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Will this CPU bottleneck this Video card?

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June 6, 2011 4:27:54 PM

Hello,

i have a quite out dated system, that i like to upgrade:

current system:
AMD athlon 64 x2 5200+
4GB DDR2 Ram
ATI HD 3870 GPU

Questions

  • would a AMD PhenomII (dual core) improve my gaming fps alot or would it be better to invest in..
  • a new video card, ie HD 6870 ?
  • what do you think, should i upgrade both cpu and gpu or just get a totally new system:
    new MB, Ram ( DDR3) and Video card, CPU?

  • thinking about
    -- an i5 (k) with an intel p67 board, above vid card and 8gb ram
    -- AMD phenomII six core, new board, ram and vid..



    any recommendations?

    a b à CPUs
    a b U Graphics card
    June 6, 2011 4:56:26 PM

    Definitely not 6-core, because even the latest games don't use more than 3 or 4 cores.
    If you upgrade, you'll need to do both CPU and GPU, which will get you a new mobo...sigh.
    Go either AMD Pii x4 or 2500K. Intel will be significantly better and significantly more expensive, but not worth it unless you get a really excellent video card.
    a b à CPUs
    a c 125 U Graphics card
    June 6, 2011 5:01:51 PM

    Depends on your current motherboard. If you can just get a Phenom II X4 955/965(etc) and a GPU you'll be golden for a while. RAM won't make a significant difference from DDR2 to DDR3. Yeah, 3 is faster but RAM is rarely the limiting factor lol. And don't bother with the X6 CPUs, they aren't as good as X4s for gaming.

    That said if you can upgrade to an i5 2500k you'll have a platform that is good for several years at the least.
    Related resources
    June 6, 2011 5:30:58 PM

    Even if you put in a Phenom II into your current AM2/+ motherboard it will bottleneck the video cards. Unlike what some people think, the low HT/northbridge frequencies of AM2/+ motherboards will bottleneck AM3 CPUs.

    Adding a Phenom II will increase your performance but will still bottleneck newer video cards.

    Your best option is going the i5-2500k Z68 route if you want to take full advantage of a new video card. Ignore the posts above me; they are misinformed and misleading.
    a b à CPUs
    a c 125 U Graphics card
    June 6, 2011 7:02:33 PM

    ignoranceabound said:
    Even if you put in a Phenom II into your current AM2/+ motherboard it will bottleneck the video cards. Unlike what some people think, the low HT/northbridge frequencies of AM2/+ motherboards will bottleneck AM3 CPUs.

    Adding a Phenom II will increase your performance but will still bottleneck newer video cards.

    Your best option is going the i5-2500k Z68 route if you want to take full advantage of a new video card. Ignore the posts above me; they are misinformed and misleading.


    I agree the i5 is the best route, but it's also going to be several hundred dollars more to do that. A very cheap and easy upgrade is a new CPU and GPU. Sure, it might not be totally bottleneck free, but it will be better than his current set up and only cost a fraction of the amount.

    Also, I think you need to get more informed yourself.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/socket-am3-phenom,2...




    Not much of a bottleneck, really. That's with a GTX 280.
    a b à CPUs
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    June 6, 2011 7:25:51 PM

    What motherboard do you have?

    You may just be able to drop in PII 955BE. Best bang for the buck right now and will not bottleneck any single gpu cards.
    June 6, 2011 11:38:18 PM

    my board might be able to run a pII 955BE.
    Or better said, any phenomII's up to something like 90watts ( as far as i remember).

    i could def run a dual core phenom.

    I think i go for the dual core phenom II BE ( 560) and hope i can unlock a third or fourth core.
    a b à CPUs
    a c 125 U Graphics card
    June 7, 2011 4:27:50 AM

    Maybe do the Athelon II X3 route and see if you can unlock it to quad? What mobo do you have exactly?
    June 7, 2011 4:34:52 AM

    wolfram23 said:
    I agree the i5 is the best route, but it's also going to be several hundred dollars more to do that. A very cheap and easy upgrade is a new CPU and GPU. Sure, it might not be totally bottleneck free, but it will be better than his current set up and only cost a fraction of the amount.

    Also, I think you need to get more informed yourself.
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/socket-am3-phenom,2...
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/W/P/178729/original/image027.png
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/W/R/178731/original/image029.png
    http://media.bestofmicro.com/W/T/178733/original/image031.png

    Not much of a bottleneck, really. That's with a GTX 280.


    The above chart shows that at 1080p AM2 will bottleneck the GPU; OP might be playing at an even lower resolution that bottlenecks it even more.

    These charts lack comparable benchmarks of games on 940 and 945; the most powerful processor in that list is the 940, an AM2. There needs to be a Phenom II X4 AM3 for these benchmarks to be relevant to the conversation. Then again you're ignorant about the subject and wouldn't realize this.

    This doesn't even get into the fact that OP probably has a AM2 motherboard with Hypertransport 1.0 that needs to be flashed to even accept a Phenom II much less be able to give it enough bandwidth.
    a b à CPUs
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    June 7, 2011 1:12:06 PM

    So what's so hard about flashing the bios with the old cpu?

    OP, we keep asking you what motherboard you have, and your not telling us, so why is it such a secret?

    I agree going with a X3 over the dual core. Likely your mobo doesn't have ACC and you won't be able to unlock anything.
    a b à CPUs
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    June 7, 2011 2:58:38 PM

    ignoranceabound said:
    The above chart shows that at 1080p AM2 will bottleneck the GPU; OP might be playing at an even lower resolution that bottlenecks it even more.

