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Brand new GTX 680 ~ Poor performance?

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October 12, 2012 3:21:18 AM

I just recently purchased an ASUS GTX 680 DCII Top less than two weeks ago, and I don't feel it's operating properly. It's quiet, the fans never go above 20% and it's using very little power. It's an amazing card. However:

I mainly play World of Warcraft, and I upgraded from an old GTX 295 that was failing. My old GTX 295 was great when I bought it and it continued to provide typical frame rates of 100+ except high population zones and raids. However, my brand new GTX 680 provides around 60-70 frames in the high end, and I received 15 frames per second while in a raid.

Could something be wrong with my graphics card? I know a friend who has two 6850's Crossfire'd and he claims he is getting upwards of 180 frames per second in low population zones. My single GTX 680 should easily out power his setup.

Now I should mention that the new expansion pack for World of Warcraft recently came out and with it came some graphics improvements. However, my friend's setup is post-expansion. Surely my setup should be seeing similar if not higher performance?

I have not tried the graphics card in any other game yet except for Command and Conquer 4, and with the settings maxed I didn't see any issues with it. I ran FurMark on the card for about 10 minutes and the card wouldn't go over 65C. It tends to idle at around 35-40C. I also ran 3DMark11 and received a score that was higher than the reference GTX 680 by a reasonable margin. However, that would be expected given the card's insane stock overclock.

As of this writing I have tested the Nvidia drivers that have been out for a while 306.xx and the driver that just came out today, also in the 306.xx section. (I believe 306.97) Both have this same issue.

What I find most odd is that the card remains at it's temperature and fan speed even while World of Warcraft is running at 13 frames per second. The card isn't even trying.

Thanks for any insights/help in advance. I can run any tests or provide any information you need to diagnose the problem.


My rig:
Motherboard: EVGA X58 3x SLI Classified (E760)
PSU: Enermax Galaxy EVO 1250W
CPU: i7-920 D0 @ stock (water cooled with Corsair H50)
RAM: 3x G.Skill 4GB DDR3 1600
GPU: Asus DCII Top GTX 680
a c 109 U Graphics card
October 12, 2012 3:34:27 AM

It's your CPU!

Remember, WoW is very taxing on the CPU.

More players=More stress.

Try overclocking and see what advantages it brings you.
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October 12, 2012 3:38:30 AM

amuffin said:
It's your CPU!

Remember, WoW is very taxing on the CPU.

More players=More stress.

Try overclocking and see what advantages it brings you.


This was my assumption, unfortunately. However, why would the frame rates be so different switching from a GTX 295 to a GTX 680 and the same CPU? Given that I tested the GTX 295 before Mists of Pandaria and the GTX 680 after, could the patch really cause such a drastic change in frame rates?

I do have a CPU upgrade planned. In fact, I plan to upgrade my entire rig. I'm looking at the $210 EVGA X79 board with a i7-3930k and four brand new sticks of 4GB DDR3 1600 RAM (quad-channel kit).

I will try overclocking. I have pushed my CPU to 4GHz before, but I returned it to stock due to power/heat concerns. I will let you know if this changes the situation. Thanks!
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a b U Graphics card
October 12, 2012 3:45:17 AM

It's not the CPU....

You stated you were getting 100+ frames with your old card, so you should be getting more now. You need a program that will check and log what your CPU usage is while playing, I don't have any recommendations, sorry.

You also need to monitor your 680 with software like GPU-Z, check to see if your card is running at full specs like it should be. Also, CPU-Z should do the trick come to think of it :) 
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a b U Graphics card
October 12, 2012 3:49:31 AM

Could it be that your now running the game in DX11 instead of DX9/10? I don't play WOW myself, but I've heard my brothers mention that DX11 got added along the way. Maybe your friend isn't running it either. Just a thought....
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October 12, 2012 4:04:03 AM

pezonator said:
It's not the CPU....

You stated you were getting 100+ frames with your old card, so you should be getting more now. You need a program that will check and log what your CPU usage is while playing, I don't have any recommendations, sorry.

You also need to monitor your 680 with software like GPU-Z, check to see if your card is running at full specs like it should be. Also, CPU-Z should do the trick come to think of it :) 


I will monitor the performance of both and report back. The 100+ frames was pre-expansion and the graphics and engine was updated. That could be the cause of the performance drop.
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October 12, 2012 4:04:57 AM

sincreator said:
Could it be that your now running the game in DX11 instead of DX9/10? I don't play WOW myself, but I've heard my brothers mention that DX11 got added along the way. Maybe your friend isn't running it either. Just a thought....


I have tried both without much success. Also 32/64bit World of Warcraft. Both seem to have equal performance.
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October 12, 2012 4:16:30 AM

Here are some screenshots of CPU-Z, GPU-Z, and SpeedFan while running World of Warcraft.


