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Low GPU usage in Battlefield3 with Tri-fire 7970s and a 2500k @ 4.7ghz - Page 5

post #41 of 64
I'm not surprised. My 2600k @ 4.8Ghz was barely able to keep up with 3 overclocked 6970's. So considering that 3 7970's is ~30% faster and the 2500k being less powerful then the 2600k it's a recipe for cpu bottlenecking.
post #42 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by OwnedINC View Post

The CPU bottleneck is always there, it only becomes aparent at low res's due to the GPU being able to reach it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106 View Post

At low res there is an abundance of gpu power so the limiting factor becomes the cpu...




I suppose I kind of get it maybe... is it because at the low res there are so few pixels in comparison that it can literally take as much information as the CPU can give it? Versus at high res where there are more pixels that the GPUs have to work on so the CPU isn't necessarily feeding the GPUs as much?

lol. Sorry.
 
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post #43 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by deafboy View Post

I suppose I kind of get it maybe... is it because at the low res there are so few pixels in comparison that it can literally take as much information as the CPU can give it? Versus at high res where there are more pixels that the GPUs have to work on so the CPU isn't necessarily feeding the GPUs as much?
lol. Sorry.

Imagine this scenario:

Your CPU is able to pump out 150 fps in the game.
Your GPU is able to pump out 60 fps @ 5760x1080
Your framerate in the game will be 60 fps, the GPU is the bottleneck

You add a second GPU:
Your CPU is able to pump out 150 fps in the game.
Your 2xGPU is able to pump out 120 fps @ 5760x1080
Your framerate in the game will be 120 fps, the GPU-setup is the bottleneck.

You now lower resolution in game to 1920x1080
Your CPU is able to pump out 150 fps in the game
Your 2xGPU is now able to pump out 360 fps in the game
Your framerate in the game will be 150 fps, the CPU is the bottleneck.

Also, 99% of the time a CPU-bottleneck in a game is caused by not having enough single-threaded performance. You will never see your CPU pegged at 100% in a game today because the bottleneck is almost always what a single core is able to process
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post #44 of 64
Thread Starter 
Order complete. Just spent $1220 on parts today, and another $400 on a 1440p LED LCD from Korea yesterday, so my setup is pretty much complete. I guess throwing $ at the problem will take care of it. More PCI-E lanes, PCI-E 3.0, 6 cores 12 threads, decent AIO WC setup for OC'ing the CPU to 4.6+ Ghz, and Quad channel 2133 memory, along with a nice new case capable of Quad-fire should I decide to order another 7970 wink.gif




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post #45 of 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by m3t4lh34d View Post

Order complete. Just spent $1220 on parts today, and another $400 on a 1440p LED LCD from Korea yesterday, so my setup is pretty much complete. I guess throwing $ at the problem will take care of it. More PCI-E lanes, PCI-E 3.0, 6 cores 12 threads, decent AIO WC setup for OC'ing the CPU to 4.6+ Ghz, and Quad channel 2133 memory, along with a nice new case capable of Quad-fire should I decide to order another 7970 wink.gif

More cores and bandwidth won't fix your problem with too low single thread performance, but it will certainly help to a certain amount.
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post #46 of 64
Why'd you cheap out on the board?
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post #47 of 64
Arni's explanation a CPU bottleneck is spot-on. The reason that lowering the resolution increases the likelihood of CPU BN is simply because the FPS is higher at lower resolutions (because the gpu has an easier time with a lower res).

Ergo, at lower res, the CPU is expected to process more information in a shorter amount of time, increasing the probability that it will be the limiting factor to performance.

Also, the more cards you add in a crossfire set, the more additional CPU overhead is required simply for managing the output of more cards. It's not an insignificant change in workload for the CPU. However, I'd guess that managing the cards is not a multi-threaded process, so it probably adds a bunch of workload to just one 'core'. And if any cores get maxed out, you can get BN'ing.

