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I need to know if my CPU is bottle necked

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November 19, 2012 12:50:11 AM

Hello There,

I just recently upgraded my graphics card and I am getting less than expected frame rates and frame rate drops. An example is that is black ops 2 I get a solid 60 fps, but in some maps when I am outdoors looking at a large portion of the map it drops down to 40 fps or lower. I Think that it is my CPU causing the problem but I am kinda new to computers so I don't know.

System specs:
AMD Phenom II x4 840 @3.2ghz
Radeon HD 7870 GHz Edition Black Edition 2GB


So If someone could please tell me if they think that the problem is the CPU because if it is I want to upgrade to an FX-4170

Thanks in advance!!!!!

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November 19, 2012 1:02:15 AM

I did overclock my daughters 955BE to 3.6GHz and saw a massive increase in FPS with HD7850. So you are bottlenecked.
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November 19, 2012 1:16:02 AM

I would overclock!
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November 19, 2012 1:16:08 AM

So in your opinion do you think I should overclock or just upgrade to the fx-4170 witch is clocked at 4.2ghz
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November 19, 2012 1:28:00 AM

Overclock.

The Fx 4000 series is terrible for gaming.
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November 19, 2012 1:35:56 AM

+1
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November 19, 2012 2:31:07 AM

You could run performance monitor running in the back monitoring your CPU load. If you have any cores pegging at 100% at the same time your frames drop, that's a pretty good indicator it's the CPU.


If you do decide to upgrade, I'd go with the fx4300 or 6300, not one of the fx4100 series. I don't think the 4100 is as bad as people like to put on, but it's not as good as the latest FX series.
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November 19, 2012 4:10:41 AM

I ran performance monitor on one of the maps I get the fps drops. I am not sure how to view each core individually but overall the CPU usage was around 70% with a max of 81%.
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November 19, 2012 4:45:55 AM

Ok I figured out how to see all cores, one of the cores hits around 75% in the lag area and one hits around 70%, the others hover around 64%

when not in that area they are around 50-60%
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November 19, 2012 5:59:20 AM

That doesn't indicate a CPU bottleneck to me, although it is possible. It is obvious the game want more CPU than normal during those frame drops, but 75% is still fairly safe to see during an intense task.

I would download GPU-z and leave it running in the background on the sensors tab. There is a little GPU load counter that keeps a little bit of history. You can check the same on that and see if it is pegged. It also shows memory and temperatures.

Just as an example, when I am running BF3 (on ultra 1680x1050) on my OC 7850 I am using 70-80% of my i5 processor and 95-100% load on the GPU. So that says that any fps limits would have to be the card because it has nothing left to give.
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November 19, 2012 6:09:49 AM

At the same time you can't discount poor programming. x264.exe is 100% CPU yet often max a quad core at wayyy below 100%. Things are not always as they seem
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November 19, 2012 7:27:57 PM

Hi,
I did a full analysis of black ops 2 on max settings and I get 60 fps except for the areas that I experience fps drop (the drop happens on all texture settings). The places I drop have 90% load on one core and 80% on the others, graphics card only has a 45% load, and my memory load is around 35%. On normal settings one core hits 75% load, the rest are around 60% and my gpu is around 38% load and memory is at 33%


This all seems pretty low to me so it confuses my why I get the fps drops. do you think that because it is a new game they could fix performance issues in the next amd driver update? Because I feel with these statistics that I should be getting constant frame rates?
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November 19, 2012 7:38:45 PM

GPU load is under 50%? What resolution are you running?


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November 19, 2012 7:59:35 PM

1920x1080. I think my analysis was not right though because I did it on a game with no people and just looked around. In an actual game I get around 52% gpu load and all of the cpu cores are around 70% and in laggy spots they go up to the 80's and sometimes 90's
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November 19, 2012 8:01:54 PM

You could upgrade to an FX 8350. It is only a little bit behind the i5.
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November 19, 2012 8:43:34 PM

If your graphics card is not breaking a sweat at 1920x1080 and your cpu is up in the 90s, then I take back what I said about the bottleneck. It sounds like it probably is the CPU. You should usually have near 100% utilization of the graphics card because most games try to give you as many fps as they can deliver, even if it is 200fps (barring vsync being enabled)

As others said earlier, if your cooling allows overclocking that would a good way to check CPU. If you raise your CPU speed 10-20% and your fps don't drop as low, then that's an easy answer.

Otherwise, I'd look at a fx-6300 or 8320 for AM3+ socket upgrade

.

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November 19, 2012 9:12:12 PM

I do have vsync enabled so that is the reason the usage is low, and I am using stock cpu fan and have decent case cooling. I am going to try to overclock but i need to know if i dont change the voltage will i need to get an aftermarket cpu cooler?
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November 19, 2012 11:54:39 PM

koalaman130 said:
I do have vsync enabled so that is the reason the usage is low, and I am using stock cpu fan and have decent case cooling. I am going to try to overclock but i need to know if i dont change the voltage will i need to get an aftermarket cpu cooler?



Black Ops 2 is still a CPU-bound game and does not take advantage of more than two CPU cores.

So all you are using is 2 cores of stock amd cpu, you need to overclock.




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November 20, 2012 2:27:10 AM

Apparently your processor is worth more than gold. Sell it for $10 less than this guy and you can buy a watercooled i7-3990 system: http://www.ebay.com/itm/AMD-Phenom-II-X4-Quad-Core-Proc...

No really, looks like you get around $60 for it. Then your upgrade to a new Vishera processor would be less than $80 out of pocket.

You aren't going to get a huge overclock with the stock cooler, but you could try 10-15% or so and see what happens with the temps. I wouldn't put a ton of money into a new cooler just to overclock that one. One of the bummers about the 840 was that it doesn't have any L3 cache, so it's quite a bit slower than the other Phenoms for certain tasks.

Edit: When I remembered the 840 was one of the few phenoms with no L3 cache, I also remembered it is not a black edition. You are going to have very limited overclocking room, if any.
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November 20, 2012 8:48:47 AM

something fishy here "not availiable" prob some money laundering gig
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November 20, 2012 9:12:31 AM

The "lag" could be just from the gaming loading textures or something.
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November 20, 2012 1:58:55 PM

If you have room for temps,OC it some more.

And don't be so quick to rule out badly optimized game.
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November 20, 2012 2:00:14 PM

abbadon_34 said:
something fishy here "not availiable" prob some money laundering gig


Yeah, some obvious error or scam at $3000 for a $50-70 CPU! :) 


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November 22, 2012 5:36:57 PM

4170 was one of the best Bulldozer chips due to the high clock speed, but that article was written before the availability of Piledriver chips. The FX4300 or 6300 perform better than the 4170 at a similar price and also use the same AM3+ socket.



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