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CPU Bottleneck

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June 18, 2012 2:04:22 PM

Hello everybody!

I have an Athlon 64 x2 4400+ on a MSI 0A7C motherboard (it's a HP dx2250 desktop), 2 GB of DDR2 ram, MS Industrial PRO 550W PSU and an Gigabyte GeForce 9600 GT 512 mb DDR3 GPU. I would like to upgrade my GPU to a Radeon 6670 or perhaps a 5770 or GTX 260 but I'm pretty sure my CPU would bottleneck a Radeon 5670 not to mention the 5770. What CPU should I buy to be able to upgrade my GPU to a 6670 or a 5770? The socket is AM2 so there aren't many AM2 CPUs out there, and actually that's the biggest problem... I was thinking about a Athlon 64 x2 5600+ but I'm not sure is it worth upgrading from a 4400+ to a 5600+ and would the 5600+ bottleneck the 5770 too? :( 

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June 18, 2012 4:08:13 PM

Bump :bounce: 
a c 317 à CPUs
June 18, 2012 9:05:07 PM

You're right. The rig is in need of a good retirement home. But if you want to keep using it without any upgrade, any of the graphic cards you mentioned above the HD6670 will be bottle-necked by various degrees by that CPU. But all that means is that you are not getting the full capabilities of the card. You will still get a great improvement over the older card you have now. It's always better to have more card that CPU, rather than the other way around. Frame rate is mainly about the card. More system RAM would help too in your case.

Having said that, Is this your board and system?
According to the Quick Specs on this manual: http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/12605_na/...
...the processor support is AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core, Athlon 64, or Sempron processor

Try ebay: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=AMD+Athlon+64+X2+64...

Here's a hierarchy chart for gaming CPUs you can use for comparison: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...
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June 18, 2012 9:28:20 PM

clutchc said:
You're right. The rig is in need of a good retirement home. But if you want to keep using it without any upgrade, any of the graphic cards you mentioned above the HD6670 will be bottle-necked by various degrees by that CPU. But all that means is that you are not getting the full capabilities of the card. You will still get a great improvement over the older card you have now. It's always better to have more card that CPU, rather than the other way around. Frame rate is mainly about the card. More system RAM would help too in your case.

Having said that, Is this your board and system?
According to the Quick Specs on this manual: http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/12605_na/...
...the processor support is AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual-Core, Athlon 64, or Sempron processor

Try ebay: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=AMD+Athlon+64+X2+64...

Here's a hierarchy chart for gaming CPUs you can use for comparison: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...


Yes, that's my computer. Bough it a while ago while I was stil young&dumb when I didn't know about putting your own rig together! :D  So if I could get a 5600+ or perhaps even 6000+, would the 5770 or even the 6770 be bottlenecked by the new CPU?
a c 317 à CPUs
June 18, 2012 9:35:14 PM

Those would probably have very little if any bottle-neck from the CPU. But so what if they did? Why would you want a slower graphics card?
June 18, 2012 9:48:16 PM

Well, why would I pay extra money if that isn't going to improve my performance? I mean, if theoretically I would buy a 6770 and the GPU usage is around 70%, isn't it smarter to buy a 6670 for less money and have the same performance because the 30% I'm wasting with the 6770 is exactly how much the 6670 is weaker than the 6770 and I have 99% usage with the 6670. The numbers are probably not very accurate but you get my point. Or at least I hope so. :) 
a c 317 à CPUs
June 18, 2012 10:12:35 PM

I understand your financial logic. But I'm saying that if you get a card that is perfectly matched to your cpu and you get adequate frame rates w/no bottle-necking... why not get a faster card and get better frame rates even if there is some bottle-necking? In GPU intensive games, for instance, the CPU may not be an issue. A faster GPU will give you better frame rates in that case, than the more evenly matched GPU.

Btw, what monitor resolution are we talking?
June 18, 2012 10:17:17 PM

Well I recently bought a FullHD monitor. When I was in the store I was telling myself - Don't buy a FullHD monitor, you don't have the GPU to use it but when I saw this shiny AOC with 3 year guarantee and a DVI exit, well let's just say I'm preetty weak-willed. :D  It's an AOC 22" LED. The name is F22+.
a c 317 à CPUs
June 18, 2012 10:28:23 PM

By full HD I presume you mean 1920x1080. You will need more than the aging Athlon 64 and a HD 5770/6770 to run most games at that rez with mid/high settings. You'll be OK, but that's a lot of pixels and texels to address. Of course you can always back off to a lower rez for demanding games.
Keep in mind, if you are thinking of upgrading to a faster system in the near future, you can always take the 'too big' graphics card with you. That's one less component to buy at that time.
June 18, 2012 10:43:26 PM

Yes, 1920x1080 is the rez I'm talking about. I know that an ancient 90nm processor combined with a low end "new" graphics card isn't a great combination for a high end gaming computer, but I want to get as much as I can out of my current rig, and if possible to take some parts with me to my next rig. That's why I am going to listen to your advice and buy a stronger GPU like the 6770 or maybe even a 6790 an OC it up a notch. Anyway, I'm going for the 5600+ or anything stronger + 6770/5770 + 2 more gigs or ram! Thanks for the advice and cheers! :) 
a c 317 à CPUs
June 18, 2012 11:59:29 PM

