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Is my 600W PS enough for i7 2600, GTX460 ... (more specs inside)

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August 18, 2011 3:57:34 PM

Hi guys,

I just bought a new, custom-built computer (ie. I picked parts on my own), and am having some trouble with performance in a specific program, Igor Pro 6. The software itself shouldn't be too demanding, as it runs smoothly on pretty much any computer bought within the last couple of years. It also includes features, such as making graphs and 3d plots. And here's where the problems arise. For example, when I try and make a 3D plot, it takes 15 mins (!) for it to be generated, whereas a laptop in our lab, that is your run-of-the-mill $600 system (don't know the specs right now) needs a couple of seconds. Also, when I make a graph with a large set of datapoints, there's a horrible lag when trying to resize windows. I first thought it might be the video card, since 3D plotting uses OpenGL, but 3D Mark (Vantage) results are alright (~P15000). Not the best, but more or less comparable to what testers got when reviewing the card. But now with even the graph lagging I've started looking for other culprits.

Anyway, here's my power supply:

Corsair - CMPSU-600CX V2 600 Watt Power Supply,

Here's my system:

Processor: Intel - Coreā„¢ i7-2600 Processor, 3.40GHz w/ 8MB Cache
Graphics card: Asus - ENGTX460 DirectCU GeForce GTX 460 1GB PCI-E w/ Dual DVI, HDMI
Memory: GSKILL - Ripjaws X Series 8GB PC3-12800 Dual Channel DDR3 Kit (2 x 4GB)
Primary hard drive: Intel - SSD 320 Series SATA II Solid State Drive, 120GB
Secondary hard drive: Western Digital - 1TB Caviar Black 7200rpm SATA III w/ 64MB Cache
Optical unit: LG - Super-Multi 22x DVD Writer, SATA
Motherboard: Gigabyte - GA-Z68X-UD3H-B3 w/ Dual DDR3 2133, 7.1 Audio, Gigabit Lan, 1394, CrossFireX / SLI
Wireless network card: TP-Link - WN851N Wireless N PCI Adapter

Do you think my power supply could be the problem? Or does this sound like a CPU or GPU problem? I just really don't know why I'm having these problems. But if there was something wrong with my system, shouldn't I also be having low scores in 3D Mark (Vantage)?

Thanks in advance!
a b ) Power supply
August 18, 2011 4:41:53 PM

The PSU can handle the rig without problems, but I'd go with a better line or better PSU since the CX series isn't the best Corsair's line.

XFX are very good.
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August 18, 2011 4:46:55 PM

Thanks for the quick response. So do you think my PSU could be where the issues lie? Or should it still be good enough so as to not cause problems in programs like mentioned above? Like I said, I don't think the software is very demanding, but I'm having huge issues when there comes a need for rendering or working on big data sets.

And this is a system I already own, I'm not only planning on buying it.
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a b ) Power supply
August 18, 2011 5:13:55 PM

Do you have the latest drivers for your GPU? Dissable PhysX driver in nVidia control panel.
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August 18, 2011 5:29:36 PM

you will have no problems with the PSU, sounds like a driver issue on the video card
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August 18, 2011 5:39:34 PM

I agree with monkeysweat, must be a driver issue, and maybe not even with your video card. I glanced through the website and it doesn't mention anything upfront about using the gpu for anything. If you want to test, with your z68 board you should be able to run off of the onboard 2600 graphics, so pop out your 460 and install the intel graphics drivers. Also, since you do have a z68 board, if you are running the lucid virtu or whatever software for gpu switching, it is known to have problems. So if the program DOES support gpu processing, and the lucid software is incompatible or not set correctly, you can be having issues also.

Also, since it does take it so long to render, run task manager and take a look at what is taking up cpu time. My son's pc with Win7 was running fine for a few months, then one of the windows 7 updates came along and completely screwed over performance. I had to reinstall new graphics and audio drivers for BFBC2 to stop lagging (basically every 3d game was laggy). So don't forget to update your drivers.
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August 18, 2011 6:01:36 PM

Hi guys, thanks for the follow-up responses. I'll take a look at task manager when I get home. As far as GPU drivers are concerned, they are updated, and the problem was there with the old ones, as well. I'll try disabling PhysX, although I think I've tried that already (can't say for sure).

ngoy, could you explain the lucid virtu thing a bit more, though? How do I disable that?

I guess it's good to hear it's probably not the PSU, but I still hope to find what IS causing these issues. But since the 3D Mark scores are decent, there should be something with the specific Igor Pro program that I'm having trouble with, rather than the system in general? For example, I can play 1080p videos without any problems, and overall system performance for "office tasks" is good, as well.

