Does CPU Performance Matter And Cause System Bottlenecks - Shadow of Mordor

Written by Zach Hess on Sun, Mar 15, 2015 4:00 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

Following on from the first CPU performance testing we did on Far Cry 4, this time we're focusing on a title that's more CPU heavy in terms of its system requirements. Shadow of Mordor fits the bill nicely; an open world game with lots of detailed textures and roaming enemies with unique AI to keep track of. The backdrops can be beautiful and amazing to look at at times and Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor has huge CPU requirements.

For those who didn't see the last piece, the tests revolve around taking an AMD FX-8350 and then underclocking by lowering the core count and core frequency. This time around I will be looking at a slightly different set of CPU configurations to see how much impact they each have on Shadow of Mordor's Frame Per Second rates and where the processor bottleneck begins to happen on each different configuration.

Each CPU was tested two times at two minute benchmarks. All of the benchmarks were done using a GTX 970, and just like last time, I used my FX-8350, and then underclocked and disabled cores to match the Phenom II X4 965 (supposed minimum required CPU), Athlon X4 730, and since this game can run using dual cores I used an Athlon X2 7750, which is well below the minimum requirements. These benchmarks were done using the Very High graphics preset, with High Texture Quality and FXAA enabled.

For your reference the Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor system requirements can be found here, on its GD game page.

Shadow of Mordor CPU FPS Results

FX-8350 - Min FPS: 71 | Max FPS: 101 | Avg FPS: 91

Phenom II X4 965 - Min FPS: 57 | Max FPS: 100 | Avg FPS: 79

Athlon X4 730 - Min FPS: 51 | Max FPS: 95 | Avg FPS: 71

Athlon X2 7750 - Min FPS: 24 | Max FPS: 48 | Avg FPS: 32

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor Bottlenecking Results

Dead Uruks and Caragor pile mountain high by the time my benchmarking ended. I have to say, I forgot just how much fun this game can be, there's a reason why Shadow of Mordor was Game of The Year 2014 in our Global Game Awards. It'ss equally a surprise at just how well it runs. GPU usage never reached 100%, and the game ran flawlessly, up until the bottlenecking began.

Running Shadow of Mordor with the Phenom II x4 965 showed a lowering of frame rates compared to the FX-8350, but as there was no in game stuttering, it still produced a smooth gameplay experience. Therefore the 965 bottlenecking is considered negligible in relation to the Shadow of Mordor experience. The CPU bottlenecking didn't show its lower frame rates until I ran the Athlon X4 730, which saw a sizeable dip. Even then, the game was still playable, whereas the Athlon X2 7750 certainly started to feel the strain and got in the way of the GTX 970 from being able to do its job. Minimum frame rates of 24 were definitely a little choppy, with the CPU limiting performance to roughly 1/3 of the system's potential. 

An interesting sidenote is that the recommended requirements for the AMD CPU is an FX-8350, which has 8 cores. During the tests it was clearly visible that Shadow of Mordor only uses 6 cores at any one time effectively.



There's a definite trend cropping up here in the CPU requirements. Based off of this benchmark and the previous CPU benchmark, the minimum CPU requirements are chosen so as not to have a bottleneck occur with the recommended GPU requirements in that particular game! This of course adds even more confusion as to just how well your rig could perform just by looking at the requirements alone. More testing then, right? Our hunt for the right CPU bottlenecking PC game solution continues.

Cheers for your feedback on the previous Far Cry 4 CPU bottlenecking article, keep your eyes peeled for more!

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20:51 Aug-14-2015

gamedebate says I cant
but I can this easily run this game on medium with 40+ fps

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08:59 Mar-30-2015

I m thinking of buying a 970 gtx g1 gigabyte...can my Cpu handle this gpu...(later on , maybe september i ll full upgrade to 5820K )

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15:35 Mar-30-2015

Should be good to go!

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19:06 Mar-30-2015

thanks man

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09:06 Mar-17-2015

people tell me i don't have a bottleneck but i really do. i mean In every game in order to higher the gpu usage i have to use max settings. but when i lower settings i get better fps but also low gpu usage. So i definitely have a bottleneck

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10:14 Mar-17-2015

Maybe whn you lower the settings, the game doesn't need to use the gpu at his full power ? What are the CPU usage on your games when you lower the settings ?

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11:17 Mar-17-2015

In games like bf3 it's around the 70-80-90% but in bf4 the CPU usage is 100%. Actually i'm not really sure about bf3 CPU usage but i'll let you know when i now it for sure. But bf4 is 100% CPU.

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23:02 Mar-17-2015

The bottleneck could also be the hard driver though. I guess you don't have all of your games on your SSD ;)

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08:14 Mar-18-2015

bf3 is on my ssd. but yeah my fps and graphics settings are good enough for me on my games. But my point is there is a bottleneck. And i might get a new mobo and cpu. But for know it works just fine. and my HDD has no prob.

