TechSpot

Severe frame rate issues and 2nd rail 3.3v drops to 3.28v

By Chaos Prime
Mar 3, 2008
Topic Status:
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  1. Hi guys, this is my first post here though i have been browsing for some time now. I have a problem as the title suggests. I built a PC over the last 2 months and was devastated today when i finall got my GFX card through and installed it, my fps was extremely bad and at shoot off scenes it was dropping to single digits.

    Here is my Spec:
    Operating System: Windows Vistaâ„¢ Ultimate
    Motherboard: M2R32-MVP
    Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2
    Processor: AMD Phenom(tm) 9500 Quad-Core Processor (4 CPUs), ~2.3GHz
    Hard Disk Drive: Raptor 37GB
    Memory: 2046MB RAM DDR2
    Power Supply: 600watt
    Sound: Onboard Sound
    Page File: 1319MB used, 2991MB available
    Windows Dir: C:\Windows
    DirectX Version: DirectX 10
    DX Setup Parameters: Not found
    DxDiag Version: 6.00.6000.16386 32bit Unicode


    The game Crysis on this configuration even when everything is set to normal is unplayable due to frame rate dropping considerably. Now you may say that Crysis is a very demanding game and thats fine but a friend of mine as the following spec

    Operating System: Windows XP Professional
    Motherboard: M3A32-MVP DELUXE
    Graphics Card: ATI Radeon HD 3870
    Processor: AMD Phenom(tm) 9600 Quad-Core Processor, MMX, 3DNow (4 CPUs), ~2.4GHz
    Hard Disk Drive: Raptor 150GB
    Memory: 2048MB RAM DDR2
    Power Supply: 720watt
    Sound: SB Audigy 2 ZS Audio [E800]
    Page File: 748MB used, 3191MB available
    Windows Dir: C:\WINDOWS
    DirectX Version: DirectX 9.0c (4.09.0000.0904)
    DX Setup Parameters: Not found
    DxDiag Version: 5.03.2600.2180 32bit Unicode

    With his spec Crysis runs very good. In areas where not much is happening his PC runs an average of 45f/s where as mine averages at around 25f/s and his in areas where multiple enemies are shooting at him drops to around 20f/s where min drops to about 3-4f/s.

    I have no idea why this is the way it is. If anything our PC's are at a very similar spec, but yet his set up performs wonders against mine.

    Also to note i struggled to find actual drivers for my gfx card, and even with the driver CD that came with the GFX card i still got a error during install, due to the Southbridge not being prresent or not being able to be seen.

    I personally believe it to be either the HDD, PSU or the MOBO, but im no computer whizz and have limited knowledge in this field though i do know my way around the PC.


    Finally but not least the voltage. I used a software called PC Probe 2 and all volts barring 1 were slightly above normal which i am told is normal. The second rail showcasing 3.3V generally stays at 3.3V but drops to 3.28, especially when i load up Crysis and leave it on the pause screen or the main menu screen.

    Im out of ideas and have decided to seek help. I hope you can help me and together we can sort this problem out :)

    If you require further info please ask away, i have both mine and my friends DXDIAG should you require information from there in part or full

    Thank you for reading my long post and i hope a solution can be found \(^_^)/
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    He's running better hardware with less baggage.

    He's got the 790FX chipset against your 580X, a faster CPU, possibly faster RAM plus his system is relying on the RAM more than yours judging by the swap usage. All the while hes running an OS that requires less system resources.

    Try watering Vista down a bit and maybe get another gig or two of RAM.
  3. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,198

    Also realize that Crysis does have a DirectX 10 path of the game which do provide some visual improvements, but at the cost of some very measurable performance. You can see the improvements by mousing-over the images on this page:
    http://webpages.charter.net/bliss/

    As you can see on this set of benchmarks (which have come up for both NV and ATI with newer drivers), DX10 mode does trail DX9 mode of the game:
    http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1697,2222417,00.asp
  4. Chaos Prime

    Chaos Prime TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Btw thanks for evryone for replying and the comment with the links are a very interesting read (still going through them)

    What you mean by "Watering Vista down"?

    Also What do you suggest changing in order to get better performance? This is really sad considering i built this PC 3 months ago :( But fire away. In order to get better performance what actually needs changing?

    From your comments i gathered:
    Mobo
    Ram

    Possibky
    PSU <------- I thought 600Watts would be enough to run all this :(

    Are tem 3 required to change or is it more than that?

    Also wanted to note on benching software, (3DMARK06) i am actually benching higher than he is which is strange but im guessing its the DX10 freatures which are killing performance?
  5. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    By watering down Vista I mean you can try disabling as many useless processes and services as possible. Maybe even revert to an older GUI.

    You can try and run the game using DX9 and see if it makes a difference, it very well may.

    I can't see why your PSU would have anything to do with this.
  6. Chaos Prime

    Chaos Prime TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply, how do i set the game to run in DX9? is this a setting in game? I have also tried runningthe game in HIGH and MEDIUM and on both accounts im getting unsattisfactory results if thats the proposed method.

