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Addicted2FSX

How do i know if my i7 Processor is degraded?

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Hello,

First and formost, I love flight simulation and FSX. I consider it my favorite hobby and even 7 years after this old software came out its still enjoyable today as it was in 2006! I also consider this post to be a cry for help in bettering my sim quality! I appreciate everyone who wants to help and gladly apreciate it if you do. If your a negative person with a poor attitude and plan on giving non-productive advice than do me a favor and please quit reading this and continue what you were doing before you stumbled upon this topic! If you can relate or have had similar issues I would love to hear about those as well! Sorry for the length of this thread but i felt it was the best way to explain what ive tried and what hasn't been done for the reader to better assist in a solution or fix.

 

Im having issues with of course; the main problem with FSX- "Frame Rates"

Ive had my system now for about a year and I use it strictly for flight sim so i dont know how it would act towards other software but I can't seem to figure out why it just doesn't like FSX!

 

My main hardware is listed below:
 

CPU: i7 2700k @ 4.5

MOBO: ASUS sabertooth z77

RAM: corsair vengeance 16gb @ 1866

GPU: EVGA GTX 680

PSU: corsair AX1200

COOLER: corsair h100

 

Also I will note that I am running FSX acceleration on Windows 7 64bit basic home premium and all updates installed and I use nvidia inspector. I have an SSD for FSX itself, an SSD for the OS, and a 1tb WD harddrive for other programs and where I keep the scenery files for FSX.

 

I figured with these components i should be getting fairly good frame rates out of FSX...shouldn't i? but i don't! first i will start by saying that what I consider "good" frame rates is 20-30 at all times. Im getting an average of 10-14 FPS in the captain sim 777 with aerosofts chicago with alot of the sliders to the left with GEX, REX, scenery-tech, accu-feel, and ENB series. Ive configured my ENB to where it has no performance hit and ive tested regular "raw" FSX with no addons except the captain sim 777 and i get around around 18-20 with the default chicago and 24 fps with the PMDG 737. Also im using FRAPS to record and fraps loves to bite off half of the fps with 1080p. So if i wanted to record i would be left with usually 7 to 8 fps to work with! Why it does this I don't know, maybe you do?!?

 

So after countless fresh FSX installations, a couple of OS re-installs, a million new cfgs and tweaks(useless), TONS of trial and error, Money wasted on parts, and sleepless nights ive come to think that maybe I simply have bad luck! Ive pondered buying a 3970x or 3960x processor thinking that one of those would help but after researching i think that would be a waste of a perfectly good $1000 seeing that those processor's only pros over the 2600/2700k is that they have a bigger cache, and more cores(which are useless for fsx). Not too mention I would probley cry after handing over $1000 dollars to intel for a processor that would only give me slightly better performance in the sim. That being said, i didn't spend this much money to keep spending money looking for a solution to one sim. I really love simming and all the addons and i can't even imagine not doing it, but the performance issues really take the excitement out of it and I spend 95% of the time testing and tweaking rather than flying! I don't want to give up FSX even after 7 years but even tell this day there is no way to enjoy the game with my beautiful addons!

 

I test the captain sim 777 at aerosoft chicago like i stated earlier in windowed mode with task manager showing performance and even with affinity mask set at 14 its still running in all cores. Also changing anything in my cfg does not do anything to the sim! I can change any number or setting in my cfg and ill always get the same results except if you change the physical things like resolution or frame rate limit which I keep at 30 by the way! Also, in task manager it shows FSX is using 100% of my cpu, i know its a cpu dependent game so i figure thats normal, but i wonder if anyone doesn't get that with huge addons? I have also tried different downloads of the aircraft and addons to ensure there is not a corrupt installation.

 

When it comes to the overclocking side of things ive tried different clocks and tested each one with NO DIFFERENCE to the sim! Overclocking for me did nothing, maybe 1 or 2 fps at the most, and ive managed to get my processor as high as 5.0! my cpu doesnt seem any faster and there is no way to tell because i get the same scores on benchmarks as i would with the base clock! These scores are usually lower than average too so its frustrating. FSX depends alot on processor speed and even today the 2700k/2600k get the best overclock over anything and the best temps for that overclock so when it comes to buying a new processor there really isn't anything significantly better thats worth the money!

