Newbie seeking guidance on performance

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
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  1. 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
  2. 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!
  3. 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 :) )
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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!
  7. NP
    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
  8. 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?
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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
  13. 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.
  14. 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 :)
  15. 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.
  16. I just built my rig
    and getting OC stable consumed 3 days of available free time LOL
    let us know how you make out
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