Poor Performance with GTX 285 OC

Hi - tl;dr version at bottom :P

I've been having some poor performance issues with my eVGA GTX285 OC and just wondering if it's truly the card isn't all as powerful as I am thinking it should be, or whether it's truly defective and needs to be sent back.

I've had the card for several months now and have run it on Windows XP Pro 64bit, Windows Vista Business 64bit, and now currently Windows 7 Pro 64bit.

Now, prior to this card I used to own a Geforce 7900gs ko, which treated me fairly well, but obviously it's a dated card. So with my upgrade I expected leaps and bounds, as to which I was slightly dissapointed.

When playing TF2, I notice that I get consistent FPS drops and I only really hover around 40-60fps, but the drops bring me down to a noticeable 20fps, and I'm not even playing with maximum settings.

I've also had consistent crashes when playing Company of Heroes. The entire screen would get random artifacts, and it essentially completely crashed my machine. Only way out was to reboot the machine. Now I suspected this was possibly an overheating issue as I did notice the card seemed to run a bit on the warm side even when not under much load, however I may be wrong. What's the average temp of a GTX 285 when idle and under load?

So anyways, I installed SpeedFan and forced the fan speeds up but still had the crashes. These crashes would always occur after 20-30 minutes of game play. I figured it was due to the tight space in my Mid Tower Antec p182 Case since I upgraded from a 7900 -> GTX 285 OC. I've since then purchased full tower Antec case, and obviously I still see the crashes, so I know that overheating is not an issue.

I have noticed that when playing L4D2 I have seen the random artifact crash shown in CoH twice, however CoH is a guaranteed crash, L4D2 is random, and not consistent. L4D2 for the most part plays smoothly, however the odd time I will see a noticeable drop in framerate, even when it's not necessarily during a hectic firefight.

Now despite of all this, I've struggled on, namely because if I was to RMA the card, I have to purchase a temporary one as my motherboard doesn't have any on board support. I use my computer 5 days a week for work, so I can't go more then 2 days without my computer.

Now one other thing has also been stopping me from submitting the RMA.. Is it possible my CPU is my bottleneck here, and not so much the GPU? My CPU is an Intel Core2Duo e6750. It's a nice CPU, however I do know that in TF2 it's a bit CPU intensive and I have read that in TF2 it uses a the second core for rendering and processing all the particle effects, and when running TF2, my Core0 gets raped at about 90% and my Core1 gets hit with around 10% CPU usage. So I've kind of shrugged off the poor performance of my TF2 gaming as a result of my CPU getting bottle-necked.

Now ultimately.. for the most part my games run fairly well, however some of these newer games, and even some now older ones are still struggling. These are only the key games I've noticed the slightly poor performance in.

Now as of recently I've been playing alot of Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and this is where it's complete rubbish. If I'm lucky I will reach a smooth gameplay of about 35 fps, however it appears that 99% of the time when I'm playing I'm sitting at around 25fps, and seeing consistent drops below this. I've tried any combination of settings, from advanced settings, and setting some to high, and others to low/disabled, to simply setting it to medium settings (currently set). I've also disabled DX10 support and forced it to DX9, however there was no real increase in FPS performance.

Now I've done alot of reading, and I know BC2 is in beta, and there are numerous players seeing this kind of poor performance, so I'm just hoping that my system is one of the ones that are getting hit with the poor performance/optimization in the beta, and that the retail will fix my issues in BC2, however I can't help but see my friends systems play BC2 with a 9800 on high settings and easily achieve 40fps solid.

Ultimately I'm looking to see if anyone has any idea's, tips or suggestions for me. I'm concerned that if I RMA my card and purchase a temporary one, that I'm just dumping more money into something that won't fix my issue. The only issue I can foresee it being at the moment is either bad card, or my CPU is the bottleneck causing these issues.

Now to give insight on what I've compared my card to.

My brother's machine running a Q6600 with a GTS260 runs TF2 better then me, and seems to have no issues with majority of his games. Even achieved better results in Far Cry2 then I did. Of course he has the additional 2 cores over mine, but my CPU does have the advantage of having the faster clock speeds.

My other friend running and AMD X2 6000+ with an 8800 also has better performance in TF2 then I do. We use similar settings, however I haven't compared my performance in games with him on any other games.

Another friend of mine has a Q6600 with a GeForce 9800, he has smoother performance then myself in TF2, and his BC2 gameplay is nearly flawless at 40fps with high settings.

