Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Bottleneck with 5970

Last response: in CPUs
Share
February 20, 2010 1:03:39 AM

Hi, just a quick question, I'm thinking of buying a 5970 for my first rig, but I'm wondering if my i7 920 (which I'm going to OC) will bottleneck it?

If it will, could anyone offer any advice or suggestions on what CPU to get so I wont get any bottlenecking with a 5970?

More about : bottleneck 5970

a c 210 à CPUs
February 20, 2010 1:08:43 AM

what resolution will you be playing at? If you are at 1920x1080 then your CPU isnt going to be the bottleneck but its still alot more GPU power than you need. A 5970 is only really necessary for 2560x1600. As long as you arent playing at 1280x1024 your CPU wont be the bottleneck and even if it is it will bottleneck well above the point where it matters.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 1:18:49 AM

For the cost of an i7 and a a 5970 you can probably get a Phenom II, 5870 and another couple of monitors (22-24" at least).

Eyefinity > everything else in gaming.
Related resources
February 20, 2010 1:34:37 AM

I'm going to be using a 1920x1020 120mhz screen and will want my GPU to be able to run games on high for quite a while.

If I OC a Phenom II to 3.8 Ghz, what will the difference be between that and a i7 OCd to 3.8 Ghz?
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 1:37:36 AM

Nothing much, 2-3 fps either way depending on the game. So long as you have a decent graphics card the top cpu's are pretty much equally capable at maximum settings.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 1:39:00 AM

i7s are much faster than PhenomIIs clock per clock, but in terms of most games, you won't notice any difference.
February 20, 2010 1:42:42 AM

Ah, thanks. So nothing to worry about :) 

And what're your guys views on eyefinity gaming? To me it only seems worth it for racing, some games don't seem to use it right.
February 20, 2010 1:48:15 AM

Ah, one more question I have is, what's the difference between an i7 920 OCd to 3.2 Ghz and a Stock Clock i7 965 at 3.2 Ghz?
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 1:50:42 AM

Eyefinity works great in some games yes, and not so great in others it's true.

It really does depend on what you are gonna be playing I guess.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 1:51:43 AM

cythx said:
Ah, one more question I have is, what's the difference between an i7 920 OCd to 3.2 Ghz and a Stock Clock i7 965 at 3.2 Ghz?


A lot of wasted cash on the 965. ;) 
a c 210 à CPUs
February 20, 2010 1:52:16 AM

performancewise? They are nearly identical, there are fractions of a percent differences due to the different base clock on the 920 but they are negligible so a 920 @ 3.2GHz = 965 @ 3.2GHz, but the 965 doesnt require OCing to get there so they feel that they can sell it for wayyyy more.
February 20, 2010 1:53:22 AM

Haha, thanks, so absolutely no point in getting a 965.
February 20, 2010 2:12:32 AM

Wow holy crap, first of all thanks for that article. Second of all, I had NO idea OCing those CPUs had such little effect on the gaming performance.

It looks like, for gaming, it would be much smarter to get an OCd Phenom X4 considering how it's just as good but a lot cheaper.

But how does it compare to the i7 920 in other areas of computing?
a c 210 à CPUs
February 20, 2010 2:16:01 AM

For CPU intensive tasks like encoding the i7 wins, gaming is the only place where they are really even as the i7 has much higher IPCs and hyper threading so i can behave as an 8 core CPU. If you are going to be primarily gaming the Phenom II x4 will do fine, but if you intend to do video editing or encoding as well then the i7 would serve you better.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 2:17:46 AM

cythx said:
Wow holy crap, first of all thanks for that article. Second of all, I had NO idea OCing those CPUs had such little effect on the gaming performance. It looks like, for gaming, it would be much smarter to get an OCd Phenom X4 considering how it's just as good but a lot cheaper.
But how does it compare to the i7 920 in other areas of computing?


