Brand new 550 ti performing very poorly

I just got a brand new EVGA GeForce 550 Ti for Christmas (the FSB edition with factory overclocking) as replacement for my dying and outdated XFX GeForce 9600 GSO 768mb. The 9600's factory blower had burnt out so i was cooling it with an 80mm case fan. Needless to say, since this was not the intended mode of cooling it was running a bit hotter than i should have; in the low 90s which is very close it its operational limit of boiling point.

Even with the blistering temperatures on my 9600, it still ran games very nicely and i could often max the detail on 1600x900 screen resolution and few games i could pull of 1920x1080 and maintain framerates in the 30s. Most importantly, it ran Crysis 2 at between 25 and 30 FPS on 1280x800 screen res, which was very nice since the 9600 GSO technically doesnt support Crysis 2. It has a 96 shader pipline configuration vs the 8800 GT, the minimum required card, configuration of 112 pipelines.

So installed the 550 into my computer. I downloaded the drivers directly from Nvidia's website. i never use factory drivers. i always go right to the source. I have played through just about every game i own for a good hour or two on my new 550 and one of the things i was noticing was the performance was negligibly improved. In some cases (Crysis games) the performance was degraded.

I have a dual monitor configuration, so i stuck MSI Afterburner on the other monitory and ran Fraps to monitor framerates while i gamed and and I was somewhat shocked to see that the GPU use was seldom approaching its limit even when the framerates were dropping into the single digits. it was typically hanging around 40-50% and the memory use was rarely rising above 250 mb. This was really a drag, especially with Crysis 2. I ran the game on 1080p, which i could never do before, and the framerates were in the 20s - unaccetable. In reduced the resolution back down to 1280x800 and the framerates rose to around the 30 but the GPU use dropped off even further. About the only time i see my GPU being fully used is with Portal 2 (go figure; graphics suck compared to Crysis) or the Unigine Heaven demo.

At first i suspected my power supply since its about 3 or 4 years old but its a 700W with a 48A 12 V rail (actually its a 4 rail system each being alotted 18A - designed to support SLI). I considered my motherboard and processor but i have read plently of reviews that say this card takes almost no performance hit from using an 8x PCIe 2.0 slot (PCIe 1.0a x16) and heard praises from users on dual core processors, same as me.

Im really confused here. My framerates suck, as in 20s and 30s, even on simple games, and the GPU is never seeing over about 70% use. Why the hell is it not using all its resources? Im actually considering switching back to my 9600 GSO which has half the shader piplines, 25% less memory, and lower clock speeds by 400 mhz in every category. Can some one please help?

I already tried the following:

-Clean installing the drivers
-more system restarts than i wish to count
-declocking the card to nvidia's listed specifications on (this actually helped a little getting about +6 FPS)

My system:

Windows 7 Pro 64 bit
4 gb 800mhz DDR2 RAM
EVGA GeForce 550 Ti 1024mb (obviously)
SATA 3.0gbs 7200 RPM 1TB harddrive
AMD Athlon 7550 Dual Core processor @ 2.5ghz (thats an AM2+ socket)
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  1. the 550 ti isn't too powerful but judging by what you said, you might be running into some other bottleneck, might be your cpu.

    its hard to judge because the 550 ti is not that great.

    download and run 3d mark11 and see if your score is around 2600 for graphics.
  2. esrever said:

    download and run 3d mark11 and see if your score is around 2600 for graphics.

    not sure if thats good or bad

    graphics scored a 2356. average FPS was about 13.

    monitored GPU use while bencharmark was running. I was seeing full GPU use during all the graphics tests and 70-80% use on the combined test. CPU could be bottleneck in game? maybe?

    EDIT: thats a 2485 with the factory overclock
  3. looks to be a slight cpu bottleneck but its not bad, not really worth upgrading the cpu just for a 550 ti. your sore for graphics is slightly low but really isn't too bad as memory and other things could slow it down, optimal would be arround 2600 and

    this is with a much better system overall so being a bit lower doesn't really show any problem with the new card.
  4. The 550 ti's are at the bottom of the 5 series I have two of them in sli and in those games I always get low FPS. I have OC them a little to get up to 25 to 30FPS. They should have bought you a 6870 because it is a lot better than the 550.

    I OC my cards in MSI Afterburner. Right now I get 25 FPS in Shogun 2 on the campain map but in battle I get between 60 and 90FPS in the battle screen. Just food for thought. Good luck to ya
  5. well still not entirely sure why the GPU is almost never approaching maximum use but i went into the Nvidia control panel and set the number of CPU prerendered frames to its maximum setting (8). This seemed to help smooth out some of my newer games; they arent quite as choppy and im getting excellent input response. I also turned off the motion blur in Crysis 2 and that was a surprisingly big jump - im pretty sure that was what was killing it although i still occasionally seeing framerates in the low twenties and even teens on some multiplayer maps.
  6. You should have gone for the 560Ti, check if you can return the card and get the 560 it is an awesome card and you can enjoy 1920 x 1080 on almost all games provided your other parts are up to it.
  7. now replace your processor and you should be good to go........... sorta.

    the 9600gso didn't render DX11 did it. is there an option to run Crysis2 in DX9 ?
  8. Food for thought the Athlon 7550 is based on the old Phenom I series. I would look to put in a newer Phenom II based processor if at all possible that should boost your frames a bit. Especially given that even at equal clock speeds the Phenom II is better than the Phenom and most Phenom II processors are around 3Ghz compared to your current 2.5Ghz.

    Based on your board though it only supports 2 currently sold processors on Neweggs site. The Athlon II 255 and Athlon II 260

    Just remember to update your BIOS before putting these processors into your computer as they require the newest BIOS according to MSI's site. ->
  9. 9600GSO is a DX10 only card. Its the CPU. That CPU wasn't very good to begin with.
  10. 9600GSO is a DX10 only card.

    NO................ it's not DX10 only. Do your homework. And the idea of suggesting he run the game under DX9 is because it's less demanding on his system. ........ yes, the processor blows, that's why I suggested it.
  11. DX10 only in that its not a DX11 card. DX10 and lower.

  12. Well its sounding like my CPU is the biggest bottleneck. Certainly would explain the slideshow i see in multiplayer on Crysis 2 sometimes.

    Until i can buy a new CPU, i overclocked the Athlon 7550 i have and the motherboard. I got the processor up to 2.85ghz stable, i increased my HT Bus multiplier from 2x to 4x, and increased my PCI-E bandwith up to 2800 mhz (although i think i can get it to 3000+ if i increased the HT Bus multiplier).

    OCd the GPU up to 1050 mhz on the core 2100 on the shaders. left the memory alone at 2200.

    I havent tried multiplayer out yet but single player was promising; never saw framerates drop below 35. most of the time they were sticking in the mid to upper 40s and on less complex scenes i was seeing max of 60, simply because i prefer to use Vsync in most of my games. frame tearing is nasty. and GPU use was actually close it its max (85-95%). hoping with a little more tweaking i can get the framerates to climb even more.
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