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Low frames in WoW with 7970 and Intel i5 2500k

Last response: in Video Games
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March 16, 2012 7:10:43 AM

Hello, so me and my friend just built his new computer and got everything setup fine. When we loaded up World of Warcraft his frames weren't doing to well and often dropping to 30fps with a lot of players on screen. His Specs are as follows: Intel i5 2500k@4.4ghz MSI HD 7970 8Gb of 1600 Ram. My computer has the same specs but instead of a 7970 I'm using a GTX 560ti 448 cores gpu. I always get 60fps when I play and he usually gets 30 fps. His PC should be more then enough to handle WoW. Any ideas whats wrong? Driver issue? Side note: His computer can currently run Dirt 3 on ultra no problem and never dropping blow 60 fps. I know WoW is a very heavy cpu game and I'm wondering if something is wrong with the cpu.
March 16, 2012 8:52:01 AM

seems it is the internet connection.

try getting him to bring the pc to yours to check.

you said it yourself that is slows down when a lot of players are on the screen.

i had this problem i few years ago on some mmo's

there were a few hundred characters on a screen and that really slowed it down (granted it was a lot less demanding that wow)
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March 16, 2012 1:15:56 PM

Are his load CPU temps alright? Otherwise the CPU might throttle down, resulting in the fps drop.
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March 16, 2012 3:29:58 PM

edit: First half of post was already checked with troubleshooting. Removed.

Internet connection won't affect his fps. It would cause visible lag during interaction which doesn't result in measurable fps dips (let alone to 30 fps with his hardware). It's just due to WoW's nature. There is no CPU in the world that can maintain 60 fps 100% of the time during a fight in a 25man raid for instance. The game just isn't capable of using the hardware correctly, regardless of whether it's 100 times more powerful than it would need to be to do the job in a perfectly coded environment.
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March 16, 2012 4:34:57 PM

whatsthatnoise said:
Are his load CPU temps alright? Otherwise the CPU might throttle down, resulting in the fps drop.

The temps are just fine. I'm really starting to think it's the cpu because me and him do this little test. We both stand in trade district in the same spot facing the same direction with the same amount of people on screen(which is a good amount) and I get 60fps and he gets 30fps exactly. It's like the game throttles down to 30 and it doesn't move. Even in outside environments he will just randomly drop frames a lot and I don't understand why. We both have our i5's @4.4ghz so I can't explain this. I understand that WoW is a very cpu bound game. Do you think his cpu just inst stable at 4.4ghz and it's throttling itself down to like 1.5ghz like it does when it's not using a demanding application? We have the Turbo boost overclocked to 4.4ghz.
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March 16, 2012 4:45:59 PM

Ah I missed that you were checking the same scene from your computer in your OP. If you're both standing in the same scene and getting a difference of 30 fps then obviously it could be something like video drivers or cpu downthrottling (less likely). The easiest thing to test is to start wow in windowed full screen and open CPU-Z on top of it and see what it shows his clock at. If it shows him at 1600mhz then obviously it's downclocking itself. If he's at full bore 4400mhz then I'd look at an issue with video drivers personally.

If the cpu is throttling itself down, first thing I would try is going into the bios and disabling turbo boost, and instead setting the multiplier manually to 44 (will probably require a slight voltage bump on VCore when you do this).
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March 16, 2012 5:14:26 PM

Ok. Yea we have cpu-z and we will check it later today and see if it's staying at 4,4ghz.
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March 16, 2012 5:17:11 PM

Also disable Vsync. There's almost no chance that he's playing on a monitor with 30hz as an available refresh rate, even less of a chance that he selected 30hz as his refresh rate, and little chance he's playing on a TV with 30hz refresh rate. But, just turn off vsync once to see =).
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March 16, 2012 8:17:08 PM

WE turned of vysnc and the game just didn't play smooth. Any chance you guys think it could be intel drivers? like the chipset? It's a z68 chipset.
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March 17, 2012 12:22:49 AM

Well you said that other games play at 60 fps on full ultra for him, so it's not like the intel onboard graphics are enabled over the GPU. What was the fps with vsync off? It is starting to sound like it's time to roll back to a different driver set, or try reinstalling the drivers.
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March 17, 2012 4:07:41 PM

The frames were much higher with vsync off but the game still dipped very low and the gameplay was overall choppy.
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March 17, 2012 5:06:45 PM

