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Unable to find the weakest link in my OC setup

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Last response: in Overclocking
November 28, 2012 7:02:44 PM

So I'm relatively new to the world of overclocking (as will become apparent, no doubt). I recently picked up an MSI Radeon 7950 gfx card, and an Antec 750W PSU. I've got an ASUS M4A87TD/USB3 mobo and an Athlon II X4 640 processor. I used the auto overclocking function on my BIOS (probably my first mistake) which claims to OC my CPU to a stable 3.4MHz (CPU-Z confirmed this figure); I've also OC'ed my GPU up to about 90% usage but don't know how to get it any higher.

I ran a test on Heaven with this set up. All the settings on Heaven were ramped up to the max and I got a score of 834, and an average FPS of about 34. I then started playing Assassin's Creed 3 and within about 30 seconds got a BSOD and an error saying my CPU had overheated (no surprises there).

For someone who's recently acquired a new graphics card I'm seeing very little improvement in terms of FPS so I'm certain there's a problem somewhere, but where?

More about : unable find weakest link setup

a c 308 à CPUs
a c 158 K Overclocking
November 28, 2012 7:18:51 PM

You have a CPU bottleneck. What CPU cooler do you have?

Please tell me not stock...
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November 28, 2012 9:45:09 PM

Novuake said:
You have a CPU bottleneck. What CPU cooler do you have?

Please tell me not stock...

Got bad news for you :)  OK so I need to get a new cooling system; Christ, it just keeps adding up! What would you recommend?

Having read around, I was under the impression an Athlon 640 wouldn't bottleneck a 7950...
a c 308 à CPUs
a c 158 K Overclocking
November 29, 2012 5:12:04 AM

Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO is good if you are under a budget...
a c 135 à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
November 29, 2012 5:23:46 AM

Hyper 212 + or EVO, yeah.

About $20-30 bucks. That being said, you will still get minor bottlenecks with the Athlon, but after overclocking it should be fine - just don't upgrade your GPU again without a rehaul of the system.
a c 120 à CPUs
a c 205 K Overclocking
November 29, 2012 5:41:56 AM

That board should take PII's quite cheerfully, and you should be able to find a 965 around cheap enough, 3.4GHz stock clocks, push that to 3.6 on a 212 and happy days
November 29, 2012 6:16:10 AM

212evo for sure just got it the other day dropped my temps at idle from 55c to 35c and full load from 75c to 53c. Get it you won't be disappointed!! I wasn't
November 29, 2012 2:41:07 PM

OK thanks for all the suggestions. However, just to clarify: how hard do you think my CPU is bottlenecking my GPU? Because like I said I didn't think that would happen, and I'm not really seeing too much of an increase in graphics performance from the GPU upgrade. I thought I would have at least noticed something...
a b à CPUs
a b K Overclocking
November 29, 2012 2:54:20 PM

Ha buddy.. if you think being a OC enthusiast is cheap... you might should have just gotten a console... Your gonna be bottleneckd. Its take a Mobo upgrade and a CPU upgrade to get even with your CPU... But as the others said a good CPU cooler will help but your still gonna be bottlenecked by the Athlon.. I'd recommend you up to a Phenom II 965 if you can find one. OC on your board you have and get a CPU cooler and you should be set to go.