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7870 bottleneck

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December 2, 2012 10:10:02 AM

amd fx4100, OC 4.0ghz ***********
8Gb 1333 Ram
gigabyte 78LMT-S2P mobo *********
MSI Twin Frozr 7870 2gb gddr5,
550W XFX Pro PSU
1 TB HDD
HDTV 22' 1920/1080 via hdmi

Ofcourse when i started out it was just a budget build for entry level gaming, but now im upgrading bit by bit. I started off with the GPU + PSU, replacing random brand 500w psu, and my ATI 6450.

The 7870 and 550W , have made the wolrd of difference and ofcourse there is a bottleneck present.

So too unleash the full potential on my 7870, I will be upgrading my Mobo + CPU .

I'm not made of money so i would prefer to stick too AMD, so please i dont want people saying get a i7 2600k and z77.


***Price £70 *** Phenom II X4 965 - 3.4 Ghz AM3 Black Edition CPU , IF i oC this too around 4GHZ could this eliminate the bottleneck with my 4100 and 7870? Or shall i just get the new FX8350 Piledriver ***£143 ****


Asus M5A97 R2.0 AMD 970 AM3+ Motherboard is the mobo , im looking at which seems very decent at £68



So if anyone could shed some light on whether Phenom II x4 965, would be enough for my 7870, or shall i just get the FX8350.


thanks for your time and constructive replys are greatly appreciated

More about : 7870 bottleneck

December 2, 2012 10:20:59 AM

i5 dominates all FX Series. Get a i5 3470 or i5 3570k. i7 aren't for gaming.
To get the best out of your 7870 you need i5.

But you prefer AMD, so get the new FX 8350. FX 8350 will not Bottleneck because its new.
December 2, 2012 1:07:12 PM

OC to ~4 ghz the Phenom II x4 would be sufficient, as would the FX8350.

The 4100 is a Zambezi under the Bulldozer architecture. These were shown to perform worse than the Phenom's they were supposed to replace, especially when gaming. The Vishera line aka Piledriver made up the ground lost by bulldozer and is a much more solid CPU.

Either way you should see better results.
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December 2, 2012 1:19:07 PM

What makes you think your CPUs the bottleneck?? Before anyone could give you the correct advice we would need to know what type of games you play and what you use your computer for.

There are some games that use a lot of GPU power and very little CPU power, games that use a lot of CPU and little GPU, and games that use lots of both.

IMO a quad core CPU (regardless of make) isn't going to be holding back a 7870, you may want to spend the money on an SSD. I think it would give you a better bang for your buck.
December 2, 2012 2:03:18 PM

The 965 is only *slightly* better than the 4100, and not worth the money to swap.

What cooler are you using on your 4100? AMD's chips tend to hit a heat wall with OC'ing. Almost all 4100's can reach around 4.5 ghz with a good cooler, which would be plenty for the 7870. If 4.0 ghz is the highest OC you've been able to reach, I'd suggest taking a look at your temps first.

good luck!
December 2, 2012 3:55:22 PM

chromex said:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=17...

does this seem like a good deal? for upgrading my mobo + CPU + ram , im not looking too go crossfire and 2x4gb memory is fine for my needs i guess, and i play WoW, bf3, fary cry 3, black ops II


That setup isn't really much of an upgrade. If you're looking to get a better CPU something like this is a better option, similar CPU lower price:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AMD-Black-Edition-AMD-FX-8120-3-1GHz-Desktop-Processor-8-Core-AM3-3-1GHz-L3-8MB-/330825831552?pt=UK_Computing_CPUs_Processors&hash=item4d06c19480

Though I still say you'll get a better experience from getting an SSD.
December 2, 2012 4:10:25 PM

I seriously suggest upgrading your cooler if necessary (and maybe grabbing some arctic silver or other high-end paste) and overclocking your 4100 to 4.5ghz or so. At that speed it will accommodate your 7870 nicely.

