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GTX670FTW problem: or CPU bottleneck

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 30, 2012 8:11:25 AM

My issue while I play my games is that I get a Lag and studder, but no artifacts. I have read and done research, checked vsync both in game and in nvidia control panel (turned them all OFF). In BF3 in ultra @ 1080p, one monitor my GPU averages about 37FPS, with a CPU load of 85% and ram load of 49% and I have used a couple third party FPS software, as well as the in game "render.drawfps 1". I have changed my in game graphics to low, then began to average about 57FPS. By doing this and getting 57FPS as a result made me believe it was a CPU issue. I bought the 670 FTW from Amazon "used" I have 30 days to return so I'm trying to figure out which is at fault for the low FPS. Since everyone says that most games use only 2 cores, some 4 cores, but maybe my CPU is too old. This issue also plaques all my games Metro 2033, Skyrim, Dark Souls, and so on, I get a laggy display of the game, but sometimes smooth just cuz it'll average the 30-40fps. I played Chivalry tonight and my screen started to flash black about 4 times, so I minimized the game and it flashed black about 2 more times then stopped. I went back into the game and it never did it again. So Ive uninstalled drivers and reinstalled drivers, checked all vsync options and still lower than what should be FPS rates for this GPU. I realize 37FPS is playable I just know these games should be playing at much higher FPS with this GPU. I feel its a CPU issue but I would really like some second opinions and what you all believe. Thank you, sorry its a long statement

System:
OCZ ZX series 1000 watt
OS Win 7
Asus P7H55 MB
i5 650 2corePhy 4core w/HT (3.2ghz @ stock)
8gb ram ddr3 1333mhz
EVGA GTX 670 FTW 2gb
1tb segate (software)
3tb segate (storage)

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a b U Graphics card
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December 30, 2012 8:16:05 AM

I read a thread earlier today about someone having low FPS in BF3 with a first-gen i5/GTX 670 combo too. I'm not sure, but maybe it's processor related. What are your temps under load for both the CPU and GPU? Also, if you can, test that GPU with a different computer/processor and see if the issue persists, if it does, then the issue is due to the graphics card.
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December 30, 2012 8:23:11 AM

The temps are good. THe GPU will boost up to 1150mhz core clock at about 60 degrees C, and rests at 324mhz at 30 degrees C. The CPU will be at 52 degrees C under stress. I will call my friend tomorrow to see if I can try putting my gpu in his rig, he has a 2nd gen i7 (i believe) but it runs a 7970 ghz edition with no lag. I read a few i5 first gen issues too, but they were all vsync related issues, that I saw.
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a c 79 U Graphics card
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December 30, 2012 8:34:07 AM

what is your gpu load in game? Use GPUz. Battlefield 3 is CPU intensive in multiplayer, and can use 4 REAL cores. Id expect your CPU to suffer there.
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December 30, 2012 8:34:57 AM

Good, see what you can figure out and feel free to post about it tomorrow to see if it can't be solved. It's definintly an odd issue, and the 670 seems like it's working properly. If you needed to upgrade you could get a secondhand Sandybridge or maybe an i7 920 el cheapo on Craigslist. Just a note for unksol, I've seen BF3 run pretty well with newer gen i3's (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-4170-core-i3-322...) I'm thinking the processor may have just met the end of its life.
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December 30, 2012 8:43:14 AM

Toms benchmarks BF3 single player. Multi with high end GPUS on large maps is where the CPU becomes a problem. Single player is much much easier on it.
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December 30, 2012 9:06:04 AM

Thanks you two, never thought about doing the load %...and after doing so it seems its the CPU. The load % while playing on line in 48 person room 50 ping, was roughly at 45-50% while running around and at 75% during intense fire and explosions. Not sure if you all can derive a conclusion from this evidence, but it seems that maybe plugging my GPU into my friends rig will give me a definite answer.
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December 30, 2012 9:08:52 AM

I don't know if the load isn't reaching really high like 90% or higher cuz the CPU won't allow the GPU too or if its the other way around?????
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December 30, 2012 10:10:37 AM

Tears said:
I don't know if the load isn't reaching really high like 90% or higher cuz the CPU won't allow the GPU too or if its the other way around?????


