Q9550 bottlenecking 2 4890 Toxic's?

Hey there everyone,
my current rig is as follows:

Q9550 @ 4.0 GHZ
2 Sapphire 4890 Toxic Editions (overclocked to Atomic speeds)
Gigabyte EP45-UD3P motherboard
4x2 gig sticks of RAM

My question is a simple one - is my Q9550 bottlenecking the 2 4890's (which are running at 8x PCI-e 2.0 speeds)? Would it be worthwhile to upgrade to Core i7?

My primary use for this computer is gaming - I spend about 70% of it's use gaming. However, I also do a lot of video editing and photoshop work for my job on it. I have some cash to spend and I was thinking of buying an X48 motherboard and a larger monitor (with a 1080P or higher resolution), but I'm curious if the Q9550 is bottlenecking my system (at stock clocks or overclocked to 4.0 ghz).

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  1. Thanks for the reply,
    do you think it'd be worthwhile to get an X48 motherboard so that the two 4890's would run at true x16 pci-e 2.0 speeds, or no?
  2. Well it's giving pretty good results, I get a constant 300 FPS in all source games (which is totally unnecessary but hey it's nice :P), however with games such as GTA4 or Cryostasis or ArmA II, or Far Cry 2, my FPS drops to 30-35 fairly often (GTA4 sometimes drops to 20's!).. Which is still good, but seems out of place with 2 4890's in crossfire. Is that normal?
  3. 1680x1050, but there is no setting for AA in GTA4 (something to do with the rendering engine doesn't support AA, or something silly).

    Like I mentioned earlier though I'm thinking of upgrading to a >1080P resolution, so I'm kinda scared for my frames :/
  4. Yes, it is bottleknecking your GPUs, but the gameplay is fine. Check out this review that I keep posting for these same questions. http://www.guru3d.com/article/core-i7-multigpu-sli-crossfire-game-performance-review/7
  5. The above review shows different processors with the SAME GPUs in different arrangements. Did you actually read it or just click on it then close the window? It shows an E8400, Q9770, and an i7 965. It demonstrates that dual cores, which were great for games in the past, may not be the best way to go now if the budget allows. A Q9770 and i7 965 are clocked at the some frequency and you can see the CPU limitation get larger as more cards are added to the system. I don't see how the review is "off, way off" when the author wanted to show the benefit of i7 and X58 with multicard setups. Even if the E8400 was overclocked, it wouldn't have come close to overcoming the i7 advantage with many cards. I think you should reread the article then comment again, no disrespect.
  6. Heres a couple more pertinent, and compatible reviews showing cpu limitations
    Same card, different cpus, but, as each cpu is brought to higher clocks, the 295 keeps on going, even the top i7 at stock showed higher results.
    This is mainly Crysis, but WiC is there as well.
    I know theyre mixing cpus here, and as long as its the same basic platform (mobo,ram etc), you can get a glimpse of each gen and or family of cpus at what clocks the improvements bring, if any.
    Seeing comparitive 295 vs 4890cf'd in a couple of reviews, theyre very similar, and should help the OP somewhat here
  7. If it were an Atom @ 4Ghz, then wed be talkin

  8. Can I suggest you do a disck cleanup, defrag and update the graphics drivers properly?

    Also have you tried manually messing with the graphics settings for the PCI-E bus?

    might give you some return for the time.

    Also shtdown all other processes not central to your gaming experience.

    Try Hyjackthis which is a nifty little program to make sure nothing is running in the background and chewing up cpu cycles.

    Switch off the AVirus program when seriously gaming.

    Get rid of all unwanted distractions other than the cola and chips etc ... women, parents all need to be moved out of the area ... dosconnect the phone and tunr of the cell.

    Now your ready ... resume gaming.
  9. Hey thanks for the replies everyone!
    What is the difference between a CPU bottleneck and limitation? Isn't a CPU that's bottlenecking performance, in essence, a CPU limitation?

    Basically my end question is this: with two highly overclocked 4890's in Crossfire, would I see substantial boost in game performance (I don't care about synthetic benchmarks) by upgrading to LGA 1336/Core i7/tri channel DDR3?

    Price isn't really an issue here as I have a high paying job and a decent amount of disposable income (and I don't mind saving for my toys :) ). I just want to know if statistically-speaking I'd see short term/long term benefits in my gaming.

    (Also keep in mind my current board, a P45 chipset, runs my CF'd 4890's at x8 speed. Although I thought I read somewhere that no current GPU's tax the bandwidth availability of x8 2.0 sockets, much less x16).
  10. Yeah I totally agree strangestranger - I wouldn't have ever even brought it up if I wasn't seeing peculiar performance in games that I'd figure my rig would dominate. It just seems fishy to me that I can dip into the mid-low 30's with two 4890's and a highly overclocked Q9550 in some modern games. :O

    Although the games I play the most (Source engine based titles) you could probably get working on a calculator, so I have no problem there... Haha
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