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Help a noob ...GTX 470 and 2.40GHZ Q6600

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 20, 2010 1:34:17 PM

OK. Hi all, first post, and I feel like a noob :) 

Just got a EVGA GTX 470 (vanilla version). I am finding that I am getting bad frame rates in BFBC2 and COD Black Ops....in the range of 25 to 40 at the high end. I can turn setting on both games to low, or cranked high and still get about same frame rates...even if I drop screen resolution in the game frame rate seems about the same. Sigh.

I have started looking into all this and have been seeing all this about CPU bottle-necking....so I wonder if that is my problem?
What do you think? Any thoughts on why the low frame rates?

Any and all info or advice is most welcome and thanked.

Specs:
-Alienware AREA-51 7500-R5
-XFX NFORCE 680I SLI MB
-VISTA PREMIUM 32 BIT
-4 gig RAM (but 32 bit only shows less...lol...this I know at least)
-CPU: D- CORE 2 QUAD 2.40GHZ Q6600 8M 1066MHZ STEP G
-GPU: EVGA GTX 470
-750 WATT OEM ATX PSU
- Monitor: HP ZR24w 24-inch S-IPS LCD 1920x1200@60Hz native resolution
a b Î Nvidia
November 20, 2010 1:48:14 PM

I have buddies that run this game on core2 duo's and gtx 260's and are fine so I don't think it is your CPU. I would go to the nvidia site and download the very latest drivers for your card and see what happens.

You could also download the free version of 3dmark Vantage and run it to see if it is under performing. Also, after updating drivers you could download occt and run the gpu stress test and turn on error checking to see if your card is returning errors.
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November 20, 2010 2:12:15 PM

Thanks. First thing I did was get latest drivers when I got the card.
Ill get the 3dmark Vantage and run it.
Im not over clocking anything....so would the occt still be good to run?
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a b Î Nvidia
November 20, 2010 2:14:53 PM

I have a 5870 that would act weird and give artifacts. I ran OCCT and turned on error checking and it would get errors after a certain temp. Dunno if it will show you anything,but worth a try. You should be getting better frames, especially in Black Ops. That game is not all that demanding being DX9.
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November 20, 2010 2:36:40 PM

Quote:
with that strong of a graphics set-up, you need to overclock your processor or upgrade that processor to keep up.
and get off vista all together, make the move to win7 even if staying with 32-bit.


I was wondering if Vista had anything to do with it at all. Im tempted to move to win7. But I cant afford to do a clean install right now, I work as a freelance artist, and I dont have the time right now to re-install everything....and I am wary of just "upgrading" over Vista. But I am dying to get on a 64 bit os... I need more RAM !!


Is it even worth it to upgrade the proc? I hope...hope...I can afford a new computer sometime in early 2011.
As for overclocking....I have never done it, and to be honest am afraid I would melt my computer :) 
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November 20, 2010 3:08:30 PM

Thanks for the info.
Besides just being a better OS is win7 going to gain me anything?

Any idea what the best processor for a 680i SLI Socket 775 is?
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a b Î Nvidia
November 20, 2010 3:11:01 PM

There is not much difference between Vista and W7. W7 is just a modified version of Vista with some extra stuff. I run Vista Ultimate 64 and have never had an issue. There is alot of hate for Vista, and usually the people that say it's crap have nothing to back it up with. The upgrade isn't really worth it unless you have some sort of compelling reason. Going 32 to 64 bit is a reason, but I would do a clean install of that. Upgrading from vista to 7 isn't a big deal as much of it is the same. It isn't like an upgrade from XP to Vista or 7, which is messy and can cause issues.

Your CPU should be fine with that card, although an OC would be a benefit. But it is still a quad core and should still perform ok in gaming. Like I said, I have friend who run a dual core Core 2 and get decent frames with lesser cards than you.

