What's the bottleneck now?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by puma1552, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Many people are now adamant that RAM is no longer much of a concern or a bottleneck.

    Now that we have SSDs, it isn't the storage in the computer that's the bottleneck like it was with HDDs.

    For years now people have been advising against purchasing the higher end processors since the general thinking all the way back to Core 2 Duo and well before is that most will never even come close to utilizing the processor's full power, so it isn't that either.

    So what's the computing bottleneck today and in the future if none of the above?
  2. revalationist macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2011
    oh for ****s sake

    There will always be a bottleneck. I like to think that a system is a bottle, there will always be a bottleneck in some form.

    So here's your system:

    i3 processor

    radeon hd 6870

    western digital 500gb 5000rpm drive

    some random internet provider

    Upgrade the card, CPU bottlenecks you. Upgrade the CPU, drive bottlenecks you, upgrade the drive, router bottlenecks you. Upgrade the router, and eventually you realize that your video card isn't as good as it could be. The cycle begins anew until you have a Death Star of a computer.

    Bottlenecks in computing are a part of life. We have to deal with them. You can't get rid of them, and they will likely never bother you.
  3. puma1552 thread starter macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Of course some singular component will always be a bottleneck in anyone's given system, but as a whole there must be a technology that is/will be a general bottleneck for a lot of users.

    A couple years ago, it was the HDD.
  4. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    It has not changed :) The bottleneck of modern computers is - to put simply - storage speed. Regarding both the RAM and the persistent storage.
  5. ElderBrE macrumors regular


    Apr 14, 2004
    Depends on the task, but it's still the storage in a big part.

    GPU and CPU are becoming bottlenecks for several higher end tasks aswell, but current trends are all about energy consumption, especially in laptops. Everyone is trying to get more efficient with less energy and less heat so that we can have more performance with less size.
  6. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    The bottleneck depends on the workload, to say the bottleneck is the same for everyone is just foolish.

    My bottleneck is CPU, specifically when transcoding/encoding video. It's not memory, it's not disk, it's CPU. If I had more cores or a faster CPU then I could render and export videos that much faster.

    For gamers it's going to be the GPU.

    For Photoshop it's likely to be memory (amount, not necessarily speed, but CPU will come into it for certain ops).

    And so on.

    There is no single bottleneck for everyone.
  7. dusk007 macrumors 68040


    Dec 5, 2009
    The most important one that is in need of fixing is power efficient memory bandwidth and access time.
    With GPUs and processors getting faster and memory size not really being too much of an issue the biggest problem is the connection. DDR3 is too bad in bandwidth for GPUs. GDDR5 has to high power consumption and too low latency for CPUs. Multiple memory controllers like the use on desktop cards for 256bit or even 512bit width are hugely power expensive and cost lots of die space. DDR4 will likely still be too slow to really fix both.
    HMC on package is what Intel is aiming for.
    Memory speed has not grown nearly as fast as the processing speed. Mobile chips like in the iphone stayed long with very narrow 32bit memory controllers because everything else would need too much power.

    I think SSD and storage are no longer an issue. They are fast and all that could be better is latency and there isn't much to improve beyond current PCIe controllers. Higher capacity at cheaper prices is what we need there.

    One big problem is internet speed. Wifi is fast enough but available DSL speeds are still so so slow in many places. When game installs come with higher quality textures because of the new console generation they will probably grow in size quite a bit. Digital delivery will take forever and main SSD space will be needed too.

    For most normal apps resource demand has been stagnant for a while. Soon smartphones will be able to drive a display with just normal websurfing/office needs just fine. Ubuntu is aiming for that. Extra speed will only be needed by some professional apps and gamers. Everybody else will only care about battery life and thin form factors. The next gen or ARM chips will be good enough for most needs if the software is written well.
  8. actuallyinaus macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2013
    for rar decompression on my desktop the ssd is the bottleneck, on my rmbp the cpu is the bottleneck

    though it depends what you are doing right? if i was gaming i could say the gpu is the bottleneck or if i was copying to a tb2 ssd raid array the ssd would be the bottle neck even at 800MB/s read
  9. Quu macrumors 68030


    Apr 2, 2007
    In my opinion the next big bottleneck to overcome is battery life. We look at the relative gains we've had recently we are upto 8 hours of battery life now.

    That is an incredible achievement but at the same time we want more. For sure in the future we will reach a point where our battery life is a week or more with normal usage scenarios. That could be more than a decade away which may seem like a long time but it was only a decade ago we had single core G4 processors in our notebooks. :)
  10. Wuiffi macrumors 6502a


    Oct 6, 2011
  11. robvas macrumors 68030

    Mar 29, 2009
    Gig to everyone in the world. Wired or wireless ;)
  12. js09 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2010
    Bottleneck is by far CPU for most. Isn't this obvious?
  13. ValSalva macrumors 68040


    Jun 26, 2009
    Burpelson AFB
    What about I/O? Still seems like simultaneously copying multiple files to different locations causes significant slowdowns.
  14. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    Haswell CPUs achieve over 150 GFLOPS on AVX2-optimized computation tasks. Assuming its single-precision, these are 150 * 1e9 4-byte floats per second, or over 500 GB of processed data per second. As comparison - fastest dual-channel DDR3 RAM is 33 GB/s.

    P.S. Of course, this is only bandwidth. Reality is much more complex. Only few algorithms require high RAM bandwidth, most are happy with the cache. Latency also plays a huge role. This is an interesting read: http://www.anandtech.com/show/7364/memory-scaling-on-haswell
  15. js09 macrumors member

    Sep 17, 2010
    Cool. but the CPU is still the bottleneck, by FAR, for many. Including me. definitely not the memory.

Share This Page