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GTX 690 - Performance I was not expecting :(

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 13, 2013 3:25:24 PM

Basically,I wanted a good gaming rig for a long time, so I finally saved up enough to buy a really good one.
Or so I thought
Here are the specs:
CPU - Intel I7 3970Xtreme Ediiton 12 Core 3.57GHZ
32GB Corsair Vengeance RAM
GTX 690 - Multi GPU btw
2TB HDD + 127GB SSD.
Rampage IV Extreme Motherboard
Liquid Cooling + 4 other fans
A 27 inch iiyama FULL HD LED screen.

I was really happy.

I play ARMA 2 without VSync.
50 FPS
On only High Settings.

Was I expecting too much here?
For a GTX 690, performance like that in my opinion is not good news.
I checked, slow mode is off on my Motherboard.
I downloaded PlayClaw 3 to see how my GPU was fairing.
Both GPU's in the 690 NEVER go higher than 50%.
In Arma 2, their peak is at 50% while playing.
BUT IN THE MENU THEY IMMEDIATELY GO TO 100%.
Is this a driver bug?
Is it a CPU Bottleneck, if so, how the **** do I fix it?
How the hell do I fix it.
Should I swap the 690 out for a 680?
Even WoW has regular FPS drops from 60 to about 50. Not much, but its annoying when you know you have Nvidia's most powerful card right next to you . . :( 

Someone Help me . . . Please . . .

Ohh, btw.
Total Cost for me? 5000$
Am I Happy?
NO!
February 13, 2013 3:30:01 PM

so you based your performance opinion based on a single game?
games have to be optimized to take advantage of your dual gpu single card setup.
February 13, 2013 3:35:00 PM

alvine said:
so you based your performance opinion based on a single game?
games have to be optimized to take advantage of your dual gpu single card setup.


No no, I tried loads. Thats the weird part. BF3 runs fine.
So do the following: (Most of the time)\
Skyrim
Jagged Alliance - BIA + CF
Saints Row 3 - Often drops to 50-40 FPS
Xcom EU
ETW
Shogun 2 TW
RISEN 2
All on Ultra. Most run fine

Borderlands 2 is a big deal. I saw lots of posters with the 690 and Borderlands 2 together. It runs like a snail. Often I get about 20 FPS
That is unnacceptable for a 690
I turned SLI off for some games. DIDNT DO A DAMN THING.
Actually, it often made it worse.
I think something is stopping the GPU from going higher than 50%
But what?
That is the question.
Related resources
February 13, 2013 3:38:51 PM

One thing I have heard suggested for other cards is to go into the bios and switch your PCIe slot back down to PCIe 2.0. Some motherboards have issues running at the full 3.0 speeds. And I am pretty sure that even a GTX 690 will just barely saturate a slot running at 2.0 speeds.

Other than that.. all i can think of is that its a driver issue, either with the GPU drivers or your bios.

I know that one of my friends just switched to Nvidia for the first time and got ABYSMAL performance until he updated his motherboard drivers and switched the PCIe slot down to 2.0 speeds.
February 13, 2013 3:46:00 PM

overclock your processor to 4ghz or higher to make sure your video card is not being bottlenecked
February 13, 2013 5:28:39 PM

Thats a $1k processor he has. I HIGHLY doubt theres a bottleneck there.
February 13, 2013 5:35:44 PM

Lol price has nothing to do with performance. The CPU won't do any better than a normal i5. He made some very poor overpriced part choices. But it still shouldn't behave this way
February 13, 2013 5:38:39 PM

I doubt this is going to help but in borderlands 2 if you turn physx from low to high or vice versa do you get the same framerate? Its possible for some reason physx is running off your CPU in that game.

Also do you have any other monitors to test out? Your current on is a VA panel and while it won't affect your framerate it could be contributing to that "feeling" of sluggishness. I'm not saying go and buy a monitor but if you have on laying around.
February 13, 2013 5:47:28 PM

unksol said:
Lol price has nothing to do with performance. The CPU won't do any better than a normal i5. He made some very poor overpriced part choices. But it still shouldn't behave this way


According to most of the benchmarks I read that 3970x actually outperforms an i5 by ALOT. It may be massively overkill and overpriced but it IS far more powerful than an i5. When I referred to the price I was really referring to the performance that comes with that price. It doesnt make that much of a difference for gaming, I agree but for productivity it blows the i5 out of the water. Even still, even an i5 most likely would not be a bottleneck. So I dont think thats his issue. My point is that overclocking an already fantastic CPU most likely would not solve his issue. He would gain a few frames I am sure but the core issue sounds to me like a driver problem or a PCIe gen 3 compatability issue.
February 13, 2013 5:57:59 PM


unksol said:
Lol price has nothing to do with performance. The CPU won't do any better than a normal i5. He made some very poor overpriced part choices. But it still shouldn't behave this way


No more calls, please. We have a winner.