Well remember, all of those games were tested at 2560x1600 with max graphical details and max AA. It's not that CPUs have little effect on gaming, it's just that in those tests, you have a huge graphics-card bottleneck.

If you turn the resolution down or lower the AA, you'll notice a much bigger difference when you overclock your CPU.
February 20, 2010 2:23:44 AM

other areas of computing is where intel gets amd by the balls.....(and not really by much)
But with gaming you cant beat the price/performance that amd has to offer..
February 20, 2010 2:35:42 AM

I might get a Phenom then in that case, since I don't do video encoding or any of that, and if I did, I wouldn't do it nearly as much as I game.

Only question I have now is do I need a different motherboard? I was originally going for a Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R, which is a 1366 socket iirc. Is there much of a difference between AMD and Intel motherboards? I heard I need a good motherboard if I am going to OC
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 2:49:27 AM

cythx said:
Haha, thanks, so absolutely no point in getting a 965.

^^Well, the 965 has an unlocked multiplier, so you can OC much easier.

The 920 and Phenom 955/965 (don't waste money on the 965, it's just a factory OC...) have almost identical gaming performance. It's "everyday" tasks that are harder for it. Antivirus, File Compression, multi-threaded things in general, run semi-significantly better on the i5/i7.

If your computer is going to be used 70% or more for gaming, then get a Phenom II. If less, get an i5 750. It's pretty much the same as the i7 860/920, just without the extra threads. (for 4/4 instead of 4/8 core-to-thread ratio).
February 20, 2010 2:51:30 AM

cythx said:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

The one you mentioned looked like the one I was gunna get for my intel setup, but for an AMD chip?

Can anyone confirm this?

If it's true I'm just getting that mobo and a AMD P2 X4 :) 



Yes they are very similar but like i said you need to get the am3 if you are getting the amd PhenomII!!!!
February 20, 2010 2:53:39 AM

you will not regret that setup i have it and am very happy!!!
February 20, 2010 2:59:39 AM

darkjuggalo2000 said:
Yes they are very similar but like i said you need to get the am3 if you are getting the amd PhenomII!!!!


GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3

So the link posted above is the one I should get then? :p 

And thanks Zinosys I'll keep that in mind, I don't think I'll be spending 70% of my time on my pc gaming, but definitely over 70% of the CPU intensive applications I'll be using will be games/HD videos.

Btw, will the AMD chip keep up with the intel chip in applications like PS CS4 and 3DSMax?
February 20, 2010 3:09:25 AM

One last question I have is.

Is there any difference besides clock speeds from any of the Phenom II X4 chips? I have a feeling there is a difference between the 810 and the 9xx chips, but I'd like confirmation.
February 20, 2010 3:34:05 AM

cythx said:

Btw, will the AMD chip keep up with the intel chip in applications like PS CS4 and 3DSMax?


With most applications your CPU will be idle most of the time so the differences portrayed in benchmarks for non-gaming are a little misleading. When you are applying filters or rendering the current intel chips have the edge but the rest of the time either chip will be idle or only partially utilised.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 4:22:32 AM

cythx said:
GIGABYTE GA-790XTA-UD4 AM3

So the link posted above is the one I should get then? :p 

And thanks Zinosys I'll keep that in mind, I don't think I'll be spending 70% of my time on my pc gaming, but definitely over 70% of the CPU intensive applications I'll be using will be games/HD videos.

Btw, will the AMD chip keep up with the intel chip in applications like PS CS4 and 3DSMax?


Here is a comparison of the Phenom II X4 955 and an i5 750 including CS4 and 3DSMax, just change the CPUs in the drop-down box to compare against an i7 920, but for your intended purpose, an i5 750 might be the best choice, and would not be that much more expensive than the AMD solution.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 2:34:29 PM

Quote:
You spend 600 dollars for a sweet ass card yet want to waste money on an X4. Talk about pathetic


Coming from the guy who bought an i5 661? ROFL.

