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Video Card GPU Speed vs. Mother Board CPU Speed


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#1 Webslinger

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Posted 18 January 2009 - 11:10 PM

I have a Pentium 4, 1.8GHz 256k/400MHz/2GB RAM/160GB hard drive that can only use a video card that is PCI or AGP (preferably AGP). My question has to do with the video card GPU/core clock speed and how compatible that is with the CPU FSB speed. I'll give you an example:

If my CPU's FSB is 533MHz and the GPU/core clock speed of the video card I'm wanting to buy is 800MHz, is there a potential for problems/conflict/bottlenecking because the GPU is faster than the FSB? Do I need to limit my choices to video cards that have GPU speeds of 533MHz or less? I'm looking at purchasing a GeForce 7600 GS or 7600 GT, but there are other better video cards out there, but those cards GPU speeds are higher than my FSB, whereas the 7600 GS/GT is 400-420MHz.

Whaddya think?

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 19 January 2009 - 03:37 AM

If my CPU's FSB is 533MHz and the GPU/core clock speed of the video card I'm wanting to buy is 800MHz, is there a potential for problems/conflict/bottlenecking because the GPU is faster than the FSB? Do I need to limit my choices to video cards that have GPU speeds of 533MHz or less?

No. Not for the reason of the respective memory's clock speed anyway. The memory is in a different place, on a different bus and is often a different type of memory anyway (eg system memory DDR2, graphics memory GDDR3) maybe running on a different bus width. So you can't directly rate the consequences of the relative clock speeds, and they don't conflict with each other.

What will matter is the overall performance level of the card (all factors GPU performance, video memory bandwidth) in comparison with what the rest of the system is capable of. If you use a PCI video card, this limit will be largely set by the PCI bus bandwidth of 132MB/s. If you use AGP, the performance potential is much higher, but if you get a card that has twice as much performance as the rest of the system, you won't get the benefit, as a card with half the performance would give similar results. (Speaking approximately to convey the general picture...)

But you don't need to worry about getting the MHz figures to match.

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