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Is this Athlon II cpu bottlenecking a 7770? Want to play GW2.

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December 6, 2012 3:29:44 PM

Trying to help my brother run Guild Wars 2.
He has a chepo eMachines ET1331G-03w:
AMD Athlon II X2 dual-core processor 235e @ 2.7GHz 45W
500w FSP 80+ Bronze
6 GB
Windows 7
1920 x 1080
msi 7770: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

We got an msi 7770 without thinking too much about it. From a pervious post I did, people were telling me that the cpu would bottleneck the card. We are currently playing around with the 7770 and the bottleneck does look like it's there. The card seemed to have made a difference in GW2, but not as big as we hoped. He used to run the game on a Geforce 9400 GT on lowest settings @ 7-25 fps with some lagg, and now he plays it on medium/high @ 15-30 fps, but still laggs. Now I'm wondering if this is the type of performance to be expected with this cpu/gpu combo, or would you guys expect better results? I don't want to buy a cpu if I don't have to. Perhaps I did something wrong like not removing/installing drivers correctly? My approach was to uninstall anything "NVIDIA", but I then I could not connect to the internet. I did a system restore and this time I only uninstalled a few of the drivers. Is there anything left to try or would you say my results are to be expected? Is a cpu upgrade to be considered?

I have uninstalled (and ran Driver Sweeper):
NVIDIA 3D Vision Controller Driver 296.10
NVIDIA 3D Vision Driver 306.97
NVIDIA Graphics Driver 306.97
NVIDIA PhysX System Sofware 9.12.0213
Left installed:
NVIDIA Drivers
NVIDIA ForceWare Network Acess Manager
NVIDIA Update 1.10.8
Let me know if I need to get rid of any of the drivers I left installed.
a b à CPUs
December 6, 2012 3:41:21 PM

I would install the amd drivers first, then go back and try to remove the nvidia stuff. That processor should not be a big bottleneck for the 7770.
a b à CPUs
December 6, 2012 3:53:47 PM

Driver Sweeper as always worked well for me if I was going from an ATI/AMD card to Nvidia, or vice versa. http://www.guru3d.com/content_page/guru3d_driver_sweepe...

Your system wouldn't necessarily "bottleneck" your video card, the game itself would be bottlenecked by the CPU to the point were the GPU upgrade is just not being taken advantage of. There always has to be that balance at some level. There will be games that are not CPU intensive that will receive the upgrade very well, others may see little difference if it is a CPU demanding game.

I'd try the driver sweeper first and download the most up to date video drivers from the AMD site. Never download them from the card manufacturer site, they are never up to date.
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a c 105 à CPUs
December 6, 2012 4:03:29 PM
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His CPU is a horrible bottleneck for GW2.
For $72, this X3 should work: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
If that's too steep, even this $60 X2 270 should make the game playable: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The X3 is a little stronger than the C2D E6750 my father has, on which I was able to play with lowered settings on a HD6670; your brother should have an even better experience. The X2 is similar, so it should also be playable.
a b à CPUs
December 6, 2012 4:08:56 PM

GW2 system requirements:

•Intel® Core 2 Duo 2.0 GHz, Core i3 OR AMD Athlon 64 X2, or better
•2 GB RAM
•NVIDIA® GeForce® 7800, ATI X1800, Intel HD 3000, or better (256 MB of video RAM and shader model 3.0 or better)

He meets the minimum requirements
a c 105 à CPUs
December 6, 2012 4:16:06 PM

Minimum requirements, yes, so the game loads, and will "play" on its lowest settings. GW2 is more CPU-dependent than a lot of games though. The 235e is designed to be a low-power chip. It isn't even on the Gaming CPU Hierarchy Chart, but would be at LEAST a couple of tiers lower than the X2 240, which is.
December 6, 2012 4:33:39 PM

Well, I suppose I would have to identify my motherboard first and then find the best option for it no? I believe the socket type is AM2+
a c 105 à CPUs
December 6, 2012 4:36:51 PM

Socket AM2+ can take socket AM3 CPUs (they have both DDR2 and DDR3 memory controllers), but your mobo is unlikely to be able to handle CPUs over 95W. In fact, if you are limited to 65W CPUs, the X2 270 will be the strongest CPU you can put in it.
December 6, 2012 4:51:20 PM

Onus said:
Socket AM2+ can take socket AM3 CPUs (they have both DDR2 and DDR3 memory controllers), but your mobo is unlikely to be able to handle CPUs over 95W. In fact, if you are limited to 65W CPUs, the X2 270 will be the strongest CPU you can put in it.

Cool, thanks. Fist I'll try driverweeper, then play some more. If I decide I need to upgrade the cpu (probably), then I will. The AMD Athlon II X3 455 Rana 3.3GHz @ $ 72 is no too bad, my msi 7770 was $70. That's a total of of $142; it's not a horrible price for playable specs, without having to start from scratch.
a b à CPUs
December 6, 2012 4:57:13 PM

I don't see you mention how much ram you have, but if it is less than 4gb, that is your bottleneck.
December 6, 2012 5:03:01 PM

flexxar said:
I don't see you mention how much ram you have, but if it is less than 4gb, that is your bottleneck.

6 GB

a c 105 à CPUs
December 6, 2012 11:17:10 PM

During the beta events, and for a week or two after the game went live, I had the video cards in my two systems (below) switched. The 970BE+HD7870 could play with higher graphical settings than the i5-3570K+HD7770, but the latter was smoother with less unexplained dropouts and lag. This game needs a decent CPU. Now that the game has been optimized further, my father's CPU wasn't too bad, but even on low settings I could tell it was struggling a little.
December 6, 2012 11:39:41 PM

Onus said:
During the beta events, and for a week or two after the game went live, I had the video cards in my two systems (below) switched. The 970BE+HD7870 could play with higher graphical settings than the i5-3570K+HD7770, but the latter was smoother with less unexplained dropouts and lag. This game needs a decent CPU. Now that the game has been optimized further, my father's CPU wasn't too bad, but even on low settings I could tell it was struggling a little.

Ya, I could tell as well. I was running gw2 on an i5 3570K and HD 4000 integrated graphics on low/medium just fine, before I got my gpu.
By the way, I ran Driver Sweeper and the game seems to be doing a tad better. Getting solid 20-30 in heavy zones and 20-60 in lonely zones. It still laggs a little though, so I'm thinking the cpu really is the bottleneck, since the 7770 can clearly handle it.
Still need to open-up my brother's pc to look at the mobo's brand. I'm hoping it can handle up to 95W. His current AMD Athlon II X2 235e is 45W, so if I assume the mobo limits me to that, then the Athlon II X4 620e (45W) would be my choice:
http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...
If I do have resort to buying an Athlon II X4 620e vs the ones you linked, do you think I'll see a decent performance inrease from the current AMD Athlon II X2 235e ?
Thanks for your help.
December 8, 2012 2:38:47 PM

Bump for any last thoughts.
December 12, 2012 8:52:06 PM

Best answer selected by 123364.
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