Decrease in performance from higher overclocks?

So i noticed i was getting a little laggy with COD 4 single player. (multiplayer generally keep a 45+ fps everywhere) on the charlie dont surf level during the helicopter run the low point in fps i was getting was around 28 fps with dips into the teens. settings are 1680x1050 4AA half AF (its a bar not a set number) extra texture settings.
my system specs are (or were untill i changed the clock rate lower)
PC Power & Cooling 610W continuous psu
xeon e3110 (e8400) overclocked to 3.5ghz no voltage increase.
4x 1gb Corsair DDR2 overclocked to 1000mhz 5-5-5-15 @ 2.1 v (recommended voltage by corsair)
xfx 8800gts 320 no OC (although i think the model i have was overclocked by XFX)

newest drivers installed for everything

the laggyness happened in both xp and vista so i toned down my overclock on my cpu to 3.38ghz which i had it running at that fine for several months. and low and behold i had a performance gain in fps by about 15% average. instead of dropping in the high teens on charlie dont surf in the helicopter i was dropping only to the high 20s. unfortunately on the level where i have to save the tank at night i was getting 35 ish fps untill that part where you meet up with the tank, then i was getting 20fps and dips into 15 fps.

I dont remember my computer being this slow.

I remember running that same level im getting 35FPS average at but getting 53 FPS average WITH MAX SETTINGS for everything (right now everythings max except AF which is half).

granted when i was running it at 53fps i had only 2gb of ram now i have 4gb, and i was using 2 or so nvidia forceware driver releases previous to this current newest one. my cpu was still at 3.38ghz though.

I tested my ram in memtest for the full duration and no errors (well i tested it at 800 mhz 4-4-4-12 1T)

what do you think my problem is? driver? ram? cpu?

edit: update: resorted to stock CPU speed of 3ghz and Ram decreased to 800 mhz 4-4-4-12 1T and i seem to be doing much better in FPS.

its bothering me because i previously had my setup at 3.38ghz 1000mhz 5-5-5-15 ram (2gb only) and it used to work better with overclocked ram and cpu, but now its not the case. so i take it my new ram doesnt perform as well at 1000mhz like my first pair of 2gb did? or is it just becuase i have 4gb total now?

EDIT2: just did a fraps benchmark: averaging 48 fps at 3ghz (stock ) ddr800mhz 4-4-4-12 1T (stock). when i was running 2gb of ram at 1000mhz 5-5-5-15 and at 3.38ghz i would get an average of 53 fps in the same scene, but now i get an average around 30fps with many many dips into unplayable fps.
21 answers Last reply
More about decrease performance higher overclocks
  1. Generally when you get worse performance at higher clocks is because of instability. The instability will cause the system to make errors thus increasing clock cycles therefore reducing performance.

    When you overclock, make sure to test stability with Prime95 or Orthos, etc.
  2. I did test stability. prime95. i tested stability for small ffts on my 3.38ghz clockrate a long time ago and did 3+ hours (all tests passed) before when i had 2gb of ram and at that point in time my performance overclocked was better than now.

    at 3.5ghz i tested prime95 only for i think 2 and a half hours. but if it was stable at 3.38ghz for the past 5 months or w/e and playing games fine, why then do i now have a severe decrease in performance with the same exact overclock? does having 4gb ram cause you to lose overclockability? or does it mean i have to run fsb : ram in 1:1 which would mean me underclocking my ram as my cpu isnt stable at 400mhz fsb (without upping the voltage at least).
  3. I'd recommend testing for at least 24 hours. I hear that your system can destabilize only after weeks of testing sometimes... So the longer you test, the better off you are.
  4. I also recommend testing for 24 hours. Good rule of thumb is 24 hours if you plan to leave your computer running 24/7 and 12 hours if you turn it off when you don't use it. I woulnt feel comfortable with my OC unless I did a minimum of 12 hours.
  5. I usually don't get errors when testing with Small FFTs but i do when i test it with Blend.
  6. FFT's stress the CPU only. In blend your memory could be causing errors, or an unstable north bridge. Maybe even something else, Thats what I was told at least..
  7. yeah i tested it for about 5 hours total today. some reason my stock frequencies are giving me poor fps and my overclock frequencies are giving me good fps (which is the opposite problem i had this morning :S). i think its only in cod4.
    heres some benchmark results:

    -Stock speed on ram and cpu (800mhz ram 4-4-4-12 1T, 3ghz cpu):
    cod 4 bog tank min: 17 max: 52 Avg: 31
    3dmark vantage
    GPU 4837
    CPU 22962
    10374 3DMarks
    SM 2: 4617
    SM 3: 4576
    CPU: 2676

