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GTX 670 FTW Underperforming

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 10, 2012 3:25:07 AM

I'm getting lower than expected performance from my EVGA GTX 670 FTW graphics card with frames somewhere in the 40s at max settings, 1600x900 res, and stock speed. I've done a fresh install of both 306.97 and 310.33 drivers and have made the appropriate changes in Nvidia Control Panel to favor high frames without any evident changes.
The strange thing is that at both max settings and low frames, my GPU usage doesn't go above 80 percent suggesting that my card could perform better. Advice that I have received is that my CPU might be bottle-necking my card even though it's a quad core i7 960 processor @ 3.2 GHz (stock) but that makes no sense to since it's a quad core processor.
Do I just have a defective card or is there some kind of hot fix I could do?

Something that might me of use is http://www.3dmark.com/3dm11/4838275
a c 81 Î Nvidia
November 10, 2012 3:33:39 AM

What games are you having troubles with? According to the 3dmark11 scores, your system is performing as expected. I can attest that the graphics score on that benchmark is normal.

Edit: as far as having a quad core CPU, that does not mean you do not have a bottleneck in the slightest. In gaming systems, the problem is usually with a single process, and it's not about how many cores you have, but how fast that a single core can perform.

With out knowing what game you are having troubles with, there is no way for us to know. Some games require a lot of CPU power for higher than 40 FPS. Some games don't.
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a b Î Nvidia
November 10, 2012 4:10:21 AM

i would check see if there any mb bios patches. see what they do ie cpu code or for video cards. i would run gpu-z make sure the gpu running at 16x mode. also check that the card is the right video slot for those 3 way sli set up mb. in the nvidia panel make sure it set to one monitor nut muilt monitor..when you connect 2 monitors some of the gpu head room has to go to support the other monitor even if it in sleep mode. also check for tri filtering and 4aa settings in video control set up and the games. in some games if you set the anti jaggies to high you can lose frame rate as the gpu has to use some of the clock cycles to fix the anti jaggies. also check to see if the game running in dx 9 or dx 10 mode. some games are true dx 10 games. some are small rerights. tom did a testing one time on some games and found that some older games ran better in dx9 then when they were re written for dx 10.
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November 10, 2012 10:02:55 PM

Something I should have mentioned in my first post is that it's not just at max settings that I get low frames but at the lowest settings as well.


bystander said:
What games are you having troubles with? According to the 3dmark11 scores, your system is performing as expected. I can attest that the graphics score on that benchmark is normal.

Edit: as far as having a quad core CPU, that does not mean you do not have a bottleneck in the slightest. In gaming systems, the problem is usually with a single process, and it's not about how many cores you have, but how fast that a single core can perform.

With out knowing what game you are having troubles with, there is no way for us to know. Some games require a lot of CPU power for higher than 40 FPS. Some games don't.


Is MW3 a GPU/CPU intensive game for single player? I would assume not but I am not 100% sure about that. I also play Guild Wars 2, but I know that it is for the most part CPU locked so I shouldn't expect too high of frames. It's just that I find 40 fps too low considering the power of a 670 card and I see slight tearing and lagging.
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November 10, 2012 10:07:30 PM

What does your CPU utilization look like in those games when you experience low frames? You could have some sort of trojan that's using cycles and holding you back.
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November 10, 2012 10:23:11 PM

cuecuemore said:
What does your CPU utilization look like in those games when you experience low frames? You could have some sort of trojan that's using cycles and holding you back.


What kind of software would you recommend to monitor my CPU usage during gaming? I also did a full system scan on MSE and got nothing malicious.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
November 10, 2012 10:28:04 PM

Korosis said:
What kind of software would you recommend to monitor my CPU usage during gaming? I also did a full system scan on MSE and got nothing malicious.

A 3dmark11 performance mode score would be helpful.

For monitoring your CPU, download CPU-Z.
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November 10, 2012 10:36:00 PM

bystander said:
A 3dmark11 performance mode score would be helpful.

For monitoring your CPU, download CPU-Z.


