Question My CPU is under-performing badly, and I don't know what to do

pirvuandrey12

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Hi.
This issue is really strange.
I own a PC with i5 6400, GTX 960 4GB, 8GB RAM DDR4 2133MHz, good coolers.
My CPU temperatures, even in heavy load, is around 50 degrees Celsius.
Yet it's doing bad in most games. Battlefield 1 for example, i have EVERYTHING on low graphics and resolution scale set to 80%, and i have like 40-50 fps, it's horrible. i just don't get it.
Paladins, the same. i get framedrops so big sometimes i can't even play.
Witcher 3? 40 fps everywhere. 30 fps in novigrad
I don't know what I can do at this point.
Checked the usage, it always goes like 100% CPU 80% RAM (didn't check for the GPU but i am 100% sure that isn't the problem)
It lags so bad that if I'm in a game that takes up many resources, my voice gets cut on discord and discord just lags out completely.
Does anyone know what I can do? I have all my drivers updated, I updated windows to the latest version.
 

Diddly

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Have you run userbenchmark? This will tell you if your PC if running within spec. You could try adding more RAM. If you run userbenchmark, please post a link to the results.
 

Third-Eye

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I did a second one. It doesn't look good.
https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/20215603
As has been said, you are running a single 8GB module in single channel only. To get dual channel mode working, I would usually say get another of the same model you have, but the price is 3x more than other ddr4 2133 modules. So Id just get a DDR4 2400 module and it will run at the same speed as your slower module.
 

InvalidError

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Does their CL have to be the same? Mine has CL13 right now and I can barely find any CL13. I mostly find CL14/15/16/17
For the lowest possible chance of running into compatibility issues, you should get DIMMs in pairs. Mixing different DIMMs should work in theory but can be hit-and-miss in practice.

When mixing dissimilar DIMMs, keep in mind that you are likely to need to use the worst frequency and timings of the lot to get it to work. Sometimes, it may just not work at all.
 

logainofhades

Titan
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Honestly, your whole system is fairly inadequate for such titles. CPU is only a quad core, and a slower clocked one at that. The GPU is not very powerful, basically GTX 1050ti level of performance. Then the single channel ram. For dual channel you want a matching stick of ram, identical to the one you have now.
 

DSzymborski

Glorious
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I feel like something else is going on here. Yes, the Skylake i5s have aged poorly, the GPU's fairly weak, and the RAM situation is less than ideal, but it should be doing better than this on Battlefield 1.

After all, our review at 1080p low with an FX-8320 and a GTX 960 was close to 100 fps.




The Witcher 3 benchmarks are about right (also double-check to make sure you don't have Hairworks on). I'd go over the Battlefield 1 settings with a fine-toothed comb to make sure there isn't a stray setting that's way too high.
 

InvalidError

Titan
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Single-channel memory is a 10-15% performance penalty so long as the swapfile does not get involved. If Windows is hitting the pagefile while gaming due to background stuff and bloat, then performance drops off a cliff during IO.

I wouldn't say that Skylake i5 'aged poorly' as I am still using an i5-3470 and still generally happy with it. Having 32GB of RAM to help it chug along regardless of how much stuff I throw at it to do in the background helps a lot.
 

DSzymborski

Glorious
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Single-channel memory is a 10-15% performance penalty so long as the swapfile does not get involved. If Windows is hitting the pagefile while gaming due to background stuff and bloat, then performance drops off a cliff during IO.

I wouldn't say that Skylake i5 'aged poorly' as I am still using an i5-3470 and still generally happy with it. Having 32GB of RAM to help it chug along regardless of how much stuff I throw at it to do in the background helps a lot.
True, but your i5-3470 is like two years older than an i5-6400 and isn't really outperformed by it in gaming. Especially on things that care the latter is only clocked at 2.7 GHz/3.3 GHz.
 

Third-Eye

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I feel like something else is going on here. Yes, the Skylake i5s have aged poorly, the GPU's fairly weak, and the RAM situation is less than ideal, but it should be doing better than this on Battlefield 1.

After all, our review at 1080p low with an FX-8320 and a GTX 960 was close to 100 fps.




