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Core 2 Duo E6600 - A gaming bottlenack?

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May 31, 2007 6:32:35 PM

Hi everyone,

I recently bought a powerful gaming computer :

Core 2 Duo E6600
MSI 975X Platinum
2 GB RAM DDR2 800
Geforce 8800 GTX

But when I play Neverwinter Nights 2 on the highest settings with a resolution of 1280x1024, the game doesn't run smoothly at all. And when I check the CPU usage while the game is running with everest, I see that one CPU is running at 100% and the other isn't working at all.

This CPU should be one of the strongest with games according to toms hardware charts.

Is there a way to make the game utilize the second core?

Is this cpu still considered one of the strongest even with games that aren't multithreaded?

Thanks alot

More about : core duo e6600 gaming bottlenack

May 31, 2007 6:48:34 PM

The E6600 is an extremely powerful CPU and won't bottleneck any card, especially at 1280x1024. You cannot force that game to utilise the second core, most games are not multithreaded anyway. I doubt that the CPU is the culprit but try a modest overclocking and see if there is any difference. My guess would be drivers though.
May 31, 2007 7:39:57 PM

Sounds like windows. While running the game, go in task manager and under process right click on the games .exe and check affinity and make sure that it is set to run both cores. If it is set to only one core then windows will let the other core run idle.
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May 31, 2007 8:47:29 PM

I'm guessing its just the game. I don't play it, but only one question I have, did you get the latest patch for it?

This is what I found for it:

Patches and Updates

I really can't say what the patch fixes, or if it adds any dual core support, but it may help you out.

I also did see:

Review: Neverwinter Nights 2

Quote:
Performance: 2/5

As I mentioned earlier in this article, the game has some issues. This is yet another AAA title that was obviously rushed out the door to try and start turning a profit, shorting hopes of delivering a polished experience end to end. Character AI is the least of worries, when you consider the crashes, and lockups many have been getting. Often times players report that cut scenes were never “triggered”, quest items/people were never where they were supposed to be, moving NPCs would often prematurely end cut scenes by walking into people, and reloads of saved games due to impassable circumstances is an all-too-often experience.

Lag was also horrific throughout most of the game. While the game has beautiful graphics, they are not so stunning as to warrant the sluggishness that occurred on my reasonably high-end review machine. I had to reduce many of the graphics settings to “medium” levels to ensure that things stayed smooth in larger battles. Part of this may be due to the design decision to only utilize a single core. Gamers with dual core machines will notice that one core is taxed heavily, while the second is almost completely dormant. RAM usage didn’t appear to be anything overwhelming (such as in BF2 and BF2142) so it has to be assumed the lag is due to load on the CPU and video card.


Hope that helps some.
June 1, 2007 3:16:57 AM

After doing a quick google on NWN2 CPU performance, it does seem you are CPU bottlenecked with the E6600. 8O

Check out this link, it can even bring an X6800 to its knees at MEDIUM settings:
http://au.gamespot.com/features/6163248/p-7.html

1600 x 1200 Medium details
X6800 @ 2.93GHz - 44fps
X6800 @ 2.4GHz (=E6600) - 37fps 8O
FX-60 @ 2.8GHz - 30fps 8O 8O 8O
FX-60 @ 2.0GHz - 23fps YIKES!

Damn, it looks like you need a high end C2D just to get semi smooth gameplay @ medium settings, so it's no surprise you're getting poor performance on an E6600 @ maxed settings. :!:

Looks like you need to get overclocking buddy, most E6600 overclock past 3GHz easily and you'll see much better performance then.

It's a shame this game isn't multithreaded, considering how CPU bound it is it would have helped a lot. :roll:
June 1, 2007 3:33:48 AM

8O . o O (dang)

Seems that game is pretty hard on the system based that other review.

Say... what PSU you running for that 8800 GTX?

Also, the load temps on the CPU/GPU, did you get a chance to see them?

