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Athlon X4 bottlenecks GTX 460? - Page 2

post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by appleg33k85 View Post
Uh what? Sorry but the type of CPU you have doesn't have anything to do with how much you can overclock a video card, and overclocking a video card has nothing to do with bottle necking (other than being to help lower one in certain circumstances of which I don't think you were referring to) - If an X6 1090T was somehow a bottleneck to a 550ti, then any AMD would be absolutely useless [they aren't they make some awesome price / performance ratio cpu's] [/rant]
Agree. If it is the case that one's GPU can be OC'd more on a newer rig, it's likely to do with the platform (the motherboard, basically) as a whole being better, not the processor being faster.

@OP: you almost certainly are going to need to benchmark the game somehow (doing FRAPS runs where you do the same thing each time is probably the only way in SC2) to see if it's really true that the GPU OC is not doing anything. Eyeballing the FPS in FRAPS ... not going to cut it.

As mentioned above, SC2 is well-known for having a relatively high level of CPU (and/or platform as a whole) dependency, so I'd not be shocked to find out that your proc was acting as a bottleneck in that game, at least at times.

What FPS are you running at here, generally speaking? Obviously the higher the FPS, the more likely it becomes that you'll be CPU-limited on any given frame.

Although checking GPU usage is good starting point when you have any FPS problem, it's certainly not the 'end-all, be-all'.

Whilst it's true that if your GPU usage is constantly pegged up in the 95-99% range, it's an excellent indication that your CPU is NOT bottlenecking, the converse unfortunately is not nearly as much of a certainty: Having lower than max GPU usage can be caused by a variety of factors, of which CPU BN is merely the likely culprit.

It's kinda like the relationship between fuel and a car. If your motor is running, then clearly you are not out of fuel. But if your car won't start, it's by no means a certainty that you are out of fuel. But checking your fuel gauge ... that's a good logical starting point for your investigation

Actually the best way to check for CPU BN is to do a benchmark at current clocks, then clock your CPU higher, and do the benchmark again. The higher the ratio between %CPU Clock Increase / % FPS Increase, the more you are CPU bottlenecked.

To plug in numbers, if going from 3.0GHz to 3.3GHz (10%) produced an FPS improvement from 100 to 110 fps (10%), then the ratio I mentioned above would be 1, or 100% ... indicative of a 'total' CPU bottleneck.

However if it produced only 101 FPS, the ratio would be .1, or a 10% CPU bottleneck. Which is of course relatively minor ... meaning you're not getting a lot of frames over the course of the test that are being CPU-limited and/or the CPU limitation is not imposing a significantly penalty in FPS.

Keep in mind, though, that whatever the result of this analysis is, it only applies to the specific test you just ran. During this part, of this game, at these settings, with these cpu/gpu clocks ... I have this much of a cpu bottleneck.

Does that all make sense?

Now ... are you using the Afterburner OSD? That's pretty much the first thing to fire up when you're having perf issues, so you can see how the gpu is behaving while you play. Since it's only a 768MB card, one thing that might concern me is vram usage ... how does look in the OSD when playing?
    
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post #12 of 18
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Quote:
I think the game itself is bottlenecked by proc's in general since it only makes significant use of 2 cores.
Great point. It does appreciate a third core minorly, and a 4th core very little, but yea that's probably a big point. Still, I wonder if overclocking tmy GPU would do anything.

Quote:
Have you tried benching with fraps? And what fps are you seeing inc SC2?
SC2 allows you to view fps ingame (ctrl+alt+f). I've used fraps, i don't really like it. It's kind of hard to bench imo because a replay doesn't really test the processor out like a real game does. My tests are far from conclusive, but just playing a small section of a replay over and over, alt tabing and trying overclocks then playing that 10 seconds again, i see no gains. Now, I've noticed that if I change settings in the NVidia control panel (say, no AA to 32AA) nothing happens to performance or quality - until I restart SC2. But since overclocking is a hardware issue, I would think I don't need to do that?