Also, his comment about the single-threaded performance is generally very spot-on. There's VERY few games that you expect to ever see anywhere near 100% usage (esp. not on an 8 or 12 thread CPU) before a CPU BN kicks in. Most games only use two cores WELL, so in general you could easily start to get a CPU BN with only 25% usage on a quad with HT. However, BF3 is one of those very few games that's coded to use a lot of cores pretty nicely, so it's a bit of an outlier.

Lastly, people put WAY too much stock in CPU usage in Task Manager, and not nearly enough in doing the simple test of increasing the CPU speed by a certain %, and then observing the % change in FPS that results from it, and comparing those two %'s. The closer they are to equal, the more CPU BN'd you are at the lower of the two CPU clocks.

It's also important to note that the Task Manager and similar tools do NOT provide a 'bare-metal' analysis of what's ACTUALLY going on at the individual core level. What you see in such graphs is what the operating systems is TRYING to do with the load. The CPU, however, has it's own microcode that makes threading decisions, and as such, it doesn't function as a perfect little slave of Windows. The chip can and will override the OS's 'suggestions' (i.e. what you see in TM), and this will be invisible to you.

This is why it's so common to see a game APPEARING to have activity on four cores, but then when you coalesce all the usage onto one graph, you discover that only around 25% of your 8-thread CPU is being used in total, and it never goes above that (save for OS usage spikes or the like).

Often in this case, proper testing reveals show that you are actually CPU BN'd a mere 25% of usage. That's because, at the actual CPU level, only two cores are being used. The CPU is simply overriding what Windows is 'asking it to do', based on it's internal threading decision processes (and game code itself plays a big role in those decisions ... what Windows would 'like' gets disregarded).

So you should never place too much stock in the individual core usage you see in TM, as it really means next to nothing. The overall usage %, however, is relatively useful, once you determine how many cores/threads a given game is actually coded for thumb.gif
Edited by brettjv - 3/14/12 at 11:11am
    
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post #48 of 64
Thread Starter 
Guys, this entire setup revolves around my GPU usage in Battlefield 3, which is a game coded for 8 threads, as is Bad company 2. My CPU usage on the 4 cores was maxed out, thus causing my 3 GPUs to hover at 50% usage. My 3 6970s were all at 99% usage with this CPU @ 4.7ghz, however the 3 7970s are an entirely different animal. Some of you may say "its the drivers". Sure it COULD be... however, there are those here that have already chimed in with 3 7970s and a 2600k or a 3930k that are maxing out 3 or 4 7970s in GPU usage @ 1080p/1200p.

Sure, 1080p may be a pain to avoid a CPU bottleneck with, BUT adding 4 more threads (8 more in my case) WILL help considering this particular title is coded to use the 8 threads, and thus will alleviate the CPU bottleneck to a much higher degree than my 2500k can do with only 4 threads. For other games, it won't make a bit of a difference, sure... but I purchased this rig to future proof myself and to give my 3 7970s room to breathe both now and in the future with the extra PCI-E lanes, PCI-E 3.0, and the extra cores. I'll be also upgrading to IB-E when it's released as well.

I will be able to do a side by side comparison of these rigs with identical drivers and cards when the parts arrive, as this will be an entirely seperate build than the one I'm using now. I can simply swap the GPUs out of each case and voila.


I also ordered the 2560x1440 100hz LED LCD for this reason as well. The 1440p display in conjunction with the added cores will really let these cards do what they were meant to do...


I also know that there are very few games that will make use of anywhere near 8 threads or even 4. Starcraft 2 is a game I play often, and it barely makes use of 1.5 threads, which is why my 2500k is perfect for it.

However, when you spend $2000 on new GPUs and you're getting 50% GPU usage on all 3 in your favorite game, you have to make a choice. Sell a card or two, or spend more $ on a platform upgrade.

I came to this conclusion after determining that it wasn't a driver issue, as there were others with 3 to 4 7970s maxing out their GPU usage WITH their cards overclocked, etc.

Thanks guys, and I'll be posting a ton of benchmarks here as well wink.gif
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post #49 of 64
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsm106 View Post

Why'd you cheap out on the board?