What are the settings in game? Do you have VSYNC turned on? If it's on, turn it off, if its off turn it on. Any difference. Just throwing out ideas here. So the video card is NEW? possibly a video card issue, what did you have prior to this?
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a b Î Nvidia
November 20, 2010 3:12:09 PM

anjin3515 said:
Thanks for the info.
Besides just being a better OS is win7 going to gain me anything?

Any idea what the best processor for a 680i SLI Socket 775 is?

It won't get you anything unless there is some specific feature in 7 you really really want.

I wouldn't put any money into a 775 board. Keep what you have until you can upgrade the system. I still there there is a different issue.
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November 20, 2010 3:16:40 PM

jay2tall said:
There is not much difference between Vista and W7. W7 is just a modified version of Vista with some extra stuff. I run Vista Ultimate 64 and have never had an issue. There is alot of hate for Vista, and usually the people that say it's crap have nothing to back it up with. The upgrade isn't really worth it unless you have some sort of compelling reason. Going 32 to 64 bit is a reason, but I would do a clean install of that. Upgrading from vista to 7 isn't a big deal as much of it is the same. It isn't like an upgrade from XP to Vista or 7, which is messy and can cause issues.

Your CPU should be fine with that card, although an OC would be a benefit. But it is still a quad core and should still perform ok in gaming. Like I said, I have friend who run a dual core Core 2 and get decent frames with lesser cards than you.

What are the settings in game? Do you have VSYNC turned on? If it's on, turn it off, if its off turn it on. Any difference. Just throwing out ideas here. So the video card is NEW? possibly a video card issue, what did you have prior to this?



VSYNC was first thing I turned off. Ive played with ever combination of in game settings...Maybe I did get a funky card?

Again thanks for the info. I dont mind Vista either...its been fine for me. I would like 64 bit just so I can use more RAM.
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November 20, 2010 3:29:50 PM

Quote:
a 775 processor the better options are upper C2D, C2D extreme and C2Q's.
the better processors of those still cost $150+ at least still even used.
unless you find some good deal.
so i suggest an overclock if anything.


Know of any good online guides for noob overclockers?
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a b Î Nvidia
November 20, 2010 3:36:48 PM

64 bit uses more RAM though, so 4GB is the minimum I would want in a 64 bit system. My vista, with firefox open, skype, and a download app sits at 2.2GB used. I think Windows 7 caches less in memory than Vista.
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a b Î Nvidia
November 20, 2010 3:40:09 PM

I play BFBC2 with a GTX 470 @ 1920x1080 and do so very well with all the settings cranked up. :)  Honestly, the Q6600 probably needs OverClocked. I know you said you don't want to do so. The motherboard you have (680i) is honestly horrible for overclocking the Q6600 anyhow. Most folks can OC the Q6600 to 3.2Ghz or faster. However, the 680i chipset is very, very hit or miss. I had one XFX 680i board with a Q6600 that would not OC ANY. I later had the board replaced (after it went bad) and was able to hit 3.2Ghz (though no higher). If you look up forum threads with 680i and Q6600 you'll find it was fairly normal to have difficulty OC'ing the Q6600 on that chipset.

With P55 boards, folks were hitting 3.6Ghz though. :) 

Bad Company 2 is a fairly CPU demanding game (it loves multicore). So having multiple cores helps a lot, but faster cores still helps even more.

As for Windows: Honestly the move to Windows 7 is a good idea. Windows 7 is pretty rock solid. I used Vista before Windows 7, and quite frankly I like 7 better. Compatibility wise, anything that would run on Vista should have no problem with Windows 7.
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a b Î Nvidia
November 20, 2010 3:44:25 PM

anjin3515 said:
Know of any good online guides for noob overclockers?


When you OC that CPU on that 680i board, be careful of two things:

1) CPU Temps can rise quickly, as the Q6600 is a hot cpu.

2) VCore settings tend to be pretty high to make an OC stable. 1.45V is what it took to hit 3.2Ghz on my old setup.

Keep in mind, higher VCore creates more heat. And too high of a VCore setting can brick (break) your CPU if you aren't careful.

