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Bottle-necking and AMD Grills

Devious Malefactor

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Long story short, I have a mid-rate rig. It likes to drop frames for no reason and can barely manage 30FPS for most 'modern' games. Graphical settings have minimal impact on performance.

CPU: AMD FX(tm)-4100 Quad-Core Processor             (3901.97 MHz)
Memory: 12189 MB
OS Version: Microsoft Windows 7 64-bit Service Pack 1 (Build 7601)
Graphics Card Vendor: NVIDIA Corporation
Graphics Card: GeForce GTX 750/PCIe/SSE2

Running most software off an SSD. Load times are meh and on some software providing little difference in comparison to an HDD. I actually had to underclock the CPU by about 15% due to repeated overheating and 3 thermal paste replacements. Most frame drops seem to be due to data-transfer for no explanable reason short of "it's happening when it shouldn't" and I'm stumped.

Despite the performance issues, an 800 dollar rig. Wondering where I should go from there. I have about a year before the AMD Grill becomes an AMD Broiler.

Thinking about tossing the SSD for a larger one and switching to Intel. Though I'm not sure if I get as much bang for my dollar.

Edited by Devious Malefactor
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Intel chips tend to perform better (especially at single threaded tasks) compared to AMDs, despite often being lower clocked and having less cores.
Your graphics card, while not being great, is "OK" (even tho' i'd prefer the Ti version).

What bothers me are the 12 GiB of RAM. I'm guessing these sticks run in single channel, which degrades performance on data-transfer.
Also: Windows 7 isn't properly optimized for SSDs, so you'll need to do a little tweaking yourself.

You said you got thermal problems. It'd be useful to observe your CPUs temperatures in case it's throttling due to overheating.

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The FX series did run a bit hot. I would start looking at the thermal compound, as if it was cheapo stuff it's probably lost any sort of liquidity/plasticity and has crap thermal conductivity. Even moreso if it's one of those garbage urethane thermal pads instead of actual thermal paste.

Could also be fan issues.  While the least likely, the chip could have passed QA when it never should have.  I once over heated an AMD A8-3870K, but that was because I put the heatsink from the A6-3500 on it.  THey looked the same till you realize that one heat sink, while basically identical, was 30% taller and I put the shorter one on. :D

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