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Bad performance caused by unexpected bottlenecks

So I think this can be a very interesting discussion.

I'm having some weird performance issues with my computer, which I can only image is some kind of bottleneck. But the bottleneck isn't that obvious.

I hope I can find a solution to my problem, and start an interesting discussion at the same time.

 

Last summer, I bought my first self-build gaming PC. I worked a retail job for months to be able to afford it.

Specs:

CPU: i5-9600K

GPU: GIGABYTE GeForce RTX 2070 Super WINDFORCE OC 8G

RAM: 16GB DDR4 2666Hz

Motherboard: AsRock Z390 Phtantom Gaming 4

Power Supply: GIGABYTE B700H

C-Drive: Samsung 970 EVO plus, 250GB M.2 SSD

 

I've had multiple issues with this computer from the start. Some I could fix.

A week after I started using the computer, I started noticing that the performance that I got didn't match any of the benchmarks online (of the RTX 2070 Super). I was reaching much lower framerates than expected.

After months on end of asking on forums and looking for issues, I found out my Nvidia control panel had a setting turned on that would make it so my games were rendered in 2K and then down scaled to my monitor resolution which is 1080p. I never turned on the setting knowingly and nobody ever thought it would be the problem. I only noticed the setting because I was watching a video that explained every setting individually.

After turning it off, I did notice some improvements, but not much at all. The framerates were good enough though, to be satisfied with it. While trying to fix this issue, I did find out about another problem with my computer. I store my games on another drive. The drive is a 750GB Toshiba HDD. It's a drive I stole from an older laptop so it's a 2,5 inch drive. While benchmarking every part in my PC, I noticed that it did not only have terrible specs, but was also under performing, below the terrible spec. It was a horrible read speed, like 20MB/s or less I don't remember so clearly. Since my games are installed on that drive, I'm suspecting that it's a bottleneck for my games. A drive is something I normally don't consider when thinking about gaming performance. Anyway, after disabling the upscale setting, I started noticing another issue. Almost all my games have stuttering problems. They can run like well into 100fps, and suddenly freeze for 2 seconds, even though my CPU and GPU were never 100% utilized.

Each game has their own kind of issues.

 

GTA 5: World could stop loading, making me drive into unloaded areas, and having lag spikes. (Doesn't happen often)

 

Subnautica: Game freezes when when an entrance animation is played. Like stepping into my base or a Seamoth. The game freezes for a second or two. It even crashed once. (Happens always)

 

Project CARS 2: Throughout the race, the game likes to freeze for two seconds while the simulation is still going. This is very annoying, I could be in first, the screen freezes for two seconds, it unfreezes and I'm off the road being taken over by people behind me. (Happens regularly)

 

Some games don't have issues at all but these are just some examples.

This behavior is not normal. I'm playing with a 4K gaming capable graphics card on a 1080p screen, with V-Sync often turned on because my screen is just 60Hz, yet this still happens. My computer is not even stretching it's legs, yet I'm rudely interrupted in my immersion with lagspikes way too often. I'm most suspicious about the slow drive, but I don't have the money to replace it yet. This is what I mean with an unexpected bottleneck. You would never say it's a drive that's causing issues in your game. I'm still not sure about this anyway, so that made we wonder if there are any other bottlenecks I could think about. This also made me very insecure about my selection of components, second guessing every part in there.

These issues make the system feel unstable in general.

 

One more issue I noticed with my computer that doesn't have to do with performance I hope, is an  i n s a n e  amount of coil whine. In Assassins Creed Oddysey, the coil whine is unbearable if I'm not wearing my headphones. Also when I'm playing Minecraft with heavy shaders, it tends to happen a lot. It doesn't even need to be a heavy game to run.. Light games can cause coil whine too. It's way too much coil whine, and way too loud. And it's annoying the hell out of me. I've seen tips like swap out the power supply, but I also don't have the money for that.

 

To wrap this up:

Do you have any idea what might cause these problems?