One other thing. Moving up to the fastest processor for your board may require a BIOS update. Finding the latest BIOS for that older board may be problematic unless you know where to get it. Normally it would be the board manufacturer's or PC's manufacturer's website. Be sure you have the necessary BIOS version before you spend the money on a newer/later processor.
June 19, 2012 1:39:46 PM

About the BIOS update, I have some issues. I downloaded the latest version of my BIOS from HP ( http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Softwa... ) , installed it, but after the instalation nothing happens. I open the BIOS tools manually, click Flash BIOS but it just replies "Failed to flash BIOS" and that's it, it won't go any further! :fou: 
a c 317 à CPUs
June 19, 2012 6:49:50 PM

Hmmm... odd. That BIOS update is from HP supposedly for the PC you have. I wonder if they changed boards somewhere along the way. If you haven't already, run CPU-Z and let me know the board it identifies and the BIOS version it says you have.
http://www.cpuid.com/downloads/cpu-z/1.60.1-setup-en.ex...
a c 317 à CPUs
June 19, 2012 7:07:19 PM

Memory Issue!

Be sure your board will accept 4 GB RAM. I'm reading conflicting information. This document states 2 x 1GB maximum.
http://bizsupport2.austin.hp.com/bc/docs/support/Suppor...
As does this one: http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/quickspecs/12605_na/...
If you can't go over 2GB, it will cramp your gaming. There will be long pauses during which virtual memory is swapped in and out of RAM. And some modern games need more than 2GB to run.

June 19, 2012 7:49:44 PM

This is the conundrum I recently had, do I upgrade to the best CPU for my motherboard (which, according to Dell, is a Phenom II X4 830 or something like that) or just upgrade everything. I chose to build a fresh system and get a fresh copy of Windows and all that. It wasn't worth the hassle to gain a few steps in MHz and an L3 cache for all that cost without buying the most I could get for the money.
a c 317 à CPUs
June 19, 2012 9:11:46 PM

Wait. Backup. Dell? I thought you had an HP. And your board can't accept a Phenom II processor, anyway.

And worse news. It appears your PSU is only 250W is that correct? If so everything we've been discussing about graphic cards is out the window. You are limited to a card that receives all its power from the PCIe slot itself (75W).
June 19, 2012 11:19:46 PM

You are looking at occupant's post, I do have an HP dx2250, eeeverything is under control! :)  Ok, I have some new updates. Today, I contacted HP about the BIOS thing, I went to Active Chat or sth like, I got assigned to somebody and he/she told me that my current version of BIOS will support the 5600+ or the 6000+ (that's how far it can go) perfectly fine without the update. The thing is that the dx2250 hasn't been tested with a 64bit system and my OS is a Win 7 64bit, so that's why the update won't work. Even CPU-Z says the same thing, MBO model is MSI 0A7C, the BIOS is version MS7297 1.08, and everything is as the BIOS Tools said it was, so the problem is with my 64bit version of Windows. Anyway, as you said the MBO doesn't support more than 2 gigs of ram (just noticed that, didn't think I had such a crap MBO), so it's definitely not worth upgrading this rig. And yeah, the version of my PCI Express x16 slot is 1.0 so it would severely reduce the performance of my new GPU. And no, my PSU isn't 250W, I have a crappish MS Industrial PRO 550W PSU. I know it's pretty much crap quality, but it holds a OCed E8500 and an OCed 6790 at my friends rig, so I think it'll hold my next rig together which will consist of a Pentium G620, a cheap H61 board, 4 gigs of ram, and the GF 9600 GT (until I get the money for a better card). I'm 17 years old, I'm not Bill Gates, you know... I gave up on this rig when I realized that the board doesn't support more than 2 gigs of ram, that really got me. :(  So that's probably it about upgrading this antique thingy... Anyway, thanks for help, I'll be back soon with questions about my new budget "gaming" rig! Cheers :love: 
a c 317 à CPUs
June 20, 2012 3:33:19 AM

NESHO said:
You are looking at occupant's post, I do have an HP dx2250, eeeverything is under control! :) 

Duh... My bad. That's what I get for trying to answer a half dozen posts at the same time when I'm in a hurry. I apologize for my lack of attention.

You are on the right track with your decision to move up to a new system. Had your existing rig been able to use more memory (even tho it was DDR2), you might have been able to get some more 'gaming' life out of it. And you're right, that PSU looks a little bit 'iffy'. http://int.ms-start.com/MS-Industrialnbsp;power-supplynbsp;PRO-550-63.aspx Not much in the way of specs, either. The PCIe 1.0, while outdated, would have been alright for even the HD 6770.
But I remember what it's like to be 17 and watching every penny. The G620 SB isn't a bad processor and will make a good base for a budget gamer with a new card when you are ready. The slightly faster G630 made best 'under $70 gaming processor': http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...
If you have any questions I can answer, feel free to PM me.
!