Video Card upgrade...possible other bottleneck?

acameron_56

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Hey all,

So I'm looking to get a new video card in march, but just wanted to check with you guys to make sure that my system will be able to fully utilize the new card.

Right now, I'm running a Q6600 @3.2-3.4 and 4 GB of DDR2 1066. I game at 2560x1600-4660x1600. The plan was to get a GTX570, so my question is will I need to upgrade anything else so as to not bottleneck my new gpu?

Thanks
 

canmanone

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Hey all,

So I'm looking to get a new video card in march, but just wanted to check with you guys to make sure that my system will be able to fully utilize the new card.

Right now, I'm running a Q6600 @3.2-3.4 and 4 GB of DDR2 1066. I game at 2560x1600-4660x1600. The plan was to get a GTX570, so my question is will I need to upgrade anything else so as to not bottleneck my new gpu?

Thanks
since you game at such a higher rez your cpu and ram should be upgraded. cpu will bottleneck the card. i have the same cpu and but mine is oc to 3.6 on p5n-e board. so if you can oc it a bit more. as for me i only game at 1080 rez and sli 8800gtx. the only game i cant set on high settings is metro crysis and bfbc2. was planning on to just upgrade my gpu and i dont have money to upgrade a whole new system. with my rez you dont need alot of power to set games on very high or enthusiast.
 

cannondale06

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since you game at such a higher rez your cpu and ram should be upgraded. cpu will bottleneck the card. i have the same cpu and but mine is oc to 3.6 on p5n-e board. so if you can oc it a bit more. as for me i only game at 1080 rez and sli 8800gtx. the only game i cant set on high settings is metro crysis and bfbc2. was planning on to just upgrade my gpu and i dont have money to upgrade a whole new system. with my rez you dont need alot of power to set games on very high or enthusiast.
um NO. the higher the res, the more the gpu becomes the bottleneck. his cpu is fine for a gtx570 even at a lower res and at 2560 and above it will not be a limitation.
 

hajalie24

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It should be fine depending on the game, I have a q6600 @ 3.0 and play a lot of games fine with a 5970 at 5896x1080. But some games like black ops aren't as smooth, even though I get around 40fps it doesn't feel the same as bad company 2, when I check my cpu usage it's about 80%. So if a game uses more of a cpu it may be a bottleneck.
 

canmanone

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um NO. the higher the res, the more the gpu becomes the bottleneck. his cpu is fine for a gtx570 even at a lower res and at 2560 and above it will not be a limitation.
right i agree at that rez with that gpu. but you will still be bottlenecked it with the cpu as it cant keep up with the gpu. so if he upgrades his cpu then the gpu will be the bottleneck as the cpu can supply enough power to the gpu. correct me if i wrong.
 

cannondale06

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right i agree at that rez with that gpu. but you will still be bottlenecked it with the cpu as it cant keep up with the gpu. so if he upgrades his cpu then the gpu will be the bottleneck as the cpu can supply enough power to the gpu. correct me if i wrong.
well a Q6600 at 3.2 is a pretty balanced match for a gtx570 in general. at 2560 and above though the gtx570 will quickly be the limitation on higher settings.
 

fullvietFX

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When I had my Q9550@3.8GHz games still felt a little slow and stutters at certain times on my GTX580. When I switched over to Sandy Bridge all of that was gone and everything was smooth as butter. I am at 1920x1200, games that lagged sometimes were AvP, JC2, and SC2.
 
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canmanone

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When I had my Q9550@3.8GHz games still felt a little slow and stutters at certain times on my GTX580. When I switched over to Sandy Bridge all of that was gone and everything was smooth as butter. I am at 1920x1200, games that lagged sometimes were AvP, JC2, and SC2.


this is exactly what im talking about. u have to balance out between the two. if you game at a high rez then your gpu and cpu have to be at the same playing field. if not then one of them will bottleneck your game. as for me like i said i game only at 1080 so if i upgrade my gpu to say the 570 then they will be pretty much even. the cpu will be slightly be behind the gpu.
 

cannondale06

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this is exactly what im talking about. u have to balance out between the two. if you game at a high rez then your gpu and cpu have to be at the same playing field. if not then one of them will bottleneck your game. as for me like i said i game only at 1080 so if i upgrade my gpu to say the 570 then they will be pretty much even. the cpu will be slightly be behind the gpu.
your gpu and cpu need to be balanced at EVERY resolution.
 

