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Can someone help me identify my bottleneck?

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January 8, 2013 6:26:03 PM

So here is a brief overview of my system:

CPU: Opteron 1354 (Quad, 2.2 GHz)
Memory: DDR2-5300 6 GB (2x2 GB and 2x1 GB)
GPU: EVGA GTX 660 (2GB)
PSU: Rosewill 630 W

I recently upgraded the GPU from an 8800GS ( this is a bit of an older system) to the 660 and I seem to be locked at a lower FPS. In other words, if I increase the graphics settings, there is only minimal frame rate drop, but at the same time the frame rate isn't very high. My mobo only has a PCIe 2.0 slot in it so I can't fully use the PCIe 3.0 capability of the card.

So my question is: can someone help me identify whether my bottleneck is related to my CPU or my PCIe 2.0 slot? Or something else?

I've read other threads where people recommend at least a Phenom II for a card like this, but I'm wondering if that would make any difference at all since the card is on PCIe 2.0

Any help is appreciated

More about : identify bottleneck

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January 8, 2013 6:30:57 PM

It is definitely a CPU bottleneck not PCIe 2.0 you will only see maybe a 1-2% increase going from PCIe 2.0 to 3.0 if anything at all. You really need a CPU + Mobo + RAM upgrade (and maybe a PSU I believe the one you have is a very poor one).
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Anonymous
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January 8, 2013 6:32:46 PM

PCI 2.0 won't make any difference in a noticeable frame rate performance. if you are getting the same frame rates between lowering and raising your settings then the CPU is holding back the GPU.
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January 8, 2013 6:33:35 PM

Pci-e 2.0 is not your bottleneck. I have that with a radeon 7950 with no slowdown.

You need to use the task manager and monitor the cpu usage while you are running the application. If the cpu is constantly 95%+, then the cpu is your bottleneck.
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January 8, 2013 6:49:53 PM

Definitely you're CPU and motherboard are bottle-necking you're video card, upgrade the mobo and the CPU.
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January 8, 2013 6:56:19 PM

Thanks everybody.

As for the mobo, I'm pretty sure it's compatible with an AM3 processor so I'm curious why a couple of you think the motherboard is a contributor
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January 8, 2013 6:56:29 PM

As the others are telling you its indefinably a CPU restriction. PCIE 2.0 Vs 3.0 is just not relevant.

Mactronix :) 
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January 8, 2013 6:59:44 PM

mkitchen said:
Thanks everybody.

As for the mobo, I'm pretty sure it's compatible with an AM3 processor so I'm curious why a couple of you think the motherboard is a contributor

Could you give us the motherboard model number? with that we could tell you what your best upgrade path for the least $$$ would be.
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January 8, 2013 7:00:13 PM

They say motherboard because if you upgrade the cpu, you have to replace mobo with it.

Your cpu should not be a heavy bottleneck. Check task manager as I said earlier.
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January 8, 2013 7:05:20 PM

flexxar said:
They say motherboard because if you upgrade the cpu, you have to replace mobo with it.

Your cpu should not be a heavy bottleneck. Check task manager as I said earlier.


That CPU is a huge bottleneck in most newer games... I mean its about 5 years old now..
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January 8, 2013 7:07:03 PM

@Flexxar

I believe you meant to say:

"They say motherboard because if you upgrade the cpu, you have to replace mobo with it, assuming you are changing to a different socket."

@OP What is your motherboard? Different motherboards support different CPUs. If you're looking for advice on what to upgrade to, this information will allow us to help you.
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January 8, 2013 7:09:39 PM

Derza10 said:
That CPU is a huge bottleneck in most newer games... I mean its about 5 years old now..


At least it was cheap :D 
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January 8, 2013 7:13:52 PM

Derza10 said:
That CPU is a huge bottleneck in most newer games... I mean its about 5 years old now..


It might be a light bottleneck, but it certainly is not a heavy one. If your gpu is pushing 60 fps, that cpu might limit it to 50 fps. There have been tests done that showed that you can run modern games with acceptable fps with a single core 2ghz celeron.

