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Huge FPS drops - is it my CPU or graphic card?

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  • CPUs
  • World Of Warcraft
  • FPS
  • Product
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August 9, 2012 7:22:35 AM

Hello,

I'm a fan of World of Warcraft and other similar games, my problem is I can't run it on my system smoothly so I decided to replace / upgrade some of the components.

My main problem is my FPS drops to between constant 5-10 on raiding, especially 25 man raiding on all boss encounter. Meanwhile flying in a capital brings me 25-45 and 50+ out in the world (where are less players around). I need to know which system component should I upgrade first to gain the most advance in raising my FPS on raids.

My system specs are:

- GA-MA78GM-S2H mobo
- AMD Athlon 64 X2 6000+ 3k MHz (not the Athlon II family)
- 4GB Kingston ram DDR2 dualchanneled
- GeForce 9600 GT 512Mb (Gigabyte NX96T)
- 1TB WD caviar
- Spire SP-ATX-420WTN-PFC
- Windows 7 Enterprise SP1

My graphic settings are all on minimal except my resolution which is 1440x900 and 'View Distance' which is set to 'High' (4 out of 5).

Tried to find out which component(s) causes the most raiding FPS reduction people on various forums points out either of my CPU or graphic card is the weakest part. My budget (around 100-130$) doesn't allow me to replace both of those right now so I want to do it one by one. So may I ask you to check and decide which of the above components should I replace first for the most FPS increase?

I'm thinking of an AMD Athlon II X2 with high clock or an Athlon II X3 450 -ish (don't know which is better for playing)
or I don't know about graphic cards which could provide significant changes over my 9600GT in FPS.



Thank you for your help!



More about : huge fps drops cpu graphic card

a c 103 à CPUs
August 9, 2012 7:27:31 AM

Assuming your mobo supports it I'd grab a triple core, make sure you tell wow its got three cores to play with, its in your config/wtf file somewhere
but the card needs upping as well soon as you can afford :) 
**Edit, according to http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-Gigabyte/GA-MA78GM-S2H(rev.1.1).html you can throw a PII in there, 955 and up if you can afford it?
Moto
August 9, 2012 9:50:07 AM

Thanks for the answer,

- Is there any significant visible FPS advantage on a Phenom II X2 over an Athlon II X2 (@same clock speed) playing World of Warcraft?

- Furthermore, is there any significant visible FPS advantage on an Athlon II X2 over an Athlon 64 X2 (@ same clock speed) playing wow?
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August 9, 2012 10:01:40 AM

Motopsychojdn said:
Assuming your mobo supports it I'd grab a triple core, make sure you tell wow its got three cores to play with, its in your config/wtf file somewhere
but the card needs upping as well soon as you can afford :) 
**Edit, according to http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-Gigabyte/GA-MA78GM-S2H(rev.1.1).html you can throw a PII in there, 955 and up if you can afford it?
Moto


good answer master
August 9, 2012 6:00:15 PM

Could someone answer those above please! I want to to the computer shop as soon as possible! :) 
a c 109 à CPUs
August 9, 2012 6:17:02 PM

Vox said:
Could someone answer those above please! I want to to the computer shop as soon as possible! :) 


Phenom II X2 @ 3.1Ghz compared to an Athlon II X2 @ 3.1Ghz.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/121?vs=97
You would see a slight FPS increase going to a Phenom rather than an Athlon II.

Also, going by the link someone posted about your motherboard, try and find a PII X4 that will be supported by your Mobo, that would give you optimal performance for the money right now.
August 10, 2012 6:39:10 AM

Thank you very much!
Btw, that benchmark site is what I've just looked for. Thanks!
a b à CPUs
August 10, 2012 7:27:31 AM

to find out just how much your CPU is bottlenecking your GPU or vise versa, download MSI afterburner and go to options, monitoring, and make sure you got the GPU usage selected in OSD (on screen display) and throw in the temps, FPS, and memory usage if you want. if your GPU is hovering around 90-100%, you need to upgrade your GPU. if it is at 80 and below during intense moments like raiding, you need to upgrade that CPU. i think it is the CPU because it is pretty old, but just to make sure, follow the above steps. it gives you an idea of just how much your CPU is bottlenecking, or if it is at all. 80% meaning about 20% performance is being held back by the CPU.
August 10, 2012 3:33:31 PM

Pro tip really!
I'm already downloaded and monitoring right now. the GPU usage is between 40-50 % flying over the world. In a more populated area (where my FPS is 25-30 the GPU usage is still around 50-60%.

Can't wait to try it in a raid! Maybe tonight.

