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I want to snap my video card in half

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March 19, 2009 4:43:11 AM

It has given me nothing but stress and anguish, so why shouldn't I?

DISCLAIMER: I apologize for the wall of text.

Seriously, ever since I bought this x1950 pro 512MB AGP card, I have had nothing but problems with it. Initially I was shrouded with the glow of owning a 'better' video card, better than my older 9800 pro anyway.

It didn't take long for that thrill to fade, as I really didn't notice any significant FPS improvements in most games I play. In fact, instead of improving my gaming experience, it ruined my whole computer experience. Card started overheating, and experienced issues with VPU voltage spikes that seemed to sever the connection between the computer and the video adapter, unrecoverable(and seemingly crashing my computer with no BSOD since sometimes sounds would loop forever if I was listening to something at the time).

I got a new heatsink, and those VPU voltage problems still existed for a while. Eventually I seemed to get them under control, even though I don't know how. I don't know if it was the weather, or what, but it just stopped crashing after a while.

Anyway, beyond all those issues, the biggest issue I have lately is that I just do not notice framerates as good as I had received with my 9800 pro. When I play games like Oblivion, or Sins of a Solar Empire, looking at the same things I would in the past I notice some huge differences in frame rate. With these games, I find myself unable to break the 20fps barrier.

On SoaSE for example, in the first tutorial before doing anything and looking at the planet... I'm sitting at 15-18 frames per second. Back when I had my 9800 pro I would easily be able to view that same scene with 30fps and wouldn't notice any stuttering at all. I was able to play the games with big battles and not experience those slowdowns.

Changing my graphics settings, no matter the game, does not seem to improve my FPS either. I'll get the same performance on higher settings as I do turning everything down, even my resolution to something really low like 800x600. I turned all my graphics settings down in SoaSE for that same scene, including resolution from 1280x960 to 1024x768 and I am still getting about 15fps. It didn't even ramp up to 18 at all.

It just seems bizarre to me. I can play a game like Farcry 2 with the same framerate on highest settings(pretty good in farcry 2 actually), as I can on lowest settings. The framerate doesn't change at all!

Haven't really changed anything else in my computer over these past 5 or so years. Bought this system back in 2003 with a D865 Perl motherboard, Intel Pentium 4 2.8ghz processor, 1 gig of pc3200 DDR ram, and that 9800 pro. Since then I've only upgraded the video card to a x1950 Pro, and went up to 3 gigs of the same pc3200 ddr ram(currently dropped down to 2 gigs).

I want to snap this video card in half, but have no other card to fall back on unfortunately as my 9800 pro burned out a long while ago.

Is this unusual, to not get performance increases for reducing the quality settings on a game?

More about : snap video card half

March 19, 2009 5:59:56 AM

What's your power supply?
a b U Graphics card
March 19, 2009 6:10:05 AM

Raziaar said:
It has given me nothing but stress and anguish, so why shouldn't I?

DISCLAIMER: I apologize for the wall of text.

Seriously, ever since I bought this x1950 pro 512MB AGP card, I have had nothing but problems with it. Initially I was shrouded with the glow of owning a 'better' video card, better than my older 9800 pro anyway.

It didn't take long for that thrill to fade, as I really didn't notice any significant FPS improvements in most games I play. In fact, instead of improving my gaming experience, it ruined my whole computer experience. Card started overheating, and experienced issues with VPU voltage spikes that seemed to sever the connection between the computer and the video adapter, unrecoverable(and seemingly crashing my computer with no BSOD since sometimes sounds would loop forever if I was listening to something at the time).

I got a new heatsink, and those VPU voltage problems still existed for a while. Eventually I seemed to get them under control, even though I don't know how. I don't know if it was the weather, or what, but it just stopped crashing after a while.

Anyway, beyond all those issues, the biggest issue I have lately is that I just do not notice framerates as good as I had received with my 9800 pro. When I play games like Oblivion, or Sins of a Solar Empire, looking at the same things I would in the past I notice some huge differences in frame rate. With these games, I find myself unable to break the 20fps barrier.

