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7970/680 Bottleneck

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 27, 2012 10:40:28 AM

I'm looking to upgrade to either the GTX680, or HD7970 soon, and was wondering how much, if anything, my CPU may bottleneck either card.

My specs,

Q9550 @ 3.66ghz
Dominator 4gb ram, 1066mhz, 4,4,4,12
LanParty x48-utr
60gb OCZ Vertex 3

More about : 7970 680 bottleneck

March 27, 2012 11:15:32 AM

Massive overkill video cards, I wouldn't buy either of them at current prices.

What's your Power Supply wattage is always the next question.

4 year old motherboard/chipset might be factor, but those cards are so high end, I'd be going for upgrades on that stuff depending on your video card currently in use, first.
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March 27, 2012 11:23:45 AM

GTX 680 all the way. Q9550 is a powerful quad, but this generation is quite old now. atleast consider upgrading to 2500k to match this behemoth of a card
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March 27, 2012 11:28:58 AM

Since Q9550 cant handle it even on OC, can a i3 2120 handle it? guess not since the performance is right under Q9550... Im pretty sure you can get the maximum performance at 3.8GHz/4.0GHz with PCIe 2.0 16x...
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March 27, 2012 11:33:07 AM

Get a 7970, clock for clock its up there with a 680 GTX, overclocks higher and less gimmicky - just wait for the price to drop a bit.

Your CPU is ok. Most games like BF3 etc are so GPU heavy its a non-issue really.
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March 27, 2012 11:57:18 AM

Maximus_Delta said:
Get a 7970, clock for clock its up there with a 680 GTX, overclocks higher and less gimmicky - just wait for the price to drop a bit.

Your CPU is ok. Most games like BF3 etc are so GPU heavy its a non-issue really.


With today prices GTX 680 should be a smarter choice. It's a little bit faster, a little bit quieter, and a nice 50 dollars cheaper (if you can find one in stock).
Historically Nvidia drivers deliver faster compatibilities with new games, they gets workarounds faster too (Skyrim took many months to correct AMD Crossfire performance for example if I'm not mistaken).

GTX 680 also have an automatic OC, just like Intel Sandybridge and AMD Bulldozer that accelerates the GPU Core within the GPU TDP thermal limit (some tests in Tomshardware showed the card can go up to 1215mhz), this technic is open for improvements through.

Technically speaking I think the GTX 680 is nicier than the HD7970.
However, if you do need some computational power, like double precision calculations, go for AMD HD7970. If you don't know WTH I talking about, then surely you don't need it :) 
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March 27, 2012 11:58:35 AM

legendkiller said:
Since Q9550 cant handle it even on OC, can a i3 2120 handle it? guess not since the performance is right under Q9550... Im pretty sure you can get the maximum performance at 3.8GHz/4.0GHz with PCIe 2.0 16x...


Get a new CPU first. An i5 2500k. The i3's limits lie around the 6950/560 ti. GTX 680 or 7970 will be severely bottlenecked.
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March 27, 2012 12:06:04 PM

Yeah, even though that CPU is old its still a powerhouse to drive any of the modern generation GPU's near to there limits. Since you overclocked the CPU to 3.6ghz you wont face any serious bottlenecks with the CPU anyway. So you can upgrade to a GTX680 or Radeon 7970 as per your wish. But for current prices of that cards is it worth spending $500++ ??. I may have gone with a GTX 580 due to its recent price cuts. You can also consider RadeonHD 7870 as well...................
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March 27, 2012 12:53:01 PM

GTX680 is a sweet card!

You can run it with a 550W PSU. 2 -6pin connectors

50 bucks cheaper then ATI's 7970, and anywhere from 5-40% faster. Just wait until Nvidia pushes out more refined drivers.. the card will be unstoppable. Max load temps are on the low sides of 70C.. fantastic.. my 480 loads at 91C !!!

Also, if you like quiet. ITs a very silent card from what Ive been told.

+1 680
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March 27, 2012 12:54:03 PM

I'm currently using a corsair 750hx PSU, and using 2 HD 5850's in CF, just not liking their performance at the moment. Should be able to sell them for around $150 each, so the upgrade isn't going to cost that much. I'm planning on upgrading the rest of the PC when I get my Tax return, just waiting for the new series of Intel Chips to come out before I do.
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March 27, 2012 1:02:16 PM

i5-2500K is probably gonna be the best bang for the buck for quite a while. Performance/Price wise. Eats up anything I can toss at it..
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March 27, 2012 1:02:19 PM

Here is a comparison for Phenom ii vs Core 2. Clock for clock, core 2 quad slightly beats it. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/49?vs=80. So your CPU will probably be at about 3.8GHz - 4.0 GHz Phenom. I wouldn't use a 4.0GHz phenom for anything higher than a GTX 570/Radeon HD 6970. Maybe GTX 580.
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March 27, 2012 2:37:22 PM

Badfinger said:
Massive overkill video cards, I wouldn't buy either of them at current prices.

