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Am I getting the right performance?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 11, 2011 10:51:05 PM

Hello, I recently acquired a rig built by a family member. I'd rather not mention how, but I have no prior knowledge on the machine. It seems to me that other individuals with the nearly the same, if not exact setup as mine is getting better FPS in games even at higher resolutions then I am.

I've been low on funds, so I've been using a 1280x1024 monitor. A perfect example is the new Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim. Many people say they're getting nearly a lock on 60fps using nearly my same configuration. But when in heavily populated areas like the townships in some sections it's nearly going at 10fps.

I have noticed that upon start up, I keep getting a "New cpu install" message and I'm curious if this has to do with the computer recognize the CPU and not using it to it's full potential?

Here is my setup.
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 965 3.4ghz
GPU: ATi Sapphire Toxic HD 6850
RAM: 4GB ( Not Certain what kind )
HDD: 640GB (Not sure of RPM, or Brand)
MOBO: I believe it's Asus. I think E something.

Any help would be appreciated, and I'd really like to get all this sorted out.

More about : performance

November 11, 2011 11:31:25 PM

not sure of your windows version but if it is Win7
and you have a Win7 install disk then I would do a windows repair

or possibly a new install if you know how

do cntrl-alt-delete and check under performance and see how many cpu meter windows are open
should be four cpu activity windows

also download CPU-Z
http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/cpu-z.html

and make sure everything is reading right
if you can post a screenshot of CPU-Z that would be great

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November 11, 2011 11:36:12 PM

Sorry yes, I forgot to mention. Win 7 64bit.

Here is the screenshot you requested.
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November 12, 2011 12:42:29 AM

Cool
it looks good to me but I am not an AMD expert
I am going to ask one of my fellow members to look at it

I hate to tell you to do a reinstall of windows if it is not needed
so hold off on that
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November 12, 2011 12:48:25 AM

Well the CPU could be stuck at 800MHz if not properly supported by the board!
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November 12, 2011 12:53:20 AM

I thought 4 multi x 800 core = 3200 or 3.2ghz?
I could be wrong...

or could it be CoolNQuiet?

OP if you can run something CPU intensive like Prime95
and then take screenshot while CPU is under load that would be good

http://files.extremeoverclocking.com/file.php?f=103

that is Prime95 download
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November 12, 2011 12:56:13 AM

It is showing 4 x 200MHz! OP check the motherboard tab for model number and post it!
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November 12, 2011 12:56:29 AM

actually looking at this
http://hothardware.com/Reviews/AMD-Phenom-II-965-Black-...

it is bus times the multi

so the OP is getting 4 multi x 200 bus for 800

good point rolli59 +!

maybe CoolNQuiet was keeping it down?

def run Prime95 to load up the cores and check CPUz

if it is still showing 800mhz core than rolli59 like USUAL is right LOL
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November 12, 2011 12:58:33 AM

Hey rolli59 I will back off and let you get this one
AMD CPUs are not my specialty LOL
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November 12, 2011 1:44:26 AM

I'm out and about, when I get home ill make sure to put it up. I know its and asus and it runs some kind of ami BIOS.American merger something? It's a red logo. It keeps asking me to run a setup or load default value because of my "new CPU"
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November 12, 2011 1:58:41 AM

Whamsandwich said:
I'm out and about, when I get home ill make sure to put it up. I know its and asus and it runs some kind of ami BIOS.American merger something? It's a red logo. It keeps asking me to run a setup or load default value because of my "new CPU"


BIOS = American Megatrends?

I don't think the computer would even post if the chip wasn't supported by the board... run setup upon boot and check BIOS for clock speeds and multiplier... whomever you got the board from may have messed with the settings and this is why you're seeing a X4 multi giving you 800mhz clock speeds in CPU-z.

can you take another screenshot of CPU-z but under the "mainboard" tab? Thanks

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/301704-28-showing
http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/13226-63-phenom-runni...
http://www.overclockers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=655...
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November 12, 2011 2:23:27 AM

rolli59 said:
Well the CPU could be stuck at 800MHz if not properly supported by the board!

It's not stuck, the OP is not doing any load and "AMD Cool n Quite" is enabled that's why the CPU is UnderClocked.
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November 12, 2011 2:37:43 AM

I was going to mention that, when I would run a game then alt tab and that clock speed would say 3412 or whatever. I disabled cool and quiet in the BIOS but I didn't notice any change in performance. Mind you I'm out right now so I can really do much. One thing I thought is maybe the BIOS doesn't save the changes because it keeps telling me there's a new CPU when booting I reset the cmos and nothing..
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November 12, 2011 2:38:10 AM

@ king smp,
Multiplier * Base Clock = CPU Clock Speed.

