Lower FPS with 290x than expected - CPU limited?

beginner99

Diamond Member
Jun 2, 2009
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Bought myself a new monitor and a 290x. Monitor is 1080p 144 hz. I want to play at 120hz at least. I still mostly play BF Bad Company 2 multiplayer.

FRAPS shows me two things:

- Very high FPS when spawning in my base (150+)
- Then in the city, more crowed place it drops down to 90

Later FPS is what you mostly get in any combat scene.

CPU:

i7-870 overclocked to 3.4 Ghz (with turbo active).

With my old display (1680x1050) and old GPU (HD 5850) I was running at 60 fps with a few drops into low 50ties. This is confusing as I would expect a 290x to easily reach 120 fps in comparison to this.

Looks like a CPU bottleneck? However in that scenario with 90 FPS I opened CCC and the Overdrive part and it showed me like 98% GPU usage while CPU usage was at around 45% (spread over all threads). Still I know that 50% usage could already indicate a CPU bottleneck. Also keep in mind that this is PCIe 2.0 (not 3.0). Could that be an issue?

What do you guys think?
 

Mondozei

Golden Member
Jul 7, 2013
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I think it's a combination of all three. PCIe 2.0 doesn't help. Your CPU could be better. IIRC BF2: BC doesn't scale as well with multithreaded CPUs as later Frostbite games. So IPC gains are more important.

The final point is that some of these things are gamerelated. Look at Metro Last Light. Even the Titan X is going down to 20-30 FPS in 1080p in some scenes. BF2:BC is generally a smooth game but in crowded areas.

And to be perfectly honest, I'd doubt you'd notice much difference from 90 fps to 144 fps. But if you'd get a better CPU(although with DX12 coming out, that might not be as important anymore) and mobo you'd almost certainly get a significant boost in performance and would be able to maintain FPS above 120-140 quite easily.

I had a 290 Tri-X from Sapphire and I have a i5 Haswell. I played BC2 a year ago while reinstalling the game on a whim and I remember I had a solid 100+ fps in crowded areas and 200+ in base.
 

KingFatty

Diamond Member
Dec 29, 2010
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I wonder if you scaled the performance difference between cards by the ratio of increased pixels, would it equate to your result?

Like, if the 290x is XZY times faster than the 5850, but you have to decrease that by multiplying by the increase number of pixels = 1680x1050 divided by (1920x1080), which should lower the result.
 

psolord

Golden Member
Sep 16, 2009
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Drop your resolution to 720p. If the same persists, then you are cpu limited.

Alternatively, use MSI Afterburner and see the gpu usage. If it's not at 99% with vsync disabled, then again you are cpu limited.

Don't trust hyperthreading. It lies.
 

beginner99

Diamond Member
Jun 2, 2009
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Drop your resolution to 720p. If the same persists, then you are cpu limited.

Alternatively, use MSI Afterburner and see the gpu usage. If it's not at 99% with vsync disabled, then again you are cpu limited.

Don't trust hyperthreading. It lies.

Yeah I'm now pretty sure I'm CPU limited. FPS is pretty erratic but in the few scenarios it stays low I could clearly see low GPU usage.
FPS jumps all over the place from 120+ down to 90 and some dips into 70ties. This is especially apparent with sniper rifle as scoping greatly increases FPS
 

psolord

Golden Member
Sep 16, 2009
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Well your Lynnfield is still a decent cpu, but you are aiming very high with your framerate.

Try disabling HBAO and see if it helps. Normally you would need to reduce the draw distance to help the cpu, but afaik, Bad Company 2 does not have such a setting. It could cause trouble in your MP experience anyway.

Apart from that you could try the captainobviousy things, lie increasing your cpu speed even further, using a higher cpu base frequency and a higher ram frequency and/or tighter timings.

I have bad company 2 in my steam account but I have never played MP since I am a lone old schooler. I could do some testing on my 2500k+970 if you told me what to look for exactly.

I have an external recorder so could do a gameplay/benchmark video that shows pure performance. Or just some screenshots.
 

beginner99

Diamond Member
Jun 2, 2009
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Well your Lynnfield is still a decent cpu, but you are aiming very high with your framerate.

Try disabling HBAO and see if it helps. Normally you would need to reduce the draw distance to help the cpu, but afaik, Bad Company 2 does not have such a setting. It could cause trouble in your MP experience anyway.

Apart from that you could try the captainobviousy things, lie increasing your cpu speed even further, using a higher cpu base frequency and a higher ram frequency and/or tighter timings.

I have bad company 2 in my steam account but I have never played MP since I am a lone old schooler. I could do some testing on my 2500k+970 if you told me what to look for exactly.

I have an external recorder so could do a gameplay/benchmark video that shows pure performance. Or just some screenshots.

Yeah, I will probably increase overclock. There should be some headroom. 3.4 Ghz currently is at stock voltage. Also maybe play around with settings.

Would be great if you could check. I mostly play Arica Harbor Conquest. Frame rate is mostly low anywhere in the city or when you look towards it and high when on edges of the map. (eg. main base of either team, beach).
 

psolord

Golden Member
Sep 16, 2009
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Ok cool.

Do you want any specific operating frequencies for the hardware?

Also give me a couple of days because I had to go out of town for a while.
 

Headfoot

Diamond Member
Feb 28, 2008
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another vote for CPU limited. Bump the overclock on that 860. You should be able to get to 3.8 maybe even 4.0 or above if you've got a decent motherboard and the chip is good.
 

beginner99

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Jun 2, 2009
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Ok cool.

Do you want any specific operating frequencies for the hardware?

Also give me a couple of days because I had to go out of town for a while.

No. Just tell me what they are and I can make my deductions from that. Buying a used SB platform for cheap could be an option. haven't seen anything above that here for a good price.
 

psolord

Golden Member
Sep 16, 2009
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Ok I managed to give it a go. Unfortunately it was not much of a test.

The game gave me a lot of trouble, from login to actually playing.

In any case, I don't know what I did wrong but I cannot find servers. I selected to play multiplayer on the Arica Harbor and I ended up alone.

Also the server browser shows no servers.

In any case I know it's not much, but I captured some shots strolling around by myself.

There's something seriously wrong with this game, as I saw framerate ranging from 200fps down to 17fps, lol!

http://imgbox.com/g/rNsd2eqSaT
 

beginner99

Diamond Member
Jun 2, 2009
5,210
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Ok I managed to give it a go. Unfortunately it was not much of a test.

The game gave me a lot of trouble, from login to actually playing.

In any case, I don't know what I did wrong but I cannot find servers. I selected to play multiplayer on the Arica Harbor and I ended up alone.

Also the server browser shows no servers.

In any case I know it's not much, but I captured some shots strolling around by myself.

There's something seriously wrong with this game, as I saw framerate ranging from 200fps down to 17fps, lol!

http://imgbox.com/g/rNsd2eqSaT


thanks a lot.

wow thats weird. maybe driver issue. never seen drops so low. lowest for me is usually around 70.

turning off hbao had no effect on fps (and also game seems to look pretty much the same). increasing overclock from 3.4 to 3.8 ghz had an impact of abput 7-10 fps increase.