 

So what im thinking is...Is it possible since ive seen other users get great performance with this processor and the 2600k could maybe mine be a lemon? The 2600k/2700k are the first processors that pop up when you think FSX so why am i not getting exceptional performance like ive seen in other users? I would like to know would it be worth maybe buying a new 2600k or 2700k to see if the performance is different with another one or could there just be a bottleneck in my system somewhere preventing my processor of using all of its potential? I am desperate now and I can't see putting the sim away even after 7 years but this is a frustrating problem not worth investing tons of money and time in to achieve the same results! You can't tell me ALL of these users who have these nice lifelike youtube videos with no stutters and no lag and maxed out settings really get only 10-15 fps in this aircraft and have FANTASTIC video editing skills!! Is there anyway of knowing if my processor is bogging down?

 

Also just a thought but ive noticed alot of people still use the outdated i7 920 and see great fsx results with that even though the highest speed you can achieve with one of those is 4.2, and thats only with the most special cherry picked 920s in the batch! I wonder what the population's thoughts are on these processors even today?

 

I've also been curious about Haswell. Ive heard mixed reviews about the 4770k. Some people say yay, some nay. Some say performance couldnt get any better and the frame rates are amazing with fsx and others say its nothing special and has crappy overclocking ability and worst than ivy-bridge temperatures when overclocked! Does anyone have an honest opinion on that one?

 

My last thought was maybe i should wait tell tax season and purchase the mysterious 4970x that "should" be out this september! its rumored to have 10% better performance than the 3970 which isnt much but its gotta be better than the performance im getting! If so, there goes 1000 of my hard earned tax dollars all over again.

 

 

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CPUs do degrade, but they don't lose performance when they degrade, they lose stability at a given clock speed that was previously stable. Typically this will manifest itself as BSODs, mysterious program crashes or random reboots. At this point you either have to lower the clock speed or increase the voltage. Then it will be fine for a while again, before you have to do the same. Eventually (this process can take months or even years) it will not even be stable at stock clock speed and voltage. If you can reach 5 GHz with yours, it's certainly not degraded.

More likely, it's a software problem. Either a tweak that just doesn't work well with your particular setup, or a clash between some add-ons or similar. If you see the same result in pure CPU and graphics benchmarks like 3DMark or Sandra, it's probably something with your system, drivers or maybe something in BIOS setup.

You're right about the 4970X and any other CPU currently available. Even if you get a miracle 4770K that can reach 5 GHz, it won't be that much faster than your current CPU. Figure a 10% improvement at the same clock speed and a 10% increase due to a higher clock speed. If you start with 14 FPS with the 2700K, that would give you about 17 FPS with a 4770K at 5 GHz.

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thanks for the reply,

 

I agree, i figured since I managed to get my processor up to 5 ghz than the processor itself is pretty strong and I also figured that if it was degraded like you said I would problably just get alot BSODs or other crashes, which thankfully I don't...knock on wood!

 

As far as the video card is concerned; the gtx 680 that I use was taken from my other computer to put in this machine. I was wondering also, since sometimes(especially under heavy scenery) ill get those tacky black squares on lights in the sim and other stutters could there maybe be an issue with my video card? I just updated to the newest nvidia drivers.

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More likely, it's a software problem. Either a tweak that just doesn't work well with your particular setup, or a clash between some add-ons or similar. If you see the same result in pure CPU and graphics benchmarks like 3DMark or Sandra, it's probably something with your system, drivers or maybe something in BIOS setup.

 

Much more likely is the overclock itself. It is not as simple as increasing the clock speed. The entire processor does NOT run faster, either! You are increasing the speed of parts of it, but not all of it. You also significantly increase the likelyhood of corrupted data, but this will be unseen due to internal error correction, that only serves to reduce overall performance.

 

Overclocking will, in the long run, irrepairably damage the processor. The second it happens, there is no going back.

 

I don't know why I even bother replying to these kinds of posts, but the bottom line is if you want faster, buy faster. There is a reason your processor stock speed is below the fastest possible via an overclock.

 

Trivia: Did you know the lower spec processors started out life as the top-end processors?? Through experience of the distribution of failure in the processor wafer at manufacture, they learn which parts of the processor fail, and disable them (they are designed this way). This is why in any new family of processor, only the top models are available first, then eventually, the lower models appear.

 

Best regards,

Robin.