Is the slow drive definitely the problem?

Is there a bottleneck I don't know of?

And it might be interesting to discuss in general, what kinds of unexpected bottlenecks there might be.

 

Also just to clarify, I don't have any thermal issues, and I have a fast and stable internet connection.

I have not yet tried to reinstall Windows, but I'm not able to do that for probably two more months because of important software I just can't remove yet.

 

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this is actually a moderately straight forward question hidden in a text wall so huge I suspect no one even read it.

 

9600k and a 2070S running @ 1080p with adequate memory and other bits experiencing lower than expected fps.

 

One thing that isn’t said is what you were expecting vs what you are getting. Also what games are being run isn’t mentioned.

 

well I can totally see how 2k down sampling wouldn’t affect your machine much.  You’ve got a wildly powerful gpu to run at 1080p.  It would run 1080p and 1440p at about the same speed.  Even 4k wouldn’t kill it outright.  May have efficiency problems with a 2070s at low resolutions like that.  Not sure.  What defines your frame rate though is the cpu not gpu in these instances. 
 

that ancient laptop HD is likely causing a lot of problems.  The subnautica problem most likely.  I played subnautica as beta and it had freezing issues like that throughout the game.  That one still might be there. Dunno.

 

lag only happens with online stuff.  If there’s no online component it isn’t lag it’s a freeze.  Are you running a gsynch?
 

solve your drive issue, get a better bigger monitor with synch, see how many problems go away.
 

 

Edited by Bombastinator
Long long post needs long long reply. Had to go at this one 3 times

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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I'd recommend checking your plugs and fittings on the motherboard.
Sometimes even if some connections are both ways they can cause some problems.

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4 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

this is actually a moderately straight forward question hidden in a tex wall so huge I suspect no one even read it.

 

9600k and a 2070S running @ 1080p AMD adequate memory and other bits experiencing lower than expected fps.

 

One thing that isn’t said is what you were expecting vs what you are getting. Also what games are being run isn’t mentioned.

 

well I can totally see how 2k down sampling wouldn’t affect your machine much.  You’ve got a wildly powerful gpu to run at 1080p.  It would run 1080p and 1440p at about the same speed.  Even 4k wouldn’t kill it outright.  May have efficiency problems with a 2070s at low resolutions like that.  Not sure.  What defines your frame rate though is the cpu not gpu in these instances. 
 

 

The frame rate is about what I expected since I disabled the up scaling option. It's about the same as the benchmarks would say, so general framerate is not really an issue anymore. It's the lagspikes that are the problem at the moment.

I experience this with most games I play at the moment

Just to list a few:

Grand Theft Auto V,

Subnautica,

Project CARS 2,

Battlefield V,

TSW 2020,

...

 

I'm actually saving up money for a new display right now. I've always doubted about buying a 2K monitor because I care more about fps than resolution. But it might even benefit the overall stability of the system and there would be minimal framerate loss if I understand correctly? 

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5 minutes ago, Astro22 said:

The frame rate is about what I expected since I disabled the up scaling option. It's about the same as the benchmarks would say, so general framerate is not really an issue anymore. It's the lagspikes that are the problem at the moment.

I experience this with most games I play at the moment

Just to list a few:

Grand Theft Auto V,

Subnautica,

Project CARS 2,

Battlefield V,

TSW 2020,

...

 

I'm actually saving up money for a new display right now. I've always doubted about buying a 2K monitor because I care more about fps than resolution. But it might even benefit the overall stability of the system and there would be minimal framerate loss if I understand correctly? 

With a gpu that huge? Very possibly.  Sync is the thing that would be a gain though if you don’t have it on your current monitor.  The ancient spinning rust hard drive is probably a bigger problem though.  People do use HHDs for storage.  Actually running stuff off them is a different matter though.  

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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3 minutes ago, Bombastinator said:

With a gpu that huge? Very possibly.  Sync is the thing that would be a gain though if you don’t have it on your current monitor.  The ancient spinning rust hard drive is probably a bigger problem though.  People do use HHDs for storage.  Actually running stuff off them is a different matter though.  

