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Do you need higher CPU speed to play at higher graphics settings in games?

By Goebbels
Jul 30, 2012
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  1. Hello.
    I have this new PC:
    CPU: I-5 2500 (without the 'k') @ 3.3Ghz
    GPU: ASUS GTX 580 direct cu II overclocked to 878 Mhz
    Motherboard: Intel DH67CL
    RAM: APACER 8GB DDR3 @ 1333 Mhz

    I was trying to play Rome: Total War (a game made way back in 2004) at max settings and at 1600x900 resolution (which is the max resolution of my monitor) and I get an average framerate of 20 fps, often even lower. So I checked GPU usage during the game, turns out it never reached 20%. But when I lowered the graphics settings, the fps immediately jumped to 60. As far as I can tell from task manager, there seems to be high CPU usage during gaming, but it doesn't tell how much exactly. So does this mean higher graphics settings require faster CPU clocks and not just a faster GPU? Or does it just mean there's a stability problem with my PC that's affecting its performance?
  2. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Guru Posts: 636   +117

    What power supply do you have?
  3. slh28

    slh28 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,925   +170

    It sounds more like a software issue, the i5 2500 will easily handle any game on the market today, never mind one from 2004.
  4. Goebbels

    Goebbels TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    That still doesn't answer the question though.
    And I'm not sure about the i5 2500 handling any game ever made, in Starcraft 2 in the campaign I sometimes get drops to 30fps, and in multiplayer when the amount of units on a map reaches 600 the framerate drops to 7 fps, regardless of graphics settings.
  5. Goebbels

    Goebbels TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    (come to think of it none of my games recognize my system and they all set graphics setting by default to medium or low, and I always have to set graphics settings to high manually for every game)
  6. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Guru Posts: 636   +117

    Well, to start I would make sure that all your drivers are updated. If you have there is the possibility that your are using the onboard graphics and not your videocard.
  7. Goebbels

    Goebbels TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    All drivers for the motherboard and GPU are up to date; and no I'm not using onboard graphics, the drivers for it aren't even installed.
  8. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Guru Posts: 636   +117

    Ok, just had to cover the more obvious things, just in case ;D Do you know what power supply you have installed?
  9. Goebbels

    Goebbels TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    It's an 875 Watts thermaltake toughpower 80Plus certfied bronze.
  10. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TS Addict Posts: 889   +171

    The I5-2500 isn't the bottleneck here. The i5-2500 should provide similar performance to stock-clocked i5-2500k. Which most people will agree is one of the best gaming CPU's on the market. Has your FPS always been low? I recommend uninstalling your GPU drivers and doing a clean install. I doubt it is anything wrong with your hardware. Download GPUz to see if your graphics card is actually being used and it isn't some integrated one. Can also see if it is running at the appropriate clocks.
  11. Goebbels

    Goebbels TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    You'd think that while playing modern games like half life 2 at max settings I would have noticed, if using onboard graphics, that the games are running as slideshows? Anyway I can't even install the drivers for the onboard graphics, whenever I try to install the the Intel graphics driver from the motherboard website I get an error message "This computer does not meet the minimum requirements for installing this software", so I don't think I even have any onboard graphics on the mobo.

    I know for a fact that if there's something wrong with a new computer, the solution is often the simplest one which nobody would ever think of, except for some really computer savvy people.
     
  12. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Guru Posts: 636   +117

    Believe it or not half-life 2 was released way back in 2004 as well.
  13. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TS Addict Posts: 889   +171

    Are you using the PCI-E x16 slot for your GPU?
  14. Goebbels

    Goebbels TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    yes
  15. Goebbels

    Goebbels TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Now can someone ignore all this crap the thread has been filled with and answer the original question?
  16. Ranger12

    Ranger12 TS Guru Posts: 636   +117

    Well we were just trying to help with your situation. I an answer your question but it's not going to solve anything. Higher graphics will most often be more CPU intensive but as blkfx1 pointed out an i5 2500 is more than adequate to play any game. I know because I have an i5 2500k and they're nearly identical. There is definitely something up with your system as it should be able to handle the games you mentioned. We don't anything about you or your experience with computers so we have to cover the basics.

    Now if you'd like we can work on getting your system ship shape :D
  17. Goebbels

    Goebbels TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Okay what information do you need?

