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Newbie seeking guidance on performance

  • Overclocking
Last response: in Overclocking
January 3, 2012 4:11:51 AM

Hello! I built my first gaming rig a few months ago and now that I am home from travel I finally got a chance to use it. One of the first things I did after trying out some games was to bench mark my system. My frame rates seemed pretty abysmal compared to what I hear people talk about. I was getting 15-39 fps on 3d mark 11, this seems low seeing how I hear people with similar systems boasting 60-100! So my questions is, do i need to achieve this performance from overclocking? Games look fine to me when I play them, but after those results I am left to wonder if my system is not living up to its potential. I am new to this hobby so I do apologize if I get some terms wrong.

Here is my system:

CPU: Intel core i7 970 Gulftown

Motherboard: Asus Rampage III black edition

Memory: 6x4GB Corsair Vengence DDR3 1600 (Overkill I know, but I got a deal on 24gb for $75 at a local store that was closing)

Boot/OS drive: G.Skill sniper 120GB SSD

HDD: Seagate Barracuda XT 2TB @7200 RPM

Graphics: 2x EVGA GTX570 SC @ 797Mhz & 1280MB each

PSU: Corsair 1000HX, 1000 watt

More about : newbie seeking guidance performance

January 3, 2012 12:15:37 PM

usually most benchmark scores are done with the system OCd
also all unnecessary programs and processes turned off including
anti virus,windows aero themes etc
serious benchers will do a fresh install of windows
and wont have any programs installed and windows theme on basic
plus the GPU will be heavily OCd
actually kind of hard to find stock benchmarks
almost always OCd
try running 3D mark vantage
and when you look at online results it will compare to similar systems and give a rating
let me know how it scored
I just ran it on my system (see config under avatar)
and I know your system should slaughter mine
January 3, 2012 8:20:10 PM

Thank you so much for your reply king smp!
I downloaded the vantage bench mark and my results vastly improved from the 3D mark 11 one I did! I couldnt post my results and compare because apparently my graphics card drivers are not supported (although its not the beta but the WHQL 285.62 driver) so thats strange. But it does look like I am getting way more acceptable results!

So here are my results from "Extreme" setting

3DMark Score

22453 3DMarks


Graphics Score



CPU Score



Jane Nash

67.98 FPS


New Calico

61.89 FPS


AI Test

4088 operations/s


Physics Test

37 operations/s


Texture Fill

87 texels/s


Color Fill

15 pixels/s


Pixel Shader

102.53 FPS


Stream Out

71.75 FPS


GPU Particles

98.82 FPS


Perlin Noise

225.38 FPS

I undstand the scores for the most part, except for the "3D Marks" score. Am I correct in assuming larger the score the better?

So if i was to start overclocking my components would it be your opinion that my performance would be a marginal increase or something more drastic? I realize that would be proportional to how high and what I overclocked, but seeing how I am pretty new to this, I wouldnt want to attempt anything too crazy! My mobo has preloded OC profiles for the CPU called "CPU level up" that I may try out, but I have heard these preset profiles are not the best for your system, so I may just try manual.

But I do thank you for your input and patience! I appreciate it!
January 3, 2012 11:42:53 PM

No Problem
Ocing can dramatically improve performance but really in your case I wouldnt do it
I OCd my Phenom II x 4 925 2.8 to 3.5 because at 2.8 the CPU was a little slow
so it really helped performance
your CPU and video card setup are pretty awesome
and along with having a SSD
i dont see why you feel a need to improve performance
that rig should be lightning fast
your 3dmark score is great
and yes the higher the better in 3Dmarks
if I were you I would wait
take the time to read and study everything on OCing if you want
OCing is a great hobby but you have to do your studying first
and really take baby steps
dont up voltages in the beginning
and read read read
if you want to do it as a hobby then great
but dont do it if you think you need performance

if your system seems slow then do some cleaning
good program for tuning up your system
run the junk files cleaner
run the registry cleaner a few times until errors are gone
then go to tools and go to startup
look for any startup programs you can get rid of
really dont need many startup programs
just google your startup programs and see if they are really necessary
if you havent done this
and your install is older (more than 3 months)
then this can really improve performance
(people pay me to do this-shh dont tell anybody :)  )
January 4, 2012 12:34:25 AM

Well I truely do appreciate the FREE :-) advice, and thank you again! I have been kinda 50/50 with the idea of OC'ing, part hobby interest and part performance interest. I would like to see how far I can (safely) push my system! I just was not sure how much it would be worth it or what kind of results to look for to make sure I was progressing in the right direction. When I used the 3Dmark11 bench and my score was soo horrible I started leaning more towards performance rather than hobby. Now that I have used the one you recommended and my score has improved I am back to the hobby side of it. So I'll keep looking through the OC section here on the forum, are there any other good sources of OC knowledge you could pass on? :-) Building and tweeking my own computers is something I have wanted to get into for quite some time and am very eager to try, but I should probably make sure I understand what I am doing before I start messing with settings lol.