I'll definitely buy a monitor with sync technology. That will improve a lot. So should I invest in SSD storage for games? I thought that as long as it's a decent HDD, it's fine for storing and running games on. Other than worse loading times, A good HDD shouldn't impact gaming performance, right?

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54 minutes ago, Astro22 said:

So I think this can be a very interesting discussion.

I'm having some weird performance issues with my computer, which I can only image is some kind of bottleneck. But the bottleneck isn't that obvious.

I hope I can find a solution to my problem, and start an interesting discussion at the same time.

 

Last summer, I bought my first self-build gaming PC. I worked a retail job for months to be able to afford it.

Specs:

CPU: i5-9600K

GPU: RTX 2070 Super

RAM: 16GB DDR4 2666Hz

Motherboard:

 

Power Supply: GIGABYTE B700H

C-Drive: Samsung 970 EVO plus, 250GB M.2 SSD

 

I've had multiple issues with this computer from the start. Some I could fix.

A week after I started using the computer, I started noticing that the performance that I got didn't match any of the benchmarks online (of the RTX 2070 Super). I was reaching much lower framerates than expected.

After months on end of asking on forums and looking for issues, I found out my Nvidia control panel had a setting turned on that would make it so my games were rendered in 2K and then down scaled to my monitor resolution which is 1080p. I never turned on the setting knowingly and nobody ever thought it would be the problem. I only noticed the setting because I was watching a video that explained every setting individually.

After turning it off, I did notice some improvements, but not much at all. The framerates were good enough though, to be satisfied with it. While trying to fix this issue, I did find out about another problem with my computer. I store my games on another drive. The drive is a 750GB Toshiba HDD. It's a drive I stole from an older laptop so it's a 2,5 inch drive. While benchmarking every part in my PC, I noticed that it did not only have terrible specs, but was also under performing, below the terrible spec. It was a horrible read speed, like 20MB/s or less I don't remember so clearly. Since my games are installed on that drive, I'm suspecting that it's a bottleneck for my games. A drive is something I normally don't consider when thinking about gaming performance. Anyway, after disabling the upscale setting, I started noticing another issue. Almost all my games have stuttering problems. They can run like well into 100fps, and suddenly freeze for 2 seconds, even though my CPU and GPU were never 100% utilized.

Each game has their own kind of issues.

 

GTA 5: World could stop loading, making me drive into unloaded areas, and having lag spikes. (Doesn't happen often)

 

Subnautica: Game freezes when when an entrance animation is played. Like stepping into my base or a Seamoth. The game freezes for a second or two. It even crashed once. (Happens always)

 

Project CARS 2: Throughout the race, the game likes to freeze for two seconds while the simulation is still going. This is very annoying, I could be in first, the screen freezes for two seconds, it unfreezes and I'm off the road being taken over by people behind me. (Happens regularly)

 

Some games don't have issues at all but these are just some examples.

This behavior is not normal. I'm playing with a 4K gaming capable graphics card on a 1080p screen, with V-Sync often turned on because my screen is just 60Hz, yet this still happens. My computer is not even stretching it's legs, yet I'm rudely interrupted in my immersion with lagspikes way too often. I'm most suspicious about the slow drive, but I don't have the money to replace it yet. This is what I mean with an unexpected bottleneck. You would never say it's a drive that's causing issues in your game. I'm still not sure about this anyway, so that made we wonder if there are any other bottlenecks I could think about. This also made me very insecure about my selection of components, second guessing every part in there.

These issues make the system feel unstable in general.

 

One more issue I noticed with my computer that doesn't have to do with performance I hope, is an  i n s a n e  amount of coil whine. In Assassins Creed Oddysey, the coil whine is unbearable if I'm not wearing my headphones. Also when I'm playing Minecraft with heavy shaders, it tends to happen a lot. It doesn't even need to be a heavy game to run.. Light games can cause coil whine too. It's way too much coil whine, and way too loud. And it's annoying the hell out of me. I've seen tips like swap out the power supply, but I also don't have the money for that.