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October 12, 2012 4:37:19 AM

Okay, so I misspoke. When World of Warcraft is in either 32/64bit mode running DirectX 9 I get around 80fps with 100fps spikes. Running DirectX 11 I get around 100fps average. This still seems low to me compared to what I should be getting.

Could this then be because of my CPU?
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October 12, 2012 4:39:38 AM

Steffwiz said:
This was my assumption, unfortunately. However, why would the frame rates be so different switching from a GTX 295 to a GTX 680 and the same CPU? Given that I tested the GTX 295 before Mists of Pandaria and the GTX 680 after, could the patch really cause such a drastic change in frame rates?

I do have a CPU upgrade planned. In fact, I plan to upgrade my entire rig. I'm looking at the $210 EVGA X79 board with a i7-3930k and four brand new sticks of 4GB DDR3 1600 RAM (quad-channel kit).

I will try overclocking. I have pushed my CPU to 4GHz before, but I returned it to stock due to power/heat concerns. I will let you know if this changes the situation. Thanks!


If you are only gaming, please don't get the X79. Its a waste of money. Z77 + an i5-3570K is all you need.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
October 12, 2012 4:42:01 AM

WoW is much more demanding than many give it credit, and especially now with Mists of Pandaria.



I can't find any with a 680, but a 680 should only be about 10%-15% faster than the 660 ti. You aren't going to get over 100 FPS with it. Remember, your 295 is a Dx10 card and will not have the same visual settings as your new card.

That said, your low end fps in raids is likely do to your CPU. You don't even need to replace it yet. You just need an aftermarket HSF and OC it to 3.5-3.8Ghz to get good results. I am not sure how much better it'll perform, but I've seen the difference between stock and 3.8Ghz make over 50% improvements in performance on some CPU limited games (I'm not sure how it made that large of a jump, but Risen 2 did).
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October 12, 2012 4:51:16 AM

anti-painkilla said:
If you are only gaming, please don't get the X79. Its a waste of money. Z77 + an i5-3570K is all you need.


I'm an enthusiast. I upgrade because I like the performance. Not necessarily because I need it in order to get "x" performance in "y" game.
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October 12, 2012 4:55:06 AM

bystander said:
WoW is much more demanding than many give it credit, and especially now with Mists of Pandaria.

http://media.bestofmicro.com/U/V/352327/original/WoW%20HIGH.png

I can't find any with a 680, but a 680 should only be about 10%-15% faster than the 660 ti. You aren't going to get over 100 FPS with it. Remember, your 295 is a Dx10 card and will not have the same visual settings as your new card.

That said, your low end fps in raids is likely do to your CPU. You don't even need to replace it yet. You just need an aftermarket HSF and OC it to 3.5-3.8Ghz to get good results. I am not sure how much better it'll perform, but I've seen the difference between stock and 3.8Ghz make over 50% improvements in performance on some CPU limited games (I'm not sure how it made that large of a jump, but Risen 2 did).


So even though the GTX 680 should be well over the power of my old GTX 295 I won't see much of an improvement in World of Warcraft? What about other games? I'm kind of regretting the upgrade right about now.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
October 12, 2012 5:10:20 AM

Steffwiz said:
So even though the GTX 680 should be well over the power of my old GTX 295 I won't see much of an improvement in World of Warcraft? What about other games? I'm kind of regretting the upgrade right about now.


It's a bigger improvement than you think. If compare a game that is not CPU limited, both using the same settings, you should see a noticeable improvement.

I was saying that WoW is a DX11 game, which your 295 cannot use, so it uses Dx9 with less visual settings. Your 680 is using higher settings than your 295 was. Also, being a CPU limited game, when the CPU is holding back performance (in raids and around lots of people in towns), you will see about the same performance.

In other games that don't have CPU limitations, you should see about a 50% improvement in performance. I can't find actual benchmarks comparing the two, but a 480 is about equal or slightly faster than a 295, and the 680 is about 50% faster than a 480. It may be a little larger than 50%, but probably not more than 70% faster.

That said, if your CPU is limiting you, you won't see an improvement. You also have to remember that DX11 games will not run on your 295, so the 295 will use a dumbed down version of the game, usually DX9, which may make them perform much closer FPS wise.
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October 12, 2012 5:17:11 AM

bystander said:
It's a bigger improvement than you think. If compare a game that is not CPU limited, both using the same settings, you should see a noticeable improvement.

I was saying that WoW is a DX11 game, which your 295 cannot use, so it uses Dx9 with less visual settings. Your 680 is using higher settings than your 295 was. Also, being a CPU limited game, when the CPU is holding back performance (in raids and around lots of people in towns), you will see about the same performance.