On SoaSE for example, in the first tutorial before doing anything and looking at the planet... I'm sitting at 15-18 frames per second. Back when I had my 9800 pro I would easily be able to view that same scene with 30fps and wouldn't notice any stuttering at all. I was able to play the games with big battles and not experience those slowdowns.

Changing my graphics settings, no matter the game, does not seem to improve my FPS either. I'll get the same performance on higher settings as I do turning everything down, even my resolution to something really low like 800x600. I turned all my graphics settings down in SoaSE for that same scene, including resolution from 1280x960 to 1024x768 and I am still getting about 15fps. It didn't even ramp up to 18 at all.

It just seems bizarre to me. I can play a game like Farcry 2 with the same framerate on highest settings(pretty good in farcry 2 actually), as I can on lowest settings. The framerate doesn't change at all!

Haven't really changed anything else in my computer over these past 5 or so years. Bought this system back in 2003 with a D865 Perl motherboard, Intel Pentium 4 2.8ghz processor, 1 gig of pc3200 DDR ram, and that 9800 pro. Since then I've only upgraded the video card to a x1950 Pro, and went up to 3 gigs of the same pc3200 ddr ram(currently dropped down to 2 gigs).

I want to snap this video card in half, but have no other card to fall back on unfortunately as my 9800 pro burned out a long while ago.

Is this unusual, to not get performance increases for reducing the quality settings on a game?


Your processor and ram are together bottle necking your graphics card. So i wouldn't have expected more then a few frame improvement over your old card. But since you have a framerate drop, that leads me to believe it's another issue.

Like turboflame so vaguely suggested, it could be that your PSU isn't supplying sufficient power to your new graphics card.

Clean out your graphics car drivers and reinstall them. Sometimes old drivers can cause conflicting issues.

Lastly it could be that the graphics card itself i defective.
Related resources
March 19, 2009 6:54:20 AM

turboflame said:
What's your power supply?


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

This is my power supply.

lucuis said:
Your processor and ram are together bottle necking your graphics card. So i wouldn't have expected more then a few frame improvement over your old card. But since you have a framerate drop, that leads me to believe it's another issue.

Like turboflame so vaguely suggested, it could be that your PSU isn't supplying sufficient power to your new graphics card.

Clean out your graphics car drivers and reinstall them. Sometimes old drivers can cause conflicting issues.

Lastly it could be that the graphics card itself i defective.


Yeah, I really need to get a whole new PC. Sucky thing is I have to get a whole new everything. My MOBO doesn't support PCI express, which is basically the only realistic option for video cards anymore. So for that, i'll need a new motherboard, which will require a new processor, new ram, new video card... basically the works.

Have already messed around with numerous drivers, from old to new. None really seem to change things much, though Omega drivers make things slower.
a b U Graphics card
March 19, 2009 11:21:26 AM

Raziaar said:
It has given me nothing but stress and anguish, so why shouldn't I?

DISCLAIMER: I apologize for the wall of text.

Seriously, ever since I bought this x1950 pro 512MB AGP card, I have had nothing but problems with it. Initially I was shrouded with the glow of owning a 'better' video card, better than my older 9800 pro anyway.

It didn't take long for that thrill to fade, as I really didn't notice any significant FPS improvements in most games I play. In fact, instead of improving my gaming experience, it ruined my whole computer experience. Card started overheating, and experienced issues with VPU voltage spikes that seemed to sever the connection between the computer and the video adapter, unrecoverable(and seemingly crashing my computer with no BSOD since sometimes sounds would loop forever if I was listening to something at the time).

I got a new heatsink, and those VPU voltage problems still existed for a while. Eventually I seemed to get them under control, even though I don't know how. I don't know if it was the weather, or what, but it just stopped crashing after a while.

Anyway, beyond all those issues, the biggest issue I have lately is that I just do not notice framerates as good as I had received with my 9800 pro. When I play games like Oblivion, or Sins of a Solar Empire, looking at the same things I would in the past I notice some huge differences in frame rate. With these games, I find myself unable to break the 20fps barrier.

