CPU bottleneck in L4D?

Discussion in 'Games, Gaming & Game-demos' started by Tiger253, Sep 28, 2009.

  1. Tiger253

    Tiger253 Master Guru

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    Okay, the problem with my bro's computer and Left 4 Dead is the slowdowns when the horde comes or even just a few zombies onscreen followed by guns blazing. I've tried using different game settings but pretty much the biggest help is turning Effects to Low.

    This is his desktop:

    Pentium DC E5200 @ 3.25GHz
    Gigabyte P43
    2x1GB DDR2 @ 866MHz 5-5-5-15
    WDC Blue 320GB
    BFG GTX 260 maxcore 55 oc
    550W PSU

    OS: Windows 7 Professional x86
    ForceWare: 190.03
    Resolution: 1280x1024, 75Hz refresh rate

    I thought his setup would handle L4D easily but he's using all Medium, 2x AA, 4x AF, High paged memory, no film grain, multicore rendering enabled, and vsync with tri-buffering. With FRAPS on, the frames drops from 75 to 45-55 when the horde comes. His CPU at that clock speed is equivalent to the E8400 at stock based on his Passmark score.

    So what is the problem and what should I do about it? Buy a higher-end processor or bigger monitor so the game doesn't put all the load on the processor?
     
  2. civato

    civato Master Guru

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    Last edited: Sep 28, 2009
  3. DSK

    DSK Banned

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    The hell that should easily handle L4D

    i would try different drivers.
     
  4. korn666

    korn666 Master Guru

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    +1:)
     

  5. Tiger253

    Tiger253 Master Guru

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    Before, 190.38 WHQL was installed. These 191.03 seemed to improve the performance just a little bit.

    I'm thinking it's a CPU bottleneck, when I disabled vsync with settings all at High, the frames only jumped to almost 80 but when zombies filled the screen, it took a significant hit still, about 20 frame drop.

    I know this computer's GPU and RAM is enough. While in-game the 2 cores are probably almost maxed out as I hear the AC Freezer 7 kick up.

    So far, turning multicore rendering off killed the FPS. Changing AF didn't help much. Turning page memory to Medium didn't help. The only thing that worked was turning Details to Low, that kept FPS stable at above 70.
     
  6. DSK

    DSK Banned

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    Mate try 186.32

    that driver is full of win.

    though i would throw in another GB of ram maybe that would help.
     
  7. Tiger253

    Tiger253 Master Guru

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    Yeah the next thing I'm going to do is try 186.

    I would throw in some more RAM but it's funny, the OCZ kit I got a couple days ago has one defective stick, so I'm in the RMA process. I don't think memory is the problem though, when I alt-tabbed out and looked at the task manager, well under 1.5GB was being used.

    Later I'm going to try hooking this comp up to my 1080P monitor and see how it performs at high res.
     
  8. gavomatic57

    gavomatic57 Member

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    The source engine has always been quite heavy on the CPU and I wonder if the Pentium's stripped out cache is making a difference here.
     
  9. Tiger253

    Tiger253 Master Guru

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    Yes it is. My computer handles it no problem. All I want is to get this running smoothly on my bro's comp. I'm pretty much out of ideas.
     
  10. Gromuhl'Djun

    Gromuhl'Djun Ancient Guru

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    You could try turning the Vsync off

    I can only speak from my experience of course, but my laptop with a CoreDuo 1.86ghz and an X1600 runs left for dead flawlessly when I turn off the shadows, set textures to medium. No big framedrops happen when hordes of zombies appear, so I would guess your brothers CPU would have to be better than that.

    Also, keep a close eye on the CPU temps...
     

  11. death_samurai

    death_samurai Ancient Guru

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    At first without reading thru the entire post i tot OP's specs on the left quad core at 4ghz could bottle neck a 285 i actually got shocked. Then i read the rest of the post and understood.
     
  12. Tiger253

    Tiger253 Master Guru

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    When I disabled vsync with settings all at High, the frames only jumped to almost 80 but when zombies filled the screen, it took a significant hit still, about 20 frame drop. In the link civato gave, the Core i7 achieved 109fps with the GTX 260 and that's with 16xAF and 4xAA.

    His E5200 gets to 47C when in-game, so not bad.
     
  13. eclap

    eclap Banned

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    L4D can take advantage of 4 cores... It scales well over multiple cores so that cpu could be causing the problems...
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Tiger253

    Tiger253 Master Guru

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    eclap - thanks for that

    Okay, so I hooked up his PC to my 1080P monitor and with the settings he's using that I posted in my original post, the game plays at a solid 60 usually (vsync triple buff). But with High, 4xAA and 8xAF or whatever, it'll still drop to 45ish. And it looked like having some AA and AF rather than none, gave a little more performance. Nonetheless, it seemed like when there were less than 10 zombies, it would stay at a solid 60. If there were MORE than 10, frames would drop about 5-9, so still playable.

    Anyhow, I think he's gonna have to get a bigger monitor and faster CPU soon. Soon because of L4D 2.
     
  15. Vector

    Vector Ancient Guru

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    I would try different drivers. I use 186.18. However I don't have that game.
    Also the system memory is a little on the slow side.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009

  16. Labyrinth

    Labyrinth Ancient Guru

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    you could try

    Code:
    -threads 2
    in the launch options
     
  17. Burnt_Ram

    Burnt_Ram Ancient Guru

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    i cant see it being his cpu. mine even at the stock clocks *3.1* blazed through L4D. unless it is a cache prob, but i cant see that either ...
     
  18. Psytek

    Psytek Ancient Guru

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    55 isn't bad for min frames when the horde are all there.
     
  19. Burnt_Ram

    Burnt_Ram Ancient Guru

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    not that great either. at 1600x1200 with my 8800GTS 640mb sli coupled with the cpu in my sig i never drop below 75 fps vsynced, even when the hordes come?
     
  20. Tiger253

    Tiger253 Master Guru

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    Does that do the same thing as enabling multicore rendering?

    Well if the game experiences low FPS in 1280x1024 and again at 1920x1080, it's a CPU bottleneck right. And I saw a lag spike twice. Besides L4D, this machine plays CoD WaW with no problems.

    Psytek - you're using an E5200 with 2 GTX 260's?!
     

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