where's the bottleneck?

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

I keep reading posts referring to bottlenecks...such as "don't buy this
card, with your system the bottleneck is your processor etc. so the benefit
would be lost"...or something along those lines.

So where is the bottleneck? Or, at what point does a vid card fall
behind/jump ahead of the processor or system bus or motherboard or whatever?

Is there a chart or something I can look at? What's the "best" card I should
consider before the below specs negate performance of a new card.

I have a:

Dell Dimension 4550 (circa January 2003)
2.4 GHz P4
512 MB PC2700 Ram
GeForce4 MX 420 (64mb) ... AGP 4X
250W power supply

any more info needed? Seriously considering the 5900XT right now, but would
something cheaper like a ti4200 be "enough"? I am also afraid the 5900xt
might be too much for this power supply. Already ruled out the 5200 & 5700's
thanks to this forum!

This is a general use computer for the family...a little of everything.
(Gaming, browsing, work apps, digital pictures, etc.)

FINALLY, I will most likely be adding another 512 MB of ram at the same time
as upgrading the card, if that has any impact.
5 answers Last reply
More about where bottleneck
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

    heres my list of the bottlenecks in ur machine

    1) Processor
    2) RAM
    3) geforce 4 MX series is equal to a geforce 2 Pro
    4) power supply

    the main problem is that dell use proprietry motherboards (i think) so its
    difficult to know the limits of it in upgrade terms. Ur processor is
    adequate, its only a bottleneck with the 6800 series cards (Or ATI X800 but
    i dont like ATI. I've been with nVidia since the TNT2 series). if u put a
    5900xt u will have to upgrade ur power unit. 250W is not enough for a
    5900xt. mine ran it fine with a 350W, but a 400W would be better in the
    long run. More RAM in any system will improve the performance but have u
    had a look to see if u have any spare memory slots spare?

    hope this helps

    sp


    "bb2004" <beebeFOUR@frontiernet.net> wrote in message
    news:8pHod.5026$yC.4771@news01.roc.ny...
    >I keep reading posts referring to bottlenecks...such as "don't buy this
    >card, with your system the bottleneck is your processor etc. so the benefit
    >would be lost"...or something along those lines.
    >
    > So where is the bottleneck? Or, at what point does a vid card fall
    > behind/jump ahead of the processor or system bus or motherboard or
    > whatever?
    >
    > Is there a chart or something I can look at? What's the "best" card I
    > should consider before the below specs negate performance of a new card.
    >
    > I have a:
    >
    > Dell Dimension 4550 (circa January 2003)
    > 2.4 GHz P4
    > 512 MB PC2700 Ram
    > GeForce4 MX 420 (64mb) ... AGP 4X
    > 250W power supply
    >
    > any more info needed? Seriously considering the 5900XT right now, but
    > would something cheaper like a ti4200 be "enough"? I am also afraid the
    > 5900xt might be too much for this power supply. Already ruled out the 5200
    > & 5700's thanks to this forum!
    >
    > This is a general use computer for the family...a little of everything.
    > (Gaming, browsing, work apps, digital pictures, etc.)
    >
    > FINALLY, I will most likely be adding another 512 MB of ram at the same
    > time as upgrading the card, if that has any impact.
    >
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

    bb2004:

    > What's the "best" card I should consider before the below specs
    > negate performance of a new card.

    > Dell Dimension 4550 (circa January 2003)
    > 2.4 GHz P4 > 512 MB PC2700 Ram > GeForce4 MX 420 (64mb) AGP 4X
    > 250W power supply
    >
    > any more info needed? Seriously considering the 5900XT right now, but
    > would something cheaper like a ti4200 be "enough"? I am also afraid
    > the 5900xt might be too much for this power supply.

    I also have a 4550. It came with a Ti4200 which was an excellent card and
    might be enough for you depending what games you play. I upgraded to a
    5900XT and have not had any problems powering the card. If you check the
    Dell forums you'll find tons of posts from people who are successfully
    running modern, high power cards on Dell 250W PS. The Dell PS are
    apparently excellent quality and can handle the load. Personally I would
    wait a little while if you can and either buy a 6600 or wait until the
    5900XTs are below $150 because they are overpriced IMO.
    --
    Mac Cool
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

    "Mac Cool" <Mac@2cool.com> wrote in message
    news:Xns95AA813CC6A12MacCool@24.25.9.43...
    > bb2004:
    >
    >> What's the "best" card I should consider before the below specs
    >> negate performance of a new card.
    >
    >> Dell Dimension 4550 (circa January 2003)
    >> 2.4 GHz P4 > 512 MB PC2700 Ram > GeForce4 MX 420 (64mb) AGP 4X
    >> 250W power supply
    >>
    >> any more info needed? Seriously considering the 5900XT right now, but
    >> would something cheaper like a ti4200 be "enough"? I am also afraid
    >> the 5900xt might be too much for this power supply.
    >
    > I also have a 4550. It came with a Ti4200 which was an excellent card and
    > might be enough for you depending what games you play. I upgraded to a
    > 5900XT and have not had any problems powering the card. If you check the
    > Dell forums you'll find tons of posts from people who are successfully
    > running modern, high power cards on Dell 250W PS. The Dell PS are
    > apparently excellent quality and can handle the load. Personally I would
    > wait a little while if you can and either buy a 6600 or wait until the
    > 5900XTs are below $150 because they are overpriced IMO.
    > --
    > Mac Cool

    so, in your opinion, the 6600 would be "doable" also? cool!