If he is getting something like 10 fps, it is very likely not a bottle neck with the cpu. I would attribute it to bad video drivers or ecc memory slowing things down.

Too many people see that something is X number of years old and say replace it. If you don't know what is slowing it down, you could be throwing away money. Take the time to learn how to detect bottlenecks and save yourself tons of money in the future.
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January 8, 2013 7:19:47 PM

MajinCry said:
@Flexxar

I believe you meant to say:

"They say motherboard because if you upgrade the cpu, you have to replace mobo with it, assuming you are changing to a different socket."

@OP What is your motherboard? Different motherboards support different CPUs. If you're looking for advice on what to upgrade to, this information will allow us to help you.


I didn't tell him top replace anything yet until we figure out what the bottleneck is. I was just explaining why other people are saying cpu AND motherboard. You don't HAVE to upgrade the motherboard, but the processors the people are going to recommend are likely not going to be old, unsupported AM3 processors. They are probably going to be AM3+ or intel, in which case, he WILL have to.
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January 8, 2013 7:20:33 PM

flexxar said:
It might be a light bottleneck, but it certainly is not a heavy one. If your gpu is pushing 60 fps, that cpu might limit it to 50 fps. There have been tests done that showed that you can run modern games with acceptable fps with a single core 2ghz celeron.

If he is getting something like 10 fps, it is very likely not a bottle neck with the cpu. I would attribute it to bad video drivers or ecc memory slowing things down.

Too many people see that something is X number of years old and say replace it. If you don't know what is slowing it down, you could be throwing away money. Take the time to learn how to detect bottlenecks and save yourself tons of money in the future.


I agree, but I have noticed the cpu (or at least one core) running around 100% while the GPU is around 30-40% load, also the frame rate doesn't seem to be related to graphics settings (fps doesn't improve much with lowering of settings)
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January 8, 2013 7:33:10 PM

flexxar said:
It might be a light bottleneck, but it certainly is not a heavy one. If your gpu is pushing 60 fps, that cpu might limit it to 50 fps. There have been tests done that showed that you can run modern games with acceptable fps with a single core 2ghz celeron.

If he is getting something like 10 fps, it is very likely not a bottle neck with the cpu. I would attribute it to bad video drivers or ecc memory slowing things down.

Too many people see that something is X number of years old and say replace it. If you don't know what is slowing it down, you could be throwing away money. Take the time to learn how to detect bottlenecks and save yourself tons of money in the future.


Not sure where you are pulling your numbers from but that CPU could easily be dropping his FPS that would be 60 ish down to 20 or lower in many of the newer games... OP could you give us a list of games you are playing or using to do your tests?
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January 8, 2013 7:35:33 PM

mkitchen said:
I agree, but I have noticed the cpu (or at least one core) running around 100% while the GPU is around 30-40% load, also the frame rate doesn't seem to be related to graphics settings (fps doesn't improve much with lowering of settings)


There are several ways to proceed. As others have stated, the easiest, but most expensive way is to replace the mobo, cpu, ram, and probably power supply.

Some things you can try first...

-pull one stick of ram and put 1 in each channel. Dual channel wont work if you have an off number.
-overclock the cpu to see if you get additional fps
-crank up the graphics settings until the gpu is the bottleneck
-if it is indeed ecc memory and you have non ecc memory handy, swap it out
-maybe replace just the cpu with a faster AM3 compatible cpu



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January 8, 2013 7:48:44 PM

Derza10 said:
Not sure where you are pulling your numbers from but that CPU could easily be dropping his FPS that would be 60 ish down to 20 or lower in many of the newer games... OP could you give us a list of games you are playing or using to do your tests?


Been playing Hawken and Mech Warrior Online, I feel like both are pretty decent tests, especially Hawken.

I tested with Crysis, I put it on stupid high quality and the frame rate didn't change much (still low).

