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New mid-high level gaming build performing terribly

Last response: in Systems
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December 21, 2012 7:51:53 AM

So, I recently finished putting together my first build, and across the board in games it has been putting up a pretty terrible performance. To start I'll list the major components:

ASRock Z77 Extreme4 motherboard
Gigabyte GTX 670 Windforce
Intel i7 3770k processor
16GB DDR3 RAM 1600
Intel 120GB SSD

I've tried runing several games through it so far. Planetside 2 has been unplayable at every graphics setting, but this could be due to poor optimization on SOE's behalf. Metro 2033 is has extremely low framerates on medium settings in any actual gameplay situation (i.e. anything but climbing a ladder.) Even Guild Wars 2 will only get between 10-25 FPS with the highest settings. And to make it worse, Minecraft has sometimes been jittery and difficult to play.

All of this makes me think I did something wrong. I've installed all the drivers from ASRock's website, as well as Nvidia's. I updated Windows 7 completely. At first I had a lot of trouble with blue screens, but it seems to be stable with all the updates/drivers. Does anyone have any troubleshooting tips? I feel like a system that was this expensive and fairly well researched and put together should be performing much better. The only thing that I think could be off is the RAM. I am using 2 different brands due to an oversight on my part, but with the same size and speed. Should I uninstall two of the sticks?
December 21, 2012 10:05:15 AM

Storm Sculptor said:
The only thing that I think could be off is the RAM. I am using 2 different brands due to an oversight on my part, but with the same size and speed. Should I uninstall two of the sticks?

That is where I would take you, you won't see much degradation in performance (lol, much more that is) with the decrease in ram amount. I'm almost positive that's where your issue lies.
Good luck
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December 21, 2012 11:36:01 AM

Yeah try taking some RAM out and see if it solves the problem.
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December 21, 2012 1:13:19 PM

Also, how are temps looking? Is it possible the CPU heatsink is loose?
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December 21, 2012 1:26:24 PM

I agree, something is amiss.

1. I would not think that ram is the issue so long as you are stable. Run memtest86+ for a few passes to check stability. You should get NO errors.

2. On the Nvidia control panel for your games, set the power management option to prefer maximum performance.

3. Do your games have the latest patches?

4. To verify that your cpu is capable of running full out, run prime95. Use cpu-z to verify that your multiplier is at max, and use realtemp to monitor your temperatures.

5. There is always the unusual chance that your graphics card is defective. Can you try with a different card?
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December 21, 2012 1:48:03 PM

I know this is reaching, but have you double-checked that the monitor is plugged into the GPU and not the mobo?

I'd also go into the BIOS and disable the integrated GPU to eliminate that.

Lastly, if you have installed VirtuMVP from the mobo site or disc I'd uninstall that too just to strip down the number of things that could be interfering.
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December 21, 2012 1:50:56 PM

Just going out on a limb here, but you do have your monitor connected to one of the outputs on your GPU and not one of the ones from your motherboard, correct?

Edit: Beaten!
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December 21, 2012 2:10:40 PM

I was also gonna point this out too :-) But I figured that when a graphics card is installed, it automatically becomes the default output? Or is it motherboard-dependant? I don't have integrated graphics so my knowledge on it is a bit dated.
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December 21, 2012 3:15:38 PM

Can't remember either off the top of my head - just trying to reduce possible contributing factors :) 

But I *think* you can run monitors off both if they are both enabled. Plus, if you have VirtuMVP you can send frames from the GPU through the integrated output if you so desire (the software driver decides what the GPU renders and what the integrated renders to save power when possible - I messed with it a little then chucked it out the window).
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December 21, 2012 3:21:52 PM

Yeah the integrated graphics can come in handy... I'm using an i7 920 (no IGP) so when my card died, I was screwed until I dug up an old 4870 I'd held onto. Integrated really is valuable as an emergency fallback.
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December 21, 2012 10:26:17 PM

Best answer selected by Storm Sculptor.
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December 21, 2012 10:27:18 PM

Thanks to everyone for the replies. It turns out the processor was working really poorly because of some faulty installation of the heatsink on my part.
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