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Is this build 'bottlenecking'?

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April 13, 2011 5:28:40 AM

I have recently put together a builld, [Attempting My first actual gaming rig].
All of the games i have tested: Crysis 1, Battlefield 2, Call of Duty Modern Warfare 1, H.a.w.x, there all very unstable at max resolution with 4xAA. I expected more from this card...

ESPECIALLY CRYSIS: i cannot even run this game at 800 x 600 with everything on low!!!
Can anyone help me with this. surely the card isnt that bad is it? could this be 'bottlenecking'?

Computer:
- Gigabyte 550w power supply
- Sapphire 6870 900Mhz
- Phenom 955 3.2Ghz
- Corsair 4Gb DDR3 1600mhz
- asrock 880gmh-le-usb3
- 360Gb 7200 HDD
- 22 inch monitor.
- Native resolution: 1650 x 1080
- Windows 7 64bit

Please i would love some tips, ideas, anything honestly. i really don't wanna rebuild...

More about : build bottlenecking

April 13, 2011 5:55:44 AM

Don't want to seem rude, but what was the point in starting another thread? I posted some ideas in the first one - did my advice manage to help you at all?

With regards to bottlenecking, that CPU shouldn't be bottlenecking the graphics card - the the Recommended Builds by Usage guide on the forums has this processor being used with a 6950, so a 6870 should be no problem. The 4GB of RAM should also be sufficient. So in short, there aren't any bottlenecks as far as I'm aware.

A few things you might wanna check - forgive me if you've done all these already:

1) Check the graphics card is in the right slot - your mobo has one PCI-E slot running at x16 and one running at x1 - it needs to be in the x16 slot

2) Make sure you're not using the integrated graphics processor on your mobo - make sure your DVI / VGA cable is plugged into the 6870 not the integrated card, and make sure the integrated graphics are disabled - not sure exactly how to do this with your motherboard, but you should at least be able to disable it in Device Manager

3) Make sure your Catalyst drivers are fully up to date, and that the quality settings are appropriate - for example, on my machine (running an Nvidia card), Supersampling AA causes a noticable performance hit over Multisampling AA (not sure what settings Catalyst has, it's been a while since I've had an ATI/AMD card)

4) Make sure that any old / default drivers are removed - sometimes that can cause problems (I've had first had problems with this) - I recommend uninstalling your current drivers using the uninstall utility, then using Driver Sweeper to clear out any traces, then reinstalling.

That's all I can think of at the moment - let us know how you go. There's definately a problem with how you've got your system set up - the system build itself should easily be performing much better than it is - my 4 year old rig can play Crysis at High settings, and yours is a fair bit more powerful.
April 13, 2011 6:31:27 AM

Sorry mannyb, i havent checked my emails yet so i didnt think that anyone replied. i also assumed that the tread was outdated and moved to the crap heap. With so many questions incoming and all.

Q1A: Yes I can tell the difference, between PCI and PCI-E, as it will not fit in any other slot. I have put together quite a number of computers just not high performance gaming rigs.
Q2A: inter-graded graphics are disabled.
Q3A: I have been though them all from the standard from the disc to 11.3
Q4: why would they make a difference, not trying to sound rude but curious as to i want my computer to perform like it should?

I Have triple checked that i have made sure that everything is inserted properly. i have ran the Mobo disk for drivers and then i have ran the gpu disk and then updated to 11.3

I have no patches on crysis its stock.

you are sure that its not bottlenecking ?

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April 13, 2011 6:39:10 AM

Crysis -Fraps:
1650 x 1080 = 30-35... but choppy as HELL!! 0xAA unbarable in combat and in a jumgle. but smooth on a beach

1024 x 768 = 70-80-90-100Fps (depending on if iam looking into the sea, or shooting in a moving vehicle) 0xAA BUT ITS SO CHOPPY and looking up the beach type thing it lags/chops to be unplayable
April 13, 2011 6:42:14 AM

Could this be a power supply problem ? i read only recently that my 550w is actually a 450w with a peak of 550w. cheap chinese trick.
April 13, 2011 6:52:40 AM

No probs about not replying, I've done the same thing before :p 

Sorry if my advice sounded obvious, it's kinda hard to tell how much people know - you seem to have done everything right so far.

With regards to bottlenecking, I'm only going on what I know - I've built a few gaming machines, and am generally up to date with parts knowledge etc. But it's possible that I'm wrong, and there is a bottleneck somewhere. But I'd still find it extremely unlikely. Your graphics card is newer than your processor, but a 955 is no slouch. Is the CPU running at full speed? No reason why it shouldn't be, unless the temperatures are overly high and it's underclocking to avoid dangerous heat levels, but I'd doubt this is the case. Still, check the speed and temps to make sure, if you haven't already.

