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I'm Getting Low FPS On A Good Machine

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 30, 2010 3:31:51 AM

The machine I currently have is as follows;

M2N68-LA (Narra3) Mother Board
2.2 Phenom X4 9500 Quad-core
6gb (2x1gb and 2x2) of 800mhz DDR2 Ram
Sapphire 1gb 128-bit GDDR5 HD 5770 GPU @ 850mhz core clock GPU
42" Philips LCD TV using DVI to HDMI at 1080p 60hz
2 320gig HDDs at 7200rpm with a 3gig transfer rate
580W PSU

Anyhow, I've been playing games and I get FPS that are between 20-50. I would be okay with that but using resource monitors I find that my CPU, RAM and GPU aren't even breaking 60% of their capabilities. I can't figure out why my components aren't pumping the extra juice to bring the FPS up in my games. Any ideas?

More about : low fps good machine

September 30, 2010 3:37:13 AM

what game?
September 30, 2010 3:40:53 AM

The games that I've been playing are;

Borderlands
Fallout 3
Civilization V
Starcraft 2
Dragon Age and a few others. Some work better than others but I find that the case is generally the same, the resources aren't over taxed but the games FPS is not anywhere near where I can expect it. Also, I lowered the settings as resolution and my games to try it out and I generally get another 10 fps. I would figure going from 1080 to 720 with ultra settings to low, from 16AA to none should make a bigger difference.
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September 30, 2010 4:54:13 AM

get in mother bios and make the configuration is manual non auto....perhaps this it is to blaim
September 30, 2010 4:55:37 AM

but it shouted somebody that would know if you cannot the himself
September 30, 2010 5:08:20 AM

The only guess I have as to what you meant is to go into the BIOS and set the GPU to manual PCI-e x16 instead of auto, that's not it. The display works fine. I don't know what the second comment meant at all, though.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2010 6:01:43 AM

Can you be more specific in terms of which games get what frames and at what settings?

first thing i notice is the CPU is pretty bad. what sort of background processes do you have running (use task manager to see).
cpu usage wont be at 100 percent anyway, since its a quad core which will be going mostly unutiltized. and the original phenoms are pretty crappy in tersm of clock performance, so with a game only using one or two of those sub-par cores is not going to be getting great framerates.
September 30, 2010 6:50:09 AM

I see. This is what I figured. My motherboard limits me on CPU options because it's AM2+ with a max of 95w. I looked at a 3.0 Phenom II rated exactly at 95w. Also, I've tried max settings and least settings, as mentioned above with very little difference in performance. My knowledge of hardware is rapidly expanding over the past few months but it's still pretty limited. I was under the impression that if the CPU wasn't maxed out in resource monitor that it had plenty of room left. That said, unless you advice otherwise, I will be getting the Phenom II 945 X4 processor and expect to see a bump in performance. I assume that my GPU and RAM should be plenty to run Borderlands at high settings at 1080p and hope for an average of 55 frames?
September 30, 2010 6:54:29 AM

Also, I'd like to add that my forte in computers is on the soft side so I know to only have the game and vital Windows 7 services running while gaming. Next, Borderlands gets about 45 frames in tight spaces but 20 in hubs. Even if I am looking at the ground. Civ is the same stats. Full settings and 1080. Another thing to support it being the CPU is that when I hit next turn the frame drops substantially even if the turn doesn't warrant any extra rendering.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2010 7:15:13 AM

It certainly sounds like the CPU, but its hard to be exactly sure since i have no direct experience with that CPU in modern games.

But the framerates do seem to make sense that you have a CPU bottleneck. assuming you can afford it, i would recommend that PII upgrade. there may be an underlying problem, but based on the facts at hand my money would be squarely on a CPU bottleneck.
September 30, 2010 7:35:35 AM

Yeah, I appreciate the advice. Like I said, my motherboard is extremely limited so I can't really upgrade too much with having only 95w of play room. That being said the best quad core I can get is the Phenom II 945 X4 at 3.01ghz. I really hope that does the trick. It's only 135$ on Newegg so that isn't so bad considering that I didn't pay a dime for my computer. Just in case I'm not going to mark this thread as solved for just a bit here to see if anyone else has an idea or confirm from experience that my CPU can't handle games.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2010 7:52:00 AM

GregHutto said:
Yeah, I appreciate the advice. Like I said, my motherboard is extremely limited so I can't really upgrade too much with having only 95w of play room. That being said the best quad core I can get is the Phenom II 945 X4 at 3.01ghz. I really hope that does the trick. It's only 135$ on Newegg so that isn't so bad considering that I didn't pay a dime for my computer. Just in case I'm not going to mark this thread as solved for just a bit here to see if anyone else has an idea or confirm from experience that my CPU can't handle games.


