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post #111 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by brettjv View Post

I'll leave it to you Dave to provide a compelling counter-explanation for why, in the scenario I described, my GPU usage is nowhere near 99% ... if mine is not the correct interpretation of what's going on there wink.gif

1. Drivers. wink.gif

or

2. The game coding.

or

3. Memory bottleneck.

or

4. CPU bottleneck.


I've personally had games which did not always utilize 100% GPU while still not holding steady to 120 fps with v-sync (which in my mind means it should be using more GPU). But I was not even close to having a CPU bottleneck. Skyrim is a great example. It happened to me all of the time with that game, and I know I wasn't CPU bottlenecked.

There is no way for me to prove or disprove anything from what you have posted so far. I will have to wait for someone else with SLI 7970's to be interested enough to get the required information. I could do this myself, but I have a single GPU and it's not a 7970. So my results would mean little.


A CPU bottleneck also doesn't explain this:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1242447/witcher-2-putting-my-cf-7970-onto-its-knees/40#post_16974640

This member apparently had no problems until he started messing with the drivers. Then after messing with the drivers he started having the same problems as the OP. I can't speak beyond the scope of his post though. I am taking it at face value.
post #112 of 144
The graph showing average FPS in the Witcher 2 with 1, 2, 3 and 4 cores being used pretty much lays waste to any of your claims.

A CPU at 25% total usage can be a bottleneck depending on how the game is coded. The Witcher 2 pretty obviously (and like 95% of the games out there) uses 2 cores with some small tasks offloaded to a third core.

Also no game in the world is coded to make equal use of 8 threads and most if not all modern AAA games will not even run on a single core processor anymore.
Edited by jtom320 - 4/28/12 at 11:24am
    
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post #113 of 144
My experience from the original Witcher is that this game studio just does not optimize for ATI cards at all. Don't know whether it's a budget thing or belligerence, but I could swap a couple low end cards (hd 6450 and a gt 210) and see a 10fps increase on the Nvidia card even though it has half the bandwidth. Returned it and got my money back simply because of that, I don't like it when game studios stack the deck against other companies in or out of their industry.
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post #114 of 144
The 7970 is actually ahead of the 680 in this game. I don't have the benchmark saved but that can't be the reason.
    
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post #115 of 144
I am at a loss then.

Actually, your motherboard has the Virtu chipset for enabling onboard intel CPU graphics doesn't it? I think there's an option in the BIOS that allows that chipset to shuttle certain 2D functions to the onboard GPU and then back to your cards in an attempt to increase performance. If those drivers haven't been updated in a while I suppose it's possible it could be grabbing data it's not supposed to and slowing it down.
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post #116 of 144
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phantom_Dave View Post

1. Drivers. wink.gif
or
2. The game coding.
or
3. Memory bottleneck.
or
4. CPU bottleneck.
I've personally had games which did not always utilize 100% GPU while still not holding steady to 120 fps with v-sync (which in my mind means it should be using more GPU). But I was not even close to having a CPU bottleneck. Skyrim is a great example. It happened to me all of the time with that game, and I know I wasn't CPU bottlenecked.
There is no way for me to prove or disprove anything from what you have posted so far. I will have to wait for someone else with SLI 7970's to be interested enough to get the required information. I could do this myself, but I have a single GPU and it's not a 7970. So my results would mean little.
A CPU bottleneck also doesn't explain this:
http://www.overclock.net/t/1242447/witcher-2-putting-my-cf-7970-onto-its-knees/40#post_16974640
This member apparently had no problems until he started messing with the drivers. Then after messing with the drivers he started having the same problems as the OP. I can't speak beyond the scope of his post though. I am taking it at face value.

Like I say, there are some alternative explanations (although your elaboration on the mechanism involved leaves a bit to be desired wink.gif), but mine is the most likely one IMHO. The case is much more compelling that you gave it credit for earlier, which was basically none.

