Computers & Electronics

Am I CPU bound? 290 Crossfire on 2500k

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[OP]
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Oct 25, 2003
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Am I CPU bound? 290 Crossfire on 2500k

So bought another 290 a couple weeks ago to crossfire on my system.

Specs are
2500K
Asus Maximus IV Gene-Z
620Watt Antec High Current Gaming PSU

Added the 2nd 290 and heard the PSU making a very odd clicking noise when running furmark, and the system just shutdown.

I have a Seasonic 1050 Platinum on order.

I can get about 4.4GHz outta my 2500k but is that limiting me by alot? My mobo/cpu only supports x8-x8 PCI-E 2.0, but I could get a 3770 and it would be x8-x8 PCI-E 3.0, but it doesn't seem worth it, as a 6600k would be a couple hundred more.

Is the cpu truely limiting me by alot?
it's me ramin.
13 replies
Deal Guru
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Oct 24, 2012
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Depends on the game, some games heavily tax the GPU and leave the CPU alone. Some other games use both, some other games are very inefficient and rely heavily on the CPU.

Run MSI Afterburner's hardware monitor, or use HWMonitor, while playing games, see if your CPU is running at peak while the GPU load is jumping from 100% to 0% constantly.


I have almost your exact rig:

2500k @ 4.8GHZ
R9 290X (Single).

The CPU and GPU are very much equally used, neither bottlenecking each others, when I play on a 64 player server. However, if I try to go above 1080p resolution, the GPU becomes the bottleneck, as the CPU load seems pretty static regardless of the gfx quality level.
Deal Expert
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Jul 22, 2006
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I think most games high at 1080p will be fine. Ultra and higher resolution may occasionally lag.
Deal Addict
Jul 26, 2004
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Maybe drawing too much power and tripped the fuse on the psu? Try with your new psu first . Unless you jump to an i7 not much point in upgrading cpu.
Deal Guru
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coilz wrote: Maybe drawing too much power and tripped the fuse on the psu?
620W is not enough for 2x R9 290, let alone 2x R9 290 + the rest of the computer.

The PSU he is using has two rails, and onle one of those two rails has the PCI-E port. A single R9 290 would use up all of that rail's capacity.
[OP]
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Oct 25, 2003
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alkizmo wrote: Depends on the game, some games heavily tax the GPU and leave the CPU alone. Some other games use both, some other games are very inefficient and rely heavily on the CPU.

Run MSI Afterburner's hardware monitor, or use HWMonitor, while playing games, see if your CPU is running at peak while the GPU load is jumping from 100% to 0% constantly.


I have almost your exact rig:

2500k @ 4.8GHZ
R9 290X (Single).

The CPU and GPU are very much equally used, neither bottlenecking each others, when I play on a 64 player server. However, if I try to go above 1080p resolution, the GPU becomes the bottleneck, as the CPU load seems pretty static regardless of the gfx quality level.
There was a hardocp spot on 7970s on PCI-E 2.0 vs 3.0 and in one instance on 2 card crossfire, there was a 20% performance increase. With the lack of a crossfire bridge now, I could see that may be even greater.

Which mobo do you have?

This extra 290 was a steal at $155, but having to buy a HG10, aio watercooler (gpu had the terrible OEM cooler) and now a new PSU, its getting expensive

What resolution do you run? I'm on 1440p.
it's me ramin.
[OP]
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Oct 25, 2003
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coilz wrote: Maybe drawing too much power and tripped the fuse on the psu? Try with your new psu first . Unless you jump to an i7 not much point in upgrading cpu.
It probably was, online calculators say I need 850watt or so, hence the Silverstone 1050w Platinum on order..

My motherboard is a Z68, which fully supports PCI-E 3.0 so if I go to a 3770K I'd get that added benefit of doubling my PCI-E bandwidth too
it's me ramin.
Deal Guru
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B0000rt wrote: There was a hardocp spot on 7970s on PCI-E 2.0 vs 3.0 and in one instance on 2 card crossfire, there was a 20% performance increase. With the lack of a crossfire bridge now, I could see that may be even greater.
Crossfire didn't seem like such a great performance boost in terms of cost and power drain. Personally I wouldn't bother, but I guess you play single player games which can be light on the CPU and heavy on GPU.
B0000rt wrote: Which mobo do you have?
Asus Sabertooth P67

This extra 290 was a steal at $155, but having to buy a HG10, aio watercooler (gpu had the terrible OEM cooler) and now a new PSU, its getting expensive
B0000rt wrote: What resolution do you run? I'm on 1440p.
1080p, but when I raise the scaling of Battlefield 4 (basically upsizing the resolution then shrinking back to 1080p), my GPU tops out.
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Mar 24, 2009
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I would be very surprised if your CPU was limiting you: http://www.techspot.com/review/1089-fal ... page5.html

Sandy Bridge is still kicking, maybe when Kaby Lake comes around you may want to upgrade.

Myself, I have a 3570k @ 4.4 Ghz and see no need to upgrade my CPU. GPU is another story, I went from a 6970 -> 7950 -> 780 GTX over the course of this CPU/mobo combo.
[OP]
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Oct 25, 2003
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Alright, so the Seasonic Platinum 1050watt came and took the opportunity to create some 120mm holes in the back of the FT03 so that the rear videocard could get some fresh air. The PSU is working great, and I was able to get back into OCing my CPI up to 4.8GHz at 1.4V. Temps stay under 60C. The Corsair HG10 with H50 AIO is keeping the inner GPU cool and it stays around 50C, while the air cooled GPU still gets up to the 60s.

Only problem now is I'm getting some odd random freezing in windows 10. Event viewer says something about ahci warning so will cruise around the net later to debug this one.

Thanks for your help guys
it's me ramin.
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B0000rt wrote: Only problem now is I'm getting some odd random freezing in windows 10.
You probably OCed the CPU too far.
[OP]
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alkizmo wrote: You probably OCed the CPU too far.
Happens at stock frequency too though

Google says its some sort of conflict between W10 drivers vs Intel drivers. Using specific Intel drivers apparently fixes the issue. We'll see, I flashed to the latest bios so hopefully that helps, else I'll try the older driver trick
it's me ramin.
[OP]
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alkizmo wrote: Reset the bios to factory default.

Use AMD clean uninstall utility.
http://support.amd.com/en-us/kb-article ... ility.aspx

Basically, start fresh. The AHCI error is VERY broad, but it usually points to your SATA controller or a communication problem with your hard drives / SSD.
Yeah started freshm bios update and clean w10 install. So far so good with that. Looks like it was a bios issue all along
it's me ramin.

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