    -3.38ghz 1000mhz 5-5-5-15
    cod 4 bog tank min: 27 max: 58 Avg: 39.5

    -cpu 3.5ghz ram 1000 auto timings
    cod 4 bog tank min: 14 max: 60 Avg: 22.3
    3dmark vantage
    10758 3DMarks

    -cpu 3.5ghz ram 1000 5-5-5-15
    cod 4 bog tank min: 30 max: 56 Avg: 40.533
    10724 3DMarks
  8. well i ran blend tests on prime 95 at my overclocked speed for 8 hours and no errors or warnings. i dont leave my computer on that much so i dont see the point in testing it for longer (its rare ill have my computer on for 8 hours straight much less 12 hours).

    seems im getting low fps in certain cod4 levels / scenes again at my overclock speed so going back down to stock to see if i can get something that works all the time.

    I tried fidgeting with graphics settings in cod4 going from extreme low to extreme high and in between but to no avail in increasing FPS. this leads me to believe its not a graphics card issue or driver issue as i installed 175 driver version as well.

    next stop installing new drivers for everything (although i just installed new drivers for my motherboard and components recently.)
  9. i am at a loss right now. installed all newest drivers. updated bios. tried taking out 2 sticks of ram.. tried reseating my graphics card. tried going back to stock frequencies and voltages. tried lowering graphics settings to absolute minimum in cod4 (1650x1080 res still though). and yet i still get a drop in FPS in the lower 30s/20s when i view certain areas. sometimes it happens when i view something far away, other times it could happen in a close area like in a building, its not random though as i can repeat the drop in fps every time. Ive tried running this on XP and Vista same thing.

    i dont know what other game that has similar demanding graphics as call of duty 4 that i could test this on. i do have halflife 2 series but i get 60fps in there (vsync) with max graphics, but thats not really on the same level of detail and textures and effects cod 4 has.

    heres screenshot of cod4 where my fps is consistantly low when looking in JUST THIS DIRECTION

    edit: it doesnt matter if i scope. even without scope i get a fps drop but scoping increases the fps drop more.
    and i know my graphics card (8800gts320) should be able to run this game better than this (and it did a while ago. dont know whats causing this sudden decrease.). i had a 7900gs on a completely different system and ran fine with near max settings and had better FPS than i do now
  10. Something you might try checking is your PSU. Do some benches, and prime tests, and watch your voltages in speedfan, cpu-z and any other program that you have that shows them. Check to see if any of the voltages drop when you put the computer under load. The cpu vcore should drop slightly under load (this is normal and called vdroop). Keep your eye mainly on the +12v +3v and +5v. If either of those drop more than a tiny amount, your PSU has probably gone bad.

    Oh, try using OCCT. That program actually logs your power output. So you can set it up to test for a few hours and then come back later to look at the voltages.
  11. will do. uninstalled cod4 and reinstalling as i type this. ran occt for a quick minute to max out cpu while using. it only shows vcore and +3.3 v so i opened up speed fan and ill list what i see.
    keep in mind that this is a PC Power and Cooling 610w psu so its a mainstream power supply
    CPU: intel Xeon e3110 (c2d8400)
    msi 750i sli platinum
    xfx geforce 8800gts 320mb
    (posted specs so you wouldnt have to look them up again.

    VCC3V: 3.34V
    Vcore: 1.13V
    VRAM: 1.60 (fluctuates a little, just saw it at 1.58V a min ago)
    Vchipset 0.88V
    +5V: 4.96V
    +12V: 12.14V
    VCC1.5V: 0.90V
    VSB3V: 3.33V
    Vbat: 3.04V

    so far the only one that ive seen change is the Vram from 1.58 - 1.62 and im sure vcore changes as ive seen it do that before when i would stress test my overclocks. right now intel eist is disabled though.

    hopefully reinstalling cod4 will fix this issue, ill test before installing any update to it. is there any other game that has same or better demand on graphics card than cod4 besides crysis (and is fun to play). something that my system can use AA and AF without making it unplayable.

    reinstalling cod4 didnt fix it but i did find that disabling specular map, soften smoke edges, and depth of field. all increase my FPS by a good 10-20. I could have sworn my system could handle this before, this is the first time playing cod4 singleplayer through on my 8800gts though, before i had a 7900gs that i also played cod4 with near max settings (no af or aa though)
  12. Was this your OC setting or stock setting when you stressed?

    I hope that it was the OC one b/c I have good news for you. If this was under load, your psu is fine. And the great news is that your cpu vcore is really low! So you have more room to OC. Just don't go about 1.225vcore (c0) or 1.212vcore (e0) if you want to stay within the intel spec.

