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Which CPU to improve FPS? (current: Athlon64 3500+)

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May 20, 2006 5:31:28 PM

I'm currently trying to find the best (cheapest) way to improve framerates on my system, as they are very low in my native (large) resolution of 19200x1200.

My system: A8N-SLI, 2x 7800GT, 2GB RAM, A64 3500+

Some people have been recommending a faster CPU (Athlon64 X2 4400+), but I always thought that the fact that they are dual processors doesn't matter too much with present games, and clock rates are pretty much the same (comparing the 4400+ with my 3500+). The FX would certainly make a difference, but is out of my price range...

Does anyone have an idea how I could get my framerates up noticeable, with only a small investment?
May 20, 2006 5:34:40 PM

If I were you, I'd get a 3800 and overclock it.
May 20, 2006 5:43:38 PM

I can't really consider overclocking, as I've built my system with low noise in mind, so I replaced all fans with silent Zalman ones. I can increase fanspeeds, but probably won't be able to overclock to those glowing levels you had in mind, without getting serious heat problems...
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May 20, 2006 5:45:11 PM

oh, and was your recommendation for a 3800 X2 or just single core?
May 20, 2006 6:15:41 PM

Personally, I would think more about upgrading your GPU rather than your CPU. Most games are more limited on the graphics side of the equation. Selling your 7800GT and using that money to get a 7900 would help more (for now) than getting a slightly faster CPU.

Just my two cents.
May 21, 2006 12:25:03 AM

If you're looking for faster FPS on current gaming (not future) then ignore anyone who is recommending a dual core CPU. A 3800 dual core will NOT beat a 3500 single core on current games - period. Yes, it might well future proof you, but at 3800 speeds it certainly won't anyway - by the tie the games come out that take advantage of dual core, a 3800 will be like a Celeron anyway. Even a 4400 won't make much difference over what you have for today's games.

For now, and only looking at now, you'd be better of with a 4000+ and a 7900GTX. Selling your old CPU and 2 graphics cards might mean the csot to upgrade wouldn't be too high.

The dual core hype is compelling. I've certainly bought into it and it will be fantastic given time. But for the games you mention, it is just pointless.
May 21, 2006 12:47:37 AM

How big is your monitor? At higher resolutions an SLI would be the solution. That is what is SLI for to run games at high res with good performance. As for the upgrade get 7800GT and X2 4400. That high resolution is the one killing your frame rates.

On the other hand, with your current rig. If you use a 19" 1280x1024 LCD monitor, I have no doubt that it will be hitting over 60fps on BF2 at high quality settings.
May 21, 2006 1:12:11 AM

Sell your 7800gt's and get 2 7900gts for sli, it will make a bigger difference for the money compared to a CPU.
May 21, 2006 1:23:50 AM

Quote:
I'm currently trying to find the best (cheapest) way to improve framerates on my system, as they are very low in my native (large) resolution of 19200x1200.

My system: A8N-SLI, 2x 7800GT, 2GB RAM, A64 3500+

Some people have been recommending a faster CPU (Athlon64 X2 4400+), but I always thought that the fact that they are dual processors doesn't matter too much with present games, and clock rates are pretty much the same (comparing the 4400+ with my 3500+). The FX would certainly make a difference, but is out of my price range...

Does anyone have an idea how I could get my framerates up noticeable, with only a small investment?



What kind of monitor do you have?

Unless you have a really nice monitor 1900x1200 will probably give you a big headache.

Upgrading to 7900GTs or GTXs would help your system run at high-res better, probably more so than a new CPU would.

Also a complete re-install from scratch should help improve performance as well.

You can also turn off unnecessary services for better performance.

If you can afford to wait a few weeks 939 prices should drop after the AM2 launch in 3 days.
May 21, 2006 1:36:02 AM

Maybe you should consider in investing in a physics card? I know it wont help in all games, but for future games, it would greately improve your performance. 8O 8O 8O
May 21, 2006 1:48:08 AM

8O :!: Are you being serious? :?: :roll:
May 21, 2006 2:24:44 AM

If I were in that situation I I would find the next res lower that keeps the same aspect ratio. Something like 1280x768 or something similar. Run your games @ this red with 4xAA and the highest AF possible and you will hardly be able to tell the diff. I find that lots of games have a real problem running well once you get past 1600X1200 no matter what hardware you have. You could also try o/cing that chip as far as it will go on stock volts as your temps shouldnt really get high until you get above 2.6ghz.
May 21, 2006 2:45:28 AM

Quote:
My system: A8N-SLI, 2x 7800GT, 2GB RAM, A64 3500+
STOP RECOMMENDING SLi, HE ALREADY HAS IT.
May 21, 2006 8:39:14 AM

Thanks for all the info, boys! Gives me lots of things to consider.
It is, of course, only that big screen that's causing the problems (a Dell 24" WS), and most games already i'm running not at the native resolution (1920x1200) but the next lower one. It doesn't have a huge impact (although some) on frame rates, but it does look noticeably fuzzier...
Well that's what happens when a mate tells you "you gotta have that screen, great price and all!", well it IS a good screen, and TV and DVDs on it are great, but my games, my GAMES!
May 21, 2006 8:44:21 AM

Getting a headache from my monitor? What, a REAL, aspirin headache, or a proverbial one?


