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How do I tell if something is going to bottleneck?

Last response: in Systems
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April 2, 2012 4:33:56 PM

I know NOTHING about bottlenecking, I know what it means, but how can I tell what parts go with what parts? If someone has a link to a site that explains it very well that would be great. If someone could just explain it in short term that would be great as well, but I expect no easy answer. I would like to learn this side of building a PC because it seems to be a strong part of building high end PCs.

More about : bottleneck

April 2, 2012 4:55:58 PM

The general idea is that your PC is only as fast as its weakest part. If you've got a 3960K Six-core CPU paired with a Radeon HD 6450, you're not going to get good gaming performance because the 6450 can't keep up. Likewise, if you pick up an AMD Sempron single-core CPU and pair it with a GTX 680, you're not going to get good performance either because the Sempron can't push enough data to feed the 680. In both (extreme) cases, one part severely limits the function of the system as a whole. The better approach is a balance between the two. For boot and loading times, you're usually bottlenecked by the storage media. Even if you've got a 3960K, it can only run as fast as it's getting data from the hard drive. This is why SSDs improve performance so much. That disk bottleneck is removed and the CPU is fed more data in less time.
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April 2, 2012 5:00:16 PM

As far as I know, there isn't any particular website that gives advice on what parts would bottleneck other parts. It's kind of something you get a feel for as you look at benchmarks and build computers. You could try looking at the last page of the Best CPU for the Money/Best GPU for the Money articles on Tom's and try to pair parts that are in similar tiers.

Some obvious things you can look out for are bandwidth bottlenecking. This would include thing like powerful graphic cards in slots that are less than 8x pci-e 2.0, High End SSDs in SATA 3Gbps ports, or large RAID setups on older boards with slower ports.

Also, lots of games need 4-8GB of RAM these days. Anything less than 4GB is likely to be a bottleneck in modern systems.

Other than that,the only bottlenecking you are going to see (amongst current generation parts at least) would be pairing a high-end GPU setup (Flagship cards or SLI/Crossfire) with a Budget CPU or pairing a top end CPU with an entry level GPU.

If you ever need an opinion on whether something is a bottleneck, feel free to come back and ask.

Hope this helps.
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a b B Homebuilt system
April 2, 2012 5:02:33 PM

SO what parts suri do you think are gettign bottlenecked. it would help if you'd post your system specs
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April 2, 2012 5:03:18 PM

Thanks that helped out a lot, I read both, and both were informative.
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April 2, 2012 5:14:31 PM

Rockdpm said:
SO what parts suri do you think are gettign bottlenecked. it would help if you'd post your system specs


Okay I will give you a scenario;

Full tower
Asus formula IV
980 3.7ghz BECPU
6870 2GB, 256bit
CORSAIR Vengeance 16GB 2133 DDR3
7200RPM 16mb 1TB HD
windows 7 64
750watt PSU

WOULD the hard drive bottleneck the PC?

another;

Dell(I dunno the part brands Dell uses, this friends PC)

mid tower
Dell M/B??
core i5 2.5ghz quad
8GB 1600 DDR3 ram
750GB 7200RPM 16mb HD
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... THIS GPU, bottleneck?
windows 7 64
500watt PSU
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April 2, 2012 5:34:54 PM

In the First Scenario, I don't think the HDD would be considered a bottleneck in the traditional sense. It's obviously going to limit the speed at which the PC boots up, how fast programs open, how fast levels load, and stuff like that. It isn't going to limit your frame rates becuase once the information is loaded into the RAM (of which there is an abundant supply) the bottleneck is removed.

For the 2nd Scenario, I'm at work and I can't open the link but an i5 should be able to handle almost any modern video card. Especially at higher resolutions (Higher resolution monitors are harder on the GPU than the CPU)
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April 2, 2012 5:38:42 PM

subasteve5800 said:
In the First Scenario, I don't think the HDD would be considered a bottleneck in the traditional sense. It's obviously going to limit the speed at which the PC boots up, how fast programs open, how fast levels load, and stuff like that. It isn't going to limit your frame rates becuase once the information is loaded into the RAM (of which there is an abundant supply) the bottleneck is removed.

For the 2nd Scenario, I'm at work and I can't open the link but an i5 should be able to handle almost any modern video card. Especially at higher resolutions (Higher resolution monitors are harder on the GPU than the CPU)



EVGA DS Superclocked 015-P3-1587-RX GeForce GTX 580 (Fermi) 1536MB 384-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card That's the GPU in the link.
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April 2, 2012 5:44:54 PM

The i5 should be able to handle that GPU without bottlenecking but you'll definitely need a new PSU if you intend to throw it in an old Dell system. Also, make sure there is an open pci-e 8x or 16x slot on the Mobo.
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April 2, 2012 6:00:48 PM

subasteve5800 said:
The i5 should be able to handle that GPU without bottlenecking but you'll definitely need a new PSU if you intend to throw it in an old Dell system. Also, make sure there is an open pci-e 8x or 16x slot on the Mobo.


Thanks
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Best solution

a b B Homebuilt system
April 3, 2012 2:54:06 AM

let's say you have this as a extreme gaming PC(this will be an example ok and i doubt most of them would work together anyway)

I7 3960X (Processor) Overclocked to 120.50Ghz (LoL)
asus rog x79 rampage (Mobo)
128MB team elite ram (RAM) single
Nvidia Geforce FX 5100 128MB Video Memory (GPU)
Mini ITX(any case well this part seem stupid but i'll just put it for the LOL)
550" Samsung HDTV 19200X12000 Resolution (LOL TV)
Razer Illusion gaming mouse (10 DPI)
Thermaltake Whip keyboard ( 20 key's keyboard)(10 hours life time)
Noctua NH-D10,000 (50"long, 50" wide) CPU Cooler
Plastic Chair with Leg on the right side(Lol)

just looking at the parts above you can already see a lot of bottleneck (things that doesn't work well together or in other words, it will be component which is making you lose performance)

let's say you are playing a basketball game 5v5 in your team you got 3 crippled player, 1 uses a wheel chair, and 2 uses those wood stick, and your like a 100000 star basketball world class player so then in that game on your team the bottleneck would be those 3 mice.


i5 2500K
msi z68a-gd80 G3
Nvidia Geforce FX5100 (this is the bottleneck)
2TB WDCB 7200rpm 64Mb Cache HDD
128gb crucial m4 ssd


on this system the bottleneck which is pulling the system down the level of the performance it should perform but since it's being pulled down, instead of performing A+ it's going down to D-
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April 3, 2012 3:39:53 AM

Best answer selected by surihtanil.
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