Now as you can see my card is 'rated' higher then any of the ones listed above, however when comparing CPU's I'm either beat out by it being a Quad core versus my Dual Core, or the AMD is obviously a higher clock speed then my CPU.

Ultimately I'm interested in what kind of performance I should expect from a GTX285 when running under the ideal environment, and whether or not I'm truly achieving this and maybe I'm pushing the card to much with my settings ingame, or whether it's truly my CPU causing the bottleneck and bogging my system down.

Complete rundown of all my specs.

OS: Windows 7 Professional x64
Mobo: eVGA nForce 750 SLI FTW edition
CPU: Intel Core2Duo e6750
GPU: eVGA GTX 285 Superclocked
PSU: Modular Corsair HX620w

If you'd like any other information let me know.

So tl;dr version.

I have a GTX 285, majority of my friends have weaker cards but CPU's are a bit better in some aspects. They run games flawlessly, mine struggles. Is it the CPU or GPU that's the problem?

Note: Latest drivers are installed. I've had the same issue on fresh installs of Win XP Pro x64, Win Vista Business X64, and now Win 7 Pro x64, so I've ruled out drivers being the cause.

Sorry for the long post, I just figure the more information you know, the less time wasted waiting for reply's from one another and you guys can hopefully help me out with one or two posts :)

28 answers Last reply
More about poor performance
  1. Try overclocking your CPU a bit. Bad minimum FPS is also a sign of RAM issues.
  2. Hmm.. I've never overclocked my CPU before, and have tried to stay away from OCing my components. Never really had the need to before, nor have I looked to much into it.

    Any suggestions for a nooby OCer for overclocking my CPU? I know I have the ability in my BIOS already, so the need for added programs should be none.

    I never suspected my RAM of failing.. Been using the same RAM for the past year now, however I'll run it through a few passes of memtest and see how it goes.
  3. okini, I read it. Don't post if you're not being useful.

    Solor, your Mobo is an nForce? Go ahead and follow the link below to download nTune. It's a program I use myself to overclock, and it works nicely. After downloading, simply launch the program. On the left side, you'll see Performance, and under that, Adjust Motherboard Settings. Using that, you can set the FSB of your CPU.

    Also, try downloading RivaTuner, a tuning system for GPUs. Then downclock the core/memory about 40mhz each.
  4. For overclocking my CPU, what do you think the recommended clock speeds/fsb, etc. should be set to? The main reason I've steered away from overclocking my CPU us simply due to the fact I can tweak the multipliers and so forth, and each one is in it's own setting. I'm simply afraid of OCing incorrectly, or overclocking one feature, but not setting the proper speed on another setting and damaging my CPU. I admittedly don't know to much in terms of how the CPU is clocked. I don't fully understand what the multipliers effect and how much it effects it and so forth. I haven't researched much CPU OCing either though.

    Also, the reason why i chose my e6750 over a q6600 was due to the higher core clock speeds, and the e6750 runs natively at 1333FSB where the q6600 runs at 1066FSB.

    Also, pushing my FSB on my e6750 beyond the 1333FSB, wouldn't that cause issues with my motherboard since it only supports 1066 and 1333FSB, or would the motherboard adjust accordingly with the OC tool?
  5. i think a Q6600 would have been a better choice as u would have been able to overclock the FSB to 1333 and get 3.0ghz....

    but besides that, Is there an option in the BIOS where u can increase the CPU multplier? if there is, make that higher..
  6. I do recall seeing the ability in my bios to adjust the multiplier. Any recommend settings for this?

    As a note, I'm getting ready to go away for the weekend, so I'm not going to be trying any of these tweaks until I'm home (Mon/Tues). For now, just getting as much information and idea's as possible.

    Edit: As I mentioned I went with the e6750 as the default speeds were perfect for me, and I hadn't really any intention on overclocking my CPU, so wasn't really thinking in that sense.
  7. This is why you should have bought a 5850.
  8. I bought this card before the 5xxx series was released.
  9. Sucks for you.
  10. if you are running Win7 give this a try
    Start, All Programs, Accessories, Command Prompt, RIGHT click on it and select Run as Administrator, in the box type fsutil behavoir query memoryusage, hit enter, it probably will return a =0, then type, fsutil behavior set memoryusage 2, hit enter, then retype the first command again to verify the setting has been applied restarting the computer is not necessary, start the game and see if it helps
  11. Solor said:
    I do recall seeing the ability in my bios to adjust the multiplier. Any recommend settings for this?

