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CPU bottlenecking my GPU?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 20, 2010 11:32:44 PM

So I want to get into some heavy PC gaming and I am a big whore when it comes to visuals. I play on a 1920x1080 monitor. I recently picked up the xfx 5870 in order to play games with max settings and MAX AA (AA is a big deal for me) in 1920x1080 and want nothing less than 60 fps. But after installing the card and getting the latest drivers (10.2) this doesnt seem to be the case for me. Here is my setup:

XFX 5870
4GB DDR3 RAM
750 PSU
CPU: AMD Phenom II x3 720 (overclocked from 2.8 to 3.6 GHz)

Do you think my trip core CPU is a bottle neck? If i were to upgrade to the quad core that is at stock 3.2, would that give me a significant boost in my frames per second? What do you guys think? Dont u think with the 5870 I should be able to get 60fps in any game with 8xAA in 1920x1080 res? Am i expecting too much?

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February 20, 2010 11:40:01 PM

I think you're expecting too much
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-5870,2422...

You really only need 30 fps for most games; there's a point where the human eye can't register increasing fps.
If you have money and and CF capable mobo, though, you can drop another HD 5870 in and you will get better frame rates.
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February 21, 2010 12:39:55 AM

Depending on your mobo, You might try setting your ACC feature to hybrid, and set the cores to individual or all cores(not auto) On mine, I have a newer Gigabyte mobo, this unlocked the 4th core on my X3 720( now renamed by the OS as Phenom II X4 20)and with some voltage modding, it is stable @3.5ghz. It gave a noticeable improvement in some games.
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a b U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2010 12:44:25 AM

Be careful when unlocking cores! Sometimes when cores are locked by the manufacturer it is because the locked core was unstable, so make sure you run a cpu stress tester such as prime95 to make sure your system is stable.
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February 21, 2010 12:46:54 AM

Just a quick hint...

No need to unlock your fourth core for gaming. Just make sure your NB is high enough to handle your CPU score and you will never have to worry about "Bottle necking".
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2010 1:04:41 AM

nyboy42 said:
Dont u think with the 5870 I should be able to get 60fps in any game with 8xAA in 1920x1080 res? Am i expecting too much?

Most games yes, all games no.
I don't think the CPU is the problem at 3.6ghz. Have you OCed the card? If you are willing to bump up the voltage on the GPU you should get very nice results(over 1ghz.)
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February 21, 2010 1:11:37 AM

jyjjy said:
Most games yes, all games no.
I don't think the CPU is the problem at 3.6ghz. Have you OCed the card? If you are willing to bump up the voltage on the GPU you should get very nice results(over 1ghz.)


JV is 100% correct, but before you start over volting your 5870 make sure you NB is around 2900 or better. Over clocking GPU's is shady road. They do not blue screen! They fail and are gone for good.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
a b à CPUs
February 21, 2010 1:26:51 AM

Well, overclocking isn't shady, but overvolting can be. Just research it first and stay within what is considered safe. Keep an eye on temperatures as well.
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February 21, 2010 1:34:05 AM

JV I know what your saying, but I have pushed my own GPU just a little to far and the only warning of my goof was the sweet smell of burning copper. If I can save anyone from having to buy a new GPU I will be a happy man.
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February 21, 2010 3:46:26 AM

nyboy42 said:
So I want to get into some heavy PC gaming and I am a big whore when it comes to visuals. I play on a 1920x1080 monitor. I recently picked up the xfx 5870 in order to play games with max settings and MAX AA (AA is a big deal for me) in 1920x1080 and want nothing less than 60 fps. But after installing the card and getting the latest drivers (10.2) this doesnt seem to be the case for me. Here is my setup:

XFX 5870
4GB DDR3 RAM
750 PSU
CPU: AMD Phenom II x3 720 (overclocked from 2.8 to 3.6 GHz)

Do you think my trip core CPU is a bottle neck? If i were to upgrade to the quad core that is at stock 3.2, would that give me a significant boost in my frames per second? What do you guys think? Dont u think with the 5870 I should be able to get 60fps in any game with 8xAA in 1920x1080 res? Am i expecting too much?


Try again,logitic. Some games flat out crash with 3 cores, and run great with four or two. Fallout 3 is one. Far Cry 2 is another that likes 4 cores, but gripes about 3 . However, YES, you want to make sure your unlocked core is stable with a good burn-in Benchmark and stability test. I used prime95 and AOD for benchmarking. I stopped the tests after a couplea hours. I should mention that I also run with a Coolermaster V8 cpu cooler. So to make for stability and lower temps ( my avg. temps; 35c-idle 45c full load)
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February 21, 2010 4:03:14 AM

Here's the best way to test GPU/CPU bottlenecks;

Run a game at relatively high graphic settings (Add some AA/AF, all High, whatever).

Run it at various resolutions, starting from low resolutions (1280 * 720) and incrementally reaching higher ones (1920 * 1080) and record the frame rates you see across the board.

If the frame rates are steady and do not decline, you have a CPU bottleneck.

Edit:

Found the article I was looking for:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-balanced-plat...
This should be very informative.
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