FYI, my phenom II and dual 5770's handles games like DA: Origins, Fallout 3 etc at MAXIMUM settings and 5040x1050 resolution. The Phenom II is just a better high resolution gaming chip and all the benchmarks prove it.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 4:27:27 PM

jennyh said:
Coming from the guy who bought an i5 661? ROFL.

FYI, my phenom II and dual 5770's handles games like DA: Origins, Fallout 3 etc at MAXIMUM settings and 5040x1050 resolution. The Phenom II is just a better high resolution gaming chip and all the benchmarks prove it.


That's because PhenomII quads are usually clocked at a much higher base speed than Core2 or i5/i7 quads.

At the same clock speed, Core2Quads are slightly faster than PIIs and i5s/i7s are a good deal faster than PIIs. Intel CPUs get a slightly higher overclocks as well.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 4:38:11 PM

It's not that.

All the top quads are practically identical, including the core 2's. Even the top duo's are still good enough in the majority of games.

All of these chips are equally capable at running games on a 5970, but the Phenom tends to do better by a frame or two in many at least compared to the i7.

If you're buying a top end gpu, there is no need at all to waste money on an i7. You *will* be playing at the gpu bottleneck and any recent quad core will score within 2-3 fps of any other.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 4:39:44 PM

The review shown is 25x16 resolution like bluescreen said, your resolution is going to have very different results.

I couldn't imagine buying a 5970 and not pairing it with an i7 tbh. *shrug

If you can get your Phenom II x4 to 3.6ghz and above you should be fine though... hopefully. (none of us have seen any data of how Phenom II/5970 performs at your resolution so beware) ;) 

Jenny:
The only reasons they are practically identical is because of GPU bottlenecking! GRR!! =P Just because they are identical now doesn't mean they are going to be identical later. I know you know this, but this play on words is making people think i7 and phenom ii perform similar in gaming no matter what. Once stronger GPUs (or better benchmarks) come out we'll see i7 pulling ahead. TBH I wouldn't be surprised to see i7 pull ahead on a 5970 with resolutions under 25x16... but we don't know do we?

Yes with settings high it will still be a bottlenecked situation, but just because its a bottlenecked situation doesn't mean the frames won't be running high enough to tax the CPUs enough to tell the difference between them.

They are only identical on most GPU setups. That doesn't make them identical. Super high end GPU setups will probably point to i7. Of course I can't guarantee it, but I'd definitely put money down on it (from the data I've seen [i7 needing a lot less to carry a 5970 @ 25x16, and low resolution benches show us]). :) 
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 4:41:00 PM

jennyh said:
It's not that.

All the top quads are practically identical, including the core 2's. Even the top duo's are still good enough in the majority of games.

All of these chips are equally capable at running games on a 5970, but the Phenom tends to do better by a frame or two in many at least compared to the i7.

If you're buying a top end gpu, there is no need at all to waste money on an i7. You *will* be playing at the gpu bottleneck and any recent quad core will score within 2-3 fps of any other.



Depends. If you clock the PII to the same speed as the i7, and have a powerful GPU where there is no bottleneck, you will see that the i7 gets quite a good deal more fps than the PII in games (but it'll be like 100 vs 140 so it's irrelevant in terms of playability)

So if a person has money to blow, the better CPU for gaming would still be the i7. In terms of price-per-performance, the PII is a much better deal due to its price and similar performance stock-to-stock with the i7 in games.
a c 214 à CPUs
February 20, 2010 4:53:18 PM

cythx said:
I'm going to be using a 1920x1020 120mhz screen and will want my GPU to be able to run games on high for quite a while.


are you aiming for something like this ?

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

If so, note that the 120 Mhz thing has been primarily an "nVidia thing" for stereo 3D Vision

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/monitors/display/samsu...

We usually mention LCD monitors with 120Hz refresh rate that have just started selling when we come to speak of Nvidia GeForce 3D Vision stereoscopic glasses.

