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GTX 660 ti frame drops

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January 11, 2013 5:09:45 PM

So, I got this new card with high hopes. I kindly donated my old GTX 460 to my friend so that he could play Skyrim on his computer and I am left with an annoying stuttering effect in Skyrim that just puts me off playing it all together :( 

The main specifications of my computer, I have am AMD build so just in advance. It was a budget build and I couldn't get Intel because my limited funds simply couldn't afford it. With the money I had I could get a more powerful AMD build for the same price I could have spent on Intel. So for me it was the logical choice.

The processor I have is an AMD FX 8350

On second thought. Instead of going through what I have I'll just run SiSandra and give you all a full rundown :p 


Computer
Model : OEM
Serial Number : To be fille***********
Chassis : Desktop
Mainboard : ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0
BIOS : AMI (OEM) 1201 11/07/2012
Total Memory : 15.91GB DIMM DDR3

Processors
Processor : AMD FX(tm)-8350 Eight-Core Processor (4M 8T 4.11GHz, 2.21GHz IMC, 4x 2MB L2, 8MB L3)
Socket/Slot : AM2r2/AM3

Chipset
Memory Controller : AMD F15 (Orochi) CPU HT Hub 2x 2.21GHz (4.42GHz), 2x 8GB DIMM DDR3 1.61GHz 128-bit

Memory Module(s)
Memory Module : Corsair CML16GX3M2A1600C10 8GB DIMM DDR3 PC3-12800U DDR3-1600 (9-9-9-25 4-33-10-5)
Memory Module : Corsair CML16GX3M2A1600C10 8GB DIMM DDR3 PC3-12800U DDR3-1600 (9-9-9-25 4-33-10-5)

Video System
Monitor/Panel : HSG HF207
(1600x1200, 20.3")
Video Adapter : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti (7CU 1344SP SM5.0 980MHz/1GHz, 2GB 6GHz 192-bit, PCIe 2.00 x16)

Graphics Processor
OpenCL GP Processor : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti (1344SP 7C 980MHz/1GHz, 2GB 6GHz 192-bit)
Compute Shader Processor : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti (1344SP 980MHz/1GHz, 2GB 6GHz 192-bit)
CUDA GP Processor : NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 Ti (1344SP 7C 980MHz/1GHz, 384kB L2, 2GB 6GHz 192-bit)

Storage Devices
WDC WD1001FALS-403AA0 (1TB, SATA300, 3.5", 7200rpm, 32MB Cache) : 932GB (C:)  (K:) 
Seagate ST3500412AS (500.1GB, SATA300, 3.5", 5900rpm, 16MB Cache) : 466GB (D:)  (F:) 
Seagate ST31000520AS (1TB, SATA300, 3.5", 5900rpm) : 932GB (H:) 
Integral 360 Grey (16GB, USB2) : 15GB (L:) 
MARSHAL MAL2640SA-T54 (640.1GB, USB/SATA300, 2.5", 5400rpm, 8MB Cache) : 596GB (G:) 
TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S223C (1GB, SATA150, DVD+-RW, CD-RW, 2MB Cache) : 1002MB (E:) 

Logical Storage Devices
System Reserved (K:)  : 100MB (NTFS) @ WDC WD1001FALS-403AA0 (1TB, SATA300, 3.5", 7200rpm, 32MB Cache)
System Reserved (D:)  : 100MB (NTFS) @ Seagate ST3500412AS (500.1GB, SATA300, 3.5", 5900rpm, 16MB Cache)
Games and Movies (H:)  : 932GB (NTFS) @ Seagate ST31000520AS (1TB, SATA300, 3.5", 5900rpm)
Removable Drive (L:)  : 15GB (NTFS) @ Integral 360 Grey (16GB, USB2)
Hard Disk (C:)  : 931GB (NTFS) @ WDC WD1001FALS-403AA0 (1TB, SATA300, 3.5", 7200rpm, 32MB Cache)
General Stuff (F:)  : 466GB (NTFS) @ Seagate ST3500412AS (500.1GB, SATA300, 3.5", 5900rpm, 16MB Cache)
V1074 (E:)  : 1002MB (CDFS) @ TSSTcorp CDDVDW SH-S223C (1GB, SATA150, DVD+-RW, CD-RW, 2MB Cache)

