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Will a new CPU help with low framerates?

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August 21, 2011 8:36:42 PM

I've reposted this question but tweaked it a little as i've done some more tests and the problem is sort of different now.

So, I've been playing The Witcher 2 for a while on and off, but despite it not even being the most graphically intensive game out at the moment, i'm getting around 20-30 FPS. I am getting really frustrated with this as it sometimes dips down to 10FPS or even single digits, and even at 20FPS it's not as smooth as I would like. I've downloaded a CPU monitor from the company my motherboard is made from and it runs at 90-100% power all the time whilst playing The Witcher 2. Also, everytime I meet a loading screen, it freezes the game (the "not responding" thing) and I have to wait for it to respond, but occationally it crashes the game.

I'm thinking of getting a new CPU, as I know for sure that the graphics card is absolutely fine with this game and it won't be that. I contacted somebody I know who knows much more about PC's than I do and he told me that it could be a number of things, so i've tried all the fixes he's suggested, i.e. running the game in DirectX9 (which it is by default), turning off some settings such as anti-aliasing etc. but my computer still struggles to keep a maximum of 25 FPS.

I also get this problem with other detailed games such as Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

Here's my specs:

Processor: AMD Phenom II x2 560 (Black Edition) 3.3Ghz
RAM: 4.0gb Corsair DDR3 1600mhz XMS3 (2x2gb)
Motherboard: Asus M4N68T-M
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 6790 1gb
PSU: 400W Xigmatek


I'm still quite stuck with this problem (to get a new CPU or not) as if I get a new CPU then it will cost about £200-300 for the motherboard and fan too, and I don't even know if that will fix the such low frames that I get and loading screens freezing that I get whilst playing some games. Please tell me if you think getting a new CPU will fix the problem or not,

Thanks.

More about : cpu low framerates

a b à CPUs
August 21, 2011 8:50:14 PM

How would a new CPU cost Over £200?

A Phenom II 955 is £90 and you can sue the cooler it comes with, or the one your have now.

Also, whet resolution and settings are you playing on?
Also, list power supply too.
August 21, 2011 9:32:22 PM

Your GPU is most likely causing the low frame rates, The Witcher 2 IS a very demanding game and your GPU is defenatly what is lacking.
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August 21, 2011 9:45:09 PM

If your CPU is hanging, then its not the GPU. Update drivers see if that helps, if your playing on max settings then yea you'll average 30 fps
August 21, 2011 9:55:25 PM

What do you mean by CPU hanging? Is CPU utilization being 90-100% during the gameplay considered 'hanging'? I havent checked my cpu utilization during Witcher 2 but i struggle with steady framerates with graphics at max with my setup, i5 2500, 8 gig ram, radeon 6850 and I assume it is the GPU that is the bottleneck. Please clarify.
a c 265 à CPUs
August 21, 2011 10:02:30 PM

I agree, the cpu is not strong enough.

Your cpu has a passmark number of 2063.

The Phenom2 x4 955 is 3962; much better.
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=AMD+Phen...

If you want the absolute best, look at the Intel 2500K 7325. And that is at 3.3. The 2500K overclocks easily over 4.0.
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-2...

One way to verify if the cpu or the gpu is limiting fps, is to run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.
August 21, 2011 10:07:45 PM

yummerzzz said:
How would a new CPU cost Over £200?

A Phenom II 955 is £90 and you can sue the cooler it comes with, or the one your have now.

Also, whet resolution and settings are you playing on?
Also, list power supply too.




The new CPU I'm thinking of getting is an Intel i5 2400, which also means me buying a new motherboard (which my friend might have spare actually) and a new fan if it doesn't come with one.

Also, I'm playing on min. settings. I get the same results though on medium which is odd. I've not tried high settings and I really don't want to if I am getting low FPS and game crashes on low/medium settings.

Also, StarRavier, I'll go and update my CPU/GPU drivers now, I updated the motherboard drivers the other day when I got the CPU Monitor program.
August 21, 2011 10:11:10 PM

geofelt said:
I agree, the cpu is not strong enough.

Your cpu has a passmark number of 2063.

The Phenom2 x4 955 is 3962; much better.
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_lookup.php?cpu=AMD+Phen...

If you want the absolute best, look at the Intel 2500K 7325. And that is at 3.3. The 2500K overclocks easily over 4.0.
http://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu.php?cpu=Intel+Core+i5-2...

