Strange Performance while gaming

I have been having some strange performance issues (mainly related to gpu and cpu load) while gaming.
First here are the specs:

q6600 @3.2ghz
2x 260gtx's in sli (one core 192 and one core 216) forceware 197.13
4gb G. Skill ddr2 667@ 715mhz
Asus P5N-D with bios 1204
X-Fi fatality pro
Corsair TX850 Watt Power supply (brand new, replaced Silverstone 750 watt)
Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

I have tested all of the hardware components and they are all working fine and there are no problems with overheating on any of the components. (CPU stays below 56C, gpu's stay below 62C, and the motherboard stays at 34C). Also I have cleaned the registry, defraged the hard drives, and run anti-virus.

Now what seems to be happening is that while gaming neither the gpu's or cpu seem to be under full load resulting in overall poor performance in some games. Also with SLI enabled some games crash (Bad Company 2 dx10, Street fighter 4, 3dmark vantage 1.01) though the moment I disable sli they work fine. The hardware load seems to be all over the place depending on the game, but one thing that seems constant is that the cpu will never rise above 75% load (usually around 45-60%) even in games taking advantage of all cores. It will use all four cores, but never fully stress any of them (as a note I can use 100% cpu utilization in programs such as Maya, prime95 and others, just not games). The GPU load is the most erratic. In some games (eg. Just Cause 2, Metro 2033, Crysis) both gpus can load up to 90%, but in most games they won't go beyond 65%, often jumping somewhere in between 40-60%. Assassin's Creed 2 is the worst, never loading more then 40% of either gpu, and usually stagnating somewhere around 29-33%. If a game won't go beyond 50% usage I often find that it will run better with sli disabled as more often then not it will utilize 80%+ of the gpu (though not always).

The only thing thing somewhat strange about my set up is that the core 192 is in the primary pci-e slot, since it partially blocks my motherboards SATA connectors. I just bought a couple of 90 degree sata cables so that I could switch it, but they haven't arrived yet.

If anybody has any suggestions I would appreciate it.
4 answers Last reply
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  1. First off, games won't take all 4 to 100%, especially at that clockrate. I have the same CPU as you, and on BFBC2, and GTA4, 1 and 2 go to around 80%, and 3 and 4 around 50%.

    Just a quick idea, pop up CPUZ and see what your PCIe link speed is at. I know I had some issues like you're describing, and my mainboard was dropping my x16 to x1.
  2. Thanks for the information. Both link speeds are at x16.
  3. I'm no expert at SLI, but maybe it doesn't like 2 different core versions? Those are practically 2 different models.
  4. Supposedly it should work fine according to sli zone and Nvidia (the core 216 was made to be compatible with the old core 192). Also I would think that it would not work at all if they were incompatible.
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