2.2 GHz Phenom Bottlenecking GPU?

I have a friend who owns a PC with the following specs:

CPU: 2.2 GHz Phenom 9500
Video: 8800 GTS 512MB
Memory: 3GB DDR2 at 667 MHz
OS: Vista 32 bit
Monitor: 22" LG at 1680X1050

He recently asked me if he should sell his GTS and get a Radeon 4870 when they come out.

My question is whether or not he'll see a performance increase at all. Is the Phenom already bottlenecking the GTS, or does it have some room to spare for a video card with more throughput, such as the new HD 4870?
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  1. having that phenom i can definetly tell you that it in fact bottlenecks my hd3870. you need to overclock it to 2.4-2.5ghz range in order to get better performance. 2.6 an 2.7ghz range doesn't all that much affect my framerates from what i noticed. i could have a bottleneck with my ram, but i'm personally really satisfied with games at 2.5ghz and 3870 (stock is fine too, but i have it overclocked to 850mhz for better performance)
  2. The best performance increase a gamer can make is buying a better gpu. Your Phenom wont be that big a bottleneck once this cards strapped in there, and like was said, at higher res, the gpu has to do more work, while the cpus workload hasnt really changed, so it evens it up
  3. Correct me if I am wrong but I noticed you are running 3gb ram and you may not have a dual ram setup which could also make it run a tad slower.
  4. Two 512 sticks <smiles>
  5. Thanks for all of the replies guys!

    The following benchmarks caught my eye as I was hunting around for more info on this:

    Clock for clock, it seems like the Phenom doesn't do too badly in games.

    I suppose I'll tell my friend to try overclocking (I know Phenoms are notoriously bad), and then recommend he grab a 4870 when they're out.

    @Moe - As Houston said, he's got the RAM in a 2 X 1GB - 2 X 512MB config, so it's working in dual channel mode.
  6. well you can overclock phenoms. you just need a decent mobo. i have mine at 2.5ghz all teh time. but i can get it to 2.7ghz stable. that's 500mhz faster than stock. i don't keep it at taht speeds cause i have only stock cooling and my comp gets slightly too hot for my taste.

    and do wait for 4870. supposedly they are gonna cost 329dollars.
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