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Question CPU bottleneck advice

Jun 25, 2020
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I have noticed recently when playing games (specifically BF1) my FPS suffers despite my GPU reporting low usage - 45-75% (depending on game and map). However my CPU usage is consistently at 99-100% throughout gameplay. Idle usage is fine. I hope someone can advise on what the best solution is to fix the problem. This problem isn’t new, but I have recently started using my PC more, and I couldn’t help but notice.

Specs:
i5-3570 (not unlocked)
GTX 970 4GB (MSI)
8GB DDR3 @ 1600MHz
ASUS P8H77-V (LGA 1155)
Corsair VS550W
Full size case

[500GB SATA SSD, 1TB HDD]

I know my build is old, but I'm a uni student - money's tight…

Specifics:
Regardless of graphics settings in-game (including resolution scale) I am getting an average of 48-58 FPS (map dependant) at both low AND ultra.
The problem occurs both with, and without v-sync enabled.
GPU and CPU temperatures are fine (GPU avg. 78C; CPU avg. 65C) so no problems there.
RAM usage is also fine, at around 5GB with 1 or 2 windows open outside game (I’m fine with this, it never goes above 7GB).
I can also see all 4 cores are being used evenly, it isn’t bad game utilisation.
I understand 'Battlefield' games are more CPU dependant than average, but I think I am correct in assuming you are best at higher GPU usage levels (please correct me if I am wrong here).

I assume I am experiencing a sizeable CPU bottleneck. I would obviously like to achieve a nice stable 60FPS @ 1080p in most games at high-ultra settings (nowadays I don't think this is too much to ask for), but I'm not sure what the most cost effective solution would be.

What CPU/general component upgrades would best fit my build to fix the problem?

My budget ranges £150-£300 GBP, and I am not afraid of buying/using 2nd hand components, and I am open to any suggestion, budget is a rough guide.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

lordmogul

Honorable
Jun 14, 2014
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As someone running a 3570K (with OC) and a 1060 6GB I can see your situation.

For your budget (£150-£300) you could go with
Ryzen 1600 AF
ASRock B450 Pro4
Crucial Ballistix 16GB 3200 CL16

That would come out with about £280, so around the upper limit of your area.
If you need to push it down further, with a Ryzen 3200G to shave it off to about £265, but I wouldn't recommend under a 6 core and 16 GB RAM for a new build in 2020.
(I know the 3200G comes with iGPU, and the 1200AF is available, but the 3200G comes with SMT and is made on the same process, so even with a dedicated card it should do a bit better)

Keep your GTX 970 for now, you should see better performance even without replacing it. You can always replace that later on.

If you want to go used, there would be the i7-3770, but even that wouldn't be that much of an upgrade, and you're still stuck with the older platform. If you can find something like a used Ryzen 1600 or 2600 or i5-8600 with board & RAM that might also be an option, but I doubt they will be found that cheap.

Also you can sell your old stuff, there is still something to get, especially when you sell it as working CPU & MB & RAM kit.
 
Jun 25, 2020
3
0
10
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As someone running a 3570K (with OC) and a 1060 6GB I can see your situation.

For your budget (£150-£300) you could go with
Ryzen 1600 AF
ASRock B450 Pro4
Crucial Ballistix 16GB 3200 CL16

That would come out with about £280, so around the upper limit of your area.
If you need to push it down further, with a Ryzen 3200G to shave it off to about £265, but I wouldn't recommend under a 6 core and 16 GB RAM for a new build in 2020.
(I know the 3200G comes with iGPU, and the 1200AF is available, but the 3200G comes with SMT and is made on the same process, so even with a dedicated card it should do a bit better)

Keep your GTX 970 for now, you should see better performance even without replacing it. You can always replace that later on.

If you want to go used, there would be the i7-3770, but even that wouldn't be that much of an upgrade, and you're still stuck with the older platform. If you can find something like a used Ryzen 1600 or 2600 or i5-8600 with board & RAM that might also be an option, but I doubt they will be found that cheap.

Also you can sell your old stuff, there is still something to get, especially when you sell it as working CPU & MB & RAM kit.
Thanks for the advice, I think I will keep my 970 like you said, maybe for another year or so?
I am thinking about maybe getting an i7-4790k (with an appropriate Mboard), I have good enough cooling for a mild overclock, what do you reckon? If so, would a 'larger' PSU be a good idea? Not sue how many people would buy a 3570, but I guess it reduces costs in the end. Again thanks for the quick reply, I will certainly take a look at your recommendations.
 
Unless finding some sort of 'almost free' bundle with insanely cheap prices, I would question putting more money into 'faster' DDR3-based rigs several generations old. A new B550 and R5-3600 with 16 GB of RAM should be about $350 or so...(For ~$40 less, the 4c/8t R3-3300X also does amazingly well, delivering about 95% of the frame rates of the 3600)
 

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