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AMD Athlon x4 630 causing choppiness when playing games on

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October 15, 2012 11:12:49 PM

Hello, I have a really annoying problem when playing games. Now I don't know if it's just limited to this specific set of games that I play (CSS and CSGO), but I ran PixPerAn when measuring the ghosting of my monitor, and I can see the same problem.

I feel like frames and models "skip".

This is most noticeable when "turning" ingame. If I am keeping my crosshair on the edge of a wall corner, for example, the corner doesn't look like it stays in place, but constantly chopping around.

Relevant components of my build:
XFX Radeon HD6870 1GB
DDR2 Patriot 4gb @ 800mhz
Samsung SyncMaster S23A700D
AMD Athlon II X4 630 @ 2.8Ghz
American Megatrends Biostar A760G M2+

Initially, I thought this was a graphics card problem. However, I have uninstalled, cleaned using DriverSweeper, and reinstalled the AMD drivers, producing no change.

My question is, given that my CPU is extremely old, could it perhaps be causing this choppiness when coupled with the newer radeon gpu? I didn't seem to have this problem with my old Nvidia GeForce GT 240.
a c 332 à CPUs
October 15, 2012 11:45:25 PM

Your 6870 should run circles around the old GT 240. I'm thinking you weren't playing the same demanding games with the GT 240. Yes, the AthlonII X4 630 is a bit slow for today's games. But if your resolution isn't too high it should keep up with the 6870 enough to keep from doing what you are saying.

Are you playing with vsnc ON? That can cause the effect you are mentioning. If you Google 'vsync stutter' you'll see what I mean. What game(s) is it happening in?
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October 15, 2012 11:53:42 PM

Absolutely no vsync on, that causes an immense amount of input lag for me.
Like I said, I primarily play Counter Strike Source and CS:GO, although Source is my main focus. This is the only game I play, and I have been playing it for five years. I'm a little bit mad that I can't even run a six year old game properly...
I'm playing on 1920x1080 @ 120Hz, as I have an S23A700D. However, even if I change the resolution to, say, 800x600 or 640x480, the problem persists.

EDIT: Keep in mind that when I run PixPerAn (like I said in my original post), the racecar animation exhibits the same effect. I believe PixPerAn shouldn't be too intensive to run smoothly..?
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a c 332 à CPUs
October 16, 2012 12:05:15 AM

Wow. If you have this issue in Source games, it isn't an underpowered system, then. I wonder if the card is performing properly. What is your Windows Experience Index score for Graphics, processor?
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October 16, 2012 12:08:47 AM

6.8 and 7.2 respectively.

The source engine is a very CPU intensive, which is why I can't help but think the Athlon is the problem.

EDIT: whoops, haven't refreshed the score (possibly since the installation of the 6870). Will do now and report back.
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October 16, 2012 12:21:05 AM

7.8 for the graphics card, 7.2 for the CPU. Had to refresh it haha.

How reliable is WEI anyway? I've seen people with i5-2500k's score 7.3, even though the 2500k is WAYYY better than the Athlon 630
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a c 332 à CPUs
October 16, 2012 12:21:36 AM

You're right about that. The CPU score of 7.2 is amazingly good, though. But the Graphics score of only 6.8 seems to indicate something is wrong. I just check the records of one of my builds from the past with a Athlon II X3 455 3.3GHZ and a HD 6870. It was Graphics: 7.8 and Processor: 6.9
So your processor is great. But the HD 6870 is way low. Unless you have the numbers reversed...
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a c 332 à CPUs
October 16, 2012 12:45:25 AM

superricey said:
7.8 for the graphics card, 7.2 for the CPU. Had to refresh it haha.

How reliable is WEI anyway? I've seen people with i5-2500k's score 7.3, even though the 2500k is WAYYY better than the Athlon 630

That's more like it.

