Question Finding the bottleneck in my potato rig

Apr 8, 2020
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Hi guys,

I have started to play a lot of games recently (because of the coronavirus) and noticed that recent games are sometimes unplayable because of the stutters. Because of the virus, I may not be able to build a new pc. Hence, I am wondering if I can make things better by simple component changes. After monitoring my resource usage, I have noted that my VRAM usage is between 2000-1600MB and RAM usage is between 7950MB-6900MB in Quake Champions.

As I understand, both RAM and GPU are problematic at this point. However, although the stutters are very frequent, my fps is between 90-100. Hence, I am not sure if the problem is related to GPU (VRAM especially) or RAM. Do you guys have any opinion?

Here are my components:

Motherboard: MSI Z97-G43 DDR3 1600MHz DVI HDMI 16x Lga1150
CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.50GHz 6MB HD4600 Vga Lga1150
GPU: MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC GTX760 GAMING 2GB GDDR5 256Bit HDMI DP 16x
RAM: Corsair CML8GX3M2B1600C11 Vengeance LowProfile 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz CL11 XMP Dual Kit
PSU: OCZ OCZ-ZS750W-EU ZS Series 750W 80+ Bronze Psu
SSD: Samsung MZ-7TE120BW 840 EVO 120GB Sata III 2.5' SSD 540MB/520MB
HDD: Seagate ST1000DM003 1TB 64MB 7200Rpm Sata3 6Gb/s

Thanks in advance, and stay safe!

Note: I am testing games in both HDD and SDD and there is no much difference if stutters are considered.
 
Hi guys,

I have started to play a lot of games recently (because of the coronavirus) and noticed that recent games are sometimes unplayable because of the stutters. Because of the virus, I may not be able to build a new pc. Hence, I am wondering if I can make things better by simple component changes. After monitoring my resource usage, I have noted that my VRAM usage is between 2000-1600MB and RAM usage is between 7950MB-6900MB in Quake Champions.

As I understand, both RAM and GPU are problematic at this point. However, although the stutters are very frequent, my fps is between 90-100. Hence, I am not sure if the problem is related to GPU (VRAM especially) or RAM. Do you guys have any opinion?

Here are my components:

Motherboard: MSI Z97-G43 DDR3 1600MHz DVI HDMI 16x Lga1150
CPU: Intel Core i5-4690K 3.50GHz 6MB HD4600 Vga Lga1150
GPU: MSI N760 TF 2GD5/OC GTX760 GAMING 2GB GDDR5 256Bit HDMI DP 16x
RAM: Corsair CML8GX3M2B1600C11 Vengeance LowProfile 8GB (2x4GB) DDR3 1600Mhz CL11 XMP Dual Kit
PSU: OCZ OCZ-ZS750W-EU ZS Series 750W 80+ Bronze Psu
SSD: Samsung MZ-7TE120BW 840 EVO 120GB Sata III 2.5' SSD 540MB/520MB
HDD: Seagate ST1000DM003 1TB 64MB 7200Rpm Sata3 6Gb/s

Thanks in advance, and stay safe!

Note: I am testing games in both HDD and SDD and there is no much difference if stutters are considered.
Minimum system requirements for Quake Champions are low end, for the time, 2GB GPUs and 8GB RAM. Recommended system requirements are R9 290 4GB or GTX 770 4GB, both cards are faster than yours, and 16GB RAM. You can get around the VRAM issue by using lower quality settings, however, as you have said you are using 6.9 - 7.9GB RAM that you cannot get around. With an 8GB RAM system, once you hit 6GB RAM usage you will start to disk swap. This will cause your computer to feel like it is stuttering. When you hit 7+ GB RAM usage, you computer will start to have major performance issues. What is happening is that there isn't enough free RAM for everything that Windows wants to cache in RAM and it needs to write that data to disk (virtual RAM). Whenever you have to write to disk that is a very time consuming process and will cause slow downs, even if you have an NVMe SSD. You can probably add 8GB RAM cheaply to extend the life of the system.
 
Reactions: SideHw
Apr 8, 2020
2
0
10
0
Thanks sir, I will definitely consider updating system memory after I observe if VRAM does not create a problem with the lowest settings.
Have a great day!
 
Look at task manager memory section and find the hard fault rate.
If you see anything much more than 0, you are swapping code in and out to the page file.
That takes time and your game stops dead until the page fault is resolved.
On a ssd the page swap happens relatively quickly.
If, however windows is on the 120gb ssd, the drive may be reaching full.
When a ssd approaches foll(>90%) performance and endurance degrades.

You may need a larger C drive, but the only real solution to lack of ram is more ram.

In the mean time look at shutting down apps that are not needed. Open chrome web pages are a big ram user. Look at startup apps that are not needed.

On vram, I would not worry too much.
Here is a post I made on the subject some time ago; I think it is still relevant.
VRAM has become a marketing issue.
My understanding is that vram is more of a performance issue than a functional issue.
A game needs to have most of the data in vram that it uses most of the time.
Somewhat like real ram.
If a game needs something not in vram, it needs to get it across the pcie boundary
hopefully from real ram and hopefully not from a hard drive.
It is not informative to know to what level the available vram is filled.
Possibly much of what is there is not needed.
What is not known is the rate of vram exchange.
Vram is managed by the Graphics card driver, and by the game. There may be differences in effectiveness between amd and nvidia cards.
And differences between games.
Here is an older performance test comparing 2gb with 4gb vram.
Spoiler... not a significant difference.
A more current set of tests shows the same results:
http://www.techspot.com/review/1114-vram-comparison-test/page5.html

And... no game maker wants to limit their market by
requiring huge amounts of vram. The vram you see will be appropriate to the particular card.
 
  1. My brother also has an i5-4690K which he OC'd to 4.5GHz all-core very easily at near stock voltage. THAT'S A FREE 15% UPGRADE.
  2. GTX760 2GB isn't fantastic. These days, even low end gaming GPUs have 4GB.
  3. Seems odd that quake champions of all things would require so much system RAM. Do you have other programs open while you're gaming? If the system is running out of ram, that could very well be the source of your stuttering.
 

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