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[World of Warcraft] What's the (possible) bottle neck?

yrhiyrhi Member Posts: 12

Cheers,

so, today Ive bought myself a 20" Widescreen display today, after I couldn't bare with my old fat one anymore...

Together with my new display, I plan to buy either a new CPU or a new GPU (no money for both at the moment), so I thought which might be the better upgrade - which might bring a real FPS increase...

Concerning FPS, I only really care about World of Warcraft performance, as that's the game I mainly play!



My System:

Operating System: Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

Motherboard: GeForce6100PM-M2

Processor: AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 4400+ (2 CPUs), ~2.3GHz

Memory: 2048MB RAM

GPU: Elitegroup GeForce 8600 GT 512MB | PCIe

 

So, I got the choice between either a:

- Nvidia Geforce GTS 250 with 512 MB

or a

- AMD Athlon™ 64 X2 6000+ (2x 3.1GHz)

 



My questions would be:

- Taking my new display and its higher resolution (1680 x 1050) into account, which of the two brings me the better FPS increase in World of Warcraft (or generally?)

(If it is the CPU, is the 8600GT capable of handling a 1680 x 1050 resolution?)



- Is a Geforce GTS 250 with 1024 MB necessary for a 1680 x 1050 resolution, or are 512 MB enough?

 

Thanks for the help!!

Comments

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441

    Well, the GPU is the big bottlenech here together with RAM memory.

    You can run the high resolution with the low memory version but more memory really helps. 2 Additional gigs of Ram would also increase performance to a low price.

    Wow doesn't have multiprocessor support so the processor would help also but the graphicscard do more work and your current is rather old and crappy. GPU will increase your performance in gaming  the most.

  • CleffyCleffy Member RarePosts: 6,297

    The CPU is the bottleneck.  World of Warcraft is a single threaded game, and its processor requirements have gone up.  In contrast its GPU requirements haven't gone up to the level of an 8600.

    You can probably do better then an AMD 6000+, there are the new AMD Athlon II's that perform more effeciently.

  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170

    I was thinking CPU too, but I looked around for some WoW benchmarks and you can see going from a 2.3ghz (129 fps) to a 3.4 ghz (139 fps) CPU is a very small increase because it's already almost bottlenecked by the GPU:
    http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,631615/World-of-Warcraft-CPU-and-GPU-benchmarks/World-of-Warcraft/Test/bildergalerie/?iid=772112

    and how big a difference 8800GT (139 fps) made over a Radeon 3870 (90 fps):
    http://www.pcgameshardware.de/aid,631615/World-of-Warcraft-CPU-and-GPU-benchmarks/World-of-Warcraft/Test/bildergalerie/?iid=772108

    So if a 2.3ghz CPU is capable of pumping out ~129fps @ 1680x1050 4xAA, but coupled with a 3870 only ~90fps, and an 8600GT is probably about half as fast as a 3870.. then the 8600GT is probably limiting you to ~45fps at 1680x1050 4x AA (less in towns/raids and with new WotLK graphics changes I'm sure).


    So if the above is reasonable then I would say, upgrade the video card. Another thing you can check though is to run the task manager with WoW running and see if your cores are pegged. WoW is somewhat dual core capable now, it offloads the sound processing and a little bit of other stuff (probably the UI) to the 2nd core, and considering there are no physics and no AI the CPU demand doesn't seem that tremendous.

  • yrhiyrhi Member Posts: 12

     



    This is a pic of the ressource monitor, while standing with full details, 4x AA and 1680x1050 resolution in Dalaran!

     

     



    Now this is a pic while standing with shadows at half, 4x AA and 1280x1024 resolution in Dalaran!

     

     

    Ok, what I've found out:

    - Whenever I set the shadows and sight distance to half, the CPU usage is nearly at max!

    - Whenever I set the shadows and sight distance to max, the CPU usage is at 70%, generally a bit lower than before!

    - Resolution doesn't have a big impact, only a few FPS!



    Now what does this mean ??? :o

     

  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170


    Originally posted by yrhi
     
    Ok, what I've found out:
    - Whenever I set the shadows and sight distance to half, the CPU usage is nearly at max!
    - Whenever I set the shadows and sight distance to max, the CPU usage is at 70%, generally a bit lower than before!
    - Resolution doesn't have a big impact, only a few FPS!

