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Is my CPU bottlenecking my GPU

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December 17, 2012 4:14:41 PM

Hello,

my cpu is AMD 955 @ 3.7ghz
and gpu is sapphire 7950 Vapor X OC edition @ 1100mhz/1575

So my question is, is my CPU bottnecking my GPU
I did a 3dmark11 benchmark test and this is what I got


Seems like my cpu score is much less than my gpu score

More about : cpu bottlenecking gpu

a b à CPUs
December 17, 2012 4:31:43 PM

Yea i think your CPU is behind... a upgrade would be needed if you want your 7950 to score better
a b à CPUs
December 17, 2012 4:36:07 PM

Hi

Your graphics score is actually very good which suggests it is not being held back at all, though 3dMark11 has separate tests specifically designed to stress your GPU and CPU independently which isn't always representative of games.

I expect games play just fine, which is the main thing right?
Related resources
a c 341 à CPUs
December 17, 2012 4:36:12 PM

It depends on the game and other factors.
I suspect you are right, and that your cpu is a limiting factor.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) 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.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.


Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.


If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.
December 17, 2012 4:46:54 PM

geofelt said:
It depends on the game and other factors.
I suspect you are right, and that your cpu is a limiting factor.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) 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.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.


Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.


If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.


Thanks, I'll try everything you said.
I mostly play BF3 but other games as well. Shogun2, Hitman, AC3. I've been playing some Far cry 3 recently and I've noticed its not running very good but thats because far cry 3 is more CPU dependent?
a b à CPUs
December 17, 2012 4:46:58 PM

I don’t think so. The CPU is more of a gatekeeper, as you are not using a CPU with integrated graphics. The speed of the CPU has less to do with the operation of the PCIe bus than the amount of devices plugged into it and the amount of data it is routing.
An FX chip is not going to give you a significant boost in perceived operational speed. The calculations per second have gone sky high in the FX line. The overclocking potential is insane. But due to the architecture of the chips Zambezi is significantly slower than Sandy Bridge or Ivy bridge. In fact, on Tom’s own tests the Phenom II architecture shows significant advantages over the new FX. The fastest AMD chip right now is still the (relatively old) Phenom II X6.

Back to the question, no, your CPU is not holding back your GPU. Your MB and Memory are.
December 17, 2012 5:00:59 PM

groundrat said:
I don’t think so. The CPU is more of a gatekeeper, as you are not using a CPU with integrated graphics. The speed of the CPU has less to do with the operation of the PCIe bus than the amount of devices plugged into it and the amount of data it is routing.
An FX chip is not going to give you a significant boost in perceived operational speed. The calculations per second have gone sky high in the FX line. The overclocking potential is insane. But due to the architecture of the chips Zambezi is significantly slower than Sandy Bridge or Ivy bridge. In fact, on Tom’s own tests the Phenom II architecture shows significant advantages over the new FX. The fastest AMD chip right now is still the (relatively old) Phenom II X6.

Back to the question, no, your CPU is not holding back your GPU. Your MB and Memory are.


Are you serious? How is a motherboard and a few more gigs of ram gonna improve performance. What does ram and mb have to do with gaming performace?
a c 341 à CPUs
December 17, 2012 6:10:46 PM

K1ash3r said:
Thanks, I'll try everything you said.
I mostly play BF3 but other games as well. Shogun2, Hitman, AC3. I've been playing some Far cry 3 recently and I've noticed its not running very good but thats because far cry 3 is more CPU dependent?


Your games may each have different dependencies.
For example BF3 runs ok on modest cpu with decent graphics... in single player.
But in multiplayer, with lots of participants, it can use a very strong cpu.
a b à CPUs
December 17, 2012 6:18:59 PM

groundrat said:
I don’t think so. The CPU is more of a gatekeeper, as you are not using a CPU with integrated graphics. The speed of the CPU has less to do with the operation of the PCIe bus than the amount of devices plugged into it and the amount of data it is routing.
An FX chip is not going to give you a significant boost in perceived operational speed. The calculations per second have gone sky high in the FX line. The overclocking potential is insane. But due to the architecture of the chips Zambezi is significantly slower than Sandy Bridge or Ivy bridge. In fact, on Tom’s own tests the Phenom II architecture shows significant advantages over the new FX. The fastest AMD chip right now is still the (relatively old) Phenom II X6.