I just found this link:

http://www.overclockersclub.com/reviews/xfx_680_lt/5.ht...

In this recent Tom's forum posting:
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/263006-29-overclock-q...

If you want to OC, I would suggest downloading and installing a couple programs to help with testing:

1) Prime95 (this stress tests and super heats the CPU for stability testing).

2) CoreTemp (this monitors CPU temps so you can make sure it's staying cool enough)

Don't let a Q6600 go above 68C or you'll start getting into dangerous heat areas.
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November 20, 2010 7:10:32 PM

I would try to sell the CPU, mobo and RAM and buy a P55 motherboard, core i5 CPU and ddr3 RAM. If you do that you might end up with a system that will give you good performance for the next 2 years.

That's if you don't succeed in overclocking the CPU to 3Ghz.
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November 21, 2010 8:03:57 AM

ionut19 said:
I would try to sell the CPU, mobo and RAM and buy a P55 motherboard, core i5 CPU and ddr3 RAM. If you do that you might end up with a system that will give you good performance for the next 2 years.

That's if you don't succeed in overclocking the CPU to 3Ghz.


I wonder if the Alienware case would take a new motherboard....
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November 21, 2010 8:32:58 AM

I used to have almost that exact setup, and thus experienced the same issue with framerate in BFBC2. Problem went away when i got an i7. I should also mention, even after overclocking the Q6600, it was still a hindrance. There was almost no difference between my 8800GTS 512 and the gtx 470 when i had my Q6600. Be it 2.4 ghz or 3.2ghz...wasn't much difference.
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November 21, 2010 8:42:29 AM

anjin3515 said:
I wonder if the Alienware case would take a new motherboard....


Why not? The motherboard is not bolted to the case. And if it is ATX or even micro atx there are lots of options to chose from for any CPU.
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a b Î Nvidia
November 21, 2010 10:59:15 AM

I would download those programs and start running some tests on your GPU and CPU before you start buying new stuff...it is inevidable that you will ahve to upgrade you pc but since money is tight for you i would reccomend trying to sort this all out before you buying new hardware.
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November 21, 2010 12:36:49 PM

downloaded them and going to test today...will report back.

Thanks everyone for the information and advice.
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November 24, 2010 7:48:26 PM

well some good news. I exchanged the card. while not perfect...the new one is getting about 15 to 20 FPS better...so thats something.....
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a b Î Nvidia
November 24, 2010 8:12:50 PM

15-20 is a difference...
what game are you seeing the best/worst results?
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November 25, 2010 5:51:37 AM

I got the same card...just did an exchange to see if I might have a bad card.....

Purple: mostly I have been testing on Black Ops and BFBC2
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November 25, 2010 3:06:22 PM

Quote:
OK now it's time to overclock or upgrade processor..


yup.. I think you may be right
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November 25, 2010 4:38:22 PM

Definitely a proccesor bottleneck. For the price you'll pay to get a good C2Q (they're still 200+), you might as well save a bit more then get an i5/i7. There's lots of bundle deals now for i5 760s, mobos and 4GB of ram for under $400.
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November 25, 2010 5:55:18 PM

True, but the 9550 and 9650 rival with the new phenom's II even if they are one generation ago. I wish i had one of those in my PC now.
But saving for an i5/i7 system now would not be logical. If the new CPU's from intel use a new socket you did nothing. I do not know anything about the new CPU's only rumors. (sorry for the off)

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November 25, 2010 10:30:42 PM

Last i checked the 680i won't work with the 45nm Quads. Upgrade options are very limited with the 680i at this point.
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November 25, 2010 11:45:57 PM

Just keep your PC right now and don't buy from Alien ware AGAIN!
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November 26, 2010 9:27:16 AM

Rise a little more money for a new motherboard, CPU and RAM and see what is the best choice in the summer.

For now you can try to overclock the CPU.
Glad to hear that the performance has improved with the new card.
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