One way to verify if the cpu or the gpu is limiting fps, is to run these two tests:

a) Run your games, but lower your resolution and eye candy.
If your FPS increases, it indicates that your cpu is strong enough to drive a better graphics configuration.

b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.





I was thinking of getting an Intel i5 2400 actually. If the 2500k is *significantly* better then I'll gather a bit more cash and buy that.
An answer to a): EDIT: I actually had it on Low Settings all along, didn't press OK, results posted below along with answer to question b)
August 21, 2011 10:13:13 PM

yummerzzz said:
How would a new CPU cost Over £200?
Also, list power supply too.



My power supply is a 400W Xigmatek PSU.
This should be sufficiant for my CPU, though.
August 21, 2011 10:39:17 PM

geofelt said:


b) Limit your cpu, either by reducing the OC, or, in windows power management, limit the maximum cpu% to something like 70%.
If your FPS drops significantly, it is an indicator that your cpu is the limiting factor, and a cpu upgrade is in order.

It is possible that both tests are positive, indicating that you have a well balanced system, and both cpu and gpu need to be upgraded to get better gaming FPS.



I've just limited the CPU max and walked around for a bit in The Witcher 2, and the framerate drops down to about 15 maximum.

An Edit to my last answer from your post: I actually didn't press "ok" when I changed it to medium spec, but now that I've done it.. it runs at around 15fps too.

Here's a list of my framerate on different settings/trying different things:

"Low Spec" Option (CPU max. 100%): 25FPS Max.

"Medium Spec" Option (CPU max. 100%): 15FPS Max, mostly a LOT lower though. Hardly ever at 15FPS.

"Low Spec" Option (CPU max. 70%): 15FPS Max.

"Medium Spec" Option (CPU max. 70%): Not tested, Don't even want to >_<


I hope that makes it a bit clearer as to what the problem is..
August 21, 2011 10:51:16 PM

According to geofelt's post, by your stats it seems the CPU is the limiting factor, that is if you call 5 -15 FPS drops significant.
Am I wrong geo?
August 21, 2011 10:57:56 PM

I do call 5-15 FPS drops significant when it's below the 30s! I'm used to CS:S and BFBC2 playing way above what Witcher 2 does, so for me it's horrible going onto a 25FPS or less game... and the fact that it crashes every now and then, freezes on loading screens and dips down to 9fps occationally when on Low spec and CPU max 100% is appauling :/ 

I've had this computer for about 2-3 months. I guess I should've looked into the CPU reviews a bit more before buying, or saved up more to buy a better one.


If you really think it is the problem, then I might go out and buy a new CPU and fan tomorrow, as i'm going to town for a few other things.
August 21, 2011 11:02:04 PM

In my last post I was actually referring to geofelt's post but I put your name in by accident. Anyways 5-15 FPS drop from 30's is defenatly a significant drop.
August 21, 2011 11:35:06 PM

Ah okay.

Still open to any advice. I've just installed the latest drivers for my CPU and GPU, then rebooted and there's no difference.
So that's another thing that it can't be.

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a c 265 à CPUs
August 21, 2011 11:48:38 PM
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I am a bit conflicted on this.

Since your frame rate is better with low specs vs medium, it tells me that the graphics card is somewhat of a limitation. Even though the cpu remains at 100%.

But since 70% power lowers the frame rate at medium spec, it indicates that the cpu is a limitation in that case.

I think the cpu is the primary limiter, but be prepared for the possibility that a 6790 may not be strong enough to give you much higher frame rates.
I also note that you have a 400w psu. It is obviously working OK, but the AMD specs for that card want a 500w psu:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/amd-rad...
You might want to verify that the 6790 is operating at it's full clock rate. Is it possible that the card is downclocking itself for lack of psu power?

I don't know about UK prices. In the USA, the price premium for a 2500K over a 2400 is about 15%
If you look at the difference in clock rate, 3.1 vs. 3.3 it is not much worth it.
But the 2500K is designed for overclocking, and virtually all of them will reach 4.0 conservatively. That is a 40%benefit for a 15% cost, and very much worth it. Perhaps 50% of the 2500k's can reach 4.5. All you need is a P67 or Z68 based motherboard. The cheapest will do.

a c 265 à CPUs
August 21, 2011 11:52:35 PM

Current sandy bridge cpu's come with an adequate fan(cooler).
August 22, 2011 2:37:59 AM

geofelt said:
I am a bit conflicted on this.

Since your frame rate is better with low specs vs medium, it tells me that the graphics card is somewhat of a limitation. Even though the cpu remains at 100%.

