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How much would a Pentium D 3.0GHz bottleneck a Radeon 6950?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 7, 2011 1:35:01 AM

Require the system to be capable of playing WoW fluently on a 30" monitor (2560x1600). Plan to buy a Radeon 6950 and a capable PSU, but would like to upgrade other components later once the Sandy Bridge chipset glitch is solved.
The current system is a Dell XPS400 with a Pentium D 3.0GHz. How significant would the bottleneck be and would the game still remain playable (30+fps)?
Thanks.
a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 1:54:38 AM

i wouldn't even put a card like the in that computer. Pentium is outdated badly, its going to be unplayable. Upgrade your computer you dont need a 6950 to play wow on high settings any way.
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a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 2:06:07 AM

The 6950 is over 4 times as powerful as what a Pentium D can handle. Try a 9600GSO (maybe 9600GT) or a 3850 or lower.

You will NOT get playable framerates on any modern game with a Pentium D. You will be able to run WoW (but not expansions) and Half-Life 2 nicely though.
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a c 106 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 2:17:53 AM

The original WoW isn't too demanding but if you're talking about using the latest expansions and enhancements as well, ie Cataclysm, your CPU is going to bottleneck that GPU by at least 50%. There is simply no point in pairing a 6950 with that ancient CPU. Sandy Bridge could also take a while to resolve. If you're going to stick with that pentium D then I would suggest getting a much cheaper 5770 for that system and doing a completely new build latter, or a 6850 for now and then perhaps adding a second one for more power when you upgrade latter on.
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a c 214 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 2:54:53 AM

I guess what your trying to do is get the 6950 now and upgrade to a Sandy Bridge later.I would wait till you can buy a Sandy Bridge before you buy the 6950.By the time you do i'm almost certain the prices will have droped a bit.And having a monitor at 2560x1600 is all the more reason to get a 6950.

For now a cheap soultion would be better than buying a 6950 if you can't play on your current setup.If you can manage to play on your current setup that i would reccomend to hold off on buying the 6950 until you get the Sandy Bridge.
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a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 3:10:23 AM

A 5770 and 9800GT are both overkill for that CPU. That CPU can't handle an 8800GTS. I know this because I have an Athlon x2 5000+, which blows it out of the water and a 9600GSO (good kind) is about all I can use with it.

Save your money and do a full upgrade when Sandy Bridge is resolved.

That being said, $50 without a rebate is an amazing price for a 9800GT. The only problem--that code doesn't seem to work.

When you do get a 6950--make sure to have a decent PSU and get a 2GB if it's the same price.
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a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 3:14:15 AM

It better to call tiger direct 18008008300 there site is crap.
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a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 4:07:20 AM

Btw, where'd you find that code? I didn't get it in my email.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 5:55:35 AM

You would most likley end up with a slide show. You would have way to much Graphical power fro that CPU I wouldnt even think about pairing the two.

Mactronix :) 
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February 7, 2011 12:23:32 PM

Thanks all. Just want something playable on the 30" monitor until SB is resolved. But probably isn't a good idea. Won't be spending any extra money as the PSU and GPU will be the ones that would be bought for the new rig anyway. Any way to power a 30" monitor for WoW without upgrading the CPU and spending $$$ prematurely?
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February 7, 2011 12:27:40 PM

cia24 said:
i wouldn't even put a card like the in that computer. Pentium is outdated badly, its going to be unplayable. Upgrade your computer you dont need a 6950 to play wow on high settings any way.


It's a 30" (2560x1600) monitor and some freedom to play other games maxed out would be nice. Plus, the 6950 can be unlocked to a 6970. :D 
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a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 12:31:46 PM

lol, yeah you will get about 10fps at 2560x1600 with that cpu, even at 1024X768 and a 9600 gt you will likely get crap fps, there is not much point in putting money in to this rig unless your planning on playing half-life or counterstrike, save your money and upgrade, it would be a much better use of your money at this point due to the age of your Pentium d setup
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February 7, 2011 12:38:08 PM

Get the video card, but seriously upgrade your cpu. WoW is already a CPU intensive app, and to be honest sandy bridge isn't required to get amazing framerates... get a cheaper dual core/motherboard/2-4gigs of ram and you're fine for wow.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 12:47:31 PM

I had two Pentium D cpus at once, needless to say that even when overclocked to 3.5ghz it bottle necked my x1900xt. I suggest that you upgrade your cpu before buying such a card. To get the most even out of a DX9 era or newer card that was placed in the mid to high end segment that you can't be a Netburst derived cpu and has to be a Core 2 based product even though the name may not suggest that.

To get the most out of a 6950 you need a 3ghz quad core a dual core that is core 2 based or AMD equivalent that is clocked well beyond 3ghz as games are getting to be more demanding than they have been in the past years.
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a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 4:35:28 PM

Even a 5670 would be limited in some games paired with a Pentium D, it's just too weak of a cpu for any sort of modern gaming.
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a b U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 6:03:49 PM

Buy a Cheap GT 240 for just 35 $ after rebate

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Try it, It should be enough for playing WOW on med-high settings, anything better would be bottlenecked by your CPU,
When you upgrade your CPU you could use this card as a PHYSX dedicated card. And until then you would be able to play WOW nicely.
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a c 172 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 6:42:43 PM

loneninja said:
Even a 5670 would be limited in some games paired with a Pentium D, it's just too weak of a cpu for any sort of modern gaming.


If a 4 year old x1900xt is bottlenecked by this cpu just about any thing else that is more modern isn't going to be doing much better
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a c 171 U Graphics card
February 7, 2011 8:09:19 PM

if you can, at least wack a core 2 duo e7600 in the motherboard, then get a new gfx card.
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February 8, 2011 12:17:55 AM

Thanks a lot for your time, everyone.
Can't swap the Pentium D with a C2D because the machine's a proprietary Dell XPS400. The BIOS limits the machine to a Pentium D. Upgrade is overdue anyway. Just wait a little longer for SB / Llano. Thanks once again, people. Really appreciate the feedback.:) 
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February 8, 2011 12:26:37 AM

Best answer selected by hmdhruvarora.
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a b U Graphics card
February 8, 2011 12:43:53 AM

Someone said you should buy the graphics now--they were wrong.

If you're just playing Wow, then a Phenom II x2 560BE (especially if overclocked and/or unlocked) will have no trouble. But if you have the money for SB, then waiting is a good choice since it's awesome.
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