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Trying to find the bottleneck

  • Homebuilt
  • Bottleneck
  • Systems
Last response: in Systems
July 12, 2012 5:30:38 PM

I've been experiences some slow downs and I'm trying to figure out why. There are times my system will slow down to a crawl with only one or two cores on my 4 core Phenom II x4 955 being used. Once in a while I MAX out all 6GB of RAM and experience a slow down. This bottleneck does not happen often and is very easy for me to fix. I simply close high RAM usage programs. This is not the slow down I'm trying to fix. I'm talking about slows downs that occur when the hard drive is not being used much, the CPU is not maxed and the ram is still free.

overclocked 3,8 GHz Phenom II x4 955
6 GB RAM 800 MHz
ATI 5770 with three monitors. One at 1920x1080 on the HDMI port, and two at 1280x1024, one on the DVI port and one on the mini port with an active adapter making it a DVI port.
80GB Intel SSD where I have windows installed, my cache folder, and all working files and programs.
1.5 TB storage drive only used for storage.

I do a LOT of multitasking. I have my taskbar set to about 1/4 the size of one of my three monitors. I usually have 3 browser open (I.E., Chrome, Firefox) at all times and I usually have SEVERAL tabs open in both chrome and FireFox.

When I'm not working... or working while playing:
If I have two videos playing on two monitors, sometimes both of them will start to stutter with less than 20% CPU usage (less than one core). Sometimes I'll have a game playing on the center monitor and the video will become unwatchable,,, even with low cpu usage.

More about : find bottleneck

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July 12, 2012 5:48:05 PM

You should be looking at GPU usage, not CPU usage. The video card is what drives video.

At any rate, the HD 5770 isn't exactly the greatest video card in the world. It's a three year old budget card, and you should have expectations reflecting that reality.

If you're trying to play games with max settings at 1080p with that card, it's just not going to work well. Driving three monitors, playing multiple videos simultaneously (apparently while gaming), you're just asking too much of it.
July 12, 2012 6:10:40 PM

When I do play a graphically intensive game I close down the other programs and videos. I have no problem playing games.

Looking at the AMD Overdrive panel in the AMD VISION control center the Activity rarely goes above 6%. Even when it does it never goes about 15% in windows. I have no idea how to check video RAM usage.

Could it be the video card is running out of RAM?

I'd gladly get a new video card to fix this problem, but I'm not convinced that's the problem.
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July 12, 2012 6:13:24 PM

Definitely the gpu.
July 12, 2012 6:17:41 PM

Thank you for the replies! If is is the GPU, why does the activity usage stay so low in the AMD Overdrive panel?
July 12, 2012 6:58:15 PM

Have you tried running your rig with only 1 monitor and seeing if there is any problem? If thats the case your video card could just be being really taxed by the triple monitor display.
July 12, 2012 7:13:10 PM

using MSI Afterburner I can see that my video RAM usage is less than 300 MB (My card has 1GB). My memory clock is a steady 1200, and my core clock rests as 400 and occasionally rises to 850 when GPU activity starts. Like I said though, the GPU activity always remains low.

I cannot really check to see if the problem happens on a single monitor since the problem only happens when I use all three displays.

If the GPU is really getting maxed, how come it always acts like it's not getting used at all? even the temp is a low 45c. When I play a taxing game the temps usually go upwards to 80c.