On SoaSE for example, in the first tutorial before doing anything and looking at the planet... I'm sitting at 15-18 frames per second. Back when I had my 9800 pro I would easily be able to view that same scene with 30fps and wouldn't notice any stuttering at all. I was able to play the games with big battles and not experience those slowdowns.

Changing my graphics settings, no matter the game, does not seem to improve my FPS either. I'll get the same performance on higher settings as I do turning everything down, even my resolution to something really low like 800x600. I turned all my graphics settings down in SoaSE for that same scene, including resolution from 1280x960 to 1024x768 and I am still getting about 15fps. It didn't even ramp up to 18 at all.

It just seems bizarre to me. I can play a game like Farcry 2 with the same framerate on highest settings(pretty good in farcry 2 actually), as I can on lowest settings. The framerate doesn't change at all!

Haven't really changed anything else in my computer over these past 5 or so years. Bought this system back in 2003 with a D865 Perl motherboard, Intel Pentium 4 2.8ghz processor, 1 gig of pc3200 DDR ram, and that 9800 pro. Since then I've only upgraded the video card to a x1950 Pro, and went up to 3 gigs of the same pc3200 ddr ram(currently dropped down to 2 gigs).

I want to snap this video card in half, but have no other card to fall back on unfortunately as my 9800 pro burned out a long while ago.

Is this unusual, to not get performance increases for reducing the quality settings on a game?


Have you upgraded to the latest BIOS version for your mobo and installed the latest version of chipset drivers?
March 19, 2009 11:29:54 AM

chunkymonster said:
Have you upgraded to the latest BIOS version for your mobo and installed the latest version of chipset drivers?


You know, since the latest reformat I did, I can't remember if I have done that yet or not. I will check that first thing when I wake up.

Would it make that much of a difference?
a b U Graphics card
March 19, 2009 7:46:29 PM

Raziaar said:
You know, since the latest reformat I did, I can't remember if I have done that yet or not. I will check that first thing when I wake up.

Would it make that much of a difference?


Absolutely! :o 

The BIOS should be updated to ensure hardware compatibility and enable all the chipset features. And, the chipset needs drivers to know how to configure and assign resources to the hardware.

I recommend you ensure that your entire system (BIOS, chipset, gpu, and sound) has the latest drivers and operating system updates. If you still have a problem, then the issue could be some of the other possibilities mentioned in the previous posts.
March 19, 2009 8:00:47 PM

What a shame... my bios only updates as far as 2005. Maybe I'll have better luck with the chipset.

EDIT: Okay, well it turns out that my bios was already installed as the latest one. And my chipset was apparently some newer one, even though I only see the one I just installed on intel's website as the latest one.

So basically nothing changed :( 
March 19, 2009 11:00:42 PM

When I used to be on the Nvidia boat this happend to me. I had a 3800+X2 and a 7800GTX, and some ram..can't remember what it was, I wasn't a techy at this point, and I swear, I got no better performance than I got on my 9600 XT, gave up and parted it out. I was stupid then though :D , CPU really has a lot to do though with FPS, and is often overlooked. Half the people I see complaining about not getting very good FPS with crossfired 4870s, or a 4870x2, don't' even have the processing power to fully unleash the beast.

Recently I went from a Phenom 9950 @ 3.0 Ghz oced to a Phenom II @ 3.0, at STOCK I had a increase average of 20-30% performance, amazing difference, now at 3.6ghz it just DESTROYS the Phenom 9950 BE. That was when I had one 4870, difference was VERY noticable. Can't wait for AMD to start releaseing more expensive, higher-end processors to compete with Intels stuff, I'd def pay a extra 200$ for a 12mb cache and some better stock speeds :p 
March 22, 2009 3:46:32 AM

I'm stumped guys... I really am.

I'm playing Men of War, first American mission and I'm getting 8fps on 1280x1024 resolution maximum settings.

I bump up resolution to 1600x1200 resolution and am still getting 8fps.

I lower resolution to 800x600 and lower all graphics settings to minimum and I am still getting 8fps. STILL 8fps even though I dropped all the settings... same framerate as I was getting on maximum settings highest resolution.

