• Pardon our dust as we work on some regularly scheduled forum maintenance. You may notice some missing features during this time. Thank you for your patience!

[SOLVED] Questions About Poor Performance and Seeking Upgrade Advice

a1337cookie

Prominent
Nov 9, 2017
12
0
510
0
Hello, I have a few questions about my computer's performance in some games, and I'm looking for some advice about what I should upgrade if I decide I want to.

First, I want to explain my situation. So I built my PC back in late 2017. I went for a budget build, trying to save money where I could while still getting decent 1080p performance. Here's the build:

AMD Ryzen 3 1300X
MSI B350M PRO-VH PLUS
Corsair Vengeance LPX 8 GB (1 x 8 GB) DDR4-2666
Western Digital Caviar Blue 1 TB 7200 RPM
Zotac GTX 1050 Ti 4 GB OC Edition
EVGA 430 W 80+ Certified

Later, in late 2018, I upgraded my graphics card to an MSI RX 570 8 GB ARMOR OC, since it was cheap at the time and a friend of mine was willing to buy my 1050 Ti off of me.

However, I started to notice some weird performance issues specifically in Ghost Recon Wildlands. Basically, my GPU usage would jump up and down constantly, back and forth from 99% to 0%, while my CPU usage would remain around 90%. Additionally, lowering the graphics settings did not increase the FPS as much as it should. For instance, I was getting 40-50 FPS at high settings in some areas, but if I dropped everything to lowest and even reduced the resolution scale, I would still not get over 60 FPS consistently. I sort of just ignored it though, since it was still more or less playable. And it was just one game, my other games ran great.

Then, I played The Division 2 and Devil May Cry 5, which came free with the RX 570. DMC 5 ran great, nearly max settings at a smooth 60 FPS. TD2, however, couldn't run smoothly even at lowest settings. It stuttered very frequently, and was mostly unplayable. After some tweaking and experimenting, I found it was acting very similar to Wildlands, in that the GPU usage would jump up and down like crazy while the CPU usage hovered around 90%. Once again, changing the quality settings did not affect the FPS as much as it should have. In fact it seemed to stutter a bit less when at higher settings.

Finally, this weekend, I got access to the Ghost Recon Breakpoint Online Technical Test, and found what seemed to be a similar problem to Wildlands. Except this time, it was like 40 FPS at low settings and 30 FPS at high. It's only just about playable, but given that it's a WIP version of the game, performance could be improved at launch.

So my best guess at what's happening is that it's a CPU bottleneck. It seems the FPS is being limited, and in The Division 2, it can't keep up and causes the constant stutters. This problem only showed up after I upgraded my graphics card, as Wildlands played at around 50-60 FPS (low-medium settings) on my 1050 Ti before, and both CPU and GPU usage were at around 100% at all times. As well, only a few games are affected, and they do seem to be pretty intensive on the CPU. That's why I think it's a CPU bottleneck, but I'm not really sure. Correct me if I'm wrong.

So my questions are, is this the expected performance I should get out of this system? I feel like it has the potential to run faster. Are there any ways I can improve performance software-wise? The CPU is already OC'd to 3.8 GHz and the GPU is at 1400 MHz core clock and 2000 MHz memory clock. I believe the RAM is just at the stock 2666 XMP setting. Should I try overclocking more? I'm not very confident with my OCing, and I don't have the best cooling or power supply, so I haven't gone very far with it. Are there other software tweaks I can do?

And if software tweaks won't cut it, what hardware should I upgrade to so that I can expect smooth performance in the latest titles? I'm on a tight budget here as I'm saving up money for Uni, so I want the most bang for the buck I can get. I haven't really been following tech news since after the RTX 2060 launched, so I'm hoping someone can help me catch up on the new things so I don't have to dig through a ton of stuff.

