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I'm being bottlenecked by my CPU.

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August 27, 2011 5:04:00 AM

I just recently received a GTX 460 EVGA Superclocked for my birthday. Immediately, I noticed a FPS increase in all of my games, and the ability to run many games at very, very high settings. However, my dirty little secret, my processor. I currently have an Intel Core 2 duo. 1.86GHZ, 1866Mhz.
It's an awful processor for the kinds of games I play, which happen to be 90% source games. Surprisingly, it'l run Battlefield bad company two, at highest settings, with 32xAA, with minimal frame drop. However, it does die a little inside.

Say I were to upgrade my CPU. I'd have to invest in
1. A new CPU
2. A new Motherboard
3. A new CPU cooler

I could get an i5 3.3GHz for ~200 dollars, a mobo for ~200 and a cooler for ~50.

My man question is, if I were to upgrade to said specs, would my performance increase noticeably? Or should I even bother? Thanks!

(Feel free to correct anything I said incorrectly, or perhaps elaborate on how much my CPU is bottlenecking my Gcard.)

More about : bottlenecked cpu

a b à CPUs
August 27, 2011 6:02:06 AM

Without a doubt your performance would increase
I have a Core2Duo 3 ghz and I think that the GTX 460 would be the most card it could
handle without bottlenecking and even then it just might

it is a juggling act between the CPU and the GPU
as the CPU is passing data to the GPU
the GPU is sending data to the CPU

just like two jugglers passing back and forth
if one is throwing much faster than the other
there will be an "imbalance"

for example with my C2D 3ghz and HD 5670
I have put up better benchmarks compared to a I7 with a HD 5670
since the I7 is so much faster than the HD 5670 in comparison
that the HD 5670 becomes a bottleneck to the CPU
the CPU actually "starves" and sits around idle
It is the only way I can explain how my C2D/HD 5670 beats I7/HD 5670

a 1.86 C2D is really minimal by gaming standards
still great for office/browsing but gaming wise
a 3.0 ghz C2D is minimal specification nowadays to give a comparison
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a b à CPUs
August 27, 2011 6:41:10 AM

Quote:
My man question is, if I were to upgrade to said specs, would my performance increase noticeably? Or should I even bother? Thanks!


Yes, if you upgrade your CPU, you will notice an increase in performance in all games. Right now, that GTX 460 is definitely bottlenecking that Core 2 Duo.
Quote:
(Feel free to correct anything I said incorrectly, or perhaps elaborate on how much my CPU is bottlenecking my Gcard.)

King smp's already given you a great explanation on that part.
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August 27, 2011 1:52:39 PM

Thank you for the quick replies, and thank you very much for the very informative post, King. I know it'l be a hard question to answer. But if I were to upgrade to a 3.3GHz processor, what kind of frame rate increase am I looking at, if any? And will OC'ing the CPU actually help during gaming, too?
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a b à CPUs
August 27, 2011 2:50:25 PM

If you're going for a Quad core CPU, you'll notice the difference with games that utilize Quad cores.
Otherwise, you'll notice huge performance increases too. :) 

Usually, one overclocks a CPU to avoid or eliminate/reduce existing bottleneck with that of the GPU.
Otherwise you can do it to get better performance. :) 

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a b à CPUs
August 27, 2011 4:18:20 PM

With an I5 3.3 there will no longer be a bottleneck
so you could look at benches with the GTX 460 and get an idea
as you can see here
http://www.hardocp.com/article/2010/07/12/nvidia_geforc...
the minimal was 28 avg 40 and max 74 FPS for BCBF2
and that was at very high settings if you read it
1920x1200 16x 16x
28 40 74 is very playable

I think an upgrade like the OP is talking about will be well worth the money
and can use old mobo/cpu/ram for second computer (home theater PC?)
or sell off on Ebay or Craigslist
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August 27, 2011 5:39:23 PM

King, that site you linked, is saying that with 16x AA, there's a higher average FPS, than with no AA on. What's that about?
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August 27, 2011 5:55:12 PM

Quote:
King, that site you linked, is saying that with 16x AA, there's a higher average FPS, than with no AA on. What's that about?

the one with aa is @1920x1200, the one without aa is @2500x1600
which 3.3ghz i5 are you getting , if you are getting the 2500/2500k be sure to get the 2500k as there is a tiny price difference and you can get decent overclocks on the 2500k even with a average cooler while the 2500 is locked and you can hardly overclock it
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a b à CPUs
August 27, 2011 6:21:10 PM

Quote:
the one with aa is @1920x1200, the one without aa is @2500x1600
which 3.3ghz i5 are you getting , if you are getting the 2500/2500k be sure to get the 2500k as there is a tiny price difference and you can get decent overclocks on the 2500k even with a average cooler while the 2500 is locked and you can hardly overclock it



Thanks megadelayed :) 
I didnt actually catch that
slipping in my old age LOL

definitley agreed that if the OP is willing to OC then the K version is worth the extra dollars

also if not an OCer then an I5-2400 is a good option also
can save a few bucks towards mobo HD etc

I really wish that Intel makes an I5-2400K!
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a b à CPUs
August 28, 2011 4:23:14 AM

Agreed.
Considering the OP has got good experience in overclocking, he can get about 4.0 - 4.5GHz out of a 2500k, and that too with stock cooling.
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August 28, 2011 3:54:24 PM

