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RX 480 Extremely low FPS and bad performance

I am very frustrated with my new XFX rx480 8GB which I recently bought. I am getting very lower FPS than my previous card (Radeon 7770) and it's nearly 4 years old.

In Heaven benchmark I am getting much lower FPS than all the other benchmarks. I have considered my CPU as a bottleneck for the GPU but it can't seem possible that it can get bottlenecked so much.

My system:

RAM: 8GB Kingston Value RAM (2x 4GB sticks)
OS:Windows 10 64 bit
GPU:XFX RX 480 8GB
CPU:i5 3470
Motherboard: H61M-P31 (G3) (MS-7788)
PSU: 450 Watt Thermaltake

Please help and give suggestions to what I could do. I have seen numerous posts about this problem which have just died and they didn't help me. I want to know if I should sell this GPU and get myself a 970. I had no problems with my previous AMD so I don't know if it's just a small problem I haven't fixed with this one. I don't know if this card is known for being defective either.
18 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about 480 extremely low fps bad performance
  1. It's a bit stronger than a 970...stick with it.

    Firstly, wipe all old drivers using ddu. Then reinstall.

    Your cpu will not bottleneck in most things especially benchmarks like that.
  2. burgessanthony said:
    It's a bit stronger than a 970...stick with it.

    Firstly, wipe all old drivers using ddu. Then reinstall.

    Your cpu will not bottleneck in most things especially benchmarks like that.


    I did this twice and I have not seen any improvements at all. When playing CSGO my FPS hangs around 200 (Much lower than my previous card) but sometimes it just drops down to 50 even 20 FPS for no reason. It doesn't even happen in graphic intensive scenes.
  3. Cs go is.cpu limited. Normally.
  4. I think I saw someone else recently complaining about similar symptoms of lower FPS when upgrading to an RX480.

    When the RX480 launched, remember the PCIe power consumption scandal? AMD fixed it with a "driver update", which was actually an artificial capping of the RX480's power limit. At first, the GPU was already plagued with problems regarding it's temperature target control, and now its power limit was brought pretty far down, neutering the card's performance. Your best bet, currently, is to go into AMD Wattman, a utility built directly into the Crimson interface, and just max out the power limit slider. This won't hurt anything, and this won't overclock your graphics card, but it'll remove that power limit restriction and let the card stretch its legs again. Wattman also allows the modification of C states for the RX series, so you can tell the card when you want it to work hard, and when you want it to idle. I think your random fps drops have to do with the card being at that load amount where it can't decide whether to idle or work hard, so it keeps flip flopping. When either your CPU or GPU can't decide, they'll both change states together, so you'll see that if you monitor your system's usages while under load.

    CS:GO is normally CPU-bound, but that's only because the task is so light, the CPU fails to push enough information fast enough to the GPU for it to draw the frames, resulting in something that looks CPU-bound.

    Have you tried running a monitoring program like HWMonitor while in game, and seeing which component gets worked harder?
  5. amtseung said:
    I think I saw someone else recently complaining about similar symptoms of lower FPS when upgrading to an RX480.

    When the RX480 launched, remember the PCIe power consumption scandal? AMD fixed it with a "driver update", which was actually an artificial capping of the RX480's power limit. At first, the GPU was already plagued with problems regarding it's temperature target control, and now its power limit was brought pretty far down, neutering the card's performance. Your best bet, currently, is to go into AMD Wattman, a utility built directly into the Crimson interface, and just max out the power limit slider. This won't hurt anything, and this won't overclock your graphics card, but it'll remove that power limit restriction and let the card stretch its legs again. Wattman also allows the modification of C states for the RX series, so you can tell the card when you want it to work hard, and when you want it to idle. I think your random fps drops have to do with the card being at that load amount where it can't decide whether to idle or work hard, so it keeps flip flopping. When either your CPU or GPU can't decide, they'll both change states together, so you'll see that if you monitor your system's usages while under load.

    CS:GO is normally CPU-bound, but that's only because the task is so light, the CPU fails to push enough information fast enough to the GPU for it to draw the frames, resulting in something that looks CPU-bound.

    Have you tried running a monitoring program like HWMonitor while in game, and seeing which component gets worked harder?


    Hello,
    Thank you for the reply. I have monitored my components and they seem to be working normally when at times even reaching 100% like my GPU.

