I'm going to assume my CPU is bottlenecking the GPU

I make the assumption purely on the age/power of the CPU and I would like to know if there is a solution WITHOUT buying another CPU - I'll happily overclock.

GFX - EVGA GTX 570 Superclocked Edition
CPU - Stock Ran - Intel Q6600 @ 2.4GHz - runs at 53 degrees under load (I've always been a bit wary of my temperatures), idles about 40 degrees.
The CPU has an Artic Freezer Pro 7 cooler.

So is this the problem? What is the solution?

Thank you for your help, if you need any other info just ask.

Games played: BF3, GTA IV
Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Asus P5N-D Mobo
4GB Ram
850W be-silent PSU
15 answers Last reply
More about assume bottlenecking
  1. Overclock your processor as high as you can get it and you'll be fine (assuming you get to 3.5GHz or higher). It's true that you would get SOME additional performance out of a more modern quad-core (as well as being able to OC it higher), but we're not talking about a massive difference in most games. Not nearly the kind of difference you see when making big GPU upgrades.

    If you'd like more support for that, feel free to look at the performance analysis articles TH does when new games come out- they usually break things out to see if additional cores add performance (you have 4, so good there) and then how much additional performance increased clock speeds have (if you get close to 4GHz you will be in the same ball park as more recent processors).

    Make sure you have adequate cooling on your CPU when you start OC'ing. Things can get very warm very fast if you're using stock heatsink. I'd recommend you run some type of benchmark (whether that's a formal benchmark or simply running a very predictable, easy to replicate part of the game) at your current CPU settings, then OC and repeat the benchmark at higher settings. It's very nice to be able to quantify the difference in performance. Cheers!
  2. I started with the exact same cpu and mobo. I tried to over clock the CPU but i have a rev B0 and those things dont over clock well. If your q6600 is a G0 then you should be able to push it to 3.0 by unlocking the cpu - ram fsb speeds and cranking up the fsb on the cpu.

    I would use core temp and set it to logging. It will not only tell you the temp of the cpu but it will also ussage in a % of total. The log will be a csv text file that you can read with excel.

    Run that while gaming play a round then read the file in excel. If you see all 4 cores are bouncing around 80-100% utilization then chances are your cpu is giving you all it has. If the CPU is around 50-60% then the issue is something else.

    Althought the q6600 is pretty old now it is still a great cpu, but it parred with 800mhz ram is most likely the slowest part of that computer.
  3. With an Arctic Freezer Pro you can push it to 3.0ghz or maybe 3.2ghz with a good chip. Its not a great cooler but its a tried and tested classic for mild overclocks.

    Answering your question though - Yes, you're CPU limited.

    And you will be until that Q6600 hits about 3.8ghz - even then you'll be limited, but not to the point where you're below the 30fps threshold.
  4. Yes you are restricted with the CPU you have so over clocking is the way to go. The Freezer Pro is a good little cooler but its not up to heavy over clocking.

    Take a look at this set of articles
    4 in total and quite informative.

    Mactronix :)
  5. deadjon said:
    With an Arctic Freezer Pro you can push it to 3.0ghz or maybe 3.2ghz with a good chip. Its not a great cooler but its a tried and tested classic for mild overclocks.

    Answering your question though - Yes, you're CPU limited.

    And you will be until that Q6600 hits about 3.8ghz - even then you'll be limited, but not to the point where you're below the 30fps threshold.

    :lol: Posted together :hello:

    Mactronix :)
  6. mactronix said:
    :lol: Posted together :hello:

    Mactronix :)

    Matronix is a cool guy and doesnt afraid of anything :D
  7. Thank you very much for your help guys really appreciate it!

    I'm not sure whether it's worth buying a better cooler in order to handle the OC'ed 6600 or would I be better at upgrading the CPU? What would be more worthwhile money wise - I am limited in money (student :() but I would rather buy the CPU if it would be more "money efficient". I've no idea the price of a good cooler nowadays....
  8. I would suck it and see for now. Keep an eye on the temps while you over clock and see where you can get to with the cooler you have.
    A better 775 socket CPU will be pretty expensive I would think ( have not priced one for a while).
    In an ideal world you would upgrade the Motherboard and CPU but as you said money is tight.

    You need to remember that Over clocking is not a guaranteed thing and as such spending 50+ on a really good cooler could get you zip in return.

    For that extra little push cooling wise you could add a case fan or two. Some people have even been known to remove the side and stand a small desk fan blowing into the case.

    Mactronix :)
  9. Argh...You have the 750i chipset.

    You aren't gonna be able to push that CPU very far on the 750i, so many FSB holes.

    It'll get you to 3.2ghz stable if you have a G0 stepping CPU I reckon, but not much further (3.4 is a possibility). Try that for an OC and make sure you check the temps. the Q6600 is fine with temps under 75C at load.

    I can get mine to 3.4 stable on a 680i but thats with a lot of volts and alot of cooling.

    If you have any questions about overclocking the Q6600, repost in this thread and I'll give you some pointers.
  10. Thanks again, my friend is just coming over now to help me do it (computing student, done it himself a few times before).

    It is a GO stepping one I know that much.
    Funnily enough I'm one of those people you already described, sides off the casem 9 inch fan blowing in (but not at the moment as I'm at home and left the fan in my flat!).

    Thanks again I'll let you know how I get on!
  11. On the asus p5n-d i was never able to get my q6600 b0 past 2.8. I was getting vcore drop so i pencil moded the vrm that seemed to help but i eventually gave up and got a q9650. I got that baby at 3.8 with nothing other than fsb tweaking. I still have thermal monitoring and speedstep on. Its sweet.

    THe p5n-d is a tough board to overclock on because the north bridge and the pci-e 8x-16 bridge chip are under that same giant heat sink. Those two chips get hot, its made worse with SLI, i have 2 video cards and a pci-e 1x network card and that heat sink even with the little fan asus provides gets to be around 80-90C.
  12. Right my friend's here and he is experiencing some problems.

    Settings so far:
    360Mhz quad pumped to 1440
    Voltage increased to 1.45V
    Ram kept at 800 (unlinked)

    CPUZ isn't reporting a change while BIOS is. BIOS states new speed (3.24GHz - weird) but once booted into Windows nothing seems to have changed.
    AI tuning is set to Manual.
    Intel Stepping, CPUID MAX, etc all disabled (as we thought it might still be trying to change the multiplier with respect to CPU load).
  13. Might want to start a new thread on the CPU board to get more targetted respondents.
  14. Like everyone is saying if you have the G0 stepping Q6600 you can push it a bit further than stock. I got mines to push up to 3.6 (some what unstable at times) but i generally kept it at 3.4Ghz. The temp will rise slightly if you have an adequate heatsink and fan. But for the most part you should be fine, the max tdp for Q6600 is 105 degrees. But I never got over 80 degrees under full load. Hopefully that helps
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