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Poor GTX 680 Performance WHY?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 9, 2012 2:41:32 PM

Just got a brand new EVGA GTX 680 the other day. I upgraded form and XFX Radeon 6950. So here is my issue I am having. In games like Crysis 2 and BF3 I can configure the in game settings to max and they both run very well, usually 60-100 FPS. But when I play older games like Crysis, Crysis Warhead, Mafia II and Just Cause 2 I notice that the performance doesn't even match that of my 6950 (it does on Mafia II, but just barley). So I am very confused as to why this is happening? Regardless of whether the games are running in DX9 or 10, shouldn't the 680 destroy the 6950 in just about every game there is? I am about to RMA my 680 back to J&R for a refund. Do you think this is could be an issue with the card or my set up in general, the PCI slot perhaps?

Gigabyte GA-870A UD3
Phenom II X6 1055T
8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600Mhz DDR3
EVGA GTX 680
WD Caviar Black 1TB

Thanks in advance
a c 130 U Graphics card
April 9, 2012 2:46:33 PM

I would say your seeing a CPU restriction here (bottleneck). What resolution are you running at ?

Mactronix :) 
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April 9, 2012 2:50:39 PM

Did you format after you changed the GPU? Maybe driver issue there. Plus mobo and CPU are outdated for this GPU but should'nt cause that much trouble.
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April 9, 2012 2:52:25 PM

That's what I thought, but why would it not bottle neck with the 6950 as well. 1920 x 1080. This is my first Nvidia card, do Nvidia cards perfer Intel processors over AMD in general? I would be surprised if it made that much of a difference.
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April 9, 2012 2:55:14 PM

its probably just driver maturity plus an older system. I'd do a fresh reformat and install with the newest and latest drivers. Everytime a new card comes out, you have to be on top of driver updates to fix initial bugs\performance issues.

If all else fails, I'd say grab yourself a better mobo + processor. Something like a Core i5 2500k would do well.
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April 9, 2012 2:57:21 PM

darkling said:
Did you format after you changed the GPU? Maybe driver issue there. Plus mobo and CPU are outdated for this GPU but should'nt cause that much trouble.


I uninstalled my 6950 drivers and the AMD Vision control center. Turned off my PC. Put in the GTX 680. Installed the drivers from EVGA. I know the Mobo and CPU are not the cream of the crop, but I should at least see improvement over the 6950 right?
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a b U Graphics card
April 9, 2012 2:59:02 PM

You're running into a threading issue. If you recall, most older games are built for 1-2 strong threads which do all of the work. This approach is easiest to code and debug but sacrifices performance in situations like yours when you have more cores which are each less powerful. Newer games like BF3 and Crysis 2 are well threaded and can use more of the potential CPU performance in the hex-core CPUs like yours. As for the difference in performance, notice the games you mentioned all have special nVidia features (CUDA effects or PhysX). Try turning those off to lessen the burden on the CPU. Even though they're GPU accelerated, the CPU still does some work to prepare and dispatch the CUDA jobs.
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April 9, 2012 3:00:42 PM

Bottleneck whit a x6 Phenom? I know I5-2500k is better, but is good enough that phenom for a 680. Just reformat + fresh W7 installation + lastest ATI drivers.
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April 9, 2012 3:03:33 PM

Seems like I should upgrade my processor and mobo. I think I might just return the 680 and get a new mobo and core i7, I think its time to switch to Intel.
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a c 130 U Graphics card
April 9, 2012 3:04:27 PM

ryan5609 said:
That's what I thought, but why would it not bottle neck with the 6950 as well. 1920 x 1080. This is my first Nvidia card, do Nvidia cards perfer Intel processors over AMD in general? I would be surprised if it made that much of a difference.


Driver maturity would come into it I guess, AMD cards are doing better in some titles across the on line reviews.
The 680 is about 40% more card than a 6950 so to me it would be perfectly reasonable for a CPU to handle a 6950 just fine but choke with a 680.
Can you over clock the CPU ?

Mactronix :) 
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April 9, 2012 3:09:26 PM

I suppose I could try to OC.
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a c 88 U Graphics card
April 9, 2012 3:19:14 PM

An oc will give your 680 more juice
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April 9, 2012 3:29:32 PM

Doesn't make sense that your 680 does worse in some titles now, than your 6950 did. If your CPU was a bottleneck, the performance should remain the same for those titles, and not do worse with a better GPU.

I would point the finger at driver issues. It is a new GPU after all.

IMO, try OC'ing the CPU for now (as already stated), and wait for drivers to mature (also already stated).
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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 9, 2012 3:45:42 PM

If the perform worse, but "barely" worse, that is normal for a bottleneck, as they are two different manufacturers that have slightly different overhead requirements to drive the cards. If it's a large difference, there is probably something else wrong.

