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Not getting expected FPS with new system

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January 1, 2013 10:41:36 AM

Hi there,

I hope this is the right category. Anyway:
I just built in my EVGA GTX 660 Ti SC (chose the EVGA one because of the closed fan architecture), installed Windows 8 on a new SSD, installed some games, and I'm definitely not getting the framerate I expected (and benchmarks reported). This is my system:

- AMD FX 4100 4x 3,6 GhZ (Bulldozer)
- EVGA GTX 660 Ti SC
- Samsung 128GB SSD
- 2x Seagate 7200 500GB HDD
- ASUS M5A87 MoBo

According to various benchmarks, the GTX 660 Ti is capable of an average of 50-60 FPS in Battlefield 3 (with everything maxed, including AA) and at least 70-80 frames average in Borderlands 2 (everything maxed again), just 2 examples.

My system however, "only" gets 30-40 FPS in BF3, I only get 60 fps when looking at the ground, the sky or at a wall, so it's definitely not the average. Borderlands 2 is even worse: While looking at areas from a distance (probably with many NPCs) the framerate drops to 30-40 FPS, sometimes even into the twenties. Inside, I get a shitton of FPS, but when being outside, my fps are really, really bad, and the problem persists when lowering every graphics setting.

While playing these games, the GPU does go up to it's expected clock speeds, I can see that in Precision X. I even forced it into boost clock by setting the power target all the way up, and a slight overclock also worked, but didn't improve FPS in the games at all. The temps appear to be okay during gameplay. The card barely reaches 75°C, which is below the maximum temp.

My CPU has to work rather hard during these games, especially Borderlands 2. Being in Sanctuary, my CPU has 70-90% load on all four cores (the FX 4100 isn't even a "true" quad core so it's even worse).

What I tried:

- Lowering settings (although I didn't buy my new GPU to lower settings)
- Updating BIOS
- Updating Graphics Drivers
- Overclock

So, I'm thinking the problem might be my rather weak CPU. It had some problems before, which could be fixed with a BIOS update, and as many of you know the Bulldozer CPUs aren't exactly known for their gaming performance.

Could it be that the FX 4100 is bottlenecking the card? Should I buy a FX 4170? Will that fix the performance? Should I overclock it?

Or is my card faulty? Remember, it does seem to go up to the right clock speeds. Or is the problem Windows 8?

Thanks,
Jason

More about : expected fps system

a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 10:57:08 AM

Not too sure about AMD cores, but i think that may be the problem. One of my friends is running a 660 flawlessly on his 4170 so that might be an option? But dont go buy it on my account, wait for someone why really knows AMD cpu's to come along.
January 1, 2013 11:38:36 AM

Yes, your FX 4100 is holding you back.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 12:10:23 PM

Yes, the stock speed 4100 is the most likely culprit here. AMD CPU's are generally only competetive with a significant overclock.

The cheapest option is pick up an aftermarket cooler if you don't already have one (the hyper 212 evo is the standby around here), and overclock the 4100. You should be able to easily reach 4.2 ghz on the 4100 with only a slight voltage bump. The average stable overclock for 4100's (with significant tweaking, hoever) is around 4.5 ghz.

good luck!
January 1, 2013 12:32:12 PM

All right, thanks guys! I've got an Katana 3 installed currently, is it okay for overclocking? I've never tried overclocking a CPU, but I think I'll make it. Gonna report back if the performance improves.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 1:29:41 PM

With the fan at full speed, probably. That cooler is aimed at 65w CPU's. The 4100 is 95w at stock speeds and overclocking will push it around 130. Keep a close eye on your temps while overclocking on that cooler. tjmax is 81C for the 4100, but I'd keep it at 55C (which will be about 1.5v max) or under to avoid affecting the CPU's longevity
January 1, 2013 2:56:37 PM

All right, I overclocked the CPU using AMD Overdrive, and I was able to crank the CPU up to 4,45 GhZ, according to CPU-ID and CPU Temp. The gaming performance has improved, but is still way too low. I think the problem here might be the Bulldozer architecture itself, with it's fake cores... Together with the low bandwith and catch sizes by the FX 4100, the CPU seems to seriously bottleneck the GPU.

I'm considering selling my Mainboard and CPU and getting a Gigabyte GA-Z77X-D3H (which is capable of SLI) together with an Intel Core i5-2500K. The insanely slow processing of Video in After Effects has been bugging me for months anyway, and I guess an i5 should seriously speed it up.

Also, with that configuration, nothing should bottleneck the card, right?
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 4:17:02 PM

Your bottleneck is indeed your processor. AMD is a great value minded system, but with value comes trade offs. Good enough for casual gamers, but for serious game play, AMD processors are not your best friend.
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 4:53:01 PM

efstajas said:
Borderlands 2 is even worse: While looking at areas from a distance (probably with many NPCs) the framerate drops to 30-40 FPS, sometimes even into the twenties. Inside, I get a shitton of FPS, but when being outside, my fps are really, really bad, and the problem persists when lowering every graphics setting.


