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I spent alot of money... but it don't perform

Last response: in Video Games
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October 26, 2005 9:52:24 AM

hello all.
A while ago I bought myself a gaming computer consisting of:
gigabyte GA-K8NSNXP-939 with Athlon 64 3500
1GB of Kingston PC3200 DDR
Gigabyte GVN68T256DH 6800GT AGP Video
2xSeagate 80GB serial ata 7200rpm in raid 0

Age of Empires III is choppy when moving around the map and I am forced to run games like FEAR and Quake 4 with allot of options turned down. (quake 4 autodetects and sets up at 800x600.
I guess it's getting a bit slow these days but can anyone suggest if theres something I should be upgrading.. is 1gb of ram enough? would a athlon 64 4000 help?
October 26, 2005 11:48:09 AM

What kind of results do you get with 3dmark and other benchmarks?

The games you are talking about are serious system killers with the exception of aoe III which is tough enough in of itself.

Personally I'd be pointing a finger at your cpu more than anything else but don't be taking my word for it.

You have of course tried updating all ALL your drivers. gfx, mobo, sound? As well as running a search for spyware and adware?


"Its only when you look at ants closely with a magnifying glass on a sunny day that you realise how often they burst into flames"
October 26, 2005 12:09:40 PM

sounds like your sound crad is the lag, your system is plenty fast enough to play all games with great performance.
For example, I have a xp3200 with 512mb and bench in 3dmark05 is 5109 I can play almost all games except bf2 with high setting and bf2 most are high and some are med. Tweaking the system can greatly enhance performance. Cooling is important for great performance it's the ocing that gives the power for the games, without ocing I would be benching in around 2500 and that would make all my games choppy as hell. Next is tweaking the os to squeeze every last bit of bs out of the bill gates windows program. notice how bill is lower case letters . Haa Haa billy bob I hope you go bankrupt soon.


when the team loses blame it on the noob's I was shot for a plane now my goal it to hunt them down
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October 26, 2005 1:19:46 PM

New games such as Fear, COD2, Q4, BF2...are starting to really stress a card like the 6800GT. There is no way he'd be able to run all games maxed out at even 12x10 resolution. Fear and COD2, 1024 high will be about it. That said, I agree it's still a nice gaming rig and finding out if it is performing as it should be is the first step.


<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=658042" target="_new">3DMark05</A> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3781954" target="_new">3DMark03</A>
October 26, 2005 1:26:13 PM

Run 3dmark03 and 3dmark05 and post us a link to the orb(not just a score) so we can see how the system is performing. If scores are super low, you may not even have the mobo chipset drivers installed. Otherwise, It may be a matter of disabling background apps like virus scan, tweaking bios settings, defraggin HDD, updating video/chipset drivers, running adaware/spybot, turning off forced FSAA, etc., etc., etc. We need more to go by, or we will just be going through a whole list of performance tweaks/recommendations hoping to hit the problem.

<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=658042" target="_new">3DMark05</A> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3781954" target="_new">3DMark03</A>
October 26, 2005 1:52:22 PM

Do you have anything overclocked that you're aware of?
I would try different Nvidia drivers, there was a problem with some recent ones that came out. Microsoft has a certified version off their Windows Update page that performs good, but doesn't have all the Nvidia features.

If that doesn't work, you may need to slightly bump up your RAM voltage in BIOS.

Considering your system, it's safe to say you run Dual Channel memory. That might be a problem if they modules aren't sync'd. You may want to switch them out of dual channel by switching one module to the same channel as the other one. You should have Channel A and B, put both in A, or both in B.

Try running your game after each change, don't change it all at once. This way you can figure out what the problem is.
October 26, 2005 2:12:17 PM

I can't believe his gfx card is the bottleneck. I have a similar (PCI-e) card, 2Gig of mem and an Asus SLI mobo with a a64 3800 and I can play FEAR maxed out on 12x10 easily. Great experience too.

If there is a bottleneck in his system its either his 1Gig, or as someone else wrote some problem with the sound? Additionally he might also have to check his AGP settings in the bios. Maybe it's only set to AGP4x by mistake.

Disk speed is not of primary importance when playing games, except for level loading and starting up the game.