Just wondering if the lagging part may be do to something else, and not just the 41 fps, since they do mention:

Quote:
Most games benefit more from a video card upgrade than a CPU upgrade, but we found that Neverwinter Nights 2 scales well with CPU performance. Note that the game doesn't take advantage of multiple cores--you can get great performance out of a fast single-core chip.


So I wonder if anything else may be contributing to the lagging hes describing.
June 1, 2007 4:05:54 AM

Quote:
8O . o O (dang)

Seems that game is pretty hard on the system based that other review.

Say... what PSU you running for that 8800 GTX?

Also, the load temps on the CPU/GPU, did you get a chance to see them?

Just wondering if the lagging part may be do to something else, and not just the 41 fps, since they do mention:

Most games benefit more from a video card upgrade than a CPU upgrade, but we found that Neverwinter Nights 2 scales well with CPU performance. Note that the game doesn't take advantage of multiple cores--you can get great performance out of a fast single-core chip.


So I wonder if anything else may be contributing to the lagging hes describing.

I doubt NWN2 has a 'dual core' bug, the only other game I know of that had anything of the sort was WoW and I'm pretty sure that got fixed in a patch.

I think they are merely saying that NWN2 is not multithreaded, though the comment "you can get great performance out of a fast single-core chip" is moot because the fastest CPUs are currently dual core (or quad ;)  ) anyway.

How can you get 'great' performance from a single core, let's say an A64 FX-55 @ 2.6GHz, when the DC FX-60 @ 2.8GHz only gets 30fps?!
June 1, 2007 4:18:09 AM

Well, what I meant to put into perspective was:

1.) PSU may be starving the system, not enough power.

2.) CPU/GPU temps maybe high causing throttling.


I only took that comment as the game ran smoothly or okay at those FPS on a single core, even if it was around 30FPS. So, just thought something else would cause the game to be choppy/laggy for this guy since he didn't mention PSU or temps and if he installed the latest patch.

Since some games like Quake 4, the FPS were capped at 60 FPS, 40 FPS doesn't sound too bad for the other game, though I don't play NWN2.

But ya, I do understand what your saying of their comment.
June 1, 2007 4:51:13 AM

PSU problems would lead to instability, game crashs etc. That doesn't seem to be the problem, so we can rule that out.

If CPU/GPU temps are too high causing throttling then that is a big problem and would indicate the HSFs are installed incorrectly or are faulty, since neither have been overclocked at this stage.

In regards to framerates, 30fps is tolerable but really isn't ideal unless it is a slow paced game.

60fps should be the target for totally smooth gameplay, because you have to take into account minimum framerates as well, which will often be far lower than the average framerate.
June 1, 2007 5:37:20 AM

We are on the same track now.

But I wouldn't dismiss the PSU yet. I mean, what if the OP says something like:

"Oh I use the generic 550W PSU that came with the case"

Those GTX cards are beasts for power consumption. I could see a PSU limping by trying to feed everything, then later on start crashing or reboots.

Hopefully when he responds, he could also tell us the amp for the 12volt rail.
June 1, 2007 9:56:09 AM

Thanks for all the replies everyone!

To answer some of your questions:

I didn't install any patches for the game, I tried to but they didn'y work.

My PSU is Enermax - Liberty 400W

http://www.enermax.com.tw/english/product_Display1.asp?...

I don't think I want to try any overclocking at this point, i only bought the computer 5 months ago...

I havn't looked at the temps, I'll do that and let you know.

When I max the settings including all the shadows, the game is unplayable at 19 - 26 FPS.

