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Is my 7970 supposed to be this bad?

Hello, I just signed up to possibly find out if and why my 7970 isn't doing as good as it is suppose to. I am not sure if it is just me or there really is a problem.

Specs: http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en&docname=c03135882
All stock except for:
AMD Radeon HD 7900 series (7970 Visiontek)
600 Watt PSU

(Possibly relevant information) Originally I got a 550 ti, but that wasn't powerful enough. So we got an HIS 7850, but that didn't really feel like a huge improvement, so we got the 7970 in the end. I've uninstalled everything with the word Nvidia through the standard "Uninstall or change a program" and I've installed/uninstalled Catalyst many times, so currently I'm using Catalyst 12.6. I disabled integrated graphics in bios. I play at 1080p

There are no Overclock actions available for my GPU in Catalyst.

(Sorry for the wall of text)

I play Assassin's Creed 2 at around 40 fps with it's highest settings. This is with an OC of 1125/1575.

Why can't my card smoothly play a four year old game on it's highest setting?
9 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. My guess is that you're getting a CPU bottleneck. Since you can't overclock it and the best upgrade would be another APU, the 7970 is kinda wasted. The 7850 would have been the better option IMO.

    This and the 7850 would be better spent cash :

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819106001
  2. Oops, I would appear I forgot to mention that my CPU is OC'd to 4GHz.

    But you say I can not overclock it? Is it locked or something?
  3. Solar00111 said:
    Oops, I would appear I forgot to mention that my CPU is OC'd to 4GHz.

    But you say I can not overclock it? Is it locked or something?


    Really? I always thought HP bios was locked and no overclocking was possible. Forget what I said then, I really have no idea what your problem is.
  4. GHz are more of a marketing term than a real objective measure of speed. There are many many factors that go into CPU speed but none of them can be measured plainly by GHz.

    I don't know what processor you have but it's very likely bottlenecking your GPU. The gtx 550 TI is a really weak card not worth the GTX title, but a HD 7850 should have been excellent for your requirements.

    ..
  5. Best answer
    Also, overclocking is a tool to increase the usefulness of an older processor, but by no means does it replace upgrading. Most of your CPU/GPU performance is built and coded in by how brilliant the hardware/firmware coding is, and clicking on a few more GHz is a cosmetic boost at best..

    That's why most processors are only moderately-clocked to balance most of the performance gains with best power usage, product life, and cooling properties. Sure, there are a few exceptional chips where over-clocking can result in a modest increase in otherwise lacking performance, but generally Electrical Engineers are not dumb folks and have made a pretty good product.

    However, some people just see the GHz go up and assume they're making godly upgrades by adjusting the voltage. Truth be told usually the only gains are artificial. Yes your CPU mark scores go up and you have OOOH LARGER NUMBERS... but rarely does that make any meaningful translation to FPS unless your hardware is out-of-date and struggling in the first place..
  6. Anonymous said:
    GHz are more of a marketing term than a real objective measure of speed. There are many many factors that go into CPU speed but none of them can be measured plainly by GHz.

    I don't know what processor you have but it's very likely bottlenecking your GPU. The gtx 550 TI is a really weak card not worth the GTX title, but a HD 7850 should have been excellent for your requirements.

    ..

    I guess that it is best to assume that my processor is the problem. Do I need a different motherboard entirely or can I just replace the CPU for now?
  7. Best answer selected by Solar00111.
  8. Anonymous said:
    Also, overclocking is a tool to increase the usefulness of an older processor, but by no means does it replace upgrading. Most of your CPU/GPU performance is built and coded in by how brilliant the hardware/firmware coding is, and clicking on a few more GHz is a cosmetic boost at best..

    That's why most processors are only moderately-clocked to balance most of the performance gains with best power usage, product life, and cooling properties. Sure, there are a few exceptional chips where over-clocking can result in a modest increase in otherwise lacking performance, but generally Electrical Engineers are not dumb folks and have made a pretty good product.

    However, some people just see the GHz go up and assume they're making godly upgrades by adjusting the voltage. Truth be told usually the only gains are artificial. Yes your CPU mark scores go up and you have OOOH LARGER NUMBERS... but rarely does that make any meaningful translation to FPS unless your hardware is out-of-date and struggling in the first place..

    I did not really think of CPU outside of the number, I guess. That makes more sense to me, so I selected yours as the answer.
    Thanks.
  9. I'm not really familiar with the FM1 series so I went to the Toms Hardware hierarchy chart for july:

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-overclock,3106-5.html

    The fastest CPU on the FM1 platform (as far as I know) is the a8-3870k but for gaming Tom's put it in the same teir as sandy bridge Pentium processors..

    Unfortunately it looks like you're going to need a new motherboard and cpu IF you want very high/ultra gaming. a8-3870k would be a minor upgrade but
    based on that chart the lowest upgrade I would consider is an Intel i3-2100. (it's 3 tiers higher)

    A sandy or Ivy bridge quad core would be perfect but it's another step up in price.
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