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Possible bottleneck?

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February 1, 2012 10:29:22 PM

Hey guys, i was on tigerdirect before and i saw a gtx460 for 150 dollars, and thought that possibly SLI'ing that with my 460 could be the answer to my (sometimes) low frame rates, i just want to make sure im not going to bottleneck the card(s), and that im not already bottlenecking my single card my specs are as follow

CPU~AMD athlon ii x4 640 3.0ghz @3.6ghz
RAM: 12gm kingston ram 1333mhz
GPU: Gigabyte GTX460 OC
MOBO: GA-870a-UD3
PSU: cooler master 80+ 550watt power supply ( i am completely aware i will need more wattage for SLI )
STORAGE: 1tb WD caviar green, 64gb OCZ vertex 3 (boot) SSD
CASE: NZXT phantom usb 3.0

Also, im aware some of these specs are not top notch, im open to all answers but id really like some middle of the road performance alternatives, because hey i work at Macdonalds and im 15 i'v manged to buy all of this but, i wont be buying a 980x very soon

(I'm already thinking the processor is the bottleneck for its lack of L3 cache, or the power supply isnt enough because the graphics card seems to max out to easily sometimes ) if you made it this far thank you for reading : )

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a b U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 11:06:14 PM

yeah the Athlon X4 640 would be the first thing to limit things.

if u could get hold of a Phenom II x4 9xx BE for a decent price

something like a 965 BE that would kick things along nicley. they overclock very well. friend is running his 965BE @ 4.2ghz 24/7 with CFX 5850's.
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February 1, 2012 11:38:45 PM

HugoStiglitz said:
yeah the Athlon X4 640 would be the first thing to limit things.

if u could get hold of a Phenom II x4 9xx BE for a decent price

something like a 965 BE that would kick things along nicley. they overclock very well. friend is running his 965BE @ 4.2ghz 24/7 with CFX 5850's.


Oh yeah?, sadly the stores around here are not big sellers of AMD apart from there FX chips, BUT i did see a Phenom II 945 in there display case, its not on the site or in the catalog so i assumes it's old stock and theres only one of them, would it be worth it, there selling it for 103 dollars(aud)

(ALSO i saw in the tags under your name you have a 1090T, what is up with that processor, i have been trying to get my hands on it, no stores sell any of the x6 series around here, and if i go to whole sale seller they say they cant get it in its too old : / ?)
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February 1, 2012 11:43:07 PM

jamethead said:
Oh yeah?, sadly the stores around here are not big sellers of AMD apart from there FX chips, BUT i did see a Phenom II 945 in there display case, its not on the site or in the catalog so i assumes it's old stock and theres only one of them, would it be worth it, there selling it for 103 dollars(aud)

(ALSO i saw in the tags under your name you have a 1090T, what is up with that processor, i have been trying to get my hands on it, no stores sell any of the x6 series around here, and if i go to whole sale seller they say they cant get it in its too old : / ?)


The Phenom ll 945 would be worth the upgrade. but idk if i would pay 103 for it, i payed 105 for my Phenom ii 960T, but if you want to get it, yes it would be a improvement. :) 
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February 1, 2012 11:51:43 PM

TechnicEclipse said:
The Phenom ll 945 would be worth the upgrade. but idk if i would pay 103 for it, i payed 105 for my Phenom ii 960T, but if you want to get it, yes it would be a improvement. :) 


i would love to buy a 1100t but i have a feeling if i dont jump on thes phenom cpu soon it will be gone, and then the lack of amd cpus for sale with end up making me buy an intel motherboard and cpu (lots of moneyz wasted)
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a b U Graphics card
February 1, 2012 11:51:50 PM

960T, that will be your best bet as far as phenom ii being hard to find, i'd suggest a SB build because you'll still bottleneck the two cards whatever you do on an AMD build right now, but since that will cost you more money than what might be worth it to you i stand by the 960T as your best option. Possible unlock of 2 cores and can get decent OC of 4-4.2ghz.
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February 2, 2012 12:03:42 AM

omega21xx said:
960T, that will be your best bet as far as phenom ii being hard to find, i'd suggest a SB build because you'll still bottleneck the two cards whatever you do on an AMD build right now, but since that will cost you more money than what might be worth it to you i stand by the 960T as your best option. Possible unlock of 2 cores and can get decent OC of 4-4.2ghz.


