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XFX Radeon 6870...whats wrong? someone plz help!!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 7, 2012 4:14:02 PM

Hi guys...i have an issue thats really driving me crazy and making me want to sell my current computer and build a better one.

I recently bought a xfx 6870 and the games im playing dont seem to run as properly as they should.....im getting alot of micro stutters which are EXTREMELY ANNOYING...i dont know whats going on. Is the 6870 even strong enough to handle games likes need for speed shift with 15 cars on screen? even games as old as DOOM 3 seem to micro stutter ALOT for no apparent reason.....im really on the fence about this...im thinking about returning my 6870 because i fear the reason this is happening is because its just not powerful enough?

My system is as follows...

Dell vostro 230 dual core duo E7500 at 2.93ghz
4gb of ram
680watt k-power psu
win 7 32 bit

ive just done a clean reformat of my whole computer and games are still bogging down.....what gives??is it my videocard or is my system bottlenecking?? someone plz help! :( 

P.S I have speedfan..im NOT overheating and everything seems to be running fine! And i have the lastest drivers!
September 7, 2012 4:22:51 PM

Your CPU might be bottlenecking the GPU.

Use DriverSweeper and your current drivers then install the latest ones from the AMD website. Do you have memories of games running better on previous versions?
September 7, 2012 4:26:32 PM

Thanks for the quick reply...

the funny thing is when i first installed my GPU the first game i played was Need for speed SHIFT...that ran flawlessly for about a day....then the game(all my games for that matter) developed a horrbile micro-stutter...its so bad that i dont even wanna play anymore and considering returning my 6870 to newegg....i just did a complete reformat of my computer yesterday and my games STILL micro-stutter..and yes i have the lastest drivers aswell...:( 

is there a possibility that the 6870 just isnt powerful enuf to run these games? i dont want to keep this card past thr 30day return period and be stuck with it if its a crap card to begin with......but judging from reviews this card SHOULD be able to destroy most games!!
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September 7, 2012 4:32:11 PM

Try A different power supply, like seasonic, corsair, antec . Nver heard of that generic brand K-power!
September 7, 2012 4:33:48 PM

Shift 1 and 2 aren't such heavy games, your 6870 should be able to play them without any problem. If the drivers don't fix it, my guess will be that you need a more powerful CPU.
September 7, 2012 4:42:22 PM

CPU bottlenecking? i could be wrong but i feel like my system is actually pretty decent? i dont feel as if my specs are horrible to the point where it would cause this microstutter for even older games lke doom 3 and half life 2.

and i have no reason to believe my PSU is of any problems...do i really need to buy another PSU?
September 7, 2012 4:43:27 PM

knightdog56 said:
Try A different power supply, like seasonic, corsair, antec . Nver heard of that generic brand K-power!

That is the worst advice possible as it does nothing to address the OP's wimpy little CPU.

@OP, Have you tried monitoring your CPU usage during gaming?
September 7, 2012 4:53:30 PM

Mousemonkey...i havent monitored the cpu...but i use speedfan to check the temps of my cpu...usually when playing games 1 of the cores runs at 58degrees celcius while the second core is pretty cool...

at this point is the issue pointing towards my CPU? i want to rule out any possibilities that my 6870 just isnt powerful enough so i can return it and invest in a better card.....i dont want to buy a completely new CPU (quad core and the like) only to find out the problems persist because my GPU is weak.
September 7, 2012 4:56:14 PM

Have you tried OC'ing the CPU?
September 7, 2012 5:06:19 PM

First of all, "microstutter" is a phenomenon common to multi-GPU setups, and has to do with varying times between alternate frame renders. What you're experiencing is another kind of lag.
Check for background processes. Since you say it used to run well, is it possible you've installed something that is running in the background? Possibly malware?
Also, like MM suggested, an overclock on your CPU would probably help, except that he may have missed that you have a Dell and no doubt the BIOS is locked; overclocking is probably not an option for you.
If you lower graphical settings, do the lag-spikes improve, or get worse? If they get worse, then your CPU is the bottleneck.
September 7, 2012 5:08:00 PM

It's not that your CPU is not powerful, but that the GPU is more powerful. In that case it is forced to work at the rate of the CPU, which, if not beefy enough to run a certain game, may cause stuttering. As for the older games, it has been reported that they have problems with the latest GPU drivers. That's the case for AMD, not sure about Nvidia though.
September 7, 2012 5:12:52 PM

For the hell of it. Try to enable Vysnc(In CCC its called "Wait for vertical refresh"[may as well enable triple buffer for OGL games as well]. and your games). Some users see the page tear issue as a stutter since one part of the screen moves faster then the other.

