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EVGA GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512 Bottlenecked?

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June 21, 2010 11:55:53 PM

I'm hoping one of you kind folks out there can help me with a very frustrating situation I'm finding myself in - but first, the system specs:
Quote:
Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
Antec BP550 550W Modular PSU
AMD Athlon 64 X2 5200+ Windsor 2.6Ghz AM2
GigaByte M61P-S3 AM2 Motherboard
4GB G.SKILL (4 x 1GB) DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)
Seagate Barracuda 250GB 7200 RPM SATA (OS/Apps/some data)
Seagate Barracuda 640GB 7200 RPM SATA (main data)
EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB PCI-E x16

Now, to the issue at hand: when I originally built this system, I had a EVGA GeForce 7600GT 128MB card in the system. As I began to play games other than just WoW, I noticed that the system was having a hard time - so, knowing that the card was a bit on the low end, I purchased the 9800 GTX+...

Problem is, performance really hasn't gotten any better, and in fact is somewhat worse (WoW has this issue in a few areas - especially if view distance is set high). In games like Dragon's Age, COD:MW2, etc. I constantly have frame rate issues - and they're all over the place, but never higher than 50 FPS, and never that consistently. Even older games have issues - Elder Scrolls III & IV, Mass Effect, Warhammer 40K: Dawn of War, Heroes of Might & Magic V, etc.

All the research I did when I build the system indicated that the processor I chose should be more than sufficient, and on the basis of clock speed alone it appears to be so. However, I'm trying to figure out if, in fact, the 9800 GTX is being bottle necked, as some other forums have suggested.

I am using the latest drivers (as of 06.15.2010) and did a clean install by removing the old drivers from safe mode, and then using Driver Cleaner. My 3d Mark 06 score is in the low 9400's, though on first run it was 8937. Card temps tend to stay in the mid 40's to mid 50's when idling, and getting into the upper 70's when it something like Dragon's Age.
a c 146 Î Nvidia
June 22, 2010 2:14:31 AM

The GTX+ should be way faster than the 7600GT and it should be well matched with your CPU. Is your PCI-express slot running the correct speed?
June 22, 2010 2:17:35 AM

and update your drivers
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June 22, 2010 2:19:06 AM

spentshells said:
and update your drivers

Running the latest drivers from Nvidia (257.12 or 257.21 - ones dated 06.15.2010). I've constantly kept them up to date with no change.
June 22, 2010 2:19:08 AM

rolli59 said:
The GTX+ should be way faster than the 7600GT and it should be well matched with your CPU. Is your PCI-express slot running the correct speed?

I would think so, yes, since I did a mobo BIOS update not to long ago (same issue happened before the update - it was another suggested fix) and it reset everything to default - but I will double-check when I get home.
a b Î Nvidia
June 22, 2010 2:35:40 AM

what is your monitor resolution?

WoW should be slower since they introduced shadows and the new realm can really push a video card. dragon age really like a multi-core cpu so that game is bottlenecked.

i know for a fact the x2 5200 bottle necks the 9800GTX+. I had an athlon x2 6000 with a 9800GT. In benchmarks i ran after upgrading to a x3 435, my FPS shot up by 33% in Far Cry2. granted that game is also multi-core optimized. WoW also saw a FPS increase.
June 22, 2010 2:43:09 AM

ct1615 said:
what is your monitor resolution?

WoW should be slower since they introduced shadows and the new realm can really push a video card. dragon age really like a multi-core cpu so that game is bottlenecked.

i know for a fact the x2 5200 bottle necks the 9800GTX+. I had an athlon x2 6000 with a 9800GT. In benchmarks i ran after upgrading to a x3 435, my FPS shot up by 33% in Far Cry2. granted that game is also multi-core optimized. WoW also saw a FPS increase.

Widescreen LCD running 1680x1050 (native resolution).

I've turned off the shadows completely in WoW, and lowered most of the detail settings almost all the way down and still have FPS issues.

I realize that Dragon's Age likes a multi-core CPU - the X2 is a dual core chip...
a b Î Nvidia
June 22, 2010 2:44:32 AM

digitalnoise said:


I've turned off the shadows completely in WoW, and lowered most of the detail settings almost all the way down and still have FPS issues.



in raids? dalaran and northrend? or the old zones in azeroth?

