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How long til the i7-930 starts bottlenecking?

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March 26, 2011 7:04:01 AM

I just built a new system in August 2010 with some of the newest parts at the time.

i7-930 @ 3.5ghz
Gigabyte GA-X58-USB3
Corsair A70 CPU cooler
1 TB Hitachi HDD
Had 5850 > upgraded to 5870 > upgraded to 6950 > unlocked to 6970
Windows 7
12 GB Mushkin Enhanced RAM

I'm planning on keeping this system til about 2014 and I normally go for the 1st or 2nd best single ATI/AMD GPU.

Do you think I will be able to upgrade my GPU every year for the next 4 years without bottlenecking? I'm asking based on past experiences and I'm not asking anyone to foresee the future.

For example:

My last CPU was Intel Core 2 Duo E6600 and it came out about 4 years ago
I had Windows Vista, 8GB RAM, LGA 775 board

Would that CPU and/or setup bottleneck a 570, 6950, or 6970? I don't plan on ever buying a dual GPU and I don't plan on spending anymore than $400 on a GPU. I'd like to keep upgrading my graphics card but it is fruitless if the performance is hindered by my other computer parts.
a b à CPUs
March 26, 2011 7:21:54 AM

The 5850 > 5870 upgrade was worthless . Imo its better to get another 6950 and unlock it to 6970, overclock your cpu to 3.8-4Ghz and keep that setup for 3-4 years. It would give you alot better performance and would be alot cheaper then buying every new GPU when it comes out to get another 5fps...
Should be able to run games after 3 years, altough you cant be sure how much gaming graphics will advance in that time.
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March 26, 2011 11:57:24 AM

1920x1080
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a c 102 à CPUs
March 26, 2011 12:32:34 PM

Your graphics card is already overkill for the resolution and my best guess is it will remain so for at least a year possibly 2 or more. The obvious upgrade when needed will be a second 6950/70 so the issue then will be does a 930 @ 3.5GHz bottleneck 2 x 6970s running 1920 x 1080. To be honest I don't know ans would not worry about it until you start getting under 60FPS in a game which should be along way off.
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a c 102 à CPUs
March 26, 2011 12:43:30 PM

Just to add to what I said if you built a gaming PC in 2008 with a core 2 quad Q6600 overclocked to 3GHz and an ATI Radeon 4870 in 2010-2011 you may have got a second 4870 in crossfire and still today you would be able to play most games on maximum settings at 1920x1080 but would be looking for a new build towards the end of the year to keep setting on maximum in all games. It may or may not work the same in the future but its a good indication of how your machine may go in the next 4 years.
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a b à CPUs
March 26, 2011 10:06:58 PM





I don't have time to deeply/specifically explain, but if you study the graphs you can see that it seems i7 could perhaps 'bottleneck' (ie: a faster CPU could yield more frames) a 5870 crossfire setup slightly.

However, when it comes to a GTX 480 (which is equivalent to a 6970), there is almost zero difference between a 2.6ghz i7 and a 3.8ghz i7. This shows us there is little, if any, frames to be gained from a faster CPU.

I've shown 2 resolutions so you can compare the FPS difference between them. This also gives hints towards bottle necking. When the resolution is dropped and the FPS does not go up more than a frame, that is a sign of bottlenecking.

These are not rules, just speculations of mine. They certainly do not apply to every game.

Here is the review if you wanted to check out some other games.
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March 26, 2011 10:13:42 PM

simon12 said:
Just to add to what I said if you built a gaming PC in 2008 with a core 2 quad Q6600 overclocked to 3GHz and an ATI Radeon 4870 in 2010-2011 you may have got a second 4870 in crossfire and still today you would be able to play most games on maximum settings at 1920x1080 but would be looking for a new build towards the end of the year to keep setting on maximum in all games. It may or may not work the same in the future but its a good indication of how your machine may go in the next 4 years.



I don't receive 60 fps in every game.

Metro 2033 with settings @ DX11 maxed 4xMSAA I get about 23fps avg with dips as low as 11 @ 1920x1080 resolution.

Crysis with settings @ DX10 maxed 8xAA I get about 37 fps avg

Dragon Age 2 with settings at maxed and the high resolution texture download I get about 45 fps avg.


My card isn't good enough to run DX11 games at maxed settings maintaining 60fps which is why I upgrade every generation but thanks for your input.
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March 27, 2011 1:41:03 AM

the i7 930 should be good for a while...especially because i think alot of the games that are coming out are console ports.
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a b à CPUs
March 27, 2011 2:12:04 AM

If your waiting for one single GPU under $400 GPU to bottleneck your CPU....... even with Moore's Law in full force .... Hell will Freeze over first.....


No, you can't play Metro or Crysis on ANY single card maxed out .... today, next year, or even the year after.... (BTW, I run 50--60 FPS in BOTH but I run two (2) 5870's ...)


The 5000 series was out last year. The 6000 series 1 year later is an incremental at best improvement. The next wave will be the 7000 series or when ever the move to 32nm or 28nm occurs. Then we'll have the ability to create GPUs with more power that don't melt..... 1Ghz speeds will be no issue. (that's when I upgrade my CrossFire 5870's..maybe)

I'm truly glad someone included a chart that shows OC'ing the CPU does next to nothing... even with a CrossFireX PAIR of 5870's which is what I run on my i7-930 system. And, I would agree, anything above 3.2Ghz is simply chasing shadows....

That's of course if "XBOX360 Ports" like Crysis 2 don't become the norm in the gaming world, I"m run that watered down, milk toast piece of console *** & runs at 130 FPS (while the original Crysis runs at 50--60 FPS


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March 27, 2011 3:47:56 AM

Yea that chart helped a lot. I probably won't have to overclock my CPU to 3.8 until 2 generations from now.
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a b à CPUs
March 27, 2011 5:04:06 AM

At higher res you do see a gain with higher cpu clock speed.
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a c 102 à CPUs
March 27, 2011 3:04:11 PM

No at lower res. the CPU will matter more at higher res. the CPU matters less
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April 3, 2011 2:00:08 AM

Best answer selected by Carc369.
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