But since 70% power lowers the frame rate at medium spec, it indicates that the cpu is a limitation in that case.

I think the cpu is the primary limiter, but be prepared for the possibility that a 6790 may not be strong enough to give you much higher frame rates.
I also note that you have a 400w psu. It is obviously working OK, but the AMD specs for that card want a 500w psu:
http://www.amd.com/us/products/desktop/graphics/amd-rad...
You might want to verify that the 6790 is operating at it's full clock rate. Is it possible that the card is downclocking itself for lack of psu power?

I don't know about UK prices. In the USA, the price premium for a 2500K over a 2400 is about 15%
If you look at the difference in clock rate, 3.1 vs. 3.3 it is not much worth it.
But the 2500K is designed for overclocking, and virtually all of them will reach 4.0 conservatively. That is a 40%benefit for a 15% cost, and very much worth it. Perhaps 50% of the 2500k's can reach 4.5. All you need is a P67 or Z68 based motherboard. The cheapest will do.



That's interesting... On the website I bought the PC from, It said that a 400w PSU would be enough for my PC specs.

Also, If the 2500k is that much better.. then I might go for that, although I'm not really bothered about overclocking really, as I don't really want/need to do it. So is there any reason for me to get the 2500k over the 2400 if I don't plan on overclocking? I mean if I ever want the overclocking it will be fine, but I don't need it to be designed for overclocking really.


I *might* try buying a new PSU first, but there might not be a lot of point, as my friend has an Intel compatible motherboard so all I need to buy is the chip and fan, but as you said the fan comes with sandy bridge CPU's so I might not even have to buy that.
a c 265 à CPUs
August 22, 2011 6:38:04 AM

The 2400 should do very well at stock.

But, if you have a P67 or Z68 based motherboard, you will have the option to get a 40% boost by overclocking now, or in the future with a 2500K.
For the $30 price premium, it seems worth it to me.
August 22, 2011 7:47:18 AM

neonworm said:
I've reposted this question but tweaked it a little as i've done some more tests and the problem is sort of different now.

So, I've been playing The Witcher 2 for a while on and off, but despite it not even being the most graphically intensive game out at the moment, i'm getting around 20-30 FPS. I am getting really frustrated with this as it sometimes dips down to 10FPS or even single digits, and even at 20FPS it's not as smooth as I would like. I've downloaded a CPU monitor from the company my motherboard is made from and it runs at 90-100% power all the time whilst playing The Witcher 2. Also, everytime I meet a loading screen, it freezes the game (the "not responding" thing) and I have to wait for it to respond, but occationally it crashes the game.

I'm thinking of getting a new CPU, as I know for sure that the graphics card is absolutely fine with this game and it won't be that. I contacted somebody I know who knows much more about PC's than I do and he told me that it could be a number of things, so i've tried all the fixes he's suggested, i.e. running the game in DirectX9 (which it is by default), turning off some settings such as anti-aliasing etc. but my computer still struggles to keep a maximum of 25 FPS.

I also get this problem with other detailed games such as Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

Here's my specs:

Processor: AMD Phenom II x2 560 (Black Edition) 3.3Ghz
RAM: 4.0gb Corsair DDR3 1600mhz XMS3 (2x2gb)
Motherboard: Asus M4N68T-M
Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 6790 1gb
PSU: 400W Xigmatek


I'm still quite stuck with this problem (to get a new CPU or not) as if I get a new CPU then it will cost about £200-300 for the motherboard and fan too, and I don't even know if that will fix the such low frames that I get and loading screens freezing that I get whilst playing some games. Please tell me if you think getting a new CPU will fix the problem or not,

Thanks.


I am running a almost similar system. I will install The Witcher 2 tonight when I get home and I will post the results for you just to check if it is the CPU or GPU.
So far I have not had any problem with any games. Only in Starcraft 2 I had to change the world settings from high to medium, but further all is at high although I am running at 1600 x 900.

My specs are.