LCD monitors’ refresh rate is discussed at hardware forums from time to time. A few years ago users would express their concern that an LCD monitor might flicker at 60Hz. Today, they are arguing if a higher refresh rate can improve the response time or smoothness of motion.

These discussions have had no practical point until recently because LCD monitors do not flicker. The refresh rate of 75Hz is available on most models but provides no practical benefits and is even emulated in some monitors by the electronics – the matrix works at 60Hz while the redundant frames are just dropped out. The bandwidth of the DVI interface imposes a limitation, too. In the single-link version it allows for a refresh rate of no higher than 75Hz for 1680x1050 monitors and no higher than 60Hz for 1920x1200 monitors.

However, this situation is about to change dramatically due to Nvidia’s active promotion of its GeForce 3D Vision stereoscopic glasses. Each of their lenses is a liquid-crystal shutter that opens up 60 times a second. To support these glasses, the monitor must show twice the number of frames, alternating between pictures for the right and left eyes. In other words, it must have an honest refresh rate of 120Hz.


As you read the article, it's apparent that the reviewer liked this particular monitor (SyncMaster 2233RZ) and said it was an improvement over te 60 Hz version, he had the opposite to say about "all the other stereo-mode-ready monitors I have dealt with, like the Zalman Trimon and iZ3D" which were inferior to their 60 Mhz counterparts.

In short, if 3D if your goal, you'll need an nVidia based GFX system. If response time and other performance goals are your aim, focus on getting one of those monitors like the Syncmaster 2233RZ for which 120 Mhz actually improves things.


February 20, 2010 7:07:25 PM

Thanks for the input everyone.

I'm not particularly interested in 3D gaming at the moment, after watching avatar in 3D, the 3D thing seemed like a gimmick to me (I know it's probably different for gaming). I'll prolly want an eyefinity setup in the end, though.

I've come to a decision and I'm going to buy an i7, if I'm going to buy the best desktop I can I might as-well spend the money for it. I guess the bottleneck was a little miss leading on those benchmarks.

And Jack, response time/performance are my goals, I'd want the syncmaster 2233RZ but I really want a 1920x1080 screen, still wondering about what screen I will get :/ 

a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 10:49:30 PM

The bottleneck isn't misleading and the benchmarks aren't misleading.

When the next fastest card that arrives the Phenom II will still be topping the benchmarks. The reason why is very simple, it's the best gaming cpu you can buy, period. The i7 will never be a better gaming cpu, you are wasting your money on an inferior gaming chip.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to get you to change your mind back and I really don't care either way. I just want you to understand that you paid more money on inferior performance, because of the promise of 'Jam tomorrow' from a bunch of intel fanbois on a forum - instead of trusting what your eyes and professional reviewers told you was FACT.

*Note this is just about gaming, in professional areas the i7 is by far the better choice.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 10:56:51 PM

jennyh said:
The bottleneck isn't misleading and the benchmarks aren't misleading.

When the next fastest card that arrives the Phenom II will still be topping the benchmarks. The reason why is very simple, it's the best gaming cpu you can buy, period. The i7 will never be a better gaming cpu, you are wasting your money on an inferior gaming chip.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to get you to change your mind back and I really don't care either way. I just want you to understand that you paid more money on inferior performance, because of the promise of 'Jam tomorrow' from a bunch of intel fanbois on a forum - instead of trusting what your eyes and professional reviewers told you was FACT.

I would like to see some benchmarks/evidence that says the PhenomII is better than an i7 at gaming fps when both CPUs are overclocked to the same speeds.

All the benchmarks I've seen shows the i7s beating the PhenomIIs, and when both are at the same speed, it is much faster than PIIs in terms of gaming fps when testing for CPU bottlenecks.
a b à CPUs
February 20, 2010 11:28:10 PM

Bluescreendeath said:
All the benchmarks I've seen shows the i7s beating the PhenomIIs, and when both are at the same speed, it is much faster than PIIs in terms of gaming fps when testing for CPU bottlenecks.


