Bottleneck: CPU or Mobo?

I just recently bought myself a brand new nVIDIA GeForce GTS 250 graphics card, but found that it did nothing to increase gameplay. Still I cannot up my video settings and playing Aion is terrible for frame rates. I thought investing the $200 for this card would solve this problem, but later found that other components might be hindering my video card from performing at its full potential. Problem is, is it my CPU or motherboard, or both?

It's highly likely that the bottleneck could be both, though I'm sure my processor is in slightly better shapre than the mobo. I can pretty much admit that my motherboard is for ***. Here are my specs:

Motherboard:
ESC Livermore 1.0
Intel i945G chipset
PCI Express x16

Processor:
Intel Celeron 360
Socket 775 LGA
Intel Celeron D CPU 3.46 GHz
Clock speed: 3446 MHz approx.
Multiplier: x26
Bus Speed: 133 MHz
FSB: 433 MHz

I would also like to note that my clock speed might be off, as at the moment I do not have a fan on my computer. It's being replaced.
16 answers Last reply
More about bottleneck mobo
  1. Obviously, it's a CPU bottleneck.
  2. I do a lot of gaming, so should I look into a dual or quad core? I don't know much about processors, but do I have to look for certain compatibility features that will work with my motherboard?
  3. A good dual core would be fine. Just be sure that your mobo supports your choice of CPU.
  4. My full mobo specs are:
    Intel i945G chipset
    Intel 82801 GB (ICH7/R) Southbridge
    ITE IT8718

    So something compatible with these specs then? Would my processor have to be from Intel?
  5. Yup, it must be an Intel LGA 775 processor. Check your manufacturer's page of your mobo to check for CPU compatibilities to be sure.
  6. The website doesn't really say much, and I'm not exactly sure which one is my mobo... Not really sure if it's the Intel® 945G & ICH7 (which should be it but doesn't list the correct processor that I have but fits more) or the Intel® 945GC & ICH7 945GCT-M2/1333 (V1.0A) which says supports the processor I have: Intel Celeron D.

    http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Products/ProductsDetail.aspx?DetailID=827&CategoryID=1&DetailName=Feature&MenuID=44&LanID=8
  7. You would be able to recognize it from the picture right?

    Anyway, the problem here is if your bios supports your choice of CPU. That's why you need to know the exact model of your mobo in order to check if it supports the CPU or if ECS released a bios update to support CPUs.
  8. How would this processor do?

    http://ark.intel.com/Product.aspx?id=27520&processor=945&spec-codes=SL9QB,SL9QQ

    Intek Pentium D Processor 945 2x3.40 GHz

    I could have gone higher, but I only have a 500W PSU, and my video takes up 450W of it... this CPU only uses 95W compared to the 130W of others.
  9. Download and run cpu-z, a utility that will identify your motherboard, it's bios and revision levels.
    One can then see what the best supported processor is.
    Your link indicated that with a bios update you can use a wolfdale cpu. That might be a E8400 core 2 duo at 3.0 or better.

    Your ram should be at 4gb. Speed does not matter much.

    What is your budget, and what resolution will you be playing at?
  10. Yes, I just relooked that up and the link is not valid. My mobo is actually this one:

    http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Products/ProductsDetail.aspx?DetailID=527&CategoryID=1&DetailName=Feature&MenuID=44&LanID=8

    Thought I looked at Intel.com and simply looked up processors for LGA 775 sockets.

    I usually play at 1440x900 and I currently have about 3.4GB of RAM, though there is physically 4GB in there. I use XP, which limits my RAM (from what I've heard).

    In any case, currently looking into Intel® Pentium® Processor E6500. Any good? It also supports LGA 775 sockets. I know it's not as good as the one you listed, but I have a budget of about $150.

    SO a little bit confused here. http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Support/CPU_Support_Model.aspx?detailid=527&MenuID=69&LanID=8 says I can't use those processors, but maybe it's just dated? Intel says I can use them.
  11. Not sure about that. I've checked the bios released for your mobo and the latest one was released since 2006. It would be safer to use CPUs in the supported list though.

    Have you ever thought of replacing both your CPU and mobo? With a budget of $150, I think you could get a athlon II x3 435 + a $50 mobo. Just a suggestion.
  12. I don't think the E6500 will work. It is not the i945g chipset that is the problem, but the motherboard fsb which is not 1333 and possibly the power capabilities.
    I think you might be able to find a P4 960 or similar on e-bay for less than $150.

    As to the ram, you are ok. a 32 bit OS can see only about 3.5gb out of 4gb. The remainder is used for hardware areas, mostly for the video card.
  13. There has never been a good celeron...
  14. You really should change motherboard and CPU as there are no supported CPU's for Your motherboard that would be worth to upgrade.

    If You can get Pentium D 940 or 960 cheap somwhere like on ebay You could use that if You do not have money for both. I would not give more then $50 for 940 or $70 for 960

    You can try this: http://cgi.ebay.com/Intel-Pentium-D-940-3-20ghz-4M-800-SL94Q-Dual-Core_W0QQitemZ170421861054QQcmdZViewItemQQptZCPUs?hash=item27adef3abe
  15. Pretty sure I can't get an E3200. Mobo website says it's not compatible, so... But Intel says that the E3200 is compatible with any socket 775 so I'm kinda confused :\
  16. breannalee said:
    Pretty sure I can't get an E3200. Mobo website says it's not compatible, so... But Intel says that the E3200 is compatible with any socket 775 so I'm kinda confused :\

    @Psychosaysdie: I like the links for cpu capability comparisons. It gives a rough idea of the capabilities of unfamiliar processors.
    The E3200 is clearly a big jump and probably a better value upgrade than anything the current mobo is capable of.

    E3200 will fit in a socket 775 motherboard; Intel is correct there. The 945 chipset is also capable of running a E3200; they are correct there also.
    But the motherboard has to have a bios that supports the processor. Your link does not show that the motherboard does.
    The upgrade from pentium D support to Exxx cpu's required three things:
    1) fsb capability of 1333.
    2) improved power capabilities
    3) bios updates to recognize the Exxx processor.

    You should be able to buy a motherboard and e3200 for <$150
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