A serious question about CPU/GPU bottlenecks.

  1. At the end of this month, I am building a gaming desktop computer with the following specifications. I was told that the ONLY CPU capable of not having any bottleneck with the Radeon HD 5xxx series is a Core i7 @ 4.5 GHz. How badly will a Phenom II X4 965 BE @3.4 GHz bottleneck a single Radeon HD 5870? Will the ability of that GPU be severely limited limited by that bottleneck? Do I have to spend another $1,000 to buy a Core i7 rig with an X58 motherboard and water cooling after trying to get it to that ludicrous speed?

    Off topic, I heard that the first revision of the Sapphire HD 5870 has been discontinued, but is there any way of getting a hold of One anymore? The 2nd revision runs about 20 *C hotter both idle and load, due to cheaper circuitry than the 1st revision.

    If you can't get the 1st revision anymore, it's a damn shame. Sapphire should be ashamed of themselves.

    Also, what is the maximum theoretical graphical settings I could play Crysis on and still get a playable frame rate?

    * Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition
    * ASUS Crosshair III Formula AM3 socket motherboard.
    * 4GB of 1333 or 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM
    * Sapphire Radeon HD 5870 Vapor-X
    * 850W or greater PSU
    * CoolerMaster HAF 932 full tower case
    * DVD-RW ROM
    * 1TB 7200 RPM HDD
    * Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
     
  2. jcsd
  3. I'd have a read of this article:
    http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/balanced-gaming-pc,review-31741.html?xtmc=balanced_pc&xtcr=1
    In general, most games are GPU limited once you have a fairly decent processor (eg. i5 750, phenom 965). The i7 often performs no better than these ones since it's set up to run 8 threads but most games aren't that well threaded. That build looks pretty good, I'd look through some of the benchmarks/reviews on tomshardware to get an idea of what it's capable of doing... should definitely play crysis at most resolutions.
     
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