Quote:
Thanks megadelayed :) 
I didnt actually catch that
slipping in my old age LOL

definitley agreed that if the OP is willing to OC then the K version is worth the extra dollars

also if not an OCer then an I5-2400 is a good option also
can save a few bucks towards mobo HD etc

I really wish that Intel makes an I5-2400K!

true, i ws hoping that the 2400 could be overclocked when sandy bridge came out as the 2300 had some features missing(i think) and its at a reasonable price
can't intel just make processors like before with an unlocked bclk
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a c 84 à CPUs
August 28, 2011 10:58:48 PM

you can still oc the 2400 to 3.7ghz but no more than that.
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a b à CPUs
August 28, 2011 11:34:07 PM

I sure wouldnt complain about a I5-2400 @ 3.7ghz
that is a good CPU
and under $200

I wonder how a 2400 at 3.7 matches up to a 1100T stock?
I wonder if the 2400 can overcome the extra two cores of the 1100T
even at multihreaded apps
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a c 84 à CPUs
August 29, 2011 2:07:34 AM

looking at anandtech's benchmarks, even an i5 2400 whoops any 6 core amd in majority of benchmarks, even multithreaded ones. but its only another $20 or so for the 2500k....i would spend the extra.
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a b à CPUs
August 29, 2011 2:46:00 AM

just checked Newegg
I have to agree
If somebody is building a 1155 system then
an extra 30 for a 2500k would definitley be worth it
now if that was a 2400k
that would be a different story
but I doubt intel will make a 2400k
unless Bulldozer turns out to be game changing
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a b à CPUs
August 29, 2011 2:48:15 AM

How about a I5-2450K with HT?
still priced at $190
basically a poor mans 2600K

If Intel loved us they would make it LOL
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August 29, 2011 5:27:42 PM

Quote:
you can still oc the 2400 to 3.7ghz but no more than that.

its not technically oc its just that you get a extra 4 bins of turbo so really on four cores you get from 3.2(stock) to 3.6 (4 bins) and 3.7 for 2 cores and 3.8 for single, but in that case i'd get a cheaper h61/67 board and get to use the igp and lucridvirtu? and quicksync over a more expensive p67/z68 fore that extra 4 bins
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August 29, 2011 5:31:20 PM

Quote:
How about a I5-2450K with HT?
still priced at $190
basically a poor mans 2600K

If Intel loved us they would make it LOL

lol i highly doubt intel would make an quad with ht and brand it i5 for the next few years or so unless either amd releases their 8 core bulldozer for less than £50 or the marketing department went loopy
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a b à CPUs
August 30, 2011 1:57:53 AM

Yeah I messed up
it would usually be an I7 if it has HT
so I7-2450 HT?

Intel is pretty good at not making a cheaper CPU compete too hard
with the pricier ones

The last time I remember them putting out a cheapie
that competed with the expensive ones
was the COre2Duo E4xxx series
guys were OCing them up to 3.5 easy and they would match up at the time
to the expensive X6800s etc
but cost half the price
my E4500 at 2.93 matches up to E7500s and E8300s in benchmarks

Intel has "embraced" the OCer as they say
but really means they are more aware of when a lesser chip OCd
can match up to their extreme CPUs

the days of when you could buy a cheap Northwood and blow away the higher EE series are gone LOL
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a b à CPUs
August 30, 2011 4:09:38 AM

Quote:
so I7-2450 HT?

Probably a i7 2650k with HT.
You did a good OC on that E4500. :)  . You've got a optiplex right ?
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Best solution

a b à CPUs
August 30, 2011 4:29:49 AM

Yes
An Dell Optiplex 745
And yes there is a sneaky way to OC a Dell
cant be done in BIOS or software

I dont want to hijack
though the OP hasnt been back since the 27th

So to summarize
I think we all can agree that the Core2Duo 1.86 is a horrible bottleneck
that it would be a major performance boost to get a I5 3.3 (?) I think OP mentioned
though 200 sounds alot for a mobo (depending what country the OP is in)

I think if the OP is saying I5 3.3 I think that means a 2500?

If so with a 2500K on a Z68 OCd with a OCd 460
I think the OP will be very happy with the results :) 
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a b à CPUs
August 30, 2011 4:40:31 AM

You can bet he will be happy with the results. :) 
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a b à CPUs
August 30, 2011 5:07:40 PM

This topic has been moved from the section Graphics & Displays to section CPU & Components by Mousemonkey
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September 18, 2011 9:20:44 PM

Best answer selected by Rothaga.
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September 18, 2011 9:24:43 PM

king smp said:
Yes
An Dell Optiplex 745
And yes there is a sneaky way to OC a Dell
cant be done in BIOS or software

I dont want to hijack
though the OP hasnt been back since the 27th

So to summarize
I think we all can agree that the Core2Duo 1.86 is a horrible bottleneck
that it would be a major performance boost to get a I5 3.3 (?) I think OP mentioned
though 200 sounds alot for a mobo (depending what country the OP is in)

I think if the OP is saying I5 3.3 I think that means a 2500?

If so with a 2500K on a Z68 OCd with a OCd 460
I think the OP will be very happy with the results :) 




I appolgize for my absense. There was a security issue with my email, and I never got alerts about replies. Thank you all VERY much for the great replies, and great info.

I've decided to wait until Christmas to purchase a new i5 2500k. 'Till then, I plan on Overclocking (See This thread) and would like some help there. I'm very thankful for the amount of support and kindness I received on this forum. I plan on sticking around.

*Adds to bookmarks*
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a b à CPUs
January 28, 2012 3:01:36 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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