Quote:
Check out something such as Afterburner and see GPU utilization - if it is sitting around 100% then no the CPU isn't bottlenecking it - if it is sitting in the 70+% range try overclocking and seeing if it raises, if its lower than that, you have some serious bottlenecks.

Most likely you won't see a bottleneck on a single GPU - you could even go with sli 460's and probably do well, again its all about utilization
GPU I think is a pretty much 100%.

Quote:
Overclock CPU higher? Raise NB Clock? Don't use the multiplier to overclock? Is your RAM in single channel?

Don't assume things, just check everything is right before you claim a bottleneck.
Just an Athlon II x3. I can't get another 50mhz with 1.55+ vcore (and I was only able to get 3.410, going to 3.450 is completely unstable) although unlocking was almost guaranteed (pretty sure its just a perfectly stable propus sold to meet demand). Others have said similar results. I've raised my FSB very high so I could oc my locked NB and other system parts. I also found it the best way of oc'ing anyways.

Quote:
then any AMD would be absolutely useless [they aren't they make some awesome price / performance ratio cpu's] [/rant]
Can't help but totally derail my own thread, but I feel AMD has a pretty bad price to performance EXCEPT the Athlon II series - which are absolute gold, and practically, the best buy today since they will play any game on 95% settings out today (unless something niche like metro 2033 maybe?). If you plan to play a game today, and aren't someone who is buying a new game every month just for whatever (I tend to play a game for 2-5 years before moving on, i like multiplayer) than no reason not to get anything more than Athlon II x3. With that said, the sandy bridge series seems to blow AMD/Phenom out of the water, with even the i3 dualcore technically being a stronger chip than quadcores and basic Phenom IIs, and the i5 series being cheaper and better than the best of AMD. I think AMD is the way to go, but price/performance goes to either the Athlon II, i3, or i5.

Of course, I may simply not know what I'm talking about.

Quote:
ive always used amd, but they are. they are a good value, but the bottom line is, if you want the best for editing, video converting, gaming. intel is the best.
Intel chips are better, AMD is arguably cheaper. Phenom IIs are way too weak, although Intels overclock locking shenanigans is BS. There's no reason to really buy Intel today though unless you've got extra money (in which case there is no shame in getting a simple i5 for just a day's work more) or have a specialized task at hand. For today's games you only really need Athlon II unless you play at some crazy resolutions or need to have AA and need to go beyond just max settings in a game.

Quote:
and i cant actually believe im saying all this, my last 4 systems have all been amd. i sound like such an intel fanboy, and im currently still running a system with an amd cpu. its just that the more i read, there seems to be so much more to be had with an intel chip.
Top of the line AMD, while cheap, is just too weak. People say Intel is expensive because they look at the i7, but when you realize that the i5 and even i3 compare to the best of AMD, the prices are actually much more competitive. There's a huge margin in the market right now at the $79 price point (Athlon II X3) to ~$150 (i5-2400) where all those CPUs (dualcore Phenoms, i3) either are dualcore, are just not enough extra power to warrant the price over weaker CPUs or are not cheap enough to stop someone from getting an i5.

But yea back to OC'ing my GPU, I mean does it make sense? Or am I just not doing it right? I do think my method isn't too authoritative, but I load a replay up at an intensive spot, try stock - 30fps. Then I raise VDD, and do like an insane 20%+ overclock - 30fps. I did notice a 2-3fps gain in minor overclocks, but didn't really look too far into it. In short, it doesn't really seem to be affecting it?
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post #13 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
@OP: you almost certainly are going to need to benchmark the game somehow (doing FRAPS runs where you do the same thing each time is probably the only way in SC2) to see if it's really true that the GPU OC is not doing anything. Eyeballing the FPS in FRAPS ... not going to cut it.
Okay, I think I'll play a game, then have fraps analyze it in replay mode then try it again with overclocks.