Processor: AMD Phenom II x2 550 (Black Edition) @ 3.6Ghz
RAM: 4.0gb Apacer DDR3 1333mhz (2x2gb) with copper heatsinks
Motherboard: MSI 790GX - G65
Graphics Card: Palit Nvidia GTS 250 1GB
PSU: 550W Huntkey

I have never heard of a game crash due to low fps, but I will reply tonight.
August 22, 2011 10:46:20 AM

Hi if this help you I got:

1920/1080 High settings:17-22FPS
1920/1080 Medium settings 18-25FPS

1280/960 High settings: 20-30FPS most time in 26FPS very playable
1280/960 Medium settings:25-33 FPS most time 30FPS very playable

My card is a little weaker than yours and gets 99% GPU stress ingame
The CPU gets 79% stress ingame

To increase FPS in my case I need a new video card.

comparison between my card and yours:

http://www.hwcompare.com/10034/geforce-gts-250-1gb-vs-r...
a b à CPUs
August 22, 2011 2:56:56 PM

has anyone asked if OP is running uber sampling? if so turn it off and enjoi. if not, then you should look into a proper quad. The developer for Witcher 2 even stated more cores = better performance from your CPU for their game
a c 101 à CPUs
August 22, 2011 3:37:43 PM

According to this your CPU is good for 38FPS average if you are getting much less than that you CPU is not the bottleneck.
August 22, 2011 6:06:54 PM

A little modification on my last post - I wasn't thinking properly.
I'll still have to get a CPU fan, so that makes no difference with buying a new PSU.

I have found a good Corsair 600W PSU for around £65 that I might get and see if it helps, if not.. then it will still be needed for a better CPU if I go ahead and get one.

Thanks for the info, Gabilondo and simon12. That makes me sort of think that it's the power in my system which is limiting it, but surely it would have more of an affect on the CPU and GPU, if the power isn't sufficient. Meh!


Also, FlintIronStagg, I've been into all the "advanced" graphics options and have already turned everything off that could cause any more lag, but thanks :) 
a c 93 à CPUs
August 22, 2011 6:21:11 PM

Have you tried unlocking an extra core in or just up the muliplyer since its a BE and see if it makes any difference.
August 22, 2011 6:45:02 PM

I ran Witcher 2 on my PC now @ 1600 x 900.

On Low setting I get 32-36 fps.
On Medium settings I get 28-33 fps.

I hope this helps.
August 22, 2011 6:45:28 PM

das_stig said:
Have you tried unlocking an extra core in or just up the muliplyer since its a BE and see if it makes any difference.



I've already looked into unlocking the other 2 cores of my chip, but unfortunately.. on the 560, the other 2 cores were bad so they had to lock them. I'm pretty sure it didn't affect all 560 and 560 BE chips, but i'd rather buy a cpu with 4 cores unlocked anyway, as there is less to go wrong as it was built to be like that. I don't really want to go through the hastle to unlock the other 2 either, especially if some models are bad.

Also, how would I up the multiplyer? I don't really know much about unlocking cores/overclocking or whatever and i'm not really bothered, I'd rather have a CPU working its normal rate than way over what it was built for, which will make it die faster..
August 22, 2011 6:48:46 PM

Simon12, I've only just noticed that it says on the top of that chart, GeForce GTX590 (3072mb). That might be why it's running so badly, the graphics card.. although that might also link into the fact that my graphics card is supposed to have more power than it's currently getting.

I might go out and get a new PSU and see if that helps, then report back here if I go and get one.
a c 101 à CPUs
August 22, 2011 7:20:16 PM

They use that graphics card to make sure the CPU is the bottleneck in the test. I think its very unlikely a PSU will make a difference but it could stop your whole PC failing. 1 test you could do is lower your multiplier to get around 2.8GHz if your CPU is the problem this will make it alot worse, if it makes little difference then its the GPU holding you back.
August 22, 2011 8:51:32 PM

How would I go about lowering my multiplier then? I'll give it a shot if it means i'm any step closer to figuring out which is keeping my framrate down.
a c 96 à CPUs
August 22, 2011 10:04:38 PM

I think the issue is the game itself, and your video card. I've seen Witcher2 called the first PC game that feels like a crappy console port.

And remember that a GTX 590 is a dual-graphics card on the level of an HD6990. The HD 6790 is more on the level of a single GTX 460.

And finally - don't want to seem unkind here - that's a horrible motherboard. It's an AM2 nVidia chipset that has been 'updated' for DDR3 and AM3 CPUs.

