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Is my CPU faulty or bottlenecking my GPU?

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December 12, 2012 3:19:30 PM

Ok i have a Phenom II x4 965 Black edition and a Sapphire HD 7850 2GB oc edition.


No matter what game i play, I get the exact same fps on the lowest setting as i would on ultra.



I just played Skyrim, It automatically set my graphics to Ultra because my PC can handle it. I was getting 60fps, Sometimes it would drop down to 35-40fps.

I decided to disable Vsync and I still got the exact same fps. I then Put it on the lowest graphical settings and still only got 60fps with vsync on and off.


No matter what game i play, My fps fluctuates but the maximum is 60fps. dropping to 30-40 then rising back to 60 again.

All fps is the same on every single graphical setting. Im getting really angry with all this as i sold my xbox to be a pc gamer and im really not enjoying it and wishing i didnt.



Im also thinking about chaning my CPU and motherboard


Asrock 970 am3+ Extreme 4

Phenom II x4 965 Black edition.



Now, If i wan't to change those, What would be the best for gaming? I dont have much money so i would like reccomendations,
a b B Homebuilt system
December 12, 2012 5:04:47 PM

You might have a 60Hz monitor.
December 12, 2012 5:58:23 PM

Well i play at 1600x900 so yeah i have a 60hz monitor. If im capped at 60Mhz thats fine, but why does my fps drop so suddenly for a second?


What type of Mhz monitor should i get if i want to game?
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 12, 2012 6:11:13 PM

^ It drops because of lag spikes. These can be prevented, as you've seen, by turning down the graphics options. That means that you're producing a minimum of 60 frames every second, so when it drops from 80 to 60, you don't notice it, because your screen can only display 60 anyways.

That being said, don't bother upgrading your monitor. You can go to 1920x1080, which will make everything look much nicer, but a 60Hz monitor is the standard - if you want a 120Hz monitor (allowing you to see up to 120 frames a second) it'll be costly. And there's not much point, since you won't be hitting that 120 mark anyways.
December 12, 2012 6:30:08 PM

The human eyes have difficulties distinguishing more than 60 fps anyways so 120Hz monitors are overrated if you ask me. It's normal that FPS aren't always steady, you can get variations from many factors like background programs suddenly requiring more resources or simply entering a larger map in the game or having many enemies spawning at the same time, or a lot of projectiles and explosions to manage at the same time, etc...

I think your CPU will somewhat bottleneck your card, but it's still a viable gaming CPU so it shouldn't be too dramatic. Skyrim might just be a more demanding game than I thought and I don't know how CPU dependent it is. I also thought that 35-40 fps were still playable, I always heard that it's from 30 and below that you start having problems. If you want to change your CPU right now most gamers get the i5-3450 or you can also get the i5-3570K for a little more if you want unlock multipliers to overclock. Expect around 50% increase in performance with these new CPUs compared to what you currently have. Also, the 7850 is a very good graphics card, but it's not the most high end either, so at 1080p with max settings it's possible it could struggle in certain games.
December 12, 2012 6:49:22 PM

Well i wont ever be playing 1080p im happy with this 1600x900 monitor.

All i want is to keep my FPS steady. Instead of dropping.

I just dont understand why i have the exact same issue on every graphic setting. Like saints row 3 gives me the same issues on ultra as it does on low.





Is my motherboard ok? If it is then il go with another amd cpu. What would you guys recommend for my mobo/gpu as a good cpu?
December 12, 2012 7:16:55 PM

With AMD you could get a FX-6300 or 8150 I think both are AM3+ socket so you should be ok. Just make sure you flash your BIOS to the latest version before installing a new CPU.

But I'm not 100% sure your problem is a CPU bottleneck I would like others to give their opinion before you rush to the store. I don't know if it's normal for FPS to drop like that even at low settings... but yeah I think it could be the CPU. It's just that it could also be a software problem, like a bad driver, or make sure you don't have software downloading in the background, or anti-virus doing a scan, things like that. Also, you didn't say how much RAM you have? Make sure you have at least 4 GB.
December 12, 2012 7:19:34 PM

Currently i have msi afterburner displayed in my game

My temp is fine, Not going above 45C ingame however, my GPU usage is rarely over 55%

Shouldn't this be in the 90%'s? So i think its a bottleneck......

Is it easy to OC the 965 BE to say 3.6ghz on stock fan?


Currently my CPU idles at 25-30c and when under load never goes above 45c
December 12, 2012 7:23:26 PM

You could try overclocking your cpu (it should hit 4ghz with a good cooler). Thats free and would let you know whether it is really bottlenecking the gpu.
December 12, 2012 7:35:22 PM

I would love too, But im not sure if i could afford a cooler. I spent everything had on this pc :( 


I also have NO idea how to overclock.
December 12, 2012 7:35:50 PM

Makes sense, if you play demanding games at max settings and the GPU never go over 55% use I guess this most indicate a CPU bottleneck. As suggested by maestro0428 you could overclock current CPU and see if the GPU usage increase to let's say 65% or something, then it might indicate that it's really a CPU bottleneck.
December 12, 2012 7:40:44 PM

danryder said:
I would love too, But im not sure if i could afford a cooler. I spent everything had on this pc :( 


I also have NO idea how to overclock.


Don't worry, I think your CPU can easily overclock to 4 Ghz with the stock cooler especially since your temps are very low (max temp for that CPU is 95C I believe). I don't have a lot of experience overclocking either, but you should easily find instructions for that on the web, especially since you have the black edition it has unlocked multipliers so the process should be rather straight forward, I think it's a simple BIOS options that will allow you to play with the multipliers. Just make sure to watch your temps for stability.
December 12, 2012 7:49:38 PM

Can you find me a step by step guide? I would be happe maybe at 3.8
December 12, 2012 8:44:59 PM

Max temp 95c????? You crazy?!?!?!?!? Im sure it shouldnt go above 62c!


Also, To your earlier question about ram, I have 8GB Corsair Vengeance that i set to 1600 as it was 1333 by default.
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