your gfx card in cpu-intensive situations.
    if you are not familiar with overclocking, but are familiar with cpu replacing, you may want to get a higher clocked and higher performing cpu like one from current piledriver based ones. for example, fx8320.
    will you be needing the cpu very soon or can you wait for a few months? i hear amd might release new cpus to compete against intel's new lineup. are you willing to see how the new amd cpus turn out? i am asking this because it's usually easier to buy a good cooler and oc the cpu instead of replacing the cpu as the cooler costs much less thn a new cpu. however, overclocking isn't for people who are unfamiliar with it.
  10. tyroneplowes said:
    de5_Roy said:
    what is your full configuration?
    what is your budget should you choose to buy new parts?
    don't leave anything out. it'll help others with identifying your problem and advising.
    the cpu may be an issue. have you tried overclocking it? the rest of your rig seems to be up for it... except there seems to be no aftermarket cooler. try oc'ing the cpu with the help of a cooler master hyper 212 evo.



    ive been told many times to purchase the 212 evo however i know alot about computers but not familiar with OC'ing CPU's and GPU's


    The FX chips are unlocked so there is none of the old adjusting settings on the motherboard etc. You still have to go into the bios but all you need to do is increase the multiplier on the CPU. Its nothing to be afraid of trying and there are plenty of how to guides on the internet.

    Mactronix :)
  11. de5_Roy said:
    tyroneplowes said:

    ive been told many times to purchase the 212 evo however i know alot about computers but not familiar with OC'ing CPU's and GPU's

    i suspect that the stock fx4100 is bottlenecking your gfx card in cpu-intensive situations.
    if you are not familiar with overclocking, but are familiar with cpu replacing, you may want to get a higher clocked and higher performing cpu like one from current piledriver based ones. for example, fx8320.
    will you be needing the cpu very soon or can you wait for a few months? i hear amd might release new cpus to compete against intel's new lineup. are you willing to see how the new amd cpus turn out? i am asking this because it's usually easier to buy a good cooler and oc the cpu instead of replacing the cpu as the cooler costs much less thn a new cpu. however, overclocking isn't for people who are unfamiliar with it.


    mactronix said:
    tyroneplowes said:
    de5_Roy said:
    what is your full configuration?
    what is your budget should you choose to buy new parts?
    don't leave anything out. it'll help others with identifying your problem and advising.
    the cpu may be an issue. have you tried overclocking it? the rest of your rig seems to be up for it... except there seems to be no aftermarket cooler. try oc'ing the cpu with the help of a cooler master hyper 212 evo.



    ive been told many times to purchase the 212 evo however i know alot about computers but not familiar with OC'ing CPU's and GPU's


    The FX chips are unlocked so there is none of the old adjusting settings on the motherboard etc. You still have to go into the bios but all you need to do is increase the multiplier on the CPU. Its nothing to be afraid of trying and there are plenty of how to guides on the internet.

    Mactronix :)


    well i considered buying an i5 3570 however as im currenty on an AM3+ board that isnt so bad, i thought i would maybe try find the AMD equivalent..
  12. tyroneplowes said:
    mactronix said:
    Personally I would get a FX 6300 and an aftermarket cooler to assist with overclocking the CPU. Then either hold onto the 4100 as a spare or sell it on to help with the cost of the new parts.

    Mactronix :)


    im not sure tho, im really interested in the 8350, its is on par with the 3570k and beats it at some things and loses at others. I know intel users would say different but i have put alot of research into this.


    For gaming you will be paying a lot of a premium for the 8350 and not getting much back in terms of FPS. If you do any video conversion or such that would make use of the extra 2 cores then that's a reason to get the 8350 other wise I would still personally get the 6300. You say you have researched so I'm sure you have checked out the reviews on this. I just feel that as both provide playable frame rates I would rather get the 6300 and overclock it.
    If your happier getting the 8350 and leaving it stock then go for it.

    Mactronix :)
  13. mactronix said:
    tyroneplowes said:
    mactronix said:
    Personally I would get a FX 6300 and an aftermarket cooler to assist with overclocking the CPU. Then either hold onto the 4100 as a spare or sell it on to help with the cost of the new parts.

    Mactronix :)


    im not sure tho, im really interested in the 8350, its is on par with the 3570k and beats it at some things and loses at others. I know intel users would say different but i have put alot of research into this.


    For gaming you will be paying a lot of a premium for the 8350 and not getting much back in terms of FPS. If you do any video conversion or such that would make use of the extra 2 cores then that's a reason to get the 8350 other wise I would still personally get the 6300. You say you have researched so I'm sure you have checked out the reviews on this. I just feel that as both provide playable frame rates I would rather get the 6300 and overclock it.
    If your happier getting the 8350 and leaving it stock then go for it.

    Mactronix :)


    http://www3.picturepush.com/photo/a/12496866/img/Anonymous/Capture.png

    what are your thoughts?
  14. Cant comment on the case but the CPU and cooler combo are good.

    Mactronix :)
  15. mactronix said:
    Cant comment on the case but the CPU and cooler combo are good.

    Mactronix :)


    maybe any better cases around the same price?
  16. I don't think there is anything wrong with the case its just that I have no experience with the case or the maker so couldn't personally recommend it. It looks like a pretty good case to be honest.

