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High End Build- FPS issues in Heaven 2.0 benchmark and GTA IV Episodes

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June 8, 2010 3:45:10 PM

Greetings gentlemen!

I built this computer last week, and it is generally awesome. I am running into some FPS stuttering issues and a general disappointment in the abilities of my ASUS EAH5970- I'm at work so doing all of these specs, etc, off the top of my head.

CPU: i7 3.68 55c@load in games
Mobo: Gigabyte x5a-ud3r
RAM: 6gigs triple channel G.Skill running at 7-7-7-20 ?1388? (due to overclock, x10 modifier takes it to 1700)
GPU: ASUS EAH5970- stock
Boot: OCZ Vertex 60gb
HDD: Seagate 500gb
OS: Win 7 x64
Resolution: 1920x1200

-CCC AI on Advanced
-AA 8x (disabled in the game)
-AF Auto
-I have the fan set at 50% during these two- temps never even touch 60c, even at 95% load on both cores
-CPU never gets close to 70%
-RAM load pegs at about 50%

1) Heaven 2.0:
The heaven 2.0 runs marginally well at the top settings (DX11, AA 8, score of about 1200?) with a framerate in the high 30's. Two problems- First, I set tessellation on "extreme" on the main menu, but when the benchmark starts, the tessellation icon is greyed out, and the results show that tessellation is off. How do I get tessellation on extreme in order to fully test the card?

The second (and really the main problem) with the heaven benchmark is that roughly every 10 seconds I get serious framerate loss- my lowest FPS in the benchmark above was only 4.6, due to the .5-1 second FPS drop that I get every 10 seconds. Could this just be bad drivers?

2) GTA IV: Episodes
I'm generally disappointed in the framerates I'm getting with this game at "Very High" settings. Framerate ranges from 70 fps all the way down to 10 fps, and at some points even locks up for 3-4 seconds. Additionally, I get similar fps drops every 10 seconds as in the heaven benchmark. Furthermore, the total amount of memory that the game allots to me is 1024mb- is it not taking into account the memory of both cards? I am running in fullscreen mode, and both cores show 95% load when playing in the open/explosions/shooting, etc.

Could this be a driver issue as well? I've done a full driver wipe to 10.4- I can't install 10.5 because it locks my system up when going through the "checking hardware" phase of the installation.

The GPU works amazingly on Mass Effect 2 and HoN (not that either of those are extremely GPU intense- but i don't get any stuttering or major fps drops... maybe once in a blue moon in Mass Effect 2)

If you have any ideas please let me know- I'm generally dissatisfied with the 5970 at the moment (for it's price tag) and may return it in the next day or two if I can't get it fixed.

Thank you!
a b B Homebuilt system
June 8, 2010 4:09:52 PM

1) Heaven 2.0 uses tessellation which is not a fan of ATI (it is setup for Nvidia). I would run it without tessellation on and you'll see a benefit in FPS.




(info can be found here... http://www.vizworld.com/2010/03/nvidia-geforce-gtx480-b... )

2) GTA IV is a baddly written / coded game that is heavy CPU driven, not GPU driven. Even the powerful Intel i7's have issues with this game. I won't put major stock in your system/GPU having issues with this game. If you are able to play Mass Effect 2 and others without issues, it is the game's coding not your system.
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 8, 2010 4:21:50 PM

CPU: i7 3.68 55c@load in games

RAM: 6gigs triple channel G.Skill running at 7-7-7-20 ?1388? (due to overclock, x10 modifier takes it to 1700)

Okay, so your base clock is 170, your RAM is at 10x170 = 1700, right? What is your RAM voltage? QPI voltage?

Try running everything on stock and seeing what happens. Or just move the memory multiplier back to 8 and see if that helps.

If it does, your RAM isn't stable at 1700 MHz with those timings. You either need to back off a bit, loosen the timings, or add voltage (of course not exceeding the 1.65 volts/ .5 volts more than QPI)
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June 8, 2010 4:25:04 PM

mortonww said:
CPU: i7 3.68 55c@load in games

RAM: 6gigs triple channel G.Skill running at 7-7-7-20 ?1388? (due to overclock, x10 modifier takes it to 1700)

Okay, so your base clock is 170, your RAM is at 10x170 = 1700, right? What is your RAM voltage? QPI voltage?

Try running everything on stock and seeing what happens. Or just move the memory multiplier back to 8 and see if that helps.

If it does, your RAM isn't stable at 1700 MHz with those timings. You either need to back off a bit, loosen the timings, or add voltage (of course not exceeding the 1.65 volts/ .5 volts more than QPI)


BC is 171, ram is at x8 right now (since x10 takes it over rated 1600). I dropped the timings to compensate for being under the rated 1600. I recently knocked down the temps on my cpu another 10c (hyperthreading off makes a huge difference), so I'll continue OC my cpu a bit in order to get ram closer to 1600 MHz.
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June 8, 2010 6:54:17 PM

tecmo34 said:
2) GTA IV is a baddly written / coded game that is heavy CPU driven, not GPU driven. Even the powerful Intel i7's have issues with this game. I won't put major stock in your system/GPU having issues with this game. If you are able to play Mass Effect 2 and others without issues, it is the game's coding not your system.


My CPU pegs at about 50-60% max while playing it (and having a few smaller programs in the background).

The GPU is in the high 90's when the FPS starts messing up- could this be driver issues, or is GTAIV really maxing out the 5970?
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a b B Homebuilt system
June 8, 2010 7:23:02 PM

Would it be too much trouble to try running these games and benchmarks with CPU and RAM at default speeds? (i.e. 2.8 and 1066 MHz) with stock voltages and maybe some loose timings for your RAM (7-7-7-24).

Did you have this problem before overclocking? How did you test the stability of your overclock? With prime95 blend test or small fft?
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June 8, 2010 8:24:37 PM

I will try running some more benchmarks at stock tonight when I get home from work (8-8-8-24 is stock- 1600 MHz).

I haven't had any other problems at all, other than the slight fps issues (heaven benchmark, every 10 seconds i get noticable fps drop for about a half second). I tested my OC with prime95 blend for 3 hours, temps stabilized at about 74-76 with HT enabled (I get about 10c less with it disabled). I also ran the (lol) windows memory test software to verify that the ram was working properly at the over/underclocked levels, and it passed with zero errors.

Mass Effect 2 works brilliantly, HoN works perfectly (but it's only HoN). I suppose it could be the GTA IV coding that is causing the fps lag issues... I'm over GTA IV- have it on ps3, don't really like the pc version as much.

My major concern is the stuttering every 10 seconds on the Heaven benchmark.
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