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What exactly IS bottlenecking?

Last response: in CPUs
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August 13, 2012 3:01:26 AM

Sup fellas.. i'm asking all of you why exactly bottlenecking is such a big deal when it comes to gaming. i thought that video cards were the main factor in gaming. in fact, some people say that it is 75% video and and 25% CPU. I'm here for an up-forward answer.

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a c 78 à CPUs
a b 4 Gaming
a b U Graphics card
August 13, 2012 3:20:50 AM

Bottlenecking in terms of gaming is when either the CPU or video card is not a good match for one another.

For example: Lets say you have a GT430 video card and a 2500K CPU. This is a very powerful CPU with a very weak video card. The video card would be bottlenecking the CPU because its not a good balance, frame rates in games would be unplayable at anything above low detail settings even though you have a powerful CPU.

This situation can be reversed when the CPU is not powerful enough for the video card, thus the CPU will be bottlenecking the video card.

Bottlenecks may be large or small, depending on how out of proportion the CPU is to the video card, what game you're playing, at what resolution, detail settings, etc.

You're right generally video cards are the main factor in gaming, but that doesn't mean its a good idea to pair up a 5 year old Athlon processor with a GTX 670. Its basically a rule of thumb, because games can vary. Some games are very CPU intensive, most are not, this is why its said the video card is the most crucial factor. Whoever said its 75% video card 25% CPU, I doubt thats a scientific figure, since it depends on so many factors.

You want to find a middle ground, its not like a bottleneck is going to make your system blow up like a robot going haywire in a cheesy Sci-fi movie. Its not *that* big of a deal, but to get the best performance for your money, you want to try to keep the system as balanced as possible.
a c 82 à CPUs
a c 139 U Graphics card
August 13, 2012 3:27:43 AM

Bottlenecking is an issue mainly because you are robbed of potential performance if your CPU can't keep up with your graphics card(s). This is especially true with the higher end cards, why spend all that money if a slow CPU is going to make your $500 video card perform like a $300 or lower card.

In any case, no single GPU will be held back by your CPU unless you have a very old, or very slow CPU, and are pairing it up with a really high end graphics card. It's all about finding the right balance, you don't pair a GTX 680 with a 1.6GHz Pentium Dual Core, conversely, you would get more performance getting a cheaper CPU and spending more on a graphics card, rather than going all out on a $300 CPU, and getting a $100 graphics card.
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August 13, 2012 1:36:17 PM

Ok guys
I think I see where you guys are coming from on the bottlenecking. It would explain why Arkham City is skipping frames and lagging on max settings. It has to be my CPU. So then what would your reccomendation be for my current rig? I just want to beef the rig up a little without changing out too much and spending $400+. Here are the specs:
HIS IceQ 6950 2GB
AMD Phenom II X4 840 3.1 GHz
16GB Patriot DDR3 1333
Corsair TX650 PSU
Seagate 500GB HD 7200rpm
MSI 870A-G54 (This Mobo only handles up to Phenom II X4s not X6-bummer)
Here's the thing... I DO NOT overclock CPUs. PERIOD. Ill listen to any suggestions but please do not ask me to OC a CPU. Aside from that, any input is appreciated. Thanks!
August 13, 2012 2:11:36 PM

That Phenom II model can't be overclocked well anyway, so it doesn't apply to you. And yes it's kinda old and not that fast compared with today's offers.

However, you have a decent balance right now between the GPU and CPU, but that game simply can't be run on your configuration at max settings. Arkham City uses a lot of physics and the CPU isn't fast enough for max.... just lower some settings which apply mostly to the CPU and you'll be fine (physics, shadows, particles).
a b à CPUs
a b U Graphics card
August 13, 2012 2:14:20 PM

sirashram said:
Ok guys
I think I see where you guys are coming from on the bottlenecking. It would explain why Arkham City is skipping frames and lagging on max settings. It has to be my CPU. So then what would your reccomendation be for my current rig? I just want to beef the rig up a little without changing out too much and spending $400+. Here are the specs:
HIS IceQ 6950 2GB
AMD Phenom II X4 840 3.1 GHz
16GB Patriot DDR3 1333
Corsair TX650 PSU
Seagate 500GB HD 7200rpm
MSI 870A-G54 (This Mobo only handles up to Phenom II X4s not X6-bummer)
Here's the thing... I DO NOT overclock CPUs. PERIOD. Ill listen to any suggestions but please do not ask me to OC a CPU. Aside from that, any input is appreciated. Thanks!


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