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Terrible Gaming Performance, Need Advice

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  • Graphics Cards
  • Computer
  • Graphics
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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 5, 2011 8:02:13 AM

Hey folks. Back again with more computer troubles, although this time they aren't mine. Well, not entirely. Anyway, to the point:
My friend and I installed The Witcher 2 on his dad's computer to test how his new video card would perform. Here are the relevant computer specs, as well as I remember them:
AMD Phenom quad-core processor
3 GB DDR3 RAM
and a brand new ZOTAC GeForce GT 520, as seen here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

And we just can't seem to get a good frame rate. I installed the latest driver from Nvidia's website and we're running DX11. We've tried on Ultra High, High, Medium, Low, and customized specs. We get a nice 40 fps or so with the resolution set to 800x600 on Low specs, but then the game looks like rubbish. At a 1280x720 resolution with customized specs we got a framerate that was on the cusp of barely playable. You know you could handle it for an hour, maybe two, but after that it would just get too frustrating.

I don't understand video cards as well as I'd like, but I have a strong feeling that the tiny 64-bit memory interface on that ZOTAC is our problem. How accurate is that assessment?

I have similar framerate issues on my own computer:
Intel Core i3 530 (2.3 GHz dual-core)
4 GB DDR3 RAM
HIS Radeon HD4670, as seen here: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=S...

That card has the same VRAM but the interface is twice as wide. Even on Low specs in a 1280x720 window (in a 1920x1080 screen) I cannot get a playable frame rate.

That's why I'm not entirely sure it's the video card. Unless they both suck. I realize they are both budget cards. Mine struggles with Crysis on High settings and even with Oblivion every so often.

Anyway, any insight into our problem would be immensely helpful, and suggestions for how to fix it would be gravy on the cake. I can provide any further PC specs you want, more readily for my own machine than my friend's.

Thanks!
-Fiendsy

More about : terrible gaming performance advice

a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 8:23:36 AM

StandardFiend said:

That's why I'm not entirely sure it's the video card. Unless they both suck. I realize they are both budget cards. Mine struggles with Crysis on High settings and even with Oblivion every so often.


You right there, they are low end cards and The Witcher 2 is a really demanding game. Have you seen the system requirements?

Minimum System Requirements:
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or similar AMD
RAM: 1 GB for Win XP / 2 GB for Win Vista
VGA: Nvidia GF 8800 512 VR or similar ATI
DX: DirectX 9.0c DX: DirectX 9.0c
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7 OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
HDD: 8GB for game and 8GB bonus content


Recommended System Requirements:
CPU: Intel Quad Core or AMD equivalent
RAM: 3 GB for Windows XP / 4 GB for Windows Vista and Windows 7
VGA: Nvidia GeForce 260, 1 GB memory / Radeon HD 4850 with 1 GB memory
DX: DirectX 9.0c
OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
HDD: At least 16 GB of free space

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings GPU & CPU Performance

1680x1050 - UberSampling Disabled
Low Spec Performance
Note these are dx9 only
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 8:24:58 AM

yeah mate thats a weak gpu for that sort of game
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August 5, 2011 8:33:56 AM

Another vote for weak GPU with a very demanding game.
You're expecting far too much from a GT series card.
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 8:43:49 AM

GT520.....

Ouch!

YOu would want something more along the lines of a 5770, or, better yet, a GTX460(1gb, 336 cores, i.e, *NOT* an 'SE' variant)...
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 8:54:00 AM

I have this game and whilst it runs ok on my rig, the frame rates are not crazy high like i thought they would be. I got 6950 with bios mod in crossfire, it is a demanding game. Upgrade your gpu to something more powerful.
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 8:59:04 AM

Your specs are too low for that game... even people with high-level GPUs complain about Witcher 2 - there're a few bugs, apparently. Turning off V-Sync might help, if it's possible, but not that much.
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a c 206 U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 4:03:20 PM

Your initial issue is the weak graphics card. Post a budget for advice on what to get, or read the monthly "Best Graphics Cards for the Money" article.
I see a second issue though...Phenom Quad Core, as in, original Phenom, not Phenom II? Like a 9650 or 9850? Those CPUs are also slow by today's standards. That machine may just not be cut out for modern games.
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August 5, 2011 5:51:29 PM

Thanks for all the replies, folks. Looks like I was right about the GPU. I think the CPU is a Phenom II, but I will check to be sure.

For my own system, I think I'll spring for a GTX 465 that I can OC to a 470-equivalent. My budget is going to remain around $100, and that seems like the best option out there.
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a c 206 U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 8:32:59 PM

Make sure your PSU is up to it. If not, the HD6770 offers good performance and generally sips juice.
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 10:00:41 PM

StandardFiend said:
Thanks for all the replies, folks. Looks like I was right about the GPU. I think the CPU is a Phenom II, but I will check to be sure.

For my own system, I think I'll spring for a GTX 465 that I can OC to a 470-equivalent. My budget is going to remain around $100, and that seems like the best option out there.


Actually the GTX 460 is faster and cooler (i mean temps not aesthetically lol) get that if it is around the same price
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a b U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 10:13:10 PM

I mean lets be honest to get really good frames on my gtx 570 I have to put a nice oc on it, playing with all ultra w vsync minus ubersampling at 1080p my fps never drops below say the mid 40's and most of the time is in the low fifities/high 40s so it is a nice consistent frame rate but the game is darn demanding, the 520 is an HTPC card at best, even a 5770 would struggle imo, ive tried one on my rig before in that game and even with reduced settings it was not too pretty id shoot for a gtx 460 or better, and even then you will def be dialing back some settings to get it to playable.