 

To wrap this up:

Do you have any idea what might cause these problems?

Is the slow drive definitely the problem?

Is there a bottleneck I don't know of?

And it might be interesting to discuss in general, what kinds of unexpected bottlenecks there might be.

 

Also just to clarify, I don't have any thermal issues, and I have a fast and stable internet connection.

I have not yet tried to reinstall Windows, but I'm not able to do that for probably two more months because of important software I just can't remove yet.

 

Hello,

 

You should have any issues but try the following:

 

Update 970 EVO Plus firmware on samsung site.

Update the Bios on the Asrock motherboard.

Reinstall a fresh Windows 10 1909 version.

 

From this point you should be at default setting and you should go like this:

 

Enable XMP on your Asrock motherboard:

35bda7a595.png

 

Istall all windows 10 updates.

Install Nvidia Geforce Experience, login and update the latest drivers.

Restart the times that the machine askes to you to restart.

Install all chipset and audio drivers.

Update the monitor firmware also.

 

Go to Nvidia control panel and change just the following:

Ajust image settings with preview do quality emphasizing.

Then go to Manage 3D Settings - Turn off Vertical Sync and apply.

 

Download furmark, hwmonitor, cpuz and try it

 

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19 minutes ago, Astro22 said:

I'll definitely buy a monitor with sync technology. That will improve a lot. So should I invest in SSD storage for games? I thought that as long as it's a decent HDD, it's fine for storing and running games on. Other than worse loading times, A good HDD shouldn't impact gaming performance, right?

Fine for storing.  If the game keeps cinematics and new areas on disk though there’s going to be a hitch every time it loads stuff because it’s slow.  
 

Even a good one will.  Remember you may have it plugged into sata6, but a mechanical HD can’t even hit sata1 speeds. People often solve this by setting aside an ssd partition as HD cache (win10can do this) which will push frequently used parts of whatever game you are playing onto the ssd.  Speeds things up a lot.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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1 hour ago, Bombastinator said:

Fine for storing.  If the game keeps cinematics and new areas on disk though there’s going to be a hitch every time it loads stuff because it’s slow.  
 

Even a good one will.  Remember you may have it plugged into sata6, but a mechanical HD can’t even hit sata1 speeds. People often solve this by setting aside an ssd partition as HD cache (win10can do this) which will push frequently used parts of whatever game you are playing onto the ssd.  Speeds things up a lot.

That's a very interesting approach. I think I am going to double down on SSD storage. Thank you for your helpful replies! 

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1 hour ago, rdkappa said:

Hello,

 

You should have any issues but try the following:

 

Update 970 EVO Plus firmware on samsung site.

Update the Bios on the Asrock motherboard.

Reinstall a fresh Windows 10 1909 version.

 

From this point you should be at default setting and you should go like this:

 

Enable XMP on your Asrock motherboard:

35bda7a595.png

 

Istall all windows 10 updates.

Install Nvidia Geforce Experience, login and update the latest drivers.

Restart the times that the machine askes to you to restart.

Install all chipset and audio drivers.

Update the monitor firmware also.

 

Go to Nvidia control panel and change just the following:

Ajust image settings with preview do quality emphasizing.

Then go to Manage 3D Settings - Turn off Vertical Sync and apply.

 

Download furmark, hwmonitor, cpuz and try it

 

Thank you for this comprehensive reply! I'll definitely follow this useful guide, and reinstall Windows as soon as I'm able to. 

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4 minutes ago, Astro22 said:

That's a very interesting approach. I think I am going to double down on SSD storage. Thank you for your helpful replies! 

Older games that assumed HD sometimes preloaded sections of nearby game areas so if one moved into then it would be ready.  Might not be being done with new stuff.  I don’t know.  Hitch would still happen even if one went near a new are but did not enter it.

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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