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Also just a thought but ive noticed alot of people still use the outdated i7 920 and see great fsx results

 

I have been using FSX on a Q9650 for almost 6 years, overclocked only to 3.72Ghz@1.3525v Vcore. I was really on the fence on whether or not I should upgrade since truly, I enjoyed 'good 'nuf' performance. Turn most all sliders up fully, plop your NGX down at KSEA in heavy weather in ORBX FTX scenery, and you won't be seeing 30 fps with perfect image quality even w/ Haswell at 5.2Ghz. FSX's basic approach to coding won't exploit all potential resources (ram/gram, modern graphical APIs, etc) so all of us for the foreseeable future are stuck w/ this reality. So, we have to make some compromises. W/ my now former Q9650 my solution was to be mindful of where to fly. I had most sliders maxed, except autogen at DENSE, airline and ground traffic at 20%, road traffic and sea traffic at 8%. I would fly the NGX only out of less dense terminals, such as KDEN or ones surrounded by water, like the Hawaiian Islands from FSDT. I got frames of 22-24 in those settings. Everywhere else, I would fly the QW757 or the super easy to process Coolsky Super MD80 Pro. No problem maintaining quite strong performance.

 

I bit the bullet and did a big upgrade, however my design strategy WAS NOT to build something exclusively for the dated simulator engine that FSX is. Were that my design goal I would have bought a 4-core Haswell and left it at that. Instead I built something that runs FSX very well, but will run XPlane 64 & maybe P3D if it becomes 64bit & DX11 compliant hopefully better than Haswell might, but I understand that's not a given either. My new build really runs FSX well--truly perfect smoothness--EXCEPT in places that stress all current machines. I'm still loathe to run the NGX at KSEA (or equivalent) in FTX scenery etc, but the new machine performs exactly as predicted. My old build would run the KSEA scenario at maybe 10 FPS, the new build which is somewhere around 50-70% faster in toto (also, my overclock is now 4.4 instead of 3.7), I'll see ~16fps. That's still not good enough, however that is w/ autogen at one notch under max. I can dial back settings now and get i'm guessing around 20-22 no problem though, not possible w/ the Q9650 build. I'm not as enamored w/ the NGX as some here, so have no problems hoping in the QW757 in fact I like it alot more as it has such great thrust:weight ratio and climb performance. Hoping to see a better 757 some day ;o)

 

I wonder if your SB processor is throttling back from its overclock. Have you checked? Something sounds amiss, either w/ how you have it setup, or your expectations, or both. Where are your sliders? Do you have the simple tweaks employed?

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I wonder if your SB processor is throttling back from its overclock. Have you checked? Something sounds amiss, either w/ how you have it setup, or your expectations, or both. Where are your sliders? Do you have the simple tweaks employed?

 

I have looked into the BIOS almost a million times to see what settings could be possibly effecting the performance and i'm stumped! All my voltages are ok and going by what my BIOS monitor says and cpu-z my CPU always stays below 40 degrees C. I have C-states disabled as well as all power saving features so the clock speed isn't adjusted.

 

As far as the sliders, ive done a simple test by setting the hard hitting scenery sliders all the way to the left as well as tried them all the way to the right...NO difference in performance. I tried tweaking my cfg countless times and the same thing, no difference. There is one setting though that seems to play a factor; the FIBER_FRAME_TIME_FRACTION. Ive tried this with multiple numbers and seen the different results and its interesting. At first when I try the default .33 I get 12-13 average FPS in the VC of the captain sim 777 at aerosoft chicago. When i change the value to .25 "once in a while" I get 1 more FPS. With the number set to .15 I get a slow horrible running sim with an average of 8 FPS. I thought the lower the number the better your frames are supposed to be? 

 

What did your final build end up being?

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As far as the sliders, ive done a simple test by setting the hard hitting scenery sliders all the way to the left as well as tried them all the way to the right...NO difference in performance.

 

Wow, that doesn't add up either.   This seems to be indicating something else has become the bottleneck if these graphical settings have no effect on your results.  I'm imagining the 777 at KORD is a hefty thing to process though so maybe you aren't that far off, except as I say sliders SHOULD be giving some changes--this I have proven on my own new build.  Can you try setting up something else like the NGX at a specific runway, time of day, canned weather setting, etc?  I can try the same scenario when I get back home on Sunday.

 

Some other possible sources:  do you have your chipset drivers installed?  How about nV driver?  Bufferpools & HIMEM?

 

My specs are in my profile settings, 'My PC'...

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Overclocking will, in the long run, irrepairably damage the processor. The second it happens, there is no going back.