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08:17 Mar-18-2015

even the core 2 quad are dying. There is stil life left in them. But LGA 775 is pretty much obselete these days for good gaming.

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09:17 Mar-18-2015

Well it's really old now and lived really long alleady, much longer then Socket 478

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01:14 Mar-17-2015

I can safely say i was able to achieve 4k resolution with medium settings with supersampling and the fps at a solid 30 fps. Oh and I enjoyed every moment of 4k gameplay. P.S. this is on shadow of mordor.

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03:34 Mar-17-2015

I don't believe you I just ran it at 3840x2160 high through very high settings and got around 35 fps average

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04:41 Mar-17-2015

Well It was Achieved there is no doubt about it, do i need to post a screenshot?

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04:56 Mar-17-2015

200% my monitor native res

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15:01 Mar-17-2015

did you run this on your 1600x900 monitor?

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15:02 Mar-17-2015

He did, yes. So it isn't really 4K. Close, but not 4K.

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15:06 Mar-17-2015

yea I just saw his screenshot, very impressed with the 270x though

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09:18 Mar-18-2015

3200x1800 isn't even close to 4k imho


3200x1800 = 5,7 Mepapixel
3820x2160 = 8,3 Megapixel

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09:40 Mar-18-2015

This is more like 3K+ :D

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04:40 Mar-17-2015

By "4K" are you talking about 3840x2160 res?

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04:42 Mar-17-2015

no 3200x1800 achieved with supersampling

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06:17 Mar-17-2015

Use the in-game benching tool and what fps do you get?

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07:22 Mar-17-2015
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08:20 Mar-17-2015

Sorry if you feel like I'm saying your "wrong" just wondering. Because when I first tried this game when it came out is was on a msi 760 with a 25% oc on it and would get around 45 fps at 1080 ultra settings. Tho haven't benched it since

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08:43 Mar-17-2015

since then Ive been running the higher settings with that res and can achieve 35fps average on high 33.9 fps average on very high and on ultra i average 29.83 fps.

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08:43 Mar-17-2015

@Jtd008 My average for Ultra on 900p was 80.40fps.

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09:06 Mar-17-2015

I was using the HD ultra textures when doing that bench at the time. Jc what textures you using? Because this game uses a lot of VRAM at higher res.

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09:21 Mar-17-2015

The only reason i dont do ultra textures when running the game is because it stutters from not enough vram in the benchmarks it doesnt stutter but yeah i was using ultra hd textures for then benchmark hitting around 2012mb of vram usage.

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12:00 Mar-17-2015

WOW the 270x is still hitting it that hard. Pretty impressive.

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16:55 Mar-17-2015

I know man I'm pretty impressed by the 270x, on all Ultra settings with the HD Textures I get around 78 fps @ 1080p, and at 3840x2160 I get around 35 fps

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17:01 Mar-17-2015

how much vram are you using with ultra tex and 3840x2160 res?

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21:30 Mar-17-2015

A Crazy amount pretty much all of it.

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02:09 Mar-18-2015

All 3.5 LOL

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23:33 Mar-16-2015

If I upgrade to a i5-750 and 8 gigs of RAM would I get a significant difference?

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01:17 Mar-17-2015

Um Maybe around 15-20 fps difference from what your currently getting

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09:41 Mar-18-2015

better go for a athlon x4 860k or fx 6300 or i3 4160 or i5 4430, it's not really worth it buying this old i5.
But yes you will get a good amount of performance increase.

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21:56 Mar-16-2015

see this is why i hate people overusing the term bottlneck as you can tell it takes ALOT as in a not very good cpu to make an actual bottlneck so people with amd fx xxxx series and intel i5 users please stop asking will my cpu bottlneck this it annoys people thank you

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23:52 Mar-16-2015

Not asking questions creates ignorance. I'm fine with answering the same questions over and over. :D

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16:14 Mar-16-2015

Is my CPU good or should I get something better?
Not sure how good it is.

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16:21 Mar-16-2015

Your CPU is good enough.

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17:19 Mar-16-2015

I don't think that CPU would bottleneck a 750 ti so a non-ti is no problem...

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10:14 Mar-18-2015

you can see here than the athon x4 730 runs amazingly well with a gtx 970, his cpu is an athlon x4 730 clocked at 3.7Ghz + 20% with an iGPU, while the x4 730 is clocked at 2.8Ghz with no iGPU.


http://www.game-debate.com/cpu/index.php?pid=2224&pid2=1250&compare=athlon-x4-730-vs-apu-a10-6700-quad-core


I have the feeling he will be more than fine :)

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19:40 Mar-16-2015

K, thanks a lot!
But it is ti though

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15:50 Mar-16-2015

Personally I love to see these benchmarks, especially underclocking the FX 8350.