BigMac

<font color=green>(")_(")
(-x"x-)This was Bunny. He died in a dreadful mattress fire.
(/~~\)</font color=green>
October 26, 2005 3:54:08 PM

gfx card is fine. He is basically saying he is having trouble running at least 2 of the most graphically demanding games out there. His GFX card should be fine as should the ram in many respects.

I don't see his sound affecting his game to such an extent although on would hope he has an audigy 2 or similiar sitting in his case. I personally reckon it's a setup/driver issue coupled with his cpu which is by no means slow but still, we are talking FEAR and Quake 4.

By the by to the OP first things apparently to get rid of in FEAR is soft shadows. It apparently halfs the performance on even super duper wooper machines.... I had a link to the topic and benchmark results lying about but I lost it.

"Its only when you look at ants closely with a magnifying glass on a sunny day that you realise how often they burst into flames"
October 26, 2005 6:38:13 PM

Quote:

By the by to the OP first things apparently to get rid of in FEAR is soft shadows. It apparently halfs the performance on even super duper wooper machines.... I had a link to the topic and benchmark results lying about but I lost it.


But I love soft shadows! Well, the game's running fine with soft shadows turned on for me.

BigMac

<font color=green>(")_(")
(-x"x-)This was Bunny. He died in a dreadful mattress fire.
(/~~\)</font color=green>
October 27, 2005 1:16:28 AM

Anandtech claims fear is the most stressful game yet. I Have not tried it so COD2 is the most stressful I've tried. <A HREF="http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2575&p=6" target="_new">The 6800GT crawls with softshadows</A> in their tests. Of course, so does every other card really. No soft shadows and AA/AF enabled, framrates are very low too.

I am not saying the 6800GT is a weak card, but IF his system was tuned properly, the 6800GT would often limit resolution/eye candy in these games. A 6800GT will not be a 1280x1028 max detail/eye candy card in the new games coming out. No way, no how, no matter the cpu. My 6800U gets hammered in COD2 and I doubt it's the CPU or RAM (A64 4000+, 2GB OCZ platinum) as the X1800XT's seem to fly in comparison on similar systems.

<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=658042" target="_new">3DMark05</A> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3781954" target="_new">3DMark03</A>
October 27, 2005 4:44:37 AM

What really f'ed my machine up was having the texture quality on maximum with my gig but when i turned it down no lag at all. ya fear does take up a boatload of ram, anyone know a good virtual memory setting? i hear my hdd clicking way to much and windows keeps increasing my page file. and i have no programs running in backround at all. Thank You


Looking for a fender jaguar/ jag-stang. has to be a lefty.
Email: CharlesJReel@hotmail.com
October 27, 2005 6:35:05 AM

That's weird. I read Anand now and then and it seems trustworthy enough info.

On the other hand, I'm quite certain I have soft shadows running, and some AA/AF (not too much) on 12x10 (might be 12x9 which is what I usually use for my desktop) and I'm rather pleased with my system performance. I'm not claiming continuous 50+ fps btw, but it is very nicely playable. I'll check my settings again tonight. Anyone knows of an ingame command to display framerates?


BigMac

<font color=green>(")_(")
(-x"x-)This was Bunny. He died in a dreadful mattress fire.
(/~~\)</font color=green>
October 27, 2005 7:18:31 AM

Download FRAPS.


<font color=red><b>Long live Dhanity and the minions scouring the depths of Wingdingium!</b>

XxxxX
(='.'=)
(")_(") Bow down before King Bunny
October 27, 2005 9:56:27 AM

Thank you all for the help.
at a 280MB download it might take a while for me to get the 3dmark results up but thats were I'll start..

My soundcard is an audigy 2
Thanks all
October 27, 2005 10:37:54 AM

To be on the safe side, update all of your drivers.
October 27, 2005 11:39:18 AM

Again I haven't played it so can only go by what I read. Anand was using some sort of no-sound timedemo for consistant results, so I'd suspect higher fps from that than fraps actual gameplay. That's usually what happenes anyway. Possibly is there a fear benchmark walkthrough that's more stressfull than average gameplay? Either that or it's one or two settings turned up higher that dramatically lower their framerates compared to what you see.