Thanks a lot for the help. I will overclock my CPU again and look into the 2011 socket. From what I understand the 2011 socket is about a year old? Do we have any information on what Intel is going to release next? Do you think I should wait and not upgrade to the 2011 socket?

Keep in mind I upgrade because I want the fastest components I can buy. I like high quality and I hate lag and waiting.

Edit: I'm really looking forward to USB 3.0 and Sata 6GB/s. My external hard drives use USB 3.0 and my SSD is being bottlenecked by Sata 3 GB/s.
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a b U Graphics card
October 12, 2012 5:23:32 AM

The GTX 680 has more than twice the performance of the GTX 295. Like bystander stated, the GTX 295 was a DirectX 9 card, it wouldn't even be able to run WoW in DirectX 11. If you're getting 100 fps, that's what you should be getting. If you're dipping low, then your CPU is bottlnecking.

Also, notice how your GPU load is only at 71% and has dipped much lower than that while playing. That definitely indicates a bottlneck. Your GPU isn't working at its full potential.
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a c 217 U Graphics card
a b Ý World of Warcraft
October 12, 2012 5:31:18 AM

Ironslice said:
The GTX 680 has more than twice the performance of the GTX 295. Like bystander stated, the GTX 295 was a DirectX 9 card, it wouldn't even be able to run WoW in DirectX 11. If you're getting 100 fps, that's what you should be getting. If you're dipping low, then your CPU is bottlnecking.

Also, notice how your GPU load is only at 71% and has dipped much lower than that while playing. That definitely indicates a bottlneck. Your GPU isn't working at its full potential.


I agree with everything but the 680 being more than twice as fast as the 295. The 295 was a dual GPU card, so it's going to vary depending on how well SLI scales, but the 480 was not much faster than the 295, and the 680 isn't doubling a 480.
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October 12, 2012 6:46:26 AM

Ironslice said:
The GTX 680 has more than twice the performance of the GTX 295. Like bystander stated, the GTX 295 was a DirectX 9 card, it wouldn't even be able to run WoW in DirectX 11. If you're getting 100 fps, that's what you should be getting. If you're dipping low, then your CPU is bottlnecking.

Also, notice how your GPU load is only at 71% and has dipped much lower than that while playing. That definitely indicates a bottlneck. Your GPU isn't working at its full potential.


Thank you for your insight. Are there other factors that can cause the GPU to not operate at it's full potential?
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a c 88 U Graphics card
October 12, 2012 9:01:10 AM

Can you try playing another game and see what the performance is like , something more gpu taxing like Battlefield 3 or any of the Crysis games, look at the fps and compare it to the charts on here to see if you are having performance issues with your card. You could also use MSI Afterburner and increase the power target for the boost, test it out also on Wow and see if it makes any difference.
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a b U Graphics card
October 12, 2012 9:13:13 AM

can there be a power issue? this is the only thing comes to my mind now. anything can be wrong with feeding your GPU?
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October 12, 2012 9:51:37 AM

monsta said:
Can you try playing another game and see what the performance is like , something more gpu taxing like Battlefield 3 or any of the Crysis games, look at the fps and compare it to the charts on here to see if you are having performance issues with your card. You could also use MSI Afterburner and increase the power target for the boost, test it out also on Wow and see if it makes any difference.


I will try playing Crysis and will report back.
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October 12, 2012 9:52:15 AM

technoholic said:
can there be a power issue? this is the only thing comes to my mind now. anything can be wrong with feeding your GPU?


My power supply can push 1250w and my setup uses nowhere near that. The 12v rails are stable at 12.17 volts.
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October 12, 2012 9:56:18 AM

Okay so I've concluded it's not my graphics card that's the issue. Thank you everyone that helped diagnose the problem. Few questions:

I need a new processor. I'm looking at the i7-3930k. From what I've read it should be more than double the power of my current i7-920. Is that accurate? Also, what motherboard would be a good one to get? I favor EVGA, but I'd take suggestions for any manufacturer.

Lastly, I'm sending back my GTX 295 to EVGA for a replacement. I'm expecting a GTX 480 or GTX 570 back (<3 EVGA). Would this be a good card for PhysX or would I be wasting it? I'm considering selling it if it would be wasted. Also in this case, what would be a good card for PhysX or is it even worth it?

Thanks again for all the help.
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November 24, 2012 10:42:13 PM

Best answer selected by Steffwiz.
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July 29, 2013 12:43:36 AM

I've actually spent a lot of time overclocking the i7 920 and gtx 680. Your graphics memory should show 3000mhz (6000mhz) effective {for me possible overclock to 3300Mhz mem aka +265 mem offset and up to 1280Mhz GPU +80}. Your gtx 680 is showing 1502 mem. Also the i7 920's I've had worked at 4.2Ghz but 3.9-4.0 is more reliable for me. ASUS has overclocking software to experiment with.
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