You could probably try overclocking (if your motherboard supports it). Or you could maybe try updating the driver for the video card.

If you could overclock you'd probably be able to judge better if the PII would improve your situation. You might also want to try to look at older Phenom reviews and compare them to PII reviews to see for yourself if the gain is well worth the cost.
September 30, 2010 7:57:55 AM

I assume that the 800mhz clock speed increase would be worth it as is. I can't imagine that upgrading would be a bad idea either way. Also, the CPU is fairly instable with overclocking. I overclocked it to 2.4 and anything more would make it instable. The video drivers are up to date, though.
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2010 9:03:46 AM

Upgrading might not be such a bad idea, as the PII's work better, consume a bit less electricity and a bit less heat. Though I'm not really 100% confident that it would resolve your fps issues, but it might help.
September 30, 2010 9:08:32 AM

No matter what other problems, a 2.2ghz processor of any kind is bottle-necking your 5770 and just doesn't cut it for most games.
September 30, 2010 10:36:49 AM

GregHutto said:
The machine I currently have is as follows;

M2N68-LA (Narra3) Mother Board
2.2 Phenom X4 9500 Quad-core
6gb (2x1gb and 2x2) of 800mhz DDR2 Ram
Sapphire 1gb 128-bit GDDR5 HD 5770 GPU @ 850mhz core clock GPU
42" Philips LCD TV using DVI to HDMI at 1080p 60hz
2 320gig HDDs at 7200rpm with a 3gig transfer rate
580W PSU

Anyhow, I've been playing games and I get FPS that are between 20-50. I would be okay with that but using resource monitors I find that my CPU, RAM and GPU aren't even breaking 60% of their capabilities. I can't figure out why my components aren't pumping the extra juice to bring the FPS up in my games. Any ideas?


I think that the only thing letting you down on that system is the CPU.

In all honesty, i have a:
1.ASUS M3A79-T deluxe board
September 30, 2010 10:41:44 AM

GregHutto said:
The machine I currently have is as follows;

M2N68-LA (Narra3) Mother Board
2.2 Phenom X4 9500 Quad-core
6gb (2x1gb and 2x2) of 800mhz DDR2 Ram
Sapphire 1gb 128-bit GDDR5 HD 5770 GPU @ 850mhz core clock GPU
42" Philips LCD TV using DVI to HDMI at 1080p 60hz
2 320gig HDDs at 7200rpm with a 3gig transfer rate
580W PSU

Anyhow, I've been playing games and I get FPS that are between 20-50. I would be okay with that but using resource monitors I find that my CPU, RAM and GPU aren't even breaking 60% of their capabilities. I can't figure out why my components aren't pumping the extra juice to bring the FPS up in my games. Any ideas?


In all honesty, i say its the CPU letting you down.

I have a
1. ASUS M3A79-T Deluxe motherboard
2. AMD Phenom 9950 Black edition 2.6 GHZ (now running 3.06Ghz on air)
3. 2x Sapphire HD4870 Toxic Editions in CrossX (a single HD4870 has the same performance as a single HD5770)

and i must admit that my CPU is bottlenecking the system. ill upgrade the whole system when AMD's Bulldozers architecture is launched.

I was always a AMD / ATI enthusiast but have to admit that the first Phenom processor was crap. But Ahhh well i bought it so I have to use it untill something better comes along
a b U Graphics card
September 30, 2010 1:10:32 PM

2.2 ghz is too slow for gaming.
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2010 6:30:55 AM

Ar people suggesting OCing, you may not realize that the phenoms are HORRID overclockers.

OP, id say to go for the 945. thats a decent price, and while its not an awesome CPU, its miles better than your current. it will give you a noticeable improvement, even if there is no underlying issue. which as i said before, there may not be. but definitely think its most likely the culprit.
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2010 6:53:57 AM

what kind of features does that 9500 has that made you buy it?

an athlon 2 would be a cheaper upgrade, a phenom II x3 would be nice.
a b U Graphics card
October 1, 2010 9:36:04 PM

^ OP probably bought the 9500 on sale at Tigerdirect. IIRC, they had the 9500 for ~$60 a while ago.
October 2, 2010 3:39:58 AM

wh3resmycar said:
what kind of features does that 9500 has that made you buy it?

an athlon 2 would be a cheaper upgrade, a phenom II x3 would be nice.


As I stated earlier, I was given this computer.
!