    As a note, I'm getting ready to go away for the weekend, so I'm not going to be trying any of these tweaks until I'm home (Mon/Tues). For now, just getting as much information and idea's as possible.

    Edit: As I mentioned I went with the e6750 as the default speeds were perfect for me, and I hadn't really any intention on overclocking my CPU, so wasn't really thinking in that sense.

    Ah! This is the key.

    Your multiplier/FSB is 8x/333 respectively. What I recommend is to take the multipiler to 9X (3ghz effectively), and then try to load windows. Upon loading, play a game, and CHECK YOUR DAMN TEMPERATURES. If any temperature in your CPU hits above 65, then stop.

    If all goes well, then try to take it to a 10X multiplier. At 3.33ghz, your CPU should be able to handle the GTX285 fairly decently.
  12. Thanks,

    I'll try this when I get back from my vacation this weekend.

    I'll update this post further with the results of my OC hopefully either Monday or Tues.
  13. Sorry for my delayed response here. Got a bit sick after my vacation, so still fighting through it :(

    Anyways I tried adjusting the multiplier (currently it's set to 8x), however it appears 8x is the maximum it would let me adjust it to.

    I could adjust the voltages and so forth, however ofc I'm afraid of frying my components :S lol

    BTW i generally use speedfan to watch for temp's, however lately I haven't found it to be terribly accurate, is there a better program out there for monitoring your CPU/GPU temps?
  14. Alright,

    I downloaded nTune as suggested above, and I see some clocking ability's for my CPU and Motherboard.

    Now for the CPU Clock Speeds, it shows it's set the FSB to 333mhz by default. I can raise this to 383mhz which gives it a CPU Frequency of 3,064mhz, but the CPU Multiplier remains at 8x.

    My memory and GPU I'm leaving alone for now.. Would you suggest bring my CPU Frequency up to 3,064mhz even though the multiplier is capped at 8x, or would that potentially damage my CPU?

    I'm adding some pics here of the current motherboard settings, and what I have the CPU settings at (I haven't applied anything yet)



    Sorry for acting like such a dumbass with this sort of stuff, but I'd rather make sure I'm doing it right, then start playing with it, testing it on my own as I'm learning this all, and end up frying my CPU or more :(
  15. I have a similar system to yours, but my MB is a crappy 680i. I run a GTX285 OC'ed and an e6750 OC'ed @ 3.6Ghz. Even before any overclocking, I was able to run any game with full settings at 1980x1200 resolution. There has to be something wrong with the card, especially since it seems like you're constantly crashing. As for the CPU, leave the FSB multiplier at 8x and whatever clock you're able to run stable at. I wouldn't worry about OCing the CPU right now since it doesn't look like you're adjusting the voltages correctly to begin with. It wouldn't run stable unless you do that first.

    The first thing I would check is temperature. What temperature does your GPU and CPU reach when running a game? For a GTX285, stay under 85C and 60C for the CPU. I would recommend a complete stop in playing games if you see them reach anywhere near those numbers. I use CoreTemp to check my CPU temps and RivaTuner for my GPU temps. My CPU idles at 30C and GPU at 59C and never loads past 50C and 75C, respectively. Remember, I have the same CPU and GPU as you so you should be expecting the same numbers. I do have a piped heatsink for the CPU but my GPU uses stock cooling.

    How does your computer perform framerate wise in Mass Effect 2 or COD:MW2? I play these games most often so I want to see if we're in the same range . For me, I max out both games and run 60fps constant w/ vsync. The card tends to struggle around 40fps with Dragon Age maxed, 40fps with Crysis @ high 2xAA 1680x1050, and around 45-50fps in Batman:AA maxed. Just a few comparison benches to let you know if you card is not performing up to par. Keep in mind, my system is overclocked so a 5-10% difference between mine and yours shouldn't be a problem.

    I still think there's something wrong with the card. Right when I read "consistent crashes," I can't see how anything else is going bad except for the GPU especially since you ran the comp flawlessly with a much slower 7900.

    EDIT: Can't believe I forgot to ask this. What's your power supply's watt and amp output? A sub-par PSU might also be the reason you're seeing consistent crashes and definitely a possible reason you're seeing poor performance.

    EDIT: Actually, just read the system specs. an HX620. More than enough. Could still be defective though but was strong enough to run the 7900.
  16. Skolpo,

    Thanks for your response.

