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My 512MB Nvidia GTS 250 gives higher frame rates in Witcher 2, then my 1GB HD695

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June 22, 2011 10:43:57 PM

Hello,I have recently purchased a Powercolor HD6950 graphics card which I am using to play Witcher 2. The problem I am having it is giving very low frame rates, even on 1280 resolution. I have all settings on low (ubersampling and pretty much everything disabled), and I get between 10-30 frames per seconds. I have installed the latest graphics drivers, catalyst drivers and the latest Witcher 2 patch. The funny thing is my Nvidia GTS 250 gives me higher frame rates than the HD6950. Does anyone have any advice for me? My system specs are as follows; SX48P2 shuttle computer (Intel X48 express chip set), Intel core 2 E8400 3.0GHz, 4 GB 1600MHz DDR3 ram (G-Skill), 1 TB hard drive and 450W (80 plus) PSU. I am currently using Windows XP Professional.
Thanks in advance.
a b U Graphics card
June 22, 2011 10:56:54 PM

Reinstall your catalyst driver (and check if your hard drive isn't completely defragmented), if that doesn't solve your problem, wait for the next catalyst driver.
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June 22, 2011 11:38:47 PM

If your cpu is too slow to feed the video card with enough game data, then it creates a bottleneck where the card stalls when starved of game data to render.

What you get is a "microstuddering" where you get 4 or 5 frames smoothly one after the other, then the card skips 2 or 3 frames because the cpu could not keep up, then 4 or 5 frames again. While you might actually be getting 40fps, because it drops multiple frames at once, it jerks and jumps in the game making it seem like it's only 10fps.

What you want to do to fix this, is give the card more work to do so the cpu can keep up. Increasing things like aa, af, extra filters, will work the card harder but not the cpu.

Sometimes pairing a really fast card with a slow dual core just does not work out well. It could be possible that the 250 is a better with that cpu.

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a b U Graphics card
June 22, 2011 11:48:55 PM

need4speeds said:
If your cpu is too slow to feed the video card with enough game data, then it creates a bottleneck where the card stalls when starved of game data to render.

What you get is a "microstuddering" where you get 4 or 5 frames smoothly one after the other, then the card skips 2 or 3 frames because the cpu could not keep up, then 4 or 5 frames again. While you might actually be getting 40fps, because it drops multiple frames at once, it jerks and jumps in the game making it seem like it's only 10fps.

What you want to do to fix this, is give the card more work to do so the cpu can keep up. Increasing things like aa, af, extra filters, will work the card harder but not the cpu.

Sometimes pairing a really fast card with a slow dual core just does not work out well. It could be possible that the 250 is a better with that cpu.


Let me be the first to call b*llshit on this: even if the CPU is a bottleneck he should still get at least the same FPS as he did with the GT 250, besides the E8400 is not a weak CPU by any means: it should not bottleneck his videocard noticeably except in the most brutal RTS games (like Supreme Commander).
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June 23, 2011 12:51:41 AM

No, i have witnessed this on my living room pc, a 939-x2-4400+@2.5ghz/4870.

- To fix it increase the game's af and aa settings, and enable some eye candy like fog or something to make the card work harder. It has been mostly certain console ports like dirt2 that actually run smoother on my computer with everything maxed out @1080p.

-The majority of games do not do that, and are coded correctly to use mostly the gpu.

-I would not rule out a driver issue either, and new game patches often fix these sorts of troubles.

I thought is was bs too. At 42fps in dirt2 the computer drops 3 frames and jumps ahead in the game to catch up about every 5 frames. At 35fps it stops dropping frames and is just a consistent 35fps. It is really noticeable and rather annoying.
You are driving along then it skips 3 frames, then you are in a corner hitting a rock. But at 35fps you cruise along without skipping frames.

Overclocking the x2 from 2.2 to 2.5 seemed to help a bit too. Overclocking the e8400 even 200mhz would help out.

-Is physx enabled in the game? physx will sometimes still run on the cpu with the amd card. That really slows it down. Make sure physx is disabled in games if you are running a ati or amd card.

-Check the game's own forums, sometimes others with that same game have had issues and found fixes.
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a b U Graphics card
June 23, 2011 1:00:16 PM

need4speeds said:
No, i have witnessed this on my living room pc, a 939-x2-4400+@2.5ghz/4870.

- To fix it increase the game's af and aa settings, and enable some eye candy like fog or something to make the card work harder. It has been mostly certain console ports like dirt2 that actually run smoother on my computer with everything maxed out @1080p.

-The majority of games do not do that, and are coded correctly to use mostly the gpu.

-I would not rule out a driver issue either, and new game patches often fix these sorts of troubles.

I thought is was bs too. At 42fps in dirt2 the computer drops 3 frames and jumps ahead in the game to catch up about every 5 frames. At 35fps it stops dropping frames and is just a consistent 35fps. It is really noticeable and rather annoying.
You are driving along then it skips 3 frames, then you are in a corner hitting a rock. But at 35fps you cruise along without skipping frames.

