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Last response: in Graphics Cards
May 19, 2007 11:31:16 AM

Right, ive recently bought a x1950 PRO 512mb to replace my 6800 GT 256mb
I immediately started having FPS plummet to around 12-15 from 70 fps in games like wow, far cry, X3 (WOW was most suprising) basically whenever my card is being used it seems to struggle intermittently.

At first i thought it was the driver conflicts between nvidia and atis drivers, so i used driver cleaner platinum and the cab cleaner and followed the instructions to a T and got rid of unwanted drivers and did a fresh install of the ATI ones.

Still got FPS drops.

Then i thought it was the PSU not supplying enough power like i see alot of problems relating to crap quality PSUs, so i got a decent quality 480W with plenty of amp on the 12V rails for about £60.

STILL FPS drops.

Oh it goes without saying i checked to make sure my card wasnt overheating when being used and also at idle. So now as a last resort im going to format and reinstall windows and pray it sorts it out.

Here are my system specs

Gigabyte 8IG1000MK mobo
P4 Prescott 3.0ghz
2gb Corsair DDR400 PC3200
Western digital HDD
Sapphire radeon x1950 PRO 512mb AGP

Is it possible that the CPU is bottlenecking my g card i know its 3.0ghz but its not quite a core 2 duo and i heard prescotts were quite bad performance wise, because my card has ample memory but the slowdowns are just so annoying happening at vital moments in a game, slideshows with no warning basically.

Any advice or knowledge on this would be appreciated.


More about : bottlenecked

May 19, 2007 11:37:39 AM

irrespective of being bottlenecked that card should not fall in FPS to those levels. okay, so you may not get 70 fps in a game and just 60 because of your processor, but it wont fall to 16..

there is definitely something wrong.

do a format and let us know. then we can see what we can do from there.
May 19, 2007 11:40:49 AM

Ok i will so if you were in this situation would you reinstall windows as a last resort?
Related resources
May 19, 2007 11:42:12 AM

pretty much..

also before that, you may wanna try defragmenting you drive.
May 19, 2007 11:59:55 AM

Ok well ive already defragged recently, so looks like format time, ill get back to you in about an hour or so:) 
May 19, 2007 12:50:53 PM

Yeah definitely not a bottleneck, reinstall Windows and try again.
May 19, 2007 3:54:26 PM

says that atitool isnt compatible with the x1950 PRO only hehe just my luck.

found something odd in the bios that my cpus multiplier was set to 100x15 instead of 200x15 (OMG?), if thats been the problem all along then someone needs to hit me with the wackaday hammer :roll:

installing far cry now and ill report back see if any fps drop happens this time.
May 19, 2007 4:37:05 PM

Something else to try would be to uninstall the ATI drivers, then install some modded drivers, like Omega's. The Omega drivers come with ATI Tray Tools, my personal favorite ATI overclocking program. It's a little more complicated than ATITool, or maybe I'm just stupid. Seems to have more features, and it's very light on system resources.

Are you using XP or Vista?
May 19, 2007 5:02:42 PM

Thanks for the info :) 

been on far cry for almost an hour and its on full blast no fps drop at all, now this could be sorted now, but what happened before i was playing all day then the next day was full of problems, really does seem like ive hit the jackpot now though.

Ill grab that modded driver u talking about if anything crops up again, but im confused that my CPU clock is supposed to be 200 x 15 = 3.0ghz but was on 100 x 15 thought that was strange because i have no reason to underclock my cpu, but im not sure how long its been at that setting so i have little to compare it to.

cheers all ill post if anything else happens
May 19, 2007 5:13:57 PM

lol....atleast its working now :lol:  :lol: 

enjoy the card 8)
May 19, 2007 7:09:41 PM

Regardless of whether or not SpeedStep was enabled, you should still get the full processor speed when playing a game like FarCry.
May 20, 2007 12:50:33 PM

Ok i think im going insane now i still get FPS drops to as bad as 11FPS from about 40 or so in outside areas, thought it had gone but after an hour or so of playing it came back.

I have run out of ideas now because i bought a new PSU, reinstalled windows, tried new drivers and got rid of unwanted ones, tried those omega drivers with ati tray tools.... anything else i should look for?
May 20, 2007 1:31:03 PM

is it possible my graphics card is faulty, or do these fps drops mean that theres something else im missing maybe?
May 20, 2007 1:39:04 PM

What's the PSU? Is it possible that your replacement unit still can't provide the amps the card needs? The X19xx series cards are pretty thirsty.
May 20, 2007 1:42:12 PM

its a tanga 480W with 28-30 amp on 12v rail
May 20, 2007 1:43:21 PM

thanks for the help, ill keep searching, and post if i find a solution
May 20, 2007 2:24:49 PM

Sorry i meant tangan not tanga :)  and yeah ive reduced the graphics settings to low and it still happens, ill run a check on the RAM, but i doubt thats the problem because ive had those sticks a while without any problems.
May 20, 2007 2:36:13 PM

Ah right in that case ill run a test tonight on my RAM, bearing in mind though ive had a defect stick of RAM before and the problems were quite varied not just to do with FPS in games, but thats only one experience of bad RAM so probably worth checking to make sure.
May 20, 2007 2:46:54 PM

eh check the psu im using :roll: :roll:

i dont get any hang ups or sudden loss in fps in any game.
May 20, 2007 3:11:25 PM

