I was just sitting back and thinking to myself about what kind of system I want to build in the future, and--even though I don't plan to build a new one anytime soon--I thought I'd go on and get rid of the question that's plagued my mind for a long, long time--Bottlenecks in PC's.
My question here is simple. Say I'm building a system, and I'm looking at a CPU and GPU. Are there any specific specs that I can look at of either product BEFORE purchasing that will help me determine whether or not one will bottleneck the other?
I.e.-Just for an example, could looking at the FSB speed and looking at the card's clock speed (just giving two wild examples) help me determine if one will hurt the other? I know that EVERY PC is bottlenecked SOMEWHERE, but I'd much rather know that my GPU is the one bottlenecking my CPU and not the other way around.
Bottleneck...the term is mis-used and confused.
Any system is going to have a "bottleneck" somewhere. It is basically the part of your system that is holding the performance of the rest of the system back, at a certain task. (This is important) But the bottleneck can be something different for each different task you ask your PC to do. There will always be a bottleneck, somewhere, in every system, no matter what you do. The trick is decide what you are going to be doing with the system, and build the system to suit your needs with the best you can afford, at the time. (the only real bottleneck most people have is the one in their wallet )You do not worry about what what video card you need to match a processor you are considering, you worry about matching a processor and video card to the games or work you are going to be doing on the PC.
One person may say:
I multitask a lot, and a lot of Photoshop work for my job.
Okay, this person needs a fast quad core, a fast hard drive, and a medium range
video card, and a lot of memory.
Another may say:
I use my PC for internet and watching/archiving video, and I am quite an
audiophile, I have over 100 thousand songs.
Okay, this person needs a decent mid range processor, a mid range HD video
card, and a high end add-in sound card and good speakers, and room for a lot
of data storage.
But the thing is....to each of these users, the PC is fine, but to another person with different needs, say someone who is a dedicated gaming nut, these PC's both would have areas that would be serious bottlenecks for his use.
So in short, you have to first write down what you will be doing with the PC. Then, build the thing with parts that fit your needs. Matching parts that work together is part of the equation, but not as much as getting the parts that fit YOUR needs.