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What's my system's bottleneck for gaming

Last response: in Systems
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June 30, 2011 6:26:17 PM

I recently built my own system for the first time, and I want to know which component will limit me the most in gaming, i.e. What will I have to upgrade the soonest.

I haven't had any problems thus far, but with some pretty advanced games (Skyrim, etc.) coming out later this year, I'm trying to plan in advance.

Here are my specs.

Processor - Intel i5-760 2.8GHz
Video Card - MSI’s N460GTX Cyclone 1GB
RAM - 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws Series DDR3 1600
PSU - Corsair CMPSU-650TX

If you're interested, my other components:

OS - Windows 7 Home 64 bit
MB - ASUS P7P55D-E LX
Hard drive - Western Digital Caviar Black 640GB 7200 RPM 32MB
Case - Rosewill CHALLENGER Black


Best solution

June 30, 2011 6:40:20 PM

tough to say for sure, i'd say either graphics card or hard drive depending on the game you are playing.

Removing the potential for bottleneck would be to get another 460, (which you unfortunately cannot since your motherboard does not support SLI), get a better GPU, or to purchase an SSD to run your games from.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 30, 2011 6:40:42 PM

If anything is going to bottleneck, your bottlenecks will be in the following order:

GTX 460
i5-760

That video card will give you bottlenecks at higher resolutions.

If you had a better video card, I'd put the processor 1st but only for lower resolutions.

Given good video and processor, RAM speed won't affect things in any extreme and your disk only affects load times for gaming.
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June 30, 2011 6:46:05 PM

Are you crazy ubercake? There is no chance in hell an i5-760 is going to be the bottleneck. I want you to show me a record of someone's 2.8ghz quad core processor with turbo boost ever being maxed out on a game. His processor would be near the bottom of the list.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 30, 2011 6:55:51 PM

jmills204 said:
Are you crazy ubercake? There is no chance in hell an i5-760 is going to be the bottleneck. I want you to show me a record of someone's 2.8ghz quad core processor with turbo boost ever being maxed out on a game. His processor would be near the bottom of the list.

Not crazy. His CPU would be the bottleneck at lower resolutions with one or two higher-end video cards. This is well-documented.

Nothing against the CPU whatsoever. It's a great CPU.

Just saying... if anything will bottleneck anything with his current setup, it will be the video card at higher resolutions. As his video capabilities increase, the CPU would become the likely bottleneck at lower resolutions.
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June 30, 2011 7:11:46 PM

I'm not going to say that your claims are completely false, but the possible situation that you are describing would never occur. No gamer who is trying to build/upgrade a gaming PC is going to be playing games on super low resolution. And let's say they hypothetically were. The scenario you describe still wouldn't happen, for neither the CPU nor the GPU would be maxed out. If he were to be running a SLI config with the i5-760 on a game at lower resolution, maybe he would be using a larger percentage of the processor than the video cards, yet this would still be irrelevant for potential bottlenecks. Just because the CPU would be the bottleneck BEFORE the gpu(s) in this situation, does not mean either would be the bottleneck.

Do you understand the point I'm trying to make. He isn't asking about hypothetical situations, he's asking about what to upgrade in his machine. In this scenario, with these parts the CPU is never going to be the bottleneck when it comes to gaming, even if he buys a better video card.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 30, 2011 7:27:35 PM

I understand what you're saying, but he's asking 'What's my system's bottleneck for gaming?'

Definitely a better video card would be my answer to the question regarding what to upgrade. But you can get that from my original answer to OPs original question.
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June 30, 2011 7:30:10 PM

Alright, I guess there is no point continuing this 'argument'. I'm just making sure the OP doesn't go buy a new processor expecting to be able to play games on higher settings with more fps.
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July 7, 2011 12:54:33 AM

Thanks guys! I understand both of your points.

You're actually agreeing for the most part. I wouldn't want to run with low settings, so a better graphics card would be the most important upgrade.

Thanks again.
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a b B Homebuilt system
July 7, 2011 9:19:18 AM

Glad you got it worked out through the bickering.
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July 11, 2011 3:35:59 PM

Best answer selected by dajami.
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February 3, 2012 9:17:48 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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