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14:02 Mar-16-2015

You should be using an Intel CPU for this kind of test as AMD cpu's are not as solid as Intels..

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14:54 Mar-16-2015

I know that AMD doesn't have the same performance of Intel CPU's but that doesn't mean I can't do some benchmarks. I see you are using an Intel CPU. Maybe you could do some benchmarks?

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15:05 Mar-16-2015

ZeroHour is right... Why not just do some benchmarks yourself...? Your CPU is quite a beast anyway...

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09:26 Mar-18-2015

I might try to benchmark something, when i find the time for it :P

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12:38 Mar-16-2015

Well, should be AMD FX-6300 and AMD FX-8350, so we can see the different ... ^_^

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09:23 Mar-16-2015

Is my CPU bottlenecking my GPU?

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09:32 Mar-16-2015

Not at all... In fact, that GTX 860M is nothing for it and it can take vastly more powerful GPUs than that with no bottleneck whatsoever... It can probably take two top of the line mobile GPUs in SLI/Crossfire no problem...

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11:44 Mar-16-2015

even alienware put 4710HQ with 980m i dont think that cpu bittloneck any gpu

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12:13 Mar-16-2015

In medieval total war 2, it does ^^

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08:15 Mar-16-2015

Can everyone stop saying bottleneck? Thanks.

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08:48 Mar-16-2015

Bucketneck.

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09:28 Mar-16-2015

@ Chairmandrew,
Happy now...?

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14:56 Mar-16-2015

What's wrong with using that term? I think it's okay to use, when used correctly. 9 times out of 10, I see it used incorrectly. This should educate someone out there who misuses that term. Bottleneck

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08:09 Mar-16-2015

One of the best optimized game is Shadow Of Mordor. I completed the game on radeon 6470m.

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07:34 Mar-16-2015

i5 non k with gtx 970 is ok or i should upgrade cpu

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07:39 Mar-16-2015

It's OK!

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08:08 Mar-16-2015

You don't need to upgrade at all. You've got the third best i5 and it's only 10% weaker than the i5 4690k. And it can handle every gpu no problem.

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09:30 Mar-16-2015

These two are right... i5-2500 can handle anything today you throw at it and then some... You're fine with that CPU...

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17:14 Mar-16-2015

thanks you for help

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06:31 Mar-16-2015

my system bottle necking :P ?

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07:02 Mar-16-2015

Yes... Yes it is... You should have at least a core 2 Quad or first gen i5 or second gen or later i3 for that GPU...

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07:58 Mar-16-2015

Im more worried about his ram though

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09:29 Mar-16-2015

Oh I didn't notice... But he can only get another 2 GB RAM... He has 32-bit OS...

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10:56 Mar-16-2015

any halfway modern cpu 4-core cpu would be good enough, AMD or Intel.
But in his case he may should think about a whole new system.
Maybe he could reuse the GPU.

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11:47 Mar-16-2015

If you cant do a total rebuild find a q6600 on e-bay overclock it get a 64bit os and a 8gb of ram.

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15:01 Mar-16-2015

I've seen a few Q8400s on e-bay... That is a really nice CPU... Comparable to i3-2120 easily... Seen it run Metro 2033 maxed out no problem with a GTX 560 ti...

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05:42 Mar-16-2015

Hmm should I upgrade to a 4790k? Will this PCU hold it's own with 290x cf?

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05:45 Mar-16-2015

Your CPU is plenty powerful enough for your GPU. With a Crossfire setup, I think it would be fine as well.

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05:50 Mar-16-2015

sweet might be getting this http://tinyurl.com/kjgojh3 soon so will be getting another 290x. Wanted to make sure my 4670k will be ok:) thx for the fast reply.

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08:50 Mar-16-2015

Are you nuts?Thats most powerful i5 right now.ofcouse you dont need new cpu.

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09:02 Mar-16-2015

Since I'm moving to 4k I wanted to make sure. Also it never hurts asking. Can see people didn't like that I asked tho lol

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09:44 Mar-16-2015

I advice you to move to 1440p or you may want to crossfire it.Games are getting graphics demanding at a fast rate.

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10:10 Mar-16-2015

I'll be crosfiring my 290x for 4k. Just hope it's not a mistake and I should of got 1440/1600 :/

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10:13 Mar-16-2015

4K is only more demanding for your GPU's not CPU. A CPU performs the same at 640x480 and 4k, only the GPU has to do much more work. So 4K actually easier for your CPU to keep up GPU's ;)

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10:22 Mar-16-2015

There are 27 inch 1440p monitors and 4k monitors.So even if you buy 4k you could just lower res and it will look just like the 1440p.So no worries.

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10:59 Mar-16-2015

But two 290x should handle 4k just fine. i wouldnt worry at all.