canmanone

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your gpu and cpu need to be balanced at EVERY resolution.
not necessary. becuz if your native is 1080 then thats what you need to balance your gpu and cpu to be exact. but if you lower you rez then you will be cpu bound or increase your rez then you will be gpu bound. you wouldnt want to play at less than your rez and difinately will not beable to increase you rez if your max is only 1080. so whatever you rez will be thats the balancing act that you want to achieve by. hope im clear
 

cannondale06

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not necessary. becuz if your native is 1080 then thats what you need to balance your gpu and cpu to be exact. but if you lower you rez then you will be cpu bound or increase your rez then you will be gpu bound. you wouldnt want to play at less than your rez and difinately will not beable to increase you rez if your max is only 1080. so whatever you rez will be thats the balancing act that you want to achieve by. hope im clear
you made it sound like it only needed to be balanced at high resolution. I am saying it needs to be balanced at whatever res you are playing at.
 

MrMetal_53

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So if I have an E6750 @ 3.6ghz and an HD 6950 running s little over stock on a 1080p monitor, is my processor bottlenecking me?
 

cannondale06

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So if I have an E6750 @ 3.6ghz and an HD 6950 running s little over stock on a 1080p monitor, is my processor bottlenecking me?
yes but to what degree will depend on the actual game. in some games you would get little to no better performance then I get with my old gtx260. there is no way I would have bought a 6950 to pair up with an older Core 2 duo.
 

canmanone

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So if I have an E6750 @ 3.6ghz and an HD 6950 running s little over stock on a 1080p monitor, is my processor bottlenecking me?
this depends on what game your using. if the game calls for 4 threads and you have only 2 threads then yes you will be cpu bound if you have a strong gpu. even at 3.6 on dual core is not the same with quad core. so when you buy a game look at the min and recommended specs and compare it with your system. not very many games take advantage of more than 2 cores. hope im clear
 

cannondale06

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this depends on what game your using. if the game calls for 4 threads and you have only 2 threads then yes you will be cpu bound if you have a strong gpu. even at 3.6 on dual core is not the same with quad core. so when you buy a game look at the min and recommended specs and compare it with your system. not very many games take advantage of more than 2 cores. hope im clear
its not even always about threads as an i7/i5 quad would smoke his cpu even in a game that only uses 2 threads. if you doubt me look at SC 2 that only uses 2 cores yet the i7/i5 cpus kill every other architecture.
 

MrMetal_53

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yes but to what degree will depend on the actual game. in some games you would get little to no better performance then I get with my old gtx260. there is no way I would have bought a 6950 to pair up with an older Core 2 duo.
Thanks for the reply :) I'm in the process of upgrading to SB; I'm just waiting to hear more about Intel's controller chip problem before I bite the bullet. I probably shouldn't have bought the HD 6950 yet, but I got impatient and wanted it now. C'est la vie ;)
 

cannondale06

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Thanks for the reply :) I'm in the process of upgrading to SB; I'm just waiting to hear more about Intel's controller chip problem before I bite the bullet. I probably shouldn't have bought the HD 6950 yet, but I got impatient and wanted it now. C'est la vie ;)
well at least you did not go for the 6970 at this time. when you go Sandy Bridge in a couple of months you will certainly have a large increase in pretty much everything you do.
 

jbz7890

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A Q6600 at 3.4ghz will almost certainly bottleneck a GTX570 in games that aren't optimized for quad cores (which are virtually all of them). Unless you have a really crummy card now, I think you should wait until Bulldozer arrives or Sandy Bridge gets fixed and upgrade your CPU, mobo, and video card then.
 

MrMetal_53

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well at least you did not go for the 6970 at this time. when you go Sandy Bridge in a couple of months you will certainly have a large increase in pretty much everything you do.
True. At least I had the forethought to think that the 6970 would be overkill at 1080p.
 

g-money

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You guys have said it yourself, this question depends on the game you are playing.

It depends on whether it utilizes multi-processors or processors and how efficiently. It also depends on how efficiently it utilizes graphical capabilities. Some games simply don't scale well, others have trouble running on quad-cores, yet others run exactly the same regardless of CPU cores only caring about how fast the single core it uses is.

Is your dual-core (E6750) a bad match for the HD6950? I wouldn't say so, it'll let you play every game you have at maximum graphics. The video card might not be operating over 70% load but that doesn't mean its not doing its job. It really just means you could go to a higher resolution where it will work harder. How many CPU cores you need will depend on the game's implementation.

The simple fact is that most games still do not utilize more than 2 cores. There are maybe a dozen which do and at least half of those are badly coded (such as GTA4).

For the OP, the 570 is probably not going to meet your needs at the higher resolutions unless you get two and SLI.
 

cannondale06

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You guys have said it yourself, this question depends on the game you are playing.

