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Low FPS in CPU intensive games (HD 7970)

Last response: in Video Games
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February 10, 2012 7:35:35 PM

Hi,
first off, I didn't know whether I should post this in here or in homebuilt as I have a homebuilt PC but my problems are with video games framerates.

My Hardware:

HDD: Western Digital 500Gb 16Mb cache WDC WD5000AAKS-00UU3A0 SATAII
CPU: Phenom II x2 550BE unlocked to x4 @3.1Gh
GPU: ATI HD 7970 3GB (saphire)
Mobo: Asus M4A77T (the weakest link in my opinion)
DDR: 2x2GB OCZ at 1333Mhz
PSU: OCZ 750W (ZT or something like that)

Win 7 Ultimate 64 bit

Temperatures are normal (or what I consider normal) under normal load (gaming) CPU 48-50C (it goes to 55-57 in prime95) and GPU at around 65-70C (again, under stress test it goes to 75-76)


My problem is with CPU intensive games like Skyrim 30-40FPS(highest settings) and GTAiv 20-40 FPS everything on very high with lowered Draw Distance and Traffic under 50%, where I get pretty bad frame-rates. Normally I would simply think that my CPU is to slow but when keeping graphs open in HWINFO64 with my cores and (GPU Utilisation), they never hit 100%. And most of the time all cpu cores stay at around 70-90% with spikes to 100 from time to time (every 30s or so). My GPU never goes over 50-60% Utilisation(in these games, it does in others, like Witcher 2, NFS Shift or Dirt where it stays at around 100% usage and I get good FPS at or over 100.

Q: So who is the bottleneck here? is it my cheapo MB or the CPU even though it doesn't stay at 100%? (It does stay at 100 percent in other games, where I know the CPU is the bottleneck)

I ask this because I want to know if it's worth a MB upgrade, or just a better CPU, or if it is worth swapping the Mobo to a very expensive one and an i7.


(secondery problem/low priority)I have big problems in GTA iv since I modded it with real cars and the "trafficLoad.asi". The city/textures fail to load or pop in and out randomly, I also get huge stutter and low FPS while, again cpu is at 60-70% and GPU is at or lower then 50%. I suspect my HDD because it spins almost non-stop while driving around. I've read quite a lot about memory management and tried all sorts, it got slightly better (city doesn't disappear completely any more) but I think I need an HDD with more cache.


I know this is a huge post and my problem is pretty complex but I'll be grateful for any help.



TL;DR: thanks for clicking anyway :) 
a b à CPUs
February 10, 2012 7:52:39 PM

Your CPU is a bit old...that'll be your issue. AFAIK, it doesn't need to be seen to be going at 100% load before it can be considered a bottleneck, but more knowledgeable people than me can pipe up on that score.

The link will tell you what CPUs are supported on your board, and I'd suggest getting a quad-core Phenom II is the easiest option outside of upgrading the mobo-CPU-RAM.

http://uk.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3/M4A77T/#CPUS
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February 10, 2012 8:05:20 PM

diellur said:
Your CPU is a bit old...that'll be your issue. AFAIK, it doesn't need to be seen to be going at 100% load before it can be considered a bottleneck, but more knowledgeable people than me can pipe up on that score.

The link will tell you what CPUs are supported on your board, and I'd suggest getting a quad-core Phenom II is the easiest option outside of upgrading the mobo-CPU-RAM.

http://uk.asus.com/Motherboards/AMD_AM3/M4A77T/#CPUS


Thanks for a fast replay.
I've been looking at that page for a while

I guess my next posts will be are Skyrim and GTA IV optimized for hexa core? or where can I buy in UK the Phenom IIX4 975 which seems to be out of stock on all the websites I trust.

Still I don't want to spend money on a CPU that is already 1 generation old if it's not really going to help
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a b à CPUs
February 10, 2012 8:19:05 PM

Im afraid your going to have to jump ship to intel to remove that bottlekneck.

Oh, is your OS 64bit or 32bit?

If its 64bit then upgrade your memory to 8gb, 2 x 4gb, as that may ne an issue.
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February 10, 2012 9:31:33 PM

Uther39 said:
Im afraid your going to have to jump ship to intel to remove that bottlekneck.

Oh, is your OS 64bit or 32bit?