No AMD chip is going to be a massive upgrade for you as far as gaming. the 4300 represents a 10-15% performance increase over the 4100, thoug it doesn't overclock quite as well, and the 4170 can only reach 200-300 more mhz than the 4100 when both are fully overclocked.
December 2, 2012 4:24:49 PM

the 980 BE is the best AMD gaming processor there is, but good luck finding one >.<
December 2, 2012 4:57:04 PM

If you were not planning to replace your mobo, a Vishera CPU could potentially represent a small but reasonable and inexpensive upgrade.
The problem with budget mobos in general though is that they really aren't good for high overclocks. Their BIOS may allow it, but they typically have weak VRMs that really can't push the increased power needed without overheating and/or failing. If you had a high-end overclocking board, I'd agree that you ought to try pushing your FX-4100 to 4.5GHz if only to see how it does. On the board you have though (or the cheap ones you've listed), I'd be concerned that an OC like that might kill it during an extended gaming session.
There is an alternative. Get a fairly inexpensive H77 (or even H61) mobo and an Intel i3. It will outperform your AMD system, and use a lot less power doing it. In a few years if it becomes slow again, you can drop in an i5 for another big performance jump.
December 2, 2012 5:06:10 PM

ddpruitt said:
What makes you think your CPUs the bottleneck?? Before anyone could give you the correct advice we would need to know what type of games you play and what you use your computer for.

There are some games that use a lot of GPU power and very little CPU power, games that use a lot of CPU and little GPU, and games that use lots of both.

IMO a quad core CPU (regardless of make) isn't going to be holding back a 7870, you may want to spend the money on an SSD. I think it would give you a better bang for your buck.



Actually amd 4 core processors, bottleneck anything equal to or greater than a gtx 560, which the 7870 IS.


Amd have not been good for gaming for a long time, even i3's trade blows with them and they are only 2 core.



http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
December 2, 2012 5:26:23 PM

maxalge said:
Actually amd 4 core processors, bottleneck anything equal to or greater than a gtx 560, which the 7870 IS.


Amd have not been good for gaming for a long time, even i3's trade blows with them and they are only 2 core.



http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...


I disagree. From that very article, "A trend emerges in this third data point. The overclocked processors perform behind or close to a stock Core i3-2100."

I was posting 64.7 fps in uniengine heave 1920x1080 (4xMsaa, 4xAF) with my previous rig, which was an x3 455 OC'd to 4.0 ghz and a 7850 @ 1200mhz core.

December 2, 2012 5:45:56 PM

maxalge said:
Actually amd 4 core processors, bottleneck anything equal to or greater than a gtx 560, which the 7870 IS.


Amd have not been good for gaming for a long time, even i3's trade blows with them and they are only 2 core.



http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...


Except for the fact that the review is using a 7970 (which is much more powerful) and the games that show the biggest difference are more CPU bound don't show a huge difference (9 FPS difference at stock clocks, much smaller OC'd). Sorry but for the difference that your getting in FPS $150+ could be spent better elsewhere.
December 2, 2012 5:54:51 PM

I dont know something wierd has happened, I was just playing World of Warcraft all day , temps are fine, steady 90 fps on max setting.

Now the screen keeps flashing constantly if i run the game in direct X 11, but if i run it in Direct x 9 it plays fine
And also youtube/live streams videos stutter and flash, but audio is fine wtf.??


Any ideas whats causing this problem? My 7870 has been working fine for 4days
December 2, 2012 5:55:17 PM

maxalge said:
...Amd have not been good for gaming for a long time...

This is clearly nonsense, as has been shown. "Not been AS good" and "not been good" are two entirely different things.
I have two rigs, one Intel and one AMD. The Intel rig is clearly stronger, yet I'm able to play all my games quite enjoyably on the AMD rig.
I think what we're suggesting is that Intel is stronger for the same money. Upgrading an AMD CPU only might still make some sense (if you had a good overclocking board), but if you're going to replace the mobo too, it only makes sense to go Intel, especially if you cannot afford a mobo that can reliably apply a high overclock to an AMD CPU.
December 2, 2012 5:59:43 PM

Did you wipe out the old video drivers before you installed your HD7870? Remove all the old video drivers, including the new ones. Use a program like CCLEANER to remove any remnants that the uninstallers, if present, leave behind. Reboot, then freshly install your video drivers. Use the latest ones from AMD.COM.
December 2, 2012 6:06:01 PM

Yes when i replaced my 6770, for the 7870 i removed AMD catalyst from control panel, and did ccleaner and rebooted my pc, then installed from amd.com. But it was working fine with no problems for 4 days .