    Now what does this mean ??? :o
     



    Ok, this is my interpretation:

    - When you set the shadows and sight distance to half, the GPU has NO trouble rendering as much as it wants, so the CPU peaks as it keeps pumping the GPU more frames to do but can't keep up. (This is how they bench CPU fps btw, take pressure off GPU)

    - When you set the shadows and sight distance to max, the GPU chokes, so the CPU has to wait.. and wait.. for the GPU to be ready for the next frame to do, so it only hits 70% usage. (the normal situation, as modern CPU's are plenty fast for their paired GPU - my cpu only hits 40% in mmo's)

    My conclusion: You want the shadows and such to max, and the GPU is holding it back at that point. But when you upgrade the GPU you'll be in the 1st situation again - GPU will have NO trouble rendering it but the CPU will be topped out not able to pump it enough stuff to do.


    In other words, to fully realize the benefit of the new GPU you'll need a new CPU too -but the GPU is the first bottleneck.. then CPU will be your next.

  • yrhiyrhi Member Posts: 12

    Thanks, makes sense! :D

    The first I'm gonna buy then is the GTS 250 then...

    If anyone knows which brand is the best (has the best fan / isn't so loud) in terms of GTS 250, I'd be happy to know :)

  • frozenvoidfrozenvoid Member Posts: 40

    get more ram and a better video card.

    image

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    Originally posted by yrhi


    Thanks, makes sense! :D
    The first I'm gonna buy then is the GTS 250 then...
    If anyone knows which brand is the best (has the best fan / isn't so loud) in terms of GTS 250, I'd be happy to know :)

    Most of them are close to eachother. Powercolors card are usually quiet but Gigabyte, MSI or Asus works also. 

    And you can always exchange the fan later if it start to sound. Liquid cooling is of course most silent but not worth the money unless you have SSD harddrives. Usually it is the harddrives that is loudest on a computer.

    However you should consider a 260 GTX instead, look on the difference on this nice chart: www.tomshardware.com/charts/gaming-graphics-cards-charts-2009-high-quality/Sum-of-FPS-Benchmarks-1920x1200,1473.html

    As you see do the 260 outperform the 250 with a lot.... at least check the chart for how good the cards perform with the pricelist, it should tell you which card tha gives you most bling for the buck.

    Good luck :)

  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170

    oh, forgot xbitlabs did an mmo GPU comparison:
    http://xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/mainstream-cards-mmorpg_14.html#sect0

    Through some great oversight they didn't include a Radeon 4870 in the review for some reason ugh. But the 250 is 45 fps and 260 is 49 fps in WoW at least. With the 4850 at 34 fps (just below a 9800 GT) it feels like WoW does run better on nVidia hardware because the 4850 is usually just below the 250 I think.

  • Loke666Loke666 Member EpicPosts: 21,441
    Originally posted by noquarter


    oh, forgot xbitlabs did an mmo GPU comparison:

    http://xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/mainstream-cards-mmorpg_14.html#sect0
    Through some great oversight they didn't include a Radeon 4870 in the review for some reason ugh. But the 250 is 45 fps and 260 is 49 fps in WoW at least. With the 4850 at 34 fps (just below a 9800 GT) it feels like WoW does run better on nVidia hardware because the 4850 is usually just below the 250 I think.

     

    Not only Wow, most MMOs runs a lot better in Nvidia. Since FPS games vary a lot it is kinda strange. Nvidias drivers are better and maybe MMO devs are a bit lazyier with optimizing the ATI cards then the FPS devs.

    But great table, it really helps gamers that look for a GFX card for their MMO. And the 260 also gives a lot better FPS in other games if the OP plan to play anything else then Wow.

  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170


    Originally posted by Loke666

    Originally posted by noquarter

    oh, forgot xbitlabs did an mmo GPU comparison:
    http://xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/mainstream-cards-mmorpg_14.html#sect0
    Through some great oversight they didn't include a Radeon 4870 in the review for some reason ugh. But the 250 is 45 fps and 260 is 49 fps in WoW at least. With the 4850 at 34 fps (just below a 9800 GT) it feels like WoW does run better on nVidia hardware because the 4850 is usually just below the 250 I think.


     
    Not only Wow, most MMOs runs a lot better in Nvidia. Since FPS games vary a lot it is kinda strange. Nvidias drivers are better and maybe MMO devs are a bit lazyier with optimizing the ATI cards then the FPS devs.
    But great table, it really helps gamers that look for a GFX card for their MMO. And the 260 also gives a lot better FPS in other games if the OP plan to play anything else then Wow.