I'd love to see those benchmarks tbh.

The only real benchmark we have is utterly compelling evidence of Phenom II's superiority at 3ghz and beyond.

http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/cpu_scalin...

This is the only benchmark where we have seen a head-to-head comparison of each cpu with near-identical components. Phenom II wins, simple as that and it can't be denied.

If I buy a 5970 I don't care about synthetic benchmarks, or anything below the ultra enthusiast level in gaming. If I buy a 5970 I will *never* play at less than absolute maximum settings and that is a guarantee.

At those settings, the i7 loses all of its non-gaming advantanges and in fact becomes a drawback to enthusiast gaming. Phenom II = i5 > i7 = C2Q in enthusiast gaming. All of them are more than good enough, but if the i7 gets a 'win' when it renders a scene 1 second faster, then the Phenom II gets a win when it plays a game 1 fps faster in gaming.
February 20, 2010 11:45:21 PM

For gaming, it really makes no sense to spend extra money on the i7.
Todays games are being bottlenecked because they dont challenge the better gpus, as theyre basically console ports.
So, you cpu isnt being challenged either, but actually slightly more than the gpus, as the cpus in consoles are somewhat more advanced in consoles compared to the gpus they use.
Whats this mean?
It simply means that until games become harder to play/non console types like Crysis as example, we will continue to see games needing higher usages of AA and AF and resolutions simply to keep the gpus from bottlenecking the cpus at stock speeds, and in some instances, even top cpu clocks, so dont waste your money
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2010 12:09:09 AM

jennyh said:
I'd love to see those benchmarks tbh.
The only real benchmark we have is utterly compelling evidence of Phenom II's superiority at 3ghz and beyond.
http://www.legionhardware.com/articles_pages/cpu_scalin...
This is the only benchmark where we have seen a head-to-head comparison of each cpu with near-identical components. Phenom II wins, simple as that and it can't be denied. If I buy a 5970 I don't care about synthetic benchmarks, or anything below the ultra enthusiast level in gaming. If I buy a 5970 I will *never* play at less than absolute maximum settings and that is a guarantee.
At those settings, the i7 loses all of its non-gaming advantanges and in fact becomes a drawback to enthusiast gaming. Phenom II = i5 > i7 = C2Q in enthusiast gaming. All of them are more than good enough, but if the i7 gets a 'win' when it renders a scene 1 second faster, then the Phenom II gets a win when it plays a game 1 fps faster in gaming.



The article doesn't do a good job at determining CPU power. It has all the games at max graphical details, max AA, and 2560x1600 resolution. All the benchmarks would be GPU bottlenecked.

In order to test for CPU bottlenecks/CPU power, the test needs to be at lower graphical details, and a much lower resolution.

In short, that article has nothing to do with the power of the CPU for gaming. When you're at a GPU bottleneck, either the i7 or the PII winning by 5% or so will be within the margin of error. So when you say you won't play at anything less than max settings, well that's all well and nice but that has nothing to do with your CPU power and everything to do with your GPU.


If you want to see actual tests that determine the power of the CPU, and not GPU-bottlenecked CPU tests, there are plenty on tomshardware, and Anadtech's chart has good comparisons:


http://anandtech.com/bench/default.aspx?p=47&p2=88&c=1

FarCry 2 medium settings, 1680x1050 (PII has a 400-600MHz advantage)
PIIx4 955 @ stock 3.2GHz: 51 fps
i7 920 @ stock 2.6GHz/2.8GHz Turbo: 68 fps

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/overclock-phenom-ii...