Also, should I try some kind of stress test? I heard about Orthos, but don't want to do anything rash.

Thanks again!
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August 18, 2011 6:39:06 PM

MSI Kombustor, comes with the Afterburner Suite, stresses your GPU pretty good, Prime 95 will work your CPU.
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August 18, 2011 8:13:50 PM

Is Prime95 then safe for me to use? Or is it going to do damage, if I stress the system too much? I was also looking at CPU2006, and I don't know which of the two would be better for me to try. I know the latter has tables and such, but I'm not sure about what to do with the data I'd get from Prime95. Also, how long would I need to run either of the two? Would, say, running them for half an hour be sufficient to test whether everything's fine on the CPU front, or would I need to run it overnight? If the latter, is it safe to just leave it running without the computer being attended to?

And thanks for the MSI Kombustor suggestion. I've also been recommended to try SPECviewperf11, but I don't really know what the difference between those two is, and what they can tell me that, for example, 3D Mark couldn't. Is it just different ways of stressing the GPU, different tests? In any case, isn't it weird that I'd have to really stress the system to get to the gist of my problem, when the problem itself arises in what we can safely call a puny application that should be handled by my rig with ease (according to specifications)?
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August 18, 2011 8:48:19 PM

it's safe to use, if you overheat, you need to downclock your system, get new cooler, lower your voltage or combination of the 3.

run a temperature monitor,, I have the system monitor from addgadget.com, works pretty good with coretemp
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August 19, 2011 12:26:54 AM

ngoy said:
I agree with monkeysweat, must be a driver issue, and maybe not even with your video card. I glanced through the website and it doesn't mention anything upfront about using the gpu for anything. If you want to test, with your z68 board you should be able to run off of the onboard 2600 graphics, so pop out your 460 and install the intel graphics drivers. Also, since you do have a z68 board, if you are running the lucid virtu or whatever software for gpu switching, it is known to have problems. So if the program DOES support gpu processing, and the lucid software is incompatible or not set correctly, you can be having issues also.

Also, since it does take it so long to render, run task manager and take a look at what is taking up cpu time. My son's pc with Win7 was running fine for a few months, then one of the windows 7 updates came along and completely screwed over performance. I had to reinstall new graphics and audio drivers for BFBC2 to stop lagging (basically every 3d game was laggy). So don't forget to update your drivers.
Alright, so I checked both the task and resource manager, and under load (ie. interpolating data to make that 3D plot), the CPU usage hovers around 15%, but the frequency goes up to 100% maximum. Does this tell you anything?

Also, I don't think I'm running the Virtu software, unless I'm doing so unknowingly.
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August 19, 2011 6:15:36 PM

More than enough. Even if you decide to go SLI you will still be fine with this PSU
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August 19, 2011 7:05:29 PM

saint19 said:
Do you have the latest drivers for your GPU? Dissable PhysX driver in nVidia control panel.
Yeah, I have the latest drivers, and I've also tried disabling PhysX without any luck. Well, you can't actually disable it, you can only set it, so that the CPU, instead of the dedicated GPU handles it, but it doesn't help.

I also ran Prime95 for about 30 minutes the other day, and it didn't find any errors. Plus, I downloaded HyperPi, and the results seem normal, and in any case, better than the ones on our lab computer, which handles the program without issues I'm having.

So any other suggestions?
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a b ) Power supply
August 19, 2011 7:15:57 PM

You can disable it without problems in nVidia control panel.

Control panel>hardware and sound>nVidia control panel>look for the PhysX condiguration>select GPU and check with GPU-Z if PhysX is disable if it's not, do the same steps but select CPU and check again.
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August 19, 2011 7:43:28 PM

My nVidia control panel unfortunately doesn't have a disable option, and googling it seems to suggest that some other people don't have it, either. So maybe that used to be an option or is an option with other graphics cards, but not with this one. But like I said, I did switch to CPU, and looking at GPU-Z, it does disable it for GTX460.
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a b ) Power supply
August 19, 2011 7:47:12 PM

Now try again.
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August 19, 2011 7:52:02 PM

saint19 said:
Now try again.
What do you mean? I tried that already, and then checked with the program, but no luck. Still the same thing. Damn it, I really don't know what else I can try, and I just don't get how all the tests show that stuff is fine, when it isn't or at least isn't in this case.
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a b ) Power supply
August 19, 2011 7:55:59 PM

Do you have a friend with a similar or better GPU?
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August 19, 2011 7:58:09 PM

saint19 said:
Do you have a friend with a similar or better GPU?
Not really, everyone seems to have laptops.
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!