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Where is my bottleneck?

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October 17, 2012 3:33:36 AM

This is my hardware:

EVGA GTX 470 x3
MSI NF980-G65
16 GB DDR3 1600
1000W Rosewill PSU
OCZ Vertex 2 60 GB SSD x2
Phenom II x6 1090T
Custom watercooling build on CPU

Right now I have a multi-monitor setup with SLI generally disabled. Win7 is on one SSD, games are on the other, and I have two 1 TB WD Caviar Blacks for other data. If I try to run Battlefield 3 in SLI, I get worse frames-per-second than if I run it on one card. BF3 is on the OS SSD. If I run a FutureMark 11 test, though, then I get a bump in FPS. Skyrim runs better in SLI, but I haven't played that in a while.

Where exactly is my bottleneck? I've suspected that it's my SATA II ports on the motherboard, but I've also been considering that my processor doesn't have enough power to handle that... Or is it the FSB? Is it something that's easy to fix with overclocking, or should I just build a new computer? Is it just that DICE has cruddy support for the 400 series?

If I have a bottleneck, I want to know where it is, and how to alleviate it. I'd also like to know how to avoid said bottleneck in the future.

More about : bottleneck

a b B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 5:26:57 AM

How bad of FPS are you getting with 3 470's?

It could be the processor if anything. But that thing is still quick by today's standards.
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a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 5:34:37 AM

Can you give more info on the PSU? Rosewill only have a few decent units on the market, and I believe they were only released recently.

The SATA II connection is a bottleneck to the Vertex 2, though that wouldn't affect your FPS.

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October 17, 2012 5:50:23 AM

Deemo13 said:
How bad of FPS are you getting with 3 470's?

It could be the processor if anything. But that thing is still quick by today's standards.

It basically becomes unplayable. 6-10, maybe 15 at most. This is leaving the settings at the same ones when I have SLI disabled.
I was thinking that if it was the processor, I could just overclock it. My watercooling setup is pretty ridiculous, and it's not really used at the moment since I'm just running at standard settings.

manofchalk said:
Can you give more info on the PSU? Rosewill only have a few decent units on the market, and I believe they were only released recently.

The SATA II connection is a bottleneck to the Vertex 2, though that wouldn't affect your FPS.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
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a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 6:01:07 AM

The spec sheet checks out, it "should" support your cards quite easily.
Cant find any reviews on the supply, so I guess we will have to trust that it works as it should.
How old is it, judging from the rest of the components I would say 2-3yrs? PSU's do degrade over time, though that's only really a concern if its 4+ years.

Dunno to be honest. Maybe its just that BF3 doesn't like 400 series SLI.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 6:17:24 AM

running BF3 on 1 card that doesn't have the architecture to run it smoothly. trying to run 2 cards doesn't double what the first card has..... running 3 cards brings on a whole nuther set of circumstances. AMD processors don't give the same performance as a quality 775 quad core processor.

ssdx2......... 2 ssd's or is that the model ? and what SATA speed are those/that hooked up to ?.... as per other poster. and if it's supposed to run on 6 are you using a sata 6 cable ? or any one you had lying around ?
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a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 6:38:35 AM

Though considering that the Rosewill has four 12v rails, two of them 20A and the others two at 30A. Total of 1200W of 12v power. So for pure wattage its fine.

Whether it can actually output that power is another matter.
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October 17, 2012 6:43:13 AM

manofchalk said:
The spec sheet checks out, it "should" support your cards quite easily.
Cant find any reviews on the supply, so I guess we will have to trust that it works as it should.
How old is it, judging from the rest of the components I would say 2-3yrs? PSU's do degrade over time, though that's only really a concern if its 4+ years.

Dunno to be honest. Maybe its just that BF3 doesn't like 400 series SLI.

It's roughly a year and a half old. I have had some weird problems when Skyrim first came out, though... I'd get restarts that'd go straight to the BIOS. Wouldn't hesitate, either, it'd just pop up the BIOS. Maybe it is the PSU >.<

Also, where is this "spec sheet"? I'd like to see it for future instances ^_^. Unless you're talking about a power supply calculator, which I've done multiple times already.

swifty_morgan said:
running BF3 on 1 card that doesn't have the architecture to run it smoothly. trying to run 2 cards doesn't double what the first card has..... running 3 cards brings on a whole nuther set of circumstances. AMD processors don't give the same performance as a quality 775 quad core processor.

ssdx2......... 2 ssd's or is that the model ? and what SATA speed are those/that hooked up to ?.... as per other poster. and if it's supposed to run on 6 are you using a sata 6 cable ? or any one you had lying around ?

There are 2 of the SSD's. The models are Vertex 2's. The motherboard has SATA II connections. Please read the topic fully; it's not even that big yet.

Deemo13 said:
I dunno about that power supply. Considering a 750W Antec Earthwatts has more amps on the 12V rail than your power supply.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Refer to my first quote reply. That's a symptom of the PSU right? :\

manofchalk said:
Though considering that the Rosewill has four 12v rails, two of them 20A and the others two at 30A. Total of 1200W of 12v power. So for pure wattage its fine.

