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Battlefield performance issues - what do i need to upgrade?

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August 5, 2012 10:16:58 AM

Hi, so as the topic claims im having poor performance in BF3 (pretty much the only game i play and care about atm)
and im not really sure if it will be enough to just upgrade my GPU, or if my CPU (and other components) is singing on its last verse. I'd appreciate some guidance on the matter.

So im currently running:

CPU: Intel C2Q Q9550 @ 2,83Ghz
GPU: ATi Radeon HD 6970
RAM: 8 GB DDR2 PC6400
HDD: some random SSD, it does the job.
this is running on an old asus P5K motherboard.

so, what do you think? would a new GPU make the differance to stable >60 fps on ultra, or is a new build the the way to go?

Thanks in advance
Anders
August 5, 2012 10:25:42 AM

I ran BF3 on a nearly identical system for a little bit prior to upgrading. I had a P5Q series motherboard and QX9650.

The Q9550 isn't bad but it should be showing its age by now. Keep in mind that the Core 2 Quad processors are actually native dual core processors on a multi-chip package (Xeons included). This means that each 2 core module shares half the cache and must share the FSB bandwidth with the other module.

There is no clear 'weakpoint' in your system. The 6970 is a rock solid card and will handle BF3 without issue on high with some settings on Ultra. Since "poor performance" is subjective I'm making a mild assumption here.

The P5K motherboard could be better. The P35 is quite old. The P45 is a lot better but still old by today's standards. If you want something a little better get your hands on a P5Q series motherboard such as the "P5Q Pro Turbo". However, these boards are old and hard to find. You may be best just saving for a new computer all together.

EDIT: I got the chipset wrong, whoops.
August 5, 2012 10:33:16 AM

The CPU isn't the problem at all, quad cores are what can run BF3 best.
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August 5, 2012 10:47:58 AM

yeah, i guess "poor performance" is a bit vague, so let me clarify.
i bought the GPU when bf3 was new just to get it to run, since my previous GPU was really old, so im not really keen on getting a new GPU, since its relatively new.

But anyway, when i started out i was running the game on high with some selected settings on ultra (textures, draw distance, effects) and it was fine, not buttery smooth, but everything looked cool so i didn't mind(i knew the fps was lower than i wanted, but i didn't want to annoy myself by looking at it). When B2K came out, i noticed a big fps drop on the new maps, so i lowered the settings a bit.
When im looking at the framerate, im getting somewhere between 40-60, (well, thats with v-sync) in rare cases lower, which is playable but with the lowered settings the game isnt as pretty anymore, and in big open areas <40 isnt optimal. i know finding an old 775 mobo is pretty much impossible these days, so i don't see it as an option.

What do you think about this? there's a bundled "upgrade" kit on a swedish site, for about 550 USD/444EUR
im getting this:

CPU: Intel® Core™ i5-2500K, Quad Core, 3.3Ghz
MOBO: ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3
RAM: Kingston DDR3 HyperX 1600MHz 8GB

by getting that, do you recon i'd be able to get it running smooth @ <60 fps on high/ultra?
one concern i have about that kit though, is the 2500K CPU, hasn't that been around for a good while now?
would it be future proof since its already a bit.. old?

August 5, 2012 10:50:51 AM

You gotta tell also if you play singleplayer or multiplayer, your monitor resolution?
August 5, 2012 10:52:13 AM

If you need 60+ on ultra you will want a new GPU, even a GTX 670 barely does that.
August 5, 2012 10:56:07 AM

ilysaml said:
You gotta tell also if you play singleplayer or multiplayer, your monitor resolution?



Multiplayer.
And as of this moment im on a 1680x1050 monitor with plans on a 1920x1080 somewhere down the line.

lets say i get a gtx 690 or a 7970, or whatever, would be CPU still not bottleneck it?
August 5, 2012 11:00:30 AM

Yup, 100% bottleneck.

In multiplayer games with huge maps a lot of work is being done by the CPU that's why the top end cards get down to their knees in multiplayer games especially in RPG games (such as Skyrim & WOW) which requires a massive CPU power to do the rendering.

Your aged C2Q CPU will bottleneck the HD 6970 in the games, which I mentioned above that require a stronger CPU (more power of "per core CPU" not the NO. of cores)

EDIT: The High end cards would get bottlenecked by the CPU

August 5, 2012 11:12:31 AM

The 2500K is the sweetest gaming chip ever out there, doesn't differ too much from the $1000 i7 3960X in gaming benches. The question is; Do you only need the CPU for gaming?