    I will check those forums...thanks!
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

    bb2004 wrote:
    > I keep reading posts referring to bottlenecks...such as "don't buy this
    > card, with your system the bottleneck is your processor etc. so the benefit
    > would be lost"...or something along those lines.
    >
    > So where is the bottleneck? Or, at what point does a vid card fall
    > behind/jump ahead of the processor or system bus or motherboard or whatever?

    The bottleneck is the slowest component. It works the same in a
    business. Say you build chairs. Say it takes one man to make the frame,
    and one to put backrest on, to create one chair in one hour. If you have
    100 men to make frames, but only ten to fit the backrests, you cannot
    produce more than 10 chairs per hour. You can increase the output by
    adding backrest fitters, but if you add more than 90, the first dept
    will be the bottleneck.

    The vid cards falls behind the CPU if the program you are running has
    the CPU giving more data to the vid card than the vid card can handle.
    Thus the CPU will have to wait for the vid card to do it's thing. The
    vid card will jump ahead when it can keep up with anything the CPU
    throws at it. Then the vid card will have some power left that isn't
    used, because the CPU can't keep up with the vid card.

    > Is there a chart or something I can look at? What's the "best" card I should
    > consider before the below specs negate performance of a new card.

    Most reviews show how a videocard scales with a processor. This will
    tell you if increasing the speed of the CPU will increase the vid cards
    output. Putting a modern GeForce or Radeon card in a Pentium 1 system
    (forget about compatibility here for a second) is useless, as the
    Pentium 1 is like one chair frame maker whereas the modern vid card is
    like 1000 backrest fitters.

    > I have a:
    >
    > Dell Dimension 4550 (circa January 2003)
    > 2.4 GHz P4
    > 512 MB PC2700 Ram
    > GeForce4 MX 420 (64mb) ... AGP 4X
    > 250W power supply

    Increasing CPU speed will most likely not increase your vid-cards output
    (in frames per second), thus making the GeForce4MX the 'bottleneck' imo.
    By upgrading the vid-card, you will create a new bottleneck, which will
    most likely be the CPU/mobo combination. If you plan to keep the vid
    card, and upgrade the rest later, buy the fastest vid card you can (and
    are willing to) afford and your system can support. If you add a 6600
    you will definately see a big performance jump, though this vid card
    will perform even better with a faster CPU.

    The power supply could be better, but it might just work. I know it's
    not always possible to change the PSU in Dell systems, so I'd simply try
    a new vid card and see if it works. If the system becomes unstable, try
    getting a more powerful PSU.

    > any more info needed? Seriously considering the 5900XT right now, but would
    > something cheaper like a ti4200 be "enough"? I am also afraid the 5900xt
    > might be too much for this power supply. Already ruled out the 5200 & 5700's
    > thanks to this forum!

    I'd take the 5900XT over the Ti4200, as the latter supports DX9 and the
    Ti4200 only 8.1. But if you can afford it, a 6600GT might be an even
    better idea imo (the vanilla 6600 should also be fine).

    > This is a general use computer for the family...a little of everything.
    > (Gaming, browsing, work apps, digital pictures, etc.)

    I'd think anything faster than a 6600GT would be held back too much by
    the CPU, and thus a waste of money.

    > FINALLY, I will most likely be adding another 512 MB of ram at the same time
    > as upgrading the card, if that has any impact.

    That should definately help. I'd do that.

    Hope this helps.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.videocards.nvidia (More info?)

    sp wrote:
    > heres my list of the bottlenecks in ur machine
    >
    > 1) Processor
    > 2) RAM
    > 3) geforce 4 MX series is equal to a geforce 2 Pro
    > 4) power supply
    >
    > the main problem is that dell use proprietry motherboards (i think) so its
    > difficult to know the limits of it in upgrade terms. Ur processor is
    > adequate, its only a bottleneck with the 6800 series cards (Or ATI X800 but
    > i dont like ATI. I've been with nVidia since the TNT2 series). if u put a
    > 5900xt u will have to upgrade ur power unit. 250W is not enough for a
    > 5900xt. mine ran it fine with a 350W, but a 400W would be better in the
    > long run. More RAM in any system will improve the performance but have u
    > had a look to see if u have any spare memory slots spare?
    >
    > hope this helps
    >
    > sp
    >
    >
    > "bb2004" <beebeFOUR@frontiernet.net> wrote in message
    > news:8pHod.5026$yC.4771@news01.roc.ny...
    >
    >>I keep reading posts referring to bottlenecks...such as "don't buy this
    >>card, with your system the bottleneck is your processor etc. so the benefit
    >>would be lost"...or something along those lines.
    >>
    >>So where is the bottleneck? Or, at what point does a vid card fall
    >>behind/jump ahead of the processor or system bus or motherboard or
    >>whatever?
    >>
    >>Is there a chart or something I can look at? What's the "best" card I
    >>should consider before the below specs negate performance of a new card.
    >>
    >>I have a:
    >>
    >>Dell Dimension 4550 (circa January 2003)
    >>2.4 GHz P4
    >>512 MB PC2700 Ram
    >>GeForce4 MX 420 (64mb) ... AGP 4X
    >>250W power supply
    >>
    >>any more info needed? Seriously considering the 5900XT right now, but
    >>would something cheaper like a ti4200 be "enough"? I am also afraid the
    >>5900xt might be too much for this power supply. Already ruled out the 5200
    >>& 5700's thanks to this forum!
    >>
    >>This is a general use computer for the family...a little of everything.
    >>(Gaming, browsing, work apps, digital pictures, etc.)
    >>
    >>FINALLY, I will most likely be adding another 512 MB of ram at the same
    >>time as upgrading the card, if that has any impact.
    >>
    >
    >
    >

    Next time you buy a PC, don't buy a Dell :)
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