    I just ran Heaven benchmark with my power limit set to it's highest and I have achieved exactly 60 FPS in Heaven benchmark. I don't know how that compares to other benchmarks but it's quite a climb from where I was. Although when playing CSGO the FPS still jumped up and down.

    I think your explanation about not knowing when the card should work hard or not is a good one. I tried finding videos on YouTube using the states but all of the videos talk about the patches and tell everyone to set the power limit to +50%.

    I installed Fraps to benchmark on other games and when I was playing GTA V on the highest graphics setting with a few things turned down I received around 50 - 40 FPS. But then I decided to look at a game which isn't so heavy on my components so I launched GTA IV and I received lower FPS at maxed settings than on GTA V. I didn't receive much lower but it was around 5 FPS lower.

    Is this a common problem? Because I might as well just put in my old GPU and sell off the RX480.
  6. 60FPS in Heaven doesn't say a lot. What settings and resolution or preset did you use? I can totally get like 240fps on the lowest settings at 720p if I turn off ambient occlusion with my r9 380x. :3

    I've personally been having issues with occasional frame stutter ever since the newest AMD GPU driver update. I'm currently unable to find a problem, and it persists even when I lock my CPU and GPU to a set voltage and clock speed (don't try this) across two different CPU's and two different motherboards and two different power supplies and two different monitors. I'm blaming the drivers for this one.

    Everyone was saying to set your power limit to 50% during the scare about current overdraw through the PCIe slot. If your motherboard is of decent quality and is moderately new, chances are you won't have an issue. When the power draw issue rears its ugly head, the computer will just throw its hands in the air and shut itself off instantly.

    I don't know how common this problem is, but it arises every now and again. I've never owned an RX480, but I've worked with one. I noticed a fluctuating core clock which corresponded with wildly fluctuating fps in all games, which I corrected by fiddling with the C states, maxing out the power limit, maxing the temperature target, and somehow magically making the voltage delivery more stable by putting a 1% overclock on it.

    Theoretically, the RX480 should be noticeably faster than the HD7770, so I'm beginning to wonder if there's anything else not quite right with your system. Then again GTA4 is more CPU-heavy than GTA5, and the i5 3470 isn't a "strong" cpu (never was, never will be), so your results kind of line up with my expectations. I averaged 56-58fps across many runs of the GTA5 benchmark with anti aliasing off, AO off, vsync off, draw distance reduced, and an otherwise good mix of mostly highs and some mediums at 1080p, and the results changed mainly because of varying traffic and pedestrian behavior during the latter half of the benchmark.

    TL;DR I think you're just hitting the performance limit of that CPU.
  7. amtseung said:
    60FPS in Heaven doesn't say a lot. What settings and resolution or preset did you use? I can totally get like 240fps on the lowest settings at 720p if I turn off ambient occlusion with my r9 380x. :3

    I've personally been having issues with occasional frame stutter ever since the newest AMD GPU driver update. I'm currently unable to find a problem, and it persists even when I lock my CPU and GPU to a set voltage and clock speed (don't try this) across two different CPU's and two different motherboards and two different power supplies and two different monitors. I'm blaming the drivers for this one.

    Everyone was saying to set your power limit to 50% during the scare about current overdraw through the PCIe slot. If your motherboard is of decent quality and is moderately new, chances are you won't have an issue. When the power draw issue rears its ugly head, the computer will just throw its hands in the air and shut itself off instantly.

    I don't know how common this problem is, but it arises every now and again. I've never owned an RX480, but I've worked with one. I noticed a fluctuating core clock which corresponded with wildly fluctuating fps in all games, which I corrected by fiddling with the C states, maxing out the power limit, maxing the temperature target, and somehow magically making the voltage delivery more stable by putting a 1% overclock on it.

    Theoretically, the RX480 should be noticeably faster than the HD7770, so I'm beginning to wonder if there's anything else not quite right with your system. Then again GTA4 is more CPU-heavy than GTA5, and the i5 3470 isn't a "strong" cpu (never was, never will be), so your results kind of line up with my expectations. I averaged 56-58fps across many runs of the GTA5 benchmark with anti aliasing off, AO off, vsync off, draw distance reduced, and an otherwise good mix of mostly highs and some mediums at 1080p, and the results changed mainly because of varying traffic and pedestrian behavior during the latter half of the benchmark.

    TL;DR I think you're just hitting the performance limit of that CPU.


    Hello again,
    On Heaven I put all the settings up to the highest at 1080p.

