Video Card Problems/CPU upgrade

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QUESTION: Hello,

I recently upgraded my cpu from an Intel i3 2120 to a i5 3450, and now all my games seem to have huge lag spike and are unplayable. When I swapped the cpus, I kept the stock cooler from the i3, since the cooler that was being used with the i5 was not compatible with my motherboard. I do know that this cpu should be more than enough to play games such as Minecraft, Borderlands 2, Portal 2, etc (along with my gtx 660 ti GPU) however, it seems that it is not for some reason.

For example: When I had the i3 installed, Minecraft ran very smoothly with no lag spikes or anything of the sort. Now, the lag makes the game unplayable and the terrain flickers.

Please help me with this.

Best regards,
Thank you in advance.

ANSWER: The new i5 chip you've selected has a slightly lower clockspeed; which may translate into somewhat worse performance with applications that do not derive benefit from the extra processing cores. Alternately, the chip may be throttling itself down for power friendliness/thermal protection (if the heatsink is inadequate), which can impact performance heavily.

Does WEI or a similar (synthetic) CPU benchmark show a gain or a loss in terms of theoretical CPU performance? What kind of temperatures does the system report for the CPU? What did it report before?

Finally, if you switch the system back to the i3 does the issue resolve itself? Or is performance still problematic? (If performance is still problematic, you're likely looking at software issues).

-bob


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: I have tested the cpu on Passmark software and I got a score of 4300-5600 vs the passmark website standard of about 6500.

In terms of temperature, the cpu doesn't really ever get over 60 degrees (TOPS), however the CPU usage is much more than it should be, playing Minecraft at at least 50% constantly.

When the i3 was still in place everything seemed a lot smoother. The whole reason that I switched the two processors, is because I wanted to start playing some more intense games, such as Borderlands 2, Crysis 3, etc; games that could benefit from more cores.

What would you recommend to do here? Should I get an aftermarket cooler and overclock the i5 a little bit? Should I switch the i3 back into the system because it's not worth it to have the i5?

Thanks again

ANSWER: 60* C is on the hot side for a processor (specification max for this chip is at 70* C); we'd like to see that temperature more in the 30-50* range. However this is a more long-term problem (the chip's life is shortened by running it so hot, but this is on a scale of years against decades; the computer will likely be outdated long before this becomes a problem). If you were going to continue using this chip, I'd suggest an aftermarket cooler.

However, I'm curious what the machine will do with the i3 re-installed. Does the performance deficit resolve itself? Or are things still performing poorly? (previous data are not helpful here, unfortunately). This will help us determine if we're looking in the right place.

Additionally, I'm curious about your system's memory configuration. How much memory, what speed/type, and what configuration is it installed in?

Finally, given the interest in videogaming specifically:

The CPU plays a relatively minor role in performance for videogames; while some games may demonstrate improved performance (or advertise such) with multi-core/multi-processor systems, generally speaking having a contemporary processor (and enough memory) is sufficient. The graphics controller will be the primary determinant of how well (and with what kind of image quality) a game can be run. The GeForce 660 you mentioned earlier is a very competent adapter, and with up-to-date drivers should have no issues with modern titles (it will likely not run all games with all settings fully maximized, however there are few (if any) titles it will be incapable of drawing at a reasonable level of performance). What this should also mean is that the upgrade you've performed should not indicate such a dramatic shift in system performance, unless other environment variables were inadvertently changed in the process.

This does not mean that CPU upgrades are impractical - the primary benefits will be with multimedia applications as well as more professional/scientific applications (like CAD or Matlab).

-bob


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

Memory and temps
Memory and temps  
QUESTION: Hello again,

I have attached an image of may RAM specs and my CPU specs. I also included the temperatures while idle. Hopefully this is what you were looking for.

If we can't figure out a solution for this, I will put the i3 back in and then we'll see what happens. If it is just the temperature of the i5 that is the problem, I could buy an aftermarket cooler, and then that would also open up some overclocking opportunities.

P.S.: When playing these games, lowering the settings on the games doesn't seem to help performance. Also, the games normally start off smooth, but soon become unplayable 1-3 minutes in on average.

Thanks again

Answer
During heavy loading is the chip coming out of low power idle? (What's being displayed by CPU-Z there).

And without data from the i3 being re-installed, there is no further assistance I can provide for you; we really need to know if the issue persists with the other CPU installed, or if it is resolved by the other CPU.

-bob

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Bobbert

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I can answer technical questions about installation, use, and maintinence of most 3D Graphics hardware, and software. I can offer assistance with overclocking (while I do not suggest overclocking while under warranty) and I can give assistance with more complicated problems to the full extent of my abilities.

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I have been into computer hardware, especially 3D graphics and the hardware that drives them, for a number of years. I have knowledge in installation, use, troubleshooting, purchase suggestions and over clocking.


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