Far Cry 2, High settings, 1920x10890 and 2560x1600 (i7 has a 160MHz advantage)
PIIx4 940 @ 3.64GHz: 74.43fps and 69.12fps
i7 920 @ 3.8GHz: 104.40 fps and 80.08 fps

L4D, High settings, 1920x10890 and 2560x1600
PIIx4 940 @ 3.64GHz: 137.30 fps and 118.34 fps
i7 920 @ 3.8GHz: 175.22 fps and 121.58 fps



As you can clearly see, in any situation that doesn't have a GPU bottleneck, the i7 is the clear winner over the PhenomII series.
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2010 12:11:22 AM

No I see Farcry 2 being used again, most notably the ingame benchmark.

http://arstechnica.com/hardware/reviews/2009/02/phenom-...

"I've opted to generally test in 1280x1024 with 4xAA enabled and game settings at High."





Do these show cpu or gpu bottlenecks? What's the difference between these and your FC2 benchmarks?
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2010 12:15:23 AM

jennyh said:
No I see Farcry 2 being used again, most notably the ingame benchmark.
http://arstechnica.com/hardware/reviews/2009/02/phenom-...
"I've opted to generally test in 1280x1024 with 4xAA enabled and game settings at High."
http://static.arstechnica.com/shanghai-02-13-09-1/Shanghai.022.jpg
http://static.arstechnica.com/2009/02/23/Shanghai23.jpg
Do these show cpu or gpu bottlenecks? What's the difference between these and your FC2 benchmarks?


lol...you must be kidding me right?

Take a look at your own chart. The PhenomII x4 940 is overclocked to 4.2GHz...so it would have a 1.55GHz advantage over the stock i7 920.

My charts have both CPUs at around the same clock speed, not one at stock and one highly OCed.
February 21, 2010 12:23:01 AM

I see fps over 60, whats the point here again?
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2010 12:32:02 AM

Bluescreendeath said:
lol...you must be kidding me right?

Take a look at your own chart. The PhenomII x4 940 is overclocked to 4.2GHz...so it would have a 1.55GHz advantage over the stock i7 920.

My charts have both CPUs at around the same clock speed, not one at stock and one highly OCed.


And what about the non overclocked 940 in the same chart beating the non overclocked i7 by 20fps in assassins creed, or 10fps in cod4?
February 21, 2010 12:54:46 AM

To me, the point is, if 1 cpu is getting maybe 10% either way, then it comes down to costs, as all these games hit playable fps, and is why fast enough is fast enough when it comes to cpus and gaming and most other things as well, depending
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2010 1:06:57 AM

Jaydee I've always been willing to call it a draw, but the intel fanboys just wont accept the i7 can lose to Phenom II in anything.

What I'm not willing to accept is them claiming a 'win' here. The i7 is an inferior gaming chip - not by much - but it's worse not better. You can make a case for the i7 on a lot of different areas, but in gaming it's just plain bad value compared to the Phenom II, i5 and even the Q9000's.
February 21, 2010 1:17:56 AM

Way I see it is, for the extra costs, the perf doesnt come near the extra costs even in its wins in gaming, which are few, so its a no brainer, too expensive for little or no gain, and sometimes losses
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2010 1:24:08 AM

If I had unlimited cash I can see why I might go with the i7. It is the best chip overall.

I'd just be annoyed at the thought of gaming at lower fps compared to 'inferior' chips. Even 3 fps, it would still be annoying as hell to buy what should be the best gaming system and it, well isn't.

You can't get it all with any cpu. The i7 comes closest to having it all and it certainly doesn't 'fail' in gaming - however it's just *not* the best gaming cpu and never will be no matter how hard the fanboys wish it.
a c 214 à CPUs
February 21, 2010 2:36:03 PM

cythx said:
And Jack, response time/performance are my goals, I'd want the syncmaster 2233RZ but I really want a 1920x1080 screen, still wondering about what screen I will get :/ 


The Acer model in my post above is 1920 x 1200
a c 214 à CPUs
February 21, 2010 2:37:14 PM

Er .......make that 1920 x 1080 (can't edit)
!