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How to know processor bottleneck vs Video card?

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August 18, 2006 3:34:25 PM

hi guys, i'm thinking of purchasing between a P4 915 (to save on the processor and put the savings on the video card) or a E6300 (but is much more expensive)

my question is: how do i know that with a mid range video card (ie. between the range of Inno3D 7600GST to ATI X1800 GTO), my processor (ie P4 915) would not be a bottleneck for the video card or not?

i dont want to save on a processor that would cause a bottle neck for my video card performance.

any links that can help me clarify this?

by the way, E6300 here costs 33% more than the P4 915.

thank you.
August 18, 2006 4:01:18 PM

Simple! If you increase the resolution and the frame rate hasn't dropped then you have a CPU bottleneck, because this means that the card does fine but it needs to wait for the CPU al lower res. Otherwise it's a GPU bottlenck.
a b à CPUs
a b U Graphics card
August 18, 2006 5:49:24 PM

Quote:
hi guys, i'm thinking of purchasing between a P4 915 (to save on the processor and put the savings on the video card) or a E6300 (but is much more expensive)

my question is: how do i know that with a mid range video card (ie. between the range of Inno3D 7600GST to ATI X1800 GTO), my processor (ie P4 915) would not be a bottleneck for the video card or not?

i dont want to save on a processor that would cause a bottle neck for my video card performance.

any links that can help me clarify this?

by the way, E6300 here costs 33% more than the P4 915.

thank you.


If you choose the Pentium D 915 it will be your bottleneck most of the time. If you choose the Core 2 Duo E6300 with any of those video cards, the video cards will be the bottleneck.

Of course this depends on the resolution you play. I'm basing my opinion on a standard resolution of 1280x1024.

To better show this... have a look at this thread.
Related resources
August 18, 2006 6:09:30 PM

Bottleneck isn't really an absolute. Even on a slow processor which is bottlenecked, a better video card can still provide better performance. I doubt you would get a huge performance deficit using a x1800 GTO and a 915 vs 6300. Anandtechs reviews( in your guide) were using 2 x1900 XT's in crossfire, not exactly that fair.

The real question would be whether a 915 w/ a x1900 XT would beat a 6300 and a x1800 GTO, something you would have to test. I would do your own research (but I'd still get the 6300, since DX10 is around the corner):

HardOCP
Firing Squad

And then using Tom's CPU charts you can derive a similar curve:


August 19, 2006 1:31:08 AM

just want to clarify:
can you explain your statement on the DX10? do you mean that you need conroe to be able to use DX10?

thanks
August 19, 2006 6:50:35 AM

Well you don't need conroe. But if you buy a new card now may just have a slightly shorter life. DX10 cards are coming soon that provide more features and better performance. So if you get a descent card like the x1800 GTO, you might have more money for an upgrade later. The 6300 would last longer and is just a far better cpu, even for the money.
August 21, 2006 1:14:05 AM

Quote:
Well you don't need conroe. But if you buy a new card now may just have a slightly shorter life. DX10 cards are coming soon that provide more features and better performance. So if you get a descent card like the x1800 GTO, you might have more money for an upgrade later. The 6300 would last longer and is just a far better cpu, even for the money.


when are the DX10 coming out?
August 21, 2006 1:33:06 AM

Quote:


when are the DX10 coming out?


/wrists
a b à CPUs
a c 106 U Graphics card
August 21, 2006 1:38:35 AM

Quote:
Bottleneck isn't really an absolute. Even on a slow processor which is bottlenecked, a better video card can still provide better performance. I doubt you would get a huge performance deficit using a x1800 GTO and a 915 vs 6300. Anandtechs reviews( in your guide) were using 2 x1900 XT's in crossfire, not exactly that fair.

The real question would be whether a 915 w/ a x1900 XT would beat a 6300 and a x1800 GTO, something you would have to test. I would do your own research (but I'd still get the 6300, since DX10 is around the corner):

HardOCP
Firing Squad

And then using Tom's CPU charts you can derive a similar curve:




Interesting article at the firing line. Never read that one before. Thanks
August 21, 2006 2:05:37 AM

Quote:


when are the DX10 coming out?


/wrists

ROFL
August 21, 2006 2:19:03 AM

what's "/wrists" and "ROFL"?
August 21, 2006 2:49:27 AM

ROFL = Rolling On Floor Laughing.
August 21, 2006 3:40:17 AM

You guys seem to be forgetting... even though the DX10 cards are coming out "soon", he will still have to have Vista and then a GAME that actually uses DX10 to get his money's worth. (It is likely that a fully DX10 game is at least a year out BTW) So, forget DX10 in your situation... the 915 should be PLENTY of power. Get the better graphics card as the graphics card is the typically the limiting factor 9 times out of 10 when it comes to games.
August 21, 2006 3:46:34 AM

Quote:
what's "/wrists" and "ROFL"?


Derek2006 already answered the second part. For the first read "/' as slash. For homework what does this mean?

WYLASOMTGWTC
August 21, 2006 3:58:26 AM

Quote:
You guys seem to be forgetting... even though the DX10 cards are coming out "soon", he will still have to have Vista and then a GAME that actually uses DX10 to get his money's worth. (It is likely that a fully DX10 game is at least a year out BTW) So, forget DX10 in your situation... the 915 should be PLENTY of power. Get the better graphics card as the graphics card is the typically the limiting factor 9 times out of 10 when it comes to games.


any suggestion on what video card to get at the price range of 180-200 usd?

thanks
August 21, 2006 9:41:00 AM

Quote:
Do a little bit of research, but MY suggestion would be an ATI X1900 GT for $199 plus about $6 shipping. (shop around for prices) but here's an example at newegg for ya...

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E1681...

Anandtech did a nice round up of mid-range cards a little bit ago... here a link

http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2812


sounds like a very good deal! thanks will check it out. how long do you think this X1900 GT will last?
August 21, 2006 1:02:43 PM

At least a year or so... it's a great card at a great price. Should be plenty of power there to carry you through 2007 and probably into the first half of 2008. It probably won't even be until Q1 of 2008 that we start seeing any DX10 games anyway... and at only $200 this card is a great value! :) 
August 21, 2006 7:00:10 PM

Yes the 915 is plenty of power now, even for the greatest cards. But in a year when his x1900 GT or equivilant starts to seem slow down it won't be. The 6300 is more future proof unless you plan on upgrading processor and gpu, then he should just be sure he gets a mb that supports at least conroe.

The point of dx10 cards are not to play games (dx8 is still supported in most games), but to get a card with more performance for the money. Look at the x8XX series now, they have got to be the best performance/money now.
August 21, 2006 7:43:27 PM

I totally agree about the X8xx series cards.

I ordered a SAPPHIRE X850XT.
Should be an extremely great bang for my buck.
!