Understanding CPU and Video card bottlenecks

Posted on Wednesday, October 16 2002 @ 14:54 CEST by Thomas De Maesschalck
Viper's Lair posted an interesting article on their site about bottlenecks :
I'm writing this because I still get an awful lot of emails asking me to explain how a video card or CPU can be a bottleneck in a PC setup. As I've said in several reviews and articles, a video card bottleneck occurs when the CPU is providing more information than a video card can handle. A CPU bottleneck happens when the video card doesn't get enough info from the CPU.

To understand how video cards work, almost all modern video cards need a decent CPU to go with it. If the video card is too powerful (for example, a GeForce 4 ti4600), and the CPU is too slow (a Pentium 2 266), the video card is wasted because the CPU can't deliver info as fast as a video card can take it. We're not saying that the video card won't be an improvement over an ATI 16MB Rage, but don't expect 300fps, that's for sure.
Raedon 9700 PRO

GeForce 4 MX440

Like you see on the benchmarks above ; the results for a Radeon 9700 Pro and a GeForce 4 MX440 are almost the same on the P3 500MHz.

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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