    My MW2 seems to run fairly well, however it's not a game I play constantly, and I haven't loaded it up recently.

    The only crashes that occur are specifically with Company of Heroes, and I've had 2 crashes on L4D2.

    My Dragon Age is maxed out, but I've had very few issues with that game, and noticed that it tends to run near flawless.. can't recall any issues I've had with it, but I admittedly haven't played it in about 1-2 months :(

    Now one thing to note. I was just playing Bad Company 2, and found my Core 1 and Core 2 usage was consistently 95-100%, so I have a feeling I'm being bottlenecked in BC2 due to my clock speed of my CPU.

    My current system temps are as follows.

    System temp according to Motherboard is 37C, GPU temp is 63C. Now in nTune it reports 3 diff temps for my CPU. I have CPU To Temp 37C, CPU2 Tj Temp 45C CPU1 Tj Temp 44C.

    Keep in mind I was just playing BC2 roughly 20minutes ago.

    I'll load it up again and see where my temps bring me.
  17. Just loaded up BC2 once again and played for about 30min.

    This is where my temps and such bring me

    38C System Temp

    6% GPU FB Usage
    21% GPU Usage
    70C GPU temp

    CPU2 Usage 93%
    CPU1 Usage 100%
    48C CPU To Temp
    58C CPU2 TJ Temp
    57C CPU1 TJ Temp

    Edit: If I were to OC my CPU what sort of voltages would you recommend I run them at?
  18. I would test your system with your brother's GTX260 to see if your performance improve. It'll be a lot more conclusive that your card is defective if you get better performance on a weaker card.
  19. Skolpo,

    Unfortunately that won't be possible for a while :(

    My brother's away for school, and won't be back till December or so :/
  20. As for the low framerate.....
    Try overclocking your CPU, i had the same problem with an e4600 2.4ghz and a gtx 260. Overclocked it to 3.3 ghz and now everything runs smooth =)
    Use EVGA precision tool to see the usage of your gpu, and, if you don't see an increase after the overclock it might be your GPU....
    Now, for the artifacts........ i have no idea. maybe someone else can help you?
  21. I'm up for trying to OC my CPU, however as Skolpo noted, that if I OC my voltages may not be set correctly.

    I can adjust the voltages obviously through my BIOS, but I'm unsure what kind of voltage settings I should set to achieve 3ghz safely, without frying my CPU
  22. Have you tried updating the driver for your card?

    New in Version 196.21

    * Adds SLI and multi-GPU support for many top new gaming titles including Avatar Demo, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, City Bus Simulator, Dirt 2, Ferrari Virtual Race, GREED: Black Border, Mass Effect 2, Mortal Online, Ninja Blade, Operation Flashpoint: Dragon Rising Demo, Planet 51, RUSE, Serious Sam HD, and Wings of Prey.
    * Upgrades PhysX System Software to version 9.09.1112.
    * Includes numerous bug fixes. Refer to the release notes on the documentation tab for information about the key bug fixes in this release.

    I'm running an i7 with same video card and was getting artifacts.... updated drivers for my video card, smacked head *duh!*
  23. Yep, got the latest driver's installed :)
  24. Alright,

    So I've managed to use Nvidia's Control Panel and overclock my CPU from 2.66ghz to 2,92ghz. The FSB is now set to 365mhz (automated adjustment by nVidia's Tool).

    I haven't been able to test BC2 yet as EA's server's are offline, so I can't join any games atm. Will try again later today to see how it goes.

    Now, I tried to OC to 3ghz and whenever I click apply in the nVidia control panel, my system freezes. No damage, and a simple reboot fixes the problem. I suspect this could be an issue with voltages however as my voltage is set at the stock 1.320 volt's I believe it is.

    If you don't think it's an issue with voltages, let me know, I'm a bit wary on adjusting these sort of settings in the BIOS. Rather not fry my CPU today :P

    On another note, there wouldn't be any damage done to the CPU or other hardware if I adjust the voltage higher then I truly needed. I know there are limits and if I say bumped it to 1.4v or 1.5v which I believe are still safe limits, there wouldn't be any concerns with such a high voltage setting and yet the CPU doesn't really need that much right? I see in CPU-Z my multiplier is currently at 6x idle with a Core speed of 2.19ghz. The Core Voltage is also hovering around 1.200v

    I assume if I set it to 1.5v in the BIOS it will only use the amount of power it truly needs and use no more then 1.5v correct?

