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Performance Advantage recommendations

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January 2, 2013 1:10:21 AM

Hello I see a lot of threads and many answers from this website, so I decided to do one as well..
I'm not new nor fairly new to gaming computers but my performance of games seems very lacking compared to what I had expected from it. I honestly believe it has something to do with my cpu, and harddrive. Because my graphics card is pretty much near perfect in all aspects I thought it would be.. So...
FX-4100 oc 4.2ghz
Gigabyte 970A-d3 MOBO
Sata iii 2tb 6gb/s 7200rpm 64mb cache
HD 7850 OC
8gb ram corsair 1866mhz XMS DDR3
700watt power supply

With all that said, my motherboard is only amd cpu compatible and I have done countless amounts of research on what cpu is best with a hd 7850 and none have really gave me any concrete information. I do not want to bottleneck my cpu or gpu from either one not having the support it needs. I have looked into intel cpu and that is HIGHLY recommended but I would need a whole new MOBO for an intel cpu. A Hard Drive I would think a 10000rpm paired with a SSD would also help out a lot to. I heard the fx series is just horrible and now my performance seems lacking due to my CPU and possibly my harddrive without the support of a SSD. So what is your best recommendation to get the best performance out of my gaming computer because all I use it for is gaming and heard that the Phenom II X4 965/X6 are good for gaming. Also it happens in pretty much all games, ranging from a high demanding game like Rage/Crysis to Doom/Half Life 2. I thas that sudden Frame skip to it. Thank you.
a b à CPUs
January 2, 2013 2:41:09 AM

FX-4100 is horrible. Seeing as you no know nothing about hardware, let me give you some rundown on your specs.

-processor = horrible
-graphics card = okay, not perfect.
-8gb of 1866mhz. why would you need fast ram like that? you could of been fine with 1333
-power supply is overkill
-motherboard is okay, but not that good.
-if its a western digital HDD, then it's decent.

An SSD won't give you any fps, and if it does it will be 1-2.

Get a FX-6300, it might work with your motherboard, just research.

And why would you get a phenom. GO for something newer, not older.

Also, make sure your games are running your cpu or gpu decently. 10% cpu running on bf3 will no doubt cause lag.

and your processor won't bottleneck that hard. just over clock the *** out of it.
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January 2, 2013 3:48:01 AM

well thank you for the quick informative criticism. I know quite a bit about hardware, I was just on a budget and bought this from cyber power. I know there are better mother baords, I have one in store for me when I build "my" computer, this is just a temporary. My graphics card is good for being one of the ending gpu's for the 7000 series of amd. a SSD provides better load times when connecting to servers and such. I spent research and many opinions are saying that the phenom is a good cpu for just gaming. the power supply is for the security that it will not over heat as well as a liquid cooling fan is. But thank you for the honest reply I will research it further or just wait for my next build while in the mean time fixing this one so that I don't get a random texture loading frame skip. Thank you...
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a c 171 à CPUs
January 2, 2013 4:17:05 AM

Tech answer:
First of all, the FX-4100 is definitely NOT a "horrible" CPU. You need to keep the budget it mind. It's a fine CPU for the money.

One also needs to supply benchmark results or the term "horrible" doesn't really help anyway.

Benchmarks:
http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/cpu/display/amd-fx-812...

Other comments:
1) HDD/SDD:
This will have little bearing on your gaming experience. This mainly affects the initial game load and level loads.

2) Motherboard:
make sure the BIOS is up to date
(What does "not that good" mean? I often see very little difference in gaming results between motherboards of the same class. People making subjective comments need to be definitive and back up those statements with links)

3) Graphics Card:
The HD7850 isn't top-end but it's still a very nice card. There are many games on the market that your system can play at full quality. There's little point upgrading the graphics card without also doing your CPU.

4) RAM:
Your amount and frequency is OPTIMAL actually.
*Most games won't benefit from 1866MHz but some can get a small boost. It's not really worth debating but there's a myth out there that anything above 1333MHz is overkill and it's not true. This myth is being fueled by testers benchmark just a handful of games and applying the results to all games.

5) OS and drivers:
- make sure you are running a 64-bit version of Vista or Windows 7/8
- make sure the MAIN CHIPSET driver for your motherboard is up-to-date
- make sure the audio, video and other drivers are up to date
*AMD from their main site, onboard Realtek can get from Realtek (make sure correct version). Intel has a utility at their site to scan your system and find the best updates.

Your system is well above average. Sure you can spend another $200 on a CPU and get a small boost but refer to the benchmark charts to get an idea of what the benefit might be.

*My advice is stick with your current system and learn to TWEAK your settings for nice smooth playing rather than trying to get the best quality settings and having stutter and low frame rates.

