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Thread: GTX 970 Bottlenecked by my CPU architecture alone?

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    Default GTX 970 Bottlenecked by my CPU architecture alone?

    I am running a 1st generation i7 860 Oced at 3.5ghz (so basically a 870- a tier 3 CPU-http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/cpu-hierarchy,4312.html ), 8GB 1333mhz ram coupled with a gtx 970. I game at 720p monitor with 60Hz.

    Now the first two games i ve run with my recent build is AC IV Black Flag , and Fallout 4 (perhaps not the most optimized games out there,but still ..)

    In both these games there are places where my frames would drop form 60 to 40ish(even 30s), while both my CPU and GPU load remain below 70s (at times cpu be at 30% in ACIV and i ll still have low frames!). It's really annoying to have such low frames per second, at the same time having unused hardware resources. I mean it'd be understandable to have leftover resources after reaching a 60fps v-sync, as I am gaming in a low res.. But 30 frames with low loads on both fronts? feels absurd. Pls take a look at the following pic, as not a single core is even close to being stressed, yet my GPU is sitting at 70ish %..



    I have tried various things, including OCing my CPU beyond 4GHz to no difference in fps whatsoever. No matter what i do these drops keep happening at certain intense parts of these games.

    Now, the popular belief is- High cpu usage, with low gpu load denotes clear CPU bottleneck. But with all the tweaks and tunes i have tried over the past few days (including DSR to vary load on GPU), the results lead me to the conclusion that my CPU might somehow still be bottlenecking the GPU despite staying at a very low load. Is it possible that the old architecture itself of the CPU irrespective of overclock or usage is causing the limit or is it just a plain and simple case of Bad software coding of these games?
    I have cash at hand to upgrade my cpu+mob, but the thing is a ive also come across people on the internet who reported little no no gain in gaming after upgrading from i7 lynfields to later gens, and some would go as far to say that they'd gladly take back the old cpu if the money spent was to be returned to them!

    I am really confused at this point, whether spending on my system will achieve any significant improvements, or is it simply going to be a waste of money? After-all there are videos on youtube, of i7 860 running a gtx 980ti at 99% load in several games incl crysis 3!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HZmJKu7ESU


    Pls note my Unigine Valley score is 2300+ with 55fps, Cinebench is - single score 113, all cores- 600+


    I'd Request your takes on the pic of AC IV i added to this post, and ur opinions on the individual core loads specifically and corresponding Frames per second. TIA.
    Last edited by shohag2018; March 16th, 2016 at 15:22.

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    I think it is simply bad optimization or driver issue. For a bottleneck, either CPU or GPU would surely be at 99%. Or maybe the game is not using the hyper threaded cores and showing CPU usage lower than 99%? But it should not be the issue in 2016.

    Try disabling the v-sync and see how much the framerates drop at those certain situations. Also install the latest driver (that doesn't try to kill your PC).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swapnil View Post
    I think it is simply bad optimization or driver issue. For a bottleneck, either CPU or GPU would surely be at 99%. Or maybe the game is not using the hyper threaded cores and showing CPU usage lower than 99%? But it should not be the issue in 2016.

    Try disabling the v-sync and see how much the framerates drop at those certain situations. Also install the latest driver (that doesn't try to kill your PC).
    lol.. i see what u did there with the driver thingy im on the latest stable driver already.
    And yeah i did try a whole lot of combo with v-syncs, tripple buffer, d3doverrider and so forth..
    It feels weird to me that both these games i tried so far presented with bad opt?!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Tagging @Trave160 @Rawkill @aayman @Fox Mulder @error @Codex @salmanshah @Ehsas @minitt for help.

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    Playing Fallout 4, I can say is thanks to mods sh!t got easier for me even with the new patch. I think you should also check your HDD, it could be a data reading issue for Fallout 4, not saying the same for AC Black Flag. Also who in the blue hell nowadays uses 1333Mhz bus speed RAM? Get 1600Mhz or higher

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    Quote Originally Posted by shohag2018 View Post
    lol.. i see what u did there with the driver thingy im on the latest stable driver already.
    And yeah i did try a whole lot of combo with v-syncs, tripple buffer, d3doverrider and so forth..
    It feels weird to me that both these games i tried so far presented with bad opt?!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Tagging @Trave160 @Rawkill @aayman @Fox Mulder @error @Codex @salmanshah @Ehsas @minitt for help.
    in most games ur GTX970 will be the bottleneck not the 870 if overclock is down well. Trying ocing it to 4.0. it should run at 4.0 ghz quite comfortably, assuming u have an aftermarket hs

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trave160 View Post
    Playing Fallout 4, I can say is thanks to mods sh!t got easier for me even with the new patch. I think you should also check your HDD, it could be a data reading issue for Fallout 4, not saying the same for AC Black Flag. Also who in the blue hell nowadays uses 1333Mhz bus speed RAM? Get 1600Mhz or higher
    What are those?
    Im on SSD samsung EVO.
    Seriously should i make this upgrade?! coz i dont think thats going to matter like..at all!!

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by minitt View Post
    in most games ur GTX970 will be the bottleneck not the 870 if overclock is down well. Trying ocing it to 4.0. it should run at 4.0 ghz quite comfortably, assuming u have an aftermarket hs
    Here is to hoping for better days with dx12.. done it already, i have TT Frio OCK, altho my h55 isnt as good an overclocker as ur p55s, after 3.8ghz i have to loose the Hyperthreading in order for the OC to be stable. But yeah i can do 4ghz easy under 75c.

