Advice about bottlenecking



Hello, first time asking here; but I'd like some advice on what to upgrade in my PC... I understand I have a massive bottleneck, but I'm not 100% how I should approach it.

Currently, I have:
AMD 7750+ (black edition, OC'd to 3.1ghz)
4gb DDR2(1066)
XFX 4890 OC 1GB
One 1TB ST3100340AS (7200RPM)
One 250GB WD2500KS (7200RPM as well, this is my windows HDD, games on the 1TB).

I understand the CPU is a bottleneck, and I have an AM2+ motherboard, and currently I do not have enough money to upgrade the motherboard on top of the rest.

Are my hard disks a possible bottleneck? Bare in mind I'm currently playing L4D2 (It runs well) and ARMA2 (Which I get fairly lowish FPS tbh), and BF2 PR mod (Pretty crappy FPS actually).

I've seen Phenoms which are fairly reasonably priced, but would I actually get that much performance from upgrading the CPU? Or the hard disks?

Many thanks for your time!


Aug 2, 2008
The hard drive will not be a significant bottleneck. But I'd put Windows on the 1TB drive, since it's probably faster. You can you HD Tune to see which drive is faster and by how much.

In terms of upgrading the CPU, it depends on what you do with your computer.


Would windows being on the slower hard disk adversely affect my gaming? Seeing as the games are all on the larger, faster HDD?

Really, all I want to do with the computer is gaming, it is sufficient for watching stuff in HD, and I'm not looking to render anything.

Mainly, I'm curious as to how much I could expect a performance increase from using a Phenom such as this one:

Thank you for answering though, will check up HD tune.


Ok, I totally did that the wrong way round, turns out windows IS on the faster drive.

The 1tb one averaged out at 81mbps, 13ms. With a 87.3MBs 'burst rate' (not sure what that is tbh).
The 250gb averaged 50mbps, and 13.3ms with a 131.8 burst rate.

Both said CPU usage was -1% :S

Looks like I was rather stupid and put my games on the slower hard disk, and my media on the faster...


In the 'real world' those drives are about equal. Don't go flip flopping your installs expecting to gain ANY performance. There is no gaming bottleneck happening because of your drives. Its your cpu, thats it right now. You have enough memory that what needs to run during gaming is buffered in your memory.


What resolution are you running games at? That'll make it much easier to determine your bottleneck. Upgradding your cpu will help out in a number of titles, but don't expect a night/day difference.


Dec 18, 2009
I have an Athlon II 630 and a Radeon 4870 1Gb. I did some tests on the ARMA 2 benchmark with OCing my CPU and GPU. It was much more sensitive to CPU speed than GPU speed. The numbers were (roughly- from memory) CPU from 2.8GHz to 3.5GHz = 9fps increase. GPU from 770MHz to 865Mhz = 2fps increase.
So if you want better fps with ARMA 2, I would upgrade the processor...
*edit* that's at 1920x1080