Where is my bottleneck?

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EmoHz
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Joined: 06/28/2011
Posts: 44

(Your all going to laugh maybe, the weirdest setup?)

Well, story goes a friend gave me a Emachines Et1331G-03w. Ended up getting a free 650w PSU from a buddy in the navy and figured Id throw that in there (Cooler Master 650). Had all that extra power and nothing to use it. So i got another Sata disk drive and began making copies of cd's and dvd's i had for back ups. That soon got finished since I had 2 disk drives and not that big of a collection.

Now, before all this I was an avid xbox 360 gamer. I had the whole shibang! 360 Slim with 3 wireless controllers. DX 11 headset, almost every COD, Forza, and a few others I cant remember off hand. Also took an old 120GB Hdd from a loptop and stuck that in my 360 slim! Anyways, I traded this whole setup for a single EVGA GTX 570! Guess what I did with that? =D

So my OEM machine is now:
6GB DDR2
AMD Athlon II x2 @2.7GHZ (235e power saving cpu)
GTX 570
650W psu
1 DVD/CD drive
1 750GB HDD + 1x 350GB HDD

I ended up having to take out the other dvd drive as the sata ports were mostly blocked by the card. My HDD bay luckily was removable and sits outside of the case on my dresser.

The box performs well. Sort of. I can play a lot of older dx9 games all maxed out (don't try me, i got my drivers!) but newer games such as COD: Black ops and Battle Field: BC2 have to stay on minimum to barely keep above 30 fps.

My next two upgrades (when i can save enough money, job isn't ideal) are a case for better ventilation to the GPU and a new motherboard. DDR3 is cheap now so I wanted to find a mobo that would support the CPU i have now but also be welcoming to newer chips in the future. I also have to get a case first to fit this mobo in anyways!

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813131736&cm_re=990-_-13-131-736-_-Product

Im not sure of the case just yet, but my end goal is to run an amd/sli configuration.

But right now, what is my bottleneck? Will upgrading a Mobo and switching to DDR3 ram be enough? (plus a slight over clock on the dual core i have now) Or do i seriously need a new processor?

OPENTOSUGGESTIONS

Little BaBy JESUS
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Joined: 12/06/2010
Posts: 13

That CPU is very weak for gaming. Upgrading your RAM and motherboard will do very little for your performance. However, obviously it is necessary to upgrade your motherboard and RAM in order to upgrade your CPU.

For games such as BC2 (and newer), a good quad core is what you should be looking at. Your best option would probably be to wait until AMD's Bulldozer CPU range comes out and then grab the best price/performance quad core from Intel's Sandybridge or AMD's Bulldozer range.

So since you're running an OEM case. I would buy a case, and then wait for AMD's new CPUs and then buy the best CPU/Mobo/RAM you can afford.

Gaming PC: i7 930@4Ghz, Noctua NH-U12P SE2, ASUS P6X58D-E, 2x Sapphire 2GB HD6970s in Crossfire, 12GB 1600Mhz G.Skill Ripjaws, 160GB OCZ Vertex 2 SSD, 3x Samsung 1TB F3, 1x Samsung 2TB F4, Corsair 650D, Corsair AX-850.

eire1274
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Actually, I agree. That doesn't happen very often!

E-Machine PCs always seem to be rather weak, and prone to failure, but the part that usually burns out first is the power supply, and you have already replaced that.

Next problem is the ultra compact cases they use. Sounds like you've worked your way past that, too, by removing the drive bay.

Now, the processor I wouldn't call weak, but the catch with the 200e series chips is that they downthrottle using Cool'N'Quiet, and this feature is NOT something that can be turned off, so when you start a game, you have 5.4Ghz of CPU power, but as heat rises, you may end up with both cores down to 1Ghz, and you will see the crunch. So, for sake of saving money, look at a much better CPU cooler to keep those temps down.

Now, DDR2 isn't bad memory. I'm still using it myself. The catch is that it is getting more and more expensive as DDR3 (and soon DDR4) become more popular with the chip manufacturers. But you have 6Gb, so it will be a while before that really needs to be replaced. Question: is any of that stock memory, or has it all been replaced with faster after-market DIMMs?

Now, the mobo is an nVidia 6150E based AM3. I do not know the manufacturer, but it looks like a Foxconn to me. It seems OK... my major complaint is that the SATA ports are right in line with the PCI-e 16x slot, which just jumbles everything else up. But 90° SATA cables can get you around this.

So, personal advice, you have already looked at the case as an option, and that is good thinking. I mentioned the CPU cooler. Your board would happily take better CPUs, so you may want to look at an Athlon II X4 or a Phenom II X4 as a temporary stopgap to keep the processing ability up. But don't do that until you have more space and air as the new case will offer.

Once you start looking at CPU/mobo/RAM, you are going to NEED a new case, cooler, etc., so the determination is how much you want to spend and when.

Nick McDermott

EmoHz
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Posts: 44

@ Erie The ram is still OEM. As for upgrading my chip first, I think the board is a 45w limit. But I have heard from others that they have 65w chips and they work fine. This wont damage anything will it? And how much faster is DDR3 than DDR2? And I am already using two 90 angle sata cables, the only way i could get the card in. 1 sata port is still blocked though and a 90 angled sata cable would not fit there. Not to worry, I dont need it anyways.

I was going to get a case today, but was reminded by the wife that I had a speeding ticket to pay D=

eire1274
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Okay, RAM upgrade would be a big winner, then. Getting some 1066Mhz memory, that would likely show a significant performance boost.

