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960T + 7850, is there a bottleneck somewhere?

cumanzor

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#1
Hi guys!

I recently got a 7850, been playing a lot of BF3 lately and noticed that while I'm able to maintain 50 - 60 fps most of the time, there a few places where my fps drop to 30 or less, and my GPU usage drops to about 60-70%.

The only thing that occurs to me is that my CPU is bottle necking my GPU somewhere. I know that a 7850 is not a top of the line card, but what bothers me is that I'm not getting that 99% utilization in BF3. I can get it in other games (Alan Wake, for instance) and other games just run at 60fps without reaching 99% utilization, but BF3 seems to be an exception here.

These are my current specs. This system has gone through a few upgrades in the last couple of years, that's why the mobo and RAM are pretty old.

- AMD 960T, unlocked @ 3.6GHz, 1.325V
- Gigabyte GA-MA785GM-US2H
- 6GB DDR2 800MHz RAM
- Saphire 7850
- OCZ 600W PSU

Let me know what other details do you think are relevant. This is an almost fresh install, with the latest AMD drivers. Also note that I've tried running everything stock, with no OC or no unlock, and I actually get a slightly worse performance with 4 cores.

What do you guys think? Should I go ahead and change my motherboard and ram but stick with this cpu? Or should I go with Intel?
 
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#2
Your BF3 FPS depends on game settings. which you should list here and possibly lower something and see what improves.also bf3 on a 6 core will never reach 100% on all core since its evenly distributed across them.

try this aswell
bf3 Utility
 
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#3
i highly recommend upgrading your RAM and motherboard ?
 

cumanzor

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#4
So sorry guys! I forgot. Running at Ultra, 1920 x 1080, AA (uhhh, the first one) off.

Putting everything in low doesn't seem to make a difference.
 
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#5
AA is your problem disable it
 

cumanzor

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#6
AA is your problem disable it
I have AA Deferred Off and Post on High. Will try disabling post.

Also, I attached my current config.

i highly recommend upgrading your RAM and motherboard ?
Definitely plan to. I just don't want to waste money doing this if it means any AMD cpu can't cope with this GPU.
 

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#7
try disabling Antisotropic Filter
 
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#8
turn off hbao, shadows put on low, all AA off

AF levels make no difference, can leave 16
 
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cumanzor

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#9
turn off hbao, shadows put on low, all AA off

AF levels make no difference, can leave 16
I tried a couple combinations. Very little difference.

My config (Everything ultra except AA Defered and Motion Blur):

http://imgur.com/Sz13m,ja29i,CyRtw,wVKRL,F1YyC,yK7Qs#0

Your settings (AA off, Shadows Low, HBAO off):

http://imgur.com/2JcZI,zBzyw,fO273,w71xN,AGrSY

Everything on Low:

http://imgur.com/QowcM,Cs3ZF,JmXLz,BfgQB

You can see the stats in the top left corner.

What bothers me the most is not the low FPS but the fact that I'm barely using 50% of my GPU when my FPS drop....
 
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#10
Try disabling Vsync as well, I have noticed when playing BF3 that when I use vsync it limits my FPS in certain areas causing it to drop to around 30 or lower at times... You may also want to mention if its a specific area of the game it drops in, as it may just be a glitch.
 

cumanzor

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#11
Try disabling Vsync as well, I have noticed when playing BF3 that when I use vsync it limits my FPS in certain areas causing it to drop to around 30 or lower at times... You may also want to mention if its a specific area of the game it drops in, as it may just be a glitch.
I'll try that. I posted some results above. It's always in the same areas so I posted screenshots for those areas + a random screenshot where I'm getting 50-60fps for each settings group (my settings, the ones natr0n recommended and everything in low). There is little difference between those though.
 
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#12
Just a dumb question, but do you have programs running in the background while playing BF3? Things like an internet browser or even windows live messenger/mail that use GPU acceleration can sometimes seriously hamper performance, even when you have them 'minimized'. Also, with my current set-up, i notice games just run more smoothly with aero turned off.
I dont know if its AMD's drivers which are at fault there, but it'll prolly work the same with your card since its the same arch as mine.