February 13, 2013 6:00:15 PM

I was under the assumption i5 in games rules.
-Bruce
February 13, 2013 6:21:22 PM

Have you tested any synthetic benchmarks such as Unigine or 3dMark?
How does the card fare with those?
February 13, 2013 6:31:21 PM

Driver issue?
Power issue?
Are the cards lowering clocks to save power?
February 14, 2013 5:13:03 PM

I cleaned it out
I did another test in Arma II with Playclaw
Heres what I saw
CPU1 0%
CPU2 20%
CPU3 0%
CPU4 20%
CPU5 0%
CPU6 20%
CPU7 0%
CPU8 20%
CPU9 0%
CPU10 100%
CPU11 0%
Where is CPU12?

Here is the GPU while playing Arma II
GPU 1: 50%
GPU2: 50%

Then I go back to the arma 2 Main Menu

GPU 1: 115%
GPU 2: 117%

WHAT DA FRENCHTOAST IS THAT ALL ABOUT?
Driver bug?
BF3 Runs fine on Ultra
Crysis 2 with DX 11 and High Res textures also runs fine.
Help?
I also noticed, that the fan speed was never really raised over 50% by the driver. I tested by raising it myself to 100% to see if the GPUs went higher then, still they stayed at 50%.
Is it something with the Motherboard, or Nvidia?
How do I update my BIOS on the ISUS Rampage IV Xtreme?
Also, what is antialising?
Do I have to have it on max with the 690?
Or does it only act as help for weaker cards?

-Rick
February 14, 2013 7:16:58 PM

BigMack70 said:
ARMA II is a notoriously un-optimized and CPU-bound game.

/thread


Perhaps, but then explain why WoW drops to 50 FPS often?
Gotcha xD
On a serious note, I need to know why lol
a b Î Nvidia
February 14, 2013 7:31:12 PM

Tigerace2712 said:

Where is CPU12?

you are actually missing cpu#0...
yep, it starts from zero.

antialiasing makes the picture smoother and evens out those jaggedy edges in game graphics, higher levels of AA and AF are hard work for the gpu but should be just a piece of cake for yours...



February 14, 2013 7:35:28 PM

Kari said:
you are actually missing cpu#0...
yep, it starts from zero.

antialiasing makes the picture smoother and evens out those jaggedy edges in game graphics, higher levels of AA and AF are hard work for the gpu but should be just a piece of cake for yours...


Well
Two new questions appeared:
Where dafuq is CPU 0
and How come the 690 struggles with Antialising? In the NVid control panel, I can set it manually to as high as 64x CSAA Whatever that is
a b Î Nvidia
February 14, 2013 7:50:08 PM

Tigerace2712 said:
Well
Two new questions appeared:
Where dafuq is CPU 0
and How come the 690 struggles with Antialising? In the NVid control panel, I can set it manually to as high as 64x CSAA Whatever that is

lol dont know where it went.. and 64x is really really high, didnt know anything went that high, usually at least the traditional forms of AA and AF only went up to 16x and 8x, CSAA is propably more sophisticated and 64x might be way too much for anything these days

edit thou it really should make the cards sweat at 99% load... what kind of vram usage are you getting, maybe that CSAA is eating up all the vram causing it to swap to the main system ram and hampering performance..
February 14, 2013 7:52:00 PM

Tigerace2712 said:
Well
Two new questions appeared:
Where dafuq is CPU 0
and How come the 690 struggles with Antialising? In the NVid control panel, I can set it manually to as high as 64x CSAA Whatever that is


Not sure where cpu 0 is but anyhow using 64x CSAA is completely insane. Especially for any new titles. Just don't even try it, leave it at 4/8x and there you go.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/anti-aliasing-nvidi...