The only reason I mentioned the old drivers is that sometimes they can cause problems if the uninstaller doesn't remove them properly, or if you just install new ones over the old without getting rid of the old ones first. For example, I had my framerates almost cut in half in Far Cry 2 on my old rig due to messed up driver installs. However that's at the extreme end of the scale, most driver problems won't affect performance that much. Still, did you clean install the latest drivers (ie. get rid of the old ones first)? If you didn't, try a clean install. It probably won't do anything, but it never hurts to try. Install the latest ones from AMD, not the ones off the disk - they're usually fairly old. Again, I recommend Driver Sweeper (www.guru3d.com/category/driversweeper/) to purge any old driver remnants before reinstalling (after you've removed them through Programs and Features).

The only other thing I can think of is your BIOS - is it fully updated? Check your mobo manufacturer's website for the latest BIOS update and flash it. This solved a problem I had with my past machine - after a Windows reinstall I had serious trouble playing any 3D-accelerated game, which I managed to fix with a BIOS update. Of course, you might have already tried this. Also check your chipset drivers - the ones on the disk probably aren't the latest.

I'd also patch Crysis to the latest version - again, probably won't help but it doesn't hurt to try. You'll need to download and install the 1.2 patch first, then the 1.2.1 hotfix patch.

Another thing - what scores are you getting for your Windows Experience Index? An abnormally low score in one category can indicate where a problem might lie.

Hope you are able to fix the problem, it must be super-frustrating to have a new system not running as well as you expect.
April 13, 2011 7:08:36 AM

I posted the above before reading your last two comments, a couple of points:

Your framerates seem ok, there really shouldn't be ANY choppiness at 1024x768, so that's strange... of course, choppiness is pretty subjective, maybe you're very sensitive to it compared to me, it's super hard to tell without being able to look at it in person. The first time I played through Crysis I was only getting about 25-35 FPS on average, and it was playable, though a bit choppy. Having said that, running any game at a non-native resolution can make it look a bit strange. Your results with framerates on 1680x1050 seem fairly consistant with your setup, so the fact that the framerates aren't higher is *probably* due to the fact that your system isn't powerful enough. That doesn't mean it's bottlenecked, just that it doesn't have enough grunt.

I'd still try the BIOS update, and driver clean-installs, if you haven't done so.

With regards to the power supply... I doubt its a problem. The PSU doesn't seem like the greatest - you should never buy a power supply that doesn't deliver exactly what it says on the box. Having said that, insufficient PSU wattage is highly unlikely to cause framerate problems - it's more likely to cause random crashes or sudden shut-downs, so I doubt that's the problem. 450W is probably just enough to power your system anyway. If you want to expand it though, you might want to look at getting a better PSU - the brands to look for are Corsair, Seasonic, XFX, and Antec. The Seasonic S12 II Bronze 520W is probably the best 500W PSU out there, although it's not cheap. A higher wattage option would be the 600W CoolerMaster Silent Pro M600. If you're ever looking at new PSUs (for this system or future systems), I highly recommend checking out www.jonnyguru.com - it's one of the very few review sites that properly tests PSUs - if they give a PSU a score of 9 or better, it's worth buying.
April 13, 2011 7:34:05 AM

Fraps - 1650x1080, all settings high, 0xAA, in a new level (just before discovering the machines): 19-30fps

Fraps - 1024x768, all settings high, 0xAA, on the same level: 50-60 fps. In combat 30 - 35 - 40 fps

Even with all settings on low at 60 fps its choppy as crap. (Usually 60 is smooth)

Will try bios flash and re driver-ing.

Thank you very much for your help so far, no results yet.
April 13, 2011 7:36:23 AM

even at 70fps in the start of the game it seems choopy!!!!!
April 13, 2011 7:55:37 AM

I have :(  Without Vsync it goes higher frames, but it looks like everytime i turn around its teary/choppy/laggy whats the word iam looking for...

with vsync its less choppy around corners but more choppy in general lol
April 13, 2011 8:01:56 AM

Window's scores for Graphics are for areo and 3d gaming: 7.8
April 13, 2011 8:35:42 AM

Sweeped and installed clean drivers for graphics card fps increased on an average by 10 frames. Can run fairly high resolutions at 60fps.
April 13, 2011 3:25:28 PM

Could be a faulty card. Download GPU-Z and check it. Check the memory, shaders, etc
April 19, 2011 11:54:52 AM

Hey Everyone, I am back and i have stripped the drivers and re installed them, the latest of dx9,10 and 11. Catalyst 10.10, 11.3. iam still getting the tearing on the screen. i can have 200+fps on cod4 and still be getting the choppy tearing while turning around a corner. could this be a faulty card? or monitor?
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