June 22, 2010 2:57:30 AM

ct1615 said:
in raids? dalaran and northrend? or the old zones in azeroth?

Surprisingly Dalaran can be pretty tolerable most of the time, and stays pretty consistent.

Worst FPS has been outside of Westguard Keep in the flaming forest - the game turns into stop animation at that point. Stormpeaks is pretty bad too. Nagrand is also pretty rough - I've skipped most of the rest of Outland's eye candy recently, so I'm not sure about the other areas.

In fact, it was an issue in Nagrand that prompted the switch from the 7600GT to the 9800 GTX+ - and while the issue is less now, it's still noticeable enough to make me wonder if I threw good money after bad.
a b Î Nvidia
June 22, 2010 3:00:35 AM

westguard keep's forest is tough but it should not be a slide show for you

have you run cpu-z and gpu-z? make sure all the cpu and gpu settings are at factory levels?
June 22, 2010 3:04:20 AM

ct1615 said:
westguard keep's forest is tough but it should not be a slide show for you

have you run cpu-z and gpu-z? make sure all the cpu and gpu settings are at factory levels?

Perhaps slide show was a bit too generous - it'll freeze completely, and then move on. Freeze completely, then move on. Very annoying. And then other times it's just fine.

Yep, ran both. CPU-Z showed me that AMD's Cool 'n' Quiet was kicking in - AMD assured me that as soon as load was placed it should come out of it, but I disabled it in the BIOS to be safe.

BTW, I'm getting my FPS numbers from an OSD overlay that EVGA provides with their Precision program, and which apparently reports directly from the DirectX API - just in case anyone was trying to figure out how I know.
a b Î Nvidia
June 22, 2010 3:06:44 AM

how old are your hard drives? something is slowing you down...you may have a bad video card
June 22, 2010 3:15:15 AM

ct1615 said:
how old are your hard drives? something is slowing you down...you may have a bad video card

One HDD (the 250GB) is close to 3 years and the other is close to 2 years old. I've not had any problem with disk read/writes, so... I don't know. Transfer speed between disks isn't what I think it should be - but I might be making a faulty assumption on that.

Well let's just say that everyone on the EVGA forums is telling me that the processor is bottle-necking me - thing is, I can't really afford to drop $100+ on a new processor (especially one who's bus speed will be degraded because I've got an AM2 board, and the only processors out there that are better than what I have are AM2+ and AM3) if that's not actually the case. Can't really afford to drop that regardless.
June 22, 2010 3:55:42 AM

2.6 AMD dual core will take a toll @ 1680x 1050 but it shouldn't be that laggy when it comes to WoW regardless of where you are at.

I used to play WoW on a Pent. D @ 2.8Ghz with a ATI x1600 Pro 1Gb DDR2 and it barely lagged, mostly in huge raids.

That Windsor can do 3Ghz easy on stock cooler with stock voltage. I had 2 of them @ 3.2Ghz daily with a small voltage increase. Have you tried playing with your CPU clocks lately?

a b Î Nvidia
June 22, 2010 4:10:27 AM

it would be your CPU if you where getting 15-20fps in northrend but since it drops to single digits, and you have issues in Oblivion also...something is slowing you down besides a slight CPU bottleneck.
June 22, 2010 11:39:29 PM

OvrClkr said:
2.6 AMD dual core will take a toll @ 1680x 1050 but it shouldn't be that laggy when it comes to WoW regardless of where you are at.

I used to play WoW on a Pent. D @ 2.8Ghz with a ATI x1600 Pro 1Gb DDR2 and it barely lagged, mostly in huge raids.

That Windsor can do 3Ghz easy on stock cooler with stock voltage. I had 2 of them @ 3.2Ghz daily with a small voltage increase. Have you tried playing with your CPU clocks lately?

Your findings tend to coincide with that of EVGA tech support, who on the basis of PC Mark Vantage scores of 4120 for the 64bit version and 3664 for the 32bit version, as well as a 3D Mark 06 score of 9400 have decided that perhaps the card needs to be RMA'd. Those folks on the EVGA forums, however, think it's the processor.

