Will I see a bottleneck?


Feb 20, 2013
Hello, I have an AMD Phenom II x6 1055t. I have been saving and acquiring money for a GPU upgrade to future proof my build. I plan on getting an Nvidia Titan when they are released, if not a Titan, a GTX 690. Will I see any bottleneck with my CPU?

Full System Specs

16GB Corsair Vengeance 1600mhz
MSI 970A-G45
Cooler Master Storm Scout
Cooler Master v8 heatsink
AMD Radeon HD 6870 1gb Sapphire
Rosewill 630 watt PSU



At stock settings, I would imagine the processor will cause some bottle neck with either of those high end gfx cards, yes. Even with 6 cores, 2.8GHZ is not enough to keep up with the faster cards in modern games.


It will be the low clock speeds not the core count that will bottleneck you as clutchc said. With a Titan or GTX690 level card you honetly need an overclocked i5/i7 in the 4Ghz or over range or an AMD FX in the 4.5-5Ghz range to not bottleneck. The STARS architecture of the Phenom II is just too outdated for cards that powerful. If you can get the chip stable at ~4Ghz it would help quite a bit but would still be a bottleneck.

When testing GTX 690 level cards review sites generally use i5 or i7 Sandy or Ivy Bridge processors at ~4.5Ghz or better to be sure there is no CPU bottleneck.
To help clarify your options, run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.

Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.

If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

If you are using a single 1080P monitor, my take is that you would be better off to opt for a GTX680 or 7970 which will be a nice bump over a 6870.

Save the $600 difference for something else.


Feb 20, 2013
I would say it depends on your resolution / monitor setup. 1440 or 1600p 3d games? That gpu will bottleneck you badly.

1080p on a single monitor? CPU is bottleneck.

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