    Eh, the 4850 beat or tied the GTX 250 (@4xAA) in all those MMOs except WoW and Eve so I'd def get an nVidia for WoW or Eve, a Radeon for Turbine games, AoC, and either card for Lineage (prob most korean games? They all look like the same engine lol).


    CoX/Champions would be an interesting bench. Still, they really needed the 4870 on there if not the 275 and 4890. Probably steering this quite off topic now though :)

  • yrhiyrhi Member Posts: 12

    :)

    found the xbitlabs benchmark before, that's why I decided for a GTS 250, runs better in wow!

     

    Thanks for the help guys, concerning the GTX 260, I know it's a lot better, but sadly my budget is very tight so no room for the GTS 260 :<

     

    This www.firingsquad.com/hardware/msi_geforce_gts_250_N250GTS-2D1G_review/ is the one I'm gonna get, it's pretty cheap in my shop right now...

     

    Only problem is the PSU, which is surprisingly expensive, if you wanna get a good one... I'm looking through eBay now, to get a cheap good one!

    ( Enermax EG465AX-VE(G) 460W) is the one im looking at right now! Or this (W0116 Thermaltake Toughpower) or this (Hiper Type R Modular)

     

     

  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170


    Originally posted by yrhi
    :)
    found the xbitlabs benchmark before, that's why I decided for a GTS 250, runs better in wow!
     
    Thanks for the help guys, concerning the GTX 260, I know it's a lot better, but sadly my budget is very tight so no room for the GTS 260 :<
     
    This www.firingsquad.com/hardware/msi_geforce_gts_250_N250GTS-2D1G_review/ is the one I'm gonna get, it's pretty cheap in my shop right now...
     
    Only problem is the PSU, which is surprisingly expensive, if you wanna get a good one... I'm looking through eBay now, to get a cheap good one!
    ( Enermax EG465AX-VE(G) 460W) is the one im looking at right now! Or this (W0116 Thermaltake Toughpower) or this (Hiper Type R Modular)
     
     

    Oh, what is your current PSU?

  • yrhiyrhi Member Posts: 12

     a crappy one thats not capable :/

    still looking for a cheap psu, eBay isnt any cheaper...

    someone know one?

  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170
  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170

    You might be overestimating how much power a moderate PC takes btw, your current PSU might just cut it..

    http://xbitlabs.com/articles/coolers/display/system-wattage_6.html#sect0 has some good facts about this.

  • frozenvoidfrozenvoid Member Posts: 40

    careful with cheap PSU's! this isnt an area you want to go cheap in. stick with seasonic,corsair,pc power and cooling. 

     

     www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx

     

    great name brand psu,80 plus certified,modular,sli ready, 5 year warranty, $10 mail in rebate gets it down to $79, highly rated.

    image

  • Gweed0Gweed0 Member UncommonPosts: 108

    Is everyone in this forum overlooking the 2GB of ram he has?? The cheapest most effecient upgrade you can get is upgrading that to 4GB. That i'm sure will shuuck out a 10FPS+. On another note you unfortuantly will have to buy a new PSU for your video card... I would personally buy 2GB more ram of like 1600mhz and let in downclock to whatever it was you were running and save the money to buy you a new pc or build you a new one when you have the money as eventually in the next few months you'll see the overhaul is neccesarry anyway imo.

  • yrhiyrhi Member Posts: 12

     Ah yeah unfortunately my financial situation is rather bad, so next stuff has to wait till next month (-_-)

    I'm gonna buy a GTS 250 now, together with a PSU I've already bought! Thanks to your advice I've not bought a cheap one but bought a good one to a cheap price! ;)

    Next month it's probably gonna be the RAM, CPU and if it fits into my budget, then also a new motherboard. So I'm kind of getting a totally new pc (my current is 3 years old anyway)!



    Thanks for all your advice!

  • noquarternoquarter Member Posts: 1,170

    WoW doesn't use more than 800MB ram though (pre-WotLK), I used to hang around 700MB with everything turned up. I haven't actually checked into the mem usage of Win7 but it's suppose to be less than Vista and Vista prefers ~800 for itself if you have enough available, though will downsize to ~500 easily. So I agree he should up to 4gb but 2gb isn't gonna kill his pc if he's just playing WoW.. now other MMO's like LotRO, AoC, etc that want 1.5gb just for themselves definitely need 4gb.

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