The Witcher 3 benchmarks are about right (also double-check to make sure you don't have Hairworks on). I'd go over the Battlefield 1 settings with a fine-toothed comb to make sure there isn't a stray setting that's way too high.
I don't know how far back it goes with Frostbite Engine, but Battlefield 4/1/V are all affected by ram speed and single vs dual channel by quite a lot. There can be as much as a 20% fps difference between single and dual channel or 30% fps difference between DDR3 2133 and 3200.
 

PdxPetmonster

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Which of your drives are your games on? If it's the WD 1TB Black, I can see that affecting load times as well as performance if it's having to do some serious caching due to a single stick of memory.
 

pirvuandrey12

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First of all, I'm sorry for not responding. I was away for a while.


I feel like something else is going on here. Yes, the Skylake i5s have aged poorly, the GPU's fairly weak, and the RAM situation is less than ideal, but it should be doing better than this on Battlefield 1.

After all, our review at 1080p low with an FX-8320 and a GTX 960 was close to 100 fps.




The Witcher 3 benchmarks are about right (also double-check to make sure you don't have Hairworks on). I'd go over the Battlefield 1 settings with a fine-toothed comb to make sure there isn't a stray setting that's way too high.
there's really no setting involved, i even lowered the resolution scale, the same thing.

Single-channel memory is a 10-15% performance penalty so long as the swapfile does not get involved. If Windows is hitting the pagefile while gaming due to background stuff and bloat, then performance drops off a cliff during IO.

I wouldn't say that Skylake i5 'aged poorly' as I am still using an i5-3470 and still generally happy with it. Having 32GB of RAM to help it chug along regardless of how much stuff I throw at it to do in the background helps a lot.
Actually this might be it!
I remember I was having GTA V hit the pagefile on my old hard drive and sound would get distorted, would lag very badly. I'll buy some more RAM and see after. I didn't really know it works the same with RAM. Thank you very much, man.

I don't know how far back it goes with Frostbite Engine, but Battlefield 4/1/V are all affected by ram speed and single vs dual channel by quite a lot. There can be as much as a 20% fps difference between single and dual channel or 30% fps difference between DDR3 2133 and 3200.
I've heard this also.

Btw, my motherboard supports max. 2400mhz RAM. Should I buy it this way or 2133mhz still, to not stress it out or something? Maybe I'm paranoid over this but I genuinely don't know
 

pirvuandrey12

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Honestly, your whole system is fairly inadequate for such titles. CPU is only a quad core, and a slower clocked one at that. The GPU is not very powerful, basically GTX 1050ti level of performance. Then the single channel ram. For dual channel you want a matching stick of ram, identical to the one you have now.
I don't know, it didn't really work this bad until like.. 1 year ago. It was gradually though, not all at once
 

pirvuandrey12

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For the lowest possible chance of running into compatibility issues, you should get DIMMs in pairs. Mixing different DIMMs should work in theory but can be hit-and-miss in practice.

When mixing dissimilar DIMMs, keep in mind that you are likely to need to use the worst frequency and timings of the lot to get it to work. Sometimes, it may just not work at all.
Alright. I think I'll get two 8GB sticks and keep this one from now in case of everything.
 

PdxPetmonster

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if your CPU is almost pegged while gaming, you probably are bottlenecked by it, it's just not able to supply the video card with enough data. And I'd try moving a game onto the other drive if you've got space and then try gaming again and see if the fps is any better.
 

Third-Eye

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Though, I notice my CPU is mostly full in games. RAM goes around 80%-90%.. you guys sure RAM is the issue?
The prices on DDR4 2400 to 3200 modules are all nearly the same at around $37, so just pick the cheapest with the fastest speed and best timings. The worst that will happen is it won't work and you will have to send it back or buy a second one. The only other practical upgrade would be a GTX 1070/1660ti/RTX 2060 as they are 100-110% faster than your GTX 960. Upgrading your CPU is not even really an option, because used and new prices on an i7-6700 or 7700 are still more than a new Ryzen 7 2700 or new Ryzen 5 3600. You are probably better off just saving to build a whole new computer if you want to upgrade the CPU.
 

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