I live in Canada by the way, so listing Canadian prices would be nice. I'm also using Windows 10, if that matters. I hope I gave enough info, but if you want more, like benchmarks or something, ask and I'll post it.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Yeah, your CPU is holding your PC's performance back and CPU upgrade would be next step. Here, going with R5 3600 has best value,
R3 1300X vs R5 3600, comparison: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-3-1300X-vs-AMD-Ryzen-5-3600/3930vs4040
pcpp: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/product/9nm323/amd-ryzen-5-3600-36-thz-6-core-processor-100-100000031box

Note 1: Prior to buying 3rd gen Ryzen CPU, you must have the latest BIOS (version 7B07v2FN (Beta) ) on your MoBo,
link: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/B350M-PRO-VH-PLUS
Note 2: If for whatever reason the BIOS update process would be interrupted (e.g power loss), your MoBo will be bricked.

If MoBo does get bricked during BIOS update, you'd be looking towards new MoBo as well. Going with X570 chipset MoBo doesn't require any BIOS updates with 3rd gen Ryzen CPU while B450 and B350 chipset MoBos need to have latest BIOS,
pcpp: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/products/motherboard/#sort=price&c=138

Next step after CPU upgrade would be higher wattage and better quality PSU since what you have right now is a low quality and underpowered PSU. Here, any Seasonic made PSU in 500W range would be enough, e.g: Focus 550, Focus+ 550, PRIME Ultra 550 Gold or PRIME Ultra 550 Platinum,
pcpp: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/products/compare/bkp323,9nmxFT,KmgzK8,XndxFT/

Warranty wise:
Focus: 7 years
Focus+: 10 years
PRIME: 12 years (includes all PRIME models: regular, Fanless, AirTouch, SnowSilent, Ultra)

All 3 of my PCs: Skylake, Haswell and AMD are also powered by Seasonic. Full specs with pics in my sig.

Once you have PSU also sorted out, last step would be upgrading your RAM to 16GB. While getting 2nd 8GB 2666 Mhz RAM is cheaper than buying full 2x 8GB set, getting old and new RAM working together has chance of 50:50. Here, i'd go with 2x 8GB 3000 Mhz RAM and keep the current 1x 8GB 2666 Mhz RAM as a spare,
pcpp: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/product/wZ22FT/corsair-vengeance-lpx-16gb-2-x-8gb-ddr4-3000-memory-cmk16gx4m2d3000c16
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Yeah, your CPU is holding your PC's performance back and CPU upgrade would be next step. Here, going with R5 3600 has best value,
R3 1300X vs R5 3600, comparison: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/Compare/AMD-Ryzen-3-1300X-vs-AMD-Ryzen-5-3600/3930vs4040
pcpp: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/product/9nm323/amd-ryzen-5-3600-36-thz-6-core-processor-100-100000031box

Note 1: Prior to buying 3rd gen Ryzen CPU, you must have the latest BIOS (version 7B07v2FN (Beta) ) on your MoBo,
link: https://www.msi.com/Motherboard/support/B350M-PRO-VH-PLUS
Note 2: If for whatever reason the BIOS update process would be interrupted (e.g power loss), your MoBo will be bricked.

If MoBo does get bricked during BIOS update, you'd be looking towards new MoBo as well. Going with X570 chipset MoBo doesn't require any BIOS updates with 3rd gen Ryzen CPU while B450 and B350 chipset MoBos need to have latest BIOS,
pcpp: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/products/motherboard/#sort=price&c=138

Next step after CPU upgrade would be higher wattage and better quality PSU since what you have right now is a low quality and underpowered PSU. Here, any Seasonic made PSU in 500W range would be enough, e.g: Focus 550, Focus+ 550, PRIME Ultra 550 Gold or PRIME Ultra 550 Platinum,
pcpp: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/products/compare/bkp323,9nmxFT,KmgzK8,XndxFT/

Warranty wise:
Focus: 7 years
Focus+: 10 years
PRIME: 12 years (includes all PRIME models: regular, Fanless, AirTouch, SnowSilent, Ultra)

All 3 of my PCs: Skylake, Haswell and AMD are also powered by Seasonic. Full specs with pics in my sig.

