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could my cpu bottleneck a new 7970?

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April 9, 2013 5:23:37 PM

Hi!
I´m looking for a new graphics card because my previous 5780 died.

I was thinking (most likely I have already chosen) on buying a 7970, but I don´t know if the rest of my PC could bottleneck the graphics card.

My pc has the following components:
CPU: amd phenom ii x4 945
RAM: 8GB DDR3
MOBO: gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H

The only thing that worries me is the CPU, as I have read that having a PCI-e 2.0 instead of 3.0 it´s not a problem right now.

Do you think it will be all right?

Thanks a lot guys!
Juan Carlos.

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April 9, 2013 5:27:29 PM

The PCI-E slot will not be an issue.

Some games may be bottle necked by the cpu, but if you can give it a bit of an overclock it should help.

Either way, It is a good deal faster then the 5870(what I am still using.).
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April 9, 2013 5:32:21 PM

nukemaster said:
The PCI-E slot will not be an issue.

Some games may be bottle necked by the cpu, but if you can give it a bit of an overclock it should help.

Either way, It is a good deal faster then the 5870(what I am still using.).


^ +1. You beat me to it.

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April 9, 2013 5:40:51 PM

Ok! thank you to both of you for the fast reply.

Do you think then that going for the 7950 would be a wiser decision? I don´t know how much of the performance of the 7970 would I loose, but I guess that it´s difficult to know on paper right?
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April 9, 2013 5:45:51 PM

jconblack said:
Ok! thank you to both of you for the fast reply.

Do you think then that going for the 7950 would be a wiser decision? I don´t know how much of the performance of the 7970 would I loose, but I guess that it´s difficult to know on paper right?


I don't believe it would make a difference either way, so I'd go ahead and save the $100. When you upgrade your CPU, you can always overclock the heck out of a 7950.
April 9, 2013 5:57:19 PM

And even having in mind buying a new processor in a year or so, you still don´t recommend buying a 7970?
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April 9, 2013 6:17:07 PM

right now is a horrible time to buy video cards and ram.... up 15% and 20% respectively compared to two months ago

at the time, i got my msi tf3 7950 for $269 after rebate... lowest i saw for a decent 7970 was a gigabyte wf3 for $379 around the same time... about 34% higher. mind you both can be overclocked, almost all 79xx cards are being shipped with voltage locked bios. but still, i got 1150mhz/1575mem out of my 7950, and it beats a bone stock reference 7970 on benchies. an equivalent 7970 with my clocks will be about +/-20% faster.
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April 9, 2013 7:27:21 PM

I do not recommend going for the 7970 even with a processor upgrade, no. The 7950 will pretty much max any current game if you're willing to overclock it.

That being said, nikoli707 has a very valid point in that because of the recent increase in the prices of DRAM, video cards are expensive now. He also makes a very good point about the voltage locked cards - that's something to pay attention to.
April 9, 2013 8:17:12 PM

I am sure it will bottleneck, I had a phenom 965 BE overclocked at 3.9 ghz and it bottlenecked the hell of my 660 ti. I was getting in some cpu heavy scenes of Far Cry 3 30 FPS and i could see that just about 55% of my card was being used. After i upgraded to a 3570K i get constant 60 fps with vsync on, so i would recommend you upgrade at least to an AMD fx 8320 or 8350 if you will stick with amd
April 10, 2013 5:01:47 AM

Do you know if prices will drop again soon? because right now I dont have a video card on the pc, just the crappy one integrated into the mobo.
And yeah, I would like to stick to AMD for the CPU, so I don´t need a new MOBO as well.
April 10, 2013 5:22:01 AM

jconblack said:
Do you know if prices will drop again soon? because right now I dont have a video card on the pc, just the crappy one integrated into the mobo.
And yeah, I would like to stick to AMD for the CPU, so I don´t need a new MOBO as well.


I am not sure about prices drop soon but you dont have to get the 8350, the 8320 is at 170 in amazon, the only difference is the clock speed as it comes with 3.5 ghz but you can easly overclock near 5ghz with a good air cooler.
April 10, 2013 5:46:56 AM

Ok, I´ve been looking prices (around Spain) and here is what I´ve found.
7950 + AMD FX-8320 = 433€
7950 + AMD FX-8350 = 458€
7950 + i5-3470 = 438€ + mobo -> I would be hitting 500€ or more most likely
7950 + i5-3570 = 468€ + mobo -> I would be hitting 530€ or more most likely

That´s more money anyway than I was expecting to spend, so everything could be possible, if it is really worth it. Performance/Spend wise do you think that going for a new AMD CPU would be the way to go? or talking about this prices the best thing to do would be maybe an Intel CPU?

Thanks again for your time!
April 10, 2013 5:53:43 AM

jconblack said:
Ok, I´ve been looking prices (around Spain) and here is what I´ve found.
7950 + AMD FX-8320 = 433€
7950 + AMD FX-8350 = 458€
7950 + i5-3470 = 438€ + mobo -> I would be hitting 500€ or more most likely
7950 + i5-3570 = 468€ + mobo -> I would be hitting 530€ or more most likely

That´s more money anyway than I was expecting to spend, so everything could be possible, if it is really worth it. Performance/Spend wise do you think that going for a new AMD CPU would be the way to go? or talking about this prices the best thing to do would be maybe an Intel CPU?

Thanks again for your time!


In this case it depends what will be your main purpose i.e for me is just gaming so I stick with Intel as the 3570K has a much better performance per core than the 8350 and games will take the advantage there instead of more cores as the maximun is still 4 cores for gaming. But if you are gonna do other tasks as compressing very large files in conclussion more OS oriented activities then 8 cores will be the way to go.

You can see a comparison here:

http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i5-3570K-vs-AMD-FX-8...

April 10, 2013 6:02:58 AM

Well for sure I use my pc for everything, but something like this is oriented towards gaming.
So, knowing that it´s build for games, do you think that the extra 100€ if I go for an Intel platform are worth in terms of gaming performance? because 500€ it´s a lot of money...(even 433€ for the 7950+8320 combo)
April 10, 2013 7:11:48 AM

I will say go with the 8350 as if you go with intel it will be better to grab a good motherboard of at least 130+ usd, the performance in cpu heavy games is just a bit better with the i5 but other than that is very similar
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April 10, 2013 7:35:10 AM

Then you have to wonder how much of a performance hit the 8350 will take from being an AM3 socket and not an AM3+.

I have no idea, just adding to discussion.
April 10, 2013 7:59:32 AM

Ouch! I hadn´t thought of mobo support for the 8350. That CPU or the 8320 are not compatible with my Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H:

http://www.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-p...

So I guess that if I wanted to upgrade the CPU the Intel i5 would be the way to go, being in the situation of needing a new motherboard for both the 8350 and the i5. Any addtional opinion would be much appreciated.

(Thanks btw to everybody and to john1587 and ihog for the comments)

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April 10, 2013 8:53:58 AM
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jconblack said:
Ouch! I hadn´t thought of mobo support for the 8350. That CPU or the 8320 are not compatible with my Gigabyte GA-890GPA-UD3H:

http://www.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-p...

So I guess that if I wanted to upgrade the CPU the Intel i5 would be the way to go, being in the situation of needing a new motherboard for both the 8350 and the i5. Any addtional opinion would be much appreciated.

(Thanks btw to everybody and to john1587 and ihog for the comments)


Thats the same situation I had when I had the phenom, I have to buy a new MB anyway so I go with the i5, the price of new MB plus the CPU is practically the same for 8350 and 3570k
!