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Am I expecting too much from my computer?

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September 28, 2012 4:43:23 PM

I've noticed that I don't get the FPS that I think I should be getting, in Borderlands 2 my fps drops below 30 in some areas, same with WoW. I reset my computer to it's factory default thinking this may sort out some things, but still this issue persisted.

My Graphics card is a Radeon 6950 Sapphire, 2gb, "Overclocked Edition"
I run in 1680x1050 resolution.
Windows 7 Home Premium is my OS
My CPU is a AMD Athlon II X4 635 Processor 2.9 GHz
64_Bit Operating System
My PSU is 600 watts
My computer has 6GB of RAM.
My Drivers are up-to-date.

Closing all background programs has little to no effect to framerate.

My computer has hardly anything on it at the moment, since I just formatted it. Does anyone have some ideas as to what is causing this, shouldn't I be getting more fps? Even overlooking some Pandarian areas in WoW I will get down to 50fps at times, I know that's high, but I feel that I should be getting much more. I have a friend in my guild who has a same series Graphics card as me, and a dual core processor, yet after the patch 5.0.4 in WoW he is now getting 100+ fps, what caused this, what changed so drastically in wow, and what is wrong with my computer? I've been looking for a computer expert that is within driving range of me, but no luck there, so I decided to post this here, won't even consider taking it to best buy, that's like telling a car salesman that you've never bought a car before and that you'd like to get a good price for one.

Please keep in mind that I am not as experienced as you probably are in this.



Please Note: This post was originally made on the WoW Tech support forms, after no response within a day, I remembered this site and decided to try it, edited the post to make it fit better here.

More about : expecting computer

September 28, 2012 4:52:49 PM

My settings are mostly on low in Borderlands 2, in wow a few are on High, rest are on Normal or low. Shadows are always lowest they can go without being off.

What kind of specifics would you like?

I do know that 30+ is good, but considering that my friend gets around 100fps is kind of strange to me, especially considering that his processor is less powerful than mine, his is only a dual core, can't remember the speed.
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September 28, 2012 4:57:47 PM

screen resolution and video card control panel settings and in game control panel settings can have an impact. sure it's the same card ? just because it's a 6900 ( kinda vague ) doesn't mean it's the same card ( clock speed-vram, etc. ) 2.90 quad core.... again, vague.. ?? 6gigs of ram....... what configuration ? may not be running right ? 6gigs is an odd amount. mix and match will hurt you. Got 2 sticks that are the same ? and did you try those in dual channel mode ?

having apps open will drag you down...skype/instant messaging/streaming/anti virus/....
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September 28, 2012 5:06:17 PM

I believe WoW won't use more than 2 cores so having 4 won't help you there (Not sure about borderlands2), That being said his dual core CPU could very likely be performing better than yours in WoW. But you have given us next to no real usable information about your specs and his.
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September 28, 2012 5:07:31 PM

swifty_morgan said:
screen resolution and video card control panel settings and in game control panel settings can have an impact. sure it's the same card ? just because it's a 6900 ( kinda vague ) doesn't mean it's the same card ( clock speed-vram, etc. ) 2.90 quad core.... again, vague.. ?? 6gigs of ram....... what configuration ? may not be running right ? 6gigs is an odd amount. mix and match will hurt you. Got 2 sticks that are the same ? and did you try those in dual channel mode ?

having apps open will drag you down...skype/instant messaging/streaming/anti virus/....


I've updated the information, I apologize for the vagueness.
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September 28, 2012 5:13:28 PM

Its your CPU, you either need to replace it or overclock it if you want to see higher FPS.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/122?vs=289
if you scroll down on that link you will see that your cpu vs a i3 dual core is over 30 FPS slower in WoW.
If you are in an area with a lot of people it is much more CPU intensive and would explain the drop in fps to 30ish.
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September 28, 2012 5:17:45 PM

Derza10 said:
Its your CPU, you either need to replace it or overclock it if you want to see higher FPS.
http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/122?vs=289
if you scroll down on that link you will see that your cpu vs a i3 dual core is over 30 FPS faster in WoW.
If you are in an area with a lot of people it is much more CPU intensive and would explain the drop in fps to 30ish.


Ah, I see, well darn. What would be a good upgrade for that, or how would I overclock it? I think I've seen lists on this site for cpus, but I'm not sure of their numbers, pros and cons, etc.

Also, I've never replaced a CPU before, I've looked into it and it seems complicated, would it be best to take it to a store to have an expert do it, or is it simpler than it looks.
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September 28, 2012 5:23:04 PM

swifty_morgan said:
did you see this............. use at your own risk....

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/83043-35-7640g-beta-i...

your processor is slow and there's no L3 cache on it..... (i think) which does help. the ram, what is it and how many sticks and what different types/speed, etc.


No, I didn't, but I'll give it a try. Also, I guess I'll start looking into a new processor.

