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Is my processor bottle necking my video card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 9, 2009 9:48:57 PM

I really didnt think that my amd X2 4600 was a terrible processor or that it would be bottle necking my mid range 9600gt. Some people I talk to seem to say it is though = \


What does everyone think? Is my x2 4600 bottle necking my 9600gt?
a b Î Nvidia
a c 266 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
January 9, 2009 10:16:53 PM

Turn on the task manager, and monitor your cpu usage while you are playing games. If usage is high(over75%?) then the cpu is part of the problem.
a b Î Nvidia
a c 106 U Graphics card
January 10, 2009 3:17:29 AM

^+1

All good suggestions. It's all going to come down to which games you play as some are CPU limited while others are GPU limited. Generally on games that are more CPU intensive you can try lowering some of the more CPU intense settings (such as particals and what not) without lowering the visual quality. You can also always overclock your CPU to get more out of it. For me, at stock speeds my 5000+ was slightly limiting my 3850, but once I overclocked my CPU the GPU became the bottleneck :) . Anyway I'm rather happy with the way my system preforms, except perhaps in Crysis no surprise, and will upgrade when I'm not, which may be soon.

If you don't feel that games are running slow then you shouldn't worry about not getting the benchmark score you expect from your GPU. If it's running fine then just leave it alone before you go on upgrading to a new CPU. Like I said, you can always try and overclock the CPU you have.
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a b Î Nvidia
a c 130 U Graphics card
January 10, 2009 6:18:11 AM

geofelt said:
Turn on the task manager, and monitor your cpu usage while you are playing games. If usage is high(over75%?) then the cpu is part of the problem.


That will tell you next to nothing. Your processor could be at 100% and you still wouldn't necessarily be "bottle necked"

Mactronix
January 10, 2009 6:36:33 AM

Lol, im using some extreme version of xfx 9600gt on a athlon 3500+, now that should be bottlenecking!
January 10, 2009 6:46:07 AM

I wouldnt think it would be too much of a bottleneck, if any...
a b Î Nvidia
a c 130 U Graphics card
January 10, 2009 1:56:17 PM

^+1
There is no "bottleneck" Your FPS would increase with a faster CPU or if you overclocked the one you have, this would be the case with just about every PC in the world though. (assuming stock parts that is)

Mactronix
January 10, 2009 2:11:45 PM

CPU bottlenecks show up at lower resolutions. That's because the CPU can't keep up with the number of frames pushed out by the GPU. I can't see a 9600gt overpowering an Athlon X2 4600+, but if it is, then gaming at higher resolutions helps.
a b Î Nvidia
a c 266 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
January 10, 2009 2:14:32 PM

mactronix said:
^+1
There is no "bottleneck" Your FPS would increase with a faster CPU or if you overclocked the one you have, this would be the case with just about every PC in the world though. (assuming stock parts that is)

Mactronix

I don't like the term "bottleneck" either.
There are contibutions to performance from cpu power, vga power, and other things like ram.
It is true, that a faster cpu can only help, and a faster vga system can only help also.
In this case, the question is: Would there be a better increase in performance from improving one or the other?

If the cpu has low utilization, it is an indicator that more cpu will not help much. It may also be an indicator of insufficient ram.
For games, it is an indicator that a better vga system would give better results.

Conversely, high cpu utilization is an indicator that a faster cpu, or possibly more cores would be the most effective upgrade.
January 10, 2009 2:41:48 PM

i think no.
if you're uncomfortable with it, overclock your processor to 3.0 Ghz.
a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2009 5:06:16 PM

The idea is that at lower resolutions, the video card is more able to render frames more quickly.

In essence what yipsl is saying is that at lower resolutions your video card should be cranking out frames like crazy.

At higher resolutions, the video card has to work a lot harder, and the cpu if it's slower will not struggle as much to keep up with the video card because it's not having to process as many frames at once because the video card may not be capable of producing enough.
January 10, 2009 5:27:13 PM

Alright well thanks for all the replies guys, can someone point me to an overclocking guide? I'm willing to give it a shot and see if it helps me. The video game im having troubles with is World of warcraft. I purchased my 9600gt zotac and 4 gigs of Gskill ddr2 in hopes that i would get some big performance upgrades from my 7600gt and 1gig of ddr2. It feels like my 7600gt was running wow better sometimes though...
January 10, 2009 5:28:09 PM

Also I always use 1024x768 never see the need for a higher resolution.
a b U Graphics card
January 10, 2009 6:00:04 PM

First of all, having a faster gpu will always give you a better gaming scenario. Having a weaker cpu wont make a better gpu play worse than a lessor gpu, if anything, youll see the same performance. Id do as stragestranger said, lower your res, see if your fps is higher the same. It should be higher, as the gpu has less work to do, less pixels to fill, and if your cpu is fast enough, itll show the gpu as working faster (more fps). If its the same , then its all your cpu can do.
a b Î Nvidia
a c 187 U Graphics card
a b À AMD
January 10, 2009 6:02:37 PM

Toms has a overclocking forum which has some very good guides.
Do n`t expect to push the Athlon too far though, the X2 was not a very good overclocker.
With that GPU you really want to push the resoloution up a bit, it can handle it easily.
January 10, 2009 6:28:23 PM

My 17 inch monitor doesnt like anything beyond 1024x768 any higher and it slowly starts to flicker then i'll it looks like someone took a camcorder and recorded a TV you know the giant black bar running up and down the screen.
January 11, 2009 5:10:02 AM

u may need to turn up the fresh rate. That will usually get rid of any flicker. Most moniters is set @ 75 Hertz, although most are 60
a b Î Nvidia
a c 130 U Graphics card
January 11, 2009 6:10:05 AM

Quote:
Someone is going to have to explain this one to me, it makes no sense whatsoever to me. Correct me if i am wrong and someone will, but i thought the cpu generated the frames, the gpu just painted them.


Ok i will give it a go,
Its pretty much as ohiou_grad_06 is saying.
If you take the idea that as you say the CPU is generating the frames as in the wire frames of the picture and it also is responsible for the calculations for the on screen movement or physic's (not Physx).
Then look at your idea of painting it as colouring in the picture,and remember this is pixel by pixel/shade by shade. Then you should be able to see that at higher resolutions the Graphics card will have much more colouring in to do while the CPU is not really doing much more than it would at lower resolutions.
So what happens at lower resolutions is that the CPU draws the frame and the GPU colours it in fast as its got less to colour and on what these days is a very rare occasion will be sitting waiting for another frame to colour. This effect used to happen much more in the days of single core CPU's like the Prescott's when people started running 1900XTX and 8000 series cards with them. Today with X2 and Core 2 CPU's it really isnt an issue.
Mactronix
a b Î Nvidia
a c 130 U Graphics card
January 12, 2009 6:27:25 AM

But if as you say the GPU can handle every thing thrown at it or to use your own words "your gpu can indeed exceed your cpu's max limit" Then that by its very definition is your GPU being Restricted by the CPU, it could go faster if it was feed faster. Nothing is being physically slowed down like it is when the Cpu cant keep up to the extent that the performance is noticeably affected, which is the point at which in my opinion it becomes a bottleneck.
As i said on the other thread I am quite happy to agree to disagree

Mactronix
!