Also, Mafia II at max settings on your new GTX 680 is a much higher setting than on the HD 6950 at max settings due to advanced PhysX settings.
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April 9, 2012 3:48:41 PM

ryan5609 said:
I uninstalled my 6950 drivers and the AMD Vision control center. Turned off my PC. Put in the GTX 680. Installed the drivers from EVGA. I know the Mobo and CPU are not the cream of the crop, but I should at least see improvement over the 6950 right?


Doing the uninstall of the AMD drivers like that will leave some left over driver remnants and AMD never fully uninstalls without doing a thorough sweep of all the little leftover's.

You 680 isn't running correctly yet.

Do a fresh install of Win 7 is the easiest way to make sure nothing is left over of the AMD drivers.

Here is an article outlining what you would have to do to fully uninstall AMD drivers if you had an Intel system. But DO NOT FOLLOW THIS, DOES NOT WORK FOR AMD; it's just an idea on the stuff you'd have to go through to uninstall the drivers.

This is why a fresh install of Windows 7 is the easiest / tidiest way to go.

http://www.brightsideofnews.com/news/2012/4/4/guide-how-to-completely-uninstall-amd-graphics-drivers.aspx?pageid=1
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a c 130 U Graphics card
April 9, 2012 3:49:55 PM

einterlan said:
Bottleneck whit a x6 Phenom? I know I5-2500k is better, but is good enough that phenom for a 680. Just reformat + fresh W7 installation + lastest ATI drivers.


Its not the core count that matters in this scenario its raw performance a 2.8 X (insert any number you want) CPU will cause a restriction with a 680.

Mactronix :) 
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a c 147 U Graphics card
April 9, 2012 3:51:30 PM

ryan5609 said:
Installed the drivers from EVGA.

Download the drivers directly from the Nvidia website. I am not sure what it was shipped with but the one from Nvidia as dated March 22nd, the day the cards came out. So common senses says they couldn't have boxed this driver with the card if it was released on this date. This is version 301.10.

Also, driver maturity could be a factor, as mentioned. When you want the latest and greatest you sometimes run into issues playing old games. It eventually works itself out. Are there any patches for those games?

I also don't really think it's a CPU bottleneck issue, as mentioned you would have had that bottleneck issue before with your 6950. The Phenom II X6 1055T is a fine CPU, and you could look into OCing it, but I don't think it all of a sudden created a problem.

Another thing, I don't think it is worth reformatting and reinstalling your entire PC. That is a complete time waster. How long does that take? I know if I had to it would take a week+ to get everything back on my rig. You can use driver sweeper to clean off the old AMD drivers if you want. I've use it in the past and it does a good job.http://www.guru3d.com/category/driversweeper/


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a c 217 U Graphics card
April 9, 2012 3:52:57 PM

I'm not sure how important it is to remove old drivers with Win 7, which allows multiple graphics drivers to be installed at once. I have both sets of drivers installed on my system now, and I'm getting above average performance with my system. Vista is a different story.

I also tested Crysis 1, and it is giving good FPS.
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April 9, 2012 3:58:55 PM

Have you tried checking for a patch from Crysis.com or ElectronicArts.com?
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a c 130 U Graphics card
April 9, 2012 4:19:12 PM

Don't reinstall the whole system that's taking a sledge hammer to crack a nut. Are you running Crysis in DX11 with the 680 ?
Which DX you are using will make a huge difference performance wise between the two cards not to mention image quality wise in certain games.
I will stand by what I said regarding your CPU restricting you. Look at some on line reviews and compare the difference in FPS they are getting with what you are getting and just ask your self this.
Am I really loosing that much performance based on immature drivers or a software conflict or is it more likely that it can only really be explained by a hardware restriction.
As an example techpowerup shows, HD6950 Crysis 1920 X1200 X4 AA FPS = 33.6 GTX680 1920 X1200 X4 AA FPS 51.1
They have an i7 920 @3.8 GHz.

Mactronix :) 
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April 9, 2012 4:26:33 PM

I read this article http://www.guru3d.com/article/radeon-hd-7970-cpu-scalin...

It looks like for some games there is a definite performance drop depending on the type of processor you use, especially in older DX10 games. But I dont see that difference being as great as the difference I am having at 1920 x 1080. In most DX 11 games the difference is either really small or null, which seems about accurate to me. All of my DX11 games have performed very well (BF3, Crysis 2, Metro, AVP)
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April 9, 2012 6:16:23 PM

Listen to MACTRONIX knows what hes talking about, I try to!
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April 19, 2012 1:26:17 AM

Best answer selected by ryan5609.
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