Quote:
I'm currently trying to find the best (cheapest) way to improve framerates on my system, as they are very low in my native (large) resolution of 19200x1200.

My system: A8N-SLI, 2x 7800GT, 2GB RAM, A64 3500+

Some people have been recommending a faster CPU (Athlon64 X2 4400+), but I always thought that the fact that they are dual processors doesn't matter too much with present games, and clock rates are pretty much the same (comparing the 4400+ with my 3500+). The FX would certainly make a difference, but is out of my price range...

Does anyone have an idea how I could get my framerates up noticeable, with only a small investment?



What kind of monitor do you have?

Unless you have a really nice monitor 1900x1200 will probably give you a big headache.

Upgrading to 7900GTs or GTXs would help your system run at high-res better, probably more so than a new CPU would.

Also a complete re-install from scratch should help improve performance as well.

You can also turn off unnecessary services for better performance.

If you can afford to wait a few weeks 939 prices should drop after the AM2 launch in 3 days.
May 21, 2006 9:04:25 AM

First off, up the fan speed, and see if an OC will make the difference.
I suspect that your problem stems from the number of icons you have in your tray. Kill off every prog you dont absolutely need.
If you are using norton, get rid of it. Your mobo came with pc-cillin, which is good enough. IM is probably your biggest pig, so if you aint IMing in a game, loose it while you play.
If you absolutely have to keep IM, norton, and all your tray icons, you will have to get a dual core.
May 21, 2006 12:01:12 PM

A X2 4400+ will offer the same or slightly better performance than your 3500+ but definitely nothing noticeable. You're better off selling the 7800GT's and getting a 7900GTX or X1900XT(X). But if you do decide to upgrade the CPU you should seriously consider dual core since in a very short while it will make a difference in games and you'll regret it if you invest again in single core at this point in time.
May 21, 2006 12:17:11 PM

I've got a brand new windows XP installation. Overclocking not really an option since I built my system to make it as quiet as possible, so thermically I'm operating at the limit already.
Otherwise, I'm running minimum background apps, no Norton, no IM.

Quote:
First off, up the fan speed, and see if an OC will make the difference.
I suspect that your problem stems from the number of icons you have in your tray. Kill off every prog you dont absolutely need.
If you are using norton, get rid of it. Your mobo came with pc-cillin, which is good enough. IM is probably your biggest pig, so if you aint IMing in a game, loose it while you play.
If you absolutely have to keep IM, norton, and all your tray icons, you will have to get a dual core.
a b à CPUs
May 21, 2006 12:43:16 PM

I don't know of any "cheap" ways to improve performance in any machine. Keeping to the question in mind, an fx-53, fx-55, or an fx-57 will dramatically increase the performance of your machine. There's nothing thats going to improve anything over raw processor speed.

"Selling" your video cards and only "moving up" a single notch won't help too much of anything. In a year and a half to two years, yes, I would swap out my cards, keeping an eye on how the technology changes.

If you can hold out, the fx-60 dual core should drop quite a bit, IMO, by this time next year.

There's nothing wrong with what you have now. Don't let somebody tell you otherwise.
May 21, 2006 2:27:20 PM

Sound advice. However, there is something "wrong" with my setup in so far as my native screen resolution forces all current games down on their knees, not even to mention the ones that will come out in a few months time!

Quote:
I don't know of any "cheap" ways to improve performance in any machine. Keeping to the question in mind, an fx-53, fx-55, or an fx-57 will dramatically increase the performance of your machine. There's nothing thats going to improve anything over raw processor speed.

"Selling" your video cards and only "moving up" a single notch won't help too much of anything. In a year and a half to two years, yes, I would swap out my cards, keeping an eye on how the technology changes.

If you can hold out, the fx-60 dual core should drop quite a bit, IMO, by this time next year.

There's nothing wrong with what you have now. Don't let somebody tell you otherwise.
a b à CPUs
May 21, 2006 4:57:35 PM

Just because you have two good video cards, doesn't mean you can run everything at the highest possible settings.

