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Is anything bottle necking in my system

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March 7, 2012 7:44:00 PM

I think that my CPU is holding my system back but im not sure, I know that my cpu is ok but my GPU is very good. I am looking to get the i7 3820k but not for a little while. here is my system, can you tell me if anything needs upgrading.

OS: Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit
CPU: AMD Athlon II x4 645 @3.1GHz OC\'d @ 3.25GHz (will be going further soon)
CPU Cooler: Arctic Cooling Freezer Pro Rev.2
RAM: 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz 9-9-9-24
Motherboard: Asus M4A78LT-M
GPU: Palit Geforce GTX 560Ti 448 Cuda cores
HDD/s: 500GB 7200 RPM, 3.0GB/s, (8.5ms seek time) and a 120GB 5400 RPM + 160GB 7200 RPM in RAID 0 (gaming drive)
Monitors: 22" Samsung LCD (8ms response time) @ 1080p (Native res = 1360x768) and 19" Samsung LCD (5ms Response time) @ 1440x900 which is native
PSU: CIT 600UB 600 watt
Case: CIT Vantage Type R - 1 front intake (120mm), 1 exhaust fan (outtake), 2 side pannel fans (top intake, bottom outtake)

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a c 334 à CPUs
March 7, 2012 8:32:52 PM

Your pc looks to be relatively well balanced.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.
March 7, 2012 8:41:19 PM

geofelt said:
Your pc looks to be relatively well balanced.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.


I know my GPU is not a problem, I just dont want it held back by my CPU, I will eventually get SLI of my card and that will do me for a few years, how do I limit my CPU? %?
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a c 334 à CPUs
March 7, 2012 8:46:26 PM

derblainkris said:
I know my GPU is not a problem, I just dont want it held back by my CPU, I will eventually get SLI of my card and that will do me for a few years, how do I limit my CPU? %?


1) Back off the overclock.
2) In windows 7 control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state
Set to 70% and see how you do.
a c 334 à CPUs
March 7, 2012 8:50:11 PM

And... I don't think you can do sli with your M-atx motherboard. And, perhaps not even with your psu.

Actually, I think the better graphics upgrade will be to replace with a single great card.
March 7, 2012 8:51:01 PM

geofelt said:
1) Back off the overclock.
2) In windows 7 control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state
Set to 70% and see how you do.


I have gone there and there is no option, do I have to restore default clock to do this?
March 7, 2012 8:57:43 PM

geofelt said:
And... I don't think you can do sli with your M-atx motherboard. And, perhaps not even with your psu.

Actually, I think the better graphics upgrade will be to replace with a single great card.


REALLY?!? This card is better than a 6950 and compares with 570, a better card would cost like £400, and like I said earlier, I know what I have now but I want a 3820K which is a 2011 which requires me to have a new MOBO, and my PSU was a quick thing because when I built my PC I broke the original PSU soI went out the same day to a shop and bought it, I will probably get a 900w for if I want to still get another card.
a c 334 à CPUs
March 7, 2012 9:39:36 PM

derblainkris said:
I have gone there and there is no option, do I have to restore default clock to do this?


Strange, I have windows 7 home premium, and the option to set minimum and maximum processor state is there.
Reduce the OC then to the default.

GTX560ti and 6950 are comparable. GTX570 is not enough better to make any difference.
Whenever you upgrade graphics, make it a big jump, or you may be disappointed. I am thinking 7970 class.

Here is my rant on
Dual graphics cards vs. a good single card.
Perhaps an unpopular one, take it for what you will.

a) How good do you really need to be?
A single GTX560 or 6870 can give you great performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.

A single GTX560ti or 6950 will give you excellent performance at 1920 x 1200 in most games.
Even 2560 x 1600 will be good with lowered detail.
A single 7970 is about as good as it gets.

Only if you are looking at triple monitor gaming, then sli/cf will be needed.
Even that is now changing with triple monitor support on top end cards.

b) The costs for a single card are lower.
You require a less expensive motherboard; no need for sli/cf or multiple pci-e slots.
Even a ITX motherboard will do.

Your psu costs are less.
A GTX560ti needs a 450w psu, even a GTX580 only needs a 600w psu.
When you add another card to the mix, plan on adding 150-200w to your psu requirements.
A single more modern 28nm card like a 7970 needs only 500W.

Case cooling becomes more of an issue with dual cards.
That means a more expensive case with more and stronger fans.
You will also look at more noise.

c) Dual cards do not always render their half of the display in sync, causing microstuttering. It is an annoying effect.
The benefit of higher benchmark fps can be offset, particularly with lower tier cards.
Read this: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/radeon-geforce-stut...

d) dual card support is dependent on the driver. Not all games can benefit from dual cards.

e) cf/sli up front reduces your option to get another card for an upgrade. Not that I suggest you plan for that.
It will often be the case that replacing your current card with a newer gen card will offer a better upgrade path.
March 7, 2012 9:51:19 PM

well my gaming is out the windows for a while anyway now, I just tried installing steam on my RAID partition and my account has been hijacked :( 
March 7, 2012 9:51:34 PM

Thanks for the advice though
March 8, 2012 1:51:56 PM

Ok, I have looked around and the maximum processor state setting you were talking about I think is only on laptops
I have done a few benchmarks here are some results

GTA EFLC:
Low: 80FPS Average - 1024x768 Lowest settings
High: 36FPS Average - 1920x1080 - Max settings

Skyrim
High: 45FPS Average - 1920x1080 - Maximum Settings
Low: 100FPS Average - 1024x768 - Lowest Settings

Battlefield 3:
High: 46FPS Average - 1920x1080 - Ultra settings
Low: 121 FPS Average - 1024x768 - Low Settings

Crysis 2:
High: 32FPS Average - 1920x1080 - Ultra - DX11 - HD Textures
Low: 97FPS aAverage - 1024x768 - High - everything else off

DiRT 3:
High (Fraps): 51FPS Average - 1920x1080 - Max Settings
High (in-game benchmark): 55FPS
Low (Fraps): 125FPS Average - 1024x768 - Lowest settings
Low (in-game benchmark): 144FPS Average
a c 334 à CPUs
March 8, 2012 6:15:32 PM

Based on your tests, I think your cpu is ok to drive a stronger graphics card to higher fps.
Frankly, I am a bit surprised, but games differ in their required cpu intensity and use of many cores.
!