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Is my CPU bottlenecking my system

Hi every one just a quick question i am currently in the process of building a new pc but i do not have all the parts as of yet, the parts i have so far are the cpu, power supply and case but yesterday my graphics card got delivered it is a msi r9 270 and i thought while i wait for the rest of my hardwere to come i would put the graphics card in my current pc.

My current pc is pretty old i have had it for many years just never used it for gaming the specs are.
Intel core 2 quad Q8200 2.33 GHz
4GB DDR 2 ram
and mother board is a foxconn (really old board)

Now i know this is not good enough specs for gaming but thought i would give it a try so i downloaded steam and got the free to play ghost recon phantoms and while i play it (on low setting i might add) my frame rate is all over it drops down to 30 and up to 60 and all over but when i use GPU-Z and check my GPU Load it never goes above 33% usage, But when i check resource monitor my cpu usage is just above 90%. My question is is my cpu bottlenecking my GPU as surely my frame rate should be at least a steady 60FPS if it used the full GPU.
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More about cpu bottlenecking system
  1. An easy way to test is to change your clock speed and see what happens to your FPS.

    C2Q was a good overclocker. You are probably leaving at least a free 25-35% performance increase on the table.
  2. yep, especially at lower graphical settings. lowering the graphical settings only lowers the tax on your gpu, not your cpu.
  3. Hi thanks for you reply i just downloaded the new Tomb Raider and tried what you said, i put it on ultimate settings and it was jumping all about again 25fps to 55fps and the cpu was in the 90% again and my gpu was no more than 50% then i lowesd the graphics to low and the fps was jumping around again 30fps to 57fps and my cpu was in the low end of the 90% mark.

    Does that mean its probily my cpu or is my graphics card dodgy, i have downloaded the latest drivers from amd website.
  4. it be your cpu homey.
  5. Hi i tried dropping my core speed of my GPU from 975 to 600 useing msi afterburner and the cpu usage was still at 90% mark and my fps on ultimate was 30fps to 40fps and my gpu load was around 80%
  6. the cpu is the bottleneck. raising the graphic settings wont relieve the load off the cpu. you are bottlenecked by the CPU! raising the graphics settings will use more gpu, which will give you more pretty but not hurt the fps you are already getting. the only way to get more fps here is with a faster cpu, or overclocking.
  7. neon neophyte said:
    the cpu is the bottleneck. raising the graphic settings wont relieve the load off the cpu. you are bottlenecked by the CPU! raising the graphics settings will use more gpu, which will give you more pretty but not hurt the fps you are already getting. the only way to get more fps here is with a faster cpu, or overclocking.


    Thank you for you reply that has made me feel better all the replys have i will wait to game untill i get all my components for my new pc i just wanted to make sure i had not bought a dodgy GPU that needed sending back thank you.
  8. the only real solution is a platform upgrade. swapping in another 775 isn't worth it. not even with a 9550/60.
  9. swifty_morgan said:
    the only real solution is a platform upgrade. swapping in another 775 isn't worth it. not even with a 9550/60.


    Hi yes i am already in the process of changing my pc i have already got my intel core i5 4670k and my psu XFX 650w Core Edition i am just waiting on my corsair vengance 8GB ram and my msi z87-g45 motherboard then i should be up and running. also i do not have a 775
  10. what's the q8200?........... an LGA 775 socket processor.............. unless something happened I missed?
  11. Try running the Valley 1.0 benchmark or Heaven 4.0 benchmark. These two benchmarks are GPU bound and should tax your graphics card without really giving your CPU a stroke. I had Core q6600 paired with a HD 6870 and That CPU at stock was fine for that. Now the R9 270 is more powerful than an HD6870 but still it is a mid range GPU and you don't need an i7 4770K or an FX 8350 to fully utilize it. The Q8200 at stock(2.33GHz) is not ideal for newer games Like Battlefield 4 or Crysis 3. I am just throwing number around now but ideally you should be able to get about 60-80% usage from your R9 270, eve more if you can OC the Q8200
  12. swifty_morgan said:
    what's the q8200?........... an LGA 775 socket processor.............. unless something happened I missed?


    O sorry i understand now i thought the 775 was in referance to a GPU but yes the socket is a 775 socket sorry for my ignorance.
  13. also i should note i am not gaming at 1080p i am gaming at 1360 x 768 as my monitor is old and doesnt even have a hdmi but i am in the process of upgrading that too just cant afford it till next payday
  14. Vitric9 said:
    Try running the Valley 1.0 benchmark or Heaven 4.0 benchmark. These two benchmarks are GPU bound and should tax your graphics card without really giving your CPU a stroke. I had Core q6600 paired with a HD 6870 and That CPU at stock was fine for that. Now the R9 270 is more powerful than an HD6870 but still it is a mid range GPU and you don't need an i7 4770K or an FX 8350 to fully utilize it. The Q8200 at stock(2.33GHz) is not ideal for newer games Like Battlefield 4 or Crysis 3. I am just throwing number around now but ideally you should be able to get about 60-80% usage from your R9 270, eve more if you can OC the Q8200


    i am just downloading vally benchmark now i will see how that does
  15. your card is overkill for 720p
  16. Those Benchmarks are good for seeing how your GPU is behaving. I use an i5 but still the CPU usage(24%) is quite low for these benchmarks so it is more so to test the GPU. There are other tests for CPU and GPU combined as well.
  17. swifty_morgan said:
    your card is overkill for 720p


    Maby it is overkill but i was not intending on using it till i get every thing including my new monitor so it would of been 1080p
  18. Vitric9 said:
    Those Benchmarks are good for seeing how your GPU is behaving. I use an i5 but still the CPU usage(24%) is quite low for these benchmarks so it is more so to test the GPU. There are other tests for CPU and GPU combined as well.


    hi thanks for the reply i have got the results of the vally benchmark but i dont understand them its just a number and a min, average, and max fps how do i know if it is any good
  19. i have just realised on tomb raider i can get a constant 60fps on ultimate it is the anti alius that is dropping my fps. i can get full 60fps on FXAA but if i change to 2 x SSAA i get 49FPS and if i put it to 4 x SSAA i get 38FPS, so it is the AA that is dropping it
  20. Best answer
    As was mentioned, your GPU will function just fine when the new parts arrive. I wouldn't even waste time benchmarking or anything like that in the current system. The gpu is a good match for the new components you have coming.

    BTW - I went from 1680x1050 to 1080p, going from 720p to 1080p is gonna be a huge improvement. You will LOVE it. Good luck man.
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