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How bad is my CPU holding back my 9600 pro?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
May 31, 2003 11:11:27 PM

Hi all,

Just got an ATI Radeon 9600 Pro, so I'm psyched to have a graphics card that will last me for a while.

Problem is, the rest of my system isn't top notch.

How much is my CPU bottlenecking my Radeon 9600 pro?


Athlon Thunderbird 1.2 GHz
Mobo: ECS K7S5A

What kind of (reasonably affordable) mobo/CPU upgrade would I want to do to at least allow my gfx card to do its job?

Any thoughts are appreciated!
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June 1, 2003 3:47:11 AM

for example, a buddy of mine (mentioned in another thread) has a 1.2 athlon on a 100fsb with 512mb pc133 and a retail 8500 radeon. we messed with his system and managed to get 6500points in 3dmark01. my system, witha 8500le@250/250, 512m ddr333 and a 2000+axp gets like 8600points (i dont keep it overclocked always.. runs too hot). we both run xp pro

thast quite a difference, and while i can run "holy sheet" settings@1024x768 in UT2003 @ 50fps he cant. he has to reduce graphics quality to meduim to get a playable framerate. note that his video card is faster than mine


<A HREF="" target="_new">*I hate thug gangstas*</A>
June 1, 2003 5:31:17 AM

Mmm, for some time now there has been great emphasis on the gfx card as the processing center for games, but we must not forget what goes behind the scenes. Real time physics, AI, partly the graphics, and other things (plus overhead) the cpu must deal with are nothing to scoff at. As games become more complex, we'll need faster cpu's too, not just new gfx cards. A 1.2Ghz is going to be outdated soon (if not already).

Hmm, I'm in a poetic mood tonight, must be from analyzing poetry all day long for an essay.

Hilbert space is a big place.
June 1, 2003 4:07:30 PM

Not so poetic in the morning hehe, tho I definetly feel like sh!t for some reason.

Hilbert space is a big place.
June 1, 2003 11:36:38 PM

I'm talking about most of the games, better video card helps more than faster CPU.

I haven't played UT2003, but I don't understand- if the CPU is limiting factor, then why a game can be playable with reduced details instead of max details? <A HREF="" target="_new"> In Tom's VGA chart, Athlon 1 GHz + PC133 + R9500 Pro was able to deliver more than playable fps in max details</A>

<b><A HREF="" target="_new"> My Website</A></b>

<b><A HREF="" target="_new"> My Rig</A></b>
June 2, 2003 2:16:27 PM

I've got an Athlon 1200 as my second computer and, let me tell you, it is DEFINITELY alot slower than my Athlon XP 2000+.

The best price/performance CPU right now is the Athlon XP 2600+. The best mobos are Nforce2 chipset based, but Via KT400's aren't too bad if you need to save some cash.

I promise you though... any Athlon 2000+ or faster and a new motherboard, you will see a very big jump in performance, especially at higher resolutions.
June 2, 2003 9:18:50 PM

Thanks for the replies all.

For now, today's games are running well on my machine, so I'm happy to be able to play NOLF2 with everything cranked.

Come late September, I'll upgrade my CPU/mobo/RAM just in time for HalfLife2!
June 3, 2003 2:22:22 AM

Could you do some benchmarks, including 3dMark 03?
I have an XP1600+, not that far from yours really, but at least I can evaluate just how higher I can go with the same card or better.

If I could see the Matrix, I'd tell you I am only seeing 0s inside your head! :tongue:
June 3, 2003 2:59:51 AM

I get 3430 in 3dmark03, clockspeeds at 455 core 345 clock.
June 3, 2003 5:52:53 AM

There are different kinds of lag in games, and they aren't all video lag. As other posters have mentioned, the computer AI and physics engine for modern games can hog a lot of CPU resources and slow down a game. Play BF1942 sometime and turn up the AI to highest. The resulting slideshow you'll see won't have anything to do with the graphics card. So I would say the CPU is probably hampering the overall experience...not so much that it can't feed the 9600 PRO, but that it can't feed the 9600 PRO and perform it's other tasks efficiently at the same time.

<font color=green>The Netherlands is where you go when you're too good for heaven.</font color=green> :tongue:
June 3, 2003 10:44:34 AM

I believe the k7s5a mobo will run the xp2400 though you may want to update your bios. That proc is $90 at newegg.
Not a bad deal double your processor speed for 90 bucks.
June 3, 2003 7:37:03 PM

Dude, it means jack what you're giving me, if you just overclocked your card.

If I could see the Matrix, I'd tell you I am only seeing 0s inside your head! :tongue:
June 3, 2003 9:02:57 PM

Just your CPU will be holding you back from the DX9 games which that card was designed for.
June 3, 2003 9:29:33 PM

Since some games depend on the CPU I would say the more the better.

You didn't mention your Hard drive, because you'll hurt there too, if your not up to ATA100 and 7200RPMs.

When you feel that reality does not suit you, live a fantasy life.