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550Ti not performing as well as expected? Possible hardware problem?

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December 28, 2011 7:12:23 PM

I got my ASUS 550Ti for christmas, upgrading from my Radeon HD 5450; uninstalling the AMD drivers via the install manager, and then installing nVidia drivers. My friend has a very much alike build to me, except for the motherboard (Mine is an AMD 760G, his is an nVidia 7025 chipset), but both boards with same specs. We both have the same processor (Athlon II x3) and PSU (Corsair CX430w), and we both upgraded from a 5450 to the ASUS 550Ti (This one: http://www.asus.com/Graphics_Cards/NVIDIA_Series/ENGTX5... ).

My problem is that I've been getting seemingly low FPS compared to him. I use a 1280x1024 monitor, and he has a 1920x1080 monitor. When playing MW3, I get around 40FPS at max settings, while he supposedly gets 60FPS at max settings.

I played Borderlands, BF3, Skyrim and DiRT 3 at nVidia's recommened settings, where I should be getting above 30FPS (BF3 should get ~45FPS, only gets ~30FPS. Borderlands should get ~70FPS, only gets about 45FPS. Skyrim should get ~45FPS, only gets around 30FPS, dropping to around 15FPS when near a river.)

This really doesn't make sense to me, and even less since benchmarking results (3DMark Vantage, 3DMark11 and FurMark 1.8.5) gives us both the same results.

I've managed to get fairly higher scores then him with these clocks: http://i54.tinypic.com/2l8dgys.png , but they don't make much difference in-game.

Could it be a hardware problem, or something software based? I've got the latest drivers from nVidia, and my BIOS is updated etc. I've tried the beta drivers, and also reinstalled the normal drivers twice with no difference made. We both use "Let Application Decide" in the 3D settings, but I can't see much of a change by setting it to "Performance". This is really bugging me, and I don't want to end up RMAing this GPU.

EDIT: After reinstalling the driver for the first time, I experienced worse problems, a further 10-15FPS drops in games, and Borderlands would only run between 5-15FPS. Fixed that with the 2nd driver reinstall.
December 28, 2011 7:16:51 PM

If you ask me, the CPU is weak. If you upgrade, you will see a very big improvement. Maybe you should check your friends FRAPS yourself.
December 28, 2011 7:29:31 PM

xerxces said:
If you ask me, the CPU is weak. If you upgrade, you will see a very big improvement. Maybe you should check your friends FRAPS yourself.


I'm aware that the CPU is a bit of a bottleneck, but I don't have the money for a new CPU right now. I still feel it's a little odd that benchmark tools give us rougly the same results, but in gaming we see different performance. Also, I've seen him with FRAPS, and he gets around 60FPS on MW3 as he said, but normally fluctuating from 50-60FPS, and he gets about 50FPS on Borderlands too. I just find it odd how he has better performance than me, on a similar spec PC (My PC also has higher clocks too.).
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a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 7:32:42 PM

try lowering all your graphics settings and see if the fps go up. if they dont your cpu is too weak.
December 28, 2011 7:41:26 PM

cbrunnem said:
try lowering all your graphics settings and see if the fps go up. if they dont your cpu is too weak.


This type of response doesn't help anyone.

Aiden and his friend have almost exactly the same build (mobos are different) and they are experiencing vastly differing performance, hence there is a problem and its not that his CPU is too weak (his friend is playing at 1920x1080, he at 1280x1024).

Imo this sounds like a software problem....what that problem is exactly I'm not experienced enough to say. I'll wait for someone more knowledgeable to respond to this thread.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 7:47:22 PM

yamman101 said:
This type of response doesn't help anyone.

Aiden and his friend have almost exactly the same build (mobos are different) and they are experiencing vastly differing performance, hence there is a problem and its not that his CPU is too weak (his friend is playing at 1920x1080, he at 1280x1024).

Imo this sounds like a software problem....what that problem is exactly I'm not experienced enough to say. I'll wait for someone more knowledgeable to respond to this thread.



how is that? if his fps do not go up as you take more and more load off the gpu then the cpu can not keep up. it easy and take 2 minutes.
December 28, 2011 7:50:02 PM

cbrunnem said:
how is that? if his fps do not go up as you take more and more load off the gpu then the cpu can not keep up. it easy and take 2 minutes.


Because your not adressing the problem, he is aware of his bottleneck, he isnt looking for a major performance gain, he is wondering why his friend with the almost exact same set up is putting out more frames. IE he wants the same frames his friends getting.
December 28, 2011 7:51:15 PM

cbrunnem said:
how is that? if his fps do not go up as you take more and more load off the gpu then the cpu can not keep up. it easy and take 2 minutes.


