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Is this a CPU issue or a GPU issue- Frame Skipping, etc.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 22, 2012 5:49:40 AM

Hi. I have a 2GB Nvidia GTX 670 FTW card, and a 1st gen Intel i5 750 running 2.67 ghz, in addition to 8GB of RAM DDR3 and a 650W PSU. I've been noticing recently that my gaming performance has dropped in quality, with frequent screen tearing and frame skipping. Initially, I downloaded new drivers (released just a few days ago), but this did not help. Nor did adjusting the settings in the Nvidia control panel to provide for max performance over quality. I've tried adaptive vsync, vsync and no vsync, yet none seem to do the trick. I then downloaded EVGA's precision X and overclocked the card a bit, using Heaven 3.0 as a benchmark. I changed the power target to 145 percent, the gpu clock offset to 15 mhz and the memory clock offset to 150 mhz, also customizing the fan curve to be more aggressive around 68-69 degrees Celsius (following the advice of a tom's hardware member on overclocking 670s). Yet I've seen from the Precision X overlay that in games like Arkham City, the gpu is only being used at 50 percent of its capacity, and the game dips to 7 frames quite often. I realize that the cpu and psu are probably pretty low-spec in comparison to the games I want to run (Far Cry 3, Dishonored; most new releases), but I thought buying the 670 a few months back would be the solution. Is it possible, then, that the cpu and possibly the psu (not sure if it does or not) is bottlenecking my performance? Thanks.
a c 88 Î Nvidia
December 22, 2012 8:06:22 AM

You have a good CPU but it would help quite a bit to overclock it. The 2.66Ghz clock speed is bottlenecking your GTX 670. What power supply are you using?
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December 22, 2012 7:06:39 PM

It's a Thermaltake 650 watt psu.
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a c 88 Î Nvidia
December 22, 2012 7:27:53 PM

Thermaltake power supplies are generally quite bad but this sounds like a bottlenecking issue to me. If you have a good motherboard and aftermarket CPU cooling then the i5 750 will generally give you a pretty good overclock to at least 3.5Ghz.
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December 22, 2012 7:29:52 PM

Best answer selected by bgdiner.
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