Hope you solve your problem!
 
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#13
I'll try that. I posted some results above. It's always in the same areas so I posted screenshots for those areas + a random screenshot where I'm getting 50-60fps for each settings group (my settings, the ones natr0n recommended and everything in low). There is little difference between those though.
Just a dumb question, but do you have programs running in the background while playing BF3? Things like an internet browser or even windows live messenger/mail that use GPU acceleration can sometimes seriously hamper performance, even when you have them 'minimized'. Also, with my current set-up, i notice games just run more smoothly with aero turned off.
I dont know if its AMD's drivers which are at fault there, but it'll prolly work the same with your card since its the same arch as mine.

Hope you solve your problem!


True, forgot about the old "Disable Aero" Trick :O Looks like I need to freshen up on the past!!!
 

cumanzor

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#14
Just a dumb question, but do you have programs running in the background while playing BF3? Things like an internet browser or even windows live messenger/mail that use GPU acceleration can sometimes seriously hamper performance, even when you have them 'minimized'. Also, with my current set-up, i notice games just run more smoothly with aero turned off.
I dont know if its AMD's drivers which are at fault there, but it'll prolly work the same with your card since its the same arch as mine.

Hope you solve your problem!
True, forgot about the old "Disable Aero" Trick :O Looks like I need to freshen up on the past!!!

Just tried closing all apps, disabling AV, disabling Aero. Same results. In some areas game runs at 28FPS with 50-60% utilization.
 
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#15
For some reason I can't open your links but let me guess. One place where you have slowdowns is in Gulf Of Oman?
 
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#16
I don't think this is anormal.. a 7850 is most like an HD6950 but a bit faster... look: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7850_HD_7870/8.html

my HD6950, ultra and 1920*1080, no AA and AF, I can play but I get some drop, but it makes a long time since I didn't played BF3, I don't know if there has been optimisation.. in 1680*1050, it was perfect.
 

cumanzor

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#17
I don't think this is anormal.. a 7850 is most like an HD6950 but a bit faster... look: http://www.techpowerup.com/reviews/AMD/HD_7850_HD_7870/8.html

my HD6950, ultra and 1920*1080, no AA and AF, I can play but I get some drop, but it makes a long time since I didn't played BF3, I don't know if there has been optimisation.. in 1680*1050, it was perfect.
Yeah, I was expecting something like this, but, I remember with my old 6770, whenever I saw a drop in FPS I would see the GPU utilization at 99%. I'd be absolutely sure it was maxing it out. With this 7850, in those specific areas it actually lowers to 50%-60%.

Plus, lowering resolution is not making any difference either : S
 
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#18
umm, have you tried upgrading video driver?
 
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#20
Try with a lower one, maybe? Install the Profil driver aswell..

if notworking work, try pushing more the CPU and see?
 
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#22
Catalyst profil driver, you can get them same pleace where you download AMD driver ;)
 
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#23
Guys, it's a 960T, a quad core Phenom II based on the Thuban core. It's also running on DDR2 800 which means the CPU is probably starving for bandwidth. Upgrading to an AM3 board and DDR3 1600 may help, but in the end it is still a Phenom quad core and it is easily beaten by either an i7 or an FX-8xxx chip.

Low framerate + low GPU utilization usually means CPU bottleneck.
 
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#24
I got a question.
The gpu usage percentage, means how much the cpu is outputting?
Meaning bottleneck or not if it is 100% GPU usage?
 

cumanzor

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#25
Guys, it's a 960T, a quad core Phenom II based on the Thuban core. It's also running on DDR2 800 which means the CPU is probably starving for bandwidth. Upgrading to an AM3 board and DDR3 1600 may help, but in the end it is still a Phenom quad core and it is easily beaten by either an i7 or an FX-8xxx chip.

Low framerate + low GPU utilization usually means CPU bottleneck.
Yeah. Same thing I was thinking.

I just don't know which path to take. Upgrade Mobo+Ram, stay with same CPU, or move to Intel (CPU/MOBO/RAM)....