TWEAK YOUR GAMES:
1) run FRAPS
2) turn VSYNC OFF
3) turn all quality settings to HIGHEST
4) play and monitor your quality
5) Tweak settings until you average about 65FPS
6) Enable VSYNC

Tweak analysis:
I usually prefer to run at 60FPS VSYNC'd. Dropping from 8xAA to 4xAA can reduce the frame rate a lot. Some other settings can have a HUGE input on performance with only mild quality differences so experiment. Try monitoring your frame rate by standing in one spot and turning around, then repeat by dropping one of the settings (i.e. Motion Blur) from HIGHEST to LOWEST so you can see what kind of impact that feature has.

SUMMARY:
You have a nice overall gaming system. You can get a boost by upgrading your CPU but you need to determine if the cost is worthwhile. I can't recommend any other upgrades.

My strong advice is adjust your games for smooth 60FPS VSYNC'd performance, enjoy your computer and don't worry about having the absolute best.

Personally, I have a better computer than you now, but my last one wasn't quite as good. Many of the games I play still were maxed out on my old rig. While I do appreciate the improved quality in many games, in the end I prefer two things above visual quality:
1) SMOOTHNESS of the game
2) FUNNESS of the game
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January 2, 2013 5:34:58 AM

Thank you for the better response. I play my games with vsync off because I feel like I have less control when my game is in vsync'd. I have tried your advice in many games ranging from old to new. Yes a SSD does help with load times. I do know it doesn't affect actual gameplay but I mentioned it for the speed of loading. a 7850 is defiantly not a bad card, Though I do like playing my games with their intended graphics, in certain games I have yet to notice a difference with any extra filtering on so most games it's off as well. I'm all for smoothness but also control. I'm picky in the sense that if I can't run a game at it's intended settings I will run it in the setting where I get 60fps or more. I do think I need to up date certain parts of my computer, this is only my first gaming computer but not my first build. I plan on building one. But not for another half year or so.
I am completely stumped as of what the problem could be and how to resolve it, but I do love my computer. Thank you for the excellent reply.
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January 2, 2013 5:38:27 AM

I also have my gpu with asus gpu tweak at 1050mhz, gpu Voltage 1225mv, Memory Clock 5800mhz, fan speed 55%,Power Target offset:0 100%.
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a c 171 à CPUs
January 2, 2013 5:59:04 AM

**PRINT ME IF DESIRED**
(I created this info recently for a friend but I copied it here in case you like it. I strongly recommend you print it out. There's a lot of little tips here.)

RadeonPro and other useful info:
(It's possible that CCC can do some things like forcing VSYNC that previously only RadeonPro did well. I use NVIDIA now so I'm not up to date.)

1. RadeonPro is useful. Not sure if you've used it. Examples:
a) Force VSYNC in games with no support such as "Witcher #1"
(drag the "witcher.exe" file to RadeonPro, then enable VSYNC for it; verify via FRAPS)

b) Force VSYNC to 50FPS if supported (can solve stuttering in some cut scenes designed for PAL)

c) Force Anti-Aliasing
(I usually force MSAA, but for Witcher #1 you should force 4x or 8x SUPERSAMPLING. the difference in quality is MASSIVE; nice straight lines rather than many, many jagged ones).

2. Game Specific:
a) Batman Arkham City:
DISABLE both PhysX and DX11 completely. Either cause far too much stutter and the quality difference is actually minor. This is a MUST.

b) BF3:
Disable "Deferred Anti-Aliasing"
(this causes a very MUDDY, terrible screen especially in dark/foggy areas.)

c) Skyrim:
Best mod is the SKYUI
(You presently need to launch SKSE loader first. I have STEAM, so I found it easiest to make a LINK to this file from STEAM and named it SKYRIM SKSE, and leave my regular Skyrim in the non-Favorites section out of mind.)

d) Bastion:
in Steam, use "-nofixedstep" (no quotes) under Launch Options

e) GTA4:
Game engine can't properly use VSYNC, and performance is poor.

f) Far Cry 3:
This game is very demanding on high settings. If you presently do NOT have the game, I recommend waiting a year for patches and tweaks. If you DO have the game, focus on smoothness rather than quality. It can be a very pretty game, but stuttering will ruin the experience.

g) Prototype (unsure about #2)
I (Photonboy) have the solutions here:
http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=...

h) Street Fighter IV and similar:
(WTF, I simply can NOT do most moves/combos fast enough during the "CHALLENGE" phase. Practiced/looked for hours and it seems actually impossible without an expensive pro stick from MadCatz. Sigh.)
3. Please note I just went through the 100+ games I own and discovered that 80% of them will run on the highest, or very near highest on your system at 1920x1080 @60FPS.