It is a CPU dependant game, but -as obvious as this sounds - when you increase the graphics, it's all the GPU. CPU determines your minimum fps, and the idea is that, assuming your GPU is all powerful, your fps in minimum settings should be the same as in high, or in other words you shouldn't see a drop in fps from raising settings. While my system can play SC2 on everything max settings, I do know it's at the comfortable limit of that - meaning I can play everything maxed, competitively, PERFECTLY fine, but if I went with a worse CPU/GPU, I'm sure I'd have hiccups every once in a while in major fights. But as it is, my system runs it *perfectly*. Now, with that said, i can see my fps dip at times - still the fps is very high, especially for SC2, but the fps rate does (i can only tell because I have it displayed, its not obvious by watching).

Quote:
What FPS are you running at here, generally speaking? Obviously the higher the FPS, the more likely it becomes that you'll be CPU-limited on any given frame.
70+ fps for Zerg (the race where you have stuff on the ground that's reflective, shaded, and textured). 100+ for other races. Minimum is probably around 30s in big battles on creep, and that's pushing it. SC2 isn't a first person shooter, and while intense micro exists, unlike CS:S where you want like 60fps, SC2 is said to need about 30-40fps. Point being, I never notice the frame rate drop while playing.

Quote:
Now ... are you using the Afterburner OSD? That's pretty much the first thing to fire up when you're having perf issues, so you can see how the gpu is behaving while you play. Since it's only a 768MB card, one thing that might concern me is vram usage ... how does look in the OSD when playing?
What is OSD? I have afterburner utility. When I use kombustor benchmark, I see results.
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post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by PROBN4LYFE View Post
Yes, unfortunately it is the bottleneck.
My 1090T@4.2GHZ limited my GTX550ti to a mere 1048/1076 and would lockup.
On my 2500k at same speed I have run 1099/1150 and that was just to test benches.

All that has nothing to do with how well you can overclock your GPU. Your CPU is completely irelevant in that case.
It's your platform you have to take into consideration, not your CPU.

To get back to OP's subject, his CPU will not bottleneck his GTX 460. It's fine.
Edited by p4p3r - 4/15/11 at 1:48pm
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post #15 of 18
wow,what a bunch phooweey from half the responses.Probn4life-I'm gonna give you a pass,you must have been up all night or something.No way you can compare a cards overclock to a certain processor.
He is running 100% GPU
end of story.
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post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belial View Post
Okay, I think I'll play a game, then have fraps analyze it in replay mode then try it again with overclocks.

It is a CPU dependant game, but -as obvious as this sounds - when you increase the graphics, it's all the GPU. CPU determines your minimum fps, and the idea is that, assuming your GPU is all powerful, your fps in minimum settings should be the same as in high, or in other words you shouldn't see a drop in fps from raising settings. While my system can play SC2 on everything max settings, I do know it's at the comfortable limit of that - meaning I can play everything maxed, competitively, PERFECTLY fine, but if I went with a worse CPU/GPU, I'm sure I'd have hiccups every once in a while in major fights. But as it is, my system runs it *perfectly*. Now, with that said, i can see my fps dip at times - still the fps is very high, especially for SC2, but the fps rate does (i can only tell because I have it displayed, its not obvious by watching).



70+ fps for Zerg (the race where you have stuff on the ground that's reflective, shaded, and textured). 100+ for other races. Minimum is probably around 30s in big battles on creep, and that's pushing it. SC2 isn't a first person shooter, and while intense micro exists, unlike CS:S where you want like 60fps, SC2 is said to need about 30-40fps. Point being, I never notice the frame rate drop while playing.



What is OSD? I have afterburner utility. When I use kombustor benchmark, I see results.
I'm not sure there's any way to record/replay a game section using fraps and then analyze the fps retroactively. I think you have to just play and log while you're playing ... then change clocks ... then try to do the same thing again.

Re: what you stated as 'obvious', I just want to interject that there are some games where the 'graphics' settings absolutely can impact the relative CPU demands for the game. I don't play starcraft 2 so I don't know if that particular game has any such settings, but if you cared to post a screenie of all the graphics options I could probably hazard a reasoned guess as to whether any are likely to increase relative CPU load when increased

I'm not sure that it's entirely accurate to say that CPU power *determines* minimum framerates in all instances, for everyone, when playing Starcraft 2. I'm sorry if I'm misinterpreting you there but that's what it sounds like you're saying. CPU power may be the statistically most likely, but the determining factor of the value of the MIN FPS is going to depend on your gear, what settings you're playing at, and what section of the game you're calculating the MIN FPS of.