Once you have PSU also sorted out, last step would be upgrading your RAM to 16GB. While getting 2nd 8GB 2666 Mhz RAM is cheaper than buying full 2x 8GB set, getting old and new RAM working together has chance of 50:50. Here, i'd go with 2x 8GB 3000 Mhz RAM and keep the current 1x 8GB 2666 Mhz RAM as a spare,
pcpp: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/product/wZ22FT/corsair-vengeance-lpx-16gb-2-x-8gb-ddr4-3000-memory-cmk16gx4m2d3000c16
 

a1337cookie

Prominent
Nov 9, 2017
12
0
510
0
Thank you for your help! Glad to know that I might not need a new mobo if I'm upgrading to the latest Ryzen CPUs.

However, with all the upgrades put together, it would cost me almost $500 CAD using prices from Amazon and Newegg. I'm wondering if going with a R5 2600 instead would be a good idea? Because I can get one for $185, while a R5 3600 is $280. Is it worth the extra $100 for the 20% performance improvement (according to UserBenchmark) and the extra longevity?

And the Seasonic Focus 550 is $115 CAD for me. I don't really feel like spending over $100 for a PSU, so could I go with the Seasonic S12II 620 W 80+ Bronze for $75 instead? Once again, I don't know if the Gold rating and the modular cables is worth an extra $40.

With those changes, it puts the price of the upgrade at around $350 CAD. What do you think?
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
When it comes to the CPU, ask yourself if you're willing to go through the hassle of replacing CPU sooner than later? Since CPU replacement is the 2nd hardest component swap in the system (MoBo swap is the hardest).

About PSUs.
Gold efficiency and modular cables aren't the only differences between S12II-620 and Focus 550. Main difference is PSU design, where S12II-620 uses old group-regulated platform (albeit, it's the best group-regulated PSU ever made) and the PSU design itself is about 9 years old (released in Q1 2010); while Focus 550 uses modern DC-DC regulated platform and PSU design was released in Q3 2017.
Also, S12II series PSUs are missing OCP and OTP protections since back then, those protections weren't mandatory. Which were mandatory (OPP, OVP, UVP and SCP), Seasonic also added to the S12II series.

Still, despite it's age, Seasonic still produces and sells their S12II series since it's tried, tested and proven to be reliable PSU. Even i have S12II series PSU but mine is 520W unit and it is currently retired. I had S12II-520 powering my AMD build for several years before i bought Focus+ 550 (80+ Platinum) for it 8 months ago.

Note: I'm not saying S12II-620 is a bad PSU. Build quality wise, it's good quality unit. But since it's using old design, it's hard to suggest going for it at current date. Especially since PSU is the most important component inside the PC because it powers everything.

Also, do note that S12II series PSUs may not support C6, C7 and higher CPU sleep states. Mine does since i specifically tested it but if yours doesn't, you need to disable C6, C7 and higher CPU sleep states from BIOS. Or don't put your PC to sleep at all.
To know if yours does/doesn't support C6, C7 and higher CPU sleep states, you either: can't wake the PC from sleep OR PC does wake up but produces BSoD.
 

a1337cookie

Prominent
Nov 9, 2017
12
0
510
0
Hmm, that's a lot of cool information, I had no idea. My philosophy when picking PSUs is that if it comes from a reputable brand and has good reviews, it's going to be very unlikely to cause issues, and that's enough to give me peace of mind. Honestly, the fewer safety features and the sleep state thing you mentioned doesn't really bother me. But since you certainly know more about this than I do, are there any units you would recommend that I can get for less than $90 CAD? I know everyone says not to cheap out on the power supply, but I should still be able to get a decent one at that price, right?

