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CPU limted or to much eye candy?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 29, 2010 8:53:07 PM

hello everyone, i recenlty purchaed a galaxy gtx 470, to replace my litte 9300ge, i am able to now max out all my games like, crysis, far cry 2, just cause 2, and supreme commander 2, but i'm only averaging about 30 fps on all my games except supreme commander which averages 60. what i was trying to figure out was if my e7400 @ 2.8ghz was limting my 470, or if i was asking to much of it, i game at 1600x900, but i put the games on max settings with everything turned up to the max like AA, since i thought my resolution wouldnt be to demanding. I lowered the setting on the games and re-ran some tests and got about 20+ fps,( i ment 20+ to the already 20-30 fps, so with lower setting i was getting more fps, sorry for the confusion) on mostly all the games with lower settings.

Heres my question, is my core 2 duo limiting my gpu or do i have to much eye candy on?
and would i see an increase if i upgraded the cpu to q9550?

System
core 2 duo e7400 @ 2.8(unable to overclock since this an hp)
gx 470
500gb western digital 7200rpms
4 gigs at 800mhz
7 ultimate
650wt tx
cm 690 ii advanced.

Thanxs for all the help!!!! :) 

More about : cpu limted eye candy

a c 272 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 9:08:41 PM

Have you tried turning v-sync off?
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a c 130 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 9:10:30 PM

It works the other way around. I know it sounds daft but the more detail you can use the better. In fact a higher resolution monitor would help.
By turning the detail down and getting less FPS you have proved that the CPU is being the limiting factor here.
When the details were high the card was doing a lot more work and so it would take longer to render the frames. When you drop the details it can render faster and as a result your CPU isn't keeping up as well as it was doing before.
I guess you could simulate a CPU overclock by under clocking the GPU. If your FPS go up then its time to upgrade the CPU.
The difference between your CPU and a Q9550 ? well i really don't know but can link to a Bench.
I had to use a 7500 as it doesn't have a 7400. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/87?vs=50
You will see a lot of it is dependant on the games and in some cases you will get not much difference at all.
Just Cause is FPS capped (I think). I seem to remember reading that , i could be wrong.
Hopefully someone will come in and Yay or Nay that.

Mactronix
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a c 272 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 9:14:34 PM

mactronix said:
It works the other way around. I know it sounds daft but the more detail you can use the better. In fact a higher resolution monitor would help.
By turning the detail down and getting less FPS you have proved that the CPU is being the limiting factor here.
When the details were high the card was doing a lot more work and so it would take longer to render the frames. When you drop the details it can render faster and as a result your CPU isn't keeping up as well as it was doing before.
I guess you could simulate a CPU overclock by under clocking the GPU. If your FPS go up then its time to upgrade the CPU.
The difference between your CPU and a Q9550 ? well i really don't know but can link to a Bench.
I had to use a 7500 as it doesn't have a 7400. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/87?vs=50
You will see a lot of it is dependant on the games and in some cases you will get not much difference at all.
Just Cause is FPS capped (I think). I seem to remember reading that , i could be wrong.
Hopefully someone will come in and Yay or Nay that.

Mactronix

I don't think it is as I'm getting between 37 and 65, depending on where I am and what's going on at the time.
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July 29, 2010 9:17:19 PM

mactronix said:
It works the other way around. I know it sounds daft but the more detail you can use the better. In fact a higher resolution monitor would help.
By turning the detail down and getting less FPS you have proved that the CPU is being the limiting factor here.
When the details were high the card was doing a lot more work and so it would take longer to render the frames. When you drop the details it can render faster and as a result your CPU isn't keeping up as well as it was doing before.
I guess you could simulate a CPU overclock by under clocking the GPU. If your FPS go up then its time to upgrade the CPU.
The difference between your CPU and a Q9550 ? well i really don't know but can link to a Bench.
I had to use a 7500 as it doesn't have a 7400. http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/87?vs=50
You will see a lot of it is dependant on the games and in some cases you will get not much difference at all.
Just Cause is FPS capped (I think). I seem to remember reading that , i could be wrong.
Hopefully someone will come in and Yay or Nay that.

Mactronix

i meant that by turning down the settings i was getting 20+ more fps to the already 30 so about 40-50 fps with lowered details, sorry for the confusion
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a c 130 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 9:19:13 PM

If you are turning details down and getting more FPS then when you turn the details up you get less FPS your CPU and GPU are both working together fine.

