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Bottleneck in Fallout NV?

Last response: in Video Games
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August 16, 2012 1:04:32 AM

So, I'm trying to play Fallout New Vegas on my netbook. Specs are:
-AMD Fusion C-60 APU (1GHz dual-core/ 1.33GHz Turbo)
-2GB DDR3-1066 (single channel)
-Radeon HD 6290 (276MHz core/400MHz Turbo)
-64GB Crucial M4
-Win7 x64 Ultimate SP1

Now, I'm doing a quick run through with the game on lowest settings, and I seem to hitting a ceiling. The game ran it's auto-detect and put my settings on medium (more interesting, with V-sync enabled, HDR, and high texture quality). Now that I past the prologue. I'm getting about 15FPS. Not satisfied, I disabled V-Sync and let it to low settings. Not much improvement, about 15-20FPS.

I decided to dive deeper. I plugged in an external VGA monitor and had GPU-z and Process Hacker 2 running in the background to monitor resource consumption in real time.

On low settings, I wasn't seeing my more than 75% GPU utilization (even at 276MHz), usually hovering around low 60's. Regardless of settings, my CPU utilization is around 82-93, but never touches 98-100, nor is either core fully stressed at any point. This makes me think it's not a CPU bottleneck.

With that said, the only other potential bottlenecks I can think of are I/O and RAM. The game is running off of an external hard drive on a NTFS partition. It's a 500GB seagate Barracuda 7200.12 over a SATA to USB3 enclosure, through a USB 2 port. There is also the RAM. It's single channel at 1066MHz. This concerns me because this is also my GPU memory. The unit only has one DIMM slot (though it has the soldering points for another), and the controller only supports up to 1066MHz, so I can't upgrade. The actual RAM consumption isn't a concern. I'm only using 1.1GB, and an additional 236MB for GPU.

With all that said, what do you think the bottleneck is? USB2? RAM? or CPU?

More about : bottleneck fallout

August 16, 2012 1:54:37 AM

By far I would say the CPU, then the GPU and finally RAM.
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August 17, 2012 3:14:51 AM

jaguarskx said:
By far I would say the CPU, then the GPU and finally RAM.

Even though never at any point is either CPU core fully taxed? And what makes you think the GPU is a factor at all if only 2/3 of it is actually being utilized on average at the base clock speed? Most gamers utilize dual-channel memory, and I'm stuck at single channel at a low frequency. With the GPU dependent on system memory, doesn't the RAM put the rest of system at a disadvantage? What about i/o. Is the game running from a USB2 interface not a factor at all? How would I test that?
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August 18, 2012 3:41:56 PM

Your CPU is your greatest (or tightest) bottleneck by far. At 1.33 GHz, it's a bit slower than the average Intel Atom.
The GPU is not exactly up to the job, but I got smooth framerates with my 4350 at 1024x1080. I have a desktop, though.
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August 18, 2012 5:11:24 PM

Thornyjohny said:
Your CPU is your greatest (or tightest) bottleneck by far. At 1.33 GHz, it's a bit slower than the average Intel Atom.
The GPU is not exactly up to the job, but I got smooth framerates with my 4350 at 1024x1080. I have a desktop, though.

I just find it puzzling that my frame-rates are so low even though none of the hardware is fully stressed. I doubt it's the GPU. I'm only 1280x720, and at medium settings, it's about 60-80% utilization at 276MHz. It can kick up to 400MHz if needed. But I guess we'll never know since it's bottlenecked by the CPU.
From Notebookcheck
Quote:
Inside the C-60 two Bobcat cores can access 512KB level 2 cache per core. In comparison to the Atom processors, the Bobcat architecture uses an "out-of-order" execution and is therefore faster at the same clock speed. However, the performance is far worse than similar clocked Penryn (Celeron) or Danube (Athlon II) cores...
The processor speed is somewhere between a single core 1.6 GHz Atom N455 and a dual core Atom N550 depending on the benchmark (see below). Therefore, the performance is still in netbook regions and only suited for low demanding tasks.

I guess I'm just expecting too much from the CPU. In hindsight, I should have gotten an e-350 or e-450. Battery was one my number one concern, but I was overly concerned about. I still don't use battery that much, and usually not more than 4 hours away from an outlet, but it is nice I can get 6-8hours.
The biggest hint of a cpu bottleneck I should have seen is the utter lack of improvement from going to medium settings to low, with the same CPU utilization.

