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What is the bottleneck in my PC?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 22, 2011 5:54:39 PM

As the title says: "What is the bottleneck in my PC?"
...I'm getting extremely low 3Dmark 11 scores, and I have no idea whats causing it.
System specs:

Motherboard: ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 945
Memory: Corsair TWIN2X PC6400 DDR2 4GB KIT CL5 (x2 = 8GB)
PSU: Corsair TX 750W PSU
GPU: XFX Radeon HD 5970 Black Edition (2 GB)
Everything runs at stock clocks. CPU at ~40C and GPU at ~50C.
And my 3DMark 11 score is P4783 (Ran the test in Performance mode)

Can someone help me?

More about : bottleneck

a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 6:00:31 PM

your cpu is definatley the bottle neck if you are running at stock clocks, with a 5970 get an aftermarket cooler such as the coolermaster hyper 212+ and overclock your cpu as much as you can, if anything the 945 at stock is holding back your gpu... I have a 955 and its oc'ed at 4.0ghz and I definatley see big gains in some instances when my processor was taken from 3.2 per core up to 4.0, and with the cm hyper 212+ it stays darn cool.
January 22, 2011 6:12:49 PM

Well if the CPU is the bottleneck, this means new motherboard (am2+ currently), new CPU, new ram (ddr2 currently.. will be stupid not to upgrade to ddr3)

For now, I'll try overclocking, and come with new results. Also what temps should my CPU be at idle and stressed if I overclock?
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a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 6:22:02 PM

personally when I run prime 95 my cpu never goes above 61C but thats just my personal preference, people take them up to 70 or more but I would keep it in the low 60s at a full load, and my chip idles at about 38c... but that is with the hyper 212 cou cooler installed so your results may vary, but overall I would say those temps are good to shoot for....

if you just bought the motherboard I would return it, you can actually get ddr3 cheaper than ddr2 if you can, but if you are unable to return it the differences between ddr2 and 3 are hard to quantify in gaming, but usually when purchased new is actually cheaper than ddr2
a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 6:24:20 PM

if you just bought this setup I would return it for an intel 1155 setup, its a much better value right now, but you'd probably end up spending a little extra money but the performance/price ratio (the value factor) would go way up at the slightly higher price point, either way just some things to think about
a b U Graphics card
January 22, 2011 7:35:19 PM

That's about the same score as I get with only a single GTX 470. So you should probably be getting higher with the ATI 5970. The 5970 is faster than a 470, and a little slower than GTX 470's in SLI.

My GTX 470 SLI score in 3dMark11 is P7597.

You should be able to OverClock your processor to improve your score though. If the CPU is running stock it's probably limiting the data flow to that 5970, keeping the GPU from ever hitting 100% usage.
January 23, 2011 6:12:43 PM

The hard drive is always the slowest part of any computer, thus being the bottleneck.
a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2011 12:48:35 AM

ambam said:
The hard drive is always the slowest part of any computer, thus being the bottleneck.


No, FAIL!
January 24, 2011 6:14:26 PM

jjb8675309 said:
No, FAIL!


A solid state drive (uses NAND flash memory cells) is infinitely faster than a typical hard drive. Despite being very expensive and having less storage capacity.
a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2011 6:48:00 PM

ambam said:
A solid state drive (uses NAND flash memory cells) is infinitely faster than a typical hard drive. Despite being very expensive and having less storage capacity.


I'm not debating that but the ssd is not going to make your games run any faster (fps wise) which is usually what is referenced when describing or analyzing a bottleneck (for games). It will load faster sure but the 7200 rpm harddrive is not bottle-necking the the data flow at all it will generally be either the cpu or gpu with current component technology.
a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2011 6:48:20 PM

ambam said:
A solid state drive (uses NAND flash memory cells) is infinitely faster than a typical hard drive. Despite being very expensive and having less storage capacity.


Aside from the word "infinitely" this is true. However, most benchmarks don't rely on load times to determine your score. :)  And ultimately, once a game is loaded into memory the actual gameplay FPS isn't reliant on your hard driver either. So it's a moot point. SSDs are indeed faster for read/write, so the game will load faster. But with a very few exceptions, actual game play isn't typically affected by hard disk read/write speeds unless it's loading data on the fly. In that case, your problem is probably not having enough RAM. Or being in a super big open world environment in game.

So, as jjb8675309 stated, your comment is kind of a "FAIL".
a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2011 6:49:04 PM

bottomline the cpu is the bottleneck in the ops system if he runs it at stock clocks....
a b U Graphics card
January 24, 2011 6:55:33 PM

jerreece said:
Aside from the word "infinitely" this is true. However, most benchmarks don't rely on load times to determine your score. :)  And ultimately, once a game is loaded into memory the actual gameplay FPS isn't reliant on your hard driver either. So it's a moot point. SSDs are indeed faster for read/write, so the game will load faster. But with a very few exceptions, actual game play isn't typically affected by hard disk read/write speeds unless it's loading data on the fly. In that case, your problem is probably not having enough RAM. Or being in a super big open world environment in game.

So, as jjb8675309 stated, your comment is kind of a "FAIL".


thank you jereece, that further proves my point why his frame of reference was off. Thats like saying if you have a dvd drive it will cause a bottleneck, but if you have a bluray drive it will not.... but like you said once a game is loaded into memory, the real world performance of the game does not chance with an ssd that is why you were flawed in saying that a hdd is the bottleneck of any system, just because it might receive the lowest wei score (im assuming thats what your referencing) does not mean that it is a bottleneck because its fast enough to not slow data throughput down except for a few second while the game is loading, imo the ssd is not worth the investment right now until the come down to a reasonable price...
August 2, 2011 6:50:19 PM

Regarding the bottle neck, how about the Front Side Bus / Cache?
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