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My Gaming PC = Misterious Bottleneck?

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Anonymous
June 24, 2011 4:33:32 PM

I'm looking for some pro who can shed light on this problem which has been hassiling me for quite some time. Games seem to generally run poorly on my "ok" system. Or at least it seems so to me...
I'm fairly certain that my PC is bottlenecked somewhere, because as far as I can see I'm getting ridiculously low performance out of it. Really low frame rates in CERTAIN moments during gameplay. FPS will be at a good 80-90, then suddenly drop hideously to 19-24 when extra garbage come onscreen. With that said, I play at medium/low settings. Nothing fancy at all!

Here are the specs:
- Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
- AMD Phenom x2 9950 Quad Core Overclocked @3.0Ghz
- Radeom HD 4870x2 (1GB dedicated) Shader 4.1 GPU Clock 800Mhz Memory Clock 1000Mhz
- 2GBx4 RAM. 8GB physically but limited to 6GB by Motherboard, 1066Mhz
- M3N78-VM Motherboard
- 1050W Modular Power Supply

I have the latest catalyst drivers for my video card.
I do not keep garbage software which could possible slow my system down. I have Windows settings set to best performance. I do not have any active anti virus program using up resources, and I regularly run msconfig to keep rubbish at bay. I'm 90% sure this isn't software related...

Now for a few examples

GTA IV on Low settings
75 FPS inside safehouse but 19-23 FPS outside.

Splinter Cell Conviction on LOWEST settings.
About 35-40 FPS when not in action but about 15-20 FPS when fighting or looking at large area.

Serious Sam HD on LOWEST settings.
150 FPS while looking at the ground, about 40-50 while running around, 17-26 FPS during action.

All three games' reccomended hardware are lower than my system! I'd like to know what's to blame.
June 24, 2011 4:42:53 PM

Hmm, hard to say...... What resolution do you play at?

It sounds like some sort of issue with the GPU. It should be plenty adequate, but it's not working....

It is really tough to say. Try lowering the resolution. If this increases FPS, it's a CPU issue. Then, turn up detail and AA. If it decreases, it's a GPU bottleneck.
But honestly, It might just be some weird driver issue or a failing video card. Like I said, no clear answer.
June 24, 2011 4:49:36 PM

I would have to say that it is probably your video card. While the card used to be top of the line, it is old now and you really should upgrade it. Also, your cpu is an x4 and is also quite old. I would say you will need to upgrade both ur video card and ur cpu.

To verify this, you can run the built in windows benchmark: Start Menu > Right click on Computer > Click Properties > You should see it in there (not at my win 7 machine, but will update when I get there tonight). It will tell you what the score is for your RAM, CPU, Hard Drive, and Video Card and you can find out what the issue is.
The scores go from 1.0 to 7.9 (as far as i remember)
Related resources
June 24, 2011 4:50:25 PM

striker410 said:
Hmm, hard to say...... What resolution do you play at?

It sounds like some sort of issue with the GPU. It should be plenty adequate, but it's not working....

It is really tough to say. Try lowering the resolution. If this increases FPS, it's a CPU issue. Then, turn up detail and AA. If it decreases, it's a GPU bottleneck.
But honestly, It might just be some weird driver issue or a failing video card. Like I said, no clear answer.



no, wouldnt changing the resolution prove it to be a gpu issue. doesnt the gpu have to do more work at higher resolutions
June 24, 2011 5:03:52 PM

Yes, a GPU does. However at low resolutions (anything about 1680x1050 and below) the CPU does more work on it than the GPU. So I guess I should rethink it. If you turn down the resolution, the CPU does more work than the GPU. If turned up, the GPU does more work. More detail will also stress the GPU.

Honestly, it sure sounds like a GPU issue since you get the lag when you are in texture related scenes, which are rendered by the GPU. I highly doubt there is a CPU bottleneck to be honest.
June 24, 2011 5:28:18 PM

its just the crappy cpu
Anonymous
June 24, 2011 6:26:22 PM

There is hardly any difference. but I play at 1024x768. I tried higher but performance remains roughly unchanged. I have a hunch the 4870x2 is a bad GPU. Would you think upgrading to a 5000 series qould help or not?
June 24, 2011 6:41:06 PM

There is a possibility of a bad PSU.... Can you link the one you have?
June 24, 2011 7:39:50 PM

That mobo should be able to recognize all 8 gbs of your ram.

What OS are you running? Is it 32 or 64 bit? Where does it say that you only have 6gb of ram, in windows or during the boot up mem test?

Basically, just list anything at all that you think is relevant, and any other issues you've had with this pc.
Anonymous
June 25, 2011 9:55:28 AM

I'm running Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit

This is certainly not OS related since I had the same problems 2 years ago while running Vista Ultimate x64, actually it was even slower back then.

Computer info states "Ram installed: 6,00GB (5,87 usable)"
Overall score is 5,9, bogged down by the Hard Disk score. Processor, Ram and Video Card are rated 7,1.
June 25, 2011 10:34:18 AM

That cpu is the original Phenom , with the TLB buffer problem ?

Its a very poor performer compared to a phenom 2 . If your motherboard supports it then update the processor to an AM3
June 27, 2011 8:09:20 PM

The TLB bug is more of a quirk then a bottleneck. I'm thinking his Ram is just throwing out tons of errors.

Get Prime95 and run the test for 10 minutes, see if it pops any errors. If it does, try running with 1 stick and then run Prime95, then swap it and run the test with the other. Probably 1 of those sticks will spit out errors.

Sorry for the late reply. I don't bother with these forums too much over the weekend.
!