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What is my Bottle Neck?

Last response: in Video Games
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April 5, 2009 7:22:43 AM

Hi I just purchased a BFG GTX 285 to replace my dead 8800GTX. Before I made my purchase I checked out the benchmarks to make sure it was worth the money or if I would be better off just finding another 8800. Once I installed the 285 and the PSU I had to buy and installed the drivers I booted up Far Cry 2 and ran the benchmark. I was shocked to see that I was scoring about 20FPS lower than what was recorded here on the site with the same card and same settings. My average was 41ish and I believe the benchmark here showed about 64. Now I want to find what my Bottleneck is.

My hardware rundown is as followed, Im not on my PC right now so I cant give a file from like PC Wizard with all the information but if more information is needed I can later:

CPU: e6600 2.4Ghz (Not OC'd)
RAM: 4x1GB DDR2 Dual Channel 667Mhz 4-4-4-12 CAS 4
GPU: GTX 285 1GB BFG (One of their OC'd ones)
HDD: 500GB 72,000 RPM SATA (Not RAID)
MoBo: Dell XPS 410 Proprietary
PSU: Corsair 650w TX SLI Certified
OS: Windows 7 Build 7057 64 Bit

Thats all I cant think of that would be important. The only thing I was thinking was all benchmarkers were using QuadCore CPUs and are now using i7s. But, does that really net you 20 extra FPS? If so I conceit those Frames for now as an i7 is out of my price range and I wont stop-gap with a QuadCore. Also, I thought maybe the Ram. I would be willing to pick up 2x2GB of 800Mhz ram as that is pretty cheap if that would net me at least 5-10FPS. Anyway, just let me know thanks :D 

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April 5, 2009 12:14:21 PM

Your RAM's fine, CPU's a touch on the slow side for modern games, graphics card's fine, windows 7 is fine.

The thing about benchmarks done by sites it that generally their OS installations are stripped down of any unnecessary baggage and just have the bare minimum to operate, freeing up as many CPU cycles as possible.

You did remember to update your drivers didn't you? The GTX285 uses the latest Beta drivers if I remember rightly.
April 5, 2009 12:23:42 PM

How are the benchmarks compared to the one from your GTX?
See if you can find SiSoft sandra.
Its a pretty good program that can benchmark many parts of your system
and record the results.
Related resources
April 5, 2009 4:31:42 PM

I was using the official Windows 7 Drivers which seem to be outdated now compared to the Windows Vista ones. Ill try those cause its my understanding that all Windows Vista drivers work for Windows 7. The Win7 are at 181.71 and of course Vista is at 185.66. If anyone knows a good site that had the min FPS on their benchmark runs please post a link so I can compare, all the ones I found were just average.

Im going to let my PC run a full Far Cry 2 Benchmark and then Ill post the results here for you guys to look at. As far as the CPU goes, is it worth it to go to a Q6600 cause I know the Dell XPS 410's can handle those? Or to wait till I can get more scratch and go to a new MoBo/Case and an i7 and maybe some DDR3 ram?


EDIT:
Looks like Nvidia just isnt keeping the Win7 part of their driver listing up to date. When I downloaded the Vista beta ones it still installs saying they are for Win7 too. That kind of annoys me.

EDIT2:
Here are my results from the FC2 Benchmark. Those Min FPS are really killing me dropping below 30. www.twicestricken.com/FC2 (I dont know why the graphs dont show up on my server, sorry.)
April 5, 2009 7:05:36 PM

If you look around the web the i7 greatly enhances the fps in FarCry2. More so than any other game from what I can remember. Look around.

These 2 cards are completely different. Higher FPS doesn't mean a whole lot. Extremely over rated IMO. I believe it has more to do with playability ( highest MINIMUM fps ) and how much more detail you can see ( AA/AF, etc... ) If you want higher fps with that card play Quake4 or similar engined games.
April 5, 2009 7:37:18 PM

swifty_morgan said:
These 2 cards are completely different. Higher FPS doesn't mean a whole lot. Extremely over rated IMO. I believe it has more to do with playability ( highest MINIMUM fps ) and how much more detail you can see ( AA/AF, etc... ) If you want higher fps with that card play Quake4 or similar engined games.


