What's the bottleneck in this PC?


Oct 29, 2012
i'm wondering what holds games frame-rate and Photoshop performance back in my PC

Photoshop performance seems quite slow in 30 MB files or more although when i go back to windows 8 task manager and check it ram barely uses 49% and CPU doesn't usually exceed 30-40% .. this also happens in video games.. they do -most of them- work in full settings, yet the frame rate keeps at 30-40 at Crysis 2 for example -most games goes around that or a little more- .. now it's still comfortable to play like that , but i cant figure out which part is causing the frame-rate to be held low like that as take manager shows the there is still lots space left .. i suspect the Hard drive.. but i'm not sure...

here's the PC specifications....
Operating System: Windows 8 Pro 64-bit (6.2, Build 9200)
System Manufacturer: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd.
System Model: H55M-D2H
BIOS: Award Modular BIOS v6.00PG
Processor : Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU 760 @ 2.80GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.8GHz
Memory: 8192MB RAM DDR3 1333MHz
Available OS Memory: 8152M RAM
Hard Disk: 1.5T WD 7200 rpm
Graphic Card: ATI Radean 6850 DDR5 250bit
DirectX Version: DirectX 11

Display :-

Card name: Radeon HD 6800 Series
Manufacturer: ATI Technologies Inc.
Chip type: ATI display adapter (0x6739)
DAC type: Internal DAC(400MHz)
Device Type: Full Device
approx. Total Memory 4068 MB
Current Display Device : 1920 x 1080 (32 bit) (60Hz)

so what's the bottleneck in this PC?


I think it might be the GPU?

Could possibly be the CPU as it is getting old, as your board apparently supports overclocking that might be the first best thing to do after you get an aftermarket heatsink if you haven't already got one, you could also try overclocking the GPU a bit using ATItool, MSI Afterburner or Rivatuner.

If you do overclock go up in small steps.


Oct 5, 2010
In games the bottleneck is your GPU. The frame rates you describe are about par for my expectations for this setup. Your CPU is fine. Your GPU isn't bad but your system conforms to the general rule of thumb that the GPU is almost always the bottleneck. The only exceptions to this are if you have a really bad CPU or a really good GPU setup. You have neither.

As for Photoshop it's much harder to say. It really depends what you're doing when you notice the slowness. If you're applying complex effects or filters, it's probably the CPU: the reason why you don't see 100% CPU usage is probably that Photoshop doesn't max out all cores.

Your HDD probably isn't the bottleneck except when you're booting, opening applications or copying large files.


For your games i suspect it's your graphics card as i had a ATI 6850 and it started to struggle in some of the newer games a little bit. I upgraded to a 7850 and it helped me a lot. As for photoshop i don't use it but getting a solid state hard drive would help make the whole system more responsive. I got a solid state drive this year and have been extremely happy with how responsive my computer has become. I hope this helps:)


Aug 17, 2012
Photoshop is CPU intensive. So there's something going on there with the CPU usage. Is it an old version of Photoshop?

Gaming is mostly GPU intensive. The bottleneck in gaming will be the graphics card.