Thank you for the answer.
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September 28, 2012 5:24:02 PM

ram, ram, ram. what do you have and how is it configured ?...... i know you're reading this.....
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September 28, 2012 5:25:37 PM

This might help you with overclocking http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1199/11/
You will want to buy a CPU cooler if you plan to OC the CPU a lot. Someone else might be able to help you with selecting one. Although if it was me i would upgrade my CPU / Mobo.
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September 28, 2012 5:35:35 PM

swifty_morgan said:
ram, ram, ram. what do you have and how is it configured ?...... i know you're reading this.....


6gigs of ram, I don't know what you mean by "configured."
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September 28, 2012 5:43:45 PM

Derza10 said:
This might help you with overclocking http://www.legitreviews.com/article/1199/11/
You will want to buy a CPU cooler if you plan to OC the CPU a lot. Someone else might be able to help you with selecting one. Although if it was me i would upgrade my CPU / Mobo.


Actually, I have a question, under Device Manager, four of the processor show up.

Appearing like so

-Processors
---AMD Athlon II X4 635 Processor
---AMD Athlon II X4 635 Processor
---AMD Athlon II X4 635 Processor
---AMD Athlon II X4 635 Processor

Why are there four of them showing? This is why I thought it was a quad core, because four of them showed up here. I never actually looked into the processor I had.

Edit: if I were to change the priority of a program, it shows 4 CPUs to select from, does this mean I have four processors? I'm confused.
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September 28, 2012 5:50:05 PM

I have confidence in you to replace a processor, just make sure to get one that uses the same Socket.. If you are smart enough to look all of this stuff up, you can replace a processor. just use some cheap arctic silver thermal paste or something and clean any that may come w/ a new stock cooler off w/ isopropyl alcohol.

your socket seems to be an AM3 socket. id say...

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

you could get that and...

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

that and you should be good for a while ( overclocking and all.. 4.0GHz should be easy )... it's just an overall aging socket / processor, thats all.
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September 28, 2012 5:56:05 PM

Spectre118 said:
6gigs of ram, I don't know what you mean by "configured."


ram, pull them if you have to. look at the sides. it provides information. you have 6gigs. it's an odd amount and may not be running well enough for your system to be optimized.

configured......... what slots are they in ?...... 6gigs in 4 slots does not add up. if anything you should be running 2 sticks of the same exact ram in the 1 and 3 or 2 and 4 slots to run in dual channel mode. Running odd memory configuration can and does retard your machine.
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September 28, 2012 6:00:14 PM

Its your CPU...buy an intel chip/mobo...thats your bottleneck.
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September 28, 2012 6:00:54 PM

misclik said:
I have confidence in you to replace a processor, just make sure to get one that uses the same Socket.. If you are smart enough to look all of this stuff up, you can replace a processor. just use some cheap arctic silver thermal paste or something and clean any that may come w/ a new stock cooler off w/ isopropyl alcohol.

your socket seems to be an AM3 socket. id say...

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

you could get that and...

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

that and you should be good for a while ( overclocking and all.. 4.0GHz should be easy )... it's just an overall aging socket / processor, thats all.


Wow, thank you very much, the pricing on these is much less than I was expecting. I assume the fan would replace the current one atop my current processor, yes? Also, what is the purpose to the paste, does it act like a glue, or does it block heat from the processor from damaging the motherboard?
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September 28, 2012 6:01:43 PM

All your CPU cores will show up like that in device manager.

Next time you build a PC, I would recommend an i5 or i7.
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September 28, 2012 6:03:52 PM

swifty_morgan said:
ram, pull them if you have to. look at the sides. it provides information. you have 6gigs. it's an odd amount and may not be running well enough for your system to be optimized.

configured......... what slots are they in ?...... 6gigs in 4 slots does not add up. if anything you should be running 2 sticks of the same exact ram in the 1 and 3 or 2 and 4 slots to run in dual channel mode. Running odd memory configuration can and does retard your machine.


Ah, I see what you mean, I only have 3 sticks of ram, one free slot which I assume is slot 4. 3 sticks would mean each is 2 gigs. Please keep in mind, I am very unfamiliar with this.
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September 28, 2012 6:06:06 PM

swifty_morgan said:
ram, pull them if you have to. look at the sides. it provides information. you have 6gigs. it's an odd amount and may not be running well enough for your system to be optimized.

configured......... what slots are they in ?...... 6gigs in 4 slots does not add up. if anything you should be running 2 sticks of the same exact ram in the 1 and 3 or 2 and 4 slots to run in dual channel mode. Running odd memory configuration can and does retard your machine.


he can run 2 x 2 GB and 2 x 1 GB for 6 gigs, and it will be running dual channel and not an issue.
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September 28, 2012 6:11:16 PM

Spectre118 said:
Wow, thank you very much, the pricing on these is much less than I was expecting. I assume the fan would replace the current one atop my current processor, yes? Also, what is the purpose to the paste, does it act like a glue, or does it block heat from the processor from damaging the motherboard?



ok, ASIDE from a new mobo and an intel chip ( i have an i5 3570k and I love it ) that processor should last a while... It's an old chip, but reliable. the new cooler comes w/ easy IKEA-like instructions. I and 4 of my friends have it, it's amazing for $20.