Whether it can actually output that power is another matter.

Any reasonable way to test this? I have a multi-meter and my friend has a PSU tester, but I haven't tested it out with that yet.
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a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 6:54:47 AM

Specification sheet, its in the details tab of the Newegg link you gave me.

Current/Amperage x Voltage = Power (Watts). So when you see that the 12v rail can supply 40A, you can tell that its going to output a max of 480W.
Looking at the rail amperage's is a good way to tell if you are being ripped off. Often generic supplies will claim a higher wattage than they can provide, and figuring it out yourself is the best way to tell. Only the 12v rail/s matter by the way, since it powers the CPU and any graphics cards.

A multi-meter will tell you the voltage along a particular rail, but that isn't a great way of testing a supply. The voltages will dip the harder the rail is being stressed, and it isnt the most accurate of tools.
A Variable Load tester is what most review sites use, though I heard that they can cost a significant amount.
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a b B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 6:59:53 AM

[quotemsg=

There are 2 of the SSD's. The models are Vertex 2's. The motherboard has SATA II connections. Please read the topic fully; it's not even that big yet.


..... I'm old and have been up for 19 1/2 hours. that's 2 strikes against me.


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October 17, 2012 8:06:03 AM

manofchalk said:
Specification sheet, its in the details tab of the Newegg link you gave me.

Current/Amperage x Voltage = Power (Watts). So when you see that the 12v rail can supply 40A, you can tell that its going to output a max of 480W.
Looking at the rail amperage's is a good way to tell if you are being ripped off. Often generic supplies will claim a higher wattage than they can provide, and figuring it out yourself is the best way to tell. Only the 12v rail/s matter by the way, since it powers the CPU and any graphics cards.

A multi-meter will tell you the voltage along a particular rail, but that isn't a great way of testing a supply. The voltages will dip the harder the rail is being stressed, and it isnt the most accurate of tools.
A Variable Load tester is what most review sites use, though I heard that they can cost a significant amount.

Oh. Well now i feel kind of silly. Guess I'm tired, too.

So are you're saying that my power supply is a rip-off, or was that an example? :S

Something that crossed my mind is that the CPU wasn't able to handle all of the video power, or that the cards were bottlenecked by the lanes in the motherboard, or the FSB isn't able to process all of that properly, and overclocking was needed.
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October 17, 2012 8:27:42 AM

Their was a post regarding bf3 and multi monitor problem, they sorted the fps drop by turning off msaa in bf3, didnt have enough v ram.

i assume you would of tried playing around with the setting in bf3 tho :-D
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a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 17, 2012 8:41:19 AM

Just an example.

While its true that the CPU is a bit old now, its still sufficient for gaming. Its Quad core version the x4 965 is still good enough.

All of those slots are running at PCI-2 8x. Thats enough for even powerful modern cards.

The FSB isnt even used in modern CPU overclocking, its all about CPU multipliers now. Which your Black Edition processor can do.

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October 17, 2012 6:17:29 PM

boden08 said:
Their was a post regarding bf3 and multi monitor problem, they sorted the fps drop by turning off msaa in bf3, didnt have enough v ram.

i assume you would of tried playing around with the setting in bf3 tho :-D

I've toyed with it before, but I'll mess with it again.

manofchalk said:
Just an example.

While its true that the CPU is a bit old now, its still sufficient for gaming. Its Quad core version the x4 965 is still good enough.

All of those slots are running at PCI-2 8x. Thats enough for even powerful modern cards.

The FSB isnt even used in modern CPU overclocking, its all about CPU multipliers now. Which your Black Edition processor can do.

Yeah I understand how overclocking works somewhat, but I was curious if my bottleneck was somewhere around there. I've been told previously to overclock the FSB at one point with the multipliers, though, to prevent a bottleneck while overclocking, so I thought that might have had something to do with my issues here.

So from the sounds of all of these replies, the only issue with my build is that I'm running SATA II's, and that it's probably just DICE's fault with BF3?


Are there any good PCIe x1 cards where I could get a decent SATA III connection, or would it be better for me to just get a new motherboard? I've been toying with rebuilding once the new line of AMD processors come out. I've also been toying with getting a Vertex 4 SSD.
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a c 105 B Homebuilt system
October 18, 2012 5:17:03 AM

Seems to be it. Cant really think of any reason why your FPS would dip when you have SLI enabled over just running a single 470. Could be a driver problem, but I suspect on cards this old they wont be fixed.

A new rig at this point wouldnt be out of the question. Apparently the new Piledriver FX CPU's are being released soon, so it would make sense to upgrade around now. Though I would wait for reviews on them first, they still have a ways to go to catch up to Intel.

The Vertex 4 is a great SSD, been happy with mine so far.
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October 25, 2012 5:45:45 AM

Best answer selected by seifer44.
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