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    @shohag2018 about the ram, dual channel or single channel config?

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    Quote Originally Posted by kaziishan View Post
    @shohag2018 about the ram, dual channel or single channel config?
    Name:  Capture.JPG
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    ^Good question, also watch DigitalFoundry videos, they pointed out that open world games like the ones you mentioned rely on memory bandwidth rate so playing at higher bus speed is kind of essential nowadays

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trave160 View Post
    ^Good question, also watch DigitalFoundry videos, they pointed out that open world games like the ones you mentioned rely on memory bandwidth rate so playing at higher bus speed is kind of essential nowadays
    yes i follow DF on youtube two. But here r two things that came to my mind after watching that vid - firstly, except for that one game (that i am sure i ll never play, where the frame gains were almost 2x, all other games showed little gain(however, this was the first time anybody was able to demonstrate that faster rams do have an effect in gaming nowadays.) but that's too low an achievement for me to upgrade to, if i upgrade, i better do it to ddr4 platform, simply Bcoz even in DF's test methodology they didnt mention nything about a (1600-1333mhz)= 267mhz upgrade gain. Most of their performance boost was demonstrated above 2100mhz rams AFAICR.

    And secondly and more importantly, that little experiment seemed pointless to me, coz who would have a cheap CPU coupled with fast high performance rams?! ..people with budget cpus, tend to have budget rams as well in most cases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shohag2018 View Post
    Name:  Capture.JPG
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    I do not have any experience with first gen core series. However, OC your CPU at as far as you can push (within safety) as minitt bro said and borrow some 1600 or higher speed RAMs as Trave160 bro said. Try to get 16GB of RAM (I think it could be an important factor). Test as many games as possible with your default setup and then test the same games with the new OC and RAMs. If there is any bottleneck, you will know right away.
    Last edited by kaziishan; March 17th, 2016 at 00:17.

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    Higher clocked RAMs give huge benefits in CPU bound situations.

    http://www.overclock.net/t/1487162/a...head-scenarios

    And I can attest to those results myself, I upgraded to 2400Mhz RAMs just for fun and wasn't expecting to see such a big difference.

    Also, you should try unparking your CPU http://coderbag.com/Programming-C/CP...arking-manager

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    Quote Originally Posted by aayman View Post
    Higher clocked RAMs give huge benefits in CPU bound situations.

    http://www.overclock.net/t/1487162/a...head-scenarios

    And I can attest to those results myself, I upgraded to 2400Mhz RAMs just for fun and wasn't expecting to see such a big difference.

    Also, you should try unparking your CPU http://coderbag.com/Programming-C/CP...arking-manager
    Thanks for ur input. ithink i need to get meself some of that 6th gen next!

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    if i know what i am talking about of course 1st gen i7 will bottleneck a gpu like 970... even 2nd/3rd gen i7 will bottleneck 980Ti in some games
    about framerate dropping...
    i dont know about fallout but black flag was well optimised... i am not sure why framerate drops in black flag with an i7
    Last edited by furiousTaher; March 17th, 2016 at 10:57.

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    I am OCing my rams and tightening the timings a bit lets see what happens ..

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    Both of these games are terribly optimized.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fox Mulder View Post
    Both of these games are terribly optimized.
    Ok. Will see how others perform.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shohag2018 View Post
    Thanks for ur input. ithink i need to get meself some of that 6th gen next!
    please don't. wait a year. try increasing the clock speed of your RAM. and your problem is preety weird will ask someone because seen several cases where the guy has 970 and i7 950 and faced no bottlenecks aside from in games like total war Atilla.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shohag2018 View Post
    What are those?
    Im on SSD samsung EVO.
    Seriously should i make this upgrade?! coz i dont think thats going to matter like..at all!!

    - - - Updated - - -



    Here is to hoping for better days with dx12.. done it already, i have TT Frio OCK, altho my h55 isnt as good an overclocker as ur p55s, after 3.8ghz i have to loose the Hyperthreading in order for the OC to be stable. But yeah i can do 4ghz easy under 75c.
    Majority of the games do not benefit from ht.

    try disabling all power saving feature in bios, virtual tech etc.

    Dont use dynamic vcore. Let me know if u need my settings in details.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ehsas View Post
    please don't. wait a year. try increasing the clock speed of your RAM. and your problem is preety weird will ask someone because seen several cases where the guy has 970 and i7 950 and faced no bottlenecks aside from in games like total war Atilla.
    I too have opted for holding onto it for the moment. Except for the mobo+cpu+ram all other upgrade is complete, even the casing! I really want to spend my money wisely. Pls do let me know if u find sth, id really appreciate it.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by minitt View Post
    Majority of the games do not benefit from ht.

    try disabling all power saving feature in bios, virtual tech etc.

    Dont use dynamic vcore. Let me know if u need my settings in details.
    Dont have dynamic voltage in my mobo at all, its either auto or manual
    and yeah i already did all that u mentioned while ocing beyond 4 ghz. No mentionable gain

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Ehsas View Post
    please don't. wait a year. try increasing the clock speed of your RAM. and your problem is preety weird will ask someone because seen several cases where the guy has 970 and i7 950 and faced no bottlenecks aside from in games like total war Atilla.
    I Oced the rams a little while keeping the default CL9 timings. and turned off god rays and shadow distances in ACIV and FO4 respectively. Now getting 50+ fps in both the games. dont know which helped, but it is what it is i guess-
    Click image for larger version. 

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