I personally can't tell the difference between 4x and 8x when I am in game.
a b Î Nvidia
February 14, 2013 8:10:21 PM

aaaahhh, wow and arma are not optimised for sli. Try CRYSIS 2 or BF3, then you will start to see some GPU useage. and yes, a huge waste of money on the cpu.
February 14, 2013 10:44:24 PM

BigMack70 said:
You're blowing hot air and pretty obviously don't know what you're talking about. Get some facts before you post, please.


Wait so your saying that if a game isn't optimized to Xfire/SLi you can still get 99%/99% gpu usage (essentially making it a 200% scaling)? And I am talking about without increasing AA/AF/etc to unrealistic levels (64x for example)

If a game hits Vsync cap its not going to use 100%, thats part of the reason is there.
February 14, 2013 11:02:01 PM

BigMack70 said:
No, I'm saying that someone who posts nonsense like:
Quote:
Most people are crossfiring/SLI for a single 1080p minitor

Quote:
well your the first one [to get good CF scaling/performance]

Quote:
But you sir are the first person ive seen get good usage or even be happy with using crossfire.


Has no clue what he's talking about. He obviously did something silly with his 7870 CF or bought CF when he didn't need it and then is extrapolating his experience to everyone else.

Some other things to note:
99%/99% GPU usage does not equate to perfect scaling. GPU usage and scaling are two different things. You could have 99%/99% usage and nowhere near perfect scaling in some cases.

There are situations where games or drivers are not optimized, but that's not normal. The only situation where it is NORMAL to get poor usage on your GPUs in CF/SLI is when there is a CPU bottleneck going on.

I don't think I'm being real precise on my terms with "normal"[/abnormal] so I can clarify and be more precise if people really want me to, but this thread just looks to have some folks in it who don't know what they're doing or what they're talking about.



ohhh, I see what your saying. Yeah you're right about the usage =/= scaling. Jumped down your throat for no reason, sorry.
February 16, 2013 12:30:29 PM

BigMack70 said:
The issues people have with multi-GPU are far more often because they think using a multi-GPU is as simple as using a single-GPU setup and are not equipped to properly identify or troubleshoot multi-GPU problems. In some cases, it can take a little bit of homework. Only rarely is there a problem that is not fixable. Also, there can be a CPU bottleneck anytime given the right circumstances, and saying "my system is beast" just communicates to me that you're trolling. :non: 

To put it simply: the two biggest causes of multi-GPU "problems" are user error and user expectations.

User error because people fail at troubleshooting. User expectations because, for example, they forget that there's this thing called a CPU in your system, and if a game gets CPU-bound, it doesn't matter how much GPU muscle you throw at it - it's not going to perform better.

2 of the 3 OP describes as "problematic" for him are ARMA II and WoW. Both are almost certainly related to the way the games are using the CPU, not the GPU. I don't know what's up with the Borderlands 2 performance but it sounds like an issue of PhysX trying to run off his CPU or maybe with custom settings he set in the Nvidia control panel, I dunno.

I do not mean this as derogatory in any way, but the OP seems like someone whose budget exceeded his knowledge on this build, and he just threw money at things without really knowing what he was getting.


Perhaps, but the specs wern't my choice. You see, the truth is, this PC was a gift for Christmas. I told my Dad, (he was the one going to buy it), to get the AlienWare Aurora from Dell with the specs I presented. He however bought it from Gamepc.nl and chose all the expensive things.

So maybe our ignorance resulted in this, but, is there a way to fix it?
-Rick
February 16, 2013 1:01:48 PM

i dont know what is the problem maybe your power supply isnt enough to hold the card at its maximum performance, you should ask some professional to help since i have this card and i have never experienced this low performance in those games. i didnt try to run arma 2 personaly but with this card run such a game on 50-60 fps just sounds unreal, i tried running bf3 and crysis 2/3 and some other games and i can tell the performance of this card is imaginary its just pure beast!! i got in bf3 ulta highest settings 150-170 in average sometimes even 230 fps, i get in crysis 2 max settings + high res 4k textures pack and i get 350 fps in average sometimes in can get even 400+ fps.
personaly i think that buying this card was the smartest thing i ever did!!!