Again, Thanks for the guidance!
January 4, 2012 1:42:53 AM

I would like to see how far I can (safely) push my system! I just was not sure how much it would be worth it or what kind of results to look for to make sure I was progressing in the right direction.
January 4, 2012 2:07:24 AM

Thanks again! This will give me something to read tonight and be a good start point for me. seeing how I still have about 5 days left in my holiday vacation I should have plenty of time to read up before I try anything!

Appreciate the help king smp!
January 4, 2012 2:50:04 AM

glad to help
love talking computers
feel free to Private Message me once they close thread
just click on my avatar and then PM button
if you think one of my posts answered your question then selecting Best Answer
in the bottom right hand corner is a nice thing to do
but dont do it if your question for this thread has not been answered yet
just wait and see if somebody else can give a better answer
January 4, 2012 3:46:49 AM

I am sure I will be taking you up on that offer! You did answer my question, and then some! I am quite grateful for the info you provided! Again, thank you very much for taking the time to help me out. I will be sure to give you the "best answer", will that button show up once the thread is closed?
January 4, 2012 3:59:32 AM

no it should be in the right corner of my posts that I wrote
just select one as BA if you like :) 
if it isnt there then you might have started a discussion thread instead of a question thread in which case no option exist for Best Answer
that is alright though
I am really in this to help
the points are just extra bonus and actually somewhat silly
it is the old Boy Scout in me that likes my merit badges LOL
January 4, 2012 4:04:40 AM

I just checked
you made this a discussion thread instead of an answer thread
no big deal
I did that in the beginning too LOL :) 
I am just glad to help
after reading the OCing guide let me know if you have any questions
I am not familiar with OCing an I-series like the I5 or I7
but I can also read the guides
and possibly be helpful
I do know some about cooling,stress testing,computer repair,windows repair
OCing video cards,hardware upgrades and just recently OCd my Phenom II x 925 non-BE C2 2.8ghz from 2.8 to 3.5ghz stable after six hours of Prime95 stress testing
I have a small computer repair business (one man operation-my boss is a jerk)
I am always looking to increase my tech learning curve (it makes me money :)  )
so would be glad to help
a b K Overclocking
January 4, 2012 4:33:06 AM

there is no doubt that you will see improvements with an overclock. with two big gpus like that your weak point is your cpu. crank up the clock speed and see the gains.
January 4, 2012 4:47:00 AM

good point cbrunnem
the Core I7 970 is a strong CPU
but two GTx 570s SC edition is alot of GPU power
and upping the speed of the CPU will increase framerates
but the OP is a newbie to OCing
so first s/he needs to do some reading first :) 
OCing has gotten safer than in the old days
but is still something to approach with respect and caution
and take the time to do right
Wouldnt want to have to buy another I7-970
unless you want to buy the OP a new CPU cbrunnem? LOL :) 
and really even at stock settings on CPU/GPU
there isnt really any game at 1920x1080 that it cant handle
only something like Metro 2033 or BF3 using multiple monitors
at high res will start to slow it down
a b K Overclocking
January 4, 2012 5:02:44 AM

absolutely it should be approached with caution.

i just wanted to point out that there will be gains from overclocking. games like skyrim with those cards could see over 20 fps improvement with a good overclock. BF3 would also see improvements. most games would see at least a little cause as high of frame rates those cards can put out the cpu in a lot of games prolly would not be able to keep up.
January 4, 2012 6:47:37 AM

I agree to a certain point
the I7-970 is not a joke though
that is a pretty serious CPU
I notice you have a 2600K at 4.5 cbrunnem (freakin' awesome!)
so to you any CPU is weak LOL :) 
but the 970 is still a very capable CPU
it is good that the OP wants to learn how to OC
and it will help them
but really not needed at this time unless the OP was going to
use a high res multi monitor setup
the OP would have to really work hard to push that CPU/GPU combo to its limits
there should be nothing on a single monitor res they cant play easily
but it would be a heck of alot of fun to OC the crap out of that CPU :) 
January 4, 2012 2:03:15 PM

Thank you both for the comments! I appreciate the insight! Im looking forward to seeing how much the system benefits from OCing! The parts for my girlfriends computer should be in today, so once I put it together I'm going to do a bit more reading, I found some 970 OC guides that I am going to take a look at. I have a feeling this is going to consume the rest of my vacation lol.
January 4, 2012 2:23:52 PM

I just built my rig
and getting OC stable consumed 3 days of available free time LOL
let us know how you make out