Recently built a computer mainly for gaming:
EVGA GTX 670 FTW
Intel Core i3-3220
G.SKill ripjaws 8 GB
Corsair TX series 650 w
MSI Z77A-G41 mobo
And two 500 gig harddrives that were used in my previous computer. My problem comes in games like Planetside 2, Crysis Warhead, Borderlands 2, and Battlefield 3 (of course). I was well aware of the issue of CPU bottlenecking but my FPS in Crysis Warhead, Planetside 2, and Borderlands 2 dips into the low 30's. Is this normal or is something wrong? I've read about the nvidia drivers that downclock GPU's when they're not in use, and I've tried adjusting the settings that change that, but to no avail.
Lets take 1 game, take BF3. Are you running it on Low or High or which setting?
Your framerates will depend also on how many players are there on the server, join a server with 16 to 24 players for testing, but network lag can also create lower framerates.
Lets say you run on Medium which should run well over 50fps on your machine.
Open task manager and check if there is something else sucking up precious CPU time.
Also, don't use IE to run bf3 use Chrome. Without more info thats all I can say.
ps: i wouldn't mess with the standard underclocking settings, the drivers only underclock when it is not needed otherwise you will end up with a card that is always running full blast and thats not so great. My 670ftw goes down into the low hundred Mhz in windows and temperatures dip below 40C but I do get anywhere around 80-160 FPS in bf3 with anold 2.9ghz i7 quad core.
Switching between medium and ultra on a 64 player server didn't really render any changes in FPS, and I know that's a sign of CPU bottlenecking. The thing that doesn't make sense is that my CPU never really went above ~70%.
The thing that doesn't make sense is that my CPU never really went above ~70%.
your cpu is a dual core with hyperthreading, so 4 threads can run on 2 physical cores. To get 70% usage both physical cores are undoubtedly maxed out leaving the hyperthreaded threads lacking resources to actually use, so to say...
You could do a little test and disable HT in bios, it might change the performance a bit. At least the cpu usage should hit 100%.
BF3 online with 64 player servers is a HUGE CPU taxer. It's more than likely ur CPU. get an i5, clocked at 3.5GHz or higher.
the biggest difference between 2nd gen and 3rd gen i5's is a smaller architecture (better on power). So, most people would go w/ the 2500K and OC it up (it can go past 5GHz). I would recommend the 2500K or the comparable 3rd gen.