Is it possible that a GPU not getting quite enough power from the PSU could under perform?

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Jan 14, 2020
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No artefacts, no crashing, nothing like that, just... under perform?

I recently upgraded from a 970 to a 2070, coupled with a Ryzen 5 2600X and 16GB 2333MHz RAM, and I'm really disappointed with the performance. Fresh Win 10 install. The only thing I can think of is that the PSU is probably borderline at 500w.

I've been trying to max out some games at 1080p because I thought this card would utterly crush them. Origins, Odyssey, RDR2 (I knew this one would be a *****), Control with ray tracing, A Plague Tale... all have far less frames than I was hoping (50s dropping to 40s), lots of hitching going on as well. I know some of these games have some thirsty options but I'm not touching resolution scaling and would expect far better than what I'm getting at 1080p.

Super underwhelmed after spending all that money.
I explained this in another thread in detail.

I'll answer the question in another post, but as an aside if it's permitted:

I think part of your problem here might be the 'maxing out' part.

A lot of modern games have a few graphics settings that are brutally demanding (or badly optimised, take your pick). Maxing out settings is a good way of tanking performance.

Think Deus Ex Mankind Divided, which needed a GTX 1080 to hit 60fps average (nevermind fps drops) at 1080p max settings. But adjusting a few settings down meant it ran constant 60fps on my GTX 970 at 1080p.

I think AC:OD has Volumetric Clouds as a similar culprit.


I recently played Odyssey on my RTX 2060 at 1440p with settings mixed high-ultra and performance was generally 50-70fps, though with some sharp drops in some areas. FPS also limited by my rather old CPU on occasion (as was the case in Origins)

Also RDR2 is a brute:

Look at the performance differences between High and Ultra.

Basically if you play a game on "max" settings, performance is going to suck, and it's not really the poor old GPU's fault! :)

You need to adjust the settings - the freedom to do so being a part of what PC Gaming is all about I suppose.

The problem appears to be that you are maxing out settings in the games. You just can't do that in those games at get away with it. There are - and have always been - some games that where if you literally "max" the settings (even leaving aside SSAA or other resolution scaling), powerful hardware will just not be able to keep up.

What I suggest you do is download the free 3DMark 'demo' version off Steam, run Timespy on the standard settings, and post a link to your score here. That will give an indication of whether the CPU and GPU are really performing to expected levels.
Graphics Score 8337
CPU Score 4476

The system does seem to be underperforming a bit, going by what 3DMark list as example scores for the CPU and GPU:

You can expect a little variation, perhaps especially with the GPU given different models, airflow, temps, cooling of the case, the card's own cooler etc, but it still is a bit low. The CPU is significantly below where you'd expect.

1) I'd suggest monitoring CPU and GPU temperatures during timespy. I'd use AMD Ryzen Master to monitor CPU temps.

2) When you say fresh Windows 10 install, did you perform a proper 'clean install' by deleting all existing partitions?

3) What make and model of PSU do you have exactly?

4) What's the full spec of your system - make and model of all components?

5) Something that is likely to be an issue is your RAM. Not just the frequency, but even more importantly that you are running it in single channel (i.e. only 1 stick, not 2).

You might want to replace your 1 x 16gb 2400MHz stick with 2 x 8gb 3200MHz / 3600MHz (depending on local pricing).

I can't promise that this is the sole cause of low performance, or even the main one - we should keep investigating other options as above - but regardless of whether there are other causes or not, you'd probably want to change the RAM anyway.

I wouldn't always recommend people change their RAM if they have a sub-optimal configuration (e.g. if you had 2 x 8gb 2666MHz, I'd almost certainly tell you to just keep it). Because replacing RAM for marginal gains offers poor value, But single channel can have a big impact on especially Ryzen CPU performance and you have low frequency RAM too.

Depending on the overall system spec, single channel can have a significant impact on performance:

Although that said, RDR2 is apparently one of the games that doesn't care a great deal - presumably because it's mostly/heavily GPU bound at the highest settings.
May 5, 2020
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Never blindly max settings, even at 1080p; always know what you have turned on and be aware of any settings that may completely tank performance.
That said a 2070 will absolutely crush any game at 1080p. My 2060 laptop was running RDR2 at medium/high over 60.

Anyway something is clearly wrong because a 2070 is very close to overkill for 1080p.
Just remember this handy statement I just pulled from a website:

'Testing your power source with a multimeter does not pose any risks, but you may electrocute yourself, your family members, or other people. '

So, yes, no risk at all.
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