    Also with my multiplier clocking down to x6 and the Core Speed clocking down 2.19ghz when idle; Would this be the work of the Intel Speedstep, or something equivalent? I've honestly never looked to much into some of these specific features. Any recommendations on disabling/enabling these specific features as well?

    Edit: I knew the BC2 Beta was ending today, but I figured I had the day to play it again.. but it appears they've already shut down the beta. I'll have to wait for the retail release. BC2 was the game I noticed the most drastic performance drops, which is why I've been looking to test it there.
  25. Disable speedstep, halt state (might already be disabled), and thermal control in your bios.

    When you're increasing the CPU core voltage, you want to increase slightly and very slowly. The goal is to aim for the lowest voltage possible while remaining stable. There's no point in going up to 1.5 immediately when you do not need the extra voltage.

    You also have to tune the voltage levels for your FSB, Memory, and SPP. I can't tell you where to set those since every motherboard reacts to voltage tinkering differently. You're probably safe leaving the memory voltage at wherever it is (1.9v most likely), but adjusting the other two is important. My 680i/e6750 has the CPU FSB and SPP voltage at 1.5v each. I'm not saying to use the same voltages as me, but it'll give you an idea of where you might want to aim toward. I actually think the FSB is lower, but I haven't restart my PC to check the BIOS yet.

    Remember to take it VERY slowly when you're overclocking. Don't rush any voltages or any FSB clocking. Take small steps. Once your computer stops running stable, take a step back.
  26. Skolpo,

    When adjusting voltages, is it good to increase the CPU FSB and SPP voltages the by the same amount, or is there a method/calculation to this?

    For example if i raise the voltage by about .25v should I increase the other settings by .25v?
  27. No, you don't have to increase the voltages together.

    I'm guessing you're not looking to overclock past 3.5GHZ. If that's the case, you can actually leave your SPP alone. Bump your FSB voltage to perhaps 1.45v(if the option is available) or 1.5v. Try the smallest increase first. Your main voltage adjustment is the CPU core.
  28. Well unfortunately my machine doesn't appear to want to OC above 2.9ghz.

    I've tried multiple times to set it to 3,064mhz using nTune, however it continues to freeze.

    From the BIOS here are my voltages settings.

    CPU Core -
    Default value is set to 1.35000v
    I upped it first to 1.362500v, then further to 1.37500v
    In my BIOS it shows a list of voltages that I can select, some are in red, and some are green. The maximum setting I can choose and still be in the "Green" is 1.50000v, and the maximum my BIOS allows, however it would be in the red setting is 1.80000v

    CPU FSB -
    Default Value is 1.20v
    I first upped this to 1.25v then to 1.30v
    The maximum 'green' setting I can select is 1.30v and the maximum allowed is 1.55v in the 'red' setting.

    Memory -
    Default as you guessed it, is 1.90v
    I can raise this to 2.200v and still remain in the 'green' settings. My BIOS allows me to raise this to 2.500v in the 'red' setting.

    nForce SPP -
    The default setting here is 1.300v
    I did up this to 1.35v when the other methods above failed to allow me to push past 3,064mhz.
    I can set this at a maximum of 1.45v in the 'green' setting, and a maximum of 1.55v in the 'red' setting.

    NF200 Voltage -
    You didn't mention this one, so I never made changes to it, however I felt that I should mention this one, in case you have some insite here.

    The default voltage here is 1.20v, with a maximum 'green' setting of 1.40v and a maximum 'red' setting of 1.55v

    Now on another note. In regards to me watching CPU Z and noticing when idle my CPU multiplier is set to 6x, and my Core Clock speed hover's around 2.1ghz. Now oObviously when I open up a game CPU Z shows the multiplier raise to 8x, and my core clock speed rises to 2.9ghz.

    Now in the BIOS I see that there is a setting called "CPU Core Clock Ratio". By default it's disabled, but when enabled I can choose anywhere from 6x -> 8x.

    If I were to enable this, and force it to 8x, would this benefit my performance, or would I be better off for my system to automatically adjust this as needed like it currently does?

    Thanks for the info so far.

    On another note - Is there any good readings in regards to overclocking your CPU? I've tried searching around a bit for OCing my specific CPU, but unfortunately I just tend to find alot of reviews regarding the capability's, but of course using a different motherboard.

    Edit: I should note that currently I have set all my voltages back to the "Auto" setting which is the default setting.
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