Mactronix
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July 29, 2010 9:20:45 PM

Mousemonkey said:
Have you tried turning v-sync off?

it was already off, turned it on and off and made no differene, could i just be pushing the gpu to much?
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July 29, 2010 9:24:09 PM

mactronix said:
If you are turning details down and getting more FPS then when you turn the details up you get less FPS your CPU and GPU are both working together fine.

Mactronix

ok, but what struck me wierd was seeing some game benchmarks with higher resolution and 4 to 8 AA, averaging above 50fps, while i was running a lower resolution with just a little bit more AA, and averaging 30fps.
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a c 272 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 9:29:08 PM

oz73942 said:
it was already off, turned it on and off and made no differene, could i just be pushing the gpu to much?

Sometimes the V-Sync is done from the game and sometimes it's the driver and because of that it can sometimes be a pig to turn off, there are times that I've had to resort to modifying .ini files and such. I don't tink you are pushing your GPU anywhere near hard enough as you would likely see an improvement in overall performance if you were to switch to a stronger CPU.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 9:33:12 PM

Exactly what games are you talking about? The GTX 470 at 1600x900 should have no problems maxing out any game outside of perhaps Crysis and Metro 2033.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 9:35:16 PM

All games are different. Some work noticeably better on Nvidia cards some like ATI cards. Some like Quad core CPU's. Some are well coded and will run faster on hardware that makes another game look sluggish.
If this is happening on the same game then what i said earlier about the higher detail freeing up the CPU is what is happening.
Do some tests with the same game. Run a set of say three different games and do three tests on each.
1. High res and detail settings (Max AA etc)
2. High res and standard (say 2X AA) etc but use the same settings for all games
3. low res and No AA

If 1. Runs fastest then your CPU is holding you back
If 3. Is fastest then you have no CPU issue
If 2. Is fastest and 1. and 3. are slower then you are pretty well balanced

Post the results if you want and i will interpret them for you.

Mactronix :) 
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July 29, 2010 9:37:03 PM

Mousemonkey said:
Sometimes the V-Sync is done from the game and sometimes it's the driver and because of that it can sometimes be a pig to turn off, there are times that I've had to resort to modifying .ini files and such. I don't tink you are pushing your GPU anywhere near hard enough as you would likely see an improvement in overall performance if you were to switch to a stronger CPU.

kk, i plan on finishing the upgrades when sandybridge comes out, in order to finish up with the mobo, cpu, and ram. but untill then would it be worth it dropping in a q9550 from microcenter for 179.99, or would i see little improvement like in the benchmarks posted earlier, or it would be bettter just to save up the money.
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July 29, 2010 9:38:56 PM

jyjjy said:
Exactly what games are you talking about? The GTX 470 at 1600x900 should have no problems maxing out any game outside of perhaps Crysis and Metro 2033.

i've tried it out with, crysis(not surprised with the results), far cry 2, just cause 2, supreme commander 2, mass effect 2. (wow i just realized all the 2's lol)
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July 29, 2010 9:40:20 PM

mactronix said:
All games are different. Some work noticeably better on Nvidia cards some like ATI cards. Some like Quad core CPU's. Some are well coded and will run faster on hardware that makes another game look sluggish.
If this is happening on the same game then what i said earlier about the higher detail freeing up the CPU is what is happening.
Do some tests with the same game. Run a set of say three different games and do three tests on each.
1. High res and detail settings (Max AA etc)
2. High res and standard (say 2X AA) etc but use the same settings for all games
3. low res and No AA

If 1. Runs fastest then your CPU is holding you back
If 3. Is fastest then you have no CPU issue
If 2. Is fastest and 1. and 3. are slower then you are pretty well balanced

Post the results if you want and i will interpret them for you.

Mactronix :) 

kk, ill post as soon as i'm done.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 9:41:22 PM

mactronix said:
If this is happening on the same game then what i said earlier about the higher detail freeing up the CPU is what is happening.

Raising resolution/settings does not "free up" CPU... I don't know where you are getting this from.
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a c 272 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 9:42:50 PM

oz73942 said:
kk, i plan on finishing the upgrades when sandybridge comes out, in order to finish up with the mobo, cpu, and ram. but untill then would it be worth it dropping in a q9550 from microcenter for 179.99, or would i see little improvement like in the benchmarks posted earlier, or it would be bettter just to save up the money.

Save your cash mate, socket 775 CPU's are not worth buying as an upgrade if you are looking to move on to the "i" series any time soon.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 9:45:10 PM

I agree with MM as you would haev seen in the link i sent you its really not worth the money.

