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Will a Phenom II x4 bottle neck an HD5970?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 16, 2010 2:08:57 AM

plain and simple... I'm usually an Intel guy... but I'm looking at the specs on some of these ATI procs and I have to say, for the price, it's hard to turn the other cheek... especially since I was planning on dropping nearly 3k on an i7/nvidia rig... I think I could keep a comparable ati rig under $1500...

the motherboard I was thinking of pairing them with was the GIGABYTE GA-890XA-UD3... the fancy one with 6 (yeah... six!) SATA III ports!

right now I'm using a Syncmaster 305t and planning on getting a second... (B&H gets them in refurbed from time to time for ~$850)
so thats two monitors at 2560 x 1600...

(for anyone who may happen to be following me, this is for the Steampunk rig...)
April 16, 2010 3:05:59 AM

shouldn't bottleneck it at all (i am assuming PII X4 955 or 965)
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April 16, 2010 5:38:17 AM

Yes, i think your X4 wouldn't bottlenecking HD5970 at all...
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April 16, 2010 9:47:46 PM

huh, so why did the previous CPUs bottleneck that GPU?
was it the data throughput of the AM2 architecture?
thanks guys,
-Ian
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Best solution

April 16, 2010 10:07:07 PM

In gaming X4 955 ~ i5 and X4 965 ~ i7. Get the 955 C3 stepping, it's best buy and if you want, you can easily OC (it's a black edition, you don't have to raise the FSB) to 3.7 or 3.8 on standard voltage.

Or you can wait a little and get a Thuban X6 but for gaming you don't need it.

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April 17, 2010 12:40:19 AM

actually that might be the best option, I'm not a HUGE gamer, but I do play a lot of RTS games (Sins of a Solar Empire, Star Wars: EaW, C&C3:KW and I'll be planning on playing Star Craft 2... and Diablo 3 when they both come out)

however the primary use for my rig is heavy photo shopping (HDR compiling, panorama construction, and bulk editing)

I also work with high polygon 3D editing and drafting.

soooo... a 6 core proc might be more ideal...

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April 17, 2010 12:45:10 AM

well if you can wait 10 days, they will be out
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April 17, 2010 2:02:56 AM

Best answer selected by ironic_sobriquet.
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April 17, 2010 4:17:49 AM

mosox said:
In gaming X4 955 ~ i5 and X4 965 ~ i7. Get the 955 C3 stepping, it's best buy and if you want, you can easily OC (it's a black edition, you don't have to raise the FSB) to 3.7 or 3.8 on standard voltage.

Or you can wait a little and get a Thuban X6 but for gaming you don't need it.


I don't mean any disrespect but saying that the X4 955 ~ i5 and X4 965 ~ i7 just doesn't make sense. The 955/965 are the same cpu with different clocks with minimal performance difference. Any i7 is far superior too all, and even the i5 750 is superior to both the 965/955. The 955/965 are great cpu's, especially for the money, I don't mean to bash them, but they aren't on the same level as the i7's, or the i5 750 for that matter. They are better than most of the other i5's though.
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April 17, 2010 4:24:33 AM

amk09 said:
I don't mean any disrespect but saying that the X4 955 ~ i5 and X4 965 ~ i7 just doesn't make sense. The 955/965 are the same cpu with different clocks with minimal performance difference. Any i7 is far superior too all, and even the i5 750 is superior to both the 965/955. The 955/965 are great cpu's, especially for the money, I don't mean to bash them, but they aren't on the same level as the i7's, or the i5 750 for that matter. They are better than most of the other i5's though.


depends on what you do, gaming,, its doesn't matter, they will perform the same

for the OP, it seems like he is using some very CPU intensive apps, it might be advantageous to go the i5 route since it would be very close in price to a PII x4 build
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April 17, 2010 4:39:07 AM

Yes I agree and with his budget, spending an extra $20 on the i5 750 rather than the phenom II x5 965 would definetely be worth it.
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April 17, 2010 4:59:41 AM

amk09 said:
Yes I agree and with his budget, spending an extra $20 on the i5 750 rather than the phenom II x5 965 would definetely be worth it.


