Help! What's my bottleneck? Upgrade advice needed.


Standard Member
Hi guys,

I'm looking to upgrade my 2 year old system, but am not sure what the bottleneck is. I've been playing Bioshock on a 19" 4:3 CRT at max settings at 1280*1024 and it averages 25-30 fps, sometimes slowing down to 15. If I try it on 1600*1200 it peaks at 15fps, but mainly crawls along.

My current system:

Athlon 4400 X2
2Gb Geil Value DDR1 RAM
2x 7800GTX SLI'd

I've read that people are running Bioshock at full detail with 1600*1200 resolution with one 7800GTX with no problems, but I'm not sure what CPU they're using.

Do you think my CPU is the bottleneck?

I'm looking at changing my 19" CRT to a 22" widescreen LCD soon, so I'm not sure what resolution I'll be required to run at.

I was thinking about selling my 7800GTXs and getting an 8800GTX ready for DX10 Crysis, but have read that nVidia are releasing some new cards in November. Would I be better off selling my Motherboard, RAM and CPU and upgrading this instead?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Monkey Alan

Active Member
I would try using 1 graphics card before you upgrade anyhing. I've heard some games have issues with SLI. Worth a try.


Standard Member
I'll try running with 1 card when I get home.

On paper though, should my system be able to handle Bioshock at 1600*1200 with max detail?


Have you overclocked that CPU?
I'll be getting Bioshock in a few days, I'll let you know about performance. I have the same CPU, same amount of memory, although different videocard (single ATI X1900XT) not sure how graphics performance is different to yours. 1680x1050 native here.

Perhaps Bioshock is lousy coded game?


Standard Member
I ran PCMark and 3DMark06 last night:

PCMark - 5060
3DMark06 - 7060

Do these results seem okay? The chart suggested that I was towards the top end of similar systems.

Bioshock still runs at a nice 25-30 FPS at 1280*1024, although it dropped to around 15 last night in one of the garden areas with lots of shadows etc :-/

Would I see more of an improvement by changing my cards or my CPU? Still not sure where my bottleneck is.



Right just installed it, at 1680x1050, highest detail for everything fps is fine. I find it strange your 7900GTX SLI is struggling at a lower resolution, compared to mine, single card at higher resolution.

I'll have another go with fraps in memory, just started the game and met the girl/big mech thing.

Miss Chief

Distinguished Member
I'm sure I've read that Bioshock has problems with SLI setups. I think if you run it with a single card it should be fine.

The latest video from AVForums

Star Wars Andor, Woman King, more Star Trek 4K, Rings of Power & the latest TV, movies & 4K releases
Subscribe to our YouTube channel
Support AVForums with Patreon

Top Bottom