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Need a confirmation on my CPU

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April 25, 2013 12:55:26 PM

Hey, so I just have a small question. I installed a new card (HD 7950) in exchange for my old card (GTX 460 1GB). So I didn't notice too large of a frame rate jump, I was getting like... an average of 23 FPS on Skyrim maxed out, and about the same on Bioshock infinite, and now I'm getting about 30 with the same specs. I am almost certain it's my CPU that's hardcore bottlenecking, but I just want to make sure before I activate my Steam gift codes (if in the case that it's a defective part, I'd have to pay $120 or whatever the amount was.)

Here's my specs: CPU Phenom II X4 840 3.2GHZ Quad
GPU HD 7950
8GB DDR3 1333 Ram
1TB HDD
1680x1050 monitor (I'm probably going to get a better one soon)
Biostar A880GZ+ Mobo (socket am3+)

Well, so yeah, I believe it's the CPU that's causing the problem, but I'd like the experts to answer, just to be safe! Thanks guys.

Optional Answer: What AMD CPU should I get, or should I switch to Intel. I've heard the 8350 was good, but 8 cores is unnecessary.

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April 25, 2013 1:02:42 PM

You might overclock, as it's probably your CPU. Open up task manager and occasionally check usage to make sure of that.

If you get the 8350, disable at least 2 of those cores for more leeway, then overclock it.
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April 25, 2013 1:05:59 PM

DukeOvilla said:
You might overclock, as it's probably your CPU. Open up task manager and occasionally check usage to make sure of that.

If you get the 8350, disable at least 2 of those cores for more leeway, then overclock it.


Well... my motherboard won't let me OC, which was part of the reason as to why I was open to switching to Intel. If I do get an 8350, do you think I should buy a new board so I can OC?
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April 25, 2013 1:14:31 PM

Yes you are bottlenecked by that CPU. Skyrim especially is very CPU dependent.

An 8350 would be a good upgrade but to be a good gaming CPU the FX series needs to overclock. Going Intel would be a bit more expensive than staying with AMD but Intel processors are generally much better with gaming. Buying an 8350 then disabling cores and crippling it to overclock it is flat out stupid when you could have just bought an FX 6300 to start with....
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April 25, 2013 1:15:28 PM

I'd think so, unless you want to spend much more on an Intel rig. the 8350 is great, just ahead of it's time, if things used 8 cores, then it would be blazing fast, but they don't these days, and if they do, they don't use them very well. Which I why I say you should disable up to 4 cores, allowing you to overclock better. ( I'd just disable 2 in most cases.)

I'ts not stupid to disable cores that nothing is using, it will use less power, get better temps, and be easier to stabilize. All these factors allow a higher clock as well.

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April 25, 2013 1:21:12 PM

anort3 said:
Yes you are bottlenecked by that CPU. Skyrim especially is very CPU dependent.

An 8350 would be a good upgrade but to be a good gaming CPU the FX series needs to overclock. Going Intel would be a bit more expensive than staying with AMD but Intel processors are generally much better with gaming. Buying an 8350 then disabling cores and crippling it to overclock it is flat out stupid when you could have just bought an FX 6300 to start with....



Well I'd rather shell out the extra money for Intel so that it runs better :)  Thanks for your help!
Would the i5 2500k be good?
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April 25, 2013 1:22:58 PM

Certainly. That's a great gaming CPU. Then again... most Intel CPUs are.
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April 25, 2013 1:25:55 PM

An 8350 with 4 active cores will not clock any higher than an 4300 with 4 active cores. Same architecture, same process. The whole point of an 8350 is the 'cores' although it's not 8 true cores anymore than an i7 with Hyperthreading is. The only game an 8350 does really well in is Crysis 3. And even though AMD adds 'cores' and keeps cranking up the clock speed it still does not make up for the lower IPC of the FX series. Even lower than the older STARS based Phenom II chips.
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April 25, 2013 1:27:43 PM

ploxxies said:
anort3 said:
Yes you are bottlenecked by that CPU. Skyrim especially is very CPU dependent.

An 8350 would be a good upgrade but to be a good gaming CPU the FX series needs to overclock. Going Intel would be a bit more expensive than staying with AMD but Intel processors are generally much better with gaming. Buying an 8350 then disabling cores and crippling it to overclock it is flat out stupid when you could have just bought an FX 6300 to start with....



Well I'd rather shell out the extra money for Intel so that it runs better :)  Thanks for your help!
Would the i5 2500k be good?


Get an i5 3570k or wait a month for the Haswell equivalent. Haswell will be 10% faster clock for clock.
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April 25, 2013 1:32:44 PM

Disabling cores does help with overclocking, have you ever tried that?
You'd still get the 8350 because you can set it to 6 cores, and in the future, when it's needed, you can have all 8 cores.
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April 25, 2013 1:34:38 PM

You should be getting much higher FPS than 23 @1680X1050 with this setup.

Toms is showing three times your FPS at those settings with that card and a top end CPU.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-rev...

At 1980x1050 with ultra settings they are showing the phenom II cpu's all sitting around 55 FPS minimum.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-processor-fr...

