I am trying to understand how to best determine what may be a bottleneck in my PC as well as what is the best upgrade path.
It is my understanding that there is no magical tools to tell you how balanced your system is and that it varies greatly from one game to another. What i need is some basic info on how to best test this and determine what is the best upgrade to improve things.
My current specs are:
- Windows 7 64 bits
- P7P55D-E PRO
- Core i5 760 @ 2.8GHz
- GTX 460 1GB
- 8GB (4x2GB) DDR3 1600MHz
- WD Caviar Black SATA3 6GB/s @ 7200RPM
I installed MSI Afterburner to see how the GPU performs and been using the performance tab of the task manager for CPU usage. Is this a good way to monitor performance?
I did a couple test in DmC and GTA 4. Both games running at 1080p.
In DmC, which i run at max settings easily with upward of 100 fps when turning V-Sync off, testing in the Bloody Palace CPU usage is very stable at around 38-40% with one core running much higher than the other 3 who stay around 20-25% usage and GPU usage is stable at 76-78%
In GTA 4, load is evenly distributed across every cores and CPU usage is running around 70-75%. It varies a bit more than in DmC which i guess is normal considering the environment varies greatly compared to the Bloody Palace in DmC. It never drops below 65% however and never goes higher than 80%. The GPU usage is around 90%, peaking at 93%.
DmC might be somewhat irrelevant because none of the parts are near their maximum performance but in GTA 4 which i'm not running at max settings (mostly high, medium shadows, 16x AF, no AA, 75% draw distance) and at around 40-45 fps, the GPU does peak close to its maximum performance while the CPU still has some wiggle room.
So am i right in assuming that at the moment the GPU is a bottleneck for the CPU? What are other, better ways of testing this.
Next i need to figure out what is the best possible upgrade for the graphics card. I understand that it's no use going too high otherwise the card's potential will be wasted if the CPU can't keep up. CPU, Mobo and hard drive upgrades are out of the question. Specifically changing the CPU would pretty much mean changing the whole computer since meaningful upgrades on socket LGA1156 are non-existent. I am open to overclocking however. I say Hard drive upgrades is out of the question because obviously people will suggest getting an SSD and my budget will not allow it.
I am not upgrading now btw, i am slowly starting to educate myself for my next purchase. I haven't kept up with new hardware news since i built this PC. In all likelihood i will upgrade once the new consoles are out, by that time my PC will be 3 years old (built in October 2010) and it should be pretty clear if it's possible to upgrade it to keep up with the consoles or not.
Thanks in advance for the help.