Back to the question, no, your CPU is not holding back your GPU. Your MB and Memory are.


Huh? yes your CPU could be holding you back in many games. It really depends on the games you play. Most single player games will be fine with that CPU/GPU combo, Most online games your FPS will suffer due to your CPU.
a b à CPUs
December 17, 2012 6:36:13 PM

groundrat said:
I don’t think so. The CPU is more of a gatekeeper, as you are not using a CPU with integrated graphics. The speed of the CPU has less to do with the operation of the PCIe bus than the amount of devices plugged into it and the amount of data it is routing.
An FX chip is not going to give you a significant boost in perceived operational speed. The calculations per second have gone sky high in the FX line. The overclocking potential is insane. But due to the architecture of the chips Zambezi is significantly slower than Sandy Bridge or Ivy bridge. In fact, on Tom’s own tests the Phenom II architecture shows significant advantages over the new FX. The fastest AMD chip right now is still the (relatively old) Phenom II X6.

Back to the question, no, your CPU is not holding back your GPU. Your MB and Memory are.


This for the most part is in correct. The new piledriver fx cpus are much better then the originals. They are not beat by phenom and are not that much over powered by Intel. Yes Intel is much better but not as much as you think.
a b à CPUs
December 17, 2012 6:37:31 PM

groundrat said:
I don’t think so. The CPU is more of a gatekeeper, as you are not using a CPU with integrated graphics. The speed of the CPU has less to do with the operation of the PCIe bus than the amount of devices plugged into it and the amount of data it is routing.
An FX chip is not going to give you a significant boost in perceived operational speed. The calculations per second have gone sky high in the FX line. The overclocking potential is insane. But due to the architecture of the chips Zambezi is significantly slower than Sandy Bridge or Ivy bridge. In fact, on Tom’s own tests the Phenom II architecture shows significant advantages over the new FX. The fastest AMD chip right now is still the (relatively old) Phenom II X6.

Back to the question, no, your CPU is not holding back your GPU. Your MB and Memory are.

Just got your medical marijuana license yesterday, didn't ya?

For your edumacation, the latest AMD cpus have (finally) surpassed the venerable Phenom II X6: http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2012/11/06/amd-fx-8350...

Now getting back to the question at hand, OP, definitely follow geofelt's advice to determine if the cpu is a bottleneck. My guess is that it probably is, but not enough to warrant any substantial cost to upgrade.
December 17, 2012 8:00:01 PM

So my specs are
AMD 955@3.7ghz Gygabyte MA790XT-UD4P
XFX XXX 4870 1gb (sapphire 7950)
OCZ Platinum 4gb DDR3
PC P&C 750W
Xigmatek Dark Knight
Antec 300

I buit this pc about 3.5 years ago.

If my CPU is indeed bottlenecking my GPU I was planning on upgrading to a AMD Piledriver FX-8 Eight Core 8350, but that means a new motherboard as I dont think the one I currently have supports AM3+ or does it?
IF I do need a new motherboard I might aswell see what Intel has to offer, but I'll leave this for another thread ;) 
a b à CPUs
December 17, 2012 8:02:53 PM

Most every AM3 board supports the latest chip. You just need to update the BIOS
December 17, 2012 8:12:51 PM

Rockdpm said:
Most every AM3 board supports the latest chip. You just need to update the BIOS


How about Gygabyte MA790XT-UD4P, I cant seem to find an answer on google.
a b à CPUs
December 17, 2012 8:49:27 PM

Go to Gigabyte's website and check out the CPU support list:
http://www.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=...