As for the CPU, I just thought the R5 2600 was a good deal, with a lot of bang for the buck. But yeah, I'm worried it's not a big enough jump in performance from the R3 1300X and I'll have to upgrade again really soon. At the same time though, it's hard for me to justify paying 50% more for the R5 3600 for a 20% performance gain. I'm tempted to wait for the price to drop at some point, but that might take a while. I might just have to live with the stuttering and low FPS in a few games. Let me know if you have other ideas though, because like I said, I haven't been following tech news lately, so there's probably a lot of stuff I don't know about.
 

Aeacus

Glorious
Herald
Different persons have different standards (some have higher standards while others have lower standards) and it's up to every person to decide how good of a build quality components are safe to use in their PC. And if you want mediocre build quality PSU, you can always look towards Corsair CX/CXm series,
pcpp: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/products/compare/3hkwrH,FdRFf7,3F2rxr/

While CX/CXm series are cheap, you won't get solid build quality and all Japanese caps as you can get with Seasonic units.
E.g: here's one in-depth review of CX550m,
link: https://www.hardwareinsights.com/corsair-cx550m-farewell-group-design/

Corsair CX550m does provide some good results but it also provides some bad results. Like hold-up time that is way lower than the ATX standard specifies it to be. CX550m has hold-up time of 11.20 milliseconds while the ATX standard for hold up time is a minimum of 16 milliseconds. For comparison, Seasonic PRIME 650 80+ Titanium (best 650W PSU money can buy at current date) has hold-up time of 30 milliseconds.

And it's just not the hold-up time, there are other, more apparent things that doesn't make it good quality unit. One of them is the very noisy sleeve bearing fan used in it. At minimum, you're looking 39 dB(A) from the fan, which can rise up to 43.1 dB(A). It's like having 140mm Noctua industrial 3000 RPM fan in your PC running at max speeds.

Since CX550m it has nice list of good things and also bad things, it's a mediocre quality unit. If there were more bad than good (including price) it would be a bad unit and vice-versa.

I, personally, wouldn't use it. While it can be used just fine for an office PC that never sees any high loads and also where the PSU noise isn't that important. But for home use in a gaming PC, where PC longevity and noise are important factors, i'd use and also suggest using better quality and more silent PSU.

At your price point of $90 CAD, best which is currently available would be the new Seasonic S12III series (released in Q1 2019) which is sequel to the trusty S12II series,
pcpp: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/product/3G97YJ/seasonic-s12iii-550-w-80-bronze-certified-atx-power-supply-ssr-550gb3
specs: https://seasonic.com/s12iii

When comparing old S12II-520 to new S12III-550, there are some changes between the two. Most notably the extra 30W max output wattage. Also, S12III platform has changed with more modern internals in it and it also has support for C6, C7 and higher CPU sleep states. The rest is same between new and old version PSUs, e.g: fully-wired cables, 5 years of warranty, 80+ Bronze efficiency.


About CPUs.
Since you have AM4 socket MoBo, you can basically go with any current and future Ryzen CPU.
When 1st gen Ryzen CPUs initially launched, alongside AM4 socket MoBos, AMD made a claim that their AM4 socket is supported up to 2020, where you can upgrade your CPU without the need of replacing MoBo. So far, it has been hold true since you can use 1st gen (e.g R5 1600), 2nd gen (e.g R5 2600) and 3rd gen (e.g R5 3600) Ryzen CPU with your 1st gen (B350 chipset) MoBo. 2nd gen MoBos are 400-series (e.g B450 chipset) and 3rd gen MoBos are 500-series (currently only X570 chipset exists).
So, on that part, you're golden.

Here's list of all AM4 socket CPUs that work with your MoBo,
pcpp: https://ca.pcpartpicker.com/products/cpu/#k=33&sort=price&page=1

Look at that list, look at your budget, compare CPUs in UserBenchmark and decide which CPU would be worth the upgrade. I already suggested the best value and worthwhile upgrade option (R5 3600) but if you find better deal, feel free. Oh, to know the CPU "value" (price to performance ratio), you can use UserBenchmark site list. Just arrange the CPUs by "Value",
link: https://cpu.userbenchmark.com/
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS