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I just purchased an Asus ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/1GD5 to replace my Asus EN8800GT TOP/G/HTDP/512M.

For reference, here is a comparison chart of the approximate cards on Tom's Hardware.

I ran the Crysis GPU benchmark with results of:

  • 8800GT = approximately 32FPS
  • GTX460 = approximately 32FPS - no increase in performance.

The Crysis settings for both tests were exactly the same for each test. And the test were run 3 times on each card.

Any ideas why the results would be nearly identical? Would this be a case where my older system is limiting any further FPS increase regardless of the video card I use?

My current system specs:

  • Motherboard: Asus A8N SLI Premium
  • Processor: AMD Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4400+
  • Memory: 4 gigs Corsair DDR-400 (XMS-3200C2)
  • HDD: Western Digital VelociRaptor WD3000HLFS 300GB 10000 RPM 16MB Cache
  • OS: Win XP x86
  • All drivers are up to date. System is kept extremely clean and updated.

Thanks for any input/insight you can provide.

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What do other benchmarks say? Crysis is rather poorly optimized, and not really representative of your performance in other games - more than anything, Crysis needs a much faster CPU than most games to get decent performance. See also –  BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Nov 10 '10 at 17:58
    
@BlueRaja - Agreed that Crysis may not be the best benchmark, but it is the game I've used in the past to benchmark when upgrading GPU's. For example, when I upgraded from a GeForce 7 series card to the 8800GT card, the FPS increased by about 35%. This latest upgrade was shocking to me as there was absolutely no FPS increase. –  Metro Smurf Nov 10 '10 at 18:26
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2 Answers

up vote 9 down vote accepted

You most certainly have a performance bottleneck in your CPU. The X2 4400+ is over 5 years old now which, along with your older motherboard (which only supports PCIe 1.0, the 460 is designed for PCIe 2.0), is severely limiting any gains from your brand new video card.

This next part is a little hazy as I've heard conflicting arguments, so hopefully someone who understands this better will chime in. It seems you're using a 32-bit OS when you have over 4GB of RAM. x86 (or 32-bit) can't properly utilize memory over 3GB so this may also be limiting your performance.

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Very good point/catch about the PCI differences. I've been leaning toward the CPU and will run a few tests this afternoon. Regarding the RAM; you can shove 4GB in a x86 system. The OS will only recognize around 3.5 and the OS will further reduce the amount of RAM by how much your GPU is contributing. –  Metro Smurf Nov 10 '10 at 18:22
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An article to help with the hazy details: dansdata.com/askdan00015.htm –  Oak Nov 10 '10 at 18:26
    
This is exactly your problem. Your old components are bottlenecking the speeds you'd be able to get out of your video card. I know, because I tried to do the same thing that you're doing (ie - just upgrade the video card and forget the rest). You can only get away with that for a few years at most, but sooner or later you'll end up with bottlenecks from inferior components. –  Jagd Nov 11 '10 at 19:45
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First of all, make sure you have the latest drivers, DirectX version etc. These can have a huge impact on performance.

But the most likely reason you do not experience any performance increase is that your graphics card isn't the bottleneck here. As games are a real-time challenge to your system, the weakest link will slow down the whole process.

So, are you CPU-bound, memory-bound, IO (disk) bound, or what? You can find more information by just checking how your system behaves. Open your task manager and choose to view page faults for the benchmark - a very high count hints that you do not have enough physical memory. Check out the CPU utilization - if it's constantly at 100% it's a sign it may not be fast enough for this game, regardless of how quickly the GPU can complete its own tasks.

These are just examples - you can find more information online about how to find the offending bottleneck.

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All drivers are updated. I keep my system quite clean and updated. Do you have any links to narrowing down the offending bottleneck? –  Metro Smurf Nov 10 '10 at 18:19
    
@Metro personally, no; but as this sounds very relevant to superuser.com, I've just asked it there. –  Oak Nov 10 '10 at 18:56
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