Will upgrading CPU help with steam link?

Feb 17, 2018 12:32PM PST

I have a very old CPU Intel Core Duo E8500 @ 3.16 GHz and ASUS P5Q Pro motherboard. Streaming on steam link to my bedroom tv is very slow with slow encoding always displayed when 'Display Performance Metrics' is set. I am playing strategy games like XCOM so my desktop computer as such satisfies all my needs when I play directly on it. I ran a performance log on my desktop while playing on steam link my cpu is at 100% usage while streaming and I am only getting 10 fps even at 720p resolution. I was wondering if overclocking my CPU to 4GHz will help. If not should I just go for a quad core processor 'Q9700 extreme edition' or 'Q9650' will it give me at least 30 fps or is my only option to upgrade to a brand new CPU and motherboard?

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Clarification Request
To get the most out of what you have.
Feb 17, 2018 1:04PM PST

Did you wire this machine to the network? If you had it using WiFi and your Steam Link on WiFi, that's pushing the overall WiFi speed down.

Get all wired for a test.

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Yes even wired the speed is very slow.
Feb 17, 2018 1:30PM PST

Yes even wired the speed is very slow.

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Force Steam to always use nVidia GPU Encoding always
Feb 18, 2018 12:16AM PST

The performance display metrics says that the encoder switches between 'Desktop NVFBC NV12 + NVENC H264' and 'Desktop NVFBC NV12 + libx264(1 thread)' as I move between the splash screen to the 'New Game / Load Game' menu and then actually load the game. At the start of the game the encoder is 'Desktop NVFBC NV12 + NVENC H264' and I am getting close to 30 fps and then it switches to 'Desktop NVFBC NV12 + libx264(1 thread)' at some point of time and I get 4 fps. It never switches back and I get bad performance from there on. Anyway I can force steam to always use GPU encoding always?

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I too have a Core 2 Duo.
Feb 18, 2018 8:41AM PST

This is very dated plus you have a Nvidia Shield support question. Get on the Shield support forums now.

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There are several factor here, but I will share what I found
Feb 18, 2018 10:23AM PST

From time to time I find these poor machine callously thrown away (which I rescue when I see them) most of the time its been thrown away because of the lack of performance.
I'm going to assume your operating systems are made by Microsoft .

1. Is your hard drive too full? over time microsoft's updates archive undo files and over time can take up a lot of space. the symmetry of the swap file gets so fragmented it will spend time seeking for the next block of the swap file to write in that it takes processor time away from the rest of the system.

2. Aging hard drives. Hard drives are mechanical things (with the exception of other technologies like SSD) . that has metal oxide coatings on spinning aluminium platters. After some time, the coating delaminates from the platter causing a void. If the checksum recording of that sector is still intact the s.m.a.r.t. system that is built into the firmware of the hard drive will take over and reallocate that sector to an area called the engineering sectors that are located outside of the drive partition. once the engineering sector area is full, the hard drive will post a warning message (if the bios is turned on to hear the messages) at boot up time that hard drive failure is imminent, and should be replaced.

3. Memory speed. most of the consumer mass market was loaded with slow memory. Always try to use the fastest memory possible for the machine and never mix memory speeds. It is also recommended to max out the memory as the capacity issues can slow performance.

4. Turn off hardware acceleration in flash. Most of the streaming issues are caused by invalid hardware calls in acceleration mode. Internally, the computer handles the error and switches to software mode. but the system is doing that on the fly, and so the extra processing leads to poor real time performance. The only other thing that would cause poor performance is the operating system itself.

5. Replace windows with linux. After the years of supporting them, I don't any more because 99% of these machines I rescued and put Linux on them made them work just as good (and sometimes better) as a low end current machine. I recommend Xubuntu for these older machines. Malware and viruses are very non-existent on that platform.

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Upgrading CPU to Xeon X5460
Feb 25, 2018 10:49AM PST

I overclocked my E8500 to 4Ghz but that didn't increase the frame rate by much. I now have 3 options:
1. Upgrade to a Xeon X5460 already modded to fit LGA775 Asus Pro PQ5 motherboard and overclock it to 3.8Ghz. Costs about $40 on aliexpress.
2. Upgrade to Q9650 and overclock to 4GHz. Costs about $70.
3. Buy a completely new motherboard and CPU. Don't know the cost(but probably around $250) and will require time to research.

I am leaning towards the modded X5460

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Frame rates are rarely affected by the CPU increases.
Feb 25, 2018 11:55AM PST

It's all in the other bits of the machine and connections.

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The upgrade did it.
Mar 9, 2018 12:47AM PST

Yep upgrading my CPU to an used Q9650 solved the problem. Now I am getting 40 fps while streaming with no messages of slow encoding etc. I haven't even overclocked my Q9650 as yet.

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