AFA Skyrim goes, yes, you did have a CPU bottleneck if you were playing it the first four months it was out. In the in-town areas where FPS was problematic, that was exactly why it happened. It's basically been admitted by Bethesda, and the problem patched via better CPU optimizations.

It happened in most of the big cities, the most commonly tested area was the steps below the Jarl's in Whiterun. Here's the tests I did myself ... see the 2nd post for the clear-cut evidence of near 100% CPU BN's in this game. It happened to everyone on the thread except one guy, and we never did figure out why he was the exception. But Skyrim when it came out most certainly had CPU BN's that would've affected a single 7970 + 2600K@4.5GHz (to use your earlier mentioned absolute statement).

These tests were done on the steps of Dragonreach or whatever it's called:

411

The 66% clock speed increase involved here (going from 2.4GHz to 4.0GHz) results in basically an increase in FPS of between +57% and +70%, depending on the core count (the less the cores, the greater the % change). This is clear-cut evidence of CPU BN. And with a slope that steep (nearly 1) between CPU clock and FPS, there's no way the BN magically vanishes entirely by going to a Sandy at 4.5GHz.

The proof is in that thread, as many users were rocking Sandy's in the 4.5-5.0 range with cards of similar power to a single 7970 thumb.gif

I will grant you though that the post you linked to does provide compelling evidence that the problem is drivers ... but as I've said repeatedly, I never categorically said that it's not the drivers fault ... I just said it's probably not ... but it may well prove to be. There's also evidence in this thread from the OP that it could be a CPU BN, based on his testing w/lowered CPU clocks thumb.gif
Edited by brettjv - 4/28/12 at 12:39pm
    
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post #117 of 144
I can't get the game to use more than 30% of my 8 threads at 4.5GHz thinking.gif
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post #118 of 144
Okay, so I've mucked around with the game for a bit and the area where I used to get like 40fps and 40% GPU usage (in the military camp on the northern bluff of the map) no longer has the problem that it did 11 months ago when I last played it.

Furthermore the area mentioned by the OP, right after the leaving the sack with Triss at the game's start ... I'm getting no issues with FPS/GPU usage there either. Looking at a steady 60 (v-sync on) with around 90% usage. This is straight 'Ultra' with no Uber.

Looks like drivers are, in fact, a likely culprit in this particular scenario.

This being said ... <100% cpu usage still doesn't indicate the lack of a CPU bottleneck in this, or any other game ... and this game did used to have CPU BN's at certain spots wink.gif

Here's some early gameplay FPS and GPU usage, walking around with King Foltest ... it all looks proper considering v-sync is on.

700

Also, just tried the totally maxed with Uber ... the 470's aren't quite up to it. 30-40fps, which is just not smooth in SLI.

Good thing I think Uber looks crap.

Edit: Also ran a quick low-spec test (All Low Spec, at 1024x768, in the military camp). The same steady 25-30% usage holds, despite GPU usage being held around 50%. I still stipulate that this provides prima facie evidence that this game uses 2 cores, and part of a 3rd, and thus that it will CPU BN at around 30% usage, not 100%.

379

I shall fiddle with the perfomance monitor app Dave suggested earlier to see what the queue length evidence suggests.
Edited by brettjv - 4/28/12 at 5:35pm
    
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post #119 of 144
Well I can get a CPU bottleneck biggrin.gif
The game set all on low! 30% of my 8 CPU threads at 4.5GHz gave me 120fps at 50% GPU usage on my two 480s thinking.gif
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post #120 of 144
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the run and I learned much about CPU BN reading through your posts. I guess I need to find out what else is causing low GPU usage as it is evident in other games as well...I have tried all drivers and CAPs so I'm clueless at this point. They all have been fresh Window 7 installs so there's no reg files or something clinging on....unless I need to install a 12.x driver on top of a RC11. Seems like I haven't tried that yet. As in just uninstall through Control Panel so some RC11 files remain and install a 12.x on top of that causing things to run better? lol? I dunno at this point.
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