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Graphics Potential CPU Bottleneck?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by xaser04, 2 Apr 2014.

  1. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

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    Hi all,

    Following on from my recent HD7850 1GB Eyefinity "review" I now have an urge to play on my Eyefinity setup properly again. Yes I tried Crysis 3 and the poor 7850 waved a little white flag.

    Now obviously this will require a much more powerful card than the HD7850 and thus I am looking into either the option of a R9 290 or simply get another GTX780 (already owned two in the past & benched Surround extensivly). Both of these cards should offer up more than playable framerates in the games I want to play (based on my own previous testing) thus in outright performance terms they are basically interchangable.

    There is only one small problem though, the system was bult as a budget gaming system for my wife and thus includes a Athlon II X4 760K.... (A great budget CPU btw)

    Now normally I would laugh at the prospect at partnering a GTX780 / 290 with a weak CPU (in comparison to a i7), but given I will be running a resolution of 5888x1080 will it be such a problem? (For a useless comparison a heavily overclocked HD7850 (1200/5400) was constantly pegged at 99% GPU usage).

    I remember overclocking my old 2500K / 3770K made no difference to FPS in the games I was playing at the time (I don't play RTS games) in Surrond / Eyefinity, so theorectically I should be able to get away with a slower CPU (I know a 760K is slower than a stock 2500K).

    I will be overclocking the 760K as far as possible when gaming to help aleviate any potential bottleneck.

    I don't have the budget to replace everything (CPU / MB)* so I have two potential possibilities:

    1) Get a 290 / GTX780 and hope there is little or no bottlenecking;

    2) Get a cheaper 280X / GTX770 and put up with lower than preferred performance (based on the known outright performance of both GPU's).

    Option one gives the potential for more performance but option 2 might be the safer bet - although has a maximum performance ceiling which I already aware of (had numerous HD7970's / GTX680's).

    Anyway enough waffle (I could go on and on about Eyefnity / Surround performance potential but I won't), what do you guys think about the potential bottleneck here? Potentially massive or not enough to worry about given the resolution requirements & subsequent GPU bottleneck?

    *Well TBH considering I havn't even mentioned this to my wife, I doubt I will have the budget for anything but hey. Apparantly a new Kitchen is more important than higher framerates... WTF?! :miffed::p
     
  2. rollo

    rollo Modder

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    760k is alot slower than the 2500k your on about is a problem you will have. ( twice as slow acording to anandtechs benches )

    2500k is fast enough before overclocking to never be the bottle neck unless your playing at like 640x480 resolution with some insanely powerful gpu combo.

    Assuming you have the budget for 1 top end card Nvidia 780 or r290x would be the way to go. Both offer similar performance. They also both cost similar money in todays market. Aprox £380.

    Wether it will bottleneck or not is mute point since you can not afford to upgrade both as you have said either way.

    Will you get max performance from either card if thats your question, no you will not in certain titles that can actually use a cpu. Some titles the cpu is meaningless.
     
  3. Harlequin

    Harlequin Modder

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    running at 5888x1080 I am 99.9999999999999999999% sure your cpu wont be the limiting factor.


    so sticking a hawell-e i7 in there wont make any difference as the card will run out of grunt at that res for gaming than any cpu can stuff it along.

    ofc intel fangirls will happily state otherwise.
     
  4. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Swinging the banhammer Super Moderator

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    I would agree - at that res you will definitely need a lot of GPU grunt (well depending on the game of course) - much more so than CPU grunt (again depending on the game)
     
  5. AlienwareAndy

    AlienwareAndy What's a Dremel?

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    The last time I ran surround I used two GTX 295s. You need a lot of power for it....
     
  6. GeorgeStorm

    GeorgeStorm Aggressive PC Builder

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    I would think your gpu would run out of oomph before your cpu, go for it :)
     
  7. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

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    Quick update on this, I have just secured a R9 290 flashed to a 290X for a little over £220 (factoring in postage costs). Should get it Saturday so I can run through my entire Eyefinity bench "suite".

    Looking forward to playing around with it now. I will compare it to a HD7970 OC & GTX 780, both of which were run on a 2500K/3770K.
     
  8. Deders

    Deders Modder

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    Crysis 3 specifically is a CPU heavy game. On the welcome to the jungle level it actually maxes out (first game to do so) my overclocked i5, still very playable but CPU is a limiting factor in this game.
     
  9. xaser04

    xaser04 Ba Ba Ba BANANA!

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    I am going to line up some 1080p benchmarks as well, just to see how limiting the cpu is (is not?). I have a number of GTX 780 1080p benchmarks to compare against. The 780 was running on a 3770K so will act as a proxy for a 290X running on a 3770K. Not perfect but it is the best I can do.

    The card arrived this morning but I have only just managed to get back online as our power was out. Apparently a transformer blew which required the power company to start drilling right outside our house at 6:20AM...... EURGH.

    I am going to spend an evening benchmarking / gaming (and drinking LOTS of tea) to cheer myself up. I am planning on a massive write up which will probably take me most of tomorrow.
     

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