Vsync brings its own potential issues, but lets see if it helps?
September 7, 2012 5:12:52 PM

Onus said:
First of all, "microstutter" is a phenomenon common to multi-GPU setups, and has to do with varying times between alternate frame renders. What you're experiencing is another kind of lag.
Check for background processes. Since you say it used to run well, is it possible you've installed something that is running in the background? Possibly malware?
Also, like MM suggested, an overclock on your CPU would probably help, except that he may have missed that you have a Dell and no doubt the BIOS is locked; overclocking is probably not an option for you.
If you lower graphical settings, do the lag-spikes improve, or get worse? If they get worse, then your CPU is the bottleneck.

I didn't miss that, it's just that the internerd does not convey "tongue firmly buried in cheek" very well. That's why I suggested monitoring the CPU whilst gaming, task manager would be better than nothing.
September 7, 2012 5:47:04 PM

ive just ran some tests....i played need for speed shift at a considerably lower resolution and settings....and it STILL stutters..ive tried this for all my games and they all still stutter...ive come to the conclusion that my CPU is indeed the bottleneck..time to hit up newegg and find a better computer.

any suggestions? id rather buy a computer thats already built...

p.s. its also worth noting that before i bought my 6870 i was playing DOOM 3 on my integrated graphics chip FLAWLESSLY....now with the 6870 doom3 suffers from this stutter issue...i dont know what that is but w.e....gonna buy a new cpu and see how it fairs. FML.
September 7, 2012 5:50:34 PM

Lowering the resolution will just put more load on the CPU and reduce the load on the GPU, what resolution are you running?
September 7, 2012 5:56:54 PM

I lowered the resolution AND settings and the problem still persist....unless my GPU is defective i really dont know what esle to point too besides my CPU causing the bottleneck.....

im running 1920x1080 but with these tests ive done ive lowered it down to 1280x720

p.s. i really appreicate the help guys!!!
September 7, 2012 5:57:49 PM

If you raise graphical detail and/or resolution enough, you may lower overall FPS, but get smoother play overall. Try that.
September 7, 2012 6:02:37 PM

You have got good advice from Mousemonkey and auntarie.

1) Out of curiosity did your FPS go up considerably? What can happen is the GPU can now process many more frames per second which can place more load on a CPU. You might try turning vsync on if your FPS is over 60 FPS as it will lower the CPU load. http://forum.overclock3d.net/showthread.php?t=46101

2) Also you can try something a little counter intuitive and increase the graphics settings in need for speed / doom 3 to place more load on the GPU which should reduce some of the CPU load.

EDIT: Was typing the post when jtt283 posted but I think we both agree go the other direction and increase the graphics settings at 1080p(1920x1080). For Doom 3 set it to Ultra Quality.
September 7, 2012 6:24:29 PM

lol ive been playing my games all maxed out anyways..the problem is still there.....weather i max it out or not it still stutters :x
September 7, 2012 6:28:32 PM

Did you try vsync? The AMD Catalyst software has it under 3D settings called "Wait for Vertical Refresh".
September 7, 2012 8:58:58 PM

koolaidjuice said:
lol ive been playing my games all maxed out anyways..the problem is still there.....weather i max it out or not it still stutters :x


If it still stutters on the lowest settings then it's probably the CPU being a bottleneck. I just can't think of any other reason in that case.
September 8, 2012 1:14:50 AM

You should try the V-sync thing. I almost swear your card is rendering frames so fast, you have 3+ on screen at a time.

When i first got my 8800GTX, Return to Castle Wolfenstein just did not feel right. I needed to add v-sync + triple buffer to get it better. Since the older card could never push frames fast enough to pass the monitors refresh rate, it never had issues with it.

that said, I know people who can not tell the difference(I still use v-sync off on some games when the input lag is an issue) at all and want to see as many fps as possible even if they can not display them all.
September 8, 2012 2:35:44 AM

I have a friend that I believe had a Dell Vostro that was having very similar problems associated with his graphics and he ended up doing a BIOS update that fixed a bug with the motherboard. The newest driver is 1.4.0 and it can be found here: http://www.dell.com/support/drivers/us/en/19/Product/vo...
I don't know if that will help but I thought I'd just throw that out there.
I don't believe that CPU would bottleneck in ALL games especially Doom 3, but it would certainly bottleneck for sure in high end modern games. The power supply could be the issue if there isn't enough amps on the rail of the PCIE, assuming it is multi-rail instead of a single rail. Honestly, this is exactly why I custom build my own computers because I know EXACTLY what I put in there and know all the specs that most manufactured computers won't show you. Next computer you buy, custom build it. :D 
!