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GTX 670 bottleneck by 980 phenom ii cpu?

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May 30, 2012 10:41:36 PM

I was just wondering if there would be any issues with the setup listed below upgrading to a GTX 670.

MSI 790FX-GD70 high end mobo with only PCI-e 2.0
AMD Phenom ii 980 black edition
16GB DDR3 AMD memory at 1600 clock (o-c for this board)
boot SSD and HDD storage arrangement
730w PSU

I know this board also supports ATI/AMD GPUs natively but was always a fan of Nvidia and didn't realize till after purchase that this mobo was only cross-fire-X ready and not SLI.

Setup is 2 years old and currently on a 9800gt (did a lot more CPU based stuff till recently and now getting into gaming again).

I'd love to hear any comments on the upgrade to 670 and also about my system as a whole (this was my first build).

Thanks! :hello: 
May 30, 2012 11:11:19 PM

i see no problem. pci express 3.0 gives no notable framerate gain that i'm aware of. an intel cpu may give you a few more frames in certain games, but it wouldn't keep me from getting a 670 with my phenom II
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a b Î Nvidia
May 30, 2012 11:16:52 PM

I agree.
Games vary significantly in the ratio of GPU to CPU usage.

While a better CPU would provide better frame rates much of the time, that doesn't necessarily mean every game would be bottlenecked by the CPU.

Since your gaming experience should be quite good by adding a GTX670 it might be hard to recommend also upgrading the motherboard and CPU (and thus Windows as well).

*You could buy the GTX670 and compare the benchmarks to those online to see what kind of advantage you'd get by upgrading then decide.

**I strongly recommend the Asus DirectCU II GTX670.

other:
- there is a stutter issue which affects an unknown percentage of systems. It is currently being fixed and tested and should be made available in JUNE 2012's driver refresh.
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May 30, 2012 11:19:45 PM

The Phenom II 980 would bottle-neck the GTX 670 in many games. Overclock it past 4GHz and you can alleviate the bottleneck. In non-CPU heavy games, it should be fine, but don't expect good results in CPU-dependent games. PCIe 2.0 won't be a problem for you. So long as a card like a GTX 670, Radeon 7970, or GTX 680 has at least 8GB/s of PCIe bandwidth, they won't be bottle-necked by the PCIe lanes and version. Basically, if not for he CPU being a problem, two Radeon 7970s would be fine in your system. However, a GTX 690 might be problematic for you, but you should not have problems related to the PCIe with one GTX 670.

@doct3rphil

Cards such as the GTX 670, GTX 680, and Radeon 7970 are bottle-necked by varying amounts (depending on the game and settings) until they have at least 8GB/s of PCIe bandwidth. That means a PCIe 2.0 x16 connection, PCIe x8 connection, or a PCIe 3.0 x16 connection will not bottle-neck them. The version of PCIe and the amount of lanes does matter in extreme situations.
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a b Î Nvidia
May 31, 2012 12:13:58 AM

What's your monitor's resolution? What games do u intend to play?
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May 31, 2012 12:15:18 AM

Thanks so much for the feedback guys!

I will likely be getting the 670 (was already looking at the Asus :D  ) and going to start seeing about that overclock on the CPU in the meantime.

Thanks so much for these comments so far and hope to hear a few more!
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May 31, 2012 12:20:45 AM

ilysaml said:
What's your monitor's resolution? What games do u intend to play?

1680x1050 22" LCD but have been thinking of just ballin' out on a 30" 2560x1440 or x1600 solution. In my original post I mentioned that I haven't been a huge gamer till recently and thus the big push for performance.

As to what games I will be playing, I can't say for sure. With my current setup all I have been playing are games like WoT and Tribes Ascend, but that's because I could not get adequate performance with 9800gt. The last AAA title game I bought was CoD WaW and it even preformed mediocre on this rig. So once I get up and running likely spending time with games like BF3 and Crysis 2.
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a b Î Nvidia
May 31, 2012 12:29:49 AM

OCing the CPU is a useless idea, and all the Phenom IIs hit 4.1/4.2 @ max even with a custom cooling and those clocks don't add a difference in gaming performance.

Basically it depends on the title you're gonna play and gaming resolution, in 1080P and above resolutions more work is done by the GPU but it's a common issue that all AMD CPUs are a bottleneck in CPU intensive games (RPG games) such as Skyrim, WOW.

In GPU intensive games, there's no different between the $180 Phenom II 980 BE and the $1000 Core i7 3960X, maybe 3-5 FPS more!
Here are some results with BE 965 @ 3.7 GHz



Here's the bottleneck, look @ AMD CPUs @ the end of the chart, it differs 10-15 FPS


So there's no problem getting the GTX 670, Also the 980 BE particularly is a gaming monster!
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a b Î Nvidia
May 31, 2012 1:41:14 AM

ilysaml,
It doesn't make sense to tell him he'll be CPU-bottlenecked in some games but also tell him there's no point in overclocking his CPU.

If a game is bottlenecked by the CPU then overclocking the CPU results in higher frame rates.

Basically, he'll have to test this himself by running FRAPS or whatever and comparing Overclocked vs non-overclocked.

*The benefit of overclocking the CPU will vary between games.
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May 31, 2012 1:42:38 AM

macman5187 said:
I was just wondering if there would be any issues with the setup listed below upgrading to a GTX 670.

MSI 790FX-GD70 high end mobo with only PCI-e 2.0
AMD Phenom ii 980 black edition
16GB DDR3 AMD memory at 1600 clock (o-c for this board)
boot SSD and HDD storage arrangement
730w PSU

I know this board also supports ATI/AMD GPUs natively but was always a fan of Nvidia and didn't realize till after purchase that this mobo was only cross-fire-X ready and not SLI.

