About a year ago, I experienced problems with a dual monitor setup and eventually determined that the problem was in the graphics card. I purchased a new one (GTX285) and installed. It didn't fix the problem (that turned out to be the screen itself). Luckily, the new card seemed to be faulty. There was no noticeable performance increase and my 3d mark score only increased by about 300. I phoned Zotec and sent the card back.
Fast forward to now, my old graphics card (which returned to living in my computer once i determined that it wasn't to blame for the dual monitor issues) finally died. Artefacts all over the screen, constant crashes, etc. So i bought a new one again (this time a GTX 470).
Now, i'm starting to think that the GTX285 wasn't broken the last time around, because the new GTX470 isn't performing as i would expect either. I know you can't really expect a certain score to appear on any system because of all the variables, but Guru3d said here: GTX 470
that i could expect a GPU score of around14,000.
I got 9,000.
I'm also getting very little performance difference in games, i would expect at least some difference between 3 generations of card.
I would blame this on the slow components in my system, but this doesn't seem to make sense. The only slow bit I really have is my old CPU, and i doubt it's SO slow that it would knock 35% of a GPU-centric performance test.
So now i need your help, oh fair denizens of Tom's Hardware forum. What is the problem here? I'm ok with computers, but this is beyond me. The only thing I can think would be power requirements. Could this reduce performance?
As always, I will be extremely grateful for any help you can give.
Core Duo E6700
MSI Motherboard (model name escapes me right now)
4GB DDR2 PC8200
Crucial 450W PSU
Windows 7 Ultimate Edition
Some more benchmarks (compared with Guru3d's results run at the same settings):
Dirt 2 - Me: 32.2 - Guru3d: 64
Just Cause 2 - Me: 34 - Guru3d: 60
Stone Giant Demo - Me: 30 - Guru3d: 45
I don't think the 450W PSU will cut it for those power hungry GTX 470s. Also did you remove the GTX 285 drivers before you installed the GTX 480? Your E6700 might be bottlenecking your setup too. Guru3d probably had an i7 965 o/c to 3.8GHz or so.
I agree entirely that the processor is a bottleneck. The only reason that I think it's not the root of my problem is the massive disparity between the 3dmark Vantage GPU tests (which are presumably designed to remove the influence of other components as much as possible).
Yeah, i removed the previous drivers. However, i couldn't remove them before i actually INSTALLED the card, because the 8800GTX was broken. I couldn't get the computer to boot. I removed the drivers in safe mode after installing the GTX470. I hope that was ok.
How can I tell for sure that it's the PSU? I don't mind having to buy a more powerful one, i just want to be sure before i shell out more money.
Nvidia recommend a minimum 550W PSU for the 470, the same for the 285 http://www.nvidia.com/object/product_geforce_gtx_470_us...
This probably includes a lot of overhead to allow for low quality supplies, the GPU itself uses a max of 215W and the rest of your components wouldn't push you past 450W but you will be running well above the efficient range for the PSU
Other than that I'm not sure how you can tell or whether this would be the problem.
I had an ATI4850 on a too weak PSU for a while and it performed fine but the PSU squealed loudly during heavy usage.
Can you borrow a PSU or test the card in a more powerful rig?
Would the voltage fluctuate if the card was attempting to draw more power than was available? I was hoping there was some kind of logging program that could keep an eye on the power while i was running something stressful...
Your problem is probably not the PSU. If you were really overloading the PSU, I don't think there would be any question. You'd probably be getting seemingly random reset/reboots under heavy rgaphics loads.