Ideally I would like to play at my monitor's native res. of 1920x1080, I have noticed that lowering the resolution seems to speed things up even though the GPU load seems to stay around 30-40% in Hawken on highest settings.
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January 8, 2013 7:52:46 PM

PCI-E slots 2.0 vs. 3.0 won't bottleneck a 660 (or if that's the case, not by much).

That CPU however, should be a big bottleneck so look no further. The fact that your 660 is never used more than 30% probably indicates that it's always waiting after the CPU. A Phenom-2 would be an upgrade, but it would still bottleneck the 660. It's hard to tell how much FPS increase you'd get from a Phenom-2, but if you decide to go this road make sure you get the AM2+ socket version because it's the same as your Opteron. Most Phenom-2 on the market use the AM3 socket but I don't think it will work with your current motherboard but check your specs to be sure.

Unfortunately, to match the performance of your 660 you'll probably need to upgrade everything if you can afford it, motherboard, CPU, memory, etc... Maybe even the PSU (newer CPUs and motherboards require different power connectors). Right now most gamers get the Intel i5-3570K, but if you prefer AMD the new FX-6200 or 8150 aren't too bad either.
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January 8, 2013 8:17:37 PM

MC_K7 said:
PCI-E slots 2.0 vs. 3.0 won't bottleneck a 660 (or if that's the case, not by much).

That CPU however, should be a big bottleneck so look no further. The fact that your 660 is never used more than 30% probably indicates that it's always waiting after the CPU. A Phenom-2 would be an upgrade, but it would still bottleneck the 660. It's hard to tell how much FPS increase you'd get from a Phenom-2, but if you decide to go this road make sure you get the AM2+ socket version because it's the same as your Opteron. Most Phenom-2 on the market use the AM3 socket but I don't think it will work with your current motherboard but check your specs to be sure.

Unfortunately, to match the performance of your 660 you'll probably need to upgrade everything if you can afford it, motherboard, CPU, memory, etc... Maybe even the PSU (newer CPUs and motherboards require different power connectors). Right now most gamers get the Intel i5-3570K, but if you prefer AMD the new FX-6200 or 8150 aren't too bad either.



I wonder how much of a performance difference I would see with a newer processor vs. an overclocked phenom II. Is the AM3+ socket that much better than the AM3?
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January 8, 2013 11:37:49 PM

Cazalan said:
That mobo supports 3.0-3.4Ghz Phenom/Althon CPUs. You can probably find one cheap on ebay or this message board.

That's a huge jump from a 2.2Ghz CPU.

http://www.ecs.com.tw/ECSWebSite/Product/Product_Detail...

nice thought but thats only for 95 watt PCUs; a bit better but will still restrict the graphics card. also it doesn't solve what increase in performance would be lacking by not going to DDR3 RAM.

the most cost effective choice is to get a AM3+ motherboard with DDR3 1600 and an PIIx4 or a socket 1155 intel setup. either can be done for ~$200

anything else is just pissing away money.
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January 9, 2013 1:45:49 AM

Anonymous said:
nice thought but thats only for 95 watt PCUs; a bit better but will still restrict the graphics card. also it doesn't solve what increase in performance would be lacking by not going to DDR3 RAM.

the most cost effective choice is to get a AM3+ motherboard with DDR3 1600 and an PIIx4 or a socket 1155 intel setup. either can be done for ~$200

anything else is just pissing away money.


The board supports a higher TDP than 95 W, right now I'm running an opteron 1354, which is 125W. Also it says on the specs that it can support up to 125W, so unless I bought a C2 phenom II (140W TDP or some crazy number) then I think it should work.

Unless of course the max TDP is different for an AM3 processor
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Anonymous
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January 9, 2013 2:56:20 AM

mkitchen said:
The board supports a higher TDP than 95 W, right now I'm running an opteron 1354, which is 125W. Also it says on the specs that it can support up to 125W, so unless I bought a C2 phenom II (140W TDP or some crazy number) then I think it should work.

Unless of course the max TDP is different for an AM3 processor

my apologies, i didn't see the PIIx4s wattage is in the third column i was looking at the fifth one labeled WATTAGE in the header . . :pt1cable: 
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