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CPU Bottlenecking my Video Card?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hello everyone...just another noob here looking for help.

I recently finished building my gaming PC, with a
Phenom II B555 unlocked to a Quad (3.2ghz)
4gb ddr2 1066 ram corsair
msi 6950 twin frozrIII unlocked to 6970 specs @ 900mhz

I've been playing BF3 mainly at low resolutions, and I'm a little disappointed with the performance. At 1152*864, Ultra, 4xAA, basically everything turned on, I get about 50fps on Caspian Border. This is what people get at 1080p.

I've pretty much settled on my CPU as the culprit, and even with an OC to 3.8ghz, I've noticed marginal gains. The game simply doesn't run at 60fps and I'm pissed that I spent nearly $300 for a GPU that I'm not utilizing to the fullest.

I posted this same question to the guru3d forums, and I was told that running the game at a higher resolution would better stress the graphics card and relieve the CPU of its bottleneck. So I just came here looking for second opinions on the matter. Can running my game at higher settings actually improve performance?


Also, as to avoid making a new thread, I was wondering if anyone with an MSI 6950 could help me with a voltage problem. MSI afterburner doesn't detect my card's voltage(the voltage field is just left blank), but gpuz reports it as 1.2v. I modified the card with a shader-script edit, so I know it's running at the stock 1.1, but I was just curious of why programs can't detect it?

Thanks in advance for any help.
post #2 of 15
Doesn't hurt to try running it at a higher resolution. Normally I would say no, but you never know. You've installed the drivers AMD put out for the game right?
 
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post #3 of 15
Yeah, with that resolution you are being limited by your CPU, because your GPU isnt running at nearly 100 I would bet
    
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post #4 of 15
The lower the resolution the more of the load is placed on your CPU. Your current CPU is a significant bottleneck at that low resolution.

Will raising your resolution improve performance? No, but it might not hurt your performance.


Basically you'd probably get the same or similar FPS at 1920x1080 with that CPU and GPU in BF3. For highly CPU intensive games like SCII it would be much worse.
    
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post #5 of 15
Uh?

If you are cpu limited your fps will stay the same scaling from low res to high until you become gpu limited.

That said BF3 is pretty hard to run atm, right now I get around 70-80 fps 64 vs 64, which is about what I get on the Metro map... Except my cpu usage went from around 50-60% to 65-75%.

It's still in beta though, and is very unoptimized. Hopefully release fixes some of these "issues".
    
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post #6 of 15
I don't want to make it worse and be the bearer of bad news, but you aren't even running BF3 at Ultra right now, despite what your UI says.
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post #7 of 15
with low resolution like yours 1152x864 it will bottleneck your system.. check if you can get more than 3.6GHz...
    
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post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help everyone. I'm going to try and return my CPU and replace it with an X6.
post #9 of 15
If you are really wondering if your CPU is bottle necking your GPU then do this:

*You will need an application that can monitor your GPU usage. (Afterburner, etc.)*

1. Fire up task manager
2. Click on the performance tab
3. Fire up an application that can monitor your GPU usage and keeps a graph/log of it. (Ex. Afterburner)
4. Fire up BF3 Beta and play on a busy server
5. Play for a couple of minutes, and make sure you go to large open areas.
6. Minimize BF3 Beta and take a look at the CPU/GPU usage graphs

Is your CPU usage at 100% most of the time or it is spiking to 100% usage? What is your GPU usage? Is it 100%?

If your CPU usage is ~100% and your GPU usage is below 100% then your CPU is bottlenecking your GPU.

However, if your GPU usage is at 100% and your CPU is not at 100% your CPU isn't bottlenecking your GPU with the Battlefield 3 beta.

If neither GPU or CPU usage is at 100% then it might just be an issue with drivers / the beta. Try this same test with a couple of different games.

No point in wasting money if the CPU isn't actually causing issues.
Edited by AtomicFrost - 10/8/11 at 9:31pm
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post #10 of 15
if you are gaming... x6 makes worst performance than x4 phenoms...
the best bang for buck cpu is Phenom II x4 955! (you can reach 4ghz easily) and it will never bottleneck your gpu ... even in crossfire
    
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