Setup is 2 years old and currently on a 9800gt (did a lot more CPU based stuff till recently and now getting into gaming again).

I'd love to hear any comments on the upgrade to 670 and also about my system as a whole (this was my first build).

Thanks! :hello: 


I have a Phenom x4 980 and a Gtx 670 and yes as mentioned above it does slightly bottleneck the card, Once overclocked to 4.2 GHZ it made it MUCH better ;) 

Hope this helps!!
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May 31, 2012 2:08:03 AM

Ok, so to compile some of the results of my query:

1. The CPU may present a bottleneck in some games, but not all. If it does present itself as a limitation, overclocking to 4-4.2 ghz can help alleviate that issue.
2. The GTX 670 is not going to have a bottleneck via the PCIe 2.0 interface
3. The 670 is good according to some of the artificial benchmarks and game FPS numbers show it as being an extremely good single card solution on somewhat of a budget

The only questions I have now are:
1. Will I be able to upgrade to 2560x1440-1600 without taking a huge performance hit on the GTX 670 (to the point of frame roughness or below 30-40 fps) or is 1920x1080 (1080p) the way to go? (assuming I use max settings in games as well)
2. The card runs on dual six pin power, how much energy does it consume on both load and idle compared to the 9800gt I am upgrading from?

Any other thoughts or comments on this topic are very much welcome and appreciated!
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May 31, 2012 2:43:00 AM

If you move to 2560 you'll shift the bottleneck further away from your CPU and onto your GPU. At that resolution your mileage may vary depending on the game but check out the GTX670 review on Tom's. You should expect similar performance at 2560.

Re the power draw - 730w seems like an odd wattage for a PSU. What brand/model is it? Assuming it is of decent quality you'll have no problems at all.
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a b Î Nvidia
May 31, 2012 2:53:21 AM

@Photonboy
Mate, his CPU is stocked @ 3.8 Ghz not 2.0 or 2.4 GHz, OCing it from 3.8 to 4.2 Ghz will result in 2-3 FPS more, adding 100 or 200 MHz more doesn't make a good jump especially in games, maybe it will make a difference if he Winzip or encode a video.

But of course I didn't mean that there's no point of OVERCLOCKING !




@macman
1- I just replied this above, bottleneck will happen only in the cases I mentioned at first post.
2- No, in real world performance there's no difference between PCIE 3.0 and 2.0
3- The GTX 670 is Overkill for your current monitor resolution, if you upgrade to a higher resolution monitor you'll benefit from the power of this card. It's a beast!

That's the main problem, you picked a resolution that requires much GPU power, in 2560x1600 you'll need to SLI this card to maintain playable FPS in demanding games, and in this case you'll need to upgrade your whole rig, with CFX or SLI ALL AMD CPUs bottleneck in both GPU & CPU intensive games. So I guess right now 1080P is the way to go unless you have a good budget for a new rig.

Don't worry, If you have a quality branded 500W PSU it will handle it just well.

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a b Î Nvidia
May 31, 2012 3:10:36 AM

Dude, Check my specs.... yea you see that?. 670 and 980. Ask me anything you want. I have hands on experience
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May 31, 2012 3:29:48 AM

ilysaml said:
@Photonboy
Mate, his CPU is stocked @ 3.8 Ghz not 2.0 or 2.4 GHz, OCing it from 3.8 to 4.2 Ghz will result in 2-3 FPS more, adding 100 or 200 MHz more doesn't make a good jump especially in games, maybe it will make a difference if he Winzip or encode a video.

But of course I didn't mean that there's no point of OVERCLOCKING !

http://tpucdn.com/reviews/AMD/Phenom_II_X4_980/images/mafiaoc.gif
http://tpucdn.com/reviews/AMD/Phenom_II_X4_980/images/metrooc.gif

@macman
1- I just replied this above, bottleneck will happen only in the cases I mentioned at first post.
2- No, in real world performance there's no difference between PCIE 3.0 and 2.0
3- The GTX 670 is Overkill for your current monitor resolution, if you upgrade to a higher resolution monitor you'll benefit from the power of this card. It's a beast!

That's the main problem, you picked a resolution that requires much GPU power, in 2560x1600 you'll need to SLI this card to maintain playable FPS in demanding games, and in this case you'll need to upgrade your whole rig, with CFX or SLI ALL AMD CPUs bottleneck in both GPU & CPU intensive games. So I guess right now 1080P is the way to go unless you have a good budget for a new rig.

Don't worry, If you have a quality branded 500W PSU it will handle it just well.


Well as for the PSU, it is a Raidmax Rx-730ss. To my knowledge it is sli/crossfire ready for dual GPUs so one shouldn't be an issue.
I am just fine with upgrading to 1080, I was getting some feel as to the performance scale of the card in relation to the screen real-estate involved.

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a b Î Nvidia
May 31, 2012 3:58:44 AM

Higher resolution and details feed on your GPU, maybe in 2-3 years will be very powerful GPUs that make gaming a standard on 2500x monitors.

RaidMax isn't a quality branded PSU, but as long as it ran the 9800 GT well, there will be no problem. In full load you won't pull 400W from this PSU so you're safe.
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May 31, 2012 4:07:27 AM

Ok, that's what I need to know! Thanks to everyone who contributed and many thanks to ilysaml for staying with the thread and helping me out.
You rock!

I feel a lot more secure in this now, and maybe that PSU might find itself replaced by a 80+ model from someone like Antec, Corsair, or OCZ.

Anyway, thanks again for the help, this was my first thread on Tom's and it was well met and informational.

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May 31, 2012 4:08:22 AM

Best answer selected by macman5187.
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a b Î Nvidia
May 31, 2012 11:18:03 AM

This topic has been closed by Maziar
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