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[Homebuilt] Amazing computer with not so amazing performance

Last response: in Systems
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March 20, 2012 6:59:30 AM

Hi first post.

I just built an amazing computer (I save about 50 dollars or more every month to upgrade every two years or so) and I find it to be a little less impressive than I imagined it to be.

Here are my specs, let me know if you need more info or run whatever tests you want.

Motherboard: Asus Rampage IV Extreme IV
CPU: I7 3930K OC'ed to 4.3Ghz
RAM: 16GB 2133Mhz low latency DDR3
Graphics Card: Radeon 7970 Black Edition
Case: Corsair 650D
CPU Cooler: H100
Along with a SSD and some older Hard Drives

It cost me a little more than i had saved initially but it was worth it, or atleast i hope it will be.

I'm having some problems with a few games I've installed on her.

1. Is skyim, with or without any mods, the game seems laggy at max settings whenever my charachter turns.
2. GTA IV, this game was laggy as well just overall.

These two and Mass Effect 3 are the only games I have installed on my Computer at the moment. GTA wasn't as laggy as Skyrim but still wasn't playable. Skyrim is playable but it just gets annoying, actually some areas, especially dungeons aren't playable at all. I would like to install other games but I'm just afraid of adding to the disappointment level that I'm already at.

Windows has been fully updated and its using the latest drivers.

This is my first Radeon card, I've never really used ATI/AMD before. I'm not closing the door on them just yet but so far...

Anyways hopefully there is a setting or something that is amiss that is causing these problems. On skyrim I've been tweaking the game for hours to no avail. Some gains but nothing to major. It would be disappoointing to know these two games are just that poorly optimized.

Oh before i forget. I ran GPU-z and CPU-z to look at my load settings, hoping to see if something was being bottlenecked. The GPU was running at a 50% load, while the CPU was way less. So yeah, that's it. Hopefully there is enough info up here to help you help me but if not just let me know happy to provide more. Thanks in advance for any help, much appretiated.
March 20, 2012 7:04:05 AM

Little FYI: i'm heading to bed now, don't want you to waste your time waiting for my reply. Not sure if anyone does that but you know just in case.

I'll also post some pics on the system gallery forums tomorrow before i go to work. This computer looks pretty great even if it's (possibly) not running as great.
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March 20, 2012 9:20:15 AM

Did you let windows update your graphic drivers or did you get the latest from AMD's website? Whats your PSU?

As for GTA4, that game is poorly coded, its runs horrible on most systems.
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March 20, 2012 9:24:19 AM

Considering that's basically the same system as mine you should be enjoying wicked performance
My only guess could be what version of the ATI drivers your using for the 7970
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March 20, 2012 9:48:23 AM

Skyrim streams the textures from your storage space and will lower the quality based on throughput. If it is installed on your SSD you will see far better performance than on the HD.

Still I question if it really can be as smooth as traditional textures stored in gRAM. There are still issues/questions related to the whole idea. Look at what a mess they made of RAGE on its release (which also used this type of streaming of textures).

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March 20, 2012 10:35:49 AM

americanbrian said:
Skyrim streams the textures from your storage space and will lower the quality based on throughput. If it is installed on your SSD you will see far better performance than on the HD.

Still I question if it really can be as smooth as traditional textures stored in gRAM. There are still issues/questions related to the whole idea. Look at what a mess they made of RAGE on its release (which also used this type of streaming of textures).


I've got Skyrim on my HDD and it's fine though? And surely this lowering of quality will only be evident until the whole texture has been loaded?

I install most of my games on my HDD and I have zero lag with every single title. The exceptions are games like Battlefield 3 where I want performance at peak and absolutely no mitigating factors other than raw performance, but to be honest I noticed no difference from when it was installed on my HDD.

SSDs are awesome for operating systems but unless you can afford a massive one there's no point in installing games on it.

Textures stored in VRAM will always be superior.

There's no difference in actual game performance in any title I've tried on my SSD. Even load times have minimal differences.

Just my 2 cents.
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March 20, 2012 2:33:52 PM

^^

only rage and skyrim use this so all other games it doesn't even matter. And they load the textures "on the fly" as far as I am aware.

It seems to affect dungeons mostly (where textures are used most and change frequently) at very high resolution and detail levels (where the textures will be grossly larger than average)

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March 20, 2012 2:43:36 PM

What PSU are you running? Tempretures are you running at?
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March 20, 2012 2:52:58 PM

1) did you follow the install guides for SSDs? There are a few tricks to getting them to work properly

2) Update all of your drivers through the manufacturer instead of through WinUpdate.

3) Do some stress tests and benchmarks to see if you got some bad hardware. It is rare, but it does happen, even with the best of equipment.

4) As goldengoose mentioned, bad/insufficient power can cause any number of odd issues.

FYI: low latency ram makes little to no difference for gaming or most other applications. We are talking a 1-2fps difference between it and normal ram.
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March 20, 2012 5:03:27 PM

Thanks for the reply's everyone. I'll try to answer everyones quesitons.

I updated my drivers with windows except for the graphics drivers. Those i went directly to ATI. My PSU is a Corsair 1050HX I know its a little overkill right now but I plan to buy another card someday and run them is crossfire.

Heres some info I pulled from catalyst control center.

Driver Packaging Version 8.95-120214a-134393C-ATI
Provider Advanced Micro Devices, Inc.
2D Driver Version 8.01.01.1235
2D Driver File Path
/REGISTRY/MACHINE/SYSTEM/ControlSet001/Control/CLASS/{4D36E968-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}/0003
Direct3D Version 7.14.10.0894
Catalyst Control Center Version 2012.0214.2218.39913
AMD Audio Driver Version 7.12.0.7705

I just copied and paste this from Catalyst. Hoping some of this will be helpful. As for the SSD suggestion I'm going to give that a try right now. Fingers crossed.
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March 20, 2012 7:26:29 PM

First off what resolutions are we talking about?

Secondly if you set the draw distance too high in GTA4 no computer will play it at all.

Finally in skyrim a lot of times when you turn around quickly, the computer has to load whatever is in the scene, and if your draw distances are really high this can create some noticeable loading hiccup. If it has to access the hard drive for any part of the scene it's going to create a small hiccup, and the game is only designed to utilize so much RAM to prevent this. The only way to really eliminate it is to reduce settings that are hitting other limiting factors(read not your CPU, video card, or RAM) such as your hard disk read speed, and random access times etc.

If you really want to never notice any kind of slowdown in games with really high detail textures and models, you'll need some fast hard drives for when data is being loaded. I've heard good things about the new Samsung solid state drives being very fast, I'd look into one or even more of those(raid) hard drives to alleviate this perceived "slowdown" in Skyrim.

Lastly be sure to make sure all of the games are up to date, because I know a multitude of updates have been released for Skyrim with the specific purpose of improving performance AND detail. Not to mention some addition options for AA. Many games have patches that improve performance.

Try some other games out, I think you will be pleased.
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