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Am I bottlenecked if I upgrade?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 1, 2012 4:44:23 PM

I am trying to upgrade from my Radeon 4870 and I am considering the Radeon 7950 or the GTX equivalent. However, While looking for gaming benchmarks I saw that my CPU could bottleneck my GPU. Does anyone know if I will be bottlenecked if I upgrade to the 7950 or GTX equivalent? I am running:

CPU:FX 8120 @ 3.9 Ghz
memory:D DR3 16 gb @ 1333 Mhz 9-9-9-24
MB: M5A97 bios version 0901
OS:Windows 7 ultimate

More about : bottlenecked upgrade

July 1, 2012 5:02:45 PM

while the AMD chips are not the best for gaming, that's a pretty high clock-speed you've got there, though a more balanced build would involve a radeon 7870...

I still can't justify buying a 7950 at the current prices... I would either step down to a 7870 or step up to a gtx670. and given that you may have a slight bottleneck at the very top end, I'd go with the 7870
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July 1, 2012 5:23:33 PM

A 7950, or the comparable GTX580 would be a nice jump in graphics power.
Of the two, I would go with the newer 28nm technology of the 7850, or better yet the GTX670, or possibly the upcoming GTX660.

To feel more comfortable, try this test:

Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

No doubt, you will do better, the question is... by how much, and is it worth it.
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July 1, 2012 5:33:40 PM



Not calling BS but telling a guy a HD7870 'balances his system' and then suggesting a GTX670 is at best trolling and disingenuous.

OP, you're worried about nothing. Snag the MSI R7950 Twin Frozr Radeon HD 7950 and fuggitaboudit ...


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July 1, 2012 5:39:37 PM

geofelt said:
A 7950, or the comparable GTX580 would be a nice jump in graphics power.
Of the two, I would go with the newer 28nm technology of the 7850, or better yet the GTX670, or possibly the upcoming GTX660.

To feel more comfortable, try this test:

Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

No doubt, you will do better, the question is... by how much, and is it worth it.


I did this before as a test in Skyrim and noticed my fps did increase. Although I didn't know what it indicated, thanks.
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July 1, 2012 5:47:35 PM


At what speed are you running your IMC/NB?

A nice bump there will also add to your overall gaming performance.



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July 1, 2012 5:56:26 PM

Why not pick up an extra 1GB and higher memory interface(256bit vs 384bit) for $40?
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These features are rolled into the overall capability of a card's performance.

By and large, you get fair value for your dollar at every price point except perhaps the very top end.

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July 1, 2012 6:46:40 PM

Wisecracker said:
At what speed are you running your IMC/NB?

A nice bump there will also add to your overall gaming performance.


not sure, I left it as auto in the bios. Am I missing out on something here?
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July 1, 2012 6:50:07 PM

geofelt said:
Why not pick up an extra 1GB and higher memory interface(256bit vs 384bit) for $40?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
These features are rolled into the overall capability of a card's performance.

By and large, you get fair value for your dollar at every price point except perhaps the very top end.


Ok, I guess that makes sense.
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July 1, 2012 11:44:46 PM

LiquidIce said:
I am trying to upgrade from my Radeon 4870 and I am considering the Radeon 7950 or the GTX equivalent. However, While looking for gaming benchmarks I saw that my CPU could bottleneck my GPU. Does anyone know if I will be bottlenecked if I upgrade to the 7950 or GTX equivalent? I am running:

CPU:FX 8120 @ 3.9 Ghz
memory:D DR3 16 gb @ 1333 Mhz 9-9-9-24
MB: M5A97 bios version 0901
OS:Windows 7 ultimate


You're splitting hairs....if you want to base a system on bench mark numbers you will NEVER be happy. If anything why haven't you upped your memory to 1600 Mhz or higher ? Your CPU will NOT bottle neck that card. If anything the card will make the demand on your CPU less. I've run bench marking utilities and gotten entirely different #s from one run to the next W/O changing anything....LOL....LOL...so I un-install their junk and enjoy my computer. Over clocking freaks live for huge numbers. Then their PC's melt. It's just a waste of good parts. The human eye cannot see good enough to tell the differences.
Good Luck
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July 2, 2012 1:07:45 PM


LiquidIce said:
not sure, I left it as auto in the bios. Am I missing out on something here?


Zambezi chips are a bit less sensitive than the Denebs/Thubans, where for each 10% you increase the IMC/NB memory bandwidth is increased 3-4% and latency is reduced 3-4%.

With the Denebs/Thubans this would create quite a nice boost in gaming when over-clocked...



Your mileage may vary with your FX8120, but every little bit helps. If you snoop around the internets you will find info on OC'ing the MSI Radeon HD 7950. It's impressive.

Even if you are slowed a bit by the CPU, it will seldom be more than a few frames -- which you will blow past when you OC that sukkah beyond an HD 7970.

I suspect the new AMD drivers would give you a nice boost, too. (see Tom's latest article on the HD7970)





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July 2, 2012 1:35:12 PM

I'm running the FX8120 at 4.0 GHZ,with a MSI OC R6850 Cyclone and have had no trouble playing games on high settings.
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