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CPU+GPU upgrade = frame rates and clocks dropping?

Question asked by jl5086 on Oct 12, 2019

For some background, I upgraded from Ryzen 5 2400G to Ryzen 5 3600, and at the same time I also upgraded my XFX RX580 GTR to an RX5700 XT.  The rest of my system is ASUS B450-f Gaming motherboard, 16gb (8gbx2) G.Skill Ripjaws V 3200mhz O.C. DDR4 Ram, Samsung 850evo SSD.  Now before the upgrades, in GTAV at 1080p ultra (with some NaturalVision visual mods) I would get 30-50fps, depending on where I was in game.  I could tell the GPU was giving it all it could,  as soon as the game would start, watching the overlay or any other performance monitor, the gpu would immediately clock right up to 1450mhz and memory to 2100mhz, and thats where it would stay steady until I quite the game, and GPU usage would vary from 96-100%.  and CPU would be maybe up to 40% max.

      All I ever really want is a steady 60fps at 1080p with v-sync so I don't get any tearing, that's it, I have no need for anything more, I use a 4k TV but I think 1080p looks just fine so that's what I'm happy with.  So I figured if I drop $600 on a 3rd gen Ryzen CPU, and go from Polaris to Navi(also GCN to RDNA) I would be able to be in that happy spot of 60fps at 1080.   Unfortunately I am really underwhelmed by the improvement in performance,  In GTAV with the same settings as before (1080p ultra, v-sync)  it will try to be at 60fps (to match display refresh) but it goes from 58 down to 48, which isn't too bad I guess, but the big problem is, every 2 or three minutes the FPS drop to 30 and gets stuck there for sometimes seconds up to minutes.  The clocks seem to be the big issue here,  when I'm getting close to 60fps, the clocks are at around 1100mhz-1300mhz, but fluctuating wildly, and the GPU utilization is only like 40%-ish, and also going up and down like crazy.  When the game drops to 30fps it looks like the GPU just checks out all together because the clocks go down to 500mhz and utilization will be down to 15-20%.   Now if I forgo using V-sync the game will run at around 70fps and not drop to 30fps at all really, but the clocks are still only at 1100-1200mhz and utilization like 60%.

I have tried all the different Radeon settings like enhanced sync, chill, etc. but no help.  I have tried to use wattman's clock/voltage adjustment graph to move the "minimum" clock up higher, but it just crashes the computer when I apply it.  Also to note this is not a thermal issue, because I don't really care about noise so I have the fan set to 100% by the time it reaches 70deg so when in the game my gpu temps are only like 50 degrees.  I am really frustrated that I don't seem to have any control over what this card is doing, my RX580 was so reliable as far as I knew what is was capable of and that when I was using it, as long as it didn't get too hot, it was going to clock up and try as hard as I asked it to,  This card is just doing whatever it wants.   I just used GTAV as an example, but many others have similar results.  In Generation Zero, 1080p, maxed out, v-sync)  the card does the same dropping the clocks and very low utilization, but it doesn't just give out for periods of time leaving me at 30fps, it does a really good job staying locked at 60fps, but when the scene starts getting really hectic and busy I start losing frames and things get really jerky.  I feel if the card wasn't dropping it's clocks down so low it would be able to handle these big changes in demand.   Then there's Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon-Wildlands, in this title, again at 1080p, ultra, v-sync,  it starts around 58fps, but will drop down to 40fps.  It also has episodes where the GPU seems to take a break for a few seconds and the clocks drop to nothing.  And strangely it this game as I play for a few minutes the FPS seems to slowly get lower,  it starts at 58 but it will get down to 50 after a couple mins.  The whole time the clocks and util. go way up and way down, and again the temps are never above 70c at the most so it shouldn't be throttling related.   And with Clancy's Wildlands I can change between no AA and full MSAA+FXAA and it gives massive difference in appearance, but no change in performance.   

               I do know that both my new processor and my new GPU are not high end models but I really figured that even just the GPU alone would have got me up to a reliable 60fps at 1080 on most, if not all, the games I play since I was not too far from it with my 580.   On paper at least the Zen 2 CPU and Navi GPU show quite a few improvements over my previous hardware, but the actual seat of the pants results, at least for me, seem to be a bummer.

              This probably needs its own thread but, the CPU has also been quite difficult to get working.  My computer NEVER crashed with my 2400G, but as soon as I put this Zen 2 3600 in, crash city, even with updated bios, We're told these Zen2 chips can use much faster ram etc., but if I try to enable the XMP profile on my G.skill 3200mhz ram, the computer tells me windows is corrupt when it tries to load, if it does happen to work it BSOD on the first thing I click on.   this profile worked flawlessly from day one with my zen+ CPU.  So on my new Zen2 3600 I actually have to loosen my timings to get it to actually work with it, even though it is on the QVL list for the MB and CPU.   Plus the MOST recent BIOS update to accommodate the new Zen2, causes my PC to crash every 2 minutes, so I have to be on the one from a few weeks prior.

So far this doesn't seem like it was even remotely worth the $600 I spent. 

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