@Everyone,
if the CPU is stuck @ 800 MHz the game won't load.

@OP,
Look at this thread, http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/332396-33-6950-issues...
Similar problem as yours, he went over through by optimizing the game through CCC.
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November 12, 2011 2:57:35 AM

you know OP is only on 1280x1024 res
on a lower res the GPU isnt fully being utilized
also would help to know what CCC and driver version the OP is using
might be the one that came on disk with the card
updating CCC driver might help

but the CPU error is strange
the OP did the right thing and reset CMOS
but I would also go into the BIOS and do a reset there to default
plus put in a brand new mobo battery
for $4 it cant hurt
and low mobo batts can cause weird problems
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November 12, 2011 3:11:34 AM

and this might seem odd
but if it is windows 7 then I always go to M$ and do a DX9
update there
http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=35

Win7 especially older builds didnt ship with the latest DX9 patches

I am not sure if Skyrim is running under DX11 (probably is)
but still a good idea to update DX9
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November 12, 2011 3:13:34 AM

So I wanted to say, I disabled cool and quiet when I was home and there was no notable difference. I noticed that when alt tabling cpuz would display a higher core speed befor changing c & q in the bios. I know that it keeps telling there's a new CPU in there and asking me to run setup or load a default value. But I can't really reach windows unless I choose the default settings. This is everytime I boot. Also its not only skyrim this is every game.
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November 12, 2011 3:17:10 AM

Drivers are updated to the most recent, also I'd like the mention the rig came with no OS and I installed a legitimate copy of Windows 7 on there not but a few weeks ago.
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November 12, 2011 3:26:41 AM

Really
Change your motherboard battery
It is almost always a CR2032
they are @$4 USD
I have seen BIOS keep give time and date errors plus other strange things
when the mobo batt is low

when it comes to fixing anything computer,car,heating system etc
ALWAYS try the "nickel and dime" fixes first

might not be the mobo battery
but for $4 and 2 minutes of time
it doesnt hurt to do it


also do the GPUz and Furmark to see how the card is running
GPUs have their own versions of CoolNQuiet
and you want to make sure when the card is loading up
that ir ramps up to its max clocks

plus do the DX9 update
Win7 doesnt ship with latest DX9


just my opinion
I could be wrong.....
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November 12, 2011 4:40:52 AM

Thank you everyone for the help, its greatly appreciated!
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November 12, 2011 4:45:47 AM

Oh it is what we live for

Nobody in my "real" life wants to hear me babble about computers

their eyes glaze over
they eventually mutter an excuse and walk away
or my wife just tells me to shut up


so helping you is fun :) 
I actually get emotionally involved LOL
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November 12, 2011 5:01:11 AM

IIl make sure to do all these things once I get home, I've actually out just finished playing a show with ny band
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November 12, 2011 5:05:12 AM

Sweet I will check back tomorrow(?)
it is 2 am here (USA Northeast)


if it works okay please post back to let us know :) 

Goodnight
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November 12, 2011 3:43:22 PM

Well, I went ahead and ran a few benchmarks earlier this morning.

I ran a 3Dmark benchmark and fell right into the majority, the high majority at that. I searched my score on google and that seems to be the average score for the HD 6850. I guess the HD 6850 isn't as powerful as I think it is? Even at 1280x1024 I max out my graphics, and see lag here there but I assume it's normal then?

BTW 3DMark score: 3603 I believe.
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November 12, 2011 3:54:29 PM

3DMARK: 3694 to be exact.
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November 12, 2011 4:02:34 PM

well looking at this GPU chart on Toms Best GPUs for the money
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fastest-graphics-ca...

the HD 6850 is equal to a 1gb 460
so it is a good card especially for the money
it should game at 1920x1080 at higher settings

now absolutley maxing everything like AA/AF,physix etc
on the latest games like Skyrim will push even the high end cards
to their limits

I have to read the performance review of Skyrim
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-...

to see how its performance requirements are
but the OP was saying it is in all games

it would help to game at a higher resolution
higher res uses the video card much more than lower res
at 1280x1024 you are not realizing the potential of your card
when looking at benchmarks also use the GTX 460 1gb as a measuring
mark