If you're using heavy multi-threaded applications or doing some rendering or video encoding you might consider the i7 2600K or i7 3930K. For just gaming the 2500K is very sweet.

GTX 690 is a Dual GPU card costs around $1100 and overkill for 1080P monitor, your options is to get another HD 6970 for crossfire or sell it and get a single HD 7970 or GTX 680.

August 5, 2012 11:29:39 AM

He should get Ivy Bridge, not SB.
August 5, 2012 11:30:25 AM

ilysaml said:
The 2500K is the sweetest gaming chip ever out there, doesn't differ too much from the $1000 i7 3960X in gaming benches. The question is; Do you only need the CPU for gaming?

If you're using heavy multi-threaded applications or doing some rendering or video encoding you might consider the i7 2600K or i7 3930K. For just gaming the 2500K is very sweet.

GTX 690 is a Dual GPU card costs around $1100 and overkill for 1080P monitor, your options is to get another HD 6970 for crossfire or sell it and get a single HD 7970 or GTX 680.



Thanks man, that's really helpful, to answer your question, yeah, i only need the CPU for gaming on this PC, feels like i have one PC per task right now :p 
the price isnt really an obstacle though, but after reviewing benchmarks the 2600k (which i initially had my eyes on) seems pointless.

Getting another 6970 would be cool if it wasn't for the fact that i went for the biggest 6970 out there, it takes up 3 slots and i dont even know if there's a mobo who can hold two.

But anyway. as i see it right now, getting a new GPU isn't worth it, until BF4 hits the shelves in late 2013.

But would a 2500k in combination with my 6970 get me where i want in bf3?
August 5, 2012 11:39:43 AM

ilysaml said:
The 2500K is the sweetest gaming chip ever out there, doesn't differ too much from the $1000 i7 3960X in gaming benches. The question is; Do you only need the CPU for gaming?

If you're using heavy multi-threaded applications or doing some rendering or video encoding you might consider the i7 2600K or i7 3930K. For just gaming the 2500K is very sweet.

GTX 690 is a Dual GPU card costs around $1100 and overkill for 1080P monitor, your options is to get another HD 6970 for crossfire or sell it and get a single HD 7970 or GTX 680.



+1

For your purposes that upgrade kit is pretty good

40-60 FPS sounds about right for the 6970. I used to have one and ran BF3 on it with both a QX9650 @ 4Ghz and i7-2600 (non-k) @ 3.4 Ghz before upgrading to what I have now so I can tell you with confidence that you're getting what you should be expecting.

The 2500k is an outstanding mainstream chip and should last another 2-3 years at least before it starts to show its age in gaming. That deal isn't 'terrific' for $550 but it's not awful either. Do some price comparisons but an upgrade like that would be ideal.
August 5, 2012 11:42:13 AM

zarg0n said:
But would a 2500k in combination with my 6970 get me where i want in bf3?

Yup almost, you can expect to maintain in the 50 FPS area (1080P), BF3 always needed CF or SLI to maintain smoothness.
Just don't forget to OC the CPU to get the most out of it, get an aftermarket cooler too.
Do you have the Asus DCU II?
August 5, 2012 11:58:13 AM

ilysaml said:
Yup almost, you can expect to maintain in the 50 FPS area (1080P), BF3 always needed CF or SLI to maintain smoothness.
Just don't forget to OC the CPU to get the most out of it, get an aftermarket cooler too.
Do you have the Asus DCU II?


Yep, thats correct, knew it was a asus, but had forgotten its full name :) 

About overclocking, i spent alot of time overclocking my current CPU, and GPU, and i wasn't getting noticeable differences in games, i got a huge improvement in 3d marks, but when it game to real difference in games it just wasn't noticeable(not alot anyway), even at extreme clocks, so i ended up reverting to stock for stability.

about the pricing of that kit, the SEK - USD rates are pretty bad atm, so the pricing in USD is misleading.

As long as the 2500k will last a few years i think im gonna go with that. There's nothing around the corner in terms of intel CPU right now is there?