Peripherals
LPC Hub Controller 1 : ATI (AMD) IXP SB600/700/800 SMBUS Controller
LPC Hub Controller 2 : ATI (AMD) SB700/800 LPC host controller
LPC Legacy Controller 1 : T2 87-21
Audio Device : ASUS IXP SB600 High Definition Audio Controller
Audio Codec : Realtek Semi High Definition Audio
Audio Device : ASUS GK104 HDMI Audio Controller
Audio Codec : nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra [NV40.0]
Serial Port(s) : 1
Disk Controller : ASUS SB700/800 SATA Controller [AHCI mode]
Disk Controller : ASUS Asmedia 106x SATA Controller
Disk Controller : ASUS Asmedia 106x SATA Controller
USB Controller 1 : ATI (AMD) SB700/800 USB OHCI0 Controller
USB Controller 2 : ATI (AMD) SB700/800 USB EHCI Controller
USB Controller 3 : ATI (AMD) SB700/800 USB OHCI0 Controller
USB Controller 4 : ATI (AMD) SB700/800 USB EHCI Controller
USB Controller 5 : ATI (AMD) SB700/800 USB OHCI2 Controller
USB Controller 6 : ATI (AMD) SB700/800 USB OHCI0 Controller
USB Controller 7 : ATI (AMD) SB700/800 USB EHCI Controller
USB Controller 8 : ASUS ASMedia XHCI Controller
SMBus/i2c Controller 1 : ATI SB800 SMBus


Peripherals
Media Player : Integral 360 Grey (14.91GB)

Network Services
Wireless Adapter : Linksys WMP600N Wireless-N PCI Adapter with Dual-Band (802.11g (ERP), AES-CCMP, 144Mbps)

Operating System
Windows System : Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 6.01.7601 (Service Pack 1)
Platform Compliance : x64


Right, So that's what's going on under the hood ^^

The problem I am getting is that when I play Skyrim, or any other game at that matter I get serious dips in frames per second. I see gameplay video's of people using the same card and they power through skyrim like it's nothing!
At the first cutscene, apparently the GTX 660 ti is supposed to keep a nice steady 60 fps all the way through. But when I sit through the cut scene I keep getting dips as low as 30 fps! which causes the game to jolt for a second.
This happens at the start as well when I am escaping from the dragon and when I first make my way to Riverwood. I turned it off in frustration before getting any further than that :p 
It can't be normal :(  I mean, my GTX 460 worked perfectly! On lower settings granted. But it still kicked come ass! and I never had problems like this when I had the card in. I've already searched these forums and google high and low for a solution.
I've tried, reinstalling the drivers using Driver Sweeper, Reinstalling the entire operating system, Reinstalling Skyrim and disabling all mods, trying another game, Checking for hard drive errors, formatting my hard drive to eliminate that possibility, Reseating the Graphics Card, Changing Nvidia settings to max peformance and enabling triple buffering, overclocking my card a little more than it already is, Adjusting Anisotropic Filtering to 8x rather than the default 16x

And that's about it, still nothing. It's almost like the card is being bottlenecked. But the CPU is more than good enough to give it max performance, right? Am I missing something?

My PSU should be strong enough to give it enough power, it's a 700 watt PSU and the make is CIT and it's and it's the ATX 12v 2.2

More about : gtx 660 frame drops

January 11, 2013 6:01:17 PM

Sure sounds like a CPU bottleneck to me (though I wouldn't expect it to be as bad as you've described). The way to check that is to use MSI Afterburner or something to monitor your GPU usage in game and see if your GPU is at 95%+ GPU usage.