btw my rig is : i7 2700k 3.5-3.8ghz with watercolling, the beast Gigabyte gtx690 4gb, 4x4 GB gskill memory, 1.5TB WD caviar black HDD, somekind 320GB HDD, and OCZ Vertex 3 max iop edition 120GB ssd for windows and some programs that i need to run faster then ussual such as visual studio for development etc..., my PSU is Thermaltake TR2 the new one 800W.
February 16, 2013 1:16:59 PM

What res is your monitor and are you using more than one? Also do what I suggested for Borderlands 2 and see if that helps.
February 17, 2013 2:06:17 AM

Look, you spent an outrageous amount of money on a computer. That said, your computer is about as good as they get. To that end I'll say this, Arma2/DayZ is a POS. I enjoy the game don't get me wrong, but it's so poorly made. Everyone in here is right, that game is not optimized for SLI. My computer specs are in my signature (below) and I run about the same frames on that game. You shouldn't be upset if your computer kicks serious ass on BF3 and other titles like Crysis 2, you should be mad that ARMA 2/DayZ is so horrendously made. Hope this helps at all.
February 17, 2013 8:16:57 PM

I dont think the power supply is the problem,, im sure a 1500W silent Pro Gold will do just fine. I recently played BF3, but i noticed something strange. On the screen it looked as if it was lagging, as if the low fps was causing the screen to tear up, but im pretty sure it was running at 60 the whole time, it was capped at 60 because of Vsync. Is this a sign that the card is malfunctioning/overheating, or is it an other problem?
a b Î Nvidia
February 17, 2013 8:27:03 PM

just a thought, i read about problems with pcie-3 cards and your sandy bridge-E cpu. the card is trying to run at pcie-3 but the cpu only supports pcie-2. A fix is to go into bios and force pcie-2 mode i believe.
a b Î Nvidia
February 17, 2013 11:32:21 PM

BigMack70 said:
The problem you describe sounds basically like microstutter to me - frames get rendered in an uneven amount of time (e.g. one gets rendered in 5ms and the other in 30ms). Average framerate can be fine and actualy performance be choppy as a result.

if that were the case, disabling a gpu would fix the issue. i assume you can do that on a a gtx 690?
February 18, 2013 5:11:27 AM

iam2thecrowe said:
if that were the case, disabling a gpu would fix the issue. i assume you can do that on a a gtx 690?

Yep, ill try it now and let you guys know the results later.
February 18, 2013 3:57:50 PM

I cant select PCIE Mode
I disabled Hyperthreading to not confuse engines.
Will tht help?
February 18, 2013 4:12:41 PM

I think I have it, you said you were contolling your cards aa up to 64, I assume in the nv control. You may not know but you should select "quality" and then default. I have experimented with adding that extra stuff in the control panel and it can knock 30 fps off easily with minimal improvement. Especially multisampling at 8x will kill it. Good luck.
February 18, 2013 5:11:20 PM

traumadisaster said:
I think I have it, you said you were contolling your cards aa up to 64, I assume in the nv control. You may not know but you should select "quality" and then default. I have experimented with adding that extra stuff in the control panel and it can knock 30 fps off easily with minimal improvement. Especially multisampling at 8x will kill it. Good luck.


I cant selecy Quality or Defualt. And for some reason, now All I see is Off, 2X, 4X, 8X, and 16X
Where did all the rest go?

February 18, 2013 5:54:51 PM

Most of the quality settings are "nv defaults" and that is what you want. Those defaults are mostly application controlled so you dont have to look for them in the nv control panel. You neex to select quality and default and then forget it exists. Your not missing out because you havent activated something in the panel. You want application controlled so that is why you dont want to over ride the settings. On two games from several years ago didnt have vsync and I forced it (sw force unleashed2) and another one I added some AA cause there was none in game and it helped. Current games mostly
February 18, 2013 8:35:51 PM

arma may run good in ten years, but nothing out there can run it the way you want it to.
May 20, 2013 5:42:00 PM

I suggest disabling the hyperthreading on your processor. From what I know hyperthreading actually hurts your framerate in Arma 2 because it confuses the engine. And honestly it would have saved 800 bucks just to grab an i5 and you would have almost exactly the same performance in games, and actually the performance would probably be better in Arma 2 because the i5 dosen't have hyperhtreading. But hey, if I didn't have to pay for my parts, I'd grab one too!
May 21, 2013 2:58:28 AM

well i think he has messed up with nvidia settings 7 he should remove the drivers & do fresh install after using driver sweeper & all user setting should be deleted.
May 22, 2013 1:28:44 AM

I think that your GPU is the problem, because I have also a GTX 690 and I have offline in arma2OA ~40fps outside cities and ~20fps. Get Sap Clutter addon and it will increase your fps by a lot.
It increased the fps offline by 65fps:)  one problem is that some servers kick you because you have it enabled and you have an advantage because the addon removes grass etc. (easier to spot people)
First I had 10-20fps online now I have 50fps+ all the time. Give it a try:) 

Btw my CPU is i7 3770 3.4ghz.
May 25, 2013 4:36:37 PM

By the sounds of it, you sound like an inexperienced builder, considering you blew 5 grand on a PC.

