Is my FX 6350 bottlenecking my GTX 970?

PC Specs:
CPU: AMD FX 6350 6 core 3.9Ghz
RAM: G-Skill Ares 2x4gb 1866Mhz
Mobo: MSI 970A G43
Graphics Card: Galax GTX 970 EXOC Black Edition
PSU: Old Rosewill 750w 80 plus (not bronze or silver or anything)

Hey everybody. I just upgraded my EVGA GTX 660 to the above 970. I was expecting to get a ridiculous FPS increase since the 970 is so much more powerful than the 660, but I feel like the performance increase isn't all that significant. I cranked up the graphic settings of my games and I only get on average 45-50 FPS. I've been starting to wonder if my FX 6350 has been holding the 970 back, but my CPU is never at 100% usage with all of the games I've tried. Games like Dying Light and Witcher 3 get up to about 70-90% but it's never been at 100% usage. I can't even max out Borderlands 2 and play at a smooth frame rate. I even turned on the overclocking genie in the bios so my CPU runs at 4.2GHz, but even then there's still no performance increase. I understand intel CPUs are ideal for higher-end graphics cards but I can't afford an i5 and a new motherboard right now. I don't know why my performance hasn't gotten any better with upgrading my GPU and it's driving me insane. I've read a few other threads where people had the same issue but the people who replied said the 6350 shouldn't bottleneck it but I'm unsure. I just feel like I'm not getting the performance I should be getting. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you.

The Fx6350 can hold the GTX 970 back in games, some higher than others. I suspect its the motherboard of not doing a great job of handling the Fx6350 since MSI and AM3+ do not go well together.

1 Like

interesting, I just looked at a post where some guy was experiencing poor performance with an AMD graphics card and he mentioned that he had to use an adapter to power his graphics card. I too had to use a molex to 8 pin power adapter to power my graphics card since my PSU only has 1 8 pin cord, which is for my CPU. Do you think that could be a potential issue?

Yes it can be and what is your power supply? I would suggest running MSI Afterburner and play some games to see what is the CPU and GPU usage.

I have an FX6300 and i get the same performance out of an R7 360 OC so I doubt it's your cpu

I don't exactly know which power supply it is. It's an old rosewill 750 watt 80 plus certified, not bronze or silver or anything. It's an old one that my brother used years ago in one of his builds

Do you think I should get a new power supply?

Yes the FX63xx will bottleneck a GTX970 in certain games.
Especialy at 1080p

I believe it may be the issues that @MrChumps and yourself have said about the power to the GPU. It really depends on the game and what kind of resource hog it is, but your 6350 shouldn't be outright bottlenecking a 970.

I say this from personal experience, since I have a 6300. In most games, I either don't get full usage on either the CPU or GPU or it's actually my GTX 760 that's slowing me down (ie. my heavily modded HD Skyrim). In games that are CPU bound and poorly coded to be begin with (ie. Guild Wars 2), a CPU bottleneck is unavoidable and wouldn't matter anyway, as a 760 vs a 970 or whatever would not see a FPS gain.

So, I think the two things you should do is try to test that power supply's influence on performance and, if you have a good cooler, go ahead and OC that 6350 to 4.5 (not the OC genie, as I believe that is basically just 1 or 2 core "turbo boosting" and not an actual, full chip OC).

Edit: you may have already started doing this, but do look into each indivitual game you play and see what the users say about what each game demands from your computer. Like @MisteryAngel is saying, it will depend heavily on what game you're playing.

I don't exactly know how to fully overclock my 6350. I have a cooler master hyper 212 evo so I should be able to OC it, also how do I test my power supply's influence on performance?

You psu isnt even the biggest limmitation wenn overclocking here.
The main limmitation will be your motherboard.
Your motherboard is not realy the best for overclocking at all.
But according to the games you have listed in the op, you are indeed cpu bottlenecked in those.

So I'll probably have to wait until I'm able to afford an i5 and a better motherboard.

Just play each game at 4k or with VSR enabled. The CPU won't be a bottleneck anymore as the GPU will have plenty of work to do. It won't help boost your frame rates though...

what are you average fps numers you get in dying light?

It kinda depends where I am. It usually stays around 50-55 and then when I'm fighting a group of zombies or look into the distance it drops to around 40, thats with max graphics

I've not played any of those three games, but if they are very CPU heavy, yes, you'd probably need an upgrade there to avoid any sort of bottleneck.

On a side note, I'd ask if you even care. 45-50 FPS isn't bad. Sure, 60 is ideal, but the question is do you even notice and care. When I am outside in Skyrim, my FPS is 35 to 45 because of all those mods. But I have absolutely no microstuttering so it doesn't feel like low FPS. So if you already have that average 50-55 in Dying Light, I'd say getting rid of the bottleneck isn't even needed.

With that in mind, if you have to wait to upgrade anyway, why not wait till AMD's Zen release? You'd be able to see what AMD/Intel has to offer at that point and choose accordingly. You already have a 970, why not sit on it and match make later?

I do care about having a smooth gaming experience. I feel like I do notice some stuttering but I could be paranoid. Also, what is AMD Zen? Is that a new generation of processors to be later released?

well i have to say, according to dying light in particular, fps drops in combat arent unknown to the game.
Both intel and amd cpu´s will ofc suffer from that,
but with the amd cpu´s the delta will be a bit bigger, because the per core performance and ipc of FX cpu´s in particular, realy fall behind to the current intel counter parts.

It depends a bit from game to game, but there are certian games which are still demending on the cpu allot, especialy at 1080p
mmo´s rpg´s are a good example.

I wasn't asking if you care about a smooth experience, I'd assume everybody would. I was asking if you'd care about 45 FPS vs 60, because I personally would not. Keep in mind that microstuttering is not directly tied to your framerate. You could have 60FPS but have microstuttering because of x, y, z reasons. And then you might have 35 FPS with absolutely no stuttering. I'd take the 35 with no stuttering over the unstable 60 every time. That's what I was referring to. If you are having microstuttering issues, that's another issue that needs troubleshooting; an issue that may be outside your control.

And yes, Zen is AMD's new CPU line scheduled for some time next year. Last time I heard, July-ish.

Oh, sorry about that. If there isn't a major difference between 45 and 60 fps then I guess I wouldn't care, and microstuttering doesn't seem to be an issue in my case.