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14:29 Mar-16-2015

With reduced graphic setting i suppose for upcoming graphics demanding games like witcher 3 and the division to get 60 Fps.

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19:50 Mar-16-2015

Did we just -4 the guy for asking a question?

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20:08 Mar-16-2015

Noticed you can get - easy asking questions when you have 'higher" end hardware or maybe its just me lol:/ btw how do you like that 4790k? really thinking about getting one:)

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20:21 Mar-16-2015

Bruh. I can bet i can get dislikes on this comment due my hardware...

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20:22 Mar-16-2015

I get downvotes for stating the facts! It really hurts...

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20:27 Mar-16-2015

Yeah, i feel the pain witth you Zach.. Man

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22:45 Mar-16-2015

I've used the 4690k and the 4790k. Literally no gaming performance difference save for a few titles (it's still only marginal difference). If you're only gaming, stick with the i5 for now.

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04:25 Mar-16-2015

Wonder if i'm bottlenecking :/ Hope not.

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04:31 Mar-16-2015

Well since you are currently using a test rig, I can't be too sure. ;)

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04:39 Mar-16-2015

The test rig is my current rig I haven't found the time to verify it.. i might do it next month only because i need to get 2gb more of 1333mhz ram

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04:41 Mar-16-2015

We have finished checking your computer and the results are as follows:
OPERATING SYSTEM
Name: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Architecture: 64-bit
DirectX version: 9.0c or better


MEMORY
Total memory: 6 GB
HARD DRIVES
C:



  • Free space: 367 GB

  • Total space: 987 GB
    D:

  • Free space: 1 GB

  • Total space: 12 GB
    PROCESSORS
    1

  • Name: AMD FX(tm)-8320 Eight-Core Processor

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04:42 Mar-16-2015

  • Manufacturer: AuthenticAMD

    • Description: AMD64 Family 21 Model 2 Stepping 0

    • Number of cores: 4



VIDEO CONTROLLERS
1



  • Name: AMD Radeon R9 200 Series

  • Adapter compatibility: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.

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04:46 Mar-16-2015

Not enough bottleneck to cause an issue. :D

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04:52 Mar-16-2015

Good to know ^-^ will be sure to validate when i get my ram.

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01:37 Mar-16-2015

What about me guys ? Is my core i5 good enough ?

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01:50 Mar-16-2015

Absolutely.Us both have the same cpu and i can assure you there wont be a slight bottleneck in most demanding games.

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01:55 Mar-16-2015

No of course it's not, why did you bought such a low end weak cpu, what were you thinking? Good Graphics card though.

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05:06 Mar-16-2015

Not sure if joking or not

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06:22 Mar-16-2015

Really? Well it was a joke, for which i thought to be pretty obvious one.

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00:50 Mar-16-2015

Is my CPU bottlenecking my GPU?

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00:54 Mar-16-2015

Yes, but not enough to cause an issue.

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23:09 Mar-15-2015

Is my CPU bottlenecking my GPU?

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23:13 Mar-15-2015

A little. But everyone's cpu bottlenecks their gpu. It just matters if it is enough to cause an issue. You are fine though. :)

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23:29 Mar-15-2015

Damn thx for the quick reply zerohour060

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23:49 Mar-15-2015

It is nothing to worry about though.

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Can They Run... |

| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX 540X 2GB Mobile 8GB
| 30FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i5-4670 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1050 Ti EVGA Gaming 4GB 8GB
| 60FPS, High, 1440p
Ryzen 7 3700X 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2080 EVGA XC Ultra Gaming 8GB 32GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 7 4800H 8-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 1650 Ti 4GB 8GB
| High,
Ryzen 7 2700 8-Core 3.2GHz Radeon RX 5600 XT Gigabyte Gaming OC 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 1440p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1070 Palit Super JetStream 16GB
50% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Core i7-11700K 8-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 Asus ROG Strix Gaming OC 6GB Edition 32GB
75% Yes [4 votes]
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i7-4770 4-Core 3.4GHz GeForce GTX 1060 Inno3D Compact 6GB 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i5-9300H 4-Core 2.4GHz GeForce GTX 1650 8GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
| Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 5600 6-Core 3.5GHz Radeon RX 5500 XT 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
Core i5-9400F 6-Core 2.9GHz GeForce GTX 770 DirectCU II 2GB OC Edition 16GB
57.1429% Yes [7 votes]
Pentium Dual Core B960 2.2GHz Radeon HD 6950M 4GB
25% No [8 votes]
| 60FPS, Medium, 720p
Athlon II X2 245 GeForce GTS 250 4GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3500U 4-Core 2.1 GHz Radeon RX Vega 8 8GB
| 60FPS, High, 720p
Core i5-2400S 2.5GHz Radeon R5 340 (OEM) 4GB