Any thoughts on Fallout 3? I know the minimum is a 2.4GHz Pentium 4, but since the engine is dual-core optimized, I'm hopeful.
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August 18, 2012 7:28:42 PM

its not a bottleneck its under spec components. your trying to play a game that your system isnt strong enough to play...
to play the game you would need at least 1 core to run at 2.4 ghz. even with the higher transistor count it would make little or no difference as your cpu is just to slow. they give the minimum speed to play games at 2.4 and if you cant get there or within 200mhz of it if you have newer hardware then you are litrally wasting your time and money...
seriously m8 your hardware is designed for watching movies email and web browsing.. in some respects its even to slow to play browser hosted games and wont even play a game thats 5 years old without issue...
sorry but if you bought it in the hope you could play games you made a mistake...
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August 18, 2012 7:56:07 PM

HEXiT said:
its not a bottleneck its under spec components. your trying to play a game that your system isnt strong enough to play...
to play the game you would need at least 1 core to run at 2.4 ghz. even with the higher transistor count it would make little or no difference as your cpu is just to slow. they give the minimum speed to play games at 2.4 and if you cant get there or within 200mhz of it if you have newer hardware then you are litrally wasting your time and money...
seriously m8 your hardware is designed for watching movies email and web browsing.. in some respects its even to slow to play browser hosted games and wont even play a game thats 5 years old without issue...
sorry but if you bought it in the hope you could play games you made a mistake...


One sandy bridge celeron core at 1.6GHz is faster than the fastest of Pentium 4's, even a 3.6GHz P4. Are you stuck in the 1990's? I agree that the Bobcat core is meant for web browsing and video, which is mostly what I do on that machine, I also want to enjoy a game when in an AC'd coffee shop once in a while and bobcat isn't totally incapable of gaming. I have a 4.2-4.6GHz (depending on season) 2500k for most of my gaming.

Actually the G440 would prove your answer to be inaccurate at best. Not to mention Fallout 3/NV are optimized for dual-core CPU's. In fact, under recommended requirements of fallout 3, it just states dual-core with referencing any specific models. So, my CPU is "recommended."

To be honest, I'm looking for informed opinions. If you're basing your opinion on nothing more than clockspeed, then you have a lot to learn about how processors work.
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August 18, 2012 10:40:38 PM

Hexit knows what he is talking about, if you had even the E450 it might be playable but basically your hardware is not up to it. I am sure Hexit has a better understanding than many of why clock speed is not the be all and end all as most in this forum. Though your CPU may be better than a Pentium 4 at the same clock speed it is not as good as a Pentium 4 2.53GHz that is the minimum requirement for the game.
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August 19, 2012 12:32:23 AM

HEXiT said:
its not a bottleneck its under spec components. your trying to play a game that your system isnt strong enough to play...
to play the game you would need at least 1 core to run at 2.4 ghz. even with the higher transistor count it would make little or no difference as your cpu is just to slow. they give the minimum speed to play games at 2.4 and if you cant get there or within 200mhz of it if you have newer hardware then you are litrally wasting your time and money...
seriously m8 your hardware is designed for watching movies email and web browsing.. in some respects its even to slow to play browser hosted games and wont even play a game thats 5 years old without issue...
sorry but if you bought it in the hope you could play games you made a mistake...


simon12 said:
Hexit knows what he is talking about, if you had even the E450 it might be playable but basically your hardware is not up to it. I am sure Hexit has a better understanding than many of why clock speed is not the be all and end all as most in this forum. Though your CPU may be better than a Pentium 4 at the same clock speed it is not as good as a Pentium 4 2.53GHz that is the minimum requirement for the game.


Well, just to prove my point, I went ahead and installed Fallout 3 GOTY Edtion and I'm keeping a playable 24-30FPS. And monitoring my resources in realtime reveals a GPU bottleneck. The GPU is at 100% at 276MHz, but around 80% when it clocks up to 400MHz. The CPU on the other hand doesn't get much past 60%. No doubt my experience would be better if the GPU could hold turbo for longer, but I have pretty poor cooling on the account of the geniuses at Acer who didn't include an intake vent.

I did up to 38FPS by turning down the resolution. I'm going to dial it down to the lowest and see what I get.

UPDATE: I dialed the res down to 800x600, and i finally reached a CPU bottleneck. However, I'm getting 40-50FPS, and being that consoles only go up to 30FPS, I'm calling that a win.
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August 19, 2012 12:42:52 AM

Best answer selected by jerm1027.
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