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Is my GPU bottle-necking my system?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 21, 2012 9:27:56 PM

Hello all,
So just as the title suggests, I am curious if my GPU is bottle-necking my system. Currently I am running a single MSI GTX 460 graphics card(not overclocked) with a Intel i7 2600 CPU, 4 gigs of RAM, 750W power supply, 500GB hard drive, and a ASUS Sabertooth p67 mother board. The reason I ask is because I am relatively new to the world of computers and this was my first build. So far it has been running great but I just want to be sure that I am getting every bit of potential out of my computer. I have even been considering buying a second GTX 460 and using the SLI capabilities of my computer. If I am bottle-necking or you see any other area of improvement in my system please feel free to tell me. I am welcoming any and all advice from you guys as I know you will point me in the right direction. Furthermore, if there are any GPUs or anything of the like that you would suggest I would greatly appreciate that as well. Also, if there is any additional information you guys want to know I'll do my best to help. Thanks in advance.

Colin

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a c 92 U Graphics card
March 21, 2012 9:40:35 PM

the gpu really is only used for games and if you want better performance in games, you can get more gpu power. Buying a second 460 would improve your performance a lot in games.

your system is very cpu heavy right now but it wouldn't matter if you are happy with your gaming performance.
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March 21, 2012 9:42:56 PM

I'm definitely not the most qualified to answer this but I would say, to an extent, yes. The i7 2600 is a pretty fast CPU and the 460 is getting a little dated. I don't think that you're in too bad of shape but I'd say that the best options for upgrading would be adding another 4 gigs of RAM for good measure and looking into a new card.

I recently SLI'd my two 560 Ti and I'm pretty pleased with the results. If you can find a 460 on the cheap and are conscious of your case temperatures I'd say go with the SLI. You just have to be sure that you're not going to be hitting high temps with two cards. Otherwise, check out the 560 Ti or even the 570, but at that point you're looking at $350-$400.
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March 21, 2012 10:11:31 PM

What games you are playing is extremely relevant to this question. I'm running an overclocked GTX 460 and the only game I play that I have any real trouble keeping at the Vsync cap is Battlefield 3--even that runs great on otherwise-Ultra settings and 1080p if I turn off their crazy Anti-aliasing Deferred setting.

By the way CDAHL, your PSU is wayyyy more power than your system needs--its enough for most SLI/Crossfire setups, really. You should be all set for a drop-in upgrade whenever you think its time. But I say wait a bit longer, maybe overclock in the meantime. The GTX 460 is still a solid card.
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March 22, 2012 12:38:20 AM

Hey thanks to everyone for the quick replies. I have been seriously considering doing the SLI but I don't know if I should invest in another 460 or just buy a newer/higher end card. From what I have read and from what mgrove91 said the GTX 460 is a bit dated. Also, to answer both esrever and oxiides questions, I just want a gaming rig that I can play any game I want on the highest settings possible. Primarily, I have been only playing RTS games such as the Total War series(especially Shogun 2 and Shogun 2 Fall of the samurai, when it comes out). Currently I am playing Shogun 2 on high settings but am constantly afraid of overburdening my single GTX 460. My temps are generally between 50-54 when in-game which aren't too bad so maybe I am just worrying too much. Still, like I said I want a rig that I can throw any game at and have my PC run it on the best graphics settings. In addition, I have been meaning to delve into other games such as Battlefield 3 as well as others which I know I will need a tough card GPU to manage. So my main question is do you guys think is my best route to take? Should I invest in a second GTX 460 and SLI it, or should I invest in a new and more higher end GPU? My guess is this issue mainly comes down to preference/opinion, but I still want to hear your guys take on the matter. Thanks again.
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a c 92 U Graphics card
March 22, 2012 12:50:16 AM

Well 460 sli is a pretty decent setup but in your case its probably good to get a new gpu if you want to play bf3. Should get something powerful with a bit more vram than a 460 for bf3.

Generally, the 460 should be fine if you play rts since those are very cpu demanding but if you start playing fps like bf3, you might want to consider a new card.

how much of a budget do you have and what are you expecting?
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March 22, 2012 2:44:55 AM

As far as my budget goes I would say I am willing to spend anywhere around $300-$400. Obviously the SLI would cost less but it is a matter of if I plan on playing those other games. As of right now, however, I do own BF3 but for the Xbox 360 so unless there is any major differences other than graphics perhaps it wouldn't be wise for me to invest into something like that. Maybe I should buy a new GPU just for the sake of saving me money and time in the future when I would need to upgrade? Also, as far as updated drivers it seems as though there really aren't any new ones coming out for the GTX 460 that I could find. This alone would give me the incentive to upgrade so I can keep up with the times, for lack of a better word. Any recommendations on any good GPUs? I can always look on Newegg as they have the best stuff that I have seen.
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a b U Graphics card
March 22, 2012 2:46:40 AM

AMD 7870. I just got one, and according to benchmarks, OC'ed, it stomps the 580. (some games)
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a c 91 U Graphics card
March 22, 2012 2:59:44 AM

err, wouldn't be so sure about stomping a 580... though I do believe it happening for a few games...

7870's a rock solid card. if the OP wants to go a little cheaper, I think even an 7850 will do just fine. though to be honest, as the owner of a 7970, I really wish AMD spent a little more time updating drivers, their cards can run soo much smoother than they do now...
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a c 92 U Graphics card
March 22, 2012 3:07:47 AM

you can buy a 580 for cheap right now since the 680 is launching or you can get a 7870 for better power consumption and being newer.
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March 22, 2012 3:56:28 PM

Hey thanks again to everyone for all the help. I'm thinking that I will be grabbing myself a GTX 580 or maybe the 7870, but I haven't decided for sure yet. Also, esrever's picture is pretty awesome and it reminds me of one of the most annoying aspects of the summer. Those damn bugs. Anyways, thanks again everyone.

Colin
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March 22, 2012 3:56:57 PM

Best answer selected by CDAHL.
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