Mactronix
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Best solution

a b U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 9:58:29 PM

I say get a "real" board + cooler and OC that CPU to at least 3.6Ghz. Most of the bottleneck should be gone by then. Both can be found for under 120.00$

Regardless of the "eye candy" your CPU is not going to cut it at 2.8Ghz when it comes to crysis/far cry 2/just cause 2. Has nothing to do with being a dual core as a quad core at that clock is going to give you the same exact results.

I'm going to give you an example :

The FPS is located on the top left hand corner in pink

Warhead (Enthusiast) no AA/AF @ 2.8Ghz with x2 550 + HD 5850 (stock) :



3.1Ghz



4Ghz + 5850 heavily overclocked



these tests were done at 1680x 1050 res, similar to what the OP has.
Share
July 29, 2010 10:19:24 PM

OvrClkr said:
I say get a "real" board + cooler and OC that CPU to at least 3.6Ghz. Most of the bottleneck should be gone by then. Both can be found for under 120.00$

Regardless of the "eye candy" your CPU is not going to cut it at 2.8Ghz when it comes to crysis/far cry 2/just cause 2. Has nothing to do with being a dual core as a quad core at that clock is going to give you the same exact results.

I'm going to give you an example :

The FPS is located on the top left hand corner in pink

Warhead (Enthusiast) no AA/AF @ 2.8Ghz with x2 550 + HD 5850 (stock) :

http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv199/OvrClkr/Crysis2010-07-1619-34-32-28-1.jpg

3.1Ghz

http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv199/OvrClkr/Crysis2010-07-1619-48-13-68.jpg

4Ghz + 5850 heavily overclocked

http://i683.photobucket.com/albums/vv199/OvrClkr/Crysis2010-07-1620-05-39-88.jpg

these tests were done at 1680x 1050 res, similar to what the OP has.

i was thinking of buying this C2D E6850 @3.0ghz, 4 sticks of DDR2 800 RAM Corsair/G.skill, a P35-DSR mobo, and a decent cooler, would this combo be enough help my 470?
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 10:24:30 PM

That processor isn't better than the one you currently have. You don't actually need a new processor if you replace your motherboard with something that will allow you to OC the CPU. You should be able to easily put it up to 3.5ghz even on the stock cooler and then you are good to go.
You also don't need new ram unless you are upgrading to a processor than can use DDR3.
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July 29, 2010 10:28:20 PM

mactronix said:
All games are different. Some work noticeably better on Nvidia cards some like ATI cards. Some like Quad core CPU's. Some are well coded and will run faster on hardware that makes another game look sluggish.
If this is happening on the same game then what i said earlier about the higher detail freeing up the CPU is what is happening.
Do some tests with the same game. Run a set of say three different games and do three tests on each.
1. High res and detail settings (Max AA etc)
2. High res and standard (say 2X AA) etc but use the same settings for all games
3. low res and No AA

If 1. Runs fastest then your CPU is holding you back
If 3. Is fastest then you have no CPU issue
If 2. Is fastest and 1. and 3. are slower then you are pretty well balanced

Post the results if you want and i will interpret them for you.

Mactronix :) 

3 was fastest but by 4-6 fps.
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a c 376 U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 10:40:03 PM

3 will always be fastest IMO.
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July 29, 2010 10:45:37 PM

kk, thank you to everyone for all the help, since it is my cpu, im just going to keep on gaming how it is, till sandybridge rolls around, since im ok with frames for now, good to know the problem at least. its gona be touch for the best answer since they were all good.
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a b U Graphics card
July 29, 2010 10:52:00 PM

oz73942 said:
i was thinking of buying this C2D E6850 @3.0ghz, 4 sticks of DDR2 800 RAM Corsair/G.skill, a P35-DSR mobo, and a decent cooler, would this combo be enough help my 470?


just like jyjjy mentioned, you don't need a new CPU as your current CPU can easily do 3.5/3.6Ghz and beyond with a decent cooler. I personally have seen the E7400 do 4Ghz with a "Artic Freezer 7" which is considered "mediocre" compared to other coolers in that same price-range.

1. New board + stock cooler = 3.5/3.6ghz depending on ambient and case airflow.

2. New board + aftermarket cooler = 4Ghz+

The board can be purchased for around 80.00$, a nice cooler will cost around 35.00/40.00$

3 will be the fastest in your case ;) 
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July 30, 2010 1:10:10 AM

Best answer selected by oz73942.
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