So I'm an iRacing fan and built myself a budget desktop for gaming and iRacing. After extensive research I finally put together a nice build, this was put together around 6 months ago. Here are the specs:
i3 2100 3.1Ghz
Sapphire Radeon 6850 1GB GDDR5
1x4GB RAM 1333Mhz Kingston
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB 7200rpm
Corsair CX500 500W 80+ power supply
Thermaltake V3 Black Edition case
Now my problem: After doing some of my own benchmarking, looking to see on which parts of the track I get the lowest FPS. I leave the car sitting in the area of lowest FPS for a while, then I minimize the simulator and check my CPU and GPU usage with Task Manager and MSI Afterburner. I do these tests at 1080p with maximum graphical settings. I also scourged the iRacing forums to make sure my settings are as optimal as possible to get the highest possible FPS.
CPU usage in Task Manager: ~90%
GPU usage in MSI Afterburner: ~80%
If I understand correctly, due to the fact that my CPU is practically killing itself... yet the GPU usage hovers around 80%... that means that my i3 2100 is the bottleneck in this case. How can I be sure that my hypothesis is correct? Are there any other components in my system that may be bottlenecking? RAM maybe?
Now what can I do to get past this issue and make sure that my system works optimally, to get rid of any bottlnecking and to make sure I get the best experience I can with iRacing? Will I have to swap out hardware? I didn't go for the i5 2500K at the time, since its price was way out of my league, and all the articles stressed on focusing on the GPU... same goes to the current i5 3570K.
I'm thinking a possible solution would be to swap out the i3 2100 and replace it with the i3 3220... from 3.1 to 3.3 Ghz + the IvyBridge architecture... should that get rid of the bottlenecking? Alternatively, I may swap out the entire motherboard and CPU, sell them, and go for an FX-4300 with an AM3+ motherboard and OC.
I would appreciate any help folks. I want my system to run optimally. I'm quite disappointed that the system I built turns out to not be as optimized as I thought it would be.