And now if i run WoW for example in directX 11 the screen flashes, But direct X 9 its fine.

Shall i reinstall drivers again? thanks Onus
December 2, 2012 7:08:47 PM

Yes, and possibly WoW as well. I had an Asus GTX560Ti that flaked out within hours. If it still acts up, you might just have a bad card.
December 2, 2012 7:28:47 PM

ddpruitt said:
Except for the fact that the review is using a 7970 (which is much more powerful) and the games that show the biggest difference are more CPU bound don't show a huge difference (9 FPS difference at stock clocks, much smaller OC'd). Sorry but for the difference that your getting in FPS $150+ could be spent better elsewhere.



7970 removes the gpu from the equation yes, and shows the weakness/strength of the cpu.

The i3 3220 is only $119 where is this $150+ difference you speak of?


It even becomes more irrelevant when you consider you NEED to overclock the amd's to trade blows with the i3, thereby wasting money on an aftermarket cpu cooler.


Rendering your argument moot. And that is not even considering the energy consumption of an overclocked FX...
December 2, 2012 8:12:07 PM

^Agreed. You can overclock an AMD CPU to equal a similarly-priced (or cheaper) Intel CPU, but you need to have a reasonable CPU cooler (the Xigmatek Gaia for $20 now would be my choice), a mobo with at least a 6+1 VRM setup (cheap boards are 4+1; good ones are 8+2 or even higher), and you'll use more power and generate more heat (meaning more fan noise) doing it.
December 2, 2012 8:30:47 PM

maxalge said:
7970 removes the gpu from the equation yes, and shows the weakness/strength of the cpu.

The i3 3220 is only $119 where is this $150+ difference you speak of?


It even becomes more irrelevant when you consider you NEED to overclock the amd's to trade blows with the i3, thereby wasting money on an aftermarket cpu cooler.


Rendering your argument moot. And that is not even considering the energy consumption of an overclocked FX...


Your missing parts. If you can't figure out where I obtain my number from then you need to go back and reconsider your argument. I'm not considering power consumption because (for the moment at least) it doesn't really factor into most buying decisions unless your building a low power machine.

Like you said and overclocked AMD trade's blows with the i3, so why would I spend money to get the same results? And the OP is using a 7870, he want's a difference in the machine HE has not the one Tom's was using to test CPU's. If the OP where using his machine in a way that taxed his CPU more I might agree with a CPU upgrade, for games I can't. I upgraded my machine in a similar way as the OP, I found that when I upgraded from my 3 core Athlon II to a 6 core Phenom II I didn't feel much of a difference. On the other hand I found that by going with an SSD my experience changed considerably.
December 2, 2012 8:33:25 PM

chromex said:
Yes when i replaced my 6770, for the 7870 i removed AMD catalyst from control panel, and did ccleaner and rebooted my pc, then installed from amd.com. But it was working fine with no problems for 4 days .

And now if i run WoW for example in directX 11 the screen flashes, But direct X 9 its fine.

Shall i reinstall drivers again? thanks Onus


If you overclocked the GPU bring it back down or push up the power usage. Mine did worked fine for months then it gave me all sorts of strange issues. When I dialed back the clocks and pushed up the power ceiling it turned out fine. Turns out won't reliably overclock at the same settings it use to, not sure why.
December 2, 2012 8:42:38 PM

Onus said:
^Agreed. You can overclock an AMD CPU to equal a similarly-priced (or cheaper) Intel CPU, but you need to have a reasonable CPU cooler (the Xigmatek Gaia for $20 now would be my choice), a mobo with at least a 6+1 VRM setup (cheap boards are 4+1; good ones are 8+2 or even higher), and you'll use more power and generate more heat (meaning more fan noise) doing it.


If he were starting a build from scratch I would agree with you. However, he already has a 4100, so checking his cooling solution and overclocking further is far cheaper than buying a whole new platform with an I3, even considering power consumption.
December 2, 2012 9:00:03 PM

ddpruitt said:
Your missing parts. If you can't figure out where I obtain my number from then you need to go back and reconsider your argument. I'm not considering power consumption because (for the moment at least) it doesn't really factor into most buying decisions unless your building a low power machine.