    These charts lack comparable benchmarks of games on 940 and 945; the most powerful processor in that list is the 940, an AM2. There needs to be a Phenom II X4 AM3 for these benchmarks to be relevant to the conversation. Then again you're ignorant about the subject and wouldn't realize this.

    This doesn't even get into the fact that OP probably has a AM2 motherboard with Hypertransport 1.0 that needs to be flashed to even accept a Phenom II much less be able to give it enough bandwidth.


    You don't know what motherboard he has, and assumptions are just wrong. Bring facts or get the *** out. I've delivered proof, all you've delivered is *** slinging words. Look at the 2.6ghz PII X4 910 AM2+ and 2.6ghz PII X4 810 AM3. Pretty damn comparable CPUs, on different platforms. And they trade blows for FPS, with never more than 2fps difference. The average difference at 1920x1200 between all results on that article is 0.14FPS in favour of AM3

    And honestly, it does not matter. The cost of a complete overhaul for him is roughly $700 with a GPU. The cost of a new CPU and GPU together is around $350. You tell me which would be a better value upgrade, keeping in mind he's looking at 6870 performance not GTX 580.
    June 7, 2011 4:41:37 PM

    my mb is no secret, was just at work :) 

    I have an ASRock Alive NF7G-GLAN Rev. A2.

    I dont have any problems flashing my bios, done that many times before.


    And thanks alot for all the helpfull comments so far!
    a b à CPUs
    a c 125 U Graphics card
    June 7, 2011 5:31:38 PM

    According to ASRock, with the latest BIOS revision it will support just about any AMD CPU up to the 945
    http://www.asrock.com/mb/cpu.asp?Model=ALiveNF7G-GLAN

    However, in the specs of the mobo, it says:
    "If you use AM3 / AM2+ CPU on AM2 chipset motherboard, the system bus speed will downgrade from HT3.0 (5200 MT/s) to HT1.0 (2000 MT/s), but the CPU frequency will not be influenced."
    AM2 CPUs are limited to dual cores, but as shown in benchmarks that's not really causing an issue.
    http://www.asrock.com/mb/overview.asp?Model=ALiveNF7G-G...
    June 7, 2011 6:12:28 PM

    wolfram23 said:
    You don't know what motherboard he has, and assumptions are just wrong. Bring facts or get the *** out. I've delivered proof, all you've delivered is *** slinging words. Look at the 2.6ghz PII X4 910 AM2+ and 2.6ghz PII X4 810 AM3. Pretty damn comparable CPUs, on different platforms. And they trade blows for FPS, with never more than 2fps difference. The average difference at 1920x1200 between all results on that article is 0.14FPS in favour of AM3

    And honestly, it does not matter. The cost of a complete overhaul for him is roughly $700 with a GPU. The cost of a new CPU and GPU together is around $350. You tell me which would be a better value upgrade, keeping in mind he's looking at 6870 performance not GTX 580.


    Again; you don't have a Phenom II X4 that will saturate the HT 2.0. You're asserting that the those 2.6ghz will use the same bandwidth as a 3.2 ghz Phenom.

    You don't know what resolution he is gaming at either so those benchmarks might be completely irrelevant considering lower resolutions are more CPU dependent.

    A new motherboard and RAM would be $100 more and could be well worth the extra value. I don't know where you pull this $350 more for a motherboard and RAM from; then again I don't expect forethought from such ignorance.
    a b à CPUs
    a c 125 U Graphics card
    June 7, 2011 7:24:48 PM

    ignoranceabound said:
    Again; you don't have a Phenom II X4 that will saturate the HT 2.0. You're asserting that the those 2.6ghz will use the same bandwidth as a 3.2 ghz Phenom.

    You don't know what resolution he is gaming at either so those benchmarks might be completely irrelevant considering lower resolutions are more CPU dependent.

    A new motherboard and RAM would be $100 more and could be well worth the extra value. I don't know where you pull this $350 more for a motherboard and RAM from; then again I don't expect forethought from such ignorance.


    Your username suits you perfectly.

    i5 2500k - $220
    mobo - $150
    ram - $100
    gpu - $200
    total: $670

    PII route:
    cpu: $150
    gpu: $200
    total: $350

    Derp.

    Also, no, the CPU will not saturate the bandwidth. You know, unless you're gaming with Prime95 running in the background.

    And finally, GIVE ME SOME EVIDENCE! You talk a big talk, but you obviously can't walk it.
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    June 7, 2011 11:05:00 PM

    Kids...what can ya do?
    June 8, 2011 5:50:26 AM

    regarding my screen resolution: 19" wide: 1440x900, but i want to upgrade that screen this year aswell, to get a 22", maybe even 24".

    And i rather save 250€ now and spent it on upgrades in half a year.

    and another question:
    i was aiming for a 6870 would a 6950 be much better, should i get that one?

    thanks again!
    a b à CPUs
    a c 125 U Graphics card
    June 8, 2011 7:25:34 AM

    A 6950 would be a lot better than a 6870. In benchmarks the 1gb version 6950 has pretty much identical performance as the 2gb version - even at 2560x1600 for most games. But the biggest difference is the 6950 2gb can be unlocked to a full 6970, or at the least the extra shaders can get unlocked so it's a really great deal. But, if too much, the 1gb version is also great value. I'd say if you plan to go 1080p then yeah go with the 6950 if you can, either version. Also you may want to check out the 560 and 560Ti as they are very close in both price and performance.
    !