I might be more anal then most but if my min fps is going into the 30s then I will be dialing back settings to at least bring it (min fps) into the high 30's or 40's where I like it, although averages w/vsync will hopefully be at around 60. This is just my preference but for the witcher 2, you need a strong gpu, period
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a c 104 U Graphics card
August 5, 2011 11:52:07 PM

StandardFiend said:
Thanks for all the replies, folks. Looks like I was right about the GPU. I think the CPU is a Phenom II, but I will check to be sure.

For my own system, I think I'll spring for a GTX 465 that I can OC to a 470-equivalent. My budget is going to remain around $100, and that seems like the best option out there.


Watch out for overclocking it to much, i did that with my 465 and it died after just one year of fun.
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August 6, 2011 8:10:47 AM

GreenDutchAlien said:
Watch out for overclocking it to much, i did that with my 465 and it died after just one year of fun.


Ah, thanks for the heads-up. I'll keep that in mind. From what I've read in the New Egg product reviews, if I use the MSI Afterburner program I can OC the card safely. The folks there insist it can be OC'd to 470 levels without increasing the voltage at all or the temps by much. Is that what you used?

At any rate, I won't be buying a new card for a month or two at least, so I'm open to any and all suggestions in the mean time. I'd say the maximum I would want to spend is $150. I'm a poor college student and my desire to play good PC games does not interact well with my available funds.
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a b U Graphics card
August 6, 2011 9:00:26 AM

I own a gtx 275 and the game defaults to high settings.dont know fps but its completly playable at 1680X150
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a b U Graphics card
August 6, 2011 9:13:13 AM

2.3 GHz dual-core<--- Lower the resolution the more is put on this number
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Best solution

a c 104 U Graphics card
August 6, 2011 6:02:27 PM

StandardFiend said:
Ah, thanks for the heads-up. I'll keep that in mind. From what I've read in the New Egg product reviews, if I use the MSI Afterburner program I can OC the card safely. The folks there insist it can be OC'd to 470 levels without increasing the voltage at all or the temps by much. Is that what you used?

At any rate, I won't be buying a new card for a month or two at least, so I'm open to any and all suggestions in the mean time. I'd say the maximum I would want to spend is $150. I'm a poor college student and my desire to play good PC games does not interact well with my available funds.


I overclocked it with MSI afterburner and didn't play with the voltage and stuff. It was a original MSI card. I strongly advice against the 465, there are a lot off rumours about the 465 beeing a "faulty" and instable 470 wich is beiing downgraded to perform stable. Well, stable my ass, from the beginning i had a lot off problems with it ; crashes, boot problems ( sometimes i needed to reboot it 4 or 5 times beforen i even got in windows and then it sometimes didn't reggonize the chip card. :fou:  And then after a bit more then 1 year off fun ( and a lot off frustration ) it died on me.
I heard also ( not sure if it's true ) that when you overclock a card, even with the software you got with the card, the warrenty expires. Don't now how they can see you overclocked it, but thats what i heard.
I've got an GTX 560 TI SOC now ( factory overclocked, so with warrenty )and this one is also giving me a headache so i would probably go next time for AMD, i'm pretty fed up with Nvidea.
I heard the AMD radeon HD 6950 2 GB is a pretty good card, even better then the GTX 560, it's only a bit more expensive then the 150 you whant to spend ( the cheapest one i've seen is about 200 pound ) I would try to wait a bit longer ( it's hard, i know ), save more money and go for a good card like that in stead off going for a lesser quality. I asume you want to enjoy it for a longer period of time and then is that little bit of more money a well spend thing. ( otherwise there is a great chance of dissapointement and frustration, i've been there ) ( maybe you could sell a kiddney or liver or something ? )
When you want to stick to the 150 $ a good choice is then maybe the ( older ) Radeon HD 6870 or 6850. Or the GTX 560 or the GtX 460, it's even a bit cheaper and a pretty good game card. ( some people say the 460 is better then the 560 ) ( the 460 is designed purely as a game card while the 560 is not )
Anyway, whatever you gonne choose, take a good and long look on the internet, the are a lot of variations in prices for the same card, sometimes you can save like 50 or more pounds on the same card )
You can also take a risk and buy a second hand high-end card on the internet but there is always the chance of getting a card wich is beiing overclocked and baked a lot, i wouldn't do that myself.
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a b U Graphics card
August 7, 2011 5:54:41 AM

StandardFiend said:
At any rate, I won't be buying a new card for a month or two at least, so I'm open to any and all suggestions in the mean time. I'd say the maximum I would want to spend is $150. I'm a poor college student and my desire to play good PC games does not interact well with my available funds.


Here are the best video cards in your price range:

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/best-graphics-card,...

Today's prices may differ slightly, and certainly vary by vendor. If you aren't buying now, check back here when you do - that article I linked is updated monthly.
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August 14, 2011 7:35:07 AM

Best answer selected by StandardFiend.
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August 14, 2011 7:37:46 AM

Thanks for the replies, everyone, and for helping me out with this! This is why I always come here with my troubles.
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!