Thanks for your answer, im just curious, i know any AMD cpu i could afford or that works with my socket would limit the cards, but would i see a performance boost even with the bottleneck if i added the second card?
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 12:30:54 AM

jamethead said:
Thanks for your answer, im just curious, i know any AMD cpu i could afford or that works with my socket would limit the cards, but would i see a performance boost even with the bottleneck if i added the second card?

In my experience, and this was with a 4ghz overclock, the best scaling i saw was 75%+
Depending on the game you may see 80%+ but more often than not i was getting 25%-50%+ scaling due to the bottlenecks on AMD systems(I should point out that even the best AMD cpu will bottleneck two cards, this is due to amd's best cpu being a few generations behind). You may see added performance yes, but i also heard people getting such a severe bottleneck that it decreased performance in games that crossfire should help. They experienced stuttering, lower minimum frames, and microstuttering. When you are bottlenecked by the cpu you get a higher chance of microstuttering (even without a cpu bottleneck microstuttering can occur due to delays in frame rate between cards).
I'd say buy the 2nd gpu, get a 960T try to unlock and OC. If you get too much problems, you can save up for an intel build to get the two cards full potential.
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February 2, 2012 12:42:18 AM

Thanks for you answer, i have been thinking of buying an intel socket motherboard, and a 2500k, but itll take me a while to save, better start workin!
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 12:47:58 AM

jamethead said:
Thanks for you answer, i have been thinking of buying an intel socket motherboard, and a 2500k, but itll take me a while to save, better start workin!


Yeah I just went through that myself. It costs 350 for a decent motherboard and i5 2500k when I bought mine. When you get closer to that price you could try to sell your cpu and board, that's the route I went personally. Out of pocket i paid 150 + the 200 i got from selling my old board and cpu to make the switch. lol Not too bad in my opinion :) 
Hope all goes well :) 
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February 2, 2012 12:54:26 AM

omega21xx said:
Yeah i just went through that myself, it costs 350 for a decent motherboard and i5 2500k when i bought mine. when you get closer to that price you could try to sell your cpu and board, that's the route i went personally. Out of pocket i paid 150 + the 200 i got from selling my old board and cpu to make the switch. lol Not to bad in my opinion :) 
Hope all goes well :) 


How much do you think i could get for a GA-870A-UD3 rev 2.1 and Athlon II x4 640 3.0
there both about a year and a half old, the athlon probably isnt worth much, but the board is AM3 (outdated i know) its SLI/xfire capable, 4 channels for ram, sata 6.0gb 2 oz copper all these fancy features, actually ill just link you instead of typing it out

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=... there we are
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a c 92 U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 1:01:01 AM

your card is limiting you generally except in a few cpu bound games.
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 1:07:08 AM

jamethead said:
How much do you think i could get for a GA-870A-UD3 rev 2.1 and Athlon II x4 640 3.0
there both about a year and a half old, the athlon probably isnt worth much, but the board is AM3 (outdated i know) its SLI/xfire capable, 4 channels for ram, sata 6.0gb 2 oz copper all these fancy features, actually ill just link you instead of typing it out

http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=... there we are


You would want a 890x/890fx or 990x/990fx (asrock 970 is a 990x) to be honest an upgrade to an amd cpu won't help much in games unless they are cpu dependant.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/188?vs=88
as you can see the performance difference is pretty small.
The thing you really need though is like a said a motherboard with the chipset i mentioned, the board you are on now has a 16x/4x crossfire mode. This in the best case won't affect you too much aside from giving you slightly less performance, but the uneven bandwidth will cause microstutter more often and decrease performance when waiting on the second gpu to "talk" to the cpu and the first gpu.

Sorry misread you message, you could probably get $150 for it on craigslist.
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February 2, 2012 1:08:35 AM

esrever said:
your card is limiting you generally except in a few cpu bound games.


