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Smashbox
27-07-2012, 09:54 PM
I've been trying to juice a little more performance out of my PC this afternoon, but I'm a bit of an overclocking greenhorn. I figured you fellows and fellowettes might be able to help me out a bit.

I have an EVGA GTX 460 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814130591) with a factory clock of 850 (which I think is faster than other gtx 460s?), an AMD Phenom II x4 955 Black (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16819103674) four-core 3.2 ghz, 8 gigs of ram, housed in a Lian Li A05 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811112130) with the default fans.

My main problem and the reason I wanted to wring more out of this thing was that RAGE ran like ass, despite the fact that it seems like I should be able to run it well. I'm not sure I know where the bottleneck lies.

I managed to clock up the GPU to 870 clock and 2019 memory clock, which seemed stable in the 3DMark bench tests. I tried the FurMark test tho, and almost immediately overheated. I also overheated with default settings on the card in Furmark, despite the fact that I've been gaming with no problems on this rig for over a year.

Before I maxed out at around 74 C in gaming, with the overclock, it seems to be about 83.

So here are my questions:

Is FurMark unrealistic for stability testing?

Can I trust 3DMark's stability indication?

If GPU heat is my problem how can I solve it most easily? (New card? More fan-ny case panels? Changing case fan speed?)

Is the CPU a bottleneck? (I could overclock it - it's got an unlocked multiplier, but a stock cooler)

Any RAGE fans know what my bottleneck is? Poorly optimized, or Crysis-like in its expectations?

Thanks for any insight.

Finicky
28-07-2012, 06:08 PM
3d mark is heavily cpu dependant even in the gpu tests so no.
Furmark is the other extreme.

Normally you oc till the highest stable value then drop it a few mhz.

How much did you oc the vram? Vram doesn't oc well in many gpus (not sure about gtx 460 series) of that era.

Your cpu has a stock fan so if you oc that (normally a phenom II 955 will be perfectly happy at 3.6 ghz on air) it will be loud as shit.
Who runs a stock fan on their cpu anyhow, thos dinky little things are so loud and a much more efficient much quieter aftermarket cooler is cheap.

Your cpu is pretty good for gaming, it's not a bottleneck at all, a decent aftermarket heatsink and fan would make it more quiet, the minor (400 mhz) oc would help performance too but not by all that much considering you 'd spend money on the new cooler.
Buying an i5 coming from a phenom II 955 would be the worst possible value for gaming, especially since you only have a gtx 460 anyhow.

Framerate difference between phenom II and sandy bridge i5 at real world (1080p and above) resolutions at high settings is only a few percent.
Benchmarks usually show performance at some shitlow resolution on low settings to show the theoretical difference in games that would be heavily cpu bottlenecked which makes the difference seem large for anyone who doesn't know how to interpret a benchmark.
There's like 2-3 games out there that show any noticable benifit (older games that run at 200 fps on phenom II and 250 on SB while your monitor refresh rate is only 60 fps do not count)

If you want noticably better performance for your money then you're going to have to buy a new GPU.
Sadly your gtx 460 is still by far the best performance/dollar gpu out there and it's going to cost you dearly to upgrade, current high end gpus are extremely overpriced.

I'd say suck it up for another 6 months and see if the situation improves when the 7xx series or hd8xxx series releases, your gtx 460 isn't that bad a card.

That or spend 350+ euros ona gtx 670 to get decent performance increase (not so decent considering the massive cost difference and 3 years having passed since the gtx 460 was 130 euros)

Oh and don't go sli 460, it's a pain on the driver/compatibility end, and you'll still be bottlenecked by the vram on high resolutions with AA.
Unless of course you can get your hands on one for like 40 euros then why not.

Smashbox
30-07-2012, 01:45 AM
Great advice, thanks for the reply.

I feel like something might be wrong with my RAGE settings - I'll mess around with them and see if I can't get some better performance. The thing that struck me odd was that the one setting that brings things to slideshiw levels is the ... Streaming textures I think it was called. It says it's highly CPU-dependent, but I feel like the phenom x4 should be able to deal with that ...

Finicky
31-07-2012, 08:08 AM
Rage ran fine here eventually (as fine as you can call texture pop-in HELL) on a phenom II 3 core cpu at 2.8 ghz (your cpu is better).
I do remember drivers and game patches randomly re-breaking the game performance wise over time, one patch would fix performance (which was awful at release) , the next would cock it up again then fix again then amd drivers cocked it up again etc.

I gave up on that game:p

Texture cache is how much vram you reserve for the game to pre load textures, more = supposedly less pop in (more like a drop of water on a hot plate).
Could be that the highest setting uses more vram than your gpu has (so it uses slow system ram as pagefile aka major memory bandwidth bottleneck) which will destroy your performance and cause horrible stuttering/freezing.

Only fix for that is a gpu with more vram.

Smashbox
31-07-2012, 02:18 PM
That odd option that would cripple my game is called Texture Detail. I thought, of course, that it was throwing the 'insufficient number of CPU cores' error by mistake, considering I have a decent 4-core, but after further research, I'm now pretty sure it requires a shocking SIX cores to utilize that feature.

I did manage to get things looking/playing decently. Anyone trying to do the same should give this a read:

http://www.geforce.com/whats-new/articles/how-to-unlock-rages-high-resolution-textures-with-a-few-simple-tweaks/

Creating a .cfg file allows you to force the higher detail. It doesn't seem to be too big of a performance problem for me in my brief test. We shall see.

DrownedGiraffe
01-08-2012, 01:49 PM
AMD A_Series_Quad_Core_A10_4600M Processor 2.3GHz
6 GB SDRAM RAM
750GB 5400rpm Hard Drive
17.3-Inch Screen, AMD Radeon HD 7660G
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

Processor, Memory, and Motherboard


Hardware Platform: PC
Processor: 2.3 GHz A-Series Quad-Core A10-4600M
RAM: 6 GB
RAM Type: DDR3 SDRAM
Memory Slots: 2

Hard Drive


Size: 750 GB
Manufacturer: HDD 5400 rpm
Speed: 5400 rpm

Graphics and Display


Graphics RAM: 3060 MB

if my laptop has these specs, will it be able to play ArmA 3?