Are you using mods in skyrim?
January 11, 2013 6:05:49 PM

I was using mods, but I reinstalled the game and disabled the mods.
Related resources
January 11, 2013 6:26:40 PM

I just ran it, it ranges between 50-80% usage O_o
It's doing the same thing it's doing in the game, it keeps dipping, it seems to be going it at roughly the same time it does it in the game.
If it is being bottlenecked, how can I stop it? I mean, the CPU is pretty decent, i've heard about it happening with intel I5 CPU's when I researched my problems :( 
a b Î Nvidia
January 11, 2013 7:11:26 PM

cpu bottleneck. Its a pretty decent cpu, but its not an i5. I genereally find on my system it runs 60fps solid on default ultra settings with FXAA OFF and high res testure pack on, with an occsional dip down to 40-50fps but its only for a split second when something is loading. http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/fx-8350-vishera-rev... < read the benchmark of your cpu, and keep in mind the benchmark is only run in a smll portion of the game. Also make sure your game has the latest patch, you are running the latest nvidia drivers. It is better to run this game with Vsync on and Triple buffering on in nvidia control panel settings, it will smooth out the bumps. Along with checking gpu useage, check that it isnt throttling the clock speed due to heat or power limit (check with msi afterburner) these ards are prone to that. Overclocking these cards without increasing power limit correctly can actually result in worse performance, and the cards must be kept cool. As with yor cpu, keep it cool to stop it throttling back, it may pay to turn off turbo boost and cool and quiet and manually set the cpu frequency to 4ghz to stop it throttling, assuming it is running cool, may need an aftermarket heatsink/fan, and good case airflow.
January 12, 2013 3:48:28 PM

I just don't understand how my processor could bottleneck my GPU!
Surely it's just something I can tweak to make it normal again, I mean, after looking at some gameplay video's with other AMD builds using the same card, they has excellent performance.
Take this guy for example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8AMPscoxAU, the CPU he is using isn't as good as the one I am using yet he gets smooth gameplay and steady frames.
Where as I get horrible stuttering :( 

He has less ram than I do, the same type of RAM as well. He also has a weaker processor.
I'm not sure about the board though.


I'm not talking little dips here where it slowly drops frames until it gets down to 40 and stays there. I mean it will shoot down to 40 for a split second before jumping back up to 60 every 20 seconds or so whilst I am running around. It causes it to freeze for that second and does this persistently while I run around.
All in all, the frames are pretty decent, I've looked at other Skyrim video's with the same settings and my frames are pretty much the same around skyrim and when I run around, they just don't get stutters or anything like that. =/ For me it makes the game unbearable because you can't miss the skipping.
I know that lowering the graphic settings to high helps with the stuttering making the game more playable. It still drops frames at the same rate but for less time (that makes sense) it gets back up on its feet before I have chance to notice it froze, instead it gets brief moments of slowing down, which can only notice if you watch carefully.
As much as this is bearable, you can probably understand that paying £200 for a card that performs the same as the card you just got rid of isn't really acceptable :p 

It's just driving me crazy! D: Nvidia just went ahead and said, "It's faulty, because we can't find a solution" Thing is, Dabs will most likely beg to differ -_- and I don't want to have to way 6 weeks without a computer for the return to be processed D: Which is what dabs told me!
a b Î Nvidia
January 12, 2013 3:54:33 PM

You can overclock the CPU to reduce bottleneck. Make sure you have a good CPU cooler before doing it though.
a b Î Nvidia
January 12, 2013 7:49:26 PM

Chance2006 said:
I just don't understand how my processor could bottleneck my GPU!
Surely it's just something I can tweak to make it normal again, I mean, after looking at some gameplay video's with other AMD builds using the same card, they has excellent performance.
Take this guy for example http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A8AMPscoxAU, the CPU he is using isn't as good as the one I am using yet he gets smooth gameplay and steady frames.
Where as I get horrible stuttering :( 

He has less ram than I do, the same type of RAM as well. He also has a weaker processor.
I'm not sure about the board though.