Oh, really?, so my cpu isnt that bad for games?
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a c 92 U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 1:09:41 AM

its not the worst cpu in the world. It should be sufficient for the 460.
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February 2, 2012 1:11:26 AM

omega21xx said:
You would want a 890x/890fx or 990x/990fx (asrock 970 is a 990x) to be honest an upgrade to an amd cpu won't help much in games unless they are cpu dependant.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/188?vs=88
as you can see the performance difference is pretty small.
The thing you really need though is like a said a motherboard with the chipset i mentioned, the board you are on now has a 16x/4x crossfire mode. This in the best case won't affect you too much aside from giving you slightly less performance, but the uneven bandwidth will cause microstutter more often and decrease performance when waiting on the second gpu to "talk" to the cpu and the first gpu.


i might have read this completely wrong, but it sounds like you think im looking at buying the ga-870a-ud3, if thats the case, no i meant how much could i sell the ga-870a-ud3 and the athlon cpu got
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February 2, 2012 1:12:51 AM

esrever said:
its not the worst cpu in the world. It should be sufficient for the 460.


But if im correct moving the the i5 2500k would be a huge leap in processor performance, or am i mistaken
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a c 92 U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 1:13:54 AM

yes you will get more cpu performance and generally better gaming but its not going to be night or day upgrade unless you get a more powerful gpu.
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 1:16:38 AM

jamethead said:
i might have read this completely wrong, but it sounds like you think im looking at buying the ga-870a-ud3, if thats the case, no i meant how much could i sell the ga-870a-ud3 and the athlon cpu got


Yeah, sorry, I edited my post around the time you responded :p 
Yeah, esrever is right, your cpu isn't really the problem in most cases, an upgrade cpu won't net you too much, but if you want to crossfire your biggest gain will be from going to an i3 or i5 and doing crossfire so as to not limit the two cards performance.

To reqoute my edit, i think you can get 150-175 for the two together. Since athlon and phenom ii are pretty much gone you can sell the cpu for what you paid for it even though it's used. Most places selling the deactivated phenom ii is selling it for more than it was originally so you can do the same if you find someone willing, check ebay prices and craigslist.
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February 2, 2012 1:49:52 AM

omega21xx said:
Yeah, sorry, I edited my post around the time you responded :p 
Yeah, esrever is right, your cpu isn't really the problem in most cases, an upgrade cpu won't net you too much, but if you want to crossfire your biggest gain will be from going to an i3 or i5 and doing crossfire so as to not limit the two cards performance.

To reqoute my edit, i think you can get 150-175 for the two together. Since athlon and phenom ii are pretty much gone you can sell the cpu for what you paid for it even though it's used. Most places selling the deactivated phenom ii is selling it for more than it was originally so you can do the same if you find someone willing, check ebay prices and craigslist.


Hey completely off topic, but i have a decent case around with a clear side on it, led fans, shiny black pant, with a 550watt power supply and a 300gb WD harddrive (sata) in it im look to sell that too, but if i put the motherboard and cpu in there, buy a gts550, 4gbs of ram and an optical drive and installed ultimate on it, how much could i sell that for, and how much could i get for the case if i sold it separately.
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a c 92 U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 1:54:12 AM

the 550 is worse than the 460
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 1:55:56 AM

jamethead said:
Hey completely off topic, but i have a decent case around with a clear side on it, led fans, shiny black pant, with a 550watt power supply and a 300gb WD harddrive (sata) in it im look to sell that too, but if i put the motherboard and cpu in there, buy a gts550, 4gbs of ram and an optical drive and installed ultimate on it, how much could i sell that for, and how much could i get for the case if i sold it separately.

It's technically illegal i think to sell it with windows installed unless you give them the cd as well, but you should be able to get 350 minimum out of that combination. if you're lucky you should be able to get 500-600 depending on who the buyer is. Not saying that 600 is an honest price for parts but some people would much rather pay around that for a prebuilt working pc than a bunch of parts. Like i said earlier i wouldn't sell it for less than 350.
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 1:57:41 AM

esrever said:
the 550 is worse than the 460


Yes, but he is looking at throwing it in a build to sell if i understand correctly :) 
I think i good honest price to sell it for would be 400-450. just saying 350 as a minimum since sometimes lower the price is worth it to sell if you can handle the loss.
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February 2, 2012 1:58:53 AM

omega21xx said:
It's technically illegal i think to sell it with windows installed unless you give them the cd as well, but you should be able to get 350 minimum out of that combination. if you're lucky you should be able to get 500-600 depending on who the buyer is. Not saying that 600 is an honest price for parts but some people would much rather pay around that for a prebuilt working pc than a bunch of parts. Like i said earlier i wouldn't sell it for less than 350.