Technical question: How can I set to show my FPS also, since its checked in the list but not showing. Tried to check the "Show in on-screen display" option for FPS also but still not showing. Fan speed section is blank either.
August 10, 2012 6:22:50 PM

5 time customer choice award winner - the Phenom II 965 Black (unlocked CPU) is only $89.99 w/ free shipping in the U.S. for 2 days only) w/ promo code EMCNBJN46, ends 8/12/2012
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
i am using this cpu and have it multiplied from the 3.4Ghz to 3.7Ghz - and MANY people run it all day long with no voltage increase (manually) @ 3.8Ghz.
a c 109 à CPUs
August 10, 2012 11:22:07 PM

Majestic One said:
5 time customer choice award winner - the Phenom II 965 Black (unlocked CPU) is only $89.99 w/ free shipping in the U.S. for 2 days only) w/ promo code EMCNBJN46, ends 8/12/2012
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
i am using this cpu and have it multiplied from the 3.4Ghz to 3.7Ghz - and MANY people run it all day long with no voltage increase (manually) @ 3.8Ghz.


+1 great recommendation.

I personally used the X4 955 (almost identical chip) @ 3.8Ghz for almost two years with no problem...ran all my games without a hitch either :) 

And for that price, whew I wouldn't be able to resist!
August 11, 2012 12:04:24 AM

mocchan said:
+1 great recommendation.

I personally used the X4 955 (almost identical chip) @ 3.8Ghz for almost two years with no problem...ran all my games without a hitch either :) 

And for that price, whew I wouldn't be able to resist!

yep just bought another one!!! LOL
a c 109 à CPUs
August 11, 2012 12:46:43 AM

Majestic One said:
yep just bought another one!!! LOL


:lol:  :pt1cable:  :D 
August 11, 2012 4:46:19 AM

Thanks for the tip but the Newegg doesn't seem available here in Europe. I'll have to go for that one in a local store a for bit more.

Anyway, back to Mashal11's post, in MSI Afterburner when I click an object in WoW which triggers some special "Advanced Lightning Effects" in the game the GPU usage drops down to 8-10 from 45 suddenly and remains there until I reload the UI.

What does that low number means?
a b à CPUs
August 11, 2012 6:12:28 AM

did you download the beta version of MSI afterburner? that could be the reason why the FPS isn't showing up, but Fraps is a much better and more acurate way to monitor FPS. download fraps and put the FPS monitor in the top right corner so it doesn't overlap with the afterburner text.

for the low numbers, this means that your CPU is maxed out and is slowing down your GPU by about 90%. it means that the "advanced lightning effects" are much more CPU intensive than GPU intensive. the lower the numbers, the harder the game is on the CPU. now i know that WoW has a multi CPU support option, but i don't know what it is called. it can give you much better FPS until you get your new CPU if you don't already have the option selected. hopefully someone here knows what the option is called and can help you out.
August 11, 2012 8:56:56 AM

Its the normal version I downed. Anyway I can display the FPS in wow itself I just reported that doesn't seem to work. nvm that.

In WoW there's a Cvar you can set to which cores you want to enable but it automates itself a long ago as the Bluepost states in this topic:

us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1406252860
Thank you for the suggestion, tho.
August 13, 2012 5:21:24 AM

Guys, I came back from the door for a last check before I go to shop that favorite Phenom II X4 965 you all mentioned above but I can't find it in the CPU support list here:
http://www.cpu-upgrade.com/mb-Gigabyte/GA-MA78GM-S2H%28rev.1.1%29.html
The 125W 955s are listed to unsupported, while the 95W listed as supported, 965 is not even in the list.

The original gigabyte CPU support page below listed both C2 and C3 stepping 965s as "Not supported".
http://www.gigabyte.com/support-downloads/cpu-support-popup.aspx?pid=2814

Does that mean I can't get a 965 to work in my mobo at all or it's just means it will work but on a lower performance? (in the case I can change my mobo later to fully support the CPU) If I can't install the 965 into my current mobo, would you please recommend an other CPU that actually works with my board and is close to the 965 according to the performance in PC games.

Thank you very much for an answer!
August 13, 2012 5:45:50 AM

In that case if the 965 won't work in my mobo my local stores capping my hands and sells only a few phenom and athlon processors. Currently I can't decide between an Athlon II X3 455 or 460 versus the Phenom II X2 565. Both works around 3.3 - 3.4 Ghz.

Which one is better for PC games?
Which one is better for overclocking? Since many forums say for PC games the clock speed matters not the number of cores (for World of Warcraft at least)

Ohh, I see a Phenom II X4 945 (125W) aswell in the list but its clock speed is only 3.0 Ghz. I'm totally confused now...
!