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Is my FX-8120 bottlenecking my Radeon HD 7950?

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January 22, 2013 3:32:07 AM

Hello all. I've been having a (relatively) serious dilemna lately on my over build and computer knowledge.

I have a FX-8120 bulldozer from AMD for my PC. I just recently got a Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 (this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ) and it is performing relatively well, but from benchmarks tests I've read and charts I've seen from relative CPU performance I know it can perform a lot better not overlooked. I was getting 28-50s FPS during Skyrim and relatively same for Far Cry 3, couldn't even do Max Payne all the way maxed out above 30s FPS consistently

Also could it be my motherboard bottlenecking everything? I thought it was a pretty good MoBo for the price but again I don't know the super specifics. This is it: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

When I bought my FX-8120 I wasn't super well knowledgable on CPU performance, specifically for gaming, and just thought that more cores meant more performance, but lately from research I've learned this is not the case. I've overlooked it to 3.5 GHz but that's it.
This at heart is an AMD vs. Intel/NVidia question thread. I went with AMD stuff in the first place because of the bang for the buck. But am now learning that is also not always the case.

Basically I have a lot of questions regarding CPU and GPU things specifically for gaming:
Is my CPU bottlenecking my GPU? Would overclocking my the 8120 help at all? Should I get a new CPU? If so, should I go with the new Vishera from AMD, or a Intel (2500K or something?)? GPU-wise, which performs better? (Just single card on a 1920x1080 monitor)? Should I sell my Radeon and get a NVidia? Is my motherboard bottlecking my whole system?

I'm trying to get the best bang for my buck and make my system as future-proof as possible. Gaming is important to me and I'm always trying to get the best performance. However I don't have uber money so I can't go all out and get a 7970 GHz edition and stuff like that but u can save up and get a $200 plus CPU for the mean time and get other components later. Although if I do get an Intel CPU I will have to get a new motherboard all together
Another dilemma is with new parts from AMD and Intel/NVidia coming out soon Idk if I should wait or not.

Sorry for the ling post but this is important to me and want to also be well-informed

TL;DR Version:
Is my 8120 bottlenecking my 7950? If so advise on what I should do. Can spend $350 or below on advise provided? Or wait?

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a b à CPUs
January 22, 2013 4:30:01 AM

In games like Skyrim, yes, AMD procs run slower than Intel although are you using all high res packs in Skyrim?

Might want to see if your motherboard has new BIOS and update them.

FX don't really start moving and grooving until you get them past 4.0 ghz. My 8120 is @4.4 and running better than it was at 4.1. Definitely need to overclock an 8120, they have a sad clock speed ootb.

You can switch to Intel. But I'd save up money to see what Haswell can do when it comes out in a few months.

Spend money on overclocking first, you can at least carry over that equipment/cpu cooler to future builds.
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a b à CPUs
January 22, 2013 4:40:42 AM

Lol lots of people asking is my (insert cpui) bottlenecking (insert gpu)

Download msi afterburner. put on somthing like battlefield 3 turn off vysnc.
Check your gpu usage in msi afterburner if your getting 96-99% you pretty much dont have a bottleneck
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January 22, 2013 1:09:00 PM

Thanks for the info guys

I am getting relatively 90s for my GPU usage but it sometimes dips really low. My PSU I believe is in turn holding the 8120 back. I have this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

It doesn't have issues powering my whole system with 3 fans but I know it's very close to reaching its limit and don't feel safe overclocking more with only that much wattage. The 12V rail is pretty big though, but the 7950 alone takes up a lot. I have one of those coolermaster CPU coolers and keeps my 8120 around 20C idle and about high 30s, low-mid 40s when under load.

I do have Skyrim High Res Textures and am doing a bunch of other mods including ENB series ones and lighting, but I ran it before I modded anything and was still dipping to high 20s in FPS. I'll research the Haswell more. By the time that comes out I may have enough $$$ to get a new motherboard too, as I was going to get a new one soon anyway.

Any more advice? What about that new Vishera? Is watercooling really worth it or can I achieve relative cooling with another type of aftermarket heatsink?
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January 25, 2013 9:05:49 AM

Best answer selected by spacely11.
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