Like you said and overclocked AMD trade's blows with the i3, so why would I spend money to get the same results? And the OP is using a 7870, he want's a difference in the machine HE has not the one Tom's was using to test CPU's. If the OP where using his machine in a way that taxed his CPU more I might agree with a CPU upgrade, for games I can't. I upgraded my machine in a similar way as the OP, I found that when I upgraded from my 3 core Athlon II to a 6 core Phenom II I didn't feel much of a difference. On the other hand I found that by going with an SSD my experience changed considerably.




"I found that when I upgraded from my 3 core Athlon II to a 6 core Phenom II I didn't feel much of a difference"


Should you really be giving cpu advice?









December 2, 2012 9:03:14 PM

quilciri said:
If he were starting a build from scratch I would agree with you. However, he already has a 4100, so checking his cooling solution and overclocking further is far cheaper than buying a whole new platform with an I3, even considering power consumption.




Problem is the OP said he wants to update his cpu/mobo, getting a cpu cooler for the 4100 would be throwing money away.


Getting the i3/mobo means better performance than the 4100, gets rid of the 7870 bottleneck: yes the i3 beats a 8150 with a 7970, AND he gets to enjoy a i5 down the road...


win, win.
December 2, 2012 9:09:37 PM

maxalge said:
Problem is the OP said he wants to update his cpu/mobo, getting a cpu cooler for the 4100 would be throwing money away.


Getting the i3/mobo means better performance than the 4100, gets rid of the 7870 bottleneck: yes the i3 beats a 8150 with a 7970, AND he gets to enjoy a i5 down the road...


win, win.


Hardly true. A quality CPU-cooler is re-usable. In most cases, you can get adapters for the next generation of sockets for a small S&H fee from the company (scythe charges $7), or for the higher end such as notcua, all you have to do is ask.
December 2, 2012 11:02:14 PM

quilciri said:
...checking his cooling solution and overclocking further is far cheaper than buying a whole new platform with an I3, even considering power consumption.

It isn't about cooling the CPU. He's got a cheap mobo, and if he goes for a high OC he will blow his VRMs.

He could buy a much higher quality mobo and a CPU cooler for his existing CPU, and get a high OC; but then he's at a dead-end, as a future jump to Vishera, while significant, pales compared to a jump to an i5/i7 if he gets an Intel mobo.


December 2, 2012 11:15:10 PM

A 4+1 phase voltage regulator should be able to handle a 4.4-4.5 ghz 4100. That's not exactly pushing the envelope for that chip. I pulled the 4.0 ghz x3 455 on a 4+1 phase asrock board (extreme 4).
December 3, 2012 1:06:03 PM

Onus said:
It isn't about cooling the CPU. He's got a cheap mobo, and if he goes for a high OC he will blow his VRMs.

He could buy a much higher quality mobo and a CPU cooler for his existing CPU, and get a high OC; but then he's at a dead-end, as a future jump to Vishera, while significant, pales compared to a jump to an i5/i7 if he gets an Intel mobo.


Unfortunately this statement makes your advice tainted. You want the OP to go with an entirely new setup because you don't like his choice of MB. This is the wrong approace. While it is possible to damage the MB in various ways you can avoid the risks with careful overclocking and using a good cooling solution. His CPU won't really push the system to the limits (given that it's a four core). It should run reliably for some time, spending money to get to the same place is a waste of effort. The best possible upgrade path would be to upgrade the graphics card but that's a lot more expensive than CPU/MB upgrade.

Basically there are 4 options:
Upgrade CPU/MB Get to the same place you're at now (slightly better FPS)
Upgrade GPU More expensive but better FPS
Upgrade Storage Faster load times, less stuttering
Wait and save the money for when the upgrades come out next year (better hardware lower prices)
December 3, 2012 1:12:18 PM

maxalge said:
"I found that when I upgraded from my 3 core Athlon II to a 6 core Phenom II I didn't feel much of a difference"


Should you really be giving cpu advice?


