Though I have been building my family's gaming towers for many years, I still consider myself a novice in many ways. Take for instance the last system I built for my son. I used an Abit Fatality 925x with an Intel p4 3.4g single core and still DDR2400 (it was a while back, though it's still going strong). No matter what graphics card we have in it, everything happens NOW and the graphics care displays to its very best ability.
Now, in contrast, I have my past two systems, both using Biostar motherboards (TForce's), the first with the same chip as my kid's and the second using an E8400 and gaming Ocz ram. As far as "snap" goes, the kid's system runs as good if not better on some apps than either of mine.
He runs all sorts of garbage running on his system (aim, etc) and has hardly enough hd space at any given time to save a song but still smokes while I have ample hd and far fewer programs.
Everything about my system(s) (in terms of newness and newfangledness)should be superior to his...it aint
Can the mobo make that much difference? Should I look for another cause?
windows xp home
Sapphire x1950 pro pci-e x16 256mb
Rosewill Stallion 450w 12v psu
Intel P4 3.4g Prescott
2gb samsung DDR2400
Abit 925x (Fatality)
Thermaltake Typhoon 120
My current gaming system:
windows xp home
Zotac 8800gt 1gb pci-e 2.0 x16
Rosewill Stallion 500w 12v psu
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale
2gb OCZ 1066 (running at 800; couldn't get the voltage right to run at 1066)
Dynatron 92mm cpu fan (I know, cheapy, but it cools great)
Bear in mind, his doesn't smoke mine but I would think mine should smoke his.
That is, I don't feel justified having purchased allegidly "better" gear.
No the motherboard could not make more than a 10% difference and that would be an extreme case.
Your system should completely wipe the floor with his, no doubt.
What benchmark or utility are you using to determine that yours is not faster than his?
Do you do regular disk cleanups and defrags? Maybe he does?
As far as Theholylance's remark about vista and graphics.....I'll just let that garbage slide...lol
try running vista on some old gfx lol, it just wont work, i've tried to run it in a nvidia 6150 (built in) as a beta machine, and it was slowwwwww mooooo, and he didn't list his specs, for all i know it may be some gaming machine from dell with some crappy integrated solution from ATI/nvidia that is better than intel IGP but not much
now back to OP, how does it feel sluggish? i mean the spec you've gave should completely nuke what he has, is cooling an issue? take a house fan to it and will it work better (things like speed step will throttle the CPU if it's too hot to a point where it is really slow, maybe check that with CPUZ or something), if you built ur pc, did you use enough thermal paste on the HSF or are you using the retail cooler? there are other causes, but heat is one of them if you can boot and use and all that, yet don't feel all that fast.
Well there are a few things you can do to help performance.
1. Better/more RAM, (I recommend G.Skill DDR2 800 2x2GB)
2. Try a BIOS flash (an older BIOS can sometimes be a little unstable, and won't use all the hardware it has efficently),
3. Check the amount of cache the HDD has (he may have 16m, while you may have 8m),
4. I also recommend XP Pro, or Vista Home (both are better than XP Home)
5. Uninstall things you don't use, and clear out the startup tab in the start menu.
I haven't done actual benchmark tests on either in a good while. The only measure by which I say his is quicker is in things like loging onto a webbrowser and some load screens in MMO's. If I am playing WoW or something and alt/tab to the desktop and try to get online, it takes a ridiculously long time to logon to yahoo (or whatever browser I'm using at the time). If I do the same on his, it's like BAM! there!
I feel confident that I used the appropriate amount of thermal paste (having dropped the ball in a major way once or twice on my first system years back). My system temp reads about 35 degrees at full gaming load. I'd have to check specific cpu temp later this evening.