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BF3 Budget Overclock

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  • BF3 Budget Overclock

    I was hoping to play BF3 without completely upgrading my gaming rig. Here's what I'm running, wonder if there are any other core2duo overclocks being used to play BF3 out there?

    mobo: Asus P5B
    CPU: Intel E6300 Core2Duo
    CPU fan: Cooler Master Hyper N520 CPU Cooler* $35
    GPU: XFX 6850 GPU* $120
    PSU: Corsair 650w
    RAM: OCZ 4gb 1066mhz* extra 2GB for $20
    Sound: Creative X-Fi Fatal1ty

    *CPU cooler, GPU, and 2GB of ram were purchased for my budget-upgrade. Total around 175.

    So, First I tried playing with just the new GPU and still at 2GB ram. Booted and launched maps relatively quick, framerate was unplayable however. The GPU was bottlenecked by CPU badly. 30-40fps on small maps, dropped to 10-15 and even less during combat and large maps. I cried a bit.

    So being on a limited budget for now I decided to keep it cheap, and see how far I could push my E6300. The asus P5B is a decent mobo, and with the new cooler it was idling at 35-40 and mid 40's for a full load. Managed to push it to 3.1 Ghz in small steps. Was happy with this result as the highest anyone;s pushed this chip is around 3.6. It's known to be a good overclocker.

    Results, before tweaking: With the new ram, cpu overclocked to 160%, and a competent GPU, was getting pretty good FPS. 40-50 regularly, dropping to 20-30 during big maps / big battles.

    Tweaking using the BF3 Tweak guide really helped smooth things out. Specifically, the setting that limits the amount of frames the CPU will prepare in advance of sending to GPU.

    RenderDevice.ForceRenderAheadLimit 0

    Setting this to 0 reduced CPU lag for me significantly. Before my CPU was at 100% load almost non-stop, with this on it reduced to the 90% range more frequently, easing off the bottleneck just enough. render.perfoverlayvisible 1 was very useful for spotting bottlenecks during play.

    So there is my ghetto-fabulous-budget upgrade story for you! Any further tweaks or suggestions would be appreciated :) I am hoping to transfer this CPU fan & GPU into a new rig within the year, once a good enough deal jumps out at me.

    * Tactical Skid Loader specialist *
    BF2142 Vet, Hopeful for BF4. Currently playing Airmech [Open Beta]& TF2

  • #2
    Re: BF3 Budget Overclock

    I played through the beta with a e6400 on a 965p-ds3 pushed to 3.0 and a gtx460. I found larger maps were only on the verge of playable, so I went for the upgrade.

    Did you increase vcore? I never touched it as I re purposed the equipment afterwards.
    |TG-12th| Namebot


    • #3
      Re: BF3 Budget Overclock

      I had a e6750 that I pushed fairly hard. In the end I just got on ebay and picked up a used qx9650 and bf3 plays like butter now. It was the first time I picked up used computer parts off ebay, so I was a bit worried. I got lucky because at the time, there were a bunch of qx9650s on ebay, so my bid didn't get pushed up much at all.


      • #4
        Re: BF3 Budget Overclock

        Namebot - I actually decreased the vcore a bit which seemed to bring the temps down. I had it at 1.325 until I hit 3.0ghz, then had to put it back up to 1.35, which I think is stock. So far I haven't gone above stock vcore. You're right, the big maps are still on the verge for me.. Mostly playable but it could be a bit smoother.

        Mach, I had been eying a few on ebay, and craigslist, almost had a guy sell me his q6600 for $60 but he sold it as a package instead.

        * Tactical Skid Loader specialist *
        BF2142 Vet, Hopeful for BF4. Currently playing Airmech [Open Beta]& TF2


        • #5
          Re: BF3 Budget Overclock

          Hmm, that's a pretty old C2D. I have a similar setup upstairs in my LAN rig. It's a old C2D E8400 (a lot newer than your 6300) that I've OC'd to 3.5 GHz. It's got a even older 9600GT and manages to play BF3 on anything but larger maps smoothly @ 1024 x 768 with High settings. Larger maps overtaxes the old 9600GT, but that's expected.

          3.0 Ghz is actually really good for the old 6300. You could probably push it to 3.2 or 3.4 by bumping up Vcore a bit more. The 2 MB of L2 cache probably is negating any major benefits from your overclock. If you had any of the later 45 nm Wofdale Core 2 Duos, you might have been better off. A Q6600 is hard to find nowadays. I'd probably look towards a Q8200/8300/8400 or a Q9300/9400/9500/9600. Those would be your better bets if you still want to upgrade that LGA775 rig. Otherwise, you could save up and build a new Intel or AMD machine.
          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
          TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
          Former 9th & 13th

          Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
          Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-

          SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

          TG Primer and Rules


          • #6
            Re: BF3 Budget Overclock

            Heya Housekeeper,
            Your issue is most likely the same reason I tanked my A8N32-sli dlx board before I tried to do BF3. Your mother board is your weakest link.

            PCIe 1.x has a data rate of 250 MB/s and a transfer rate of 2.5 GT/s

            PCIe 2.0 standard doubles the transfer rate compared with PCIe 1.0 to 5 GT/s and the per-lane throughput rises from 250 MB/s to 500 MB/s.

            Remeber Pcie 1.x actually doubled the throughput vs AGP 8x and 2.x doubled it again. As an OC enthusiast I am sure you have witnessed the advantages of moderating your throughput when making adjustments to your bus speeds.

            I am also went with the 6850 and play @ maxed settings on a Phenom II X2, I think its a 555be @ stock clocks on a Gigabyte board with a 760 chipset.

            You don't need the latest greatest so its affordable, look for just enough to unlock your 6850s potential. I picked up that mobo and proc new for $96.



            • #7
              Re: BF3 Budget Overclock

              Hey Acreo, thanks for the input, you were spot on in saying that the 2MB L2 cache was limiting me big time. I got very small increases, just enough to play small maps in BF3 without bashing my head against the monitor due to CPU lag too much. JUST enough. But large maps were mostly unplayable.

              Tehzii I am sure you are right on the mobo limiting that card. I am going to probably keep this mobo unless a good cheap/free upgrade comes my way.

              As an update to my OC - I scored a free E7200, not a huge increase to the E6300 in clock speed, but it's the wolfdale 45nm, and adds the L3 cache of 3MB. Even on stock speeds it's been a big help, and now I have OC'd it to 3.5 GHz, so far this chip responds pretty well. I see lots of people get it to 3.8 -> 4.2 Ghz range.

              It's been a fun overclocking experiment, had never really pushed my chips too far before but since this rig is so old, I can have a bit more fun with it. Right now I am running prime95 for a few hours, and it's hitting a max temp of 51 c @ 3.5ghz. A fine chip indeed!

              One thing I learned through upgrading this chip is how to properly apply thermal paste. And it turns out, a little bean-sized dot gets me way lower temps than the fingerprint-sized glob I put on the last time!

              Anyway, there is hope out there for LGA775 ghetto upgraders, fear not your low budgets! Buy a cpu cooler :)

              * Tactical Skid Loader specialist *
              BF2142 Vet, Hopeful for BF4. Currently playing Airmech [Open Beta]& TF2




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