The paste is to conduct heat from the processor to the cooler. arctic silver is like $5-7 for a small tube.. it's good enough. Now, the cooler would also come w/ paste, but it's TERRIBLE! it dries up and actually INSULATES your cpu instead of conducting heat away from it. the arctic silver is mostly small silver filings and the cooler master stuff is ceramic..Bad. just watch some videos on youtube for how to put it on & how much paste to apply.

Just remember, If you do this... It's easier to go slow and take double the time rather than go fast and have to unbend your processor pins like my dumb roommate.

also, do you know how to overclock?
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September 28, 2012 6:12:57 PM

misclik said:
ok, ASIDE from a new mobo and an intel chip ( i have an i5 3570k and I love it ) that processor should last a while... It's an old chip, but reliable. the new cooler comes w/ easy IKEA-like instructions. I and 4 of my friends have it, it's amazing for $20.

The paste is to conduct heat from the processor to the cooler. arctic silver is like $5-7 for a small tube.. it's good enough. Now, the cooler would also come w/ paste, but it's TERRIBLE! it dries up and actually INSULATES your cpu instead of conducting heat away from it. the arctic silver is mostly small silver filings and the cooler master stuff is ceramic..Bad. just watch some videos on youtube for how to put it on & how much paste to apply.

Just remember, If you do this... It's easier to go slow and take double the time rather than go fast and have to unbend your processor pins like my dumb roommate.

also, do you know how to overclock?


No, I've never overclocked anything before, and I must say, after looking at something about it, it's something I wouldn't want to try.
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September 28, 2012 6:16:20 PM

What is your budget for upgrading your computer? I would recommend getting a new Mobo and buying a i5 3570K if you want to over clock or a i5 3540 if not. Overclocking the intel chips are very easy, Just get a decent cooler ($20-50) and you can get them to 4.2 GHz with ease.
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September 28, 2012 6:19:24 PM

Derza10 said:
What is your budget for upgrading your computer? I would recommend getting a new Mobo and buying a i5 3570K if you want to over clock or a i5 3540 if not.


I strongly prefer something 150 or below, I would rather not try overclocking something myself.
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September 28, 2012 6:24:06 PM

Spectre118 said:
I strongly prefer something 150 or below, I would rather not try overclocking something myself.


If that is the case I would do what Misclik suggested, You would still want to overclock it. Overclocking really isn't that hard and there is a lot of info out there that can walk you threw it.
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September 28, 2012 6:25:15 PM

Spectre118 said:
I strongly prefer something 150 or below, I would rather not try overclocking something myself.


Go with Miscliks upgrade on the new Proc and the Evo 212 cooler. (total $129.98) (intel upgrade total roughish $350.99)

DO NOT be afraid to OC. You will be fine. There are a TON of instructions and more then enough knowledgeable and friendly people here at Tom's to walk you through it.
You do want to do a little reading up ;)  But you'll be fine and the benefit you will get from it. (especially in WoW being that it's a Proc intensive game) Will be well worth it.

If your sold on not OC'ng. Then you don't need to purchase the Evo 212 cooler. Stock cooler will be more then enough.
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Best solution

September 28, 2012 6:27:18 PM

Spectre118 said:
No, I've never overclocked anything before, and I must say, after looking at something about it, it's something I wouldn't want to try.


Ok, well IF you want to... It's easy w/ that processor. and you'd see decent gains from it too. my other roommate runs his at 4.3GHz no problems.

anyway, that should be a decent step up, you are at least gaining 500 mhz or so per core. and you're going from an athalon to a phenom. It wont last for ever, but should carry you through for another year at least, maybe 2 depending on what performance you want out of it. also, look at this..

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o...
(you go from tier 4 to tier 3)

realistically, you could upgrade to an ivy i3 and see an improvement. the instruction sets in the processors are more optimized and whatnot.

anyway, I hope I was helpful, have a great day
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September 28, 2012 6:28:16 PM

Best answer selected by Spectre118.
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September 28, 2012 6:28:46 PM

Thank you to everyone for all the quick and fantastic help and advice!
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September 28, 2012 6:32:06 PM

festerovic said:
he can run 2 x 2 GB and 2 x 1 GB for 6 gigs, and it will be running dual channel and not an issue.



he's using 3 sticks. what do you think ? I think he should pull 1 stick and run in dual channel mode.
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September 28, 2012 6:45:40 PM

swifty_morgan said:
he's using 3 sticks. what do you think ? I think he should pull 1 stick and run in dual channel mode.


you are right, he posted about 3 sticks as I was typing my response. Memory bandwidth will not make a significant impact on his situation. More than 4 gigs will not make any impact. If the RAM is not bad, I would keep it all in. It's not hurting or helping.
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September 28, 2012 6:52:35 PM

odd ram configurations don't always help. I would think he's at least take the hint but he's unfamiliar with computers so I'll not push it. CPU is strangling him anyway.
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