That said ... you should at least try to over-clock the PhII 560 and see what kind of bump you might get with upping the IMC/NB.

a b à CPUs
August 22, 2011 10:25:54 PM

Neon,

My roommate just bought a new PC, and equipped it with a Palit GTS250 GPU. He runs steadily over 40 FPS (Witcher 2 with MAX settings minus "uber sampling"). He is running a 650W Power supply (your GPU alone recquires a 450W i believe), and a Phenom II x2 processor clocked around 3.3GHz. My opinion, OC your CPU, and if that doesn't fix it, try a new PSU. Like stated above, if the PSU isn't giving your GPU enough juice, it WILL slow the GPU down to compensate. Side note, what type of MoBo do you have, and would you consider to upping your RAM to 8Gb of DDR3 1600? Kingston has a sale for $45 on newegg. just a though.
August 22, 2011 11:27:06 PM

casualbuilder said:
Neon,

My roommate just bought a new PC, and equipped it with a Palit GTS250 GPU. He runs steadily over 40 FPS (Witcher 2 with MAX settings minus "uber sampling"). He is running a 650W Power supply (your GPU alone recquires a 450W i believe), and a Phenom II x2 processor clocked around 3.3GHz. My opinion, OC your CPU, and if that doesn't fix it, try a new PSU. Like stated above, if the PSU isn't giving your GPU enough juice, it WILL slow the GPU down to compensate. Side note, what type of MoBo do you have, and would you consider to upping your RAM to 8Gb of DDR3 1600? Kingston has a sale for $45 on newegg. just a though.



That's interesting.. So my GPU requires a 500W+ PSU and my CPU, a 450W+ one.. even though the website I bought the PC from said I needed 400w..

I'm literally head desking right now... although the company I bought the PC from are absolutely crap, the customer service is awful, and my pc took 2 weeks longer than expected to arrive. So I don't really trust them much anymore >.>

Anyway, I'm going to get a new PSU (Corsair GS600) which should be more than enough even if I want to upgrade. And your sidenote, I said what motherboard I had on the original question. I don't really want to upgrade RAM though, as 4GB is more than enough to run The Witcher 2 and other games I play, but i'll see how it goes once i've bought a new PSU, and if I need to, a new CPU/motherboard first. I have to say, It's all getting pretty costly, and I've only recently bought my PC, now i'm spending another £300 odd on it if I buy a new CPU and PSU.. :/  Ah well.. I have an expensive taste.


Wisecracker, It was the standard motherboard which came with the computer itself. I have no idea what motherboard to choose from, I wouldn't call myself a PC noob, but I have no idea how good motherboards are and what is good/isn't. Anyway, IF I do upgrade my CPU, it will require a motherboard change anyway as I really want to go to Intel to be honest.. So yeah :/ 



One more problem in the mix: I'm now starting to get random black screens. I have a couple of times before but not really thought much of it.. but i've had 3 black screens in the past 2 days, each lasting a couple of seconds.. and then the latest one I got, it said there was a problem with the AMD display something or other.. I didn't quite read it. It happens when I try and do several things at once, like something I rarely do, check out a video on youtube whilst having a game loading up in the background, or something which requires a bit of power. Starting to think that this problem is tieing in with the others, with my CPU/GPU not getting enough power.

I will go and get another PSU on Wednesday, and tell you how I get on.
a c 96 à CPUs
August 22, 2011 11:39:10 PM

Hopefully the new PSU will fix yah up.

Other than than that, your FPS should be close to the numbers Rizlla posted.

You should not have issues upping your processor with stock volts to 3.6 to 3.7GHz, especially with that new, clean power.




August 24, 2011 10:37:13 PM

Okay so i'm back.

I've installed the new PSU, tied up the cables better than the old PSU's cables were, increasing airflow.. and it's made no difference to my framerates at all.

Infact, It might have even made them worse. Not sure how at all! But, i'm now getting 20FPS max, on low settings.. every graphics optional extra turned off, and around 15FPS average.

Not sure if it's because my hard drive is quite full at the minute, it has masses of files going on and off it all the time (200gb+), or what really..


So, does that mean the next thing to try is a new CPU or a graphics card? *not amused*
August 25, 2011 10:47:44 AM

Just bumping this up, I still need help with this problem..

Scratch that!

The game is working PERFECTLY now.. thank to everybody that helped.

Now getting 30-40FPS and even higher at some points. It was my hard drive that was full which was causing the frames to be the same. I'll probably be getting a SSD anyway for my games, so it won't matter really.


Thanks to everybody that helped again! :D 
August 25, 2011 10:55:00 AM

Well i wouldnt have even thought to ask if you have room on your HDD, Glad you resolved it nevertheless!
August 25, 2011 10:57:49 AM

Best answer selected by NeonWorm.
a b à CPUs
January 29, 2012 5:06:24 PM

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