System problems

What besides the video card would drastically affect the framrate? My wifes PC had been running WoW at about 20-35fps for quite sometime on an nVidia FX5500. All of a sudden, after having to reinstall Windows because of a hard Drive issue, it now gets 5-15fps with 20 being the max. Even though I didn't believe it was the video card I decided to go ahead and try to replace it (because there were some cooling issues with the card) with an nVidia 6600. There was absolutely no change in the video performance, and I'm stumped as to what could be the problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

The system:
Gigabyte GA-7VRXP
AMD Athlon XP @ 1.15GHZ (I don't remember the model #)
1.5 GB of DDR333 RAM
Maxtor 80GB HDD

And yes, I know that this system is getting a bit long in the tooth, but I was looking to resolve the problem hoping that it would hold her over until tax time before performing major upgrades to the system.
3 answers Last reply
More about system problems
  1. Two obvious possibilities come to mind:

    1. Driver - make sure all of your drivers are up to date, especially graphics card and chipset.

    2. Other programs running - Are any programs running in the background which are eating up processor time? Try a program like end it all before you run the game and see if that helps

    Don't know if you've already checked those.

    Did WOW release any patches recently that might be to blame?
  2. Because of the fresh windows install, I had just downloaded the latest drivers direct from nVidia, so that was covered. WoW is up to date, and it was even run without any 3rd party add-ons with no change. I didn't specifically close anything down before running WoW, but there wasn't a lot on the system the very first time I tried it out. I'll explore that possibility more to see if that's the cause. This really has me stumped, because while were some issues immediately before this problem, immediately afterwards the card became mostly unusable for its intended purpose.

    Now that I think about it, could it be the new drivers? I know that it had been a while since I updated the drivers in the system before the HD went down, and it was only after replacing the HD and having to reinstall everything that this problem occured. Unfortunately, I don't think that I have a copy of the old driver to test this out. Does that seem possible, though that the new drivers would cause it to run worse than before?
  3. OK. After trying out a few things, it looks like the newer drivers is actually what caused the change in performance. . . I had 66.93 and 71.89 still on my HD, and when I installed 66.93 the card became much more stable at between 10-15fps. Still not great, but that's about how it was performing before I put in the new HD and installed the new drivers. However, with either set of drivers, the new Video card, a 6600 (which apparently had drivers released somewhere between 66.93 and 71.89), still did not perform any better than the FX5500.

    What is going on? What can I do to get the system running at an acceptable FPS (20-30 like it did for most of its life) for just a couple of months?

    (And don't worry. . . I'm looking at an upgrade path. I'll make another post.)
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