As you will see, it only shows support for the FX-4130. It is an AM3 board and not an AM3+ board. You could probably try a FX-8350 in it, but no guarantees. It either won't boot, or may not run the cpu at the right speed (lower speed).
December 18, 2012 9:50:44 AM

geofelt said:
It depends on the game and other factors.
I suspect you are right, and that your cpu is a limiting factor.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) 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.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.


Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.


If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.


Did some Hitman absolution benchmark tests.
1st test 1920x1080 with ultra and 4xmsaa, average of 36fps
2nd test 1600x1200 with ultra and 4xmsaa, average of 36fps
Even tried with high and 2xmsaa same average fps pretty much.

3rd test 1920x1080 with ultra and 4xmsaa and CPU @3.2ghz 30fps

I'm guessing my CPU is bottlenecking my gpu
a c 341 à CPUs
December 18, 2012 1:39:04 PM

K1ash3r said:
Did some Hitman absolution benchmark tests.
1st test 1920x1080 with ultra and 4xmsaa, average of 36fps
2nd test 1600x1200 with ultra and 4xmsaa, average of 36fps
Even tried with high and 2xmsaa same average fps pretty much.

3rd test 1920x1080 with ultra and 4xmsaa and CPU @3.2ghz 30fps

I'm guessing my CPU is bottlenecking my gpu


Looks like it to me too.
I like doing some diagnostic testing before assuming anything.
I am a bit surprised; I might have thought the graphics card was the main limiter.
Do you get the same results with other games?
Or, at least your favorite games?

If you upgrade your cpu, change to Intel, regardless of the price point.
Their instruction efficiency per clock is some 30% better.
Bulldozer was a big disappointment.
You might want to read this article:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
Even the $65 G630 competes with the $160 FX-8120.
December 18, 2012 4:21:08 PM

geofelt said:
Looks like it to me too.
I like doing some diagnostic testing before assuming anything.
I am a bit surprised; I might have thought the graphics card was the main limiter.
Do you get the same results with other games?
Or, at least your favorite games?

If you upgrade your cpu, change to Intel, regardless of the price point.
Their instruction efficiency per clock is some 30% better.
Bulldozer was a big disappointment.
You might want to read this article:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
Even the $65 G630 competes with the $160 FX-8120.


Well the graphics card I just bought so its new and I'm running it at 1100mhz. CPU is about 4 years old. I mainly play BF3 multiplayer so i think I would benefit from a CPU upgrade. I was hoping I could get a new AMD CPU that would fit in my motherboard but I dont think my botherboard supports AM3+, so it looks like I'm gonna have to get a new CPU and motherboard -.-, I might aswell look what intel has to offer.
a b à CPUs
December 18, 2012 6:08:39 PM

K1ash3r said:
Well the graphics card I just bought so its new and I'm running it at 1100mhz. CPU is about 4 years old. I mainly play BF3 multiplayer so i think I would benefit from a CPU upgrade. I was hoping I could get a new AMD CPU that would fit in my motherboard but I dont think my botherboard supports AM3+, so it looks like I'm gonna have to get a new CPU and motherboard -.-, I might aswell look what intel has to offer.

Upgrading to Intel will benefit you trust me. I had AMD before. I went from a 955 and a board like you have to a 990FX board and a FX 6100.. after a few months I switched the FX 6100 to the Phenom II 980 and overclocked to 4GHZ and got BETTER results. I got a 670 and hit a performance wall AGAIN. so i saw the opportunity to get Intel and man I am happy happy happy.

BF3 will benefit from hyperthreading or the i3's and I7's.. but even a I5 is good enough
December 18, 2012 6:29:34 PM

geofelt said:
It depends on the game and other factors.
I suspect you are right, and that your cpu is a limiting factor.

To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) 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.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.


Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.


