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Low performance with GTX 285

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 16, 2009 8:55:28 AM

Hello,

sorry if this question is placed in the wrong subforum - actually my first post on Tom's.

I recently bought a new system and graphics performance is severely lower than I'd personally had expected from the setup of this rig.
Setup is as following:

Mainboard: ECS AM2+ GF8100VM-M3 (GBL/R/V/DDR2)
Processor: CPU AM2+ Phenom X4 9850 4*512k (2.5 GHz stock)
Ram: 8GB (4 * DDR2 800MHz Kingston Valueram CL6 Bulk)
HD: SATA II 1TB Hitachi 7200rpm 16MB
Power Supply: ATX 650W
Graphics Card: GTX 285 (ASUS ENGTX285 1024MB HTDP/1GD3)
OS: Windows 7 64bit (RC 7100)

Graphics Driver is: 8.15.11.8585 from NVIDIA (release date 30.04.2009).
Latest Nforce drivers from NVIDIA installed as well.


My problem is that my performance in the only gaming app i use (World of Warcraft) is barely better than on my 2 year old Laptop which used a 8600M GT graphics card. Both systems (Laptop and the new one above) run on 1680 * 1050 resolution.
Even at lowest ingame settings my FPS drops down heavily (to 10-15 fps) when in a boss encounter. Around 15 fps in Dalaran.

CPU-Z and GPU-Z readings can be found here:

This already includes me having slightly overcloced the processor to 2.7GHz (vcore in bios set to 1.43v - no idea why CPU-Z says 1.552)

I understand World of Warcraft is kinda strange in that it doesnt make real use of high-end graphic processors and is highly cpu-dependant where this system with an AMD Phenom doesnt really score.
Still the following Passmark Benchmark against two similar systems (also GTX285 and same Phenom 9850 processor) shows me heavily falling behind in the 3D graphics department, so the reason might lie outside the game after all? (I'm an amateur regarding this so please correct me if wrong).
With Aero disabled I get the following benchmark in Passmark:



Hopefully I didnt violate forum etiquette in some way here.
I'm highly thankful for any help, insight or advice you can offer,
Hinnerk
a b Î Nvidia
May 16, 2009 12:38:05 PM

WoW is also network dependent as well as CPU dependent.
Your hardware is way above what is required to run WoW really well.
I'm thinking there might be some issues with the server you're on. So I'd look into the network issues. Try some different servers, ones with known low latency and high performance.

Low 3DMark score - yes it should be higher. Im wondering if the culprit there is the ECS GF8100VM-M3 motherboard.
Related resources
May 16, 2009 12:49:37 PM

Hello and welcome, very nice first post.
Well, that ECS motherboard and 8100 series chipset is about the bottom of the barrel, I don't think you could have a worse starting platform. The 2 words that come to mind when you think "ECS and Geforce 8100" is "cheap and slow"
a b Î Nvidia
May 16, 2009 12:53:04 PM

All the GPU-Z stuff reports the normal GTX 285 values.
I'd start looking at the motherboard video options. Maybe disable the GF8100 graphics chip, and turn off Hybrid SLI if it's enabled.
a b Î Nvidia
May 16, 2009 12:56:55 PM

One more thing you can check. The GPU temps under load. An overheating GPU might throttle back and give the lower scores you saw in that benchmark.
What case and cooling options are you using?
May 16, 2009 12:59:50 PM

Good graphics performance is not isolated to the graphics card alone, if you want that killer 285 to perform top notch, you have to put it on a solid board.
WR2's suggestions are good start, but I would really look at upgrading that board.
Also try disabling cool and quiet in the BIOS, it can make a difference.
May 16, 2009 1:36:37 PM

Yes, I agree with changing the board. If its a new build, perhaps you could get it exchanged? How about an ASUS/Gigabyte board? And such a slight OC shouldn't have any major effects. Also, what brand is your PSU? And make sure your GPU power connectors are secure.
a b Î Nvidia
May 16, 2009 1:49:27 PM

Yes, making sure Cool n Quiet is off is a good point. Those Phenom I's could downclock individual cores, which sounds good in practice, but was bad when Vista would shuffle threads around and force cores to jump back up. Worth a try if it isn't already disabled.

Another thing to try is to remove the drivers and use driver cleaner, and then reinstall them.

Could also try reinstalling WoW, and then defragging.

That Mobo isn't helping matters, but that card is surprisingly underperforming right now, so it is probably best to try some software stuff first just to be sure.
May 17, 2009 9:07:38 AM

Thanks for all your replies guys.
I will try the suggested Bios setting changes and rreinstall drivers with driver cleaner than.

Will post later what the result was.

Again thanks
May 17, 2009 1:55:46 PM

based on the image your HT link is very low check your board settings
May 17, 2009 4:48:09 PM

Hmm,

cleaning and reinstalling nforce and graphic card drivers didnt really make any difference.
Hybrid SLI was already disabled in the BIOS.

Regarding the HT link I have to admit I dont see any Bios options to change this.
Available to me is a selectable combination of CPU-clock and Multiplier which lets me directly select the desired CPU speed in MHz as well as the core voltage and the NB (northbridge I assume) speed.
Neither of these had any changes on the Bus Speed and HT link which stayed at 200MHz as displayed in CPU-Z.

What confuses me a bit is that raising the CPU speed slightly from 2.5 to 2.7 to 2.8 makes such a difference in the Passmark Benchmarks as shown below:

Red: 2.5GHz
Blue: 2.7GHz
Yellow: 2.8GHz (though this raised CPU temp to 48-51 degrees idle.)
all other settings of the system stayed unchanged.




-----

I am totally open to getting a new board if this leaves me with a performing system - unfortunately cant return the old board though.
What would be your advice here?
Get a new replacement for the AM2+ board and keep the Phenom or sell both of the board and the Processor and get a Intel Platform?
If the second - something along the lines of
ASUS M3A32-MVP Deluxe nonWiFi AMD790FX?


Thanks again,
Hinnerk

May 17, 2009 4:50:26 PM

<sigh> no idea why I cant edit my own entries :-(
In the last paragraph I ofc ment if getting the ASUS M3A32-MV was advisable/overkill if you suggest keeping the Phenom and staying with an AMD platform.
May 18, 2009 2:42:15 PM

Once again thanks to all of you.
teckie's advice kinda proved right for me in the end as after downgrading my bios the HT link went up to 1000MHz which raised 3D graphics performance (as seen in Passmark) by roughly 70%.

Only quesion left for me now is why CPU-Z and Speedfan show a vcore of 1.55V while Bios setting is at 1.37V. Hope thats not really a problem though as long as the system runs stable now.

3 cheers to all of you friendly posters,
Hinnerk
!