4. A quick list of a few games I can't stop playing OR feel under-rated that would play very well on your rig:
- Burnout Paradise
- Batman Arkham City (now just the extras/fighting)
- Kingdoms of Amalur Reckoning
- SKYRIM (of course)
- Spider-Man Web of Shadows (may need to disable Hyper-Threading in BIOS if performance is really poor. It's my favorite Spider-Man game and I tried all on PC.)
- Witcher 1/2
- Half-Life Black Mesa MOD is awesome
- HL2, FakeFactory is impressive.
- Titan Quest (liked it more than D3)

5. Video Card settings:
- disable any advanced video decoding (flesh tones etc) in the CCC
- scale on the GPU (if you then set a game to 1024x768, it then scales/resizes properly to 1920x1080 if that's your max res of monitor, THEN sends the monitor the completed 1920x1080. No performance loss. Monitor then doesn't have to scale/resize.)
- Scale by Aspect
- make sure monitor driver is installed (won't see "generic monitor")
- enable EDID (default is "store mode" and colours "pop" but incorrect)

6) Video software
a) K-Lite Full Codec Pack recommended (default to WMPC-HC player)
b) set WMPC-HC to:
- remember DVD and file playback position
- during setup use "SOFTWARE" decoding not hardware (CPU's are plenty powerful now, and hardware decoding can often have undesirable settings applied)
- "limit window proportions on resize"
- "same player for each file"
- uncheck "mediainfo lite" during setup

c) Install "Media Info"
(you can then easily find media file details like audio/video/sub info)

d) mkvtoolnix
(remove subs, extra audio, or mux different sources... cough... works very, very well for all my legal anime/tv/movies that I ripped with extra subs, audio etc. *If you use this go through the settings carefully such as "always show on top", "clear... after use" )

e) Handbrake
(works awesome for recoding. Small learning curve. Always use 2-pass. Must enter video bitrate manually, but *NOTE* you can use mediainfo to find the original "kbps" anyway; "kbps" means kilobits per second.)

f) MusicBee
(small learning curve but awesome... recommend skin "Dark-> Dark" )

g) STEAM gaming program
*Did you know that you can now use MORE THAN ONE FOLDER NOW? (awesome for people with a filled drive. I don't recommend using the main Windows drive usually as I like to backup the C-drive using Acronis True Image).

h) Acronis True Image Free Version
(I use the full version to automate, but there's a manual free version. It can be found at WD or Seagate sites. Respective version must have an internal or USB drive discovered to run.)

i) Web Browsers, Desktop and Resolution info:
- From desktop, tweak the DPI scaling (i.e. 25% for 1920x1080)
- In most web browsers, use CTRL + Scroll to resize web page

j) FIREFOX useful addons:
a) WOT (Web of Trust), also for IE
b) Flash Video Download Youtube downloader
c) NoScript (very, very, very important for security. pick and choose what to block for each site. Only need do once)
d) NoSquint (find the optimal default zoom level, then can CTRL+Scroll if needed)
e) TabMixPlus (awesome for adjusting what right-clicking context does and other stuff)
f) Turn Off The Lights

k) Best free burning app?
BurnAware (IMO)

l) Windows 8?
- I recommend getting the $40 digital upgrade ONLY if you have Vista 64-bit, or XP 64-bit (can not upgrade from 32-bit to 64-bit)
- I do NOT recommend if you have Windows 7 64-bit
- I recommend buying Windows 8 PRO (OEM) 64-bit otherwise
*Add Stardock's Start8 for $5 for now
(I'm so frigging ANNOYED at so-called experts who talk about how "easy" the new interface is if you just give it a chance. I agree it WILL be very useful, however only once most used apps are created FOR this new menu. It's completely USELESS to have a new interface if all our applications run in the Desktop. Seriously, how is it "better" to leave the desktop, enter the Start Screen to click on a program that launches back in the Start Screen?)

m) Virtu MVP
(for those buying or who have this feature just IGNORE IT COMPLETELY. It has potential but the immature software makes it worse than useless. Case in point:

You can set things up so the addon graphics card (i.e. GTX680) is used only for games or apps that benefit. However, I had issues with over 10% of the games I tried. To run those games properly, I'd have to physically move the monitor cable back to my addon card and change my software setup. Sigh.)
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January 2, 2013 7:02:02 AM

WOW! thank you so much. I will re-download radeonpro again because I didn't feel like it was very useful at all. I will keep this in mind, thank you...
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a c 171 à CPUs
January 2, 2013 7:07:45 AM

Tur0k said:
Thank you for the better response. I play my games with vsync off because I feel like I have less control when my game is in vsync'd. I have tried your advice in many games ranging from old to new. Yes a SSD does help with load times. I do know it doesn't affect actual gameplay but I mentioned it for the speed of loading. a 7850 is defiantly not a bad card, Though I do like playing my games with their intended graphics, in certain games I have yet to notice a difference with any extra filtering on so most games it's off as well. I'm all for smoothness but also control. I'm picky in the sense that if I can't run a game at it's intended settings I will run it in the setting where I get 60fps or more. I do think I need to up date certain parts of my computer, this is only my first gaming computer but not my first build. I plan on building one. But not for another half year or so.
I am completely stumped as of what the problem could be and how to resolve it, but I do love my computer. Thank you for the excellent reply.


