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Is this normal?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 1, 2012 11:39:03 PM

Firstly, because this is about one game in general, I know I shouldn't be refering to TH but I have posted it on the game's forums and haven't had a reply for ages, also Tom's Hardware has a reliable base of people to talk to and question about these issues.

I have recently built my new rig in hope that I could max out most games including ones such as WoW, Diablo 3 and MW3. I have tested all three of these games and more and all seem to be running flawlessly at maximum settings at a stable 60FPS or above except from WoW. I get a nice 60FPS in zones with NO people, however when I enter a place with even 5 people I get drastic drops down to the 30s. Personally I am not impressed as this is with a mid-high end card and a game like WoW should not struggle at all. I play at maximum settings, DX11, 1080p, vSync on with no programs running in the background and NO addons. I have reinstalled wow twice now and still have the same issue, I have upgraded to the 64-bit client and see no change whatsoever. All of my graphics card drivers etc. are up to date.

System Specs:
Case - CM Storm Enforcer
Motherboard - Asus M5A78L-M/USB3
CPU - AMD Phenom II x4 965 @ 3.4GHz
RAM - 8GB Corsair Vengeance 1600MHz
GPU - XFX Radeon HD 6950 1GB
PSU - Cooler Master GX650w
HDD - 320GB WD Caviar Blue
OS - Windows 7 64-bit Ultimate

Question 1 - Is this normal?
Question 2 - Is there anyway to get a stable 60FPS without sacrificing graphics settings? (Assuming that this is a high end card and I shouldn't have too)
Question 3 - Is there a possibilty that it could be a result of my HDD failing to load the objects faster or is this what the RAM and GPU is for?

Thanks alot and I hope for a fast reply as I have posted this before but did not add as much detail and did not get a sufficient answer. If it helps, my friends rig runs it on ultra with no drops and he has an old intel quad @ 2.8GHz (i think, I know it's an intel quad with a slightly lower clock speed than mine) and an 8800GTS.

More about : normal

a b U Graphics card
June 1, 2012 11:57:01 PM

I think I read somewhere on a WoW forum about Multi-Core enabling? Have you tried that? Also, from some of the MMO's I've played, if you're experiencing slight freezes or lags, it's most likely your HDD not being able to load fast enough.

However, if your FPS drops down to a constant 30fps or so, it's most likely due to your CPU. MMO's tend to utilize more of your CPU than GPU, so going to raids, or entering areas with lots of people (such as towns) may cause some lags.

I've experienced this on MMO's such as Vindictus and Aion...they're not DX11, but I still experienced some lags in crowded towns with my OC'd X4 955 (Mind you games were loaded on my SSD).
June 1, 2012 11:58:12 PM

Thankyou for the reply, what would you recommend to fix this issue as no-one as of now has had an answer for it? :) 
a b U Graphics card
June 2, 2012 12:50:57 AM

Well from what I've noticed, overclocking my CPU helped me A LOT on a lot of MMO's :) 

For example, on games such as Fiesta Online, Iris Online, and Aion Online, when in a crowded city, with my CPU at a stock frequency of 3.2Ghz gave me 20-35 FPS (50-60+ outside cities). With my CPU with a mild overclock of 3.5Ghz, I averaged 10-15 more FPS in the same areas :D  even more with an overclock of 3.8Ghz!

So if you have an aftermarket cooler, and if you're comfortable with overclocking (even a 200-300 Mhz bump will give you better performance), I would definitely recommend it.

As for a rock solid solution that requires no hardware tweaking, I can't answer that unfortunately :( 
!