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Will my CPU bottleneck with an AMD 7950

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May 16, 2013 8:53:30 AM

Long time reader, first time poster, hi y'all.

I'm fantasizing about upgrading my AMD 6870 to a 7950, but I've been reading a lot about bottlenecks and wondering if I should first upgrade the processor. I play a lot Total War stuff, and Skyrim, and find that I can't quite max things with my current setup.

I should mention too that I plan on doing this myself, with no prior experience but lots of tutorial videos. Huzzah!

My specs now are:

-AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz
-AMD ATI Radeon HD 6870 1GB
-G.Skill Ripjaws X 4GB DDR3-1600
-Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P
-Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 550w
-1920 x 1080 Asus Monitor

So - would that CPU need some upgrade love?

Thanks.

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May 16, 2013 9:11:22 AM

Yes, but not substantially. If you are going to upgrade, moving up to a PHII X4/X6 or FX-x3x0 processor would be a good move.

For Total War and Skyrim though, the CPU is the limiter here, but you should be able to get near max with a 7950 as a 6870 is still really a competent card, but it pales in comparison to the 7950.

Though yeah, your CPU will bottleneck the 7950.
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May 16, 2013 9:13:53 AM

To answer your question; Yes, it will bottleneck your system. But it is still recommended by Tom's as one of the best gaming CPUs.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

I would say, get the graphics card and try to overclock the CPU to get a little more FPS out of it.
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May 16, 2013 9:17:38 AM

ilikegirls said:
To answer your question; Yes, it will bottleneck your system. But it is still recommended by Tom's as one of the best gaming CPUs.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

I would say, get the graphics card and try to overclock the CPU to get a little more FPS out of it.


This, and upgrade the CPU later on.
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May 16, 2013 9:20:45 AM

ihog said:
ilikegirls said:
To answer your question; Yes, it will bottleneck your system. But it is still recommended by Tom's as one of the best gaming CPUs.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...

I would say, get the graphics card and try to overclock the CPU to get a little more FPS out of it.


This, and upgrade the CPU later on.


Yupp, thanks for adding that :D 
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May 16, 2013 9:22:48 AM

Hmm, I think it will bottleneck it more than the rest of the guys here. Although a good budget option, its a low end CPU and a high end GPU.

I don't think you will see much improvement upgrading to the 7950 due to your CPU.
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May 16, 2013 9:27:46 AM

Jesse Todd said:
Long time reader, first time poster, hi y'all.

I'm fantasizing about upgrading my AMD 6870 to a 7950, but I've been reading a lot about bottlenecks and wondering if I should first upgrade the processor. I play a lot Total War stuff, and Skyrim, and find that I can't quite max things with my current setup.

I should mention too that I plan on doing this myself, with no prior experience but lots of tutorial videos. Huzzah!

My specs now are:

-AMD Athlon II X4 640 3.0GHz
-AMD ATI Radeon HD 6870 1GB
-G.Skill Ripjaws X 4GB DDR3-1600
-Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-MA790FXT-UD5P
-Cooler Master eXtreme Power Plus 550w
-1920 x 1080 Asus Monitor

So - would that CPU need some upgrade love?

Thanks.



I recommend FX-6300 or higher for that card, since I have a FX-4100 and it bottlenecks my GTX 660. Also I have a second PC, with P II x4 965 be and it bottlenecks my GTX 660 TI. If you dont have an am3+ mobo, I would recommend you to go with any Intel I5 and the cheapest mobo if your budget wont allow better.

Since you need to buy a am3+ mobo if you aint got one already, you could buy a cheap b75 1155 mobo and go with an i5.
The difference between AMD and Intel is big, and my mistake was going with a bad cpu to get a better gpu, in your case you got the gpu already but, if your budget allows it, go for an i5.

Just a tip. Please notice I'm saying this from my own experience. Good luck! :) 
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May 16, 2013 10:30:36 AM

Really appreciate the help all, thanks. Pending a little more research (alas, still learning) I'm leaning towards going with a new CPU first. Otherwise it's like driving a ferrari with no err, wheels, or something. Gonna take elemein's advice and look into maybe getting the PHII X4/X6 or FX-x3x0...

@hasteone, thanks man, it is an AM3 board, and I know Intel is supposed to be superior, the prices just make me wince a little...
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