So your telling me going from a 2.4 Ghz Athlon II to a 3.3 Ghz Phenom II OC'd to 3.8 Ghz running a 7870 on both wouldn't have made a difference if the CPU was the bottleneck?
December 3, 2012 1:23:46 PM

ddpruitt said:
So your telling me going from a 2.4 Ghz Athlon II to a 3.3 Ghz Phenom II OC'd to 3.8 Ghz running a 7870 on both wouldn't have made a difference if the CPU was the bottleneck?


Your statement showed ignorance of the fact that 99% of games use 2 cores or less. for the vast majority of games, there will be no major difference between a 2 core phenom II @ 2.4 ghz and a 6 core phenom 2 @ 2.4 ghz. What makes the difference between those as far as gaming is the higher clock speed, not the number of cores.
December 3, 2012 1:28:18 PM

Onus said:
According to https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ag... depending on revision, his board may only be 3+1. It's not a good overclocking board.


That's fair, but we'd need to know the mobo revision before making reccommendations, then. My assumption that it's 4+1 and your assumption that it's 3+1 are both faulty.
December 3, 2012 2:21:41 PM

ddpruitt said:
Unfortunately this statement makes your advice tainted. You want the OP to go with an entirely new setup because you don't like his choice of MB...Wait and save the money for when the upgrades come out next year (better hardware lower prices)

No, I did not say to go with a new setup; the OP has said he wants to replace his CPU and mobo. My advise is that if he does that, he should buy Intel. Some have suggested he simply OC the CPU he has. Ok, even if his mobo is 4+1, he'll need to be very careful not to blow the VRMs. It's not about stressing the CPU, it's about blowing the power-delivery circuits on the mobo. He could take the money he was going to use on CPU+mobo and just buy a better mobo for his existing CPU (and a cooler), and then overclock it to the gills, but I don't think that's a wise use of funds when a non-overclocked Intel i3 will still match it, and an i5 blow it away even without overclocking; and either would use a lot less power doing it.
To those suggesting he buy a new, more powerful graphics card instead, please review the thread title. We've all seen the reviews; a FX-4100 is not particularly strong. There are three choices:
1. Replace just the CPU. Ok. Check to see if the existing mobo supports Vishera, possibly with a BIOS update. Overclocking will be limited, but Vishera (especially FX-63xx or FX-83xx) will be a visible improvement. The old FX-4100 may have a little resale value.
2. Replace just the mobo (and add a CPU cooler) with something that can really push the FX-4100. Perhaps. This leaves open the possibility of getting Vishera later, but probably offers only small gains now. The old mobo probably has minimal resale value.
3. Replace both CPU and mobo. Best, IF the replacement is Intel. It offers the biggest jump now, and has future expandability with a further CPU upgrade. The existing CPU/mobo will have some resale value, or they can be repurposed into a second PC, as a backup, media server, HTPC, donation to a family member or friend, or for sale.

December 3, 2012 3:50:38 PM

The 7870 is a strong card. No it won't max out a lot of games, but it delivers strong fps performance. The zambezi 4100 however does not. This has been proven time and again. To get the most out of your card, you need a new cpu. The reply above gives good advice, but no matter how you oc your current cpu, it just can't hang. Vishera is a viable option, as is a phenom. Intel is of course the best choice I would say, but it all depends on budget.
December 4, 2012 11:52:07 AM

Onus said:
No, I did not say to go with a new setup; the OP has said he wants to replace his CPU and mobo. My advise is that if he does that, he should buy Intel.


If the OP is insistent on a CPU/MB then I would agree. However this is a case were the OP may be going down the wrong path without having all the facts. I would rather point out alternatives then let him go on blindly. This way he has been given all the advice possible and if it doesn't work out he knows why.

At this point the OP should know two things:

He can upgrade his CPU, but it's going to take a little bit of work to get what he wants.
He's CPU upgrade isn't going to make a big difference in FPS
December 4, 2012 11:32:30 PM

A good test would be to OC the 4100 just a little...maybe 200MHz, and see if FPS goes up. If it does, and I think it will, that will pretty much confirm that the CPU is the bottleneck.
Chart data on the FX-4100 is simply not impressive.
!