Overclocking the x2 from 2.2 to 2.5 seemed to help a bit too. Overclocking the e8400 even 200mhz would help out.

-Is physx enabled in the game? physx will sometimes still run on the cpu with the amd card. That really slows it down. Make sure physx is disabled in games if you are running a ati or amd card.

-Check the game's own forums, sometimes others with that same game have had issues and found fixes.


That would be asinine, but if you've observed it yourself I won't dispute that. I guess it could be a major screw up on the game developer's side. Man, what has the industry come to when console ports actually retain the frame skipping...
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a c 147 U Graphics card
June 23, 2011 4:10:53 PM

Gulli said:
Let me be the first to call b*llshit on this: even if the CPU is a bottleneck he should still get at least the same FPS as he did with the GT 250, besides the E8400 is not a weak CPU by any means: it should not bottleneck his videocard noticeably except in the most brutal RTS games (like Supreme Commander).


i was under the same impression before. but when upgrading from GTS250 to GTX460 i got degraded performance as well. in my case it was Batman AA. with my GTS250 my frame rates rarely drops below 50 (without physx). but with my brand new GTX460 the frame rates constantly dropping below 50. however i do notice that in games that are hungry on gpu the performance will increase as it should be like crysis or unigine heaven benchmark. first i thought i got faulty gpu but the performance decrease only happen on certain games. have try playing with the driver aspect as well but it really does not solve my degraded performance in batman AA. in the end overclocking the cpu solve the problem for me.
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June 23, 2011 6:49:12 PM

I found proof....well sort of. ..

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-balanced-plat...

If you look some games the lines actually cross at certain resolutions. A card with less shaders beating the larger card when paired with a slower cpu.

It also shows you where the e8400 places, and where my old x2-4400+ would be too.

There is something with the "G92" that sometimes does well in games too, its the old shader core and not cuda like the "fermi". The "G92" 250 was known to sometimes beat the larger 4870 back in the day.

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June 23, 2011 6:52:51 PM

I know it sounds like bunk, i do agree with "Gulli".
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a b U Graphics card
June 23, 2011 7:01:45 PM

450W is less than the minimum for a 6950...you could be starving your graphics card where the 250 is fine at 450W.
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a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2011 10:55:28 AM

crewton said:
450W is less than the minimum for a 6950...you could be starving your graphics card where the 250 is fine at 450W.


His PC doesn't shutdown during gaming, he has a 65W CPU and an 80 plus 450W power supply: as long as it's got something like 375W over the 12V rail(s), or more it'll do fine for years to come.
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a c 147 U Graphics card
June 24, 2011 3:55:14 PM

need4speeds said:
I found proof....well sort of. ..

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/build-balanced-plat...

If you look some games the lines actually cross at certain resolutions. A card with less shaders beating the larger card when paired with a slower cpu.

It also shows you where the e8400 places, and where my old x2-4400+ would be too.

There is something with the "G92" that sometimes does well in games too, its the old shader core and not cuda like the "fermi". The "G92" 250 was known to sometimes beat the larger 4870 back in the day.


well maybe because of G92 was design towards pure gaming chip unlike those jack of all trade Fermi :D 
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a b U Graphics card
June 24, 2011 4:07:42 PM

Have you checked the speed of your PCI-e bus --- Seems there are problems with those cards and some MOBOs only wanting to run the PCI-e slot in X1 mode instead of X16 which would explain why you are getting lower FPS with the new card since the PCI-e bus is saturated at x1 speed !
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June 25, 2011 7:33:49 AM

It's a cpu/gpu balanced system already with the 250. The 250 was known to be a decent card.

Want a low $ upgrade?

With the system working with the e8400, 250 card. I would sell the board/cpu/cooler/card. People will want to see it working first, a "working system pull" sells easier than parts in a pile. You take the board/card/cpu out when you get the cash first.

Option #1, spend the least $ possible. use the cash from your sale to buy a board/cpu.
A phenomIIx4 on sale is about $110. Cheaper ddr3 board $45. Result: about 2.5x faster when overclocked to 3.6ghz.

Option #2, spend extra cash, go to a 1155 crossfire board, (you will need a new power supply if you get a second card someday). i5-2500K cpu. Result: about 4x faster when overclocked. A cpu cooler upgrade will help out too with this cpu.

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a c 173 U Graphics card
June 25, 2011 11:25:36 AM

a 450w psu is really not enough for that GPU unless its a high end Antec, corsair or seasonic. Its the possible cause of the issue. I just recently upgraded my 8800gts for a 6850, i know my cpu is a fair bottleneck at 1440x900, but i do not experience any lower FPS in any games due to some CPU issue, nor would I expect this, I would expect at least the same if not faster. One thing I would suggest is upgrading form windows XP so you can finally use all your ram and use drivers that are more optimised for your new card and the game. Do you really think AMD optimise drivers at all for XP now???????
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