That board will handle up to 125W processors, provided that you are running a higher wattage PSU with the 24+4 connectors. 65W was actually pushing the 12V rail that the stock PSU was capable of handling, and of course the stock heatsink and fan are garbage and not intended for a serious processor. I've seen a couple people who have put Phenom II X6 BE chips on it successfully.

Slow DDR3 is slower than fast DDR2. The biggest thing to remember is to look at CAS delay times. DDR3 often commonly runs at 9, while smaller CAS cycles will cost you major bucks. Remember that DDR2 800 with a CAS delay of 4 will often run at the same speed as DDR3 1600 with a CAS 9. The "frequency" really only counts in burst sequential reads, and typically memory is randomly read, and CAS cycling refers to what we would call head seek on a hard disk. If the memory is waiting 9 cycles to find the memory for the system, that is wasted time, and can really kill the performance of otherwise fast memory.

DDR3 is better in theory, but the chips being manufactured for the price bracket most people are buying in haven't markedly pushed past DDR2. Same thing happened with the DDR to DDR2 changeover... it took a while for the new standard to really be better overall.

Want some smoking memory that will give you DDR3-like performance, try these:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820104098

I usually don't recommend Kingston memory for gaming systems, but I've used these before with great success, and they aren't that expensive. Two sets would give you 8Gb.

Anyway, good luck. The biggest thing that drives me nuts is the position of the SATA ports... who the hell designed that board? LOL!

Nick McDermott

EmoHz
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Awesome, I thought it was the Motherboard that had a limit to 45w cpu. Was thinking something might burn up after I pass 45w. Im contemplating getting that mother board or case first and just getting the x6 and two orders of that ram. Hopefully this OEM board wont have any issues with either. I just got paid for building a little desktop for someone so I will be sure to head out to Compusa tomorrow and compare the prices.

Either way, I will end up getting that board and running 2 or 3 way sli GTX 570s and liquid cool them. =D

And yeah, this board is junk!

eire1274
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EmoHz wrote:Either way, I will end up getting that board and running 2 or 3 way sli GTX 570s and liquid cool them. =D

Uh, how? That board only has one 16x slot.

Nick McDermott

EmoHz
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eire1274
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Following up (after an 11 day break from the internet... mostly) and that Asus board is not junk.

It ain't great, but I guarantee I could find you worse boards out there. It has the 990FX chipset, that in and of itself opens a huge bracket of upgrading in the future!

Nick McDermott

Vortex2012
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Well I haven't read all of the posts, but your processor is definitely your problem. If you can throw a better cpu in there like a Phenom II 955 or a 1090T and then slap a nice cpu cooler on it, then you would definitely see a significant improvement in performance. Now if that means you want to upgrade your motherboard and ram as well then that's totally up to you, but your first priority should be your cpu. You might want to wait for Bulldozer too, but that's also up to you and how long you want to wait.

Also keep in mind that if you end up replacing your motherboard that you're going to have to reinstall Windows.

"eire1274 wrote:Following up (after an 11 day break from the internet... mostly) and that Asus board is not junk.

It ain't great, but I guarantee I could find you worse boards out there. It has the 990FX chipset, that in and of itself opens a huge bracket of upgrading in the future!"

I don't know what you're talking about. The Sabertooth boards are nice. Sure there are better out there but not many, and a lot of people could do without a lot of the extra features on the "better" boards anyway.

Intel Core i7 2600K @4.8Ghz | Corsair H100 push/pull | MSI Z68-GD80 | 8GB G.Skill RipjawsX @1600mhz 7-8-7-24 | 2x MSI GTX 580 Lightning Xtreme Editions in SLI | 240GB Patriot Wildfire SSD | 2x 1TB WD Caviar Black in RAID 0 (2TB) | 320GB Hitachi Deskstar | LG Bluray Drive | ASUS Xonar Essence STX | Polk Audio 2.1 speaker system | Sennheiser 558 headphones | Corsair AX1200 | Cooler Master HAF X | Windows 7 Professional 64-bit | Acer P243W 24" monitor (1920x1200)

eire1274
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Vortex2012 wrote:I don't know what you're talking about. The Sabertooth boards are nice. Sure there are better out there but not many, and a lot of people could do without a lot of the extra features on the "better" boards anyway.

I've had a couple Sabertooth boards come to me with burned VCUs. Typically a blown capacitor, and Asus often doesn't want to RMA because they try to pass the issue off to the PSU manufacturer. I've lost a lot of faith in Asus recently due to crazy arguments I've had with their staff.

Feature wise, they are great, but I'd take a complementarity configured Gigabyte over it based on the stability Gigabyte has been producing with their latest products. I have had ZERO Gigabytes come in with VCU issues.

Nick McDermott

Tivon
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Gigabyte boards are good, I just wish they would fix my problem of reboot booting loops when overclock and using stand-by. I've had a few issues with Asus motherboards in the past, never had to deal with them personally for RMA's.

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Tivon
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I will back up the others here.. "AMD Athlon II x2" is rather weak these days for games.

EmoHz
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Yeah, I will get a new cpu before motherbored then. But i see nothing wrong with the motherboard i chose to purchase.

If you can find a better bored that supports sli, please let me know.

eire1274
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Well, on the new 990FX boards, I'm hearing great things on the Sabertooth VCUs. Very high quality MOSFET conversion systems. So they may have corrected what issues I've had with them. New design, remains to be seen.

I'm prepping for a Bulldozer system, and I am looking at one of the two Gigabyte boards below. Both support SLI and have TONS of overclocking and expansion capability.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128509 -$189.99
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813128508 -$249.99 (Holy Jesus!)

Nick McDermott