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I'm not getting my PC's full potential! Can someone tell me why?

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January 8, 2013 12:42:57 PM

Ok guys, I have been downloading games on steam and even buying them separately. Such as Far Cry 3 that I bought on disk. I have all possible drivers downloaded and patches and it still lags.

I downloaded Skyrim from steam yesterday and it automatically picked Ultra settings for me....YET it still lags when I move around in the wilderness on the game.

I spent a good £820 on this build and put it together with a friend. Everything's been great so far for smaller non demanding games like Left 4 Dead.

HOWEVER... My friends have been telling me that I should be able to run high end games no sweat! Since I'm the one out of all of them who has the "best" PC!?

MY SPECS ARE: Asus GeForce GTX 660 GPU, Gigabyte 990FXA-UD3 motherboard, AMD Bulldozer Quad Core 4.20Ghz CPU, Corsair GS 800W PSU, 2 x 8Gb (16GB RAM) Avexir DDR3, Windows 7 64-bit

Now the only thing that isn't updating anymore is my windows 7. Probably due to having a builders copy that my friend uses to help build peoples PC's to get them all set up. So I haven't actually got a legitimate copy of windows 7. It's been working up to about 2 weeks ago when the service pack came out and it just didn't want to download but that's not to say that my PC slowed down since then. No, ever since day one of the build my PC even had trouble playing Amnesia: The Dark Decent on maxed settings. I initially thought that it was a high demanding textured game but I looked at the specs yesterday and a cheap £300 prebuilt computer could probably play it better than my PC.

I am at the point where I have NO IDEA what the problem could be. Maybe faulty hardware? Who knows.

Please help!

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January 8, 2013 12:50:00 PM

buy a legit copy of windows then check back, otherwise we cant help you sorry!
January 8, 2013 12:51:18 PM

it two parts in your pc. the cpu and the video card. high end gaming system to max out skyrim use an i7 cpu. in not the number of cores but how well the cpu is in games. right now intel i7 is king. without the cpu mussel behind a good gpu most high end gpu hit what called a bottleneck.
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January 8, 2013 12:52:32 PM

Dont cheap out on your processor, the FX-4170 isnt that great a chip by any stretch.

And yes, get a valid key for windows.

EDIT: Just realized the 4170 is what you have, not the 4300 (which is Piledriver).
January 8, 2013 1:23:02 PM

Hi Andy,
A quad-core bulldozer isn't super-powerful - it's about the equal of a core i3-3220.
GTX 660 is a solid vidcard, upper-middle class as well...
You'd probaly require more CPU to do justice to the next faster vidcard (GTX 670).
Therefore your rig's okay - it's your expectations that are overinflated!
- FarCry3 is insanely demanding. Need more than a GTX 670 to run full settings.
- Skyrim requires a lot of CPU (apparently because Beth created a bit of a monster, all loose and buggy, with unessential scripts running constantly).
Bottom line Andy?
Reduce your settings.
I would start in the nVidia Control Panel after a fresh reboot.
Set global settings to everything maximum performance, line-by-line, or else application-controlled (ie. antialiasing).
Set Vsync to application-controlled initially; later (when you have some things sorted out) you can switch this to Adaptive.
Start Skyrim with High preset (not Ultra) and with no antialiasing.
You must achieve good, solid, fast framerates - once you do, you can begin to add back the eyecandy (if there's any room).
As I have mentioned many times in this space, download the free program S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Call of Pripyat Benchmark.
A year or two old now, but still fantastic tool, offering DX9, DX10 and DX11 features and easy to run...
See what is required for you to achieve 60 FPS minimums! (As if you wished to run VSync.)
You'll be very surprised how much you must dumb down the settings to achieve this.
As you have identified, 30 FPS (average) is pretty miserable.
Your rig is okay - but you could have improved it by specifying something like the newer-than-Bulldozer FX-8350 CPU.
Or any FX CPU newer than Bulldozer, ie. FX-6300 or FX-4300.
(I believe you have a FX-4170, right?)
Again; your rig is fine if you reduce your expectations a bit...
Check out that CoP benchmark.
Regards
January 8, 2013 2:19:43 PM

Guys! Thanks so much for the quick replies! I'm glad to know that nothing is actually wrong and its just me with high expectations. I will invest in a better CPU and yes you were all right I do currently have the 4170. I don't have much knowledge on the hardware in general. I saw 4.2Ghz at £79.99 and went crazy to buy it.

A special thanks you The_OGS. I will get started.

an i7 with my rig should be good to go right guys?

Many thanks!
January 8, 2013 11:33:24 PM

I would get an FX-6300. You wont have to change the mobo or the OS (which you have to do when changing mobo's).
If you do jump ship to Intel, get an i5. The i7's only benefit is Hyperthreading, which doesnt help in games.
!