    Mactronix :)
  17. Best answer
    Here is my stock answer to your question:
    To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

    a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
    If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
    If your FPS stays the same, you are likely cpu limited.
    b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
    This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.
    Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
    set to 50% and see how you do.

    If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

    It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

    I am not certain if upgrading from a 4 core to a 6 or 8 core cpu will do the job for you.
    It will be very effective if your games are multi core enabled. Few are, most can only use 2-3 cores. That puts a premium more on the effectiveness of each core.
    If you can overclock, you will get help there.
    If you are going to upgrade your cpu, and your budget is in the FX-8350 area, consider a Intel 3570K which is perhaps 30% more effective per core, and has a high oc capability. This assumes that your problem is individual core power, not the need for added cores.
    You would also need a Z77 based motherboard.
    I suspect that this option is more costly than what you have in mind.
  18. geofelt said:
    Here is my stock answer to your question:
    To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

    a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
    If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
    If your FPS stays the same, you are likely cpu limited.
    b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
    This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.
    Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
    set to 50% and see how you do.

    If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

    It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

    I am not certain if upgrading from a 4 core to a 6 or 8 core cpu will do the job for you.
    It will be very effective if your games are multi core enabled. Few are, most can only use 2-3 cores. That puts a premium more on the effectiveness of each core.
    If you can overclock, you will get help there.
    If you are going to upgrade your cpu, and your budget is in the FX-8350 area, consider a Intel 3570K which is perhaps 30% more effective per core, and has a high oc capability. This assumes that your problem is individual core power, not the need for added cores.
    You would also need a Z77 based motherboard.
    I suspect that this option is more costly than what you have in mind.


    Shall i test his with ARMA II?
  19. geofelt said:
    Here is my stock answer to your question:
    To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

    a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
    If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
    If your FPS stays the same, you are likely cpu limited.
    b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
    This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.
    Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
    set to 50% and see how you do.

    If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

    It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

    I am not certain if upgrading from a 4 core to a 6 or 8 core cpu will do the job for you.
    It will be very effective if your games are multi core enabled. Few are, most can only use 2-3 cores. That puts a premium more on the effectiveness of each core.
    If you can overclock, you will get help there.
    If you are going to upgrade your cpu, and your budget is in the FX-8350 area, consider a Intel 3570K which is perhaps 30% more effective per core, and has a high oc capability. This assumes that your problem is individual core power, not the need for added cores.
    You would also need a Z77 based motherboard.
    I suspect that this option is more costly than what you have in mind.


    im certain my cpu is bottlenecking, for example..

    if i run ARMA II with very high settings i get the same frames as low..
  20. Yes, it would seem that your cpu is the bottleneck.
    Now, the question is, can armaII make use of more cores? I do not know the answer to that, but some google search might help you.

    You could try deactivating one core in the bios and see if your performance changes.
    If you do worse, you might suspect that it is using all 4 cores. If not much changes, then adding more cores will not help, and you need to look at a faster core solution.
  21. geofelt said:
    Yes, it would seem that your cpu is the bottleneck.
    Now, the question is, can armaII make use of more cores? I do not know the answer to that, but some google search might help you.

    You could try deactivating one core in the bios and see if your performance changes.
    If you do worse, you might suspect that it is using all 4 cores. If not much changes, then adding more cores will not help, and you need to look at a faster core solution.


    sadly at this precise momment i cannot afford the intel route, however im more then convinced i can achieve the same performance if not better on an overclocked AMD Chip.
  22. geofelt said:
    Yes, it would seem that your cpu is the bottleneck.
    Now, the question is, can armaII make use of more cores? I do not know the answer to that, but some google search might help you.

    You could try deactivating one core in the bios and see if your performance changes.
    If you do worse, you might suspect that it is using all 4 cores. If not much changes, then adding more cores will not help, and you need to look at a faster core solution.


    marked your last comment as a solution, cause now we have established its a CPU bottleneck
  23. We already knew it was a bottleneck, Testing like that is something I would have suggested had I been in any doubt.
    The upgrade is not about the cores, so testing for core usage is redundant in this scenario.

    Mactronix :)
  24. Newer FX chips are more efficient. Along with some overclock, you should do better.
    It might be wise to see if there is any advantage to 6/8 cores vs, sticking with a more modern 4 core.
  25. geofelt said:
    Newer FX chips are more efficient. Along with some overclock, you should do better.
    It might be wise to see if there is any advantage to 6/8 cores vs, sticking with a more modern 4 core.


    im thinking of not getting the 8350 but the 6300 instead, because lets be honest who needs 8 cores? (amd cores)
  26. mactronix said:
    We already knew it was a bottleneck, Testing like that is something I would have suggested had I been in any doubt.
    The upgrade is not about the cores, so testing for core usage is redundant in this scenario.

    Mactronix :)


    yes XD i thought it was a bottleneck but this confirmed it, as the title says 'is my cpu bottlenecking my gpu'
  27. tyroneplowes said:
    mactronix said:
    We already knew it was a bottleneck, Testing like that is something I would have suggested had I been in any doubt.
    The upgrade is not about the cores, so testing for core usage is redundant in this scenario.

    Mactronix :)


    yes XD i thought it was a bottleneck but this confirmed it, as the title says 'is my cpu bottlenecking my gpu'


    Technically Your CPU is not "bottle necking" your GPU, the term is technically incorrect its just the way people colloquially refer to a hardware restriction. Just FYI

    Mactronix :)
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