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Where's My Bottleneck? (cpu-z included)

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September 10, 2012 5:59:44 AM

I built my system almost 3 years ago for games like TF2 and BFBC2 and have upgraded a few things since then.
I recently upgraded my GPU from ati 4890 to a gtx 670
Now I'm playing Planetside 2 beta and getting low fps compared to what others report with the same card.
I believe my weakest components are motherboard and/or ram.

Some users are reporting smooth 60fps in PS2 beta with graphics maxed with this card or lower, but i get around 35-45 most times but in some areas i only get like 25 fps and mins as low as 15-17 if im in a vehicle and spinning the camera in an area with a lot of objects. I don't really get smooth 60fps in bf3 either and I think i have the settings on mixed high/med for that game.

1920x1080 resolution
AMD Phenom II x4 965 BE @ stock 3.4
EVGA GTX 670 FTW edition
Gigabyte ga-ma790x-ud4p
2x2GB DDR2 gskill ripjaws @ 800MHz 4-4-4-12
OCZ vertex 2 120gb OS drive with some games
Corsair TX750W PSU
640gb WD caviar black storage drive

CPU-z screenshots


I'll take to heart any advice you guys can give me. Let me know if you require more information to make an assessment.
September 10, 2012 8:34:43 AM

Have a look at your peak CPU utilization; it may be that the Phenom II doesn't have enough horsepower at stock speeds to keep up with a 670. It might help if you dial down CPU-intensive settings like physics.
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September 10, 2012 9:22:31 AM

Immediate thing that jumps out is your RAM, only 4GB of it. Emulators are in a nutshell just a virtual machine, which requires plenty of RAM.
You need 8GB of it.

This will require a mobo upgrade though, as that one only supports DDR2 (and it may be bottlenecking the CPu as well. Its an AM3 board with an AM3+ chip).
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September 10, 2012 1:53:07 PM

While I do believe it is probably the ddr2/ddr3 problem, changing your motherboard is expensive, you might as well also update the processor if your going to do that.

My opinion is leave it as is, or change both mobo ram and chip. Might as well go for the 3570k if you're going to spend a good amount for these changes.
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September 10, 2012 2:39:21 PM

hrath said:
I would recommend an upgrade to atleast 2x4gb 1333MHz ram, and get a new Mobo (The ideal would be a Z77, but I myself have a B75 and it works just as well.)

Ram: http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=64472&vpn=CMSO8GX3M1A1...


Mobo: http://us.ncix.com/products/?sku=70263&vpn=GA%2DZ77X%2D... (great deal right now!)


You're suggesting a Intel mobo for someone that has a AMD CPU, it'll never work.

The only thing the OP can do without changing everything is buying a nice heatsink an OC the CPU tp 4+Ghz. This will be the most cost effective for some improvement. I'm not sure about the ability for OC'ing with ths board.
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September 10, 2012 2:48:21 PM

Crank your clock speeds up. That CPU *should* be able to hit 3.8Ghz without any voltage changes. Just change the multiplier from 17 to 19 to get 3.8Ghz. Then test your game and see if your FPS increases at all. That will let you know if the CPU is your bottleneck. Also, you could go from a 17 multiplier to 15 which would drop you down to 3.0Ghz. Either way you go if the FPS changes then that is likely your bottleneck.

From my testing, a 965 Phenom @ 4.0 Ghz *usually* scores between an i3 2130 and an I5 2320. In games like BF3, the Phenom @ 4 Ghz is closer to the I5. In games that don't take full advantage of 4 cores, it will be closer to the I3. With the I3 being faster in some games (mostly older ones).

As far as the memory, if you are running a 64 bit OS, get at least 8GB. I am still running DDR2 as well and have seen no benefit as far as game performance from running DDR3 1600 on a different board compared to my DDR2 1066 with the CPU at the same clock rate.
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September 10, 2012 5:14:43 PM

Thanks for the input, I really appreciate you guys taking the time to help me out. Hopefully looking at my hardware and the resultant performance in some way enriches your understanding as well.

Something I forgot to mention is that I've noticed in some games lowering the graphics settings seems to have very little impact on my overall fps. Maybe its not as bad as I thought though, as there many areas where I do get 60+ fps in PS2

@manofchalk I'm talking about Planetside 2 beta, not a PS2 emulator if that's what you thought I meant. I wish there was a more descriptiive acronym.

For now I'm running my CPU @ 3.8 which seems like it may have helped a bit but its difficult to tell by just glancing at the in-game fps display periodically. I'll try to increase it further and see what happens a little later. I'll definitely take a look at some new mobos because mine is clearly much older than even my cpu. BTW in PS2 there is an option for GPU physics which I have enabled.

If I'm using less than 90% of my 4gb ram is the capacity the issue or would the speed be the problem?

Here are 2 instances of what my resource monitor looks like after being in an area with 25-35 fps for an extended period. I was getting maybe 5 fps lower on average in the bottom one.



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September 10, 2012 5:40:04 PM

What % of your memory is being used at idle on the desktop? It's looking to me like the issue could be the amount of memory you have.
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September 10, 2012 5:53:24 PM

It looks like your motherboard and Ram is slowing down the data transfer from and to the CPU and GPU. You should be about to buy a new board and 8gigs of ram for less than $100 or get a new intel cpu, board and ram for ~ $400
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September 10, 2012 6:13:38 PM

ish416 said:
What % of your memory is being used at idle on the desktop? It's looking to me like the issue could be the amount of memory you have.


With nothing open but necessary background programs I'm at 23% usage
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September 10, 2012 8:19:50 PM

I was scouring the PS2 forums and noticed that many people are having performance issues with their Phenoms and this game. Also, I noticed a few mention that the game LOVES memory. With 4GB the requirement and 8GB the recommended, I suggest adding another 4GB.

Also, I noticed that most people claim to be averaging 20 - 30 FPS in crowded locations with big firefights dropping into the teens on systems that are more powerful than yours (I5-I7, 8GB+ memory, 670 SLI). Of course that is with everything cranked according to them.

Seems that the game is just poorly optimized for everything except select hardware at this point.
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