    I don't know much about CPUs, GPUs and how they bottleneck each other so I honestly don't know. If this FPS problem was caused by a simple CPU bottleneck I wouldn't be too surprised as it is already more than 4 years old. I was always under the impression that my CPU was quite something - but apparently not.

    When playing games I'll make sure to turn off anything that would put load on my CPU at all to achieve smoother FPS.

    When looking at GTA IV, I'm not sure at what graphics setting I played at before I had this card but I'm quite sure I played smoothly at the highest setting. Although I'm not sure about that. I might have turned down a few things.

    I also played Star Wars Battlefront and Battlefield 4 where in Star Wars Battlefront I achieved higher FPS and the game looks noticeably better. But the case with Battlefield 4 isn't the same. The game felt choppy and my average FPS sat at 38 when I played the first part of the single player as a benchmark. With all settings maxed.

    This just might be a problem with the drivers, well I hope so.

    Thanks for the help man.
  8. Heaven will only stress GPU....I see EXACTLY 60fps on 1080p with everytying maxed (8x AA). I believe your 480 is performing as it should.
  9. Best answer
    Your older configuration with the HD7770 was rather quite balanced. The CPU could feed information about as fast as the GPU could ingest it and push that information as frames to your monitor. Now you've stuffed a GPU that's way more powerful onto there, and it's constantly sitting there, waiting for the CPU to give it more information so it can draw frames. One of the ugly truths about being CPU-bound is that your average framerates may not change, or may even be slightly higher, but the minimums dip way lower than on a well balanced system. This looks like choppier gameplay to us as users, and we get discouraged. The opposite, surprisingly, also tends to be true. If you're GPU bound, your framerate averages will be lower, but the minimums and maximums are way closer, leading to a seemingly acceptable, smooth gameplay experience. Of course, take all of this with a grain of salt. If the components are way out of balance, it'll be choppy and horrible regardless.

    Storytime: I once paired a flagship GPU with one of the worst CPU's on the market (Athlon 760k and an HD7950 flashed to be an HD7970, and then both were overclocked to the breaking point), and the results were comical. In Saints Row 3, which had just come out at the time, my CPU was pinned at 100%, my GPU was sitting at 15%, and I was getting 30fps. Same GPU, same hard drive, same settings, but replaced the Athlon and motherboard with my current system, and I was sitting at about 110fps, both CPU and GPU pinned at 100%. That is bottlenecking. Bottlenecking is bad. It's also rare. You have to try really hard to bottleneck something.

    Moral of the story: your CPU is probably the weak link here. If you've maxed out the temperature target and power limit sliders, there's really not much else you can do. Still, run some games while keeping some monitoring program in the background. If your CPU or GPU is being used like 25%+ over the other, then you're ___ bound. If they're within 15-20%, there's probably another cause for bad/unstable fps.
  10. burgessanthony said:
    Heaven will only stress GPU....I see EXACTLY 60fps on 1080p with everytying maxed (8x AA). I believe your 480 is performing as it should.


    That's good to hear as I've also received 60 when I ran the benchmark. But before playing with the settings I barely received 30.
  11. Yes, I believe my OC'd 390 will be close to a 480...although a 480 should be a few % faster in normal gaming. I don't think you have a gpu issue.
  12. amtseung said:
    Your older configuration with the HD7770 was rather quite balanced. The CPU could feed information about as fast as the GPU could ingest it and push that information as frames to your monitor. Now you've stuffed a GPU that's way more powerful onto there, and it's constantly sitting there, waiting for the CPU to give it more information so it can draw frames. One of the ugly truths about being CPU-bound is that your average framerates may not change, or may even be slightly higher, but the minimums dip way lower than on a well balanced system. This looks like choppier gameplay to us as users, and we get discouraged. The opposite, surprisingly, also tends to be true. If you're GPU bound, your framerate averages will be lower, but the minimums and maximums are way closer, leading to a seemingly acceptable, smooth gameplay experience. Of course, take all of this with a grain of salt. If the components are way out of balance, it'll be choppy and horrible regardless.

    Storytime: I once paired a flagship GPU with one of the worst CPU's on the market (Athlon 760k and an HD7950 flashed to be an HD7970, and then both were overclocked to the breaking point), and the results were comical. In Saints Row 3, which had just come out at the time, my CPU was pinned at 100%, my GPU was sitting at 15%, and I was getting 30fps. Same GPU, same hard drive, same settings, but replaced the Athlon and motherboard with my current system, and I was sitting at about 110fps, both CPU and GPU pinned at 100%. That is bottlenecking. Bottlenecking is bad. It's also rare. You have to try really hard to bottleneck something.

