Is my current CPU too big of a bottleneck for an HD 6780?

By Zaladen ยท 8 replies
Sep 24, 2011
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  1. Hi there. My first post on the forums. :)

    I'll get right to it; I'm probably getting a new GPU as preperation for Battlefield 3, since my old one (8800GTS 320 mb) is starting to get REALLY old. I thought of getting the hd6780 as it was surprisingly cheap, the only issue was that it will be bottlenecked by my current CPU (Q6600@2.4 Ghz), or my current hardware in general for that matter(4GB of DDR2 ram @667 Mhz). So basically I just want to know; will the hd6780 work OK with my current setup? I know it will bottleneck to some degree for sure, I'm just wondering how much. :)

    I'm planning to play Battlefield 3 on my 720p TV, which means a pretty low resolution of 1280x768 so hopefully it will run well even if my CPU could've been better.

    Hopefully someone could take some time and answer me. :D
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    I'm sure someone else that knows more about cards than me will reply, but in the meantime I replaced an 8800GTS 320 with a Radeon HD 5830 on a C2D 6400@2.13 and I'm playing SC2 at 1920x1080 with pretty high settings (I thought they were maxed (without AA) but someone informed me that wouldn't be possible with my hardware). I think at that low of a resolution your processor will be bottlenecked quite a bit, but it may prevent you from getting 200fps when you'll get 130fps instead (I just made those numbers up, but my point is even if the CPU is holding you back it will still be playable).

    I would suspect that unless you have a CPU upgrade planned real soon, you may be better off getting a less powerful card. The reason I say that is, by the time you do get around to upgrading your CPU and mobo, your 6870 might not be real great anymore. So you could probably save money and get a lesser card (hopefully someone will have suggestions) for less money and put that money towards beer, or maybe a future cpu/mobo upgrade.

    Edit: I confirmed today I am playing with everything on Ultra or High if high is max setting. I've played the campaign and probably 150 bnet games and only once have I seen the message 'your computer is slowing down gameplay' and aside from that one time I've not noticed any video lag.
  3. dividebyzero

    dividebyzero trainee n00b Posts: 4,891   +1,264

    First off, I assume you mean HD 6870 (or possibly 6790) rather than 6780. The HD 6870 would be pretty well matched by your Q6600 -which is still a reasonably capable CPU. At your screen resolution the card should offer a degree of future proofing -as far as it exists in gaming.

    You could also consider the HD 6850 at that resolution, or depending on price, a HD 5850 -which sits between the 6850 and 6870 in performance.

    Whether or not the CPU bottlenecks performance is going to come down largely on the individual game. BF3 will certainly be CPU constrained due to physics calculations done by the CPU ( destructible enviroment etc.), but as SNGX pointed out, it is largely a moot point when using lower screen resolutions and hence higher framerates.
  4. Zaladen

    Zaladen TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wow that's some quick replies! Thanks guys :D

    Oh yea, sorry, somehow the name 6780 sounded more right in my head but I guess I was wrong xD

    The thing is, that the 6870 is only about $14 more expensive than the 6850 from where I'm going to get it, so those $14 dollars don't matter to me. Therefore I might as well just get it.

    There's a voice in my head that tells me I will be able to run bf3 on the highest settings with my setup and that card, but I shouldn't bring my hopes up too much I guess. :p
  5. Firebat246

    Firebat246 TS Rookie

    I bought the power color single slot 6850 to future proof my machine. Since it's a single slot design you would be able to fit up to 4 down the road (given the proper motherboard. My new board (which is still a socket 775) supports crossfire. So even if your motherboard only supports 2 right now getting one is a good investment. Gives you a lot of room to work with and a price tag you can work at as time goes on. Just my 2 cents! Even one (if you board supports only 1) card is fairly powerful I can tell you first hand. Something to consider :)

    You can then upgrade/over clock your cpu as needed to keep up with 2 or more cards... As one card shouldn't be bottlenecked.
  6. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    6870 will do the job very well and is great for gaming at 1920x1080 or lower rez. there might be a bottleneck just turn up the settings and try to put everything on the videocard.
  7. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    And you should probably manage to get that Q6600 to 3GHz overclocked with standard intel Heatsink. Would be worth doing for a little more ooomph for BF3. As others have stated your CPU might bottleneck the GPU performance but at the 720P res I wouldn't think that would be evident. I used to run with 1920x1200 BF2 : BC2 on a 5850 Q6600 system at 3GHz and it managed 60+ fps without problem. BF3 is going to be more demanding but if you are running 1280x768 I would think it would definitely give you at least somewhere between around the 50-60 FPS with high settings without issue. Currently in beta the 2 x 5850 system in link is getting about 80 outdoors and max of 120 indoors in the Metro map. Vehicles and larger maps/64 players instead of 32 might take more of a toll on our systems though.

    I also have the BF3 beta installed on my Intel i5 520M laptop (shouldn't be much if any better than a Q6600) with a 5650M and it was reporting 30 FPS with the beta on high settings. Although there is debate on whether or not the beta has reduced size textures and other detail settings scaled back for the testing.

    SKYSTAR TS Enthusiast Posts: 207

    yes Q6600 overclocked to 3.00 Ghz with hd 6870 and 4 Gb of ram will be very good and i think you will be able to play all hardcore games with ultra quality at your resolution but make sure that your motherboard is support pci express v 2.1
  9. Zaladen

    Zaladen TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you for all the replies. :D Well well, now I definitely think I will be going for the 6870. :) seems like a good deal for me. :D

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