WEI isn't something I'd live or die by, but it was something I knew you had that we could use as a comparison. The CPU and GPU seem to be performing at par. Do you have much running in the background? Look at System Configuration/Startup tab to see what you have set to run at start up. Have you cleaned your system of junk files and resource errors lately? I like to run CCleaner occasionally. http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner ...and do the Clean and Registry both.
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October 16, 2012 12:50:02 AM

68 Proceses running.
I too run CCleaner regularly.
http://imgur.com/J7P6Q,Kg3FW#0

Have we dismissed the possibility that the CPU is at fault? I am planning to upgrade to a 2500k soon, and I would like to know if this problem would persist after the upgrade.
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a c 332 à CPUs
October 16, 2012 1:00:39 AM

68! Is that in System Config/startup or in Taskmanager/Processes? I only have 5 in the former. That sounds like Taskmanager/Process.

If you are thinking of upgrading to a different CPU/Board/Memory, your problems will be over with this system.

Btw, My i5-2500K rates 7.2 at stock in WEI. So it's not the best for comparison, but it's all we had right now.
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October 16, 2012 6:56:49 PM

Taskmanager lol.

Well I'm just kind of annoyed that I can't run a 6 year old game properly...really dumb. And the problem happens even when i'm at 200-300+ fps...
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October 16, 2012 7:18:47 PM

For example, like when I'm in an empty server or a very simply textured map.
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a c 332 à CPUs
October 16, 2012 7:25:20 PM

How does the system perform when you play those same games offline... single player.
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October 16, 2012 7:28:56 PM

clutchc said:
How does the system perform when you play those same games offline... single player.


The problem persists, so I'm sure it's not a problem with my rates or anything.
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a c 332 à CPUs
October 16, 2012 7:46:30 PM

Are you connected wireless or Ethernet to the internet?
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October 16, 2012 7:47:39 PM

clutchc said:
Are you connected wireless or Ethernet to the internet?


Wireless.
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a c 332 à CPUs
October 16, 2012 8:05:39 PM

superricey said:
68 Proceses running.
I too run CCleaner regularly.
http://imgur.com/J7P6Q,Kg3FW#0

Have we dismissed the possibility that the CPU is at fault? I am planning to upgrade to a 2500k soon, and I would like to know if this problem would persist after the upgrade.

Man! That's a lot of crap in start-up. If it was me, I'd disable as much as I could. If you don't know what to dis-able, use this webpage to find out what stuff does: http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_search.php
Type in the executable at the end of the command. Ex: name.exe/modifier
Like I said, I have a measly 5 items I allow to run at start-up. And I could do away with a couple more if I wanted to. Everytime you install a new pgm or add web-based app or toolbar, etc, it will try to put a startup item in the registry. All that stuff running in the background are resource and clock cycle hogs.

You could run a little test. Go to the General tab in the sys config window and chose Diagnostic Startup. Assuming nothing is left out that you need to game with, try running an off line game in single person and see if anything improves.
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October 17, 2012 12:08:30 AM

clutchc said:
Man! That's a lot of crap in start-up. If it was me, I'd disable as much as I could. If you don't know what to dis-able, use this webpage to find out what stuff does: http://www.pacs-portal.co.uk/startup_search.php
Type in the executable at the end of the command. Ex: name.exe/modifier
Like I said, I have a measly 5 items I allow to run at start-up. And I could do away with a couple more if I wanted to. Everytime you install a new pgm or add web-based app or toolbar, etc, it will try to put a startup item in the registry. All that stuff running in the background are resource and clock cycle hogs.

You could run a little test. Go to the General tab in the sys config window and chose Diagnostic Startup. Assuming nothing is left out that you need to game with, try running an off line game in single person and see if anything improves.


Tried your first suggestion, but it didn't help, which is consistent with the fact that the problem was noticeable after I installed my radeon 6870 :[

I am going to try running in Diag Mode and then try monitoring my cpu/gpu usage with RivaTuner OSD and HWiNFo64. Will post back once I'm finished. This is really frustrating...
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a c 332 à CPUs
October 17, 2012 12:25:23 AM

I have a 2nd PC (PhIIX4 965) with a GTX 560 OC here. Its gfx card is comparable to your HD 6870. I ran Furmark 1.10.2 using the (default settings) "benchmark preset:1080" and got min 24, max 25, and avg 23. You may want to check that against your score to verify the card is performing OK. Is the test smooth or jerky?
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October 17, 2012 1:30:36 AM

Running in Diagnostics Mode didn't help. GPU and CPU usage/clock speeds are normal, never going too high.