The FPS will (of course) go up, but that doesn't solve my problem. My friend, with literally the same specs as me, is getting better performance, he is able to run games at the same settings as me, and get between 1/4 and 1/2 better performance than me, on a higher resolution.
December 28, 2011 7:56:45 PM

I dont have a straight answer for this problem but if it were me i would go over to my friends and write down the configuration (of the drivers, game settings, etc..) as well as the exact specs of his system then compare them to mine. I would also see what programs you have running compared to his, and i would also just make sure he isnt bullshitting you.

What are the settings of all your games in regards to those frame rates?
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 8:02:32 PM

aidenscool09 said:
The FPS will (of course) go up, but that doesn't solve my problem. My friend, with literally the same specs as me, is getting better performance, he is able to run games at the same settings as me, and get between 1/4 and 1/2 better performance than me, on a higher resolution.


you do NOT have the same configuration. you have a drastically different resolution.
December 28, 2011 8:05:28 PM

cbrunnem said:
you do NOT have the same configuration. you have a drastically different resolution.


LOL dude seriously, thank you captain obvious he is aware of that point as well. It means he should be getting better performance than his friend (FPS wise anyway)
December 28, 2011 8:06:02 PM

sp0nger said:
I dont have a straight answer for this problem but if it were me i would go over to my friends and write down the configuration (of the drivers, game settings, etc..) as well as the exact specs of his system then compare them to mine. I would also see what programs you have running compared to his, and i would also just make sure he isnt bullshitting you.

What are the settings of all your games in regards to those frame rates?


I have already personally checked his framerates and can confirm they are higher than mine, we both run at the same settings, except the resolution, his driver's settings are set to the "Quality" preset because he can run well enough, and I run at "Let the application decide" (I get slightly better performance than with "Quality").
My specs:
AMD Athlon II 445 x3 3.4GHz (OC)
10GB Mushkin Silverline DDR3 1433MHz (OC)
Gigabyte GA-MA78LMT-US2H
Samsung Spinpoint F3 500GB
Corsair CX430w
ASUS ENGTX550Ti

His specs:
AMD Athlon II 445 x3 3.1GHz (Stock)
4GB Corsair (Generic) DDR3 1333MHz (Stock)
ASUS M4N68T-M V2
Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB
Corsair CX430w
ASUS ENGTX550Ti
December 28, 2011 8:12:23 PM

I think your memory might be the problem

What is your memory configuration? as in do you have 5 2GB sticks or what?

If there 2GB sticks try running only 4 of them (8GB)
December 28, 2011 8:19:06 PM

sp0nger said:
I think your memory might be the problem

What is your memory configuration? as in do you have 5 2GB sticks or what?

If there 2GB sticks try running only 4 of them (8GB)


No, it's 1x2GB and 2x4GB (They all have the same timings, speed and they are of the same model number.)
Funnily enough, you posted that as I rebooted. The reason I rebooted: Setting clocks to stock, and going to just the 2x4GB sticks. I'll post again once I've tested.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 8:23:51 PM

Possibly he has 2x 4gb and 1x 2. that would knock out dual channel.

Make it dual channel and see the magic :) 


Otherwise it might be software. Try reinstall the os if you can or reinstall video/sound/mobo etc drivers.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 8:28:09 PM

boju said:
Possibly he has 2x 4gb and 1x 2. that would knock out dual channel.

Make it dual channel and see the magic :) 


Otherwise it might be software. Try reinstall the os if you can or reinstall video/sound/mobo etc drivers.


Exactly what I was about to suggest
a c 91 U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 8:28:26 PM

try running the 2 4gig sticks in unganged mode and in the proper slots ( as per book ) to run in dual channel mode. How long has your processor been over clocked / ( sure it's stable ? )...... you can mess around in the nvidia control panel. One or two of the settings in there can be messing you up. you can also make sure the refresh rate of your monitor is correct.
December 28, 2011 8:28:51 PM

Ok, so with just 8GB RAM, and stock speeds, I got about a 2FPS improvement in MW3, still the same framerates in BF3 and Borderlands. I also forgot to mention, performance with OpenGL is terrible in my opinion. RuneScape's DX performance was awful too. RuneScape ran at 30FPS in DX, and dropped to 20FPS when I moved the camera. In OpenGL, it was unplayable to the point that I couldn't even get into the options interface. I tried playing AlienArena and Sauerbraten, both playing at ~30FPS and dropping to around 25FPS occasionally.
December 28, 2011 8:31:55 PM

swifty_morgan said:
try running the 2 4gig sticks in unganged mode and in the proper slots ( as per book ) to run in dual channel mode. How long has your processor been over clocked / ( sure it's stable ? )...... you can mess around in the nvidia control panel. One or two of the settings in there can be messing you up. you can also make sure the refresh rate of your monitor is correct.