If its 64bit then upgrade your memory to 8gb, 2 x 4gb, as that may ne an issue.


hi, its 64 sorry about that, updated now.
I was afraid of that and have been looking for an intel mobo/cpu, however I have used only amd for the last 10 years and I dont really know what's best from intel. Or how good the new Amd fx are. Ill have time to decide until my next check :-)
However, I dont think its the ram. the only time I maxed them out was when I used the command norestriction. But I will upgrade those as well. Anyway, the mobo cpu upgrade is where I was looking for a second oppinion before spending that amount of money.
Thanks

other opinions are welcome
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a b à CPUs
February 10, 2012 9:48:14 PM

how much is your budget
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February 10, 2012 9:55:28 PM

Uther39 said:
how much is your budget

about 500£... thanks for trying to help with this but im going to bed now and Ill be back sunday. :sleep: 
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February 10, 2012 10:02:40 PM

fairly certain that in cpu intensive games your CPU is bottlenecking your GPU which is why you're seeing low GPU utilization.

are skyrim and gta4 optimised for hexa core? no they are not

personally I have yet to see a game that is optimized for more than 4 cores.

TH did best CPUs for the money article recently, where they benched quite a number of CPUs and frankly AMD cpus are just not that great for gaming right now, especially with such high end GPU as yours. So, I'll agree with Uther39, you will either want to upgrade to a p2 x4 980 or jump to intel altoghether.

here's a link for your perusal:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-fx-pentium-a...
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a b à CPUs
February 10, 2012 10:26:49 PM

ok buddy I'll go on and price you some intel parts tomorrow
Also do the AMD alternative just in case you really want to stay with them.
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a b à CPUs
February 11, 2012 7:43:31 PM

Intel proposal



Asus P8Z68-V GEN3, Intel Z68, S 1155, DDR3, SATA III - 6Gb/s, SATA RAID, PCIe 3.0 (x16), D-Sub/DVI-D/HDMI, ATX
£107.68 £129.22
£139.15
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-p8z68-v-gen3-intel-...(x16)-d-sub-dvi-d-hdmi-atx
Intel Core i5 2500K Unlocked, S1155, Sandy Bridge, Quad, 3.3GHz, HD3000 IGP 850Mhz, 6MB Cache 95W Retail
£139.15 £166.98
£19.98
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/intel-core-i5-2500k-unlo...
Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO, 4 Heat Pipes Direct Contact, with 120mm Quiet Fan LGA775/1155/1156/1366/AM2/AM2+/AM3/FM1
£19.98 £23.98
£29.80
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-e...
8GB (2x4GB) Kingston DDR3 HyperX Genesis Grey, PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-27, XMP, 1.5V
£29.80 £35.76
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-kingston-ddr3-hyperx-genesis-grey-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-27-xmp-1

Total£365.53
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a b à CPUs
February 11, 2012 8:15:30 PM

AMD PROPOSAL

Coolermaster Hyper 212 EVO, 4 Heat Pipes Direct Contact, with 120mm Quiet Fan LGA775/1155/1156/1366/AM2/AM2+/AM3/FM1
£19.98 £23.98
£29.80
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/coolermaster-hyper-212-e...
8GB (2x4GB) Kingston DDR3 HyperX Genesis Grey, PC3-12800 (1600), Non-ECC Unbuffered, CAS 9-9-9-27, XMP, 1.5V
£29.80 £35.76
£135.81
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/8gb-(2x4gb)-kingston-ddr3-hyperx-genesis-grey-pc3-12800-(1600)-non-ecc-unbuffered-cas-9-9-9-27-xmp-1
AMD FX 8120 Black Edition, Orochi Core, S AM3+, 3.1GHz, 16MB Total Cache, HT 5200MT/s, 125W, Retail
£135.81 £162.97
£77.99
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/amd-fx-8120-black-editio...
Asus M5A99X EVO, AMD 990X, S AM3+, DDR3, SATA III - 6Gb/s, RAID SATA, PCIe 2.0 (x16), ATX
£77.99 £93.59
http://www.scan.co.uk/products/asus-m5a99x-evo-amd-990x...(x16)-atx
Total£325.89
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February 12, 2012 6:49:25 PM

thanks uther39, I'll keep these in mind when I upgrade. I was thinking for a long time to swap teams and I think I will do it. Also I'll go with pci 3.0 and maybe usb 3.0 so I can make it as future proof as possible.
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February 12, 2012 6:52:34 PM

Best answer selected by bv90andy.
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a b à CPUs
February 12, 2012 11:07:08 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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