    Thanks and changing Vista GUI now ^^
  7. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    You'll need to download and install DirectX 9. I would imagine that DirectX 9 and 10 can co-exist happily on Vista, but you might want to wait or search for confirmation on this.

    I'm not sure how you would run the game using DirectX 9 rather than 10 with them both installed, as I rarely play PC games. I'm sure someone will stroll through here with a suggestion for you :).

    Make use of msconfig.
  8. Chaos Prime

    Chaos Prime TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Cool Cool, im guess the added fact that Specific ATI drivers for my card doesnt exist yet is also a playing factor. The 8.1 cat drivers are seeming to work but the 8.2 are not supported at all.............

    As for my Processor, at stock its 100mhz slower than my mates but im guessing overclocking the processor should be a adequate fix? and yes i have good cooling in my PC :p so thats fine lol

    But still the probllem remains withe the ram and mobo it seems. My Mobo supports ram speed up to 800mhz and i have it running at 800. My friends supports 1066mhz and like me he is capping it. Could it be possible that the mobo to keep up with everything is sucking more juice than it actually needs and thus putting an overall strain on the PSU which in turn is causing the system to lag?

    Just a though.....

    Once agan thanks for all the replies i really appreciate it XD
  9. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    Again, I highly doubt the PSU is causing your system to lag. I can't even see how this is possible.

    Your CPU's core clock frequency may only be 100MHz lower, but take into consideration that there are four cores running 100MHz lower. If you understand the concept of overclocking and feel you can do it safely, go for it.

    With your RAM being 266MHz slower and likely more occupied capacity-wise by your OS, this would probably cause a bottleneck in your system. Significant enough to notice the performance dip that you are? I don't know. I would bet it's a combination of issues, one of them likely being DirectX 10 as Sharkfood hypothesized. The drivers may very well be playing a role as well.

    Before you run out to buy different hardware, try the options that are free to you first. Disable the processes and services that you can, and be patient with waiting for someone to reply to answer the question about using DirectX 9 (or search for yourself ;)).
  10. Chaos Prime

    Chaos Prime TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yup yup Rome was not built in a day as they say lol. Patience is the key. Im not rushing out to buy other parts just yet but i can also understand the 100mhz multiplyer. Essentially he is running 400mhz faster than me lol, time to over clock lmao. Im cool with overclocking, though my board realy does suck at it lol as it doesnt have any multiplyer settings, you haveto increase the FSB in order to overclock. So bit by bit is the key i say. Plus my new heatsink+fan should arrive soon too for my CPU to compensate for the overclocking extra heat.

    But ya i watered down vista to bare minimum, trying to install these stupid drivers and they wont install >< After i have it all up and running, i will post my 3DMARK06 score as well along with the stats incase they can reveal anything that i cant see......
  11. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    The CPU's clock multiplier has been locked for years to prevent resellers from altering the chip's core frequency and selling the chip as a speed faster than it was initially rated for. You will indeed have to increase the external FSB. Take baby steps and have a solid grasp of what you're doing before you make a move.
     
  12. Chaos Prime

    Chaos Prime TS Rookie Topic Starter

    lol im taking smaller than baby steps lmao i know what could happen if things went pair shaped lol, but thanks for the heads up ^^

    Now the waiting game begins to see what others think could be causing this problem............
  13. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,060   +84 Staff Member

    I'd imagine that what has been suggested already is a solid starting point (especially the DirectX 9/10 bit). It's just a matter of remedying each individual cause. I wish I could help you a bit more with that, but as I said, I really don't play PC games (as you can tell by my shiny 9200se :D).
  14. Chaos Prime

    Chaos Prime TS Rookie Topic Starter

    These are my 3DMark06 scores with Vista completely watered down (i got higher yesterday with All Vista gui enabled.....)

    CPU 2200 with DX9 installed also : 10826
    Stats:

    General information
    Operating system Microsoft Windows Vista
    System type 32-bit
    Motherboard manufacturer ASUSTeK Computer INC.
    Motherboard model M2R32-MVP
    Hard drive model WDC WD360ADFD-00NLR5 ATA Device
    Memory 2048 MB
    Slot 1 1024 MB
    Slot 2 1024 MB
    Slot 3 Empty
    Slot 4 Empty
    Processor information
    Processor AMD Phenom 9500
    Processor clock 2205 MHz

    Physical and logical processors 1 / 4
    Multicore 4 Processor Cores
    FSB 200 MHz
    Display information
    Graphics card ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2
    Graphics card vendor ATI Technologies
    Graphics memory 512 MB
    Core clock 0.0 MHz
    Memory clock 0.0 MHz
    Driver name ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2
    Driver version 8.451.2.0
    Driver status WHQL - Not FM Approved
    Linked display adapters No

    Result detailsBenchmark settings
    Program Version 3DMark06 Revision 1 Build 0
    Resolution 1280x1024
    Full Screen Anti-Aliasing None
    Texture Filtering Optimal
    Vertex Shader Profile 3_0
    Pixel Shader Profile 3_0
    Force Full Precision No
    Disable Post-processing No
    Force Software Vertex Shaders No
    Force Software FP Filtering No
    Disable Harware Shadow Mapping No
    Colour Mipmaps No
    Repeat Count Off
    Fixed Framerate Off