I've had it overclocked and running stable for the past year, running up to 16 days without problems at one stage (Could have been longer, but had to install an update). I am running the RAM in unganged mode, see my last post for the status. The refresh rate is correct, and I've fiddled with pretty much every setting in the control panel now with no avail :(  .
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 8:32:18 PM

ok put your clocks back the way it was. leave the 8gb as it is and restore your nvidia control settings to default and test some games.
December 28, 2011 8:34:15 PM

boju said:
ok put your clocks back the way it was. leave the 8gb as it is and restore your nvidia control settings to default and test some games.


Will do, I'll get back on that in a few minutes.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 8:34:49 PM

I see two major differences. 1) You're overclocking. 2) Your RAM is probably running in single channel.

Undo your overclocks (for testing) and install your RAM in pairs. From your setup I'm guessing you have 2x4GB sticks + 2x1GB or 1x2GB. Take the extra stick(s) out.

You need to monitor your CPU and GPU temperatures and usage while gaming. Parts may downclock if they're overheating and/or you may have an improper overlock. We need to rule that out.

For usage, make sure your GPU is being stressed ~100% at your settings. If GPU usage is low, but your CPU is high, turn up your graphic settings to shift the load towards the GPU. If it GPU usage is high but your FPS is low, try turning graphic settings down to see if your FPS increases. After a little trial and error, you'll get settings that stress your GPU ~100% while giving you playable framerates. This will vary by game.

Once you've made sure your temperatures are in check and you're using reasonable settings (for example, don't expect to run BF3 on ultra, even if your friend claims to), you can overclock again. Just make sure you're watching temperatures and stress testing.
a c 92 U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 8:36:32 PM

your friend is lying. simple as that.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 8:41:19 PM

I didn’t know about the unganged thing. looking at it i came across someone asking here at toms, seems like its an amd thing from 2yrs ago dunno if intel has it. For you it could be worth while reading the best answer.

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/278881-30-what-ganged...
December 28, 2011 8:42:59 PM

esrever said:
your friend is lying. simple as that.

I was there when he benchmarked it, as I stated before. Thanks for your helpful and meaningful comment.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 8:46:34 PM

Try some synthetic benchmarks to see if the CPU GPU & RAM are running like they should. If all is OK there try a reinstall.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 8:51:16 PM

that would be my next step too.
Remember to backup your steam games if you have any. I forgot that once long time ago...... 30gb of stuff *GONE* my face was :cry: 
December 28, 2011 8:53:47 PM

simon12 said:
Try some synthetic benchmarks to see if the CPU GPU & RAM are running like they should. If all is OK there try a reinstall.


Tried a CPU benchmark, and that is fine. I don't have anything to boot memtest, and the GPU benchmarks are fine (As I said before, but gaming performance is lacking)
December 28, 2011 8:55:32 PM

boju said:
that would be my next step too.
Remember to backup your steam games if you have any. I forgot that once long time ago...... 30gb of stuff *GONE* my face was :cry: 

Hehe, that's why I keep my games on either another driver or partition (Partition currently, 400GB storage, 100GB for the OS)
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 8:59:14 PM

wise man ;P ya i back them up on a storage drive to now.

Hope you work out your problem soon. I'll check back later
a c 92 U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 9:04:06 PM

aidenscool09 said:
I was there when he benchmarked it, as I stated before. Thanks for your helpful and meaningful comment.
there is no way a 550 ti can play mw3 at 1080p maxed. 2 of the can't even do that, probably not even 3 of them.

550 ti is a horrible card and will give maybe playable fps at low at 1080p on new games.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 9:10:49 PM

2520351,31,1071176 said:
there is no way a 550 ti can play mw3 at 1080p maxed. 2 of the can't even do that, probably not even 3 of them.

sorry cocked up what i was posting please ignore
December 28, 2011 9:12:41 PM

esrever said:
there is no way a 550 ti can play mw3 at 1080p maxed. 2 of the can't even do that, probably not even 3 of them.

550 ti is a horrible card and will give maybe playable fps at low at 1080p on new games.