    Moral of the story: your CPU is probably the weak link here. If you've maxed out the temperature target and power limit sliders, there's really not much else you can do. Still, run some games while keeping some monitoring program in the background. If your CPU or GPU is being used like 25%+ over the other, then you're ___ bound. If they're within 15-20%, there's probably another cause for bad/unstable fps.


    Thank you for your reply,
    I understand. So saving for a new CPU is a good option? What do you recommend?

    I'll run HWmonitor while playing a few different games to see what my usage difference is.
    If the game that I'm playing isn't a CPU intensive game will my FPS still be held back? I don't know how these things work but it doesn't make sense that my CPU would hold back my FPS on a game that diesn't put much stress on the CPU.
  13. The issue is the 3.4 boost across all cores with that 3470. That isn't particularly high and I had the same issue with my old 3450. I was able to hit 3.7 across cores as I had a Z77 mobo.

    If you were to upgrade, you are stuck with that old mobo that doesn't have a z chip on it...so no OC'ing.

    OR you are looking at a skylake build.
  14. Ideal case scenario that would tickle my fancy: save up enough money, go full skylake.

    According to MSI's website, the best CPU you can stick in your current motherboard is a 3770k if you do a bios update. That's... pretty old, even by today's standards. A quick, inquisitive ebay search revealed that I couldn't find a 3770k used anywhere in North America for a reasonable price. For the long term, I still think a Skylake upgrade would be your best bet. It'll cost you now, but it'll be a more lasting upgrade than the already aging 3770k.

    Z and X chipset motherboards on the intel side had an advantage compared to the B and M chipset motherboards that was hotly disputed when it was first revealed: multicore enhancement. Or multicore boost. Whatever they refer to it as, it's an alteration of how the motherboard interprets intel turbo boost technologies. In a nutshell, Z and X chipset motherboards, ever since X58, ran non-overclockable CPU's that much faster than the B or M boards did. It was special to those select few, since they were overbuilt on the power delivery side for overclocking, let alone making sure such a function wouldn't overload the motherboards.

    I technically have a 3.4 boost across all cores of my 4460. It's... perfectly fine. :3 It's currently running at 3.8 though. Don't ask me how. I blame black magics.
  15. amtseung said:
    I think I saw someone else recently complaining about similar symptoms of lower FPS when upgrading to an RX480.

    When the RX480 launched, remember the PCIe power consumption scandal? AMD fixed it with a "driver update", which was actually an artificial capping of the RX480's power limit. At first, the GPU was already plagued with problems regarding it's temperature target control, and now its power limit was brought pretty far down, neutering the card's performance. Your best bet, currently, is to go into AMD Wattman, a utility built directly into the Crimson interface, and just max out the power limit slider. This won't hurt anything, and this won't overclock your graphics card, but it'll remove that power limit restriction and let the card stretch its legs again. Wattman also allows the modification of C states for the RX series, so you can tell the card when you want it to work hard, and when you want it to idle. I think your random fps drops have to do with the card being at that load amount where it can't decide whether to idle or work hard, so it keeps flip flopping. When either your CPU or GPU can't decide, they'll both change states together, so you'll see that if you monitor your system's usages while under load.

    CS:GO is normally CPU-bound, but that's only because the task is so light, the CPU fails to push enough information fast enough to the GPU for it to draw the frames, resulting in something that looks CPU-bound.

    Have you tried running a monitoring program like HWMonitor while in game, and seeing which component gets worked harder?



    I think you are right either game I am running is sending too big file and my cpu and gpu cant handle or it is on idle it is dropping 60 fps to 5 how could I change C stat of card ?
  16. Key im inthe same boat as original op but my shit is all compatible and i cant find help. I too have an 480 which is still in its return stages and im about to do that and say screw this.
  17. now everyone is Quite, Come on guys reply we need a solution.
  18. As of late I haven't had any trouble with my RX 480, yet it is paired with ryzen 7 1800x and 24 gigs of dr4 3200 ram underclocked to 2666 or something like that so the system will boot, they may have fixed that i dont know i am not going screwing around though things work great right now. I may even get a 1080 and sell my rx just for more hard core gaming. But im an amd fanboy so probably not maybe crossfire though or even vega when its released.
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