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What video card matches what processor

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 30, 2006 11:00:46 PM

Suggestion for Tomshardware. Can you provide an article that gives some guidance on matching up video cards with processor (system). I realize there are a number of performance variables that come in to play.

Invariably your system is either bottle necked by processor or by video card. It if one is putting a new system together it would be useful to know how to match these up so you are not overspending. Of coarse one might deliberatly underpower say the video card to keep the system cheap. But plan for a future upgade.

Given the power of the new core 2 duo, will the system always be video restricted unless you go with say quad video cards??

Will the AMD 4000+ be the bottle neck if you run a single high end video card??

I think you did an article like this quite a while back.
August 30, 2006 11:40:33 PM

Quote:
Will the AMD 4000+ be the bottle neck if you run a single high end video card??

No.

Any CPU generation made around same time as a GPU generation will be fine. CPUs tend to last longer though.
a b U Graphics card
August 30, 2006 11:42:52 PM

A full review with benchmarks of various levels of systems paired with various video cards is a huge project, but something I would love to see or even try to undertake myself if I had the cards/time.

Generally, one thing I can say is, if you are planning on high end SLI/crossfire, better have a screaming CPU like the C2D's.

Also, It totally depends on the game, but I'd say that for the most part, any current single GPU would probably do fine with a A64 3500+ or higher as you can crank the resolution and eye candy taking advantage of the GPU's power. You definately have to match the system and avoid early bottlenecks as both a a conroe/7300GS or XP1700+/7800GS are just plain silly combos for gaming.
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August 31, 2006 12:25:04 AM

Quote:

Will the AMD 4000+ be the bottle neck if you run a single high end video card??


most games at the moment (and for sometime) are still being programmed for single core PCs, because the market of dual core PCs is still quite small outside enthusiast groups and new pc owners.

in terms of frame rates on most shader heavy games (not including RTS) the CPU is hardly being taxed. u could play a game on a AMD64 3200+ (745) and there would only be about a 7fps difference if u used the same GPU with a 4000+ (939). im willing to be money ur eyes couldnt tell the difference.

CPUs are no longer the limiting factor in gaming. the GPU is the major player.
dual cores are not needed for gaming at the moment.
a b U Graphics card
August 31, 2006 12:45:31 AM

Some areas are still CPU bound. Take for instance the slow performance people get around town gates in Oblivion, when there are lots of NPC's walking about.
August 31, 2006 4:31:18 AM

i dont know about that. Oblv runs pretty slow full stop on my rig so its all the same to me.... fucking 6600gt.
a b U Graphics card
August 31, 2006 11:04:12 AM

Sorry, no offense meant, but that's because you have a 6600GT. But I still think on a highe end single gpu paired with a low end A64 or slower, there are brief moments near those town gates I mentioned where the CPU will become the bottleneck. Otherwise, yeah Oblivion is typically big-time GPU limited at best playable settings.
September 1, 2006 11:57:53 PM

Thanks for feedback folks.
September 2, 2006 12:48:49 AM

A Core 2 Duo, even the E6300, will NOT bottleneck a single high-end card, like the GF7900/RX1900. Any Athlon 64 above the 3500+ will not bottleneck a single high-end GPU. An A64 4000+ is still a very good processor for gaming; in fact, (still) it's the third-fastest single-core CPU available. The 3700+ and 4000+ are both underclocked (via the multiplier) FX55/57s. They all use the same San Diego core and have the same 1MB of L2 cache. Hell, some 3700+/4000+ might be FXs which weren't stable at the higher frequency.
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