Wait, are you trying to say buying a better card you shouldnt expect a framerate increase? The GTX 285 is one of the best cards on the market right now outside of the 295.
April 5, 2009 7:59:54 PM

After you installed the new card and the new drivers you went into the nvidia control panel and set things the same way as they were under the 8800 ? Turn vsync off did you ?

I 'm not saying you shouldn't get higher frame rates. i said that it's kind of an unrealistic expectation. The architecture is different and they are made to give you a better gaming experience. Higher FPS doesn't mean a whole lot. It's what you can see when you play and the fluidity of game play. If you get 8 fps with the 8800gtx.. MINIMUM..... and 12 fps MINIMUM with the new card.......... game play gets more fluid......... and if you can crank up the goodies while getting that extra 4 fps it's a much better experience. ( games change - game engines change )
April 6, 2009 6:45:12 PM

Okay I just ran 3d Mark 06 on my setup and on the SM2.0 with 1280x1024 and Default Quality I got a lower score than an ATI Radeon HD 3870 and a 9600GT. That cant be right.

And on 3.0 and the results were better scoring above a 9800 GTX+ and only about 600 points shy of what the benchmark was on the 280. But Im looking at a 1300 point different between an older card on the SM2.0 that does not seem right at all.
April 6, 2009 7:06:02 PM

Is your memory running at the right speed ?


download gpu_z..... see what it says.
April 6, 2009 7:25:49 PM

My memory speed via GPU-Z is running at 1242. Suppose to be running at 2664Mhz. Is that just because its not running anything? Or is there a problem somewhere?

I finally found out a way to OC XPS 410 CPUs! Looks like someone figured out the PLLs late last year. Looks like I can easily push it to 2.8Ghz. I tried 3.0 but just keeps BSODing but still, nice to see I can finally take advantage of the OCing ability of all the Core2 CPUs. Really gave me a boost in my SM2.0 score. Up to 5498 now! It was at 4600 something if I remember before. My SM3.0 has also gone up a little from the low 6000s to 6882.
April 6, 2009 7:28:00 PM

Download FurMark and run it windowed mode, then see what GPU-Z reads your clocks at.
April 6, 2009 7:38:40 PM

What's your memory running at in the bios ? And is it running in "dual weave or dual channel ?
April 6, 2009 7:57:27 PM

CPU bottleneck. Its an old duo model, and not highly clocked. To see any FPS jump would surprise me really, as the CPU will hold everything else back.
April 6, 2009 8:05:21 PM

Dual Channel and Memory if you mean RAM is 667Mhz like I said before.

Oh, that speed I gave before appears to be the Memory Bus speed. The Core Bus is running at 666Mhz and Shader at 1512Mhz. When I boot up FurMark in Windowed mode nothing changes.
April 6, 2009 8:06:21 PM

gamerk316 said:
CPU bottleneck. Its an old duo model, and not highly clocked. To see any FPS jump would surprise me really, as the CPU will hold everything else back.


What would you suggest? I was thinking about maybe getting a e7500 or should I just wait till I can get enough for a new MoBo and an i7? Right now all I can use is a LGA 750 with a FSB of 1066 so Im kind of limited.
April 7, 2009 12:46:54 AM

Well, I decided for fun to throw XP on a storage HDD to see the difference between that and Windows 7. Well, there is a huge one. The FPS started looking a lot closer to what others were getting on Vista SP1. Maybe Win7 isnt as great for gaming in its beta stages than what I initially thought. I cant get ClockGen to work on my 410 though on XP. Does anyone have any ideas about that?
April 8, 2009 11:08:20 PM

It looks like the bottleneck in this scenario is your brain. *chuckle*

I kid. I kid.

I have to support the other posts and mention that if you upgrade the CPU to a more recent powerhouse, you'll see significant improvements.

And one very minor tweak you could also do is to head into BIOS and change your HDD to performance if it isn't already. Usually laptops only need this adjustment though as they sacrifice a little performance for longer battery life (or maybe just reduced temperatures).

Best of luck to you though. That computer really does look like a beast!
!