I dont personally own either card (H 6850 or gtx 460)
so hopefully a HD 6850 owner will see this thread

but from my reading
it should handle almost all games at good settings
but MAXING out the settings can strain any card
turn down AA/AF
if it is at 16x for example drop to 2x or 4x
really with the state of graphics on newer games
the AA/AF settings arent as crucial as they used to be
in older games the jagged edges were more common
but newer games have reduced this
a game at 4x,2x or even no AA but at high details (shadows,depth of field,
water effects etc) at a decent resolution (1680x1050 or higher)
looks great nowadays

My HD 5670 which is 4 tiers below your card
will play Crysis 2 DX9 at 1920x1080 hardcore settings
now of course with DX11 settings it would be better
but at hardcore DX9 it still looks great

DX11 is very taxing on all but the high end cards BTW
in Metro 2033 I can only play 1280x01024 DX11 very high settings
but I find that at 1920x1080 DX10 High settings gives me a very
enjoyable gaming experience
looks great and very playable frame rates

so what I am saying is play with your settings
you will find that to have a great looking game
you dont have to have every setting maxed out
tweak it a little
turn down some here and there
still will look good and play better

And I know how it is to be on a tight budget
(just look at my member config under avatar)
but if you can budget out a 1920x1080 display
which are on some awesome sales right now
Newegg had some great deals
it would be a really nice upgrade
can keep it under $150 USD for a nice monitor
with the holiday sales
I bought mine on Craigslist
It is a Viewsonic 21.5 16:9 1080p 1920x1080p 2ms with a high
contrast ratio
It was only used for a year
no dead pixels
I have had it for a year myself
I got if for $90 with the DVI cable included
and only a 15minute drive
so used maybe an option if money is tight
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November 12, 2011 4:11:04 PM

heres your problem ---->1280x1024 monitor.
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November 12, 2011 5:28:51 PM

gnomio said:
heres your problem ---->1280x1024 monitor.



short and to the point and very true

by using that low a resolution you are essentially creating
a bottleneck on your GPU

most of the benches you will see are using higher res
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November 12, 2011 5:38:22 PM

king smp said:
short and to the point and very true

by using that low a resolution you are essentially creating
a bottleneck on your GPU

most of the benches you will see are using higher res


Could this be true? When I got the tower I only had a VGA 1280x1024 monitor so I used a VGA to DVI adapter.
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November 12, 2011 7:15:30 PM

At that low resolution with a fast gpu it is running away from your cpu. Change all the in game settings related to your gpu and set them to low. Disable Aa the works. Check your fps with fraps.
Then put them back to high and check your fps. If it stays more or less the same you got 2 options.

1. Get a higher resolution monitor one that fits the resolution of your gpu.
2. Overclock the hell out of that cpu till there's no more bottleneck.
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November 12, 2011 8:08:39 PM

I'm getting better performance at lower settings and lower resolutions, but what I don't seem to understand is I'm getting the majority score for my computer on 3DMark which means other people with the same setup are getting the same score.
How is it that Tom's benchmarks for Skyrim feature my card at a higher FPS at a higher Resolution?

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November 12, 2011 8:11:27 PM

How is it that Tom's benchmarks for Skyrim feature my card at a higher FPS at a HIGHER RESOLUTION?
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November 12, 2011 8:19:03 PM

get at least a 1680x1050 display
you will see a difference
I read the SKyrim article
actually not a very demanding game unless at extremely high settings
and even then the HD 6850 can still maintain 30fps or so

3Dmark would still be okay
but latest games like Skyrim will suffer at that low a resolution

a HD 6850 is a reasonably powerful card and doesnt really
get used until higher resolutions

it is like driving a Ferrari around a 25mph speed zone and not getting
out of 1st gear
doesnt matter if it is a 200mph car
if you cant get out of 1st gear

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November 12, 2011 8:35:57 PM

I said that to like reiterate my point, but if that were the case; take a look at this.

I am not getting these FPS, the fluctuation is between 20 - 40fps with these settings

I DON'T EVEN HAVE FXAA ENABLED lol
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Best solution

November 12, 2011 9:02:12 PM

Yes!
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November 12, 2011 9:11:49 PM

Best answer selected by Whamsandwich.
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November 12, 2011 9:13:12 PM

Thank you very much rolli59, you've been very patient as has everyone else. I appreciate all you're help; everyone.

