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AMD Phenom(tm) II X2 521 Processor (Bottleneck)?

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November 3, 2012 4:07:29 PM

I have a feeling my AMD Phenom(tm) II X2 521 Proccesor (2cpus) ~3.5GHz will bottleneck my new GTX 660 non ti.
Im going to have to purchase a new PSU already so if it is bottlenecking my system, can you recommend a new on for cheap?
Thanks :) 
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November 3, 2012 4:30:54 PM

ketsakunta said:
I have a feeling my AMD Phenom(tm) II X2 521 Proccesor (2cpus) ~3.5GHz will bottleneck my new GTX 660 non ti.
Im going to have to purchase a new PSU already so if it is bottlenecking my system, can you recommend a new on for cheap?
Thanks :) 


Have you tried it yet an if so what kind of performance are you getting? Before you go out and start buying a new CPU I would do some test to see if it's causing any bottlenecks.
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a c 152 à CPUs
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November 3, 2012 4:32:25 PM

Also what type of motherboard are you using AM2+ or AM3?
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November 3, 2012 4:48:21 PM

It depends on the game, some particular games are CPU intensive games and some others are GPU intensive games, the majority are GPU intensive games, but almost RPG games are very CPU demanding such as Skyrim and WOW, Also singleplayer is very different from multiplayer, in multiplayer there are huge maps, lots of textures and packs and a lot of work is done by the CPU, in such a case your x2 CPU will be a major bottleneck.
See the charts below;
In this one, there's no difference between a $100 CPU and the great i7 3960X

look here at Skyrim benches, you need a strong CPU to maintain high FPS


So you'd be better off with upgrading your CPU to at least Phenom II X4
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November 3, 2012 8:16:08 PM

@ 3.5 just add more memory if you have less than 4 gigs. good luck with the 660.
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November 3, 2012 9:11:26 PM

I have a Foxconn 2AB1 motherboard, not sure what AM2 is though.
I'm a heavy online gamer, and a big fan of ArmA2 so I was just trying to upgrade enough to get 30+fps on high, I do have a price range of under 300$ for everything though.

Edit: Oh and I dont have the GPU yet, waiting till Christmas!
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a b à CPUs
November 5, 2012 8:39:23 AM

ketsakunta said:
I have a Foxconn 2AB1 motherboard, not sure what AM2 is though.
I'm a heavy online gamer, and a big fan of ArmA2 so I was just trying to upgrade enough to get 30+fps on high, I do have a price range of under 300$ for everything though.

Edit: Oh and I dont have the GPU yet, waiting till Christmas!


Your motherboard claims it supports all X4 and X6 series Phenoms, however it says it only supports 95w TDP

Which means you will either have to get a Phenom 955 (Watch out when buying there is a 95w and 125w version too) or a x6 Phenom.

My advice would be go with the 955, it is unlocked too so you can overclock it to about 3.8 with a decent aftermarket heatsink
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November 5, 2012 9:10:16 AM

I wouldn't upgrade that CPU on that motherboard, to get the most out of a Phenom II you will need to OC it (especially for CPU heavy ARMA 2) that motherboard won't be the best to OC on and the 95W 955 (if you can even find one) will soon become a 125W or higher part once you whack the clocks up.

Save up a bit longer till you can afford a decent AM3+ motherboard and then slap a FX 4300 or 6300 in it. Until then just accept your CPU may choke your GPU a little and you may have to fiddle about with ARMA's settings to get the best you can from it.
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November 5, 2012 11:34:04 AM

Ok, I was ready for it to be held back by my other parts, will this affect my gpu a alot where it wont be much of a improvement from my current card?
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November 5, 2012 12:17:21 PM

Whats your current card? Generally you will see an improvement but just not as much as you could you wil likely see a situation where running around Chernogorsk you will see your CPU going all out and your GPU cruising at a laid back 68% usage (made up figure but you get my point).

To be honest ARMA 2 is a horrible game to build for it flat outs my CPU on both the builds in my signature (they benchmark ARMA 2 with 5 FPS between them using the GTX670). Get your GPU enjoy it and just save slowly for a meanigful CPU upgrade (and mobo) the GPU can then be carried over to it.

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November 5, 2012 8:33:55 PM

Right, I forgot to post my card, Its an AMD Radeon HD 6450, It can play most games on low.
I wish I could play Skyrim on at least low as it gets about 15 with everything on low.

Keep in mind I keep my resolutions on 1920x1080 and 1280x720 and I'm just too stubborn to go any lower than those two.
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November 6, 2012 7:32:51 AM

There will be a massive improvement. Just after getting your card make your next goal the CPU and mobo
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November 6, 2012 11:40:46 AM

Definitely what wr6133 said,

I didn't realise that was your GPU.

Forget about the new cpu just get that and there will be a hugeeeeeeee difference.
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November 7, 2012 6:35:32 AM

Best answer selected by ketsakunta.
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November 7, 2012 6:37:19 AM

Thanks for all the answers! Ive picked wr6133's answer as best!
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