I'm not talking little dips here where it slowly drops frames until it gets down to 40 and stays there. I mean it will shoot down to 40 for a split second before jumping back up to 60 every 20 seconds or so whilst I am running around. It causes it to freeze for that second and does this persistently while I run around.
All in all, the frames are pretty decent, I've looked at other Skyrim video's with the same settings and my frames are pretty much the same around skyrim and when I run around, they just don't get stutters or anything like that. =/ For me it makes the game unbearable because you can't miss the skipping.
I know that lowering the graphic settings to high helps with the stuttering making the game more playable. It still drops frames at the same rate but for less time (that makes sense) it gets back up on its feet before I have chance to notice it froze, instead it gets brief moments of slowing down, which can only notice if you watch carefully.
As much as this is bearable, you can probably understand that paying £200 for a card that performs the same as the card you just got rid of isn't really acceptable :p 

It's just driving me crazy! D: Nvidia just went ahead and said, "It's faulty, because we can't find a solution" Thing is, Dabs will most likely beg to differ -_- and I don't want to have to way 6 weeks without a computer for the return to be processed D: Which is what dabs told me!

actually he doesnt have a weaker processor. A 4ghz phenom II is faster for gaming in games that dont use your 8 cores. it has better per-core performance.
January 13, 2013 5:14:36 PM

Hey, I've been searching high and low for a solution for this problem and decided to go ahead and compare my performance in other games that of other players online.
I went ahead and tried DCUO and Planetside 2

With DCUO no matter where I go I get a nice steady 60fps occasionally dropping to 55 at most depending on how populated the area is with other online players and NPC's
I get a nice 60 FPS on planetside 2 although it drops to 30-40 fps when I am in a place that a lot of players and lots of explosions and gunfight. The only video I could really find on the internet with the 660 ti was a person that was running it with an i7, expecting better performance from him I was actually suprised to see that his performance was the same as mine, dropping to about 30-40 fps when in an intense gunfight. Both of us running the graphics on high and in both of these games I get absolutely no stuttering at all.
Could is maybe be a recent update on Skyrim that has done this? I'm starting to consider that because now that I've look a little further into it, I don't really get the same problem on other games!

I also went ahead and made a few very short clips myself whilst playing skyrim to show you guys the stutter effect in the game.

Here they are, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN8wfBcqOh0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlXmlfpk6Bs

January 13, 2013 7:13:15 PM

Chance2006 said:
Hey, I've been searching high and low for a solution for this problem and decided to go ahead and compare my performance in other games that of other players online.
I went ahead and tried DCUO and Planetside 2

With DCUO no matter where I go I get a nice steady 60fps occasionally dropping to 55 at most depending on how populated the area is with other online players and NPC's
I get a nice 60 FPS on planetside 2 although it drops to 30-40 fps when I am in a place that a lot of players and lots of explosions and gunfight. The only video I could really find on the internet with the 660 ti was a person that was running it with an i7, expecting better performance from him I was actually suprised to see that his performance was the same as mine, dropping to about 30-40 fps when in an intense gunfight. Both of us running the graphics on high and in both of these games I get absolutely no stuttering at all.
Could is maybe be a recent update on Skyrim that has done this? I'm starting to consider that because now that I've look a little further into it, I don't really get the same problem on other games!

I also went ahead and made a few very short clips myself whilst playing skyrim to show you guys the stutter effect in the game.

Here they are, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bN8wfBcqOh0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlXmlfpk6Bs


I would think going intel would be a better solution
January 13, 2013 8:00:40 PM

You're probably right about the CPU there.
I lowered the distant textures to high rather than ultra on Skyrim and now I don't get any problems at all!
everything still looks nice though, I don't really notice any difference :p  Ultra textures up close and high textures out in the distance. I can live with that, It seems I can play anything else on super high settings without any real problems.
Cheers for the help anyway guys.
a b Î Nvidia
January 13, 2013 10:37:43 PM

i would expect texture detail to be more of a GPU thing, cpu has very little to do with higher res textures. seriously, turn on triple buffering and vsync.
January 14, 2013 8:43:44 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
i would expect texture detail to be more of a GPU thing, cpu has very little to do with higher res textures. seriously, turn on triple buffering and vsync.



I tried that, it never made a difference. I tried tweaking the settings in Nvidia control panal in tonnes of different ways and it never done anything.
I tried changing some settings in Skyrim as well. The only thing that worked was lowing a few of the settings and the skipping stopped.
It only seems to struggle when I set the distance textures on Ultra. But still I don't see anyone else struggling with it. I don't know what it could be :(  I've arranged to have it returned anyway.
!