One last question, how do you think this PC'll do with like a 1440x900, or 1600x1200 monitor?
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November 12, 2011 10:21:55 PM

if trying to save money
I would go with a 1680x1050 personally because of the 16:9
better for video viewing

but between 1440x900 and 1600x1200
I would go with the 16x12 for the real estate it offers

but really keep an eye on Newegg sales if Newegg is an option
right now some nice Asus and other brands have really dropped in price
and this is the perfect time to purchase a monitor

What country and what sites are available to you?

edit : start a new thread for monitor shopping

Toms members can be an awesome help in finding great deals
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November 12, 2011 10:23:10 PM

rolli59 said:
Yes!



The worlds shortest best answer LOL

I love it :) 

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November 13, 2011 3:38:12 AM

Wow... just... wow guys... the sheer number of people saying.g he'll get better performance on a higher Res just blows my mind.

The lower the resolution the less work it take the gpu to draw the frame. The less work it takes to draw the frame the higher the frames per second. The higher the Res the more work, and lower fps. End of story.

His card is not designed for high resolution and half of it is sitting u.used because he's at a lower Res.

In skyrim we know a 3.5 Phenom 2 will pull 30 fps minimum at ultra for the CPU limit at ultra on 1920x1080. We know the 6850 hits 50 fps minimum on ultra at his Res. CPU usage would be lower at that Res too. We know other users at his.specs get 60fps. So something is clearly wrong
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November 13, 2011 4:06:39 AM

look at rolli59s link again
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/skyrim-performance-...

phenom x 4 at 3ghz at 1920x1080
has a minimum FPS of 25 in the core scaling
and that is with a GTX 570 at high settings
compared to a 2500k getting 43 FPS minimum
that is a 18 FPS drop in performance

so using that 1280x1024 chart it would relate to @32 min for HD 6850



so this is what the OP states in original post

I've been low on funds, so I've been using a 1280x1024 monitor. A perfect example is the new Elder Scrolls game, Skyrim. Many people say they're getting nearly a lock on 60fps using nearly my same configuration. But when in heavily populated areas like the townships in some sections it's nearly going at 10fps.


so I bet the OP is probably getting a general min fps in high 20s
and yes in heavily populated areas it could drop to 10 fps momentarily

it is fact that as res lowers then less GPU is used and
more CPU is used

do you disagree with that

if so I will source it out

also a HD 6850 is equal to a GTX 460 1gb as per Toms Graphic Card
hiearchy chart
I believed I linked that earlier

Are you saying that a GTX 460 1gb or HD 6850 is not a good 1920x1080 (or what I would call a higher res) card?

if the OP goes up in resolution the GPU will take more of the work
lessening load on CPU

unless the OP exactly duplicates the 1280x1024 bench
with the same scene used
you can not really use that as an exact baseline

remember that benches only look at a minute or two
of an easily duplicated scene

it can vary greatly depending on objects, depth of field etc



quote
The lower the resolution the less work it take the gpu to draw the frame. The less work it takes to draw the frame the higher the frames per second. The higher the Res the more work, and lower fps. End of story

please source that out

and I will go source out my statement

if thread is closed continue on PM
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November 13, 2011 4:42:02 AM

Okay

SKyrim is a CPU intensive game

would need to check CPU performance at 1280x1024

from another post from Photonboy
An easy test of how stressed the CPU is, is to run Task Manager during a game and look at the results.

1. Open Task Manager (CTRL-ALT-DEL)
2. Leave running and start your game. Play for a few minutes.
3. Look at: Task manager-> Performance (change to View-> One graph per CPU if you only see one graph)

Analysis of Task Manager:
If one of your cores hits 100% you are being bottlenecked by the CPU


if the OP tries this

then it would indicate that the 965 is causing a bottleneck

with more pixels at higher resolution the GPU is forced to work harder

and yes with a lower end GPU lowering res increases FPS

but as the charts showed that at higher res the HD 6850 is playable in Skyrim
with a 2500k


Technically you are right that in general lowering screen resolution raises
FPS
but
when a bottleneck is occuring due to CPU
which a non OCd 965 is weak by Skyrim standards for high settings
then raising resolution lowers the bottleneck


so uksol you are right

but that is a very general statement

doesn always apply

a HD 6850 is meant for higher resolution

it is a medium to high level card

equal to a GTX 460 1gb

and capable of decent settings at resolutions 1920x1080

now going higher than 1920x1200 would be a problem

and if your standards that it takes higher than 1920x1200
to qualify for "high resolutions"
then that is okay

most gamers are playing in the 1920 range

but hardcore gamers do play higher


so I dont completely disagree with you

but I think the OPs performance will improve in this instance
by going with a higher resolution
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