Try turning back the max settings and find a happy medium at which the games can be played. Antialiasing at 2x instaed of 4x etc. There's alot of settings to futz with.

Change your refresh also.

I understand that the lcd monitors expect you to run at top end, so don't change the recomended resolution of that til last, if you will have to at all.

As you make adjustments, you'll notice very little, or no improvements between medium and high settings in most cases. Keep plugging at it.
May 21, 2006 7:58:29 PM

This is, of course, what I've been doing. I have to make do somehow, don't I... But I haven't got over the fact yet that just a short while ago, in the times of my 1280x1024 screen, I was able to play everything with ONE graphics card at max settings, and now I have to severely compromise. My ego has been dented! My joy and pride besmirched!


Quote:
Just because you have two good video cards, doesn't mean you can run everything at the highest possible settings.

Try turning back the max settings and find a happy medium at which the games can be played. Antialiasing at 2x instaed of 4x etc. There's alot of settings to futz with.

Change your refresh also.

I understand that the lcd monitors expect you to run at top end, so don't change the recomended resolution of that til last, if you will have to at all.

As you make adjustments, you'll notice very little, or no improvements between medium and high settings in most cases. Keep plugging at it.
a b à CPUs
May 21, 2006 9:47:51 PM

You must have been moving up into the newer games lately. They are more demanding on video then ever before. If one of those games is F>E>A>R>, go in and disable soft shadows. That will help alot.
May 21, 2006 10:04:04 PM

Well, i'm playing all the usual suspects... Condemned, Oblivion... Soft shadows? Forget it, absolutely no way.
a b à CPUs
May 21, 2006 10:16:36 PM

Oblivian, my nephews play that. It is laggy, 1.) because of all the people playing it online. 2.) there was a write-up on some site, where as there wasn't enough server providers and "oblivian" was going to add more in strategic spots to help with ease game play on line.

The other game I know nothing about.

How does it play offline in single player games ?
May 21, 2006 10:20:16 PM

I didn't even know there's an online part! Is there??
Only played the very beginning, in a dungeon. And when the frame rates hit 15, I got so frustrated that I stopped playing it for now. Apparently the s*** only really hits the fan when you're outside. Probably would have brought tears to my eyes. I don't need that.


Quote:
Oblivian, my nephews play that. It is laggy, 1.) because of all the people playing it online. 2.) there was a write-up on some site, where as there wasn't enough server providers and "oblivian" was going to add more in strategic spots to help with ease game play on line.

The other game I know nothing about.

How does it play offline in single player games ?
a b à CPUs
May 21, 2006 10:30:11 PM

It might be World of Warcraft, or something or other that I was thinking of. Can't remember, they have too much stuff. All I know is, they play it alot.
a b à CPUs
May 21, 2006 10:33:44 PM

Almost forgot to ask....... didn't read all the posts, but did you update your video drivers, and anything that may need updating via the device manager ? Sometimes they come out with drivers to help out in certain games.

Also, turn off all you can before you start to play....... anti virus programs, instant messaging etc.
May 21, 2006 10:38:51 PM

Quote:
Getting a headache from my monitor? What, a REAL, aspirin headache, or a proverbial one?


I'm currently trying to find the best (cheapest) way to improve framerates on my system, as they are very low in my native (large) resolution of 19200x1200.

My system: A8N-SLI, 2x 7800GT, 2GB RAM, A64 3500+

Some people have been recommending a faster CPU (Athlon64 X2 4400+), but I always thought that the fact that they are dual processors doesn't matter too much with present games, and clock rates are pretty much the same (comparing the 4400+ with my 3500+). The FX would certainly make a difference, but is out of my price range...

Does anyone have an idea how I could get my framerates up noticeable, with only a small investment?



What kind of monitor do you have?

Unless you have a really nice monitor 1900x1200 will probably give you a big headache.

Upgrading to 7900GTs or GTXs would help your system run at high-res better, probably more so than a new CPU would.

Also a complete re-install from scratch should help improve performance as well.

You can also turn off unnecessary services for better performance.

If you can afford to wait a few weeks 939 prices should drop after the AM2 launch in 3 days.


I real headache. If it is a CRT it can cause real headaches, eye fatigue and can cause other health issues.

Certain resolutions or color combinations may also cause seizures in extreme situations.
May 21, 2006 10:46:59 PM

Quote:
It might be World of Warcraft, or something or other that I was thinking of. Can't remember, they have too much stuff. All I know is, they play it alot.


Well, it's definitely not Oblivion. That's single-player/offline only.
May 21, 2006 11:11:31 PM

It's a TFT. If I had a 24" CRT widescreen (but I don't think there even is such a thing) I'd be laughing cos I wouldn't have any of them framerates problems that I have at the moment. Just go to a lower resolution, and Bob's your auntie. Not so with TFT.