If it's not any good, it'll be returned in favor of something else. I already have a P67 WS Revolotion with 8x/8x/8x/8x and the NF200 chip with my 2500k, and since I only plan on using 3 7970s for the near future, this board was more than enough. And ASUS mobos aren't bad boards, so I'm confused as to why you'd consider it a 'cheap' board, other than the fact that it's under $300.

I've used several motherboards with my 2500k. One of them being a cheapo MSI board, and I got the exact same overclocks with the cheap board as I did with the $350 motherboard. As long as the board holds a decent OC on my chip, I'm fine. And honestly 16x/16x/8x PCI-E 3.0 is more than enough bandwidth for any card, since it's theoretically a 32x/32x/16x PCI-E 2.1 equivalent (if it existed).

If there's a particular reason as to why you think this is a bad board, let me know... because I don't mind spending more on a better board, but to my knowledge, and judging from feedbacks on newegg, it's not a bad board for a mild X79 setup.
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post #50 of 64
1080p is really low RES now a days. If you play 64 Man Serves you will get hit badly. For example i was getting ~ 80% GPU usage with 2500K @ 4.8Ghz and H6990 @ 1Ghz @ 1080p Caspin 64-Man. BEst map to test GPUs is B2K. Those Maps are very GPU depended despite the destructions.
Ishimura
(21 items)
 
Silent Knight
(13 items)
 
 
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Intel Core i7 3770K @ 4.6GHz ASRock Z77E-ITX eVGA GTX 1080 Ti Hybrid AMD Radeon R9 16GB DDR3-2400MHz  
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SanDisk Ultra II 960GB Toshiba X300 5TB Corsair H100i GTX eVGA Hybrid Water Cooler  
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4x GentleTyphoon AP-15 Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC 4K Razer BlackWidow Chroma  
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eVGA SuperNOVA 750 G3 Define Nano S Logitech G502 Proteus Core PECHAM Gaming Mouse Pad XX-Large 
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Audioengine D1 DAC Mackie CR Series CR3 Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Sennheiser HD 598 
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Sony XB950BT 
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AMD Phenom II X4 955 @ 4.2GHz ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB @ 1200/1500 2x 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X DDR3-1600 
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OCZ Agility 3 60GB WD Caviar Green 1.5TB 2 x Seagate Barracuda 2TB XSPC Raystorm 
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EK-FC7970 XSPC RS360 Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit Corsair TX750 
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Ishimura
(21 items)
 
Silent Knight
(13 items)
 
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Intel Core i7 3770K @ 4.6GHz ASRock Z77E-ITX eVGA GTX 1080 Ti Hybrid AMD Radeon R9 16GB DDR3-2400MHz  
Hard DriveHard DriveCoolingCooling
SanDisk Ultra II 960GB Toshiba X300 5TB Corsair H100i GTX eVGA Hybrid Water Cooler  
CoolingOSMonitorKeyboard
4x GentleTyphoon AP-15 Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit Philips Brilliance BDM4065UC 4K Razer BlackWidow Chroma  
PowerCaseMouseMouse Pad
eVGA SuperNOVA 750 G3 Define Nano S Logitech G502 Proteus Core PECHAM Gaming Mouse Pad XX-Large 
AudioAudioAudioAudio
Audioengine D1 DAC Mackie CR Series CR3 Audio-Technica ATH-M50 Sennheiser HD 598 
Audio
Sony XB950BT 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X4 955 @ 4.2GHz ASUS M4A79XTD EVO AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB @ 1200/1500 2x 4GB G.SKILL Ripjaws X DDR3-1600 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveCooling
OCZ Agility 3 60GB WD Caviar Green 1.5TB 2 x Seagate Barracuda 2TB XSPC Raystorm 
CoolingCoolingOSPower
EK-FC7970 XSPC RS360 Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit Corsair TX750 
Case
NZXT Switch 810  
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Overclock.net › Forums › Graphics Cards › AMD/ATI › Low GPU usage in Battlefield3 with Tri-fire 7970s and a 2500k @ 4.7ghz