FPS: min:28, max:30, avg:28 - OPTIONS: DynBkg on FurMark. GPU runs at a max of 74 degrees C.

I actually thought the choppiness may have been a problem with my eyes being unaccustomed to my new monitor (S23A700D), so I played on my old 17" LCD at 75hz, and the problem was actually a LOT less noticeable than on my new 23" S23A700D.

Is it possible that the increase in monitor size and the reputed smoothness, along with my mediocre cpu (causing fps drops to close to the 120-200 fps range) causes increased ghosting and screen tearing? which makes me think "SO CHOPPY"?
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a c 332 à CPUs
October 17, 2012 6:36:06 PM

Ghosting is usually a sign of slow response time. But your Samsung has a 2ms response time. That shouldn't show any ghosting.
Screen tearing is almost always a problem that can be solved using vsnc. I have to always turn on vsync when I play a Source game. It is then recommended to also use Triple Buffering when you use vsync. Give it a try and see if it helps.
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What resolution is your 17"? If it is less than the 1920x1080 of your regular monitor, then of course it will play smoother. It doesn't have as many pixels/texels to render at every frame.

I may be forced to admit that the old Athlon II X4 630 is unable to keep up, afterall... at least at 1080p resolution. That, and the fact that the older Biostar A760G M2+ board is limited to DDR2 memory. And, being only a 95W motherboard, you are limited as to what CPU you can upgrade to. According to the CPU chart at the board's site, the Phenom II X4 945 is about the max. And that will only be found used, I'm betting. You'd be gaining 200MHZ and an L3 cache. http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/83/AMD_Athlon_II_X4_63...
I don't know if you'd really notice the difference. Tom's puts both processors in the same 'tier' in their CPU gaming Hierarchy chart: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...


( Biostar A760G M2+: http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/introduction.php?S_... )
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October 17, 2012 9:09:24 PM

clutchc said:
Ghosting is usually a sign of slow response time. But your Samsung has a 2ms response time. That shouldn't show any ghosting.
Screen tearing is almost always a problem that can be solved using vsnc. I have to always turn on vsync when I play a Source game. It is then recommended to also use Triple Buffering when you use vsync. Give it a try and see if it helps.
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What resolution is your 17"? If it is less than the 1920x1080 of your regular monitor, then of course it will play smoother. It doesn't have as many pixels/texels to render at every frame.

I may be forced to admit that the old Athlon II X4 630 is unable to keep up, afterall... at least at 1080p resolution. That, and the fact that the older Biostar A760G M2+ board is limited to DDR2 memory. And, being only a 95W motherboard, you are limited as to what CPU you can upgrade to. According to the CPU chart at the board's site, the Phenom II X4 945 is about the max. And that will only be found used, I'm betting. You'd be gaining 200MHZ and an L3 cache. http://www.cpu-world.com/Compare/83/AMD_Athlon_II_X4_63...
I don't know if you'd really notice the difference. Tom's puts both processors in the same 'tier' in their CPU gaming Hierarchy chart: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...


( Biostar A760G M2+: http://www.biostar.com.tw/app/en/mb/introduction.php?S_... )


I think some of the choppiness is caused by my shitty CPU: http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/307606-33-choppyness-...

The ghosting problem, however, is a different matter entirely.
I get more stutter with vsync lol, and the apparent ghosting doesn't go away.
My old 17" Viewsonic had a response time of 8ms, and it seemed smoother...I ran games at 1440x900.
I just tried playing on 1440x900 on this monitor, and I STILL see ghosting.
Perhaps I am not explaining myself clearly enough? When I strafe, for example, objects look blurry, as if their sides are multiplying. This is much more apparent with nearby objects than far away objects.
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