After reading some threads about CPU bottlenecking I know for a fact that my CPU is bottlenecking my Video Card.
The question is, how can I tell without actually upgrading my MoBo and CPU and then running tests? Maybe there is no way except to just “know” that my pos CPU is holding things back.
And… How much of a difference will I see in upgrading MoBo and CPU?
Pentium 4 -2.8ghz OC’d 3.6ghz (Thermaltake Liquid Cooler)
ATI HD3850 OC’d 755/1055
3dmark06 = 6k
You can tell by comparing your 3dmark score to other people's scores. At another forum one of the members is running a 3850 with an E4300 @2.4 and he scored over 9K. You're being held back by that single core Pentium 4.
If you have the abillity to play around with your resolutions on your monitor one simple way is to see what you are getting in a game at a high res, Run Fraps to check your FPS.
If you now drop the res to say 800x600 then your FPS should increase if they dont then you are being bottlenecked as what happens is that the CPU does a lot of the physics ie where stuff is on screen when stuff is moving about.
When the CPU cant keep up with the amount of info the GPU is throwing at it you get the bottlenecking effect.
This is a very simple test that may or may not work it all depends on how hard you can work the GPU in the first place.
Start max ress AA etc and then drop the res if the FPS dosent go up then the CPU isnt keeping up.
your memory is your bottleneck. A 3.6GHz P4 can crunch some decent numbers if you can push the memory bandwidth up to around 6GB/sec. I have a hunch your memory bandwidth is about 2~2.5GB/sec, which is abysmal. The "1.5 gigs" is usually a dead giveaway that says "I'm not running in dual channel mode."