But I fail to see a spec for a PSU in your question, you're running an incredibly powerful CPU - with hyper-threading (and then thinking of OCing it for casual gaming?), a water pump and a 690. I know that the new GPU's i.e. Titan, with GPU boost 2.0 run off temperature based scaling. GPU's with GK104 (600 series) run off power consumption, right? If I was you, I'd go to a local computer store and pick up power supply volt checker thingy and/or a metre that tells you how much wattage you're using (probably like $5 each), and see what's up. Check your temps, too. Because the 690 is pretty much a bonfire after a good few hours of DX11 gaming, oh and make sure you haven't got a case fan blowing the heat back into the 690's fan, also.

I have a 690 and an 3570k, and I admit, I get terrible FPS inside any engine Bohemia Interactive decide to create games with. Because they're idiots and forgot that we're running home gaming systems and not space stations. Even from 3.4ghz (stock) to 4.4ghz, didn't change much. Not in arma, anyway.

P.S - You may find that some games run terrible on Intel/Nvidia platforms whereas some games run far smoother with OpenCL which AMD have only in their architecture. So if you see a logo that reads Nvidia, the way it's meant to be played. Jump in and crank all the settings up and be happy pWn1ng sum n00bz.
August 10, 2013 1:38:53 AM

Make sure multi-gpu is enabled in the nvidia control panel, plus make sure all drivers are up to date. Also maybe a faulty card? (I have the same one, basically same build, my card runs great.)
September 14, 2013 6:03:48 PM

Hi there Tiger,, Interesting to see another person with a similar system to mine ..
CPU Intel I7-3960
MB ASUS rampage Extreme IV
GC Nvidia GTX690
DRR Corsair DDR3 32 GB

Ref ARMA 2 or 3 ...... One thing I'd like to bring out is that the BIS games are more CPU based than GC So dont expect your GPU's to go over 50% CPU's could go over 70% ..
The other problem with the ARMA series games is that they are well known within the Arma community that BIS programming of the games is rather pooh in comparison to other games like FRY CRY 3 , BF3 ,COD3&4 or most other 1st person shooters type games ..
The other thing to think about when playing ARMA games is what type of game are you playing PVP or PVE ??
I myself play PVE and this means that the mission (I'm playing along with "|GITS| Evolution " or "Zeno's Domination") are using alot of Scripts which is where the problems for our systems come in as each player on the server will be updating and downloading the whole time which means the FPS Will drop sometimes very badly either due to the programing of the basic game engine or the programming of the author of the scripts being used !!
The only way too prove and understand what I'm on about is too go onto a PVE mission server play around abit say for an hour or so and then go onto a PVP server again for an hour or so keep an eye on your FPS the whole time of playing both servers and you should see a difference , or just go play in your EDITOR for about an hour or so and you'll see it is isnt your system that is at fault ,it will be the programming ,so dont get too frustrated.. Yes it is Annoying to think of the money we've invested on with these systems ( I myself have spent 3000 Euro's )..

Another thing that MIGHT help is too check which Graphic driver you are using , At this time I'm using 320.18 but noticing some FPS issues on both Arma 2 & 3 ,, some of my Clan m8s within |GITS| have said they are using 314.** or 318.** versions of Nvidia drivers with good results and some of them have only got Nvidia 550 series . I myself did go back to 318.** with good results ,for some reason though my "Geforce Experience" has updated itself to 320.18 ( annoying !! ) so I'm keeping a close eye on what me FPS is at ,will more than likely be going back too 318.** in the next couple of days ..

regards |GITS|Bill70




September 14, 2013 6:50:42 PM

You have to test that ASIC quality! Hurry, go download GPU-Z! Report back to us, I will be waiting :) 
!