What I don't understand is, According to what I see most if not all games won't benefit from dual core cpu's, and that means that they will run on my computer as if I had only one of the cores which is pretty lousy, so how did the E6600 got to be so high on the cpu charts for games? and was it a mistake to buy the E6600 for a gaming PC?
June 1, 2007 10:04:33 AM

400 watt... isn't that a little too....little.. mate? 8O
IMO, you should at least get a 500W from OCZ or Thermaltake. I'm running 8800GTS right now, and I'm not even sure if my 500W can feed the beast (although it looks like its doing fine).

anyway, as some forumers already pointed out, this game may tax heavily on CPU (just like FSX). Try OCing it a bit, to 3.0Ghz, and see if it helps.
June 1, 2007 10:55:19 AM

400W for a GTX is too low, if you had a gts it should be okay but even nvidia say that 450w is minimum requirement with 30A on 12V rail. Change the psu this is for sure. Go check http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine i did the calculation and at 100% Load you come to 410-30W depending what other thing running in your comp.
a b à CPUs
June 1, 2007 11:11:09 AM

Quote:
400W for a GTX is too low, if you had a gts it should be okay but even nvidia say that 450w is minimum requirement with 30A on 12V rail. Change the psu this is for sure. Go check http://www.extreme.outervision.com/PSUEngine i did the calculation and at 100% Load you come to 410-30W depending what other thing running in your comp.


iv seen an AcBell 400w PSU power an 8800GTS for weeks at my shop - no issues there, trust me.
June 1, 2007 11:22:57 AM

Quote:


iv seen an AcBell 400w PSU power an 8800GTS for weeks at my shop - no issues there, trust me.


Yes is should be fine for a 8800GTS but not a GTX because i don't think so a e6600 will bottleneck on Neverwinter Nights 2. If the poster is running 2 hard Drive with 2 dvd Drive with 1-2 fan or other thing like that, 400W is too short.
June 1, 2007 11:49:48 AM

You definatley need to upgrade your psu nothing under 550w will power any of the 8800 series without fault (according to nvidia). Also update your drivers for the gtx then you should be ok!!
June 1, 2007 12:42:00 PM

8O

ONLY A 400W???

i bought a Antec TruPower Trio 650W for my 88GTS just to be safe...

I also have an E6600 and am running stable on 3.6Ghz @ 1.5v
depending on the cooling of your case you can comfortably
run it on 3.2Ghz with the stock cooler with ddr800 ram.

Just google what settings ppl are using for a 3.2Ghz OC
with the E6600 for your mobo. u dont need to OC your RAM at all.

with an 800Mhz increase in CPU performance your NWN2 will run better...
June 1, 2007 2:46:23 PM

I ran the game at max settings for about 10 minutes , and the GPU climbed from 60C to 80C, and it dropped back down to 60C when I closed the game after 3 minutes. Is it a normal temperature?
The video card itself comes with a cooling system doesn't it? maybe the case cooling isn't enough? I have ThermalTake's Mambo case... is it enough?


Regarding the PSU, it maybe only 400W but it has 360W on it's 12V rails, isn't that what's most important for the video card and the cpu? are you sure I need to upgrade my PSU? What should I put instead?

Thanks everyone
June 1, 2007 4:05:29 PM

If your CPU is idling at 60c, then you (or whoever built your system) must have mis-installed the heatsink. A non-OC'ed E6600 with the stock HSF should idle no higher than 45c, 50c max for really extended operation.And shouldn't be hitting any higher than 65-70c under load. I would check your case for dust and see if you have proper airflow. If none of those are a problem, than I would seriously consider gettting an after-market heatsink/fan and some 'Arctic Silver', and replace the stock HSF.

As far your question regarding performance, ala the E6600, it performans on par with the FX-60 (both stock), only less heat and power. Where the E6600 shines though is in OCing. The FX-60, which comes stock at 3.0 Ghz, usually can only hit 3.2-3.3 Ghz max. However the E6600, which comes stock at 2.4 Ghz, can usually hit the 3.0 Ghz mark with the Stock HSF. With an after-market HSF, it can reach up to 3.4-3.6 Ghz. Liquid cooling can reach up to 4 Ghz. THAT'S why the E6600 is considered to be a lot better processor than the FX series.

