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Is my CPU bottle necking / upgrade advice

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January 15, 2012 3:54:20 AM

I'll start off with my current specs:

AMD Phenom II X4 965BE currently overclocked to 3.9GHz
8GB G.SKILL 1333 RAM
HITACHI Deskstar 7K1000.D
2x crossfire HiS IceQ X Turbo Radeon HD 6950 2GB
ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3
CORSAIR Professional Series HX850

So I feel like my CPU is bottle necking my video cards. When I play BF3 I play on ultra, and I'd say I average maybe 50 FPS. Some places I dip into 28 - 35.

I've seen other people with crossfire 6950s and intel CPUs claim substantially better performance.

So I was thinking about upgrading my CPU. I guess if I stick with AMD my best choice might be the 980BE. I'd really like to switch over to Intel for the i5 however. That thing seems to be the best bang for the buck. Unfortunately I'd need a new mobo and I'd like to avoid that.

So would the 980BE be a worthwhile upgrade? Or should I just switch over to Intel and get the i5, or something else?

Thanks.

More about : cpu bottle necking upgrade advice

a b à CPUs
January 15, 2012 4:16:12 AM

The PhII is just an old architecture, moving up to a slightly better one is not going to fix the problem (especially when you can do a minor OC to get the same performance). But to answer your question, yes, you may be bottlenecking. However (and I am stepping out on a limb here as this is not my field of expertise), I think you should be getting better fps than what you are.

Screen Resolution? refresh rate? quality? we need to know if we are to tell if something may be wrong.
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January 15, 2012 4:31:18 AM

CaedenV said:
The PhII is just an old architecture, moving up to a slightly better one is not going to fix the problem (especially when you can do a minor OC to get the same performance). But to answer your question, yes, you may be bottlenecking. However (and I am stepping out on a limb here as this is not my field of expertise), I think you should be getting better fps than what you are.

Screen Resolution? refresh rate? quality? we need to know if we are to tell if something may be wrong.


1920x1080 60Hz with the ultra preset.
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a c 123 à CPUs
January 15, 2012 4:33:39 AM

your running crossfire... best thing to do for that system is remove 1 of the gfx cards... you will gain overall performance because you have removed a sizable bottleneck created by the second gfx card...

seriously you bought what is a budget cpu and then threw 2 high end gfx cards at it... so you cant be surprised if it chokes...

you could swap platform to sandy but that would cost you 400 to get a board/cpu and ram that wont bottleneck both cards... so really unless you want to spend that kind of money your best bet is forget crossfire. sell the spare card or use it on another build...

oh and no amd has enough grunt to run both of them cards... well the new fx cpu's will but the chances are you will still have bottleneck issues on games that only use 2 cores...(which is the majority) so that would be a waste of cash 2... as would the 980 as your already getting more out of your current cpu than the 980 would give at stock and even if you oc'd the new 1 you would still come up short by some way.

you want good single threaded performance and amd just dont offer it. on larger configs.
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January 15, 2012 5:02:56 AM

HEXiT said:
your running crossfire... best thing to do for that system is remove 1 of the gfx cards... you will gain overall performance because you have removed a sizable bottleneck created by the second gfx card...

seriously you bought what is a budget cpu and then threw 2 high end gfx cards at it... so you cant be surprised if it chokes...

you could swap platform to sandy but that would cost you 400 to get a board/cpu and ram that wont bottleneck both cards... so really unless you want to spend that kind of money your best bet is forget crossfire. sell the spare card or use it on another build...

oh and no amd has enough grunt to run both of them cards... well the new fx cpu's will but the chances are you will still have bottleneck issues on games that only use 2 cores...(which is the majority) so that would be a waste of cash 2... as would the 980 as your already getting more out of your current cpu than the 980 would give at stock and even if you oc'd the new 1 you would still come up short by some way.

you want good single threaded performance and amd just dont offer it. on larger configs.


Well I started with only one 6950. I do have a performance increase in BF3 and Metro 2033 with crossfire over a single GPU for sure.

I do have someone that would be willing to buy my mobo + CPU and one of my 6950s, and since it's tax time I may just jump to intel and grab an i5 or better.

So that brings up another question that doesn't fit in this forum category. I have the opportunity to sell both 6950s for ~400 or so. Do you think I'd have better performance with an i5 + 2x 6950 or an i5 + 1x 7970, or maybe just stick with the 965BE and get a 7970? I'm tempted to just go 7970 regardless even if it's pretty similar to 2x 6950 just to be rid of all the annoying crossfire issues.
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a c 123 à CPUs
January 15, 2012 5:17:38 AM

it will be swings and roundabouts m8, on some games the crossfire wont be an issue while on others it will. its always better to have 1 big card over 2 smaller1s but in this case there not that much smaller. over all on a cpu bound game you would get better performance from the 7970 but when the cpu isnt an issue like in bf3 the crossfire will win out by about 40 percent. would i sell up the 2 cards in this instance. yes as your current cpu is likely to handle the 7970 a lot better than it does the crossfire. yes you will be down grading in a way but you should get more overall performance due to you releasing the bottleneck.

but that is a guestimate as there are no firm benches out yet.
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January 15, 2012 5:47:00 AM

HEXiT said:
it will be swings and roundabouts m8, on some games the crossfire wont be an issue while on others it will. its always better to have 1 big card over 2 smaller1s but in this case there not that much smaller. over all on a cpu bound game you would get better performance from the 7970 but when the cpu isnt an issue like in bf3 the crossfire will win out by about 40 percent. would i sell up the 2 cards in this instance. yes as your current cpu is likely to handle the 7970 a lot better than it does the crossfire. yes you will be down grading in a way but you should get more overall performance due to you releasing the bottleneck.

but that is a guestimate as there are no firm benches out yet.