It depends on whether it utilizes multi-processors or processors and how efficiently. It also depends on how efficiently it utilizes graphical capabilities. Some games simply don't scale well, others have trouble running on quad-cores, yet others run exactly the same regardless of CPU cores only caring about how fast the single core it uses is.

Is your dual-core (E6750) a bad match for the HD6950? I wouldn't say so, it'll let you play every game you have at maximum graphics. The video card might not be operating over 70% load but that doesn't mean its not doing its job. It really just means you could go to a higher resolution where it will work harder. How many CPU cores you need will depend on the game's implementation.

The simple fact is that most games still do not utilize more than 2 cores. There are maybe a dozen which do and at least half of those are badly coded (such as GTA4).


For the OP, the 570 is probably not going to meet your needs at the higher resolutions unless you get two and SLI.
and you don't realize a couple of things. first when you crank the settings in a game, many of those settings impact the overall pc which includes the cpu. next it doesn't matter if a game actually uses mores than 2 cores are not because newer cpus are much faster even in games that don't. an i5/i7 quad would murder an E6750 in Starcraft 2 which only uses 2 cores. and finally there are several games such as GTA 4, Prototype, Dragon Age, Ghostbusters, Bad Company 2 and Red Faction Guerrilla in which his cpu would keep a 6950 from being remotely close to fully utilized. heck his cpu would actually make some of those games quite sluggish at times and no gpu upgrade would fix that. so a 6950 at 300 bucks is not really a wise purchase for an older core 2 duo owner unless they plan on upgrading the cpu within a few weeks or so.
 
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ravensteel

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The resolutions you are going for ultimately need more VRAM, a video card with about 2GB. The bottleneck theory is situational to certain games and majority of the power for games depends on the video card. I don't think you need any sort of CPU upgrade for two years and just focus on a video card upgrade. If you are unhappy with the performance after that, then consider a Sandy bridge CPU upgrade or whatever.
 

dewi_imut

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um NO. the higher the res, the more the gpu becomes the bottleneck. his cpu is fine for a gtx570 even at a lower res and at 2560 and above it will not be a limitation.
Yes I agree....his spec is fine with lower resolution, but I think the vga spec is too high.

In high res, the cpu will be the bottleneck....I'd say go to something like 560Ti, you should be fine at all resolution as well
 

cannondale06

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Yes I agree....his spec is fine with lower resolution, but I think the vga spec is too high.

In high res, the cpu will be the bottleneck....I'd say go to something like 560Ti, you should be fine at all resolution as well
the cpu does not become more of a bottleneck at high res. and at 2560 and above he will need all the gpu power he can get.
 

jbz7890

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The resolutions you are going for ultimately need more VRAM, a video card with about 2GB. The bottleneck theory is situational to certain games and majority of the power for games depends on the video card. I don't think you need any sort of CPU upgrade for two years and just focus on a video card upgrade. If you are unhappy with the performance after that, then consider a Sandy bridge CPU upgrade or whatever.
I disagree. With my E7200 at 3.75 ghz -- a fast processor as Core 2 Duos go -- I have trouble playing many new games at smooth framerates and am definitely not getting everything out of my 5850.

Frame rates in TF2, for instance, can dip into the 30s during intense moments. Even Crysis, a game not known to be especially demanding on CPUs, experiences extreme CPU bottlenecking on my computer. And don't even get my started on BFBC2.

Given that the OP has an inferior CPU to mine and is considering buying a much faster card, I think he's heading toward a disaster. Accordingly, I think a CPU upgrade should be the priority for him.
 

cannondale06

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I disagree. With my E7200 at 3.75 ghz -- a fast processor as Core 2 Duos go -- I have trouble playing many new games at smooth framerates and am definitely not getting everything out of my 5850.

Frame rates in TF2, for instance, can dip into the 30s during intense moments. Even Crysis, a game not known to be especially demanding on CPUs, experiences extreme CPU bottlenecking on my computer. And don't even get my started on BFBC2.

Given that the OP has an inferior CPU to mine and is considering buying a much faster card, I think he's heading toward a disaster. Accordingly, I think a CPU upgrade should be the priority for the OP.
the OPs cpu is not really inferior to yours. a Q6600 at 3.4 would match or beat your E7200 at 3.75 more times than not.
 
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jbz7890

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the OPs cpu is not really inferior to yours. a Q6600 at 3.4 would match or beat your E7200 at 3.75 more times than not.
Only in the few games that are optimized for quad cores. In most games, my CPU will be faster. Also, I was actually referring to the poster with the E6750 @ 3.6ghz, since most of the discussion has shifted to him. (In fact, the OP with the Q6600 hasn't posted since starting this thread.)
 
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