OSD = On Screen Display (can be configured to show fps, clocks, gpu usage, vram usage, voltages, and temps in a corner of the screen while gaming). An essential troubleshooting tool ... esp. if you have a card that is a little shy on the vram capacity

All in all I'm not quite sure what it is that you're asking about with this whole thread. It seems you're pretty well aware of the cpu-dependency level of SC2, and hence the possibility of CPU BN. I explained the best methodology by which you can test for the degree of CPU BN, if you're wanting to confirm the degree to which it's happening ...

Was there something else?
Edited by brettjv - 4/15/11 at 2:40pm
    
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post #17 of 18
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Quote:
I'm not sure there's any way to record/replay a game section using fraps and then analyze the fps retroactively. I think you have to just play and log while you're playing ... then change clocks ... then try to do the same thing again.
The problem is that SC2 is such an intense game, I don't even know what my FPS is to be honest - I just know at the very start (literally, if you get distracted 5 seconds into the game it's too much) which is around 70+fps, I see in heavy battles in replays it's around 30 minimum at worst, so doing an overclock of even 30%, which would what, increase fps by at most, 5-10 fps, I'm not going to notice considering that my system already runs perfectly, and those crazy battles that may make it drop... yea, just not really a way to qualify it. I think what I'll have to do is have a crazy game, or even a custom map game, then have fraps do a fps average from the start to finish of the replay with and without OC.

Quote:
I'm not sure that it's entirely accurate to say that CPU power *determines* minimum framerates in all instances, for everyone, when playing Starcraft 2. I'm sorry if I'm misinterpreting you there but that's what it sounds like you're saying. CPU power may be the statistically most likely, but the determining factor of the value of the MIN FPS is going to depend on your gear, what settings you're playing at, and what section of the game you're calculating the MIN FPS of.
yes, of course what I said was a big generalization and it's much more complicated than that - but not really. I know I may not sound that knowledgeable, but I have a few guides written on the topic of building an SC2 computer. Yea, min fps is something that CPU power is a big determinant of (as opposed to say, average or max fps - although those rise and fall with CPU power, it's not as clear as min fps).

Ah.. by afterburner OSD you mean afterburner. I thought that's what you meant. Yes, I think I did say I had afterburner? Yea, I do. That's to be clear.

Quote:
All in all I'm not quite sure what it is that you're asking about with this whole thread. It seems you're pretty well aware of the cpu-dependency level of SC2, and hence the possibility of CPU BN. I explained the best methodology by which you can test for the degree of CPU BN, if you're wanting to confirm the degree to which it's happening ...
I just want to know why overclocking my GPU doesn't seem to lead to gains in SC2 - what I've been doing is analyzing a particular hectic 10 seconds in a replay, looking at the fps, then alt tabbing, overclocking the GPU, and doing it again. I've found that massive overclocks (as in clearly unstable but just overvolt and just a test) don't seem to raise FPS at all. My method is far from exhaustive or clear, but from what I've read and heard from people, my CPU bn'ing my GPU isn't hard to believe either.

So I guess I'll get right on that fraps stuff
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post #18 of 18
Again I'll recommend using the OSD, it can very enlightening for troubleshooting, esp. with SLI.

For example, you may discover that during the 'replays' the cards don't work in SLI properly, things like that will 'show up' if you study what's going on in the OSD. GPU usage will drop to like 0-1% on one card, that sorta thing. Not saying that's what's going on, but OSD helps you spot such things when they do happen.

If that 10 second stretch is being CPU bottlenecked, then 1) an analysis of framerates in Fraps will show that the GPU OC has little or no effect, and 2) the OSD will probably show that the GPU usage is falling during that stretch ... the combination of these two occurrences would back the notion that it's a CPU (or platform) bottleneck for sure ... at least during that stretch.

Remember each and every frame in every game that's ever rendered on your system is a fresh opportunity for either the CPU or the GPU to be the limiting factor to performance.
    
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