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Author Topic: How do you determine bottlenecks in your system?  (Read 610 times)
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Teggy
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« on: February 17, 2012, 04:03:10 PM »

So I built my first PC back in January and am trying to learn how I will be upgrading it and fine tuning it over time.

I have a Phenom II X4 cpu and a 560 Ti. Game performance varies a lot - for example, F.E.A.R. performs like ass, while Crysis actually works pretty great. Game to game I do experience a fair amount of tearing. I know tearing is generally dealt with by turning on vert sync, but my understanding is that vert sync is for when you are consistenly getting over 60 fps (or 30, I suppose).

So I'm wondering if there are tools to determine how your cpu and gpu are performing at certain times, and if your cpu is holding back your gpu at times?
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 04:05:46 PM »

I'd start with Futuremark's tests if I had concerns.
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« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 04:09:10 PM »

+1 to grim's suggestion.
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« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 04:27:15 PM »

I would suggest having a look at some of the reviews one aces like guru3d or Anandtech and the like where they test one configuration with a bunch of different games. I know they will sometimes talk about how certain games tend to be limited by one thing or another. Perhaps looking up some results for your video card might be useful. And you can compare you're future,ark results to theirs if you want.
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TheAtomicKid
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« Reply #4 on: February 20, 2012, 04:17:45 AM »

The tools are of course, the individual benchmarks for different games, futuremark, etc.

One good way to check on your cpu/gpu, is to UNDERCLOCK your cpu, and see how much, if any, your gpu performance degrades. (underclocking being much safer than overclocking, naturally)

if you downclock your cpu and performance doesn't come down, it means you need more gpu power. If you downclock your cpu and your gpu drops a tiny bit, you're pretty closely matched, assuming you underclock your cpu by a tiny bit to check.

And of course, if it drops the gpu performance by a lot, it means you need more cpu horsepower.

Gentle overclocking in the other direction will confirm what you need, if you feel up to it.

There will of course be some slight variational tendencies, in the direction you change the clock on your cpu. Aka if you speed up your cpu by 10%, you might get +1% from your gpu anyways, even if you're already 'maxed out' on the gpu. Think of the two performance curves in comparison to one another. Once you're past the 'sweet spot' of cpu/gpu ratio, you'll still get some increase, but it will be a case of declining returns.

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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2012, 02:34:16 PM »

Quote from: Teggy on February 17, 2012, 04:03:10 PM

but my understanding is that vert sync is for when you are consistenly getting over 60 fps (or 30, I suppose).

This isn't quite true. Here's how it works (more or less):

Your monitor is quite likely running at 60 Hz. This means that if your computer sends it 60 frames per second they will all render perfectly. The same goes for 30 FPS, where each frame will stay on the screen for two "frames" seen from the monitor's perspective. You can keep halving this value. If running without vsync, any deviation from these exact values means a frame may start drawing before the last one is finished, showing a mishmash of two or more different frames on the screen at once. To combat this phenomenon you can enable vsync which locks your framerate to the ones mentioned above. The monitor will display the amount of frames per second equal to the first lower value below what you're capable of transmitting. This means that if you're capable of rendering at 70 FPS, you will be locked at 60. If you dip below 60 you'll suddenly be locked at 30 FPS until you can get above 60 again. The same goes for dipping below 30. The result is that you risk getting dramatically lower framerates than your computer is capable of handling when you turn vsync on, but the picture will remain clean and you will also prevent your graphics card from rendering way too much data during less intensive scenes, which could lead to overheating. You will also experience much more obvious dips in framerate during high-intensity scenes. If you're hovering around one of these exact values, vsync may become jarring as a dip of 2 FPS could end up being an actual dip of 30 FPS once the lock takes effect.
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