I'm currently using 3 x 1080p monitors for most games (BF3, Skyrim etc) and I like to run things at Ultra, not medium, so it's not really overkill, and tbh, my current 5850 CF setup isn't really handling it anymore. The 5000 series chokes up like an asthmatic smoker when you throw high detail shadow or tessellation at it, and it's becoming a nuisance. And irrespective of the older chipset, it still has PCI-E 16x slots, so that's not really a huge factor. I'm looking at upgrading the remainder of the PC soon too, I just like building something with a good few years use, not just taking the cheap option, and needing to upgrade again in 12 months.
On a side note, wasn't exactly looking for advice on whether I should get either the 7970, or 680, still need to wait for more info on the 680 before I decide, just wondering if the q9550 is going to botttleneck it to the point of the upgrade being sort of pointless anyway.
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a b U Graphics card
March 27, 2012 3:46:53 PM

tobyevers said:
I'm currently using 3 x 1080p monitors for most games (BF3, Skyrim etc) and I like to run things at Ultra, not medium, so it's not really overkill, and tbh, my current 5850 CF setup isn't really handling it anymore. The 5000 series chokes up like an asthmatic smoker when you throw high detail shadow or tessellation at it, and it's becoming a nuisance. And irrespective of the older chipset, it still has PCI-E 16x slots, so that's not really a huge factor. I'm looking at upgrading the remainder of the PC soon too, I just like building something with a good few years use, not just taking the cheap option, and needing to upgrade again in 12 months.
On a side note, wasn't exactly looking for advice on whether I should get either the 7970, or 680, still need to wait for more info on the 680 before I decide, just wondering if the q9550 is going to botttleneck it to the point of the upgrade being sort of pointless anyway.


Pretty much, yes. If you're running 3 monitors then I'd get at least two 7970 or 680. Or just the 7990/690 when they come out.
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Best solution

March 27, 2012 3:59:36 PM

tobyevers said:
I'm currently using 3 x 1080p monitors for most games (BF3, Skyrim etc) and I like to run things at Ultra, not medium, so it's not really overkill, and tbh, my current 5850 CF setup isn't really handling it anymore. The 5000 series chokes up like an asthmatic smoker when you throw high detail shadow or tessellation at it, and it's becoming a nuisance. And irrespective of the older chipset, it still has PCI-E 16x slots, so that's not really a huge factor. I'm looking at upgrading the remainder of the PC soon too, I just like building something with a good few years use, not just taking the cheap option, and needing to upgrade again in 12 months.
On a side note, wasn't exactly looking for advice on whether I should get either the 7970, or 680, still need to wait for more info on the 680 before I decide, just wondering if the q9550 is going to botttleneck it to the point of the upgrade being sort of pointless anyway.



Hey Toby,

I think you would be good with a GTX 680 and your current CPU configuration. Look at the scaleability of the HD 7970 with different CPU's from this article. I think you will find the answer to your question buddy!!!! :) 

http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-cpu-scalin...

P.S. Let me know how the GTX 680 or HD 7970 works when you get it!!!! ;) 
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March 27, 2012 4:27:41 PM

Hello,

Well after going over the post I think I would go for the 7970 in your situation. The 3GB of VRAM should help over the 680's 2GB VRAM especially at such high resolution (3x1080p). Of course maybe a CF might be needed to run everything at ultra/maxed.

Just my opinion.
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March 27, 2012 5:09:52 PM

I would rather look at;

Nvidia: Gtx 560ti, Gtx 570
AMD: HD6950, HD7870
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March 27, 2012 7:51:28 PM

Best answer selected by tobyevers.
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March 28, 2012 10:13:25 AM

Hey dude tobyevers!
I have almost same problem. My system is q9550 + P35 + 6Gb Ram + 600 Watt + 6950 AMD
When you will buy any card please give me a sign! :bounce: 
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a b U Graphics card
March 29, 2012 8:43:00 AM

BUY A 7970 WITH 3GB of VRAM... you need all the texture from all 3 monitor to fit into that VRAM to not lag your games... Since he already choose the best answer, his GTx 680 is ganna suck since it only have 2GB which a single monitor at 1080p(1920x1080) uses more than 1.5GB in BF3 at max settings... The advantage of 7970 is the OCing and VRAM it has, 7970 came really close to defeating the 680 when OCed...

This one explains the rest.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JObXrtAIwYI&list=UUXuqSB...
Skip to 8:30 of the video...
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