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Where is my bottleneck? Do you kno?

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Last response: in Systems
November 28, 2005 9:12:37 PM

Processor - P4 2.4ghz
HD - 60GB Maxtor Ultra ATA133 7200rpm 8mb buffer
Ram - (1) 512 mb ddr 2700 (333mhz)
MB - Asus something ... 400mhz frontside bus
Video Card - x800 xt AGP (not platinum)
Sony 24" Flat screen crt monitor (widescreen)
Operating system - Win XP professional

I thought my video card was going to blow my socks off, but it turns out it didnt help me as much as i thought it would. On larger maps for Counter Strike Source i can still dip to 30fps w/ very low settings on. What can i upgrade to up my low fps range?

More about : bottleneck kno

November 29, 2005 1:03:29 AM

Need to be more specific on the mobo. There a few things that stick out in my mind:
1. RAM: If you're mobo is designed for a 400Mhz FSB and you put in your RAM rated at 333Mhz, the system will default to the speed settings of the RAM - 333Mhz. RAM is uber cheap right now. You can get 1GB (2X512MB) of DDR400 for under $80 - good RAM recommendation for you is this Patriot Signature Series. I wouldn't go overboard in spending money, but this is a good quality, inexpensive set.

2. HDD: How full is the HDD? Do you do regular maintenance (defrag, disk cleanup, etc)?

3. Spyware/Adware/Malware: Are you clean? Have you checked the processes and verified that you don't have a ton of unnecessary processes running?
November 29, 2005 4:19:57 AM

MB - Asus p4s333 400fsb w/ 333mhz ddr ram max speed
sis 645 chipset.

HD - i leave avout 15% enough to defrag.

and i check for spyware regularly, and no unecessary processes running

and my p4 is a northwood

thanks rugger

also does having (2) 512 rams perform better than (1) 1024mb ram?
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November 29, 2005 4:23:42 AM

What res settings are you using because if you use something huge with that car you will be around 30fps....
November 29, 2005 4:28:12 AM

November 29, 2005 5:05:13 AM

Yeah there is something wrong there....1024x768 you should be able to run maxed out in HL 2/CS:S

my thoughts are your Intel cpu, your DDR333 RAM, you only having 512MB of ram, and your background tasks (spyware, adware, or even programs you WANT running) all slowing you down. I would take 10% performance hits each for he first three....and then something from 5%-50% depending on what you have running in the background
November 29, 2005 9:58:12 AM

If you're clean on adware/spyware, then I'd say the prob is combination of lack of disk space and RAM. When you go above 50% usage on your hard drive it is typical to see decreases in read/write times. With 512MB, I bet you're hitting the page file a good bit.
November 29, 2005 5:48:27 PM

I'll weigh in on the problems too :D 

1) 2.4ghz P4 @ 400FSB. That's a bandwidth-starved CPU.
2) SIS645. SIS is ok, but the 645 is single-channel memory - even more bandwidth-starved.
3) 512MB RAM. Easy to go over that and cause disk swapping, driving FPS down in busy areas. 1024 is better.

So, an extra stick of 512 will help some. A new mobo may help a little because of the dual channel, but the low fsb of the CPU limits the effect. New CPU would be great, but that will require a new mobo and probably RAM.

Since you just bought a decent video card, you'll want to stick with an AGP board, so that limits your options as well.

November 29, 2005 5:50:40 PM

So the best option is more RAM - possibly another HDD to control some of slow access times to the HDD....
November 29, 2005 7:34:14 PM


As a first step I'd ditch the PC2700 (sell on ebay?) and get 1GB. 1x1024 if the mobo can handle it. (setting up for a possible upgrade if the stars all align properly).

It may give enough boost to get 45fps at those spots, and put off the big upgrade a bit longer.

November 29, 2005 8:51:51 PM

I just bought another 512 kingston 333mhz ram
Is it better to have (1) 1gb ram or (2) 512 rams? Is speed affected any?

It should be arriving within two days from today... so what i'd thought i would do is a couple controlled FPS tests now that i have the oportunity, and hopefully i can show the fps differences. I think i will use CS Source and 3D Mark (only have 2003 3D mark) to evaluate my system.

thanks for all the feedback, hopefully w/ this small test i can contribute some to this community as well.

Any more pointers is greatly appreciated or suggestions on how to do my evaluations.
November 29, 2005 8:56:29 PM

In your case, it doesn't matter.

November 30, 2005 1:14:49 AM

No dual channel memory on that board?
November 30, 2005 2:11:16 AM

not sure. how can i find out and what does it do?
November 30, 2005 2:23:56 AM

Nope, the sis645 chipset is a single channel chipset. It was developed when a 2.0ghz P4 was as fast as it went. Was before the Northwood A came out, though it supported woodies up to 2.4ghz or so (2.8? I forget)

Dual channel was a godsend to the P4 architecture. Intel uses Quad Data Rate FSB, and RAM is DDR (double), so there's a built-in problem there (given synchronized clocks, which was most efficient). Dual channel means you have to put 2 identical sticks in seperate sockets on the mobo (usually color coded) and each stick gets a dedicated path to the memory controller instead of sharing it. That doubles the total bandwidth so the CPU doesn't have to wait so much.

December 1, 2005 12:23:54 AM

my ram is arriving tommorow, i think i completed all my preliminary tests. so after i install my ram i can do comparison tests *crossing fingers* that it works well!