Hardware and Gaming Questions/What is my bottleneck?

#1 Posted by S0mewh4tD4m4ged (348 posts) -

I have been having issues playing certain new games on my PC. I have an older system that I built back in 2008 and just recently got a new video card. I have been having issues playing Battlefield 3, Crysis 3, and Far Cry 3. I know those 3 games are higher end games but I should be able to play those with a consistent 45-60 fps on low to medium settings at 1080p.

I have played Hitman: Absolution, DMC and Dead Space 3 basically maxed out and get 60-200 fps consistently on those games.

I'm not sure if I have a bottleneck or what. I have cleaned up my PC and set my video card drivers for performance over quality. I only have 40-45 processes running in the background on Windows 7 while I play games. I normally use Fraps to see my FPS.

Here is my system:

I might need to do a reformat because I haven't in about a year. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

#2 Posted by killacam (1278 posts) -

dat processor and ram yo.

#3 Edited by Karkarov (3291 posts) -

I am surprised you can even run windows 7 well with only 4 gig of memory, forget about games on good settings. Even the PS4 will have more ram than your pc does and it doesn't even run a real OS. You need at least 8 gig of ram, to upgrade your motherboard so you can get an i5, and getting a hard drive that can do better than 7200 rpm either through raiding or by getting a 10k rpm/ssd is going to help too. Though I would not say the hard drive change is "required".

Your graphics card is basically wasted, every other component is holding it back from getting anywhere near it's actual performance level.

#4 Posted by Subjugation (4743 posts) -

Definitely processor and ram. I'd be more concerned with the processor, but ram is so cheap that you may as well take care of it too.

#5 Posted by Ben_H (3444 posts) -

Processor and RAM. Video card is plenty powerful for most games but slow DDR2 RAM and a rather antiquated processor will be holding you back at this point.

#6 Posted by djou (878 posts) -

As other have said, processor and ram, but before you upgrade either I would do some research on how new components would fit into your motherboard. A 2008 MB is pretty old and you may run into compatibility issues. The GTX 670 will last you a while but the other stuff needs to come up to par.

#7 Edited by Ubersmake (754 posts) -

I'm in a similar situation with an older processor, a Core 2 Duo E8400, and 4GB of DDR2 RAM, running with an ATI HD 5800-series card (can't recall the exact number). Why that card? Because it was on sale about a year ago. Everything on my machine is bottlenecking that card.

The problem is that I'll need a new motherboard if I were to upgrade my processor. Nothing's going to fit into an LGA 775 socket anymore, and my motherboard doesn't even do DDR3 RAM. But I can't justify upgrading the motherboard, because I'm perfectly content with the performance I'm getting out of games. I don't get 60+ FPS out of the newest titles, but ~45 is fine with me. And with the new generation of consoles coming out, I'm waiting to see what PC games will be requiring post-PS4 and Durango, and then I'll build a new system.

#8 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

Jesus, that processor. You need to upgrade to the current generation of chipsets. Even a Sandy/Ivy Bridge Dual core with lower clocks would be a vast improvement. Get a new Mobo and processor, and if you can afford it, RAM. If not, you'll be able to afford it soon enough, and just pick up 8GB of DDR3.

Also, Far Cry 3 hates GTX600s. I have a freakin' well overclocked GTX680 and still can't get the bastard to run well. From what I've heard the game just isn't a fan of the 600 series of cards.

#9 Edited by believer258 (12210 posts) -

@karkarov said:

I am surprised you can even run windows 7 well with only 4 gig of memory, forget about games on good settings. Even the PS4 will have more ram than your pc does and it doesn't even run a real OS. You need at least 8 gig of ram, to upgrade your motherboard so you can get an i5, and getting a hard drive that can do better than 7200 rpm either through raiding or by getting a 10k rpm/ssd is going to help too. Though I would not say the hard drive change is "required".

Your graphics card is basically wasted, every other component is holding it back from getting anywhere near it's actual performance level.

Wait, Windows 7 runs A-OK on 4GB of RAM. It usually only uses up around a gig and a half, at least it did when I had a (well-maintained, I might add) laptop, leaving the other two and a half for everything else. If you're not playing games or running Photoshop or whatever, that's more than enough.

On topic, if you have the money I would suggest putting the graphics card back in the box and then ordering a whole new rig. That processor is really old, and processors fit motherboards, so I would bet that your whole computer except for the card is pretty old too.

#10 Posted by Devildoll (912 posts) -

@karkarov said:

I am surprised you can even run windows 7 well with only 4 gig of memory, forget about games on good settings. Even the PS4 will have more ram than your pc does and it doesn't even run a real OS. You need at least 8 gig of ram, to upgrade your motherboard so you can get an i5, and getting a hard drive that can do better than 7200 rpm either through raiding or by getting a 10k rpm/ssd is going to help too. Though I would not say the hard drive change is "required".

Your graphics card is basically wasted, every other component is holding it back from getting anywhere near it's actual performance level.

Wait, Windows 7 runs A-OK on 4GB of RAM. It usually only uses up around a gig and a half, at least it did when I had a (well-maintained, I might add) laptop, leaving the other two and a half for everything else. If you're not playing games or running Photoshop or whatever, that's more than enough.

On topic, if you have the money I would suggest putting the graphics card back in the box and then ordering a whole new rig. That processor is really old, and processors fit motherboards, so I would bet that your whole computer except for the card is pretty old too.

Yeah, and even BF3 is running a 32 bit executable, so the max it'll eat up on it's own is 2 GB's.

4 GB's is low by todays standards, ram is so cheap that people buy 8 or 16 even if they dont need it, but it's the aging quad core is what's actually hindering his 670 from performing.

#11 Edited by Corvak (1173 posts) -

The poor GTX 670 spends all its time waiting for the CPU to tell it what to do :)

I'd suggest a new CPU, Motherboard, and RAM (all new boards use DDR3 these days). Get 8GB or more of DDR3 preferably 1600mhz.

I did a similar upgrade a couple years ago, my old CPU and board are still working perfectly as a home server/network storage box.

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