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Would a new GPU be the best update to my rig?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 4, 2013 9:13:24 AM

So I have been in the bf4 beta for a few days now. On bf3 my rig was able to run it with everything set on high at 1080p, which was in the 50-40 fps range most of the time. Now with the bf4 beta, anything other than the lowest settings at 1080p dips under 30fps and is not enjoyable for me.

Here is my rig's details:
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 970 @ 3511 MHz
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6870 1GB
RAM: 8GB Corsair Vengeance
Mobo: ASUS M4A89GTD-PRO/USB3

also novabench for those interested:
10/4/2013 11:47:22 AM
Microsoft Windows 7 Professional

8191 MB System RAM (Score: 155)
- RAM Speed: 3788 MB/s

CPU Tests (Score: 428)
- Floating Point Operations/Second: 104459728
- Integer Operations/Second: 384919076
- MD5 Hashes Generated/Second: 942895

Graphics Tests (Score: 503)
- 3D Frames Per Second: 1381

Hardware Tests (Score: 55)
- Primary Partition Capacity: 931 GB
- Drive Write Speed: 109 MB/s

So my question to you guys is what would be the best upgrade to my system to get it into the high settings range at 1080p? I'm thinking a new GPU (probably a $200ish ATI R9 when they release) is what I should go with since I only have 1 GB vram currently, but would a CPU upgrade be something I should consider? Any advice you guys can provide would be most appreciated.

Also I do realize this is a beta and it is not optimized yet. I'll be waiting to test my rig on the full release version before I make any final decisions. Thanks!

More about : gpu update rig

October 4, 2013 9:15:05 AM

You don't need to upgrade. I have a GTX 780 and it stills drops frames. Almost everyone playing the BF4 Beta has frame drops.
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October 4, 2013 9:16:59 AM

Yes, you could wait for the R9 series. The last two bigger cards should be what you aim for if 30 fps isn't cutting it for you. The bigger textures would need at least 2GB of VRAM for a smooth experience. Other games would be fine on your HD 6870.

However, you could also aim for an AMD FX-6300 or an 8-core of your choice if you trust AMD Mantle enough. CPU upgrades could beef your system up a bit.
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a c 317 à CPUs
October 4, 2013 9:40:16 AM

You need to determine what is the problem before you fix it.

Yes, there will still be game development issues.
Driver updates will take some time too.

To help determine a hardware limitation,
run these two tests:

a) Run your game, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.


Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.


You could also experiment with removing one core in the bios. This will tell you how sensitive your game is to the benefits of many cores.

If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

I might not worry too much about vram. It does not seem to impact performance. Here is one study: http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Video-Card-Pe...
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October 4, 2013 10:30:09 AM

geofelt said:
You need to determine what is the problem before you fix it.

Yes, there will still be game development issues.
Driver updates will take some time too.

To help determine a hardware limitation,
run these two tests:

a) Run your game, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.
If your FPS stays the same, you are likely more cpu limited.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 50%.
This will simulate what a lack of cpu power will do.


Go to control panel/power options/change plan settings/change advanced power settings/processor power management/maximum processor state/
set to 50% and see how you do.


You could also experiment with removing one core in the bios. This will tell you how sensitive your game is to the benefits of many cores.

If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.

I might not worry too much about vram. It does not seem to impact performance. Here is one study: http://www.pugetsystems.com/labs/articles/Video-Card-Pe...



Ok I did part A with a little tweak. Cranked up the eyecandy to ultra (instead of lowering it) and then toyed with the resolutions. I used both 1080p and 720p. There is definitely a noticeable difference in fps, as most of the time ultra was actually playable at 720p and for the most part was above 30fps while at 1080p it was in the 20s. So GPU is the bottleneck then?
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a c 317 à CPUs
October 4, 2013 11:12:12 AM

Yes, the X4 chips are reasonably competitive, if a bit old. It looks t me like a graphics update would be best.
When you upgrade a graphics card, you want to make it a significant jump. If you don't, you may be disappointed.
I think $200 would be the minimum, perhaps a bit more for a GTX760 or 7950.
It will pay you to wait a bit to see how the recent R9 announcements pan out. Nvidia will not want to lose that market, and there are rumors of a competing card.
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