What about that mobo im getting (ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN3), are there any better alternatives out there, it seems to be doing what i want in terms of connectivity and specs, does it handle overclocking well, if i were to try it out again?
August 5, 2012 12:08:46 PM

You have an aged C2Q CPU, and it was pretty hard to get past 3.0/3.2 GHz the i5 2500K can hit 4.5 GHz easily, FPS will increase to 5-7 FPS when you OC the HD 6970 so it might not be noticeable to you, the newer HD 7xxx series are known for their overclocking potentiality. Right now some cards reach 1.3 GHz for GPU Core and gives around 15% performance increase. Anyway...not the story :p 

You can get a very high end Mobo to carry out your CF config, you still haven't made a decision about the GPU? What are you going to do?
August 5, 2012 12:18:42 PM

What im thinking at the moment, is getting that upgrade, new, mobo, cpu and ram, keep the GPU for now, as long as the CPU will last me a few years i can keep it and get the next gen GPU when the next interesting game arrives (like bf4). And maybe go for a sli/cf setup then.
Does that sound like a plan, or is it better to just endure and get a brand new set up when that day comes?
August 5, 2012 2:59:15 PM

I think that upgrade is really the best way to go for you. The CPU and motherboard can last you for at least a few yours and when the next gen games come out you can always buy an extra HD 6970 or a new gpu.

As said before in this post and in numerous reviews/benchmarks the multiplayer component (I assume thats what you play) of BF3 is very CPU intensive which is probably why you are not getting the performance you want to see.

Though the 6970 won't give 60+ fps on ultra with a 1080p resolution (more like 45 fps), it should run smoothly.
To really get 60+ fps consistently you'd need a new gpu in addition the the cpu.
August 5, 2012 3:45:51 PM

i could live with playing at high, and raising a few selected features to ultra just to get rid of the pixalated look.
August 5, 2012 3:52:47 PM

I think you can leave most features on ultra if you disable lower AA as your card takes a very big performance hit when enabling it.
August 5, 2012 5:07:59 PM

So you're good to go. Good Luck.
August 5, 2012 5:30:35 PM

thanks for all the replies, best hardware forum experience ever :) 
August 5, 2012 5:34:07 PM

The P8Z68V Pro\Gen 3 is a great overclocking motherboard, my friend has the Gen 2 version and I have the Gen 2 non pro V. You should without effort get a minimum of 4.2ghz out of the 2500k. The P8Z68V and V Pro both support SLI/Crossfire, so a second 6970 could help now or later. My friend with the V Pro has 2 unlocked 6950's(unlocked to 6970) with a 2600K and has no performance issues in any game though he doesn't play BF3 so I cannot give an estimate there.

I play BF3 MP with a mix of High/Ultra with my 2 560 Ti's and with my framerate capped at 70 it rarely drops, and when it does it's still above 60. My specs are in my sig. And the 6970 is faster than the 560 Ti.
August 5, 2012 6:23:18 PM

Ok help me settle one last thing, i've been doing some research on these two items, and im not sure which way to go.

ASUS P8Z77-V with an i5 3570k
or ASUS P8Z68-V with the i5 2500k


the difference in pricing is 46 USD, and im most interested in stock performance

August 5, 2012 6:41:35 PM

Stock performance, the 3570K, if your interested in OCing, the 2500K does it easier with a lot less heat.
August 5, 2012 6:44:10 PM

zarg0n said:
Ok help me settle one last thing, i've been doing some research on these two items, and im not sure which way to go.

ASUS P8Z77-V with an i5 3570k
or ASUS P8Z68-V with the i5 2500k


the difference in pricing is 46 USD, and im most interested in stock performance


Go with the first one in that case
August 5, 2012 6:44:36 PM

ok, cool, if im gonna go with the 3570k, i might as well get the upgraded Z77 too right?
i read that the Z77 has improved performance with ivy bridge.
August 5, 2012 6:59:01 PM

zarg0n said:
ok, cool, if im gonna go with the 3570k, i might as well get the upgraded Z77 too right?
i read that the Z77 has improved performance with ivy bridge.


Marginally so yes, they were released in tandem. The biggest advantage is native USB 3.0 support on the PCH rather than having to rely on a third party add-in chip.
August 5, 2012 7:05:52 PM

z77 is good

but you should get an i7-2600k, it's only around $50 more
August 5, 2012 7:09:49 PM

Z77 is not good with an i7-2600k. Z68 is more reasonable with SB.
August 5, 2012 8:23:10 PM

Thanks for all the replies, i just bought the Z77 with a 3570k and 8GB of DDR3 ram, hopefully it will show some boost in the bf3 performance.
August 5, 2012 9:26:19 PM

cool...my mistake about the chipset...azeem40 was right :kaola: 
!