If you don't have vsync on and there are no temp issues or bottlenecks GPU load should always be 100%. It should always crank out as many frames as possible unless it gets intentionally throttled due to temps or vsync, there's a driver issue, or the CPU can't feed it fast enough

CPU usage should approach 100% if its the bottleneck, but because there are multiple cores, its hyperthreading, and other processing are going on it doesn't necessarily happen. The gpu has one job, the CPU has a ton of background apps. You COULD try turning hyper threading off. Not sure if it should help or hurt on BF3

Yours def sounds like the CPU can't keep up, and when the GPU gets more graphically intense Data it has no problem and you see its load go up. The CPU just can't feed it the AMOUNT of Data it needs. Which ever has the highest usage should be the weak point and at 85% your running out of wiggle room on the CPU

Testing on your friends is a good idea, but remember to FULLY uninstall the AMD drivers before removing his 7970 and trying your 670 to avoid issues. Do the same with the nvidia drivers when he switches back.
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December 30, 2012 11:07:14 AM

Great info thanks, I'll message later this evening, and let it be known, thanks again for the info and knowledge.
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December 31, 2012 12:03:47 AM

Alright, I am learning a lot haha. It is NOT my GPU. My friends rig runs an i7 920 first gen, and on BF3 ultra at 1080p I was averaging about 90FPS, peaking into the 110's, on FarCry3 I was averaging 60FPS, peaking into the low 70's. Skyrim was ridiculous as well.
I discovered that when I uninstalled my GPU drivers my old drivers were remaining in my system some how, so since I just have my games on my first HDD I am going to do a complete restore, to get rid of old GPU drivers that may be causing an issue, or may not be. If the problem persists I will assume it is my CPU and I'll see what I can do from there. I may just go out and buy a new CPU and MB.
THanks again guys, I'll probably post in the early morning, what my findings are. Then I am sure that'll be it, lol thanks again for the ideas and problem solving tips.
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December 31, 2012 12:57:09 AM

It is also possible you could have some jacked up process taking CPU cycles. In taskmanager on the processes tab click show processes from all users thrn go to view, select columns, show CPU time. You can sort by that to see what uses the most time, as well.as sorting by CPU percentage.

But if your prepared to do a clean install to test the drivers that should take care of any rouge programs anyway. Def a good idea to try before buying parts.

You can always do a full backup of the OS partition first and restore it if needed. If you just delete it don't forget to get the save game files hiding in your windows user folder
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December 31, 2012 7:40:29 PM

Well it seems to be the CPU. Though after doing a complete re-install I gained about an average 10FPS in BF3 online, plays at about mid 40's. Still no where near what it should be, but its playable for now. I haven't been getting any stutter or lag either so that is good.
So I guess some of the issue was with my old drivers not being removed which for some reason wouldn't uninstall.
I turned of HT and it really didn't affect the game play. The only part it had substantial FPS drop was at the menu screen when you die. The FPS would usually be in the 30's with HT on, but with it turned off it was in the 20's, just at that screen. As far as game play went the FPS stayed nearly the same as with the HT on.
So for now I feel its the CPU not being able to keep up with demand. The GPU load % still sits about 50% with HT turn off and 65% when HT is turned on.
I would assume if I had 4 true cores I'd be sitting fine but apparently this HT isn't anything to brag about.
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December 31, 2012 7:44:12 PM

Oh, and having HT turned off does slow down some other simple computing processes.
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December 31, 2012 7:59:51 PM

Yea, turning it off would slow other stuff down,.just wasn't sure if the game would react better to an unshared.dual core vs hyperthreading.

To be clear, its not just about core count. Performance per clock, and clock rate have gone up since first Gen. BF3 is.coded for multi core, which helps your friends first Gen, but other games aren't. We'll see it shift that way though.

The 670 is a lot of muscle for old CPU. An i5 ivy bridge would do great. You could try and hang on for Haswell in the summer if you wanted.
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January 1, 2013 11:45:25 PM

yea, i was thinking of doing a build this summer whenever i get my tax return. right now i was buying little things here and there that wouldnt get out dated like, case, PSU, Fans, and (well it gets outdated) GPU but im going to just get anothr and SLI when i do the build. I actually built a x79, 3930k system, but I later found out it was absolute over kill for gaming so i sold it for a profit (why not). This rig i got now ive had for 3 years and had a GTX 470 but wanted to upgrade to a better GPU, to obviously play at higher graphics, cuz i cant SLI with this current rig.

I had a sneaking suspicion that my CPU would be a bottleneck, but after doing a lot of research, sometimes I came up with more questions than answers...especially on here cuz sometimes you got a lot of contradictors and guys you feel they should always be right...IT doesnt help lol haha.

Alright well thank you two again, the help was very much appreciated. I learned a lot through these processes and steps.
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January 1, 2013 11:46:55 PM

Best answer selected by Tears.
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