Okay my friend got a gateway LX for Christmas and hes getting some pretty awful fps with his 4870.
CPU: AMD Phenom email@example.com
Motherboard: I don't know, what ever comes with the LX
Graphics Card: ati 4870
I was wondering if his 4870 could be bottlenecked by the cpu or somthing else? He has the latest drivers and everything.
In CPU intensive games the phenom is hopeless (rare but some games will demolish it), in not so intensive games its ok, but remember that 4870 isnt king, dont expect it to run it full res, max detail and 8x aa etc - its only a single card etc
Might help to know what games and resolutions. Could be something as simple as driver issues. Cpu bottlenecking isn't going to factor in unless he's trying to run something like Supreme Commander at very low resolutions.
My 4850 blows through everything I throw at it. I still wanna see how it works with Vista and DirectX 10 tho. With just and AMD x2 5400 at 2.8ghz. Might be processor speed. I don't like overclocking but that might be an option. You said it was a Gateway... I would also try cleaning up the drive and defragging. I know Vista does that automatically but doesn't it take some time to get itself optimized? somebody help me there..
I have a 9850be oc to 3.2, when I had only one 4870 I never had issues with any games. I play shadow run everything set at highest settings, on my 37" lcd tv with native HDMI res. never had any problems. I think it does have to do with the clock speed to a point with the processor.
I have a HD3870 and just upgraded from a phenom 9500 @ 2.5 to a q6600 @ 3.0 and i see a huge improvements in all games. On max settings and 1920*1200 Red Alert 3 was unplayable on the phenom, it now runs very smooth on those settings. Fallout 3 runs maxed out now, before it was laggy. 3dmark06 went up by about 4000 points. The cpu is bottlenecking your system. If the motherboard is AM2+ then you can upgrade to the PhenomII when they come out.
I have a second build, the 6400x2 b.e oc to 3.4 on air, Asus M2N32 sli wifi deluxe, with 4 gb of ddr2 800mhz and a BFG 8800gts 512 (G92) and it get decent frame rates in all game I play. Not as good as my Quad 9850be at 3.2 and the 4870's but it still does well, very smooth game play. The 6400x2 get around just under 13,000 on benchmark 06 and the 9850be, even when I had just one 4870 was getting just alittle over 16000 with benchmark 06. game play is very smooth so I think the b2 stepping 9500 and 9600 phenoms are kinda dogs for gaming.
Just a thought but what HD4870 does he have and what clocks is he running? First off download the latest drivers, then get into the 'ATI Overdrive' section and enable overclocking by clicking the padlock icon. My bro has a 1Gb 4870 and he was wondering why Crysis was running worse on his than on my 8800GT's! His 4870 defaults to something like 500Mhz on the core on the first install of the drivers so I went into the overdrive and pushed the core up to 700Mhz (which is the spec'd clock) and away he went in VHQ with 4xAA!
I suspect you just need to set it to the right clocks!
He's got a E6750 @ 3.4Ghz with 4Gb Dominators @850Mhz 4-4-4-12. Admittedly he's only running it in 1440x900 but you seem to get free filters with the 48x0s (I.e. no performance hit with AA on)
I run it smooth on a Q9550 at 3.4Ghz 4Gb Doms at 1066 5-5-5-15 with 512Mb 8800GTs in SLi VHQ with 2xAA at 1280x1024.
(Both of these systems though are running XP32 with the custom VHQ mod that's available on the net, so I don't know if performance would be different using true DX10 under Vista?)