Make sure triple buffering was off as well. Particularly in WoW, triple buffering is horribly implemented. Technically his hardware should perform fast enough for it to not be an issue, but regardless.
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March 17, 2012 5:11:42 PM

Yea triple buffering was turned off and the game still dipped very low a lot. With vsync off the game just had ripples on the bottom half of the screen was really annoying. The game is still playable imo but it could be better. I'm guessing it's an issue with AMD drivers for the video card. I know the 7970 is only a couple months old and he should just give it sometime for better drivers to be released so the card can reach a higher potential.
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March 17, 2012 5:23:50 PM

Yeah those ripples are screen tearing. I wish I would have noticed that you had been benching side-by-side with him in your OP originally, wouldn't have wasted your time with my first line of suggestions that I edited out.

I hate to point at a possible red herring, but AMD is just so notorious for awful drivers, especially early in a piece of hardware's life cycle. Have you guys looked for any similar issues with 7970 users with the same driver set, or tried rolling back to the previous drivers?
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March 17, 2012 5:37:11 PM

Yea I know AMD has always had some driver problems but for the most part it isn't that bad. Though I'm very very happy with my Nvidia card/drivers. Well we tried searching around and I only found one post on the wow forums about it and some guy also had low frame issues. We did get different drivers but the only real difference was that the newer drivers were certified. We haven't tried older drivers. His frames are okay. We both are using the current version of the 64bit client and the game did improve a little bit. The frames are playable and the dips aren't so bad. We tested again with me and him in the same exact spot facing the same way with the same amount of players on screen and I pulled 60 fps on my PC and he got around 51-53 fps. I know that's fine but he was just concerned because his hardware should be able to just keep it a solid 60 fps. That's why at this point the only thing I can think of is a driver issue. Maybe with amd? or maybe with something else? Just can't tell atm.
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March 17, 2012 5:46:24 PM

I would presume AMD, since you both have i5-2500k's at 4.4ghz and that is pretty much WoW's limit. Beyond that it simply isn't coded well enough to perform better.

Try having him bump the Vcore up slightly on his cpu. Normally if an overclock is unstable it will crash or BSOD, but just to address it as a possibility. And is his system memory being displayed correctly in amount and speed in CPU-Z?
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March 17, 2012 5:54:51 PM

Yea the memory is fine but we will double check it to make sure that everything is running as it is supposed to.
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March 18, 2012 5:58:14 PM

You wont simply get more like 30-50 fps in crowded places, because of the CPU doesnt use the full potential of this generaiton CPU's.

I switched to gigabyte 7970 OC from 470 OC. ad i was disappointed. I had to lower the shadow detail to "low". ALso, seems that ati cards doesnt work well with AA via the cataclysm center.

Try to play without any addons , i did and my fps in Dragon soul / Orgrimmar center in peak hours on most crowded realm in EU - Outland was between 30-50, never did drop below , and i guess its the max u can get.

Higher AA can lower your FPS too. In general u cant compare WoW to other new games, even our system is overkill to WOW. ALso drivers might the problem, not letting WoW use the best of the card.
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March 18, 2012 6:50:25 PM

Leclair said:
You wont simply get more like 30-50 fps in crowded places, because of the CPU doesnt use the full potential of this generaiton CPU's.

I switched to gigabyte 7970 OC from 470 OC. ad i was disappointed. I had to lower the shadow detail to "low". ALso, seems that ati cards doesnt work well with AA via the cataclysm center.

Try to play without any addons , i did and my fps in Dragon soul / Orgrimmar center in peak hours on most crowded realm in EU - Outland was between 30-50, never did drop below , and i guess its the max u can get.

Higher AA can lower your FPS too. In general u cant compare WoW to other new games, even our system is overkill to WOW. ALso drivers might the problem, not letting WoW use the best of the card.