I already posted a 3DMark score for you to check in my first post. I'm kind of overwhelmed with the information provided by CPU-Z. What should I be looking at specifically that would indicate bottle-necking?
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
November 10, 2012 10:43:29 PM

You are looking for CPU usage. I haven't used that in a long time, so I'm not sure on the specifics on how to find what you want. Ctrl-alt-del -> Task Manager -> Performance tab -> CPU will also show what's going on.
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November 11, 2012 12:03:15 AM

bystander said:
You are looking for CPU usage. I haven't used that in a long time, so I'm not sure on the specifics on how to find what you want. Ctrl-alt-del -> Task Manager -> Performance tab -> CPU will also show what's going on.


Okay. I've alt-tabbed multiple times and get a steady CPU Usage of 15ish percent out of MW3 and 30-40% usage during Guild Wars 2 with slight upward spikes of 5-10% more. Not sure if this appears to be fairly low or not.
If you could interpret what this might mean in regards to my graphics card performance, that would be amazing.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
November 11, 2012 12:30:22 AM

What you need to find is a single core that is near maxing out and you'll have to monitor it while playing.
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November 11, 2012 12:38:09 AM

bystander said:
What you need to find is a single core that is near maxing out and you'll have to monitor it while playing.

Okay. Thanks for the quick replies. Before I begin to check which core is near maxing out, will I see similar usage if I play in windowed mode compared to full screen mode? Would be easier to monitor my CPU.
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November 11, 2012 1:11:25 AM

bystander said:
What you need to find is a single core that is near maxing out and you'll have to monitor it while playing.

I don't exactly have a core that is maxing out. At most one of them reaches ~80% usage.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
November 11, 2012 1:18:04 AM

What about your GPU? At the same time, what is the GPU usage? 80% usage still may be maxed out, depending on how they read it. A lot of a core is not being used, even when the thread that is running is going as fast as it possibly can. I don't know how that is translated (hyperthreading takes advantage of the unused parts of the core).

I'm not exactly an expert on how the software shows usage.
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November 11, 2012 3:04:54 AM

bystander said:
What about your GPU? At the same time, what is the GPU usage? 80% usage still may be maxed out, depending on how they read it. A lot of a core is not being used, even when the thread that is running is going as fast as it possibly can. I don't know how that is translated (hyperthreading takes advantage of the unused parts of the core).

I'm not exactly an expert on how the software shows usage.

I made a mistake earlier. For CPU usage for MW3 its ~40% max for one core. My My GPU usage hovers at 60-80% typically closer to 80% in Guild Wars 2 and about 20-40% for MW3.

So...
MW3: CPU Usage = ~15% | CPU Core Max = 40% | GPU Usage = ~30%
GW2: CPU Usage = ~35% | CPU Core Max = 80% | GPU Usage = ~75%
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
November 11, 2012 3:08:16 AM

GW2 seems like it may be working correctly, but MW3 isn't. You may want to go to their forums to help resolve that issue. It could be a programming bug.
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November 11, 2012 3:15:35 AM

bystander said:
GW2 seems like it may be working correctly, but MW3 isn't. You may want to go to their forums to help resolve that issue. It could be a programming bug.

Okay good to know. Do you know any other "real life" (read: games) tests that I could do to check GPU and CPU performance? I feel like MW3 and GW2 are very small test pool to judge that my graphics card is 'fine'.

But thank you Bystander for the responsive help.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
November 11, 2012 3:37:44 AM

Do you have any other games? I doubt you'd just want to buy games for testing purposes.
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November 11, 2012 3:59:32 AM

bystander said:
Do you have any other games? I doubt you'd just want to buy games for testing purposes.

Yeah I was wondering if you knew any f2p games that are heavily CPU or GPU. Those are maybe the only two games that I have purchased.
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a c 81 Î Nvidia
November 11, 2012 4:05:12 AM

I don't know of any f2p games. But you could try Unigine Heaven benchmark. It's a good test of your GPU capabilities. If you were to post an image of your score, I could compare mine to yours. Our systems are pretty similar.
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