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Bad FPS/Usage/Scaling in Borderlands 2? Here's Why ...

post #1 of 25
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If you're like me, you have probably been wondering why in the hell Borderlands 2 seems to have lots of highly annoying slowdowns, and puzzled by the fact that they happen even when the GPU Usage isn't anywhere near pegged out.

So ... I decided to do some tests in order to determine if, as I've long suspected, that BL2 is actually a highly CPU dependent game ... since this would perfectly explain the observations I've made whilst playing ... along with explaining why it is that people come onto the boards regularly decrying the fact that their SLI scaling is poor in this game.

I did the following tests with my sig rig, with all settings maxed out in the game, along w/a couple of minor tweaks to the config file, running at 1920x1200. I compared the performance with my proc (i7 930 w/HT On) at 2.33MHz (12 x 195) vs. performance with my proc at 4.0GHz (20x200), both using PhysX Low, and PhysX High. This is not a formal benchmark, I tried to repeat a run doing the same thing each time. This was done in the Tundra Express level, starting from teh beginning and running down to and around inside the Buzzard Academy, fighting whatever enemies got in my way ... This is a spot I've seen performance issues when playing the game before.

The observed results of min/avg FPS were as follows:

PhysX Low, 2.3GHz Min = 31 Avg = 58.644
PhysX Low, 4.0GHz Min = 55 Avg = 87.923 (Bottleneck % = .5/.71 = 70%) *
PhysX High, 2.3GHz Min = 30 Avg = 47.606
PhysX High, 4.0GHz Min = 48 Avg = 69.245 (Bottleneck % = .45/.71 = 63%) *

* Note that 4GHz is 71% faster than 2.33GHz. So this is the denominator in the BN % calc. The numerator is the % increase in FPS seen from the CPU speed increase. The lower BN% seen with High PhysX suggests that any PhysX calculations that still run on the CPU (despite having an nV card) are probably not the cause of the bottlenecking ... unless those don't change in nature when the PhysX level is raised. Which is possible ... hence the 'probably'. Being able to disable ALL PhysX entirely would really help assess whether there's actually a bunch of physX calcs that happen on the CPU no matter what, and whether an inefficiency there is the cause for the CPU BN'ing (and hence FPS/usage problems) in the game.

Here is a graph displaying the above results:



And here are the FPS over time graphs, ala [H] style.





Allow me to just say, everything about how the 'troublesome areas' in Borderlands 2 operate is IDENTICAL to the way that they did in Skyrim. I strongly believe this game needs the exact same type of optimizations that Bethesda did to Skyrim back in March that fixed the CPU BN problems in that game.

Sooooo ... Hey Gearbox wave2.gif we need a Performance Improvement Patch that fixes the horrible CPU BN'ing this game suffers from!!! teaching.gif
Edited by brettjv - 11/3/12 at 8:27pm
    
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post #2 of 25
Ahh good to know, was wondering why i'd get 30fps in some areas on a direct x 9 game lol with a 4.5 ghz 3570k and a 670.

+ rep well deserved, ok so apparently I can't give you + rep ? is it because you are a mod?
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post #3 of 25
Did you leave Hyper Threading on for the 4ghz tests?
post #4 of 25
Great job. You picked one of the best spots for it too. thumb.gif
 
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post #5 of 25
Very nice post! If only I could give you rep..wink.gif
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post #6 of 25
So if I was able to OC to 4.5GHz or higher I would get more than 80 FPS?
     
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post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkahuna360 View Post

So if I was able to OC to 4.5GHz or higher I would get more than 80 FPS?
Yes you would, I dont know about 80's as I dont know your current fps, I get in the mid hundreds and upper 90's, everything maxed out, at 4.8ghz. But this game seems to like more cores and faster cores. The 3960x actually beats the other cpu's in this game too.
http://www.techspot.com/review/577-borderlands-2-performance/page6.html
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post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by General123 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkahuna360 View Post

So if I was able to OC to 4.5GHz or higher I would get more than 80 FPS?
Yes you would, I dont know about 80's as I dont know your current fps, I get in the mid hundreds and upper 90's, everything maxed out, at 4.8ghz. But this game seems to like more cores and faster cores. The 3960x actually beats the other cpu's in this game too.
http://www.techspot.com/review/577-borderlands-2-performance/page6.html

My board can't OC mad.gif and ASUS has been "talking to the engineers" for a little over two months now.
     
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post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigkahuna360 View Post

My board can't OC mad.gif and ASUS has been "talking to the engineers" for a little over two months now.
Cant..OC.. I I dont understand sad-smiley-002.gif
That is some bull crap man they need to get that fixed!
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post #10 of 25
This is honestly the last time I ever purchase an ASUS product again. I was on the fence about this board or the Z77E-ITX. I should have gone ASRock. mad.gif EVGA save me!
     
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