What is my bottleneck

I'm thinking about plunking down for a new video card before battlefield 3 comes out

Current system:
cpu: q6600
GPU: 260gtx
ram: 4gb ddr2
hard drive: 1.5tb ( going to replace and add 2x2tb hard drives soon)

I was thinking about the 560ti, will that do my computer any good or is the processor too old to take advantage of the new card?
14 answers Last reply
More about what bottleneck
  1. If BF3 is anything like BF:BC2, you'll see a bottleneck upgrading to the 560 ti. But there's the possibility that if you can turn physics and other cpu-intense effects down/off (at least until you snag a new CPU) that you'll be able to get some nice framerates with good textures and gpu effects. BUT, this is all speculative, BF3 is running off a new engine with insane new features, so you'd have to ask one of their devs for the full scoop:P
  2. gtx 260 won`t even let you use dx11 effects, so it will definitely limit you in that sense.

    anyhow, like cuecuemore said, we dont know much so it is smarter to wait and see how the game turns out before making upgrades.
  3. Your system will run BF3 with a 560ti just fine as long as your overclocking your cpu to at least 3.2ghz. If your running at 2.4ghz, it's going to be a major cpu bottleneck and you'll never see the potential of the video card.

    What resolution is your monitor?
  4. 1680x 1050

    although currently I use a tv monitor for most of my games because then I can max just about anything (it runs at 720p)

    I have had a lot of issues trying to overclock my cpu, I'm not sure if it just isn't possible because it just happens to be one that can not be overclocked or if I did it wrong when I tried. If I can find a pretty failsafe way to step by step overclock then I'm willing to try again.

    I tried to overclock my ram at one point too, I thought that was why I couldn't overclock my cpu and if i remember right it currently runs below what it is supposed to run at. I don't even think I was able to get it to its regular speed.
  5. At 1680x1050, there is more load on the cpu than if it was 1920x1080.

    First off, you do NOT want to overclock the ram. When you overclock the cpu by raising the fsb, it automatically overclocks the ram, and that is where most overclocks fail because of that fact.

    So what you do is when your in bios, raise the fsb to overclock the cpu, then change the fsb/dimm ratio from 1:1 to something else that changes the ram speed and lowers it back down to it's rated speed. You want the ram to run at or below what it's rated at. If you try to run 800mhz ram at 900mhz, it's either not going to boot or it's going to fail soon after.
  6. I have no clue why but my current ram 1066 is only running like it is 6400 ram...
  7. Your BIOS/IMC will typically downclock RAM to a failsafe setting on your first boot or after a failed boot (a common occurrence in overclocking). For example, with DDR3 most RAM defaults to 1333 mhz and very loose timings regardless of its manufacturer's rating, so it's just an issue of setting the FSB/memory clock ratio manually. (Can't comment on DDR2 specifically, was using laptops/OEM desktops through that whole era)
  8. really appreciate the help guys, i'll try it next weekend and report back. I can't do it at the moment, don't have time to have a non functioning computer....quiz and various other homework due tonight, and a test on monday.....yay for summer classes. Otherwise I would be working on it this second.
  9. kellogs908 said:
    I have no clue why but my current ram 1066 is only running like it is 6400 ram...

    Your ram is not set correctly in the bios then. It should be running at 533mhz, not 400mhz.
  10. To answer the original question, if you overclock your CPU, like others have said, you will get the most out of it and the faster you can get it the better.

    Bottlenecks are blown out of proportion most the time, but at 2.4 GHz, your CPU will be a bit lacking for some games, but I wouldn't let that stop you from upgrading to the 560ti.

    You will notice a world of difference compared to your 260GTX, not to mention get all the DX11 eye-candy to boot.
  11. geekapproved said:
    First off, you do NOT want to overclock the ram.

    While it's not ideal to overclock your ram, all it takes is some voltage and looser timings. It's best to keep the ratio at 1:1 if at all possible since that will give you the best performance.

    I had my ram overclocked 100MHz easily, and could go higher if I had wanted with more voltage to the ram and MCH. There are countless stickies on how to overclock a socket 775 and overclocking your ram is just part of the game sometimes.

    EDIT: It's definitely best to overclock each component individually.
  12. Overclocking your ram is not part of the overclocking "game". Not sure where you got that ridiculous statement.

    If you overclock your cpu and try to run 1:1, it's most likely going to fail to even boot because the memory will be running too fast.

    Overclocking your memory 100mhz, is completely pointless. The performance increase is so minimal you wouldn't even see a difference in a benchmark and will only make your ram run hot and shorten it's life.

    The sensible solution is overclock your cpu to your desired level (I'd shoot for 3ghz right of the bat), then change the fsb:dimm ratio so that the ram stays at 1066 or less, NOT MORE.

    But like I said earlier, your ram isn't running at the correct speed now, It appears your 1066 ram is only running at 800mhz. You can fix that in a few second through bios.
  13. it's not a ridiculous statement for one, but I misread the earlier post and his ram is fast enough so it's not an issue (thought it was 800MHz not 1066).

    The official specs for DDR2 didn't include anything higher than 800 MHz, so if you wanted to go above that you had to make changes in the BIOS. In short there was no such thing as 1066 MHz, just 800 modules tested to run above that. That's why your ram is defaulting to 800 MHz because that's what it is supposed to max out at, officially.

    Some motherboards allowed for profiles above that, but not many that I knew of. 1066 is considered specialty ram by JEDEC standards. Plenty of people I knew and people on forums got their 800 modules running at 900 or above, hence the 100MHz overclock. All it took was some voltage/timings and luck that you got a good set of ram. The point wasn't to overclock the ram, it was to overclock the CPU and to do that the ram needed to run faster, especially with the 333 FSB chips (Q9550, E8400, etc).
  14. Actually, I don't know why we are talking about running it at anything other than 1:1. The Q6600 runs at a FSB of 266, which means ram should be running at 533 to keep the 1:1 ratio. I doubt you will get it stable much above a FSB of 380 (3.42 GHz), which puts your ram at 760 MHz. Hell, if you got it to 400 (3.6 GHz) I would be impressed.

    I suppose you can run your ram faster and you would get a slight bump in performance, but for overclocking it is sometimes easier to get it stable first at 1:1, then go back and mess with stuff like that.

    Read this:
    HOWTO: Overclock C2Q (Quads) and C2D (Duals) - A Guide v1.7
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