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System bottleneck? Or is my e7500 bringing performance down?

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  • CPUs
  • Performance
Last response: in CPUs
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July 28, 2010 12:58:08 PM

Hi all,

Recently, I've been playing Valve's Alien Swarm, and I've noticed my CPU Usage hitting 80-100% during gameplay. Performance wise, is predominantly a non issue - except for extremely intensive moments - running 60+fps (V-sync enabled) most of the time.

Load temps seem to be also slightly concerning during extremely intensive moments; in an online game, Core 0 would be nearing 59C, with Core 1 only 7 degrees lower.

In other games such as Need for Speed Shift, Trackmania United Forever and Burnout Paradise, performance is stellar mostly as expected (minus some instances of microstutter and lagging). CPU Usage during those games barely reaches 100%.

I'm yet to try to test a CPU dependant settings config within AS, but I may also suspect that my graphics card (Gainward GTS 250 512MB Green) may be worsening my potential performance.

I have kept all clocks at their stock specs, (except maybe, for my graphics card, to bring its core/shader clocks back up to reference levels), leaving my E7500 @ 2.93ghz (266x11).

My full system specs are as follows:

Intel C2D E7500 @2.93
Kingston 4GB DDR2-800 (KVR)
Gainward GTS 250 512MB Green
Antec TruePower New 550W
WD Caviar Green WD10EADS-00M2B0 SATA2 (Apps/Progs)
WD Caviar Blue WD800JB-00ETA0 IDE (OS)
Gigabyte GA-EP45-UD3LR

Phillips 170S6 LCD (1280x1024)

Is there any reason why I'm experiencing this strange overusage of my CPU, and what can I do to alleviate it?

More about : system bottleneck e7500 bringing performance

a b à CPUs
July 28, 2010 2:27:20 PM

well, ur resolution is not hard to play at atall, so i would say the gpu can handle itself, but ur cpu is not atall a bad performer, lower the in game eye candy and you should be fine
a c 83 à CPUs
July 28, 2010 7:29:36 PM

I can play at 1080p, not sure the framerate as I don't have fraps installed yet after a fresh install of windows. I'm only using a 4670 and most of the settings are max except AA which is as 4x. Game is completely smooth but to my surprise it equally loads all 4 of the cores on my Athlon II X4@3.5Ghz to about 75%. If turning your settings down and it doesn't help, your defineatly hitting a cpu bottleneck.
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a b à CPUs
July 28, 2010 8:52:10 PM

Try playing with vsync and see if that helps.
July 30, 2010 8:22:00 AM

Okay, I set all the detail settings to low, AA to 2xMS and Filtering to Trilinear, and definitely there is not the often 100% usage I saw before. The game seems to look fairly the same as before, without some special effects like snow falling and the like.

The usage now hovers about 70-85%, with some instances of 95%, but never 100%. Likewise, temps are down to 51/55 for Core 0 and 45-49 for Core 1.

I would have thought that my graphics card could maybe take more of the processing load, possibly with higher levels of AA and AF, and maybe a higher Shader Quality setting.

The game's autoconfig gives me these settings:

1280x1024
VSync (Double Buffered)
Multicore Rendering Enabled
2XMSAA
8XAF
Shader Quality Very High
Effects Quality Medium
Texture Quality High
Paged Pool Memory High

However my settings look like these now:

1280x1024
VSync (Triple Buffered) - Less slowdowns/stutter from what I've read
Multicore Rendering Enabled
2xMSAA
Trilinear Filtering
Shader Quality Low
Effects Quality Low
Texture Quality Low
Paged Pool Memory High

I find it a little disappointing that I have to play with Low settings for the as little slowdowns or lag as possible, whereas my other games are relatively maxed out, with only some negligiable stutters/slowdowns. I think that this game may be in need of a patch to cure the performance issues present...

If it helps, I'm using the Forceware 197.13 drivers for my GTS 250, and I defrag and maintain my HDD's regularly.
July 30, 2010 9:08:24 AM

I think you should OC the processor. It's pretty easy to do on this processor.
a c 81 à CPUs
July 30, 2010 10:24:54 AM

Have you tried running the game with VSync turned OFF.??
July 31, 2010 8:47:15 AM

With Vsync off, I get mostly 75-95 fps (with drops to 45-50 in intensive moments) with the settings above, although there's a noticeable jump in CPU Usage when I turn the Shader and Effects settings to Medium.

I've thought about overclocking the CPU before, and read a few different guides for doing so, but I tend to worry about the stability of my RAM in the case that I do up the FSB clocks.

If I do have to overclock the processor, how do I keep my RAM speeds as close to their defaults as possible, as my RAM is not recommended to be overclocked?
August 2, 2010 8:43:54 AM

Your ram is more than fine for OC. Even with your FSB increased to 1333 from 1066, your ram will be at 667 so it's room for even more. You'r fine.
!