 

I don't know why I even bother replying to these kinds of posts, but the bottom line is if you want faster, buy faster. There is a reason your processor stock speed is below the fastest possible via an overclock.

 

Best regards,

Robin.

 

 

 

And that "long run" is measured in "thousands" of hours. Intel provide the Performance Tuning Protection Plan, for a mere £18, for a reason. They aren't stupid. They wouldn't do this if the risk was great. Most enthusiasts will have replaced their CPU's for the newest models LONG before degradation becomes an issue.

 

You can't just throw around definitve terms like "WILL"  irreparably damage the processor" without mention of degree of overlook. All modern CPU's are overclocked as a result of the Turbo function anyway and NO, that won't damage the CPU. "Degree" of overclock is the important factor, and medium overclocks with reasonable voltage will NOT "significantly" degrade a CPU to the extent that the chip will fail within an unreasonable time frame.

 

I don't know why I even bother replying to these kinds of posts

 

I don't know why you do either, you don't offer current, sensible advice.

 

There is a reason your processor stock speed is below the fastest possible via an overclock.

 

Why are you not aware of the huge success most of us have with overlooking? My old, overclocked, Core 2 Duo is still going strong after many years. My old i7 920 at 4 GHz is still going strong after years of use, and my 3700K at 4.5 GHz is doing nicely thanks. I am not saying that overlooking issues can't occur, of course they can, but I have NEVER had a CPU fail due to overclocking. And you have known me for some years now, so you know that to be the case.

 

You are unreasonably biased against overclocking... you always have been as long as I have known you.

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Can you try setting up something else like the NGX at a specific runway, time of day, canned weather setting, etc? I can try the same scenario when I get back home on Sunday.

 

Ive tried the PMDG NGX in the same situation with REX,GEX,and other addons and I get an average of 18-20 FPS with it. At this point I was satisfied because visually, the sim was enjoyable at least so I lowered my frame limit to 20. It still managed to stay just under 20 most of the time at 19. From my past experiences with other aerosoft scenery, such as Madrid and Frankfurt it seems that aerosoft seems to push my system pretty hard! At madrid with a frame rate friendly addon like the CLS a330 I was seeing average 7 frames per second! Im curious to know how other peoples machines react to aerosoft scenery?

 

 

 


Some other possible sources: do you have your chipset drivers installed? How about nV driver? Bufferpools & HIMEM?

 

I installed all of my chipset drivers very carefully doing a restart after every installation and I just updated to the newest nV drivers that came out on 7-1-13. My bufferpools I set at UsePools=0 because I have a strong graphics card but this setting seems to nothing for me as well! Same with HIGHMEMFIX=1, that did nothing whats so ever for my addon aircrafts performance. Ive heard that setting is just supposed to help compatibility with addons. Again I dont understand why my FSX runs on all cores when I set AffinityMask=14! Ive tried it set to =7 and it doesnt utilize core 1 "as much" meaning that 0,2,and 3 cores are all using close to 100% of the cores and 1 fluctuates from 20-40%. Im guessing this is because of programs running outside of FSX. If I manually set the affinity for FSX.exe in the task manager to use cores 1,2, and 3 it slows my Sim down to 7 FPS and lower!

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Windows 7 64bit basic home premium

 

Which is it: Home Basic or Home Premium?

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Frames in the upper teens to around 20 can be smooth or non-smooth visually depending on tweaks and hardware configuration (too many to list). I accepted long ago that 30+ FPS in every situation is just not going to happen with tons of 3rd party add ons. I would love to able to plug in a CPU and leave it at its native clock frequency. I'm not into benchmarking and pushing the limits of my CPU. I just want a smooth stable sim, nothing more. I would venture to guess that the majority of simmers feel the same. Regards

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if you want faster, buy faster.

 

What is faster that the latest and greatest CPU out there overclocked another 30-40%? That's like 2 CPU generations or a 4-5 years worth perf boost. When you say that you only get your CPU partially overclocked, that only certain parts of it are actually overclocked... based on what Robin? Sandy Bridge for example, you get your CPU cores, L3 cache, & IMC overclocked just by upping your CPU multi. Older generations and now Haswell allow for uncore tweaking. What are those horror stories you're talking about? what's your personal experience with OC?   

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Much more likely is the overclock itself. It is not as simple as increasing the clock speed. The entire processor does NOT run faster, either! You are increasing the speed of parts of it, but not all of it. You also significantly increase the likelyhood of corrupted data, but this will be unseen due to internal error correction, that only serves to reduce overall performance.

