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Is My CPU Bottlenecking My GTX 680 SLI?

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January 16, 2013 5:26:33 AM

This is for gaming.

I have an AMD FX 8350 CPU that I use with my 2 GTX 680's.

I'm not too processor savvy. So I was wondering, with nothing overclocked, is the 8350 bottlenecking my 2 680's? I'm wanting to run every game at really high settings, at 1920/1080 at 1080P and I don't want my CPU to be an issue.

With my 2 GTX 680's, would Crysis, or Metro 2033, or Battlefield 3, or more CPU intensive games like Skyrim and Guild Wars 2 be hindered by my CPU?

If so, what CPU would you recommend with this build? I just wanna know for sure that my GPU's aren't being bottlenecked.

Thanks for any help in advance.
January 16, 2013 6:10:01 AM

Just to further my system information, in case it helps (again, I'm not too CPU knowledgeable)

16 gigs of RAM
Windows 8 64 bit Pro
256g SSD Vertex 4
a b à CPUs
January 16, 2013 6:15:04 AM

I don't know much about AMD CPUs but would say no. Here's why. As a general rule, if you have a modern and competent CPU then:

- CPU bottlenecks are common in situations that don't matter; but
- CPU bottlenecks in situations that do matter are rare

The reason for this is that in modern games, by far the most stressful activity is handled by the GPU. As soon as the GPU is unable to handle 60FPS, pretty much any decent CPU is able to feed it.

Your CPU will bottleneck your GPU at >60FPS but those situations are completely irrelevant from any practical standpoint.

Thus, a faster CPU will get you higher FPS in benchmarks, but this is only achieved by raising the ceiling (from eg 120FPS to 180FPS). But it's the floor, not the ceiling, that determines the quality of your experience and the CPU rarely impacts that (unless you have a really bad CPU).

As an aside, I also have a SLI 680 config (with a 3770K). By any reckoning this is a powerful machine. Nevertheless it STILL cannot deliver a perfectly smooth experience in modern games in all situations. There remain situations where it momentarily pauses for breath when rendering a complex scene and the FPS drops visibly. Eg there's a noticeable "chop" as the FPS goes down momentarily from 60FPS to 57-59 FPS.

That's my experience when running at the highest settings, 4*AA and 1080p. I tend not to enable 8*AA because the performance impact is too severe, eg FPS hovers around 50-53.

These limitations are all GPU related and getting a faster CPU would have no practical impact.
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a b à CPUs
January 16, 2013 7:35:32 AM

It's probably worth overclocking that CPU just to get the best performance out of your cards.
a c 101 à CPUs
January 16, 2013 9:31:51 AM

At 1920 x 1080 any CPU will be a bottleneck but you should get 60+ FPS in any game anyway.
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