<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=658042" target="_new">3DMark05</A> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3781954" target="_new">3DMark03</A>
October 28, 2005 7:19:12 AM

Ok..
rand 3dmark05 and got a score of 4860.
I then updated all my drivers
motherboard/video/sound/usb the lot.
ran 3dmark05 again and got 4894
see here:
http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=1371212

Am I reading right or is something seriously wrong with my system?
October 28, 2005 8:23:33 AM

Looks like ok for your system without any OC'íng.

BigMac

<font color=green>(")_(")
(-x"x-)This was Bunny. He died in a dreadful mattress fire.
(/~~\)</font color=green>
October 28, 2005 9:08:27 AM

It's time to post a message on overclocking then.
thanks.
October 28, 2005 11:24:44 PM

Well, I checked my options, and I have everything maxed out, including soft shadows, at 1280x960 with AA2x and AF4x.

With the test level thats in FEAR I get the following result:
FPS Min 19
avg 31
max 73

16% below 25
57% between 25 and 40
27% above 40


These results do not seem consisten with Anand, do they? But it's what I get.

My system a64 3800, Asus A8N-SLI mobo, 2GB kingston pc3200, XfX 6800GT, SB audigy 2, nothing OC'd

BigMac

<font color=green>(")_(")
(-x"x-)This was Bunny. He died in a dreadful mattress fire.
(/~~\)</font color=green>
October 28, 2005 11:46:17 PM

from the Anand review:
<i>"Seeing the pictures gives you a little better idea of how the soft shadow option looks in FEAR. Since it's not impressive and it gives the game a major performance hit, we don't see any reason to enable it. It might look good with AA enabled, but unfortunately as of right now, both soft shadows and AA can't be enabled at the same time. They might allow this in some later patch, but as we've shown by our performance tests, the cost to performance would be almost too great to think about."</i>

I think the explanation is softshadows and FSAA can't be enabled at the same time. So by enabling AA, I wonder if softshadows is turned off. If so, your 12x9 2X/4X actual gameplay framerates don't seem too far off considering Anand had 4X/8X at 12x10 but it was a no sound timedemo. All this talk makes me want to plunk down the $29.90 at gogamer and buy a copy. I'll hold off and keep playing BF2. I preordered the <A HREF="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000AO9LV..." target="_new">NFSMW Black Edition</A> today though.




<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=658042" target="_new">3DMark05</A> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3781954" target="_new">3DMark03</A>
October 29, 2005 11:23:35 AM

Allrighty,

I turned the AA off and indeed performance went down significantly:

Min 11
avg 21
max 41

70% below 25
29% between 25 and 40
1% above 40

The soft shadows looked very nice, but I'm not prepared to play at lower resolutions to enjoy them, the game looks already fabulous without them, so I'm good. This will be a high performance benchmark for quite some while to come, and I prefer benchmarks of actual games over 3Dmark stuf.

Come on, Paul. Just grab your copy and enjoy :smile: It's a single player experience foremost so don't worry about your battlefield 2 quality time. I'll be getting my BF2 copy next month I think. Got it for free with some subscription change of my PC game magazine.


BigMac

<font color=green>(")_(")
(-x"x-)This was Bunny. He died in a dreadful mattress fire.
(/~~\)</font color=green>
October 29, 2005 7:28:24 PM

That was exactly how I originally felt with SC:Chaos Theory demo. HDR& Softshadows looked great, but the 6800U just couldn't manage high enough framerates with them turned on. I had going below 12x10, but definately refuse to drop below 10x7.

The $29 deal ended, so looks like I'll wait for it to hit the bargain bin. Your not thinking like a BF2 addict; Any time spent on another game takes away from BF2. Basically, if I turn on the gaming machine, It's to hear "Welcome to Duty". :smile: I'm a sucker for sale prices. I got BF2 DVD version at Circuit City for $35 months ago and that deal never came around again. It's hard just to find the DVD version, and any sale below $50 is the CD-Version only now. But when good games hit $10-20, I can't resist buying them. I'm sure some day I will own and play Fear.


<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?3dm05=658042" target="_new">3DMark05</A> <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k3=3781954" target="_new">3DMark03</A>
October 31, 2005 11:06:01 PM

buy it and play it now!!! or try the demo its pretty friggin awesome.

Looking for a fender jaguar/ jag-stang. has to be a lefty.
Email: CharlesJReel@hotmail.com
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