Yeh yeh, I know! All self inflicted.


Quote:
Getting a headache from my monitor? What, a REAL, aspirin headache, or a proverbial one?


I'm currently trying to find the best (cheapest) way to improve framerates on my system, as they are very low in my native (large) resolution of 19200x1200.

My system: A8N-SLI, 2x 7800GT, 2GB RAM, A64 3500+

Some people have been recommending a faster CPU (Athlon64 X2 4400+), but I always thought that the fact that they are dual processors doesn't matter too much with present games, and clock rates are pretty much the same (comparing the 4400+ with my 3500+). The FX would certainly make a difference, but is out of my price range...

Does anyone have an idea how I could get my framerates up noticeable, with only a small investment?



What kind of monitor do you have?

Unless you have a really nice monitor 1900x1200 will probably give you a big headache.

Upgrading to 7900GTs or GTXs would help your system run at high-res better, probably more so than a new CPU would.

Also a complete re-install from scratch should help improve performance as well.

You can also turn off unnecessary services for better performance.

If you can afford to wait a few weeks 939 prices should drop after the AM2 launch in 3 days.


I real headache. If it is a CRT it can cause real headaches, eye fatigue and can cause other health issues.

Certain resolutions or color combinations may also cause seizures in extreme situations.
May 21, 2006 11:56:32 PM

It'll cost you less to buy a good quality 19" monitor as a secondary display and do all your gaming on that
May 22, 2006 12:24:31 AM

Monitor to be sure. Those 7800GTs in SLI should be most adequate! Some games, NO video hardware can keep up with though the ATI 1900 series do make a good shot at it. But I'm an nVidia kind of guy 'cause I've found ATI drivers too flaky and they don't play well with Linux.

AM2 may be worth looking into but now's also a time to consider dual core and your initial thought, the 4400 isn't a bad idea anyway. Same clock but you have two 3700s VS one 3500 (1MB L2 cache per core). Then again, you may wanna consider a 4600 or 4800. These A64s fly at or above 2.4GHz.
May 22, 2006 12:27:01 AM

Quote:
You're better off selling the 7800GT's and getting a 7900GTX or X1900XT(X).
You do realize he wants to improve his framerates at 1920x1200.
May 22, 2006 12:48:27 AM

Sony makes a 24" widescreen CRT
Sony 24" crt
2304x1440 max resolution 8O
May 22, 2006 8:41:53 AM

I don't think there is a problem with the SLI setup. I started it all from scratch, new mobo and new XP installation, all without any problems.

I DO play the Lost Coast demo, and while I get good framerates in most situations, they sometimes dawdle at around 20fps, a bit too low for my taste. I'm thinking about the future, and the future seems slow for me.


Quote:
it sounds like a problem with your SLI setup. if you played older games better with a single card perhaps you should switch off SLI for the worst offenders.

have you got HL2 the lost coast demo by any chance. if so you could run the stress test and i could compare how well yours compares with mine. according to THG VGA charts your setup of 2 7800's should come pretty close if not beat my setup.
May 22, 2006 1:49:40 PM

Will run the stress test when I'm home
I'm getting fab results with 3Dmark2006.
It just comes down to this: 1920x1200 is a killer resolution, and the hardware that can cope with it is either in the making, or really, REALLY expensive at the moment.

Quote:
ye the lost coast can kill a pc at times. what is your average FPS in the stress test when everything is maxed. just so as i can compare.

also have you run 3dmark06 and used the online compare service to check your results are close to others of similar spec
May 22, 2006 5:04:29 PM

I got 50.1fps, which seems to be alright, consider that you have the better CPU...

Quote:
just so you know with 1920x1200 with everything maxed i got about 54/55fps in the stress test. i also have mip map detail set to quality.
May 22, 2006 5:30:22 PM

I think the real lesson is that despite having TWO comparatively modern graphics cards in my system you with your better ONE card still outperform me. That means, when in a couple of months the next generation NVidia cards will come out I can sell both of mine and get one of the new ones. Which is good, because I was dreading to have to upgrade TWO cards now everytime I want to get a better card.

Quote:
ye nothing wrong with your performance. i guess it is just that res in newer games. it also answers your question on how much the cpu matters. without getting new gfx cards i think you'll have to live with either lower res or lower detail settings.
May 22, 2006 5:42:28 PM

Quote:
You're better off selling the 7800GT's and getting a 7900GTX or X1900XT(X).
You do realize he wants to improve his framerates at 1920x1200.

From what I just read it seems I was right. A single 7900 GTX or X1900XTX is probably better than two 7800GT's @ 1920x1200
!