As far as performance goes with NWN2.. I, too, have read quite a bit on it. It seems to have been shoved out with little or no QA, and therefore, much of the coding is slap-dash and unoptimised. The same sort of situation happened with Ultima 9: Ascension. It was coded so poorly, they wound up having to send up an entirely new installation CD to their customers. Even then, it still ran poorly even on a high-end rig. Never underestimate the worth of good coding.
June 1, 2007 4:15:32 PM

Errr.. Ummm... wow. :lol: 

First off... You will prolly want to use Core Temp for your CPU temps. You can turn on a log, it will write temps to a text file for you to look at, unless you want to window the game and watch the temps on the cores.

Second... Well, I'd say that is a solid PSU, but I think it possiblity could be limping along, though not totally sure. With that PSU calculator:

E6600
8800GTX
1 SATA HD
1 DVD Recorder
2 sticks of DDR2 Ram
1 80mm Fan
1 120mm Fan

@ 100 % TDP is around 336 watts. (just generalizing a typical setup)

When I look at PSU, besides all the good stuff (amps on the 12 volt) I also try to consider 80 percent of its total capacity. So 80 percent is 320 watts of 400 watts. With just the general parts, thats 16 watts over. I wouldn't even consider to do any over clocking, even the video card if it could. The 80 percent just provides the PSU breathing space or comfort zone, the way I see it.

Third, the video card temp at 80C is kinda high, even the idle at 60C is on the high side, but I think that is tolerable. The threshold I imagine would be somewhere around 120C. If the temps could be lower, it could also indicate bad air flow. Not really sure what other people get as far as temps on those 8800 GTX's.

I guess the only other questions that I have to look at:

What PC case are you using?

Are you using the stock HSF?

When you get a chance, what CPU temps are you getting? (idle/load)
June 1, 2007 4:23:30 PM

NWN2 is the worst coded game ever.
Patches might help you a little (current version : 1.05.912)
1.06 is still in beta
but don't expect a miracle.

This link might help you out but if you don't want to read the whole topic here's the basic :
http://nwn2forums.bioware.com/forums/viewtopic.html?top...

(Note : you need to be registered on the forum and MUST have entered your CD-Key ...)

Close XFire (causes bugs and MAJOR slow down)
Start with 1024*768
Shadows off
Lights 0
No AA and filtering

Increase rez to the wanted rez (1280*1024)
Increase settings by one notch and test between each (but try shadow last)
If it's ok just try increasing the settings again.

Btw, battles are almost always laggy no matter what
June 1, 2007 4:57:45 PM

My case is Thermaltake - Mambo
http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/news/press/newsdata/2005n...

I don't really know what fans I have other than that, and what is HSF? How can I check what fans I have for the cpu's and the gpu?

I need a program like TempCore to check the video card temp with a log ability.

I used TempCore to check cpu temps: Idle - 47, Load - 57.
June 1, 2007 5:09:43 PM

:oops: 

HSF is Heat Sink Fan. Just wondering if your using the stock, or 3rd party.

Idle looks kinda high, but the load seems tolerable. Lets see what the other guys think.

I was only trying help determine if any throttling was going on. I really don't see that happening.

Might want to try out other games perhaps. If there is a problem with something, you might have similar problems with other games that put a load on the system.
June 1, 2007 5:25:32 PM

Oh... what are the room temps? If your room temp is around 80F would have an effect on those temps. But if the room is cooler, might want to work on the air flow with the case.

Edit:

RivaTuner can monitor the GPU temp with a log (its not a txt file, but uses its own viewer). Its kinda complicated to explain. The main tab, click on (top) customize, then down to hardware monitor. From there just look around at the setup button options.

It also can OC the GPU, but I wouldn't try.
June 1, 2007 6:30:42 PM

you definately need to upgrade your psu but your heat probs are quite worrying also my 6600 is oc to 3.2 at 1.4volts and idles at 39degrees sys temps at 33 in a fairly hot room
June 1, 2007 8:35:46 PM

I used RivaTuner and the core temperature at idle is 59, and at load is 79.

Regarding the psu, I'll replace it, can you give me some model names that will fit my computer, even for OC?

About the video card, I have a card of MSI, don't they come with a built in fan? If so, how is it possible that this fan doesn't cool the card enough if it was built for it?

