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Home Built gaming rig: suggestions/criticism

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March 18, 2006 11:07:19 PM

Hello,

I recently built my own computer and I am having some video performance issues with it. I haven't noticed any problems with DVD's, but with games like dungeons and dragons online, battle for middle earth II and World of warcraft I notice unusually low frame rates. This is especially evident during the playing of in game cinematics, such as intro movies. I am at a loss as to what to do to fix this.
Going to post all the parts on here and maybe someone could provide some constructive criticism, suggestions or additional information that may assist me. Below the setup I have everything I've done to fix it.

Setup:

Power Supply: RAID MAX 425 WATT
Motherboard: P4V8X-MX - flashed with latest beta bios
CPU: Pentium 4 HT 3.2 GHz with 1MB L2 Cache
Video Card: GeForce 7800GS AGP 256 GDDR - using GeForce beta drivers
RAM: 2x512 MB Crucial Ballistix PC3200 RAM
Sound Card: X-Fi Platinum
Operating System: Windows XP SP2 with .NET 1.1 and latest Direct X Cooling - one 80mm fan, CPU heat sink + fan and the onboard video card fan
Hard Drive: SATA II Caviar 160 GB 300MB/s

What I've done:
I initially had a radeon 9800XT and noticed the exact same problem, with frame rates dropping in to the single digits. I identified a problem with the video card where clocks weren't meeting specification and sent the card back and replaced it with EVGA GeForce 7800GS.
I then wiped the hard drive and reinstalled windows only to experience a similar problem. I've tried 3 different GeForce driver versions, with no improvement. I installed the latest VIA AGP drivers for the motherboard, and the only variance I see here is that they support AGP 3.5 (according to GeForce control panel) whereas GeForce supports 3.0. I flashed my bios twice, increasing in version each time, and again noticed no performance increase.

I've tried moving power cables, disconnecting devices. I switched out the RAM and even removed one of the two 512 MB sticks and I didn't notice a decline in performance (weird?).

The only thing I can think of is heat. The CPU doesn't indicate that it is over heating, the RAM chips already have heat sinks on them and the GPU says its not getting above 41 degrees C.

If anyone cares to comment, I'd appreciate any help I can get at this point. Thanks a lot
March 18, 2006 11:32:13 PM

Maybe a better PSU might be what you need... Only a 425W PSU on a brand i haven't even heard of? Try Antec, Seasonic, Tagan, or Hiper, and get at least a 450W minimum, aiming around 500W. You have a lot on your system, and its draining the power out of that PSU, so a much better quality PSU should help enormously, because that system looks like it should be alright in terms of performance.
March 19, 2006 12:07:07 AM

So, you have checked all teh drivers and wiped the system clean multiple times.. I'd say run some benchmarks to see how it does there and then we can deduce what is going one (such as a low cpu or low gpu score). Other than that make sure your clock speeds are all correct and let us know how it all turns out
March 19, 2006 8:54:06 PM

Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't think it was power because I wasn't getting the standard boot error, or any errors indicate that system clocks were being impacted by a lack of power. I went out and bought a 500W Antec PSU, and the system works like a dream. Added a few more fans as well, but its running perfect. Thanks for your help.
!