Well it sounds like the 7970 overclocks pretty darn well. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-hd-7970-benc...

So if I went i5 and the 7970, then my ram would definitely be the bottleneck. Haha.. sigh.. it never ends.
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a b à CPUs
January 15, 2012 6:30:58 AM

HEXiT said:
your running crossfire... best thing to do for that system is remove 1 of the gfx cards... you will gain overall performance because you have removed a sizable bottleneck created by the second gfx card...

seriously you bought what is a budget cpu and then threw 2 high end gfx cards at it... so you cant be surprised if it chokes...

you could swap platform to sandy but that would cost you 400 to get a board/cpu and ram that wont bottleneck both cards... so really unless you want to spend that kind of money your best bet is forget crossfire. sell the spare card or use it on another build...

oh and no amd has enough grunt to run both of them cards... well the new fx cpu's will but the chances are you will still have bottleneck issues on games that only use 2 cores...(which is the majority) so that would be a waste of cash 2... as would the 980 as your already getting more out of your current cpu than the 980 would give at stock and even if you oc'd the new 1 you would still come up short by some way.

you want good single threaded performance and amd just dont offer it. on larger configs.


taking one card out should not increase the fps. the cpu can only output so many fps and taking out a card doesnt change the amount the cpu can output. and if your saying that any amd cpu can run two 6950's without a bottleneck... no thats not right. in some games yes but in more and more games no.

HEXiT said:
it will be swings and roundabouts m8, on some games the crossfire wont be an issue while on others it will. its always better to have 1 big card over 2 smaller1s but in this case there not that much smaller. over all on a cpu bound game you would get better performance from the 7970 but when the cpu isnt an issue like in bf3 the crossfire will win out by about 40 percent. would i sell up the 2 cards in this instance. yes as your current cpu is likely to handle the 7970 a lot better than it does the crossfire. yes you will be down grading in a way but you should get more overall performance due to you releasing the bottleneck.

but that is a guestimate as there are no firm benches out yet.


i want to first say that i normally agree with HEXIT but in these last two post i find it very hard to agree with certain aspects.

first its wrong to say that BF3 is not cpu dependent. when setting my cpu to a dual core in bios my BF3 fps go to ***. yes single player is not cpu dependent but most people barely play that. MP needs a fast dual core.

second, if he were to get a 7970 with his current rig he is not releasing a bottleneck. the bottleneck is still there with that gpu. the cpu can still only output the same amount a fps its just that the single gpu can not output the same fps as the two 6950(thats debatable).

all we can offer is opinions though and in this case the 7970 will most likely be to much for your cpu. it needs to be replace because i have a single 6950 and your only getting 10fps more then me. thats a problem.

rough numbers here

cf 6950 + 965 100%
cf 6950 + i5 140%
6950 + 965 90%
7970 + 965 105% (maybe)
7970 + i5 125%

those are just very rough performance gains with different configs. bottom line your 965 is going to bottleneck you regardless.
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a c 123 à CPUs
January 15, 2012 6:41:45 AM

i said he will get better performance because he will not have a bottleneck to contend with... i said nothing about getting more fps... so please dont try and put words in my mouth...
you misunderstood a lot of what i posted, so maybe you should go back and maybe re-read it...

nowhere did i say "and if your saying that any amd cpu can run two blah blah"
the point you make about bf3 is irrelevant as hes using a quad core.. so the game isnt cpu bound in this instance...
dont interperate what i post, just read it as is.. there is no subtext as im dyslexic and that would just confuse my already limited ability to express myself in words.

jeez its like the ghost of daddigle has risen to haunt me... that guy would just half read and then waffle on about things that were never posted, but he thought he read.
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a b à CPUs
January 15, 2012 8:40:42 AM

Oi!
Crossfire and SLI still have the same problem. Al though there are two cards your system don't see them as 1 big rendering engine but as two individual cards where they will make turns to render the frames. One odd one even.

Now that we got that out of the way try this

1. Uninstall all ATi drivers with express catalyst install manager, uninstall all CAP and other ati software that it doesnt remove - use driversweeper to delete the rest after you've uninstalled everything.
2. Install 11.10 driver ONLY no CAP's or anything
3. Download RivaTuner from Guru3d, install RivaTuner, go into the tools folder in the installation directory, move the d3doverrider folder to wherever you please.
4. Uninstall rivatuner (you dont have to, but i dont use anything other than d3doverrider)
5. Run D3D overrider, click the + button, navigate to your origin folder, find bf3 open beta and add bf3.exe and click open. After that you'll see BF3.exe in the list, click it and force vsync ON and turn triple buffering OFF. (place in startup folder afterwards)
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a b à CPUs
January 15, 2012 12:31:59 PM

Personaly i would sell both 6950s and buy a single 7970 to avoid the dreaded micro stutter, then id buy either a 1090T or 1100T and OC it to at least 4.0ghz, this either saves you money or if you can afford it jump ship to intel empire, 2500k,Z68 combo.
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a b à CPUs
January 15, 2012 4:41:18 PM

1 when using the phase releasing a bottleneck most people would associate that with an increase in performance ie fps

2 bf3 is still cpu dependent with a quad core. On MP i see improvement to 4.0 on a SB.

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