And about the cpu, i'm not sure what fan I have on it, is there a program that will tell me exactly what fans or heat pipes I have?

Sorry for all the trouble, and thanks again.
June 1, 2007 8:47:51 PM

Not sure what to recommend. However I did look at one that I found decent:

SeaSonic M12 SS-600HM ATX12V / EPS12V 600W

It does have modular cables, since that was one thing I noticed on your other one. Makes cable management nice.

As far as the video card temps. I wouldn't worry too much, your prolly running it just fine at those temps.

Is this your card, or like it? :

MSI NX8800GTX-T2D768E GeForce 8800GTX 768MB 384-bit GDDR3 PCI Express x16 HDCP Video Card

Nvidia's forum:

8800GTX GPU Core Temp Spec?, 8800GTX GPU Core Temp

From what those guys described, I think your temps are okay for that beast. :D 

Edit:

Forgive me for asking, but did someone build that for you?

It's just your asking questions that make me think that your not too familiar with the parts.
June 1, 2007 9:59:46 PM

Well, since it was built by another company, and you may not like to mess around too much with your setup, I would only really recommend just testing for stability.

You may not want to OC (over clock) the system, since that alone voids any warranties associated with the system, mainly the CPU.

You can use software like Prime95 or orthos to test for any hardware errors, and to test a load on the CPU to watch temps. Prime95 or orthos will push your CPU harder then games.

I would imagine they seated the the HSF properly, but this stability test would help you understand perhaps the air flow of the PC case.

Other then that you could also perhaps run 3dmarks to see if that runs smoothly, and perhaps look up benchmarks scores to see how yours compare.

And as far as that game, I would have to say it may not have good enough support to perhaps make the game playable with everything turned on. You may just need to adjust the graphics with less eye candy to make it play smoother.
June 2, 2007 6:27:20 PM

.
.
Check out the Corsair HX620.

Corsair uses Seasonic PSU's...it's modular and I believe it is GTX/SLI certified...

Don't know if it will fit your case...I would presume so.

I got mine for $126 after rebate from Zip Zoom.
June 2, 2007 6:54:15 PM

I got my nacks stuck in a bottle once. Damn, did it ever hurt. I decided to stick with Thumbelina and her four sisters from then on! :twisted:

As for your AVC Z9E741T, that's a bit of an odd HSF, isn't it. Can't see it performing much better than stock. I guess the compushop buys their CPUs OEM.
June 2, 2007 7:20:49 PM

You could set the game on core0 and the rest of the processes on core 1. It might improve your gaming experience by a bit.
June 2, 2007 8:12:28 PM

Woah! I just saw someone said to set your affinity for BOTH cores on a single threaded app. DONT DO THAT! Trust me, I tried running Deus Ex: Invisible War with a Dual Core and it locked up the PC. thing is that when running a single thread to two cores, information is not being delivered coherently, hence its going to cause problems.

Just overclock a little. Hey, at least you arent trying Oblivion: that slaughters X6800 systems with Dual 8800GTXs and 8 gigs of RAM like nothing else!
a b à CPUs
June 5, 2007 12:36:54 PM

Quote:
8O

ONLY A 400W???

i bought a Antec TruPower Trio 650W for my 88GTS just to be safe...

I also have an E6600 and am running stable on 3.6Ghz @ 1.5v
depending on the cooling of your case you can comfortably
run it on 3.2Ghz with the stock cooler with ddr800 ram.

Just google what settings ppl are using for a 3.2Ghz OC
with the E6600 for your mobo. u dont need to OC your RAM at all.

with an 800Mhz increase in CPU performance your NWN2 will run better...


Iv even seen a 7900 GTX512 with an AcBel 300w v2 PSU + Pentium D 3.4ghz (945 or 65nm version) running fine - did orthos + atitool + wd hdd tool all at once all day straight with no faults - i never questioned the quality of an AcBel PSU ever again, and there not even as good as some of the psu's out there!
June 7, 2007 7:30:28 AM

Wrong post sorry just ignore
!