Guess id sell it without windows then, thx man!
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 2:03:21 AM

jamethead said:
Guess id sell it without windows then, thx man!


No problem :) 
Hope you get a good price for it!
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February 2, 2012 2:30:41 AM

omega21xx said:
No problem :) 
Hope you get a good price for it!


wait wait wait wait, ONEEEE last thing, before i set my eyes on an i5, is that the best choice?, i dont want to get stuck in a dead socket again and have to buy a new motherboard in another year and bit, if i get an i5 is there still room to upgrade?
i should i buy a lower end i7 that matches the 2500k's performance
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 2:38:43 AM

jamethead said:
wait wait wait wait, ONEEEE last thing, before i set my eyes on an i5, is that the best choice?, i dont want to get stuck in a dead socket again and have to buy a new motherboard in another year and bit, if i get an i5 is there still room to upgrade?
i should i buy a lower end i7 that matches the 2500k's performance


The i5 2500k is what you need, there will be ivy bridge for the same socket later this year, so get a z68 and you'll be set, if you ever get a bottleneck on the CPU, these can overclock much better than most cpus, 5ghz is realistic and if its not enough you can upgrade to an i7 ivy bridge later. Your CPU and board won't be old enough to warrant an upgrade for at least 3 years imo.
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a c 92 U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 2:40:08 AM

the i7 and the i5 have the same motherboard. Also the i5 is much better than the i7 in terms of performance for your money. the i5 is the best gaming processor out right now, the i7s give no performance increase.
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 2:50:11 AM

This is true. The only reason I suggest an i7 later on IB is incase you want to get the most out of the mobo before you need to switch. You shouldn't need more than an i5 for gaming. The i7 does provide more performance in games but that's only due to extra l3 cache which gives no noticeable gain
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February 2, 2012 3:27:07 AM

Alright thank you both for your answer's, this is getting so off topic xD considering it started on SLI questions, anyway one last thing(i wanna ask you guys because you seem to know your sheet)

I have a gaming case in the corner of my room,( dont know the brand ) it looks pretty wich is what counts to most beginners, it has a clear side panel LED fans ect, ok anyway, so that case with these specs inside it

CPU: AMD athlon x4 640
RAM: 4gb kingston 1333
GPU: XFX ATI radeon 6450 1gb
MOBO: GA-870a-UD3
PSU: 550watts
STORAGE: 300gb WD caviar green
OPTICAL: just a standard disk drive, x16 or what ever standard is

what could i sell that for? ( id like to hear the bare minimum and the maximum ) in you opinion

Just to clarify, i dont have two of the same motherboards and 2 athlons 640's, i would just be putting them in that system to sell and then buy a new board and i5 with the money thx D00odz : )
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 3:28:51 AM

yes if ur building or rebuilding a PC id reccomend a 2500k

however real world gaming performance there is not much difference between that or a Phenom 9xx

there is almost 0 diff going up to the Phenom X6.

(i have a 1090T BE and a friend with the 965BE, no noticable performance difference when gaming or general windows apps)



If i was you i would keep my eyes out for a good deal on a Phenom X4 9xx and save the $$$ for a CPU & Mobo change down the road (quite a while)

i was thinking about changing my Mobo & Cpu for a 2600k or an IB CPU, but the current REAL WORLD gaming performance increase is not worth it IMO.
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February 2, 2012 3:32:56 AM

HugoStiglitz said:
yes if ur building or rebuilding a PC id reccomend a 2500k

however real world gaming performance there is not much difference between that or a Phenom 9xx

there is almost 0 diff going up to the Phenom X6.

(i have a 1090T BE and a friend with the 965BE, no noticable performance difference when gaming or general windows apps)



If i was you i would keep my eyes out for a good deal on a Phenom X4 9xx and save the $$$ for a CPU & Mobo change down the road (quite a while)

i was thinking about changing my Mobo & Cpu for a 2600k or an IB CPU, but the current REAL WORLD gaming performance increase is not worth it IMO.