    I ran 3DMark 11 basic edition performance preset, this is the score I got:
    http://3dmark.com/3dm11/4006731
    (I removed the GPU overclock because it makes 3DMark 11 crash)
    The CPU score was 6421, that's 20.38 fps. Since you also have the i5-2500(k), could you run 3DMark 11 at stock speed (3.3 Ghz) and tell me what physics score you get? (run the performance preset, the CPU test will be where large stone spheres are jumping on pillars)

    Edit: It might be useful to mention again that no games recognize my system, so they set graphics settings to medium or low by default.
  18. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,313   +12

    Your system should give you sixty FPS or greater in either Rome: Total War or Half Life 2 without breaking a sweat just normally clocked. You should not have to overclock your CPU or GPU to get good frame rates with either of those games.

    Now both Rome: Total War & Half Life 2 are old games, and many software titles simply take a look at the installed equipment and screen resolution then set the eye candy based on a set of conditions/equipment that was created shortly before the title was published. I'm sure neither of those games ever anticipated a CPU or GPU as powerful as you have, so I'm sure none of your equipment will match their set of conditions/equipment. It is weird that that all games do the same thing on your computer, which tells me something is up with your install. I don't think that the games you are installing can actually see the equipment you have installed.

    What's really up, I don't know. I'd uninstall all of the chipset and video drivers and then reboot into safe more. I'd then use a utility like Driver Sweeper and clean every every last remnant out and then reboot the computer and then reinstall the chipset drivers and then reboot and install the video driver.

    http://www.techspot.com/downloads/4266-driver-sweeper.html

    Higher frame rates require both. They require a good CPU and a good GPU. The fastest GPU on earth will give you good frame rates with a dual core processor, but it will give you great frame rates with a quad core or better. A quad core processor or better will give you terrible frame rates with a non-gaming GPU, but you'll get great frame rates if you install a good gaming video card. You already have a great CPU and a great GPU, so you either have a configuration or software issue assuming all hardware is working properly.

    Sorry, I edited this post a bunch as things popped into my head. :)
  19. Goebbels

    Goebbels TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    The games that don't recognize my system also include new games like Amnesia: The Dark Descent (2011) and Fallout 3 (2009), both of which perform horribly with random split second freezes, stuttering, and regular framerate drops to 30 fps. They also set the graphics setting to medium or low by default.
  20. Goebbels

    Goebbels TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    May God forgive you
  21. Cinders

    Cinders TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,313   +12

    I have an old Q9550, an HD5870, 8GB of GSkill @ 1066MHz running on a P35 motherboard with a working install of Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit. Nothing is overclocked.

    Well, I tried Amnesia: The Dark Decent because it was the newest game you listed and I have easy access to the demo.

    After it installed I ran the executable and the options dialog box popped up. Initially the video options were set on medium, so I pressed the detect button and then the game set the video options to high. I had to set the screen resolution manually from 1024 X 768 to 1920 X 1080, and I lowered the gamma slider until I could barely see the white square, and I started to play.

    I didn't notice any freezing or stuttering as I followed the "blood" trail along the hall. I started to collect tinder boxes in the various rooms and closets, but I stopped and turned back around as I neared the top of the first set of stairs because I didn't want the "thingy" at the top of the stairs to scare the hell out of me. :) Ultimately I went back to the room closest to the stairs and saved and quit the game.

    I was just wondering if you had a similar install experience when you first installed the game
  22. LNCPapa

    LNCPapa TS Special Forces Posts: 4,306   +265

    I don't think you can go by what Anmesia finds - here's what it thought of my system
    [​IMG]

    That's after I hit the Detect button. I've never actually played the game but I doubt it's going to be overly demanding for my rig.
  23. Goebbels

    Goebbels TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    And I'm only playing at 1600x900 and I keep getting random freezing and fps dips. What the heck am I supposed to do now? Only games made at the time of Half Life 2 and before work fine (except for Rome: Total War).

    Edit: And again, Starcraft 2 and Fallout 3 don't recognize my system either.
  24. Blkfx1

    Blkfx1 TS Addict Posts: 889   +171

    Have you done any of the clean re-installs of drivers or even windows as we suggested?
  25. Goebbels

    Goebbels TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 46

    Yes and as usual it doesn't work.

    Still waiting for Ranger to do the 3DMark 11 test on his CPU


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