If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.


how does limiting the cpu to 50% prove that the cpu is a bottleneck to the current card? he isn't asking if the cpu can handle a faster card. if the cpu is just enough to not bottleneck the gpu and you lower the cpu the frames will go down but all that proves is a lesser cpu would be a bottleneck.
December 18, 2012 6:35:58 PM

jonjonjon said:
how does limiting the cpu to 50% prove that the cpu is a bottleneck to the current card? he isn't asking if the cpu can handle a faster card. if the cpu is just enough to not bottleneck the gpu and you lower the cpu the frames will go down but all that proves is a lesser cpu would be a bottleneck.


I guess that doesnt matter, I've seen BF3 multiplayer benchmarks and getting something like i5 2500k will probably double my frame rate
a b à CPUs
December 18, 2012 6:36:58 PM

jonjonjon said:
how does limiting the cpu to 50% prove that the cpu is a bottleneck to the current card? he isn't asking if the cpu can handle a faster card. if the cpu is just enough to not bottleneck the gpu and you lower the cpu the frames will go down but all that proves is a lesser cpu would be a bottleneck.


Yes, all he really needs to do is... say hes running at 1920x1080 right now... drop your resolution to 1280x720, if your FPS stay very close to the same your CPU is bottlenecking your system, if you see a drastic increase in FPS its the GPU bottlenecking your system.
a c 341 à CPUs
December 18, 2012 8:41:48 PM

jonjonjon said:
how does limiting the cpu to 50% prove that the cpu is a bottleneck to the current card? he isn't asking if the cpu can handle a faster card. if the cpu is just enough to not bottleneck the gpu and you lower the cpu the frames will go down but all that proves is a lesser cpu would be a bottleneck.


It doesn't prove a thing, but it puts another point on the graph of performance vs. cpu capability.
It does show that there is some sensitivity to cpu capability.

On a second subject, BF3 runs well with a modest cpu and a nice graphics card in single player. That is easy to benchmvark.

But it appears that in multiplayer, you need both stronger cores and more of them if there are a lot of participants. Exactly how much is hard to determine since multiplayer is not a controlled and recreatable environment. 2500K/3500K is certainly not overkill in BF3 multiplayer.
December 18, 2012 9:02:33 PM

geofelt said:
It doesn't prove a thing, but it puts another point on the graph of performance vs. cpu capability.
It does show that there is some sensitivity to cpu capability.

On a second subject, BF3 runs well with a modest cpu and a nice graphics card in single player. That is easy to benchmvark.

But it appears that in multiplayer, you need both stronger cores and more of them if there are a lot of participants. Exactly how much is hard to determine since multiplayer is not a controlled and recreatable environment. 2500K/3500K is certainly not overkill in BF3 multiplayer.


Yes, I can run bf3 sp at 1920x1080 ultra with 4xmaa at 60+fps but its the multiplayer that kills me, such a drastic decrease in fps. I've made a new thread about upgrading my CPU; http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/357463-10-upgrade#t...
December 18, 2012 10:17:46 PM

Just a quick question, if I get the same FPS by on lets say ultra and medium settings then this means my CPU bottlenecking my GPU right?
a b à CPUs
December 18, 2012 10:26:59 PM

yes
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2012 12:48:02 AM

YES
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2012 12:52:40 AM

K1ash3r said:
Thanks, I'll try everything you said.
I mostly play BF3 but other games as well. Shogun2, Hitman, AC3. I've been playing some Far cry 3 recently and I've noticed its not running very good but thats because far cry 3 is more CPU dependent?



In all of those games you mentioned the 955 is about equal to a i3 3220.


To really take advantage of your 7950 in cpu dependant games like those, you need a i5 3570k.


December 19, 2012 12:55:10 AM

maxalge said:
In all of those games you mentioned the 955 is about equal to a i3 3220.


To really take advantage of your 7950 in cpu dependant games like those, you need a i5 3570k.


how bout i5 2500k?
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2012 1:08:19 AM

K1ash3r said:
how bout i5 2500k?



Good too, might as well go for the 3570k for round the same price though.