Maybe not on campaign, since that can be fairly intensive, but we were recording the FPS on a survival map (Underground, or whatever the city map is called.), but I'm being honest when he was getting up to 60FPS, I think the lowest being about 40FPS. The requirements aren't exactly high on MW3, since there's hardly any graphics change compared to MW2, which would even play on my 5450 fine at 1280x1024, maxed with shadows off and 2xAA
a c 174 U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 9:35:53 PM

I'd be most curious about your temps. Are your cases sufficiently different that your friend has much better airflow than you do?

Another thing to try is swap the cards. How does his perform in your system, and yours in his?
December 28, 2011 9:39:55 PM

Onus said:
I'd be most curious about your temps. Are your cases sufficiently different that your friend has much better airflow than you do?

Another thing to try is swap the cards. How does his perform in your system, and yours in his?


Swapping cards won't be an option (He's too paranoid of something going wrong, so won't trade hardware). Temps are fine, max was around 75C when doing FurMark, and since then I have changed the fan curve so it cools more efficiently since noise isn't at all an issue to me.
a c 174 U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 9:46:53 PM

What motherboard do you have? Does it have two PCIE x16 slots, one of which only runs at x4? If so, make sure you're using the x16 slot.
December 28, 2011 9:48:34 PM

Onus said:
What motherboard do you have? Does it have two PCIE x16 slots, one of which only runs at x4? If so, make sure you're using the x16 slot.


It's just a single PCIe 2.0 x16 slot.
a c 91 U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 9:50:28 PM

I disagree with the information in the link about running better in unganged mode. I found the opposite to be true.

clear the cmos or pull the battery for a minute/ reinstall and reboot. go to Windows Update.
a c 174 U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 9:52:06 PM

When you overclocked, did you lock the PCI buss to 100MHz? If you did not, you could be causing an extreme error rate. Set it to 100MHz.
December 28, 2011 9:53:11 PM

swifty_morgan said:
I disagree with the information in the link about running better in unganged mode. I found the opposite to be true.

clear the cmos or pull the battery for a minute/ reinstall and reboot. go to Windows Update.


Can't do a reinstall at the moment, I'll see about it tomorrow though. I'll try a CMOS reset now though.
a c 91 U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 10:06:00 PM

I didn't say do a reinstall. I said go to windows update............. google it if you don't know what it is.
December 28, 2011 10:07:40 PM

swifty_morgan said:
I didn't say do a reinstall. I said go to windows update............. google it if you don't know what it is.

You said "clear the cmos or pull the battery for a minute/ reinstall and reboot. go to Windows Update.", I thought you meant reinstall Windows, did you mean the battery? If so, the term "reinstall" mislead me :p 
December 28, 2011 10:10:47 PM

CMOS reset didn't make any difference.

Some reason it's not letting me edit previous posts? :/ 
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 10:16:49 PM

make sure your on the same part of the map and the same map. fps should change a lot at some points on a map and from map to map
a c 91 U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 10:24:11 PM

aidenscool09 said:
You said "clear the cmos or pull the battery for a minute/ reinstall and reboot. go to Windows Update.", I thought you meant reinstall Windows, did you mean the battery? If so, the term "reinstall" mislead me :p 



i meant reinstall the battery. go to windows update ?
December 28, 2011 10:24:27 PM

cbrunnem said:
make sure your on the same part of the map and the same map. fps should change a lot at some points on a map and from map to map


Yeah that's what I'm doing, I'm checking the FPS in the same spot on a survival map for MW3, and on BF3 I'm in a room waiting, so I'm using that to check.
a b U Graphics card
December 28, 2011 10:45:17 PM

You mentioned that on benchmarks you both get the same results, so there's no reason why it should be any different in games. Have your friend drops his resolution on his monitor to what yours is at and benchmark, so you are truly comparing apples to apples here.
December 28, 2011 11:59:35 PM

gmcizzle said:
You mentioned that on benchmarks you both get the same results, so there's no reason why it should be any different in games. Have your friend drops his resolution on his monitor to what yours is at and benchmark, so you are truly comparing apples to apples here.


Well, the reason I started this thread is finding the reason there is a difference in performance. I can't get results from both of us at 1280x1024, since he's sleeping. I'll try tomorrow, hopefully I'm able to find something else in the mean time though. I'm just taking a shot at trying the drivers from the ASUS website (Yes, I know they're outdated, but it's worth a try).
December 29, 2011 12:07:51 AM

Nope. Performance stayed about the same, but quality went a bit crappy.

Still not letting me edit my messages. :pfff: 
a c 271 U Graphics card
December 29, 2011 12:12:08 AM

aidenscool09 said:
Nope. Performance stayed about the same, but quality went a bit crappy.

Still not letting me edit my messages. :pfff: 

Use the 'Quick Edit' function.
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