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Want to improve FPS, upgrading CPU?

Last response: in Systems
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January 15, 2013 1:48:15 AM

Hello, now I have made a thread sort of about my 7950 and my build before, but I don't think I really got an answer I was looking for.

The whole reason I am making this thread is because I believe I should be getting much better FPS than I am. Now, I have been told previously that my CPU is bottle-necking my graphics card. I do believe this is true, to some extent; I really want to make sure that my graphics card is not defective in any way because I am not able to return it (I sent in the rebate already, so I am assuming I can not send back the card).

Here are some games and my average FPS:
Dragon Nest - (all high) 20 to 25 FPS (in town) 30 to 40 (in dungeon)
- (all low) 20 to 60 (in town) 90 to 130 (in dungeon)
Far Cry 3 - 35 to 80 (all "high")
WarZ - 25 to 40 (ultra - this game is in alpha/beta, even though they say it's in "Foundation Release")
Warframe - 25 to 50 (all high - again, this is in beta)
Minecraft - 75 - 120 (all fancy, far render distance, etc.)
Planetside 2 - 25 to 60 (all high)

Here are my PC specs:
Motherboard: ECS A885GM-A2 (V1.1) AM3 AMD 880G SATA 6Gb/s ATX AMD Motherboard
GPU: Sapphire Radeon HD 7950 3GB (I have overclocked it, it only seems to lower my FPS)
CPU: AMD Phenom II X4 960T 3.8GHz (overclocked, and it seems to help)
RAM: G.SKILL Sniper 8GB 1333 (2x4GB)
HDD: 500GB 7200RPM 64MB Cache
Monitor: BenQ RL2450HT - 24" 1080p

First off, I do believe that my CPU is bottle-necking my graphics card, but I am not quite sure that it would cause such drastic drops in FPS. Hopefully you guys can enlighten me!

Second, I am hoping to learn that it's not my graphics card's "fault" for the low FPS.

Lastly, I am planning on upgrading my CPU (most likely to an Intel CPU seeing as I will need to get a new motherboard either way, I might as well go with an Intel build), I have my eye on the i5 3570k. I have around $300, so if I could get both a motherboard and CPU for that price range, that'd be awesome. You always get what you pay for when it comes to PC parts, so I will wait to see what you guys have to say.

Thank you!
January 15, 2013 1:57:06 AM

With a 7950, that definitely sounds like bottleneck coming from your CPU. I've got a 7850 and get similar performance in Far Cry 3 (that's the only game I play which you have listed). I don't know why overclocking would have a negative effect, and I'm not sure why your FPS would be so unstable. I'd guess that's something to do with the bottleneck. Keep an eye on your usage %'s for both CPU and GPU while running a benchmark or gaming to see where the stress is at.
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January 15, 2013 2:00:52 AM

Getting a new CPU is kind of an expensive endeavor

$100 for the motherboard (at least)
$200 for a Core I-5 3570
$100 for a new OS if you have an OEM version on your current machine.

I am not sure if $400 would be worth the performance increase.

May want to try a $99 SSD drive first , install your games on it and see if that makes an appreciable difference.
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January 15, 2013 2:56:09 AM

I am just not totally sure if an SSD will give me the big boost I would like, seeing as SSD's mainly boost read/write and loading times, not really texture rendering and etc. (correct me if I am wrong, I am not totally positive this is true :p )

Also, my CPU % goes up to 50% when playing a game. What benchmark can I run for more tests?
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January 15, 2013 10:00:24 AM

I'm not quite sure what the point of the new SSD is.. but it won't give you the boost you're looking for. With your CPU going to 50% (I could be wrong here) I'm fairly confident that means your CPU is not bottlenecking the GPU too much, since the CPU isn't being used to it's full potential. OR (not sure about this either, but it sounds logical I guess) since most games only use two cores, only half of your CPU will be used in most games and your 50% CPU usage is actually 100% of those two cores, and it is definitely bottlenecking your GPU.
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