So a few months ago, using an MSI P67A-G43, Intel Core i3 2100, asus radeon HD 6850 on stock, 4 gigs of ram, Antec Earth 650w PSU, and 64 bit Windows 7, I built myself a computer. I run it on 1920x1080 resolution (I realize this might be part of the problem.)
I researched the parts very carefully, looking at benchmarks and other statistics to be sure I was leaving myself plenty of room for upgrade (planning on running crossfire 6850s + an OC'd 2500k), and that it would run as expected on games like TF2. At first, it was somewhat smooth (but STILL not perfect - I don't expect perfection from a budget PC with a widescreen monitor, but believe me when I say something just seems 'off'); since then, the quality of play has deteriorated significantly. It plays more choppily, even on ultra low graphics settings.
It's not just TF2, or even just games. MINECRAFT seems to have some kind of weird stuttery thing going on (processor?). From the very BEGINNING it also appeared as though some Windows 7 effects, etc were choppy.
If there is no problem and it's simply an incapability of the hardware, fine. Show me the bottleneck, I can live with/replace it, but I want to make SURE that's the case first. I'm concerned I've already done something wrong, treated it poorly, or have in some way caused it to function less than optimally.
What do I do to figure out why things are happening the way they are? How can I help you to help me?
I'm fairly certain that my drivers are up to date, but I'll check that now.
Reducing the resolution to 1024x768, though ugly as SIN, does improve the performance by a large margin.
This baffles me, as I've turned the resolution down before and still seen the same choppiness. If it's just a matter of resolution, does that mean I'll need that second 6850 to see an improvement on 1920x1080? Or what would I upgrade first? I was planning on getting the 2500k.
I just want to have a really smooth, beautiful game to play. I'll do anything for that; I've been trying for so long.
2500 should come before a second card really, make sure psu is powerful enough for that as well but it seems to me that the chip is the bottlenek here, check if you can whether the games you play are cpu or graphics driven, some games its all about cpu performance, some its gpu, and then some favour nvidia over ati,