December 19, 2012 10:27:53 AM

maxalge said:
Good too, might as well go for the 3570k for round the same price though.


I heard 2500k overclockers better
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2012 10:48:18 AM

K1ash3r said:
Are you serious? How is a motherboard and a few more gigs of ram gonna improve performance. What does ram and mb have to do with gaming performace?



it actually does make a difference along with the speed of your hdd. if you have a shitty board you will have less pcie lanes which will limit you esp in sli.
December 19, 2012 10:52:53 AM

06yfz450ridr said:
it actually does make a difference along with the speed of your hdd. if you have a shitty board you will have less pcie lanes which will limit you esp in sli.


My HDD is good enough so is my motherboard(gotta get a new one since I'm gettting intel) and I dont think I ever mentioned the word sli in this thread. That other guy that posted the message about upgrading my ram and mobo was trolling obviously.
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2012 12:01:13 PM

K1ash3r said:
My HDD is good enough so is my motherboard(gotta get a new one since I'm gettting intel) and I dont think I ever mentioned the word sli in this thread. That other guy that posted the message about upgrading my ram and mobo was trolling obviously.



i know you didnt mention sli but i was just referring to where the # of pcie lanes really matters. running multiple cards, or a very good card is where the # of lanes really helps
a c 341 à CPUs
December 19, 2012 1:03:52 PM

K1ash3r said:
I heard 2500k overclockers better


The 2500K can usually reach a higher clock rate before thermal throttling or instability.
But, the 3570K is more efficient on a clock for clock bases negating that advantage.

If you are conservatively overclocking, at less than the maximum, then the 3570K will run cooler and better.
If the price difference is minimal, I would favor the 3570K.

If you are using one graphics card, with X16, then it makes little difference if it is the slower pcie 2.
If you are using X8/X8 there is little difference from X16/X16.

Today's graphics cards simply do not push the limits of the pci-e slot.
Only the strongest of cards will be impacted by 2%.
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2012 4:47:22 PM

404 page not found
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2012 4:59:15 PM

Yes that will do it!
December 19, 2012 5:36:36 PM

Rockdpm said:
Yes that will do it!


Hey, I would also like to upgrade my ram to 8gb, I cant add ram to the one I currently have as its discontinued so what ram do you suggest thats on the website
scan.co.uk or overclockers.co.uk thats under 40 pounds
December 19, 2012 8:28:15 PM

Also those ram wont fit because of my huge heatsink, is it possible to put them in slot 3 and 4 on the right sideand leave 1 and 2 on the left empty?
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2012 10:24:20 PM

06yfz450ridr said:
it actually does make a difference along with the speed of your hdd. if you have a shitty board you will have less pcie lanes which will limit you esp in sli.


hard drives never hurt frames per second. you will not have less pci lanes with a bad board. a bad board has the same as a good board. the amount of lanes is dependent on the cpu you have. Sand and Ivy are limited to 24 while Sandy Bridge E has 40 lanes. at any rate if in cf/sli you are running 8x and 8x you will notice very little performance loss.

06yfz450ridr said:
i know you didnt mention sli but i was just referring to where the # of pcie lanes really matters. running multiple cards, or a very good card is where the # of lanes really helps



like above the difference between 8x and 16x is very little maybe 5%
a b à CPUs
December 19, 2012 11:51:27 PM

K1ash3r said:
Also those ram wont fit because of my huge heatsink, is it possible to put them in slot 3 and 4 on the right sideand leave 1 and 2 on the left empty?

Yea! you can run them in slot 3 and 4. may be even able to fit them under your heat sink anyways.. you'd be suprised how much of a slight clearance you will still have. And what I mean by match? Color!
a c 341 à CPUs
December 20, 2012 1:34:27 AM

Read your motherboard manual.
You normally install ram in two different channels to get the faster dual channel operation.
I think this normally means to install pairs in like colored slots, and some motherboards are very specific which pairs must be installed first.
!