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Upgrading baby! I need your help!

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June 17, 2012 7:07:58 AM

Well I have a p5n32se mobo with 2gbs of xms2 ddr2 800 mhz ram, a conroe core 2 duo @ 2.4ghz, just upgraded from a 7900 gt to a 560 superclocked gtx (should I stick my 7900 gt in and run them in SLI btw?) but anyway I have a 24" asus ve248h and it plays games very smoothly at 1920x1080 but once in a while ill get some framerate spikes (Diablo 3 for exmaple, WoW which when i logged on and flew around to see how smooth it was it was better than before but still framerate spikes in busy areas. My question is what do you think will help get rid of the spikes the most? Obviously dropping $3,000 on a super computer will do the job but since i just spent $440 on the 24" and 560 sc gtx I dont want to spend anymore money until I have some to spare. So what should I upgrade now to make it even faster the memory im ugprading from 2gbs to 4 tomorrow as frys sells the xms2 performance ram im using but would there be something else that would help even more? I tried to find a processor to upgrade but the only one newegg.com had that was the same socket as my motherboard (lga 775) was a downgrade. What do you think?

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June 17, 2012 7:27:18 AM

Make sure its not your internet connection causing the spikes.

Make sure you have the latest drivers for your GPU.

Check temps and see if your card is getting too hot under load.

Try playing with the graphics settings of the games and see if that helps.
June 17, 2012 7:31:29 AM

I did all of those, it does not run too hot, its not my internet (those spikes are way different), i erased my old drivers and installed the latest from nvidia. I played with the graphic settings and it gains a little fps when i turn them down but very little and the spikes are still there. Like I said it runs very smoothly but the framerate spikes to happen once in a while for example when I play diablo 3 and theres a lot of players attacking in a small area the FPS will spike. So I dont think its anything specific slowing it down I just need to upgrade something? Do you think taking it from 2gbs to 4gbs will do the trick or do I need a whole new mobo/cpu? Be honest with me i know upgrading the ram is only like $30 and a new mobo and cpu will run me another $200-300 but I want this bad boy to run smoothly and if all I need is another 2 gbs of performance ram for the lag spikes to go away spending $400 on a motherboard and cpu that does the job would be expensive
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June 17, 2012 8:00:36 AM

Upgrading your RAM will improve it but not by much. I don't think that will completely eliminate the spikes you speak off. I think it is still worth it though if you upgrade them.

Games like Diablo and WOW are CPU intensive though. That may just be where you are bottle-necking. I have the same issue with my laptop. When I play SC2, it runs smoothly in the beginning and when there are a lot of units, it lags (it has a dual core though can't think of the model at the moment). You are right though, it will be very expensive to replace the CPU + MoBo.

So, my suggestion is to upgrade the RAM for now and see if it improves your gaming experience. If not, I suggest for you to be patient. IB is rumored to be the last generation of the LGA 1155 socket. If you buy now, you're upgrade path will be significantly limited in the future. I will wait for Haswell to come out ( I think that's the name of the newer CPU's coming after Ivy Bridge).

If you still want to upgrade, i5 3570k + gigabyte z77x-d3h for single card build or gigabyte z77x-ud3h for SLI build.
June 17, 2012 1:37:28 PM

First find out what is causing the spikes. Run 'resource monitor' int ehbackground while you are playing. Google it, it's built into win7.

When you hit a lag spike use the windows key to jump to resource monitor to see whats going on.

Did the CPU do something different -- hard to tell with games they run often at 100% spinning waiting for events.

Did your 2GB of memory cause paging -- that will show up as Hard Faults in the memory tab -- buying more memory is a good idea, 4GB is enough, 2GB might not be and memory is cheap.

Did you disk service time or IO queue depth go up -- then time to look at disk to see if its taking IO errors.

Did the network spike up (lag or load? etc.

re: "(should I stick my 7900 gt in and run them in SLI btw?)" I don't think they will SLI together. Stick with the 560. Nice card.

edit: You running an E6600 ? A mild OC from stock 2.4 will let you see if more CPU is helping you get past the stutters. Many report that chip will run at 3ghz (large OC) with no voltage adjust... if you shoot for something less you can leave it that way.
June 17, 2012 8:52:23 PM

tsnor said:
First find out what is causing the spikes. Run 'resource monitor' int ehbackground while you are playing. Google it, it's built into win7.

When you hit a lag spike use the windows key to jump to resource monitor to see whats going on.

Did the CPU do something different -- hard to tell with games they run often at 100% spinning waiting for events.

Did your 2GB of memory cause paging -- that will show up as Hard Faults in the memory tab -- buying more memory is a good idea, 4GB is enough, 2GB might not be and memory is cheap.

Did you disk service time or IO queue depth go up -- then time to look at disk to see if its taking IO errors.

Did the network spike up (lag or load? etc.

re: "(should I stick my 7900 gt in and run them in SLI btw?)" I don't think they will SLI together. Stick with the 560. Nice card.

edit: You running an E6600 ? A mild OC from stock 2.4 will let you see if more CPU is helping you get past the stutters. Many report that chip will run at 3ghz (large OC) with no voltage adjust... if you shoot for something less you can leave it that way.


I did check what was consuming the most power and there wasn't anything irregular going on. Im assuming its bottlenecking so I'm going to spend the $30 on the 2gbs of ram and get a full 4 and see if that will give me the final push I want! =D
June 17, 2012 11:52:46 PM

Good to get the memory, cheap and valuable to go from 2GB to 4GB.

"Im assuming its bottlenecking" is like saying "I'm assuming it's stuttering" or "I'm assuming it has a limiting component somewhere". Without finding the bottleneck you don't know what to fix/upgrade. From wikipedia "A bottleneck is a phenomenon where the performance or capacity of an entire system is limited by a single or limited number of components or resources. "
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