There may be another issue here. My gf's machine is an athII x3 455 OC'd to 4.0 ghz, and a 7850 oc'd to 1125mhz. In borderlands 2, everything is cranked except 4xAF and 4xMSAA @1920x1080. I usually have her machine run with DoF off, but even with it on, the fps still averages 45 even in the most taxing areas.
January 1, 2013 5:08:38 PM

quilciri said:
There may be another issue here. My gf's machine is an athII x3 455 OC'd to 4.0 ghz, and a 7850 oc'd to 1125mhz. In borderlands 2, everything is cranked except 4xAF and 4xMSAA @1920x1080. I usually have her machine run with DoF off, but even with it on, the fps still averages 45 even in the most taxing areas.


I think that's all right, I also get an average of 40-50 FPS. The problem is that the GTX 660 Ti is capable of an average of 80 FPS, even with PhysX on, which your GF probably doesn't have, since she's using an ATI card. I'm just going to upgrade my CPU, because even if it doesn't improve the FPS, it's gonna improve my PCs performance with After Effects. Also, I'm going to reinstall the whole system, so a software/driver issue shouldn't persist. I'm going to report back in 1-3 weeks. Thanks!
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 5:41:56 PM

efstajas said:
I think that's all right, I also get an average of 40-50 FPS. The problem is that the GTX 660 Ti is capable of an average of 80 FPS, even with PhysX on, which your GF probably doesn't have, since she's using an ATI card. I'm just going to upgrade my CPU, because even if it doesn't improve the FPS, it's gonna improve my PCs performance with After Effects. Also, I'm going to reinstall the whole system, so a software/driver issue shouldn't persist. I'm going to report back in 1-3 weeks. Thanks!


The issue I'm trying to point out is that the 4100 is a stronger processor than the x3 455, especially when overclocked. At the speed you've bumped it to, the 4100 performs a bit better than an i3-2120. The differences in settings are all GPU load, so your system should still be posting better fps than hers. the fact that it's not after oc'ing the 4100 leads me to believe there might be something else going on.

oh well, good luck with your upgrade!
a b B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 5:43:43 PM

fogot to ask in the last post - how are your temps while playing?
January 1, 2013 6:37:24 PM

quilciri said:
fogot to ask in the last post - how are your temps while playing?


The GPU is totally okay, it barely reaches 75°. I didn't look at the CPU, but when I did an 1 hour stresstest during the overclocking it didn't reach more than 60°, which is also fine, I guess.
a c 136 B Homebuilt system
January 1, 2013 6:53:45 PM

Its unlikely the problem is the processor .
http://www.techspot.com/review/458-battlefield-3-perfor...
The FX 4100 is making near identical FPS to the 2500K

The way to check is of course to OC the 4100 . Even on the stock cooler you should be able to get to 4170 speeds .

I think your problem may have more to do with Win 8 drivers . They have not worked well for me so far .

You also didnt mention your screen resolution
But here is the Tomshardware bench of the 660 ti running BF3 at 1080p resolution
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/geforce-gtx-660-ti-...

42 - 49 FPS
January 1, 2013 7:21:30 PM

@Sooth1: That's exactly my point, my FPS normally stay below 40.

@Outlander_04: I overclocked it already, it didn't do much. You're probably right. I will still upgrade though, I just found a buyer for my old stuff, so upgrading will only cost me 90 bucks.
My resolution is 1080p.
January 1, 2013 7:51:31 PM

Also if you're playing multiplayer, the fps will be lower and will be more cpu demanding in battlefield.
January 7, 2013 4:50:12 PM

All right, just updated the system. New CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K (Ivy). New Motherboard: Asrock Z77 Extreme4.

HOLY ******* *** IT'S AMAZING.

NO fps drops in Borderlands 2 whatsoever. 100+ FPS steady. With the FX 4100, I got less than 40 most of the time, as a reminder.

NO fps drops below 50 in Battlefield 3 MP. Before, I was getting only 30-40 most of the time, now the FPS are around 60 and rarealy drop into the 50s.

Also a HUGE performance boost for After Effects rendering.

The best upgrade I ever did, holy crap.


Also, everybody told me to reinstall the whole system after a motherboard upgrade. I thought, what could go wrong, and tried to boot the old windows 8 installation with the new mobo and processor and guess what? Runs perfectly. It did some magic at the first boot (the boot took a rather long time), and now it just works. The device manager doesn't list any unknown devices, everything just works. Seems like Windows cleared the old drivers itself. Amazing.

Thanks everybody for the help!
February 13, 2013 5:43:36 PM

was reading this and this smells as a nvidea guy just posting fake here i call fakery here
!