Question Could someone please help me pinpoint my system's performance issue ?

Jan 19, 2021
Hello people, first of all please forgive my poor english, it is not my native language. I hope I won't bother you, but I need expert's help for a particular issue for which I would be very, very grateful. The trouble is following : I recently had my PC upgraded with an rtx 3060 ti and so far I find its gaming performance lackluster compared to my expectations. The brand new card seems to work just fine, so I blame my other, older components. Maybe they're too old, or there's an issue somewhere, whatever it is I can't put my finger on it. My main reason for saying this : Watch Dogs 2, my latest anti-boredom tool, stutters randomly, and quite seriously at that, when moving across the map. Not all the time, but regularly. Now on paper, according to the benchmarks I've read, there's just NO way that 5-years-old game shouldn't run smoothly with my actual rig, certainly not on sub-ultra settings with a 1080p, 60hz monitor. Yet it does.
Here are my specs :
GPU : RTX 3060 ti (Gigabyte OC gaming pro)
CPU : i7 8700, 6 cores, 12 threads
RAM : Corsair 2*8 GB DDR4, 2133 mhz
MB : Gigabyte GA-H370-HD3
PSU : Fortron ATX 700W 80+ Bronze
Tower : Corsair ICUE 4000x
Storage : for the OS, a SATA III SSD 1/ Samsung 850 Evo, for my games & launchers (Steam etc), an Intel NVMe M.2 - 660p SSD. Plus one HDD for data storage though that's irrelevant since I don't plan to game on it any longer.

I was thinking the issue could lie with the processor, in the sense that it wasn't performing as it should be. 1) I've benchmarked it using 3DMark's Fire Strike, the demo version (so I don't have access to all the CPU-exclusive tests) and the performance during the "physics" sequence, which specifically stresses the CPU, was really bad, I got an average of 50 fps, whereas the "graphics" tests were in the triple digits. No backthrottling due to any excessive heat buildup, according to the temperature curve, which was low and stable, even dipped a little during "physics".
2) In Watch Dogs 2, the way the stuttering happens would point towards the system's inability to load the large and complex world fast enough, resulting in framerate drops below the 60fps threshold ; so that means the i7 is not strong enough and bottlenecks the graphic card, right ? Except, my CPU is not even close to being used at 100% when I play. It's more like 50-60% when all goes well, with spikes around 70% when those stutters take place. Measured using Rivatuner Statistics, usage seemed well-balanced across all cores. This is all with vsync active, while trying to get a constant 60fps, which is how I play. BTW when the game is not stuttering, I get an average framerate in excess of 80 fps with vsync disabled.

So either something is holding the processor back, or the issue lies somewhere else after all. I would desperately need your advice on that. What's your best guess ?
Someone told me my motherboard could be bottlenecking my CPU, I find that unlikely, what do you think ? Is it the RAM, maybe ? Too old and/or too slow ?

Sorry for the long post, I would really love to hear from you on the subject, if you don't mind !

Take good care in those hard times, and have a great day.
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YourEnglish is fine.

Use Task Manager and Resource Monitor to observe system performance. Use both but only one at a time.

Boot up and watch while the system idles. Leave the window open but dragged to one side.

Do some light work and continue observing.

Then heavier work and online browsing.

Finally gaming. Determine what changes occur.

Watch what resources are being used, to what extent ( %) and what is using the resource.

May take some trial and error to get your own observation process worked out and hopefully narrowed down to just a couple of likely culprits.

Keep an eye on what is launching at startup, after the system has run for awhile, or as a result of some other event occurring.

Disk drives: make, model, capacity, how full?

RAM: matched modules for dual channel?

Process Explorer may prove helpful. You may need to download it (free) via Microsoft's website.
Reactions: Enzo69
Jan 19, 2021
I've already done that, though not as systematically and professionally as you describes ; system is pretty chill when doing non-gaming related stuff like idling and browsing. I'll test it further in game.
Drives : I described them in my initial post. The NVMe SSD I now use for gaming is brand new so completely empty, the OS SDD is filled maybe to half capacity (I used to put some games on it but I deteled them afterwards).
RAM : 2 identical modules.

EDIT : @Ralston18 I've done some further tests ; I managed to get the best framerate so far by setting vsync to adaptive in the nvidia control panel and turning on the triple buffering. Though maybe it's my impression and it's no different from normal vsync, as there are still dips. Anyway, task manager shows my CPU is being used more intensively than I thought, though not fully (between 70% and 80%). However, both TM and Ressource monitor shows 0% disk usage. RM says that some stuff are being read by the game, but it's not stable, and global usage is 0%. That's not normal, right ? Could the ssd not have been set up properly ? Could it be the issue ?
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