Yeah i have decided on a 2500k, so now im going to put my motherboard and cpu into another system i have around,( i posted about it just before) and sell that whole system and by a new platform and 2500k with it
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 3:40:18 AM

jamethead said:
Yeah i have decided on a 2500k, so now im going to put my motherboard and cpu into another system i have around,( i posted about it just before) and sell that whole system and by a new platform and 2500k with it


Yeah, although with a single card you really don't need more CPU power except in CPU intensive games like Skyrim. When it comes to crossfire and sli the added CPU power really helps and gets the most from the cards. I think with the new system you mentioned which is just a change of gfx card, you could probably do 300 minimum and a good asking price of 400 is possible, 500 I'd you get extremely lucky but that's pushing things like I said earlier for the other system you mentioned selling
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February 2, 2012 3:59:01 AM

omega21xx said:
Yeah, although with a single card you really don't need more CPU power except in CPU intensive games like Skyrim. When it comes to crossfire and sli the added CPU power really helps and gets the most from the cards. I think with the new system you mentioned which is just a change of gfx card, you could probably do 300 minimum and a good asking price of 400 is possible, 500 I'd you get extremely lucky but that's pushing things like I said earlier for the other system you mentioned selling


Alright thanks man, i estimate 350 at minimum would still be enough for a decent mobo and the 2500k
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a b U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 4:07:47 AM

jamethead said:
Alright thanks man, i estimate 350 at minimum would still be enough for a decent mobo and the 2500k


No problem, if you want my opinion on a cheap quality z68 board with Pcie 3.0 and crossfire, ASRock z68 extreme 3 gen 3 is the best at its price.
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February 2, 2012 5:26:52 AM

omega21xx said:
No problem, if you want my opinion on a cheap quality z68 board with Pcie 3.0 and crossfire, ASRock z68 extreme 3 gen 3 is the best at its price.


Actually, ( yes i remember the talk about bottlenecking ) i have found someone close to me who is selling a gtx460 very cheap 130 dollars, if i am to buy that, i will still soon upgrade to the i5, but in the month or so when im saving the money, im just curious how will my computer perform with the two 460 even with the bottleneck, will it be like 1 gpu?, will i see a boost, will i not?
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a c 92 U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 5:37:20 AM

the 460 is $150 new, 130 isn't really cheap.
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February 2, 2012 5:40:27 AM

esrever said:
the 460 is $150 new, 130 isn't really cheap.


Not in Australia : / and i cant really buy off the net, i know i said i found one for 150, but that was still tigerdirect, over hear, they sell for 180-220, BUT still, how will they perform with the bottleneck?

EDIT: also how do 460's sli size up in a gaming point of view, are they still a good platform to game on, or are they a dead gpu
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a c 92 U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 5:46:40 AM

460 sli is still powerful and should be powerful enough to rival the more powerful single cards today. They should give comparable performance to a 580.
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February 2, 2012 5:51:48 AM

esrever said:
460 sli is still powerful and should be powerful enough to rival the more powerful single cards today. They should give comparable performance to a 580.


But under the bottleneck of my cpu, can i still expect an improvement, until i buy a new cpu?
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a c 92 U Graphics card
February 2, 2012 5:54:28 AM

depends on the game but I'd say yes.

what games do you want improvements in?
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a b U Graphics card
February 3, 2012 12:13:19 AM

Yeah, you'll see a decent improvement. It'll be a good upgrade regardless, depending on the game like esrever said is the important thing. some will see none some will see worse, but the majority that support sli will see at least a 25% boost in performance.
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February 3, 2012 3:06:41 AM

There are two pci-e slots on my motherboard, does it even support sli : /? doesnt mention it in the manual or website ( GA-870a-ud3)
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February 3, 2012 3:22:59 AM

omega21xx said:
No problem, if you want my opinion on a cheap quality z68 board with Pcie 3.0 and crossfire, ASRock z68 extreme 3 gen 3 is the best at its price.


is the asrock board SLI compatible ?
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a c 92 U Graphics card
February 3, 2012 3:24:32 AM

  1.  
your board will crossfire and sli.
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February 3, 2012 8:43:34 AM

esrever said:
  1.  
your board will crossfire and sli.


What are you sure?, my GA-870a-UD3 will sli ?, or did i read it wrong
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February 14, 2012 7:39:23 AM

Best answer selected by jamethead.
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a c 273 U Graphics card
February 14, 2012 9:30:04 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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