    Though I suppose that doesn't answer your main question :-S

    Have you noticed FPS drops in other games? Also, have you noticed any graphical artifacts?
  13. hmm... you say you didn't play COD4 on that level with the current settings before now? That explains your fps drop. AA and AF put big loads on the fx card, and the 8800 you have is only the 320mb one. That one from what I understand has trouble handling AA b/c of low video ram.
  14. that was with stock settings. i have tried overclocking to 3.6ghz and didnt have a stable cpu even at liek 1.26v so i just put it back down to stock or on my overclock without voltage increase.

    the only other game i have that comes close to graphics as cod4 is halflife 2. ill try playing that. no artifacts though just a slowdown in performance that seemingly started out of nowhere.

    as for textures and AA and AF i can max those out fine or turn them off and theres very little performance hit. the hit comes from depth of view and soften smoke edges options in cod4. which i could have sworn i was able to max out before but it was a long time ago.

    now i recently got an 8800gts 512mb installed today and ran cod4 maxed out and it too has fps drop with those settings enabled and in teh same places. its very close to the same fps drop to about 29-35 fps when looking in a certain direction or when zooming in on a certain direction. shouldnt the 8800gts 512 destroy the 320mb version ? or is this some problem with some other component?

    forgot to mention that i do have a tv tuner (USB) that came with nvidia purevideo codec but i dont think that will affect anything in game.
  15. if anyone has cod 4 and a 1680x1050 res monitor can you go to this map in single player turning all settings max AA, AF textures, all settings on including soften smoke and depth of view (or w/e its called) and tell me what fps you get when looking in this direction?

    map name is icbm you can open console and type map icbm and it will load it. this place im standing is exactly where you start out.
  16. well i played crysis sp demo today using high settings at 1680x1050 and was able to keep around 29-30 fps which was playable, in fact i didnt notice any drops and was smooth as far as i could tell. so if my system can handle that then maybe its just cod4 and the way they do graphics settings?
  17. if ur getting 30 fps in crysis w/a 8800 you shouldn't complain :-p
  18. no the 512 and 320 won't show much difference except a slight variance when AA/AF is enabled or when playing on very high resolution. Remember that you'r dealling with pretty much the exact same GPU.

    Are those voltages you mentioned, "1.26v," bios voltage settings or readigns? if so, they are irrelevent, b/c your actual voltage may be something like 1.18. The bios settings rarely match up with the actual voltage amount being pumped through the chip, that's why you need a program like cpu-z to tell you that info. Also, vdroop (what the voltage is when you have the cpu under load) will be lower. And the bios won't tell you this value b/c the cpu is at idle when in bios. So, if it turns out that your vcore is really 1.20 under load (according to cpu-z) then you have another .025v to play with. And that could be enough to get you that stable OC, assuming that heat doesn't get in your way. And with an aftermarket cooler and good case airflow you shouldn't have too much trouble w/heat at that voltage. (if you're really worried about heat, try stressing with the side panel off and a big external fan blowing directly on your cpu heatsink.

    Next step would be to ask around and see how peeps have fared pumping more voltage than 1.225v into their xeon 3110s. I know a lot of peeps have tried 1.4v or even 1.45v on the e8400s (and the intel max spec is 1.3625). Course, that's a risk you'll have to weigh. me personally, I wouldn't go above 1.3625 on my e8400 unless I had a better cooler. If I were still in the 50s at 4.27ghz, I'd probably push towards 1.4v to see if I could get to 4.5ghz stable.
  19. Thorbaden said:
    if anyone has cod 4 and a 1680x1050 res monitor can you go to this map in single player turning all settings max AA, AF textures, all settings on including soften smoke and depth of view (or w/e its called) and tell me what fps you get when looking in this direction?

    map name is icbm you can open console and type map icbm and it will load it. this place im standing is exactly where you start out.

    I did as you asked, i get ~33fps. Monitor Resolution is 1680x1050, in game settings maxed. I have the same graphics card, 8800gts 512mb, and a q6600 @3.2ghz x8 multi. Graphics card is overclocked a bit, core/shader by 13%, and mem by about 5%.
  20. what kind of corsair ram are you using? the dominator or the xms2?
  21. Have you set the voltage manually for your memory?
    Some MB with auto volt for the memory doesn't give enough to keep the memory stable...

    BTW what are your settings on your 8800 GTS 320.

    I have a E4300 oc@ 3.0Ghz with 2Gb ddr2-800 set 4-4-4-12
    with my 8800GTS 320mb oc @ core 691mhz, shader 1619mhz, mem 984mhz
    and i get at default settings with 3d mark06
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