All the benchmarks say you should be getting at least twice the FPS you currently are.

Throwing in an Intel CPU and motherboard i'm sure will fix the problem, because you will have to install a fresh copy of windows. If you are contemplating going down that route, I would start with reinstalling windows on a clean HDD on your existing system. (backup your data to external, boot from windows disc and delete all partitions before installing.) If that doesn't give you the FPS you desire then throw hardware at it.

:) 

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April 25, 2013 1:52:24 PM

dalethepcman said:
You should be getting much higher FPS than 23 @1680X1050 with this setup.

Toms is showing three times your FPS at those settings with that card and a top end CPU.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-670-rev...

At 1980x1050 with ultra settings they are showing the phenom II cpu's all sitting around 55 FPS minimum.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-processor-fr...

All the benchmarks say you should be getting at least twice the FPS you currently are.

Throwing in an Intel CPU and motherboard i'm sure will fix the problem, because you will have to install a fresh copy of windows. If you are contemplating going down that route, I would start with reinstalling windows on a clean HDD on your existing system. (backup your data to external, boot from windows disc and delete all partitions before installing.) If that doesn't give you the FPS you desire then throw hardware at it.

:) 



Key words in that post: top end CPU

As I already stated Skyrim is very CPU bound. As shown here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-...

That is at 1920 x 1080. The lower the resolution the more CPU bound you become.
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April 25, 2013 2:27:40 PM

anort3 said:
Key words in that post: top end CPU

As I already stated Skyrim is very CPU bound. As shown here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-...

That is at 1920 x 1080. The lower the resolution the more CPU bound you become.

While I won't disagree that Skyrim is highly CPU bound, 23FPS is way way too low for this hardware. The chart you linked is also 18 months old, where the charts I linked are as new as 2 months ago. The game has been heavily optimized since release.

If he was GPU bound he should be hitting 75 FPS minimum at 1680x1050 (my first link)

If he was CPU bound he should be hitting 55 FPS minimum at 1920x1080 (second link)

As you decrease the resolution your FPS NEVER goes down, the load is just more heavily emphasized on the CPU not the GPU.

I honestly have no idea why you posted this reply as it makes no sense to buy more hardware as the first troubleshooting step. In my post I said reinstall windows, if that doesn't fix it then buy hardware. Maybe you are made of money, but I personally always try the free fixes first.

Please think on what would be best for the OP before posting garbage, this is not a post count / who's right contest this is an answer to a help request.
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May 4, 2013 2:09:37 PM

dalethepcman said:
anort3 said:
Key words in that post: top end CPU

As I already stated Skyrim is very CPU bound. As shown here:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-...

That is at 1920 x 1080. The lower the resolution the more CPU bound you become.

While I won't disagree that Skyrim is highly CPU bound, 23FPS is way way too low for this hardware. The chart you linked is also 18 months old, where the charts I linked are as new as 2 months ago. The game has been heavily optimized since release.

If he was GPU bound he should be hitting 75 FPS minimum at 1680x1050 (my first link)

If he was CPU bound he should be hitting 55 FPS minimum at 1920x1080 (second link)

As you decrease the resolution your FPS NEVER goes down, the load is just more heavily emphasized on the CPU not the GPU.

I honestly have no idea why you posted this reply as it makes no sense to buy more hardware as the first troubleshooting step. In my post I said reinstall windows, if that doesn't fix it then buy hardware. Maybe you are made of money, but I personally always try the free fixes first.

Please think on what would be best for the OP before posting garbage, this is not a post count / who's right contest this is an answer to a help request.


Sure, I can reinstall windows, if that doesn't work I can buy new hardware I guess. I'll probably just get an 8350, since it's comparable to the Intel I was going to get.

--- I actually just installed Windows 7 Professional 32 bit on my new 1TB HDD. I've only had it installed for about 3-4 months. Would I still need to do it? Still had crappy FPS with my old one too... :( 
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May 4, 2013 2:24:16 PM

You do know 32 bit Windows can only use 4GB of RAM right? You are wasting half your RAM by using a 32 bit OS. In any case a 3 or 4 month old Windows installation is not hurting your performance.
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May 4, 2013 2:27:59 PM

anort3 said:
You do know 32 bit Windows can only use 4GB of RAM right? You are wasting half your RAM by using a 32 bit OS. In any case a 3 or 4 month old Windows installation is not hurting your performance.


Yes, I do know that, but aren't most games optimized for 4GB (correct me if I'm wrong)? I am trying to get a 64 bit though.
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May 9, 2013 5:11:39 PM

32 bit Windows can access 4GB of memory total, that includes the memory in your video card.

If you are running a 2GB video card and a 32bit OS, your games are limited to around 800MB of ram if you heavily optimize your system (os takes 1GB +).

You probably need to install a 64bit OS to get decent frame rates. Right now your system is probably non stop HDD thrashing to get Virtual Memory enough to run your game.

The product key that came with your OS is capable of activating either 32bit or 64bit. You can download a legitimate copy of Windows 7 64bit from digitalriver, just google search it.
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