i wouldn't sat $20, CPU alone would be $40 (since there is no reason to get the 965, just get the 955), and you can usually get a good AMD motherboard cheaper than a good intel one
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April 17, 2010 6:54:42 AM

hmm, maybe I gave out the "best answer" too early... XD

so if money weren't an issue, x58 would be hands down match point...
cause I'm flipping back and forth between intel (whom has never let me down in my ~10 years of building) and AMD (whom I have no experience whatsoever with)
and when I look at the pros and cons,
like the AMD can only support one PCIe x16 channel, which means if I were to do an Xfire, it would knock the second card down to x8... kinda lame...
but then Intel doesn't have the support for SATA III that AMD has... (board I found has 6x SATA III ports... whereas the best Intel board only has 2x)
and price is actually laughable... the i7 rig I have pieced together cost more than my first and second cars together... plus a month of insurance... whereas the AMD rig only cost as much as my first car... XD

I've got a pickle on my hands here...
I think I could afford the i7 in a few months (I think I scored a second job with the census... 18.75/hr, which would have no place to go other than into my computer fund...)
but the AMD I could afford NEXT month after 2 paychecks...
I guess it just balances on my patience... I suppose I have A (POS) computer right now which is still serving its purpose... just very slowly...

as a second note, I'm thinking I would rather stick with x58 than p55... I'm 99% positive I'll be doing xfire... and really don't want to see a bottleneck on a rig that cost me my next car... XD
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April 17, 2010 7:57:10 AM

amk09 said:
Any i7 is far superior too all, and even the i5 750 is superior to both the 965/955.


In gaming, no. Not all the games or applications are optimized for running Intel's quad architecture, they favor the bigger frequency instead.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2819/7

If the Thuban will be on par with the i7 (as shown by some unofficial preliminary results) or will perform slightly worse I don't see the reason to go for a more expensive (and hot) platform like the i7.

@ironic_sobriquet, the AMD does have support for more than one PCIe x16, of course, you have to pick the right mobo but if you are going to buy a HD5970 by the time you'll need to crossfire, you'll have change the whole platform. SATA3 is not that important, the HDDs or even SSDs are far behind the transfer capacity of the SATA2, USB3 could be useful.

Anyway the prices will probably drop with the arrival of the X6 so it's worth waiting.


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April 17, 2010 3:28:50 PM

haha sorry I forgot to say, if I do xfire cards I'll be getting two 5870s... I think if anyone here can afford more than one of those monsters... you should donate the money to /my/ computer fund!
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April 17, 2010 3:32:12 PM

At resolutions like 25x16 the CPU is pretty much taken out of the equasion.
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April 17, 2010 6:15:13 PM

mosox said:
In gaming, no. Not all the games or applications are optimized for running Intel's quad architecture, they favor the bigger frequency instead.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2819/7

If the Thuban will be on par with the i7 (as shown by some unofficial preliminary results) or will perform slightly worse I don't see the reason to go for a more expensive (and hot) platform like the i7.

@ironic_sobriquet, the AMD does have support for more than one PCIe x16, of course, you have to pick the right mobo but if you are going to buy a HD5970 by the time you'll need to crossfire, you'll have change the whole platform. SATA3 is not that important, the HDDs or even SSDs are far behind the transfer capacity of the SATA2, USB3 could be useful.

Anyway the prices will probably drop with the arrival of the X6 so it's worth waiting.



Yes I agree there is no reason to go for the moderately better/much more expensive i7, and if your trying a save a buck the phenom II x4 955 is an awesome cpu, I was just saying that it may be worth it the spend a little bit extra and get the better performing/less power hungry i5 750. Whether you go with the i5 740 or the phenom II x4, your gonna have a great cpu.
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April 18, 2010 7:36:28 AM

I really like the idea of the extra two cores banging away with the x6... would really help with heavy photo editing (like compiling panorama's in CS4 which can take up to a half hour on my current rig...) especially if I'm doing an HDR panorama which is a 32bit image...

dunno how much it would help with 3d editing but maybe for textures and final compiles...
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April 19, 2010 1:01:23 AM

lol are there even any programs that were made with 6 cores in mind?
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April 19, 2010 2:04:04 AM

dunno...
maybe I should look into that first...
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