You made the same mistake I did. He's testing side-by-side with his friend on 2 different machines. One (with lesser hardware) is sitting at 60+ fps while the second with the 7970 is at 30. After everything else he's tested it is more than likely a driver issue.
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March 19, 2012 4:40:33 AM

Hey new news! Okay so my friend said when he runs WoW the 7970 down clocks to 500mhz on the core clock. I know the 7970s go down to 300mhz core clock when idle but ramp up to what its clock is at(For him its 1010mhz) when a program needs it(Like WoW) Would this be why the frames dip? Because the GPU is down clocking itself. and if that's the case is that a driver issue? Cause it seems like the card feels that WoW isn't good enough for it...lol(Though I know WoW isn't intense graphics, they are still nice even when maxed) When my friend tested the down clock problem in Dirt 3(on all ultra settings) the card ramped up to 1010mhz, exactly like it's supposed to. there was no down clock at all.
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March 19, 2012 4:46:57 AM

scubasteve526 said:
Hey new news! Okay so my friend said when he runs WoW the 7970 down clocks to 500mhz on the core clock. I know the 7970s go down to 300mhz core clock when idle but ramp up to what its clock is at(For him its 1010mhz) when a program needs it(Like WoW) Would this be why the frames dip? Because the GPU is down clocking itself. and if that's the case is that a driver issue? Cause it seems like the card feels that WoW isn't good enough for it...lol(Though I know WoW isn't intense graphics, they are still nice even when maxed) When my friend tested the down clock problem in Dirt 3(on all ultra settings) the card ramped up to 1010mhz, exactly like it's supposed to. there was no down clock at all.


Tell him to disable every power-saving feature in CCC and make sure catalyst AI etc is all set to max quality. Also this is a long shot (as in I don't think it can possibly happen) but is he using a z68 or p67 chipset mobo?
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March 19, 2012 4:54:45 AM

We both use the z68 chipset on the MSI GD55(G3) motherboard.
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March 19, 2012 4:59:53 AM

Ask him to check and see if he has video drivers listed for his onboard intel graphics, and if so delete them completely just to make sure it's not offloading the game to intel onboard graphics.
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March 19, 2012 5:06:48 AM

Hmm I wouldn't know how to check that(I basically set up his PC for him) I do recall installing intel chipset drivers and raid ones but I never installed the virtu drivers. Or I can't recall installing any video drivers. I'm pretty sure. I don't even see how it would switch to the integrated video because virtu isn't even installed.
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March 19, 2012 5:16:36 AM

From reading a few threads about this problem in other GPU's it seems the most common cause is power saving features. The other troubleshooting step that I came across, was to plug in a second monitor of a different make/model to inhibit downclocking (a lot of graphics cards cannot run at anything other than 3d clocks with 2 monitors that are not exactly the same plugged in, although I have no idea if the 7970 shares this trait). The last thing to do is check any 2d profiles that would be set up in CCC and make sure those are set to full-speed clocks, in case it is downclocking to 2d clocks although I would expect those to be much lower than 500mhz core.
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March 19, 2012 5:58:39 AM

Before you go too far with the driver troubleshooting, it might be something simpler. My brother had similar problems with WoW on his computer a couple years back. The issue I found was due to having a hardware accelerated mouse enabled. Apparently the hardware accelerated mouse is a huge strain on the CPU. Furthermore, ensure that WoW is running in full screen mode with the full screen mode box checked in the settings. Running WoW on hi resolution in a windowed mode, even if the window is maximized, really taxes the system.
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March 19, 2012 6:09:11 PM

SuperDuper931 said:
Before you go too far with the driver troubleshooting, it might be something simpler. My brother had similar problems with WoW on his computer a couple years back. The issue I found was due to having a hardware accelerated mouse enabled. Apparently the hardware accelerated mouse is a huge strain on the CPU. Furthermore, ensure that WoW is running in full screen mode with the full screen mode box checked in the settings. Running WoW on hi resolution in a windowed mode, even if the window is maximized, really taxes the system.


We're way past that. His 7970 is downclocking itself during WoW. Has nothing to do with either of these things.
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March 19, 2012 6:27:02 PM

My friend has the 7970 overclocked at the moment and it seems to not be down clocking itself anymore.
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March 19, 2012 6:29:27 PM

Probably disabled whatever awful powersaving feature was enabled in the process of his overclock. Has the game's performance come up to on par or slightly better than your own now?
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March 19, 2012 7:25:33 PM

He is getting solid 60fps now. You know I wonder if maybe the CPU had to be "broken in" first. I remember I ran prime95 for 5 and a half hours before I played any games. We just started games on his right away.
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March 19, 2012 7:48:08 PM

Shouldn't have made a difference and like you said, as soon as he set up an OC on the gpu it stopped downclocking and the game performance picked up. Glad you guys got it resolved though.
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March 19, 2012 7:50:05 PM

Yea thanks for all the help/suggestions. hopefully it will stay fine for now.
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