I'm torn. I don't want to burn my RMA if there's nothing wrong with the card. But I also don't have the $$ to drop on a Phenom II at the moment, although NewEgg does have an X2 for pretty cheap ($87.99).

I have not tried increasing the voltage, no. I do have the stock cooling setup. I've been a bit loath to push the system, mainly because I don't want to burn anything up.
June 22, 2010 11:42:46 PM

ct1615 said:
it would be your CPU if you where getting 15-20fps in northrend but since it drops to single digits, and you have issues in Oblivion also...something is slowing you down besides a slight CPU bottleneck.

Could it be more than just a slight bottleneck? I'm not arguing with you - I'm trying to avoiding burning an RMA if there is some other issue. You guys have provided a great counterpoint to some other folks I've discussed this issue with, and seem to be more grounded.
a b Î Nvidia
June 23, 2010 12:38:49 AM

digitalnoise said:
Could it be more than just a slight bottleneck? I'm not arguing with you - I'm trying to avoiding burning an RMA if there is some other issue. You guys have provided a great counterpoint to some other folks I've discussed this issue with, and seem to be more grounded.



assuming all things are up to factory settings, the bottleneck should be slight in WoW. the 9800GTX+ can handle WoW in ultra settings at 1680x1050. i have a GTS250 and the same resolution with my monitor. you should be walking around starter areas at 60FPS easy. oblivion should be maxed out.

something is definitely slowing you down and the athlon x2 5200 should only be a slight reason for it.
June 23, 2010 12:51:05 AM

ct1615 said:
assuming all things are up to factory settings, the bottleneck should be slight in WoW. the 9800GTX+ can handle WoW in ultra settings at 1680x1050. i have a GTS250 and the same resolution with my monitor. you should be walking around starter areas at 60FPS easy. oblivion should be maxed out.

something is definitely slowing you down and the athlon x2 5200 should only be a slight reason for it.

I may have miscommunicated a bit - Starter areas in WoW - anything pre-TBC, plus Exodar & Silvermoon will nail 60 FPS easily - but not if I turn shadows on. And I typically have to keep some of the other settings turned down as well, but not near as much as in other areas.

Nagrand is hard on the card, as well as other areas where there is detailed movement in a distant area, though even the water in Nagrand close up can give it some trouble. But that burning forest outside of Westguard Keep is murder on it for the most part, though sometimes I'll be fine if I just keep the camera pointed towards the ground.

But Oblivion - no, it's not maxed out. In fact, I let it auto-detect and it set most things on Medium - HDR is turned off, for example. Now, I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that I am playing the Steam version, but according to Steam this shouldn't be an issue.
July 3, 2010 3:56:08 AM

Progenator989 :

Just read the thread and I feel that I should let u know digitalnoise, its probably not ur card but ur cpu and mem. i run the same card in a core i7 920 4g of ddr3 1333mghz win7 64bit with a slow 1t hdd, and i hit 75fps AT ALL TIMES even in ICC. i bought the card to hold me over till 480gtx (hopefully) come down in price next year. i hope this helped u with ur problem, ive had this card for 8 months now and i still love it. Good day to you!
July 3, 2010 7:01:01 AM

Progenator989 said:
Progenator989 :

Just read the thread and I feel that I should let u know digitalnoise, its probably not ur card but ur cpu and mem. i run the same card in a core i7 920 4g of ddr3 1333mghz win7 64bit with a slow 1t hdd, and i hit 75fps AT ALL TIMES even in ICC. i bought the card to hold me over till 480gtx (hopefully) come down in price next year. i hope this helped u with ur problem, ive had this card for 8 months now and i still love it. Good day to you!

I haven't seen 75 FPS on ANYTHING since I got this card... EVGA support seems to think it's the card, and they've RMA'd me a new one - I asked them straight out if they thought it was a bottleneck - give them a chance to blame it on something other than their hardware - and they didn't. They seem to think that the card itself is at fault. I just got the new one today, so my weekend project will be to swap them out and see if that helps. I'll be sure to post back with the results.
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