    Main test results
    3DMark Score 10826 3DMarks
    SM 2.0 Score 3859
    SM 3.0 Score 5636
    CPU Score 2891

    Test Results
    Graphics Tests
    1 - Return to Proxycon 31.31 FPS
    2 - Firefly Forest 33.01 FPS
    CPU Tests
    CPU1 - Red Valley 0.96 FPS
    CPU2 - Red Valley 1.39 FPS
    HDR Tests
    1 - Canyon Flight (SM 3.0) 69.8 FPS
    2 - Deep Freeze (SM 3.0) 42.93 FPS


    CPU 2300 with DX9 installed also: 11346
    Stats:

    General information
    Operating system Microsoft Windows Vista
    System type 32-bit
    Motherboard manufacturer ASUSTeK Computer INC.
    Motherboard model M2R32-MVP
    Hard drive model WDC WD360ADFD-00NLR5 ATA Device
    Memory 2048 MB
    Slot 1 1024 MB
    Slot 2 1024 MB
    Slot 3 Empty
    Slot 4 Empty
    Processor information
    Processor AMD Phenom 9500
    Processor clock 2300 MHz

    Physical and logical processors 1 / 4
    Multicore 4 Processor Cores
    FSB 209 MHz

    Display information
    Graphics card ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2
    Graphics card vendor ATI Technologies
    Graphics memory 512 MB
    Core clock 0.0 MHz
    Memory clock 0.0 MHz
    Driver name ATI Radeon HD 3870 X2
    Driver version 8.451.2.0
    Driver status WHQL - Not FM Approved
    Linked display adapters No

    Result detailsBenchmark settings
    Program Version 3DMark06 Revision 1 Build 0
    Resolution 1280x1024
    Full Screen Anti-Aliasing None
    Texture Filtering Optimal
    Vertex Shader Profile 3_0
    Pixel Shader Profile 3_0
    Force Full Precision No
    Disable Post-processing No
    Force Software Vertex Shaders No
    Force Software FP Filtering No
    Disable Harware Shadow Mapping No
    Colour Mipmaps No
    Repeat Count Off
    Fixed Framerate Off

    Main test results
    3DMark Score 11346 3DMarks
    SM 2.0 Score 4124
    SM 3.0 Score 5841
    CPU Score 3015

    Test Results
    Graphics Tests
    1 - Return to Proxycon 33.35 FPS
    2 - Firefly Forest 35.38 FPS
    CPU Tests
    CPU1 - Red Valley 1.0 FPS
    CPU2 - Red Valley 1.46 FPS
    HDR Tests
    1 - Canyon Flight (SM 3.0) 72.36 FPS
    2 - Deep Freeze (SM 3.0) 44.45 FPS





    Im not sure if the 3DMark06 actually uses both cores on the graphics card either, but from the score im begining to guess that the problem lies within my Motherboard and Ram. I believe they are choking and are trying to output more power than they are capable of?

    Any further assistance regarding this matter?
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,536   +301

    How are you doing in other games? I ask because you said you did fine in 3DMark06. You can drop a couple things in Crysis and keep others up high and still have it look good. I forget exactly what 2 I dropped off but one of them was Post Processing. I went from struggling to play at medium and high at 1440x900 to playing pretty decently at 1680x1050 with just those adjustments. I'm sure with some real tweaking you could get your performance up.

    My guess is his system has some thing(s) that are more suited for running Crysis than yours, and you shouldn't concern yourself too much if that is the only game that is causing you greif. And to read up on specific tweaks you can do to make the game run better.

    Also to address your 3.3 to 3.28 question. That doesn't matter at all. Typically you want to see stuff staying within 10%, and real anal people wanting to see within 5%. You are with 5% easily, so all is well there.
  16. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Crysis defaults to DX10 in Vista. Right-click the game's executable file and choose to run it in DX9 mode. Use 'r_displayinfo 1' (without the quotes) in the console to see what version of DirectX you're currently using.
  17. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Not true. AMD and Intel both sell chips with unlocked multipliers.
  18. Chaos Prime

    Chaos Prime TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well it seems that I have found the problem. DirectX 10 was the clear problem. I ran my hardware with my friends psu and mobo and it turned out to only give me an extra 2-3 frames which I believe is due to the mobo. One by one we replaced my parts for his and by the end we were only running my hdd with vista on it and no performance were gained. So it seems direct x 10 was clearly the problem. I reinstalled windows xp and now the game runs very sweet.


    The odd thing I noticed though when I done the hack to run DX10 modules on xp for crysis I was getting slightly better frames (about an extra 2 frames) but even on areas where it dropped to 15 frames (using traps for verification) it ran so much more smoothly than the vista counter part at the same frame rate. Vista at 15 frames is unplayable, xp at 15 frames is playable cis you notice very very minor stuttering every now and then. Max frame I ran crysis with hack was 23 frames on xp. Hope this helps and is useful to anyone in same situation as I am.

    Thanks everyone
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