 

Overclocking will, in the long run, irrepairably damage the processor. The second it happens, there is no going back.

 

I don't know why I even bother replying to these kinds of posts, but the bottom line is if you want faster, buy faster. There is a reason your processor stock speed is below the fastest possible via an overclock.

 

It all depends on how you overclock and how you test for stability. Your statement about "internal error correction" contradicts your concerns about data corruption. If errors were corrected, there would be no data corruption. Regular desktop CPUs and RAM do very little error correction and a properly tested overclock does *not* cause data corruption. The risk for data corruption is a factor *while* you test* your overclock, *before* you have determined parameters that stabilize the system at the new frequency. 

 

You're right in that many CPUs have different clock domains, However he main clock multiplier is by far the most important and raising that will be enough most of the time. Overclocking with a locked multiplier using BLCK is a totally different thing and not recommended since it will bring a ton of other factors into the equation.

 

I would love to buy something faster, but Intel's highest clocked CPU, the Sandy-Bridge based Core i7 3820 has a clock speed of 3.6 GHz, which is not enough for FSX with some add-ons. Some addons need a 4.6 GHz Ivy Bridge or 4.2 GHz Haswell, which is not something Intel sells.

 

The main reason is yields - they just can't make enough that are capable of higher speeds and turn a profit. Also, they would have to bundle the CPUs with better coolers, make high-end RAM and big cases with good ventilation mandatory etc. Then people would come back to Intel and complain because their poorly built systems overheat or that $30 RAM doesn't work with the CPU.

 

Intel has solved it with their "K" line of unlocked, overclock-able CPUs. Instead of guaranteeing e.g. 4.5 GHz, they have effectively moved the responsibility of choosing adequate components to the buyer. This is why AMD is at least in theory limiting the sale of their "overclocked" 5 GHz CPU to select OEM's - they don't want amateurs and cheap PC builders to skimp on cooling, PSU etc. and give the CPU a reputation for being unstable.

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Overclocking with a locked multiplier using BLCK is a totally different thing and not recommended since it will bring a ton of other factors into the equation

I know this is the conventional wisdom, but it's interesting to discover my ASUS UEFI bios's automated overclock ends up w/ the BCLK at 125.23 or something like that and delivers 4.3Ghz w/ my memory clocked at 2357Mhz and all of this only at 1.26v on a SB-E processor.  I've kept w/ this configuration but  customized it by making a few other adjustments as recommended to get up to 4.4, 4.5Ghz as desired.


 

 


At this point I was satisfied because visually, the sim was enjoyable at least so I lowered my frame limit to 20.

Despite the recommendations to use the internal frame lock, I've gone back to using Inspector's 1/2 refresh combined w/ Inspector's frame lock set at 30 and leave FSX at UNLIMITED.  This is the smoothest & fastest, and w/o texture loading problems (FF at .25).

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I know this is the conventional wisdom, but it's interesting to discover my ASUS UEFI bios's automated overclock ends up w/ the BCLK at 125.23 or something like that and delivers 4.3Ghz w/ my memory clocked at 2357Mhz

 

That's because it's not really setting your BCLK to 125. It's using the 1.25 CPU strap, that looks like a BCLK overclock when you look at CPU-Z, but it's not. The BCLK is still running at 100MHz. Think of CPU Strap more like a CPU + Memory combo multi

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That's because it's not really setting your BCLK to 125. It's using the 1.25 CPU strap, that looks like a BCLK overclock when you look at CPU-Z, but it's not. The BCLK is still running at 100MHz. Think of CPU Strap more like a CPU + Memory combo multi

Yes, I kind of knew that, i.e. I knew that one can change the CPU Strap and that ends up changing the displayed BCLK value.  Tis a wee bit confusing to me though so thanks for that.   Interestingly, this has been easiest to work with for o/c.  I follows ASUS JJ's video guide and couldn't really improve on this basic starting point.  So now if I want to go for more o/c i've just increased Vcore slightly as needed and changed the CPU multiplier, and CPU load line calibration if needed and all seems simple and w/ good results.  I'm real pleased w/ 4.443 Ghz though so may only bump up a little more than this just for fun sometime.  I think I must have a decent CPU & its memory controller must be decent since I'm on a hexacore processor and can run my memory at 2357Mhz.  I'm assuming I could play w/ timings and get 2400Mhz since the ram is rated 2400, but I know it will no perceptible difference, so why bother.

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