I was thinking you know there memtest to test RAM is there a tester to see if the VRAM on the g card is faulty? or would i just see arty-fat-cats onscreen anyway if that was the case?
May 20, 2007 4:19:58 PM

I'm 99% sure the problem is with the Prescott CPU.
I had exactly the same problem weeks ago.
Try search "Thermal Throttling" in google and you'll find detailed explanation.
In short, Prescott CPU's will automatically lower their frequencies if the internal temperature is above a certain level. (It's about 72 degrees Celcius for my Pentium 4 520.)
When you first started your computer, your CPU was running at full speed. After a while, your CPU will heat up and start to do thermal throttling. That caused your FPS to drop significantly.
And this thermal throttling feature is embedded in the CPU architecture. You can't disable it in BIOS. (Probably you don't want to disable it, because your P4 will be burned were it not for this thermal throttling feature.)
If you say there is a "bottleneck", then it is your cooling system.
May 20, 2007 4:44:06 PM

ah thanks for shedding some new light on this, ill have to log cpu temp see if it actually gets that hot, because like i said before never really had overheating problems ive always kept my system clean of dust etc
May 20, 2007 5:18:06 PM

quick question; would this new gfx card suddenly put extra load on the cpu that i never had before? because with my 6800 GT i never really experienced any fps drops when game settings were within acceptable limits for the card. Although what prompted me to get a new card in the first place was the screen suddenly going into artifacting, which is unsettling because problems happened before i replaced my Gcard.
May 20, 2007 7:40:40 PM

Nah, it wouldn't put any more load on the CPU, that's just crazy talk.

When you get those stutters, check your hard drive activity. If it's going nuts during the slow FPS times, then the problem could be something like bad hard drive sectors.

Run chkdisk or something if that's the case, might not be a bad idea to do it anyway.
May 20, 2007 11:17:43 PM

OK looks like its the thermal throttling :)  my cpu temp easily shoots up to 70+ when playing games, gonan find some prog which ups my fan speed and then buy some of that thermal paste:)  didnt know about that shit throttling, 70 degrees seems v low to start slowing down
May 20, 2007 11:23:33 PM

hey nice one for the fast reply, and cheers for the help and info i learnt alot in this past few days, this forum is awesome!
May 20, 2007 11:37:18 PM

hmm i got another q :)  is it possible for me to overclock my fan? i downloaded Speedfan but i want my fan to go over 2500 rpm, is this possible?
May 20, 2007 11:56:43 PM

right looks like my fan is always going at max speed anyway, because alot of fans ive looked at go 2500 max rpm anyway so its working hard constantly, this P4 must be one inefficient beast, the paste atm is the one that came with the heatsink which im guessing is nowhere near as good as the artic stuff?

i saw mentioned that if the fan is plugged into the psu (which mine is) you can up the voltage on it and itll speed up, will this overclock it in effect or am i impatiently clutching at straws?
May 21, 2007 12:08:52 AM

I think ill just wait to buy some arctic cooling paste, im sure its alot better than the stuff that came with the heatsink and i read that bad quality stuff degrades over time whereas the AC hardens and lasts up to 8 years, ive had some bad paste sitting there for good part of 4 years now so looks like the time has come :) 
May 21, 2007 12:16:55 AM

right ok got it, may aswell go all out just to hammer down that temp, cheers
May 21, 2007 1:28:20 AM

Holy crap, those Delta fans push 225cfm... but at 65dB, a tornado is less loud. I think I'll stick with the AeroCool 89cfm fan I was getting for my Ultra 120 Extreme... it's around 35dB
May 21, 2007 2:41:04 AM

right ok got it, may aswell go all out just to hammer down that temp, cheers

Before you go out and spend a bunch of money on a new heatsink and fan, have you tried cleaning the existing heatsink out with compressed air? I had a P4 3.2 (Northwood, not quite as inefficient as the Presc-hot) and the temps would rise about 10 degrees when the heatsink would get full of dust.

Also, I wouldn't spend a lot of money (>$50US, ~25 pounds) on a nice heatsink for that system, unless you are buying a heatsink to use on a future system. I say that because it doesn't make sense if you're getting too close to the price to just switch to a new cooler running, more powerful mobo/processor combo then (about $175US for an E4300 and ASRock Dual-VSTA, which supports your existing DDR-400 RAM, and has AGP as well as PCIe graphics).
May 21, 2007 11:20:28 AM

yeah fair point there, it seems my HSF is more clogged than i thought, hell theres slabs of dust in here....also the thermal paste is rock hard and it took my serious effort to pry the cpu off the HSF, using another one now from another PC and the temp is now 37 at idle when yesterday it was 50 at idle.

Nice one thanks
May 22, 2007 2:18:36 AM

have to say the fps doesnt drop anymore, i was freaked out though when i removed the HSF, the thermal paste was cementing the cpu to the heatsink and went to dust when i pried it off and when i put it back on the cpu temp went up to 90 degrees now i got a temp HSF while i wait for one in the post.

But to conclude, yeah it was that thermal throttling threshold that it kept hitting at around 70, now it maxes at about 60, hopefully lower when i apply the arctic stuff, cheers for the help though:)