"stumped?"
I'd be happy to help you more but I don't understand what is bothering you.

I hope my LONG replies don't bother you but again I just copied ones already created. It seemed like you might benefit from the information.

I don't quite understand why you're planning another PC so quickly. It's nice to have the best gaming experience, however there are MANY games that you can run at full quality. There are other areas to spend money on a PC as well:

1) 27", 2560x1440 monitor (i.e. Dell U2713HM)

2) M-Audio AV30 or AV40 speakers (or similar quality stereo with large woofer)

3) Auzentech X-Fi Forte or similar audio card

4) MDR-V700 SONY headphones (not "gaming" headphones but sound is awesome. No microphone but I've never used one.)

*Now that I'm spoiled by awesome audio and a great monitor (sans the sparkly anti-gloss coating on the U2711) I could never go to a lower quality of these. I'd rather have a lower-end computer.
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January 2, 2013 4:20:33 PM

I may or may not start, this computer I love it but it was just a computer I bought. I very much intend to build my own, but this computer is great for what I got it for.
I have Audio Technicas ATH-M50s
Logitech z623 thx certified speakers
ASUS ML228H 21.5 inch monitor.
The problem is, is that I was playing rage and there is a benchmark test on your texel rate and mine was 32 which is fair. So the textures take a bit to load depending on the draw distance and even up close. I think that is where one of the problems might be. Since it takes a bit to load the textures my cpu or something can't process it all the way at a quick enough time so I get that random frame rate tug or skip till the textures load. It seems to happen a lot more in steam bought games than my pc games. Like bioshock I enjoyed that without any hiccups except maybe 5 times through the whole game to where it would just pause for a sec and then be smooth again. I lowered my cpu to 3.9 and saw better performance than I did with it at 4.2, I think I will probably lower it to 3.7 or it's stock speed and just leave it.
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a c 171 à CPUs
January 6, 2013 6:04:48 AM

Tur0k said:
I may or may not start, this computer I love it but it was just a computer I bought. I very much intend to build my own, but this computer is great for what I got it for.
I have Audio Technicas ATH-M50s
Logitech z623 thx certified speakers
ASUS ML228H 21.5 inch monitor.
The problem is, is that I was playing rage and there is a benchmark test on your texel rate and mine was 32 which is fair. So the textures take a bit to load depending on the draw distance and even up close. I think that is where one of the problems might be. Since it takes a bit to load the textures my cpu or something can't process it all the way at a quick enough time so I get that random frame rate tug or skip till the textures load. It seems to happen a lot more in steam bought games than my pc games. Like bioshock I enjoyed that without any hiccups except maybe 5 times through the whole game to where it would just pause for a sec and then be smooth again. I lowered my cpu to 3.9 and saw better performance than I did with it at 4.2, I think I will probably lower it to 3.7 or it's stock speed and just leave it.


RAGE:
You need to play around with the settings. Your hardware sounds too slow to benefit from the GPU TRANSCODE feature. If your hardware is fast enough the game runs better with this feature enabled, however the OPPOSITE is true if your hardware isn't fast enough. I believe Rage even tells you this when you change GPU TRANSCODE settings.

Leave it on Auto VSYNC. I believe it scales to 30FPS if you can't hit 60FPS but you can verify that with FRAPS. If you still get stuttering after turning GPU TRANSCODE off (recommended), then turn everthing to the LOWEST SETTINGS and work your way up. If your system isn't high-end then 1600x900 is probably preferably to 1920x1080.

The game ran better with this feature OFF on my HD5870/i7-860 (I think I got about "80"). Now I score 278 with my GTX680/i7-3770K@4.2 and it works fine of course.

STEAM:
There's no logical reason for the Steam version to perform worse. If anything it should be better because:
1) patches are up to date
2) you can VERIFY the game data

The Steam copy is 100% identical to the non-Steam copy.

CPU:
There's no logical reason why lowering your CPU frequency would improve game play unless you have severe cooling issues which are easily solved by a good $25 CPU HSF.

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