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Is my CPU going to bottleneck me?

Hi all,

I was planning on upgrading my system to get it ready to play some of the newer games coming out (Skyrim, SWTOR, etc.) - I was just about to purchase an Nvidia 560ti graphics card, but started thinking: maybe my CPU would bottleneck me?

I currently run an old C2D intel E6750 at the standard 2.66 ghz (not overclocked). My existing GPU is a Radeon 4850 (1 gig), and I've got 4 gigs of DDR2 RAM. My Mobo is (I believe) an ASUS P5N-E NFORCE 650I.

So I'm wondering: would upgrading my GPU even give me a performance boost considering my CPU? Should I try to overclock the CPU and get a new GPU? If I wanted to upgrade the CPU first instead, would I be able to get a quad-core that worked with my mobo?

Thanks in advance for your help!
11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about bottleneck
  1. your motherboard is your bottleneck. if you buy a new gpu, buy it as the first piece to your next computer...if you're a builder.
  2. Thanks Frizzo - I've built in the past, though I'm no expert. Are you saying that I would be better off buying a new mobo and keeping my current CPU and GPU? (I assume I'd also have to upgrade to DDR3 RAM) - I'd be surprised if that would give me a bigger performance boost than upgrading the other components, but I'm more than willing to be surprised if it's true :)
  3. you're not going to find a motherboard for that cpu, unless you really stress hard. you would want a p45 motherboard. it's really not worth putting any money into that computer. the other thing is what kind of power supply do you have?
  4. Power Supply = 650W.

    I guess I just figured I could still do alright with simply a GPU upgrade after reading this article on SWTOR earlier today (check the second to last and last pages specifically):,3087.html

    I suppose I could always upgrade the GPU (I'm guessing I'd see a little fps boost?) and then get new CPU/Mobo/Ram when money allows (hopefully in the next few months)?
  5. i read the article yesterday. trust me, that is old technology and it's more dependent on motherboard functionality of the northbridge, and the northbridge is just bad on that's a bad board. you won't be happy with cost to performance increase, you will feel like you wasted whatever $200 whatever. either keep it, polish it, air clean it, and be happy with it...or just reason that you are buying the video card anyway for a new build, and when you see no performance change you won't be as pissed.
  6. Alright thanks for the advice!
  7. you will see boost in some games which are gpu hungry
    but some (like COD black ops) are cpu hungry and you will not see any or very little performance boost.
    also due to cpu and mobo you cannot get max performance out of your gpu
    you can buy a gpu now but you will need to upgrade cpu and mobo soon
  8. Best answer
    if you are planning on building a full new pc and are short on cash you still can buy the gpu first and get the others later as it will be a slight increase and a video card will always be compatible with your new board and cpu be it intel or AMD
  9. If you must get better performance a new GPU and OCing your CPU would be your best bets until you can do a full system replace.

    Alternatively you could upgrade your CPU/MOBO/RAM now and get a GPU later.

    It's all just relative to what you want.

    Getting your CPU to 3.2ghz should be easy.
  10. Thanks all, now to find a good tool to OC my CPU...
  11. Best answer selected by Bobes.
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