Lower than expected FPS

Hey guys, I would really appreciate it some of you could take a look over this and give me some feedback.

For starters, I have been doing a bunch of searching and research, but am still not quite sure what to make of my situation.
In general, I feel as though I am getting less performance out of my machine than I would expect.

So, first up, here's my system specs:

* Windows 7 64-bit

* ASRock P67 EXTREME4 GEN3 LGA 1155 Intel P67

* Core i5-2500 3.3 GHz (note, not " K "... so no overclocking)

* 2 GTX 680 PNY Reference models in SLI (2048 VRam each, no overclocking)


* 500 GB Solid State (Most games loaded here)

* 1 TB HDD 7200 RPM (mostly other junk, no games)

* 3 1920 x 1080 monitors (I've set the SLI mode to "Maximum Performance", so it only plays games on the middle monitor)

* 313.96 Beta NVidia drivers ( Jan 29, 2013 )


So, it seems to me as though I have a pretty solid setup.
But for some reason, I feel like I'm getting shorted on frames when playing games like BF3 and the new Crysis 3 Beta.

For example, if I set Crysis 3 to "Very High" and also turn OFF any sort of AntiAliasing... I can barely scratch out 30 FPS
If I switch over to just "High", and still leave OFF any AntiAliasing, I can "usually" get 60 FPS. But it still randomly drops down to around 50.

And if I turn on, say, TXAA 2x, my FPS drops dramatically, down beyond any playable level.

Regarding BF3, I can usually maintain a solid 60 FPS with Ultra and MSAA 2x... However, I often hear guys talk about getting steady 120 FPS, or even higher, with my setup.

If I turn off VSync, I only get up to about 80 FPS max. And it jumps around a lot.

Another interesting thing to note regarding BF3 is that dropping it down into Cardboard Mode only gives me about 10 ~ 20 more FPS.
It seems weird that dropping everything to LOW only gives me a slight bump.

Is there something I'm completely doing wrong with my setup? Maybe there is a bottleneck somewhere?
Any thoughts or troubleshooting techniques would be greatly appreciated.

I figure I should run some Benchmark tools, but I don't really know which ones or what is expected.
Someone told me to run 3dmark11, but I don't know what to compare my scores with.

If you would like any more information, or for me to post benchmark scores for the tests you recommend, I would be happy too.

Looking forward to your help guys,


P.S. Mods, if I've place my inquiry in the wrong forum, please direct me to the proper location. Thanks!
7 answers Last reply
More about lower expected
  1. start with the mb make sure the mb bios is up to date. there been some issues with asus mb and some of the 600 ser video cards. make sure the intel chipset driver is up to date. in windows use cpu-z check that the ram running in it xmp profile under the spd tab. use gpu-z make sure both gpu are seen and are running right. should be 2x by 8 mode on that asus mb. with the video cards check that there the same model with the same ram speed and bios. if the bios are not the same on both cards try updating the cards so there the same. to be it soulds like one card not doing anything in your set up.
  2. Get the new drivers, it will help with Crysis 3.
  3. Smorizio: Thank you for the suggestions. I will go through and do each of them, and then report back with the results.

    One clarification though, can you please explain what you mean by: "check that the ram running in it xmp profile under the spd tab"? Thanks.

    amuffin: yeah, I'm running the newest Beta NVidia drivers that just came out today. Although they didn't really increase my FPS compared to when I played Crysis 3 before updating.
  4. Okay, I've update my Motherboard BIOS, as it was indeed out of date.

    And I've confirmed in GPU-Z that both GPUs are exactly the same. GPU-Z also appears to properly detect that I have 2 cards running. it has them listed like you said it should.

    However, updating the Motherboard BIOS has not given me any increase in FPS.

    I am going to run a comparison now to see what FPS I get with only a single card. Theoretically, it should be quite a bit less.

    (Yes, I know SLI does not "double" your FPS. But I should still see a sizable drop when switching over to a Single Card.)

    I"ll keep you guys posted tomorrow.
  5. Okay, so final update before I go to sleep:

    It appears as though running SLI is only giving me an average of 10 more FPS for both Battlefield 3 and Crysis 3.

    In Crysis 3, on HIGH with NO AntiAliasing:

    Single Card: Floating around 60 ~ 70 while in battles, with explosions, etc
    2 SLI Cards: Floating around 70 ~ 80 while in battles and whatnot

    In Battlefield 3 Ultra, 2x MSAA (Close Quarters maps)

    Single Card: 55 ~ 65 fps
    2 SLI Cards: 65 ~ 75 fps

    That's ridiculous, right?!

    Activating a second GTX 680 should definitely give me more frames than just an extra 10!

    Okay, so, any thoughts as to why SLI is practically doing nothing?
  6. Okay, I'm really sorry for these multiple self posts... I just keep doing research and not quite understanding the results.

    So, two things:

    1) I found out about the SLI Visual Indicator bar that shows you the quality of scaling going on.

    2) I found out that supposedly, under a balanced system, you actually want your GPU load above 90%.
    Apparently if the load is much less than that, then you're not really getting the full benefit of the cards.

    So, loaded with this new information, I jumped into another BF3 game. Here's what I saw:

    When looking at a wall, my frames go up around 130 ~ 140 FPS. While this is happening, the SLI Scaling Indicator is showing a nice status.

    However, as soon as I go into a battle with some people around or some explosions, the FPS tanks down to what I said earlier: 65 ~ 75 FPS.

    When this happens, the SLI Scaling Indicator drops down to very low, indicating that the cards are not scaling properly.

    During all of this, I have 2 GPU-Z instances running on my second screen, each monitoring one of the cards.

    While in battles, the GPU Load for each card sits around 45% ~ 60% on average.
    (There's random spikes up to 70%, but never higher)

    If I'm understanding these values correctly, than it appears as though my GPU's are not being used to their fullest capabilities... which means there is a Bottleneck somehwere, right?

    And the first thing that comes to mind is my CPU.

    Do you think I need to upgrade my CPU?

    I believe I'm currently running "Sandy Bridge".

    Would it be worthwhile to upgrade to maybe an "i7 Ivy Bridge"?

    If so, would an i7 Ivy Bridge be compatible with the socket in my current motherboard, or would I need to replace that as well?

    Thanks for bearing with me guys!
  7. Okay, this ones crazy:

    I played for Crysis 3 and monitored my CPU and GPU usage

    CPU usage: 100% on all cores

    GPU usage: 2% on both cards !!!

    Yes, that is not a typo. They are running at 2% ! TWO PERCENT !
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