Is this normal? I don't think this is normal. My friend has a weaker computer than me and gets more fps than I'm getting on the same game.

<sigh>


EDIT: My brother has a BFG Tech BFGR78256GSOC GeForce 7800GS 256MB 256-bit GDDR3 AGP 4X/8X Video Card

It runs the same level that I was running, on lowest settings, and getting a smooth 50 or so fps. Turning down the settings on his card really showed improvement. When I turned them up nearly to maximum, it was sitting on that level at about 30-33fps.

Something must be drastically wrong with my card. I'm really disappointed in this ATI card, I really am. That, and the multiple 9800's I owned that burned out on me, I am wondering if I should ever buy ATI again.
a b U Graphics card
March 22, 2009 8:54:51 PM

That usually happens when the CPU is bottlenecking the graphics card. So again leads me to believe your graphics card is not running to its full potential.

One factor could be your PSU isn't supplying sufficient power. You also mentioned voltage spikes, that could be caused by a dieing PSU, could explain why your other graphics cards got burned out.

Two, you bought a defective graphics card and it's a marvel it even works at all.

Three, Your graphics card somehow got switched to AGP x4/x2. Causing it to be bottlenecked at the AGP interface. Check through your BIOS settings.

Four, You motherboard could have been collateral damage from when your multiple other GPUs burned out, and is now amazing still able to run but is still damaged, hindering performance.

Solutions;

The easiest is to check the BIOS and see if anything is amiss there. Look for AGP settings and be sure it's set to 8x AGP.

The second easiest troubleshooting step is to return the graphics card as defective/broken for a new one. Then see if the new one has the same issue. If you still have the same problem, the issue likely lies elsewhere. Probably the PSU.
a b U Graphics card
March 23, 2009 1:15:03 AM

Unless he's running a Celeron, he should be doing better then 8 FPS.
March 23, 2009 2:16:31 AM

1920407,11,322361 said:
That usually happens when the CPU is bottlenecking the graphics card. So again leads me to believe your graphics card is not running to its full potential.

The nvidia card is running just fine in the game, I would think that's bottlenecked too. And even if my ATI card is bottlenecked, it should still run at least as well as the the nvidia. I don't think this is merely a case of bottlenecking, because it's not like I'm trying to get higher FPS here, I'm just trying to get PLAYABLE fps... since they are so terrible.

Quote:
One factor could be your PSU isn't supplying sufficient power. You also mentioned voltage spikes, that could be caused by a dieing PSU, could explain why your other graphics cards got burned out.


I checked around and people said my PSU should be plenty enough for my system, and I checked out some PSU guides to be sure. There's enough power and stuff on the 12v rail. Plus, the PSU is practically brand new.

Quote:
Two, you bought a defective graphics card and it's a marvel it even works at all.


This my friend, is likely to be the biggest culprit. Unfortunately I've owned it so long before realizing it's true crippled capacity and cannot return it or anything.

Quote:
Three, Your graphics card somehow got switched to AGP x4/x2. Causing it to be bottlenecked at the AGP interface. Check through your BIOS settings.


I checked and it's still at AGPx8.

Quote:
Four, You motherboard could have been collateral damage from when your multiple other GPUs burned out, and is now amazing still able to run but is still damaged, hindering performance.


Nah... see while I don't think this is the case, is because when I tested my brother's nvidia card it ran the game just fine, and changing graphics settings actually made performance worse or better as it should. And it ran most of the levels just fine.


Quote:
The second easiest troubleshooting step is to return the graphics card as defective/broken for a new one. Then see if the new one has the same issue. If you still have the same problem, the issue likely lies elsewhere. Probably the PSU.


Wish I could do that... unfortunately since my system is so old, I'll have to wait until I can afford to replace absolutely everything in it... new motherboard, processor, memory, video card, hard drive, and even a new audio card since mine is as old as like year 2000.
[/quote]
a b U Graphics card
March 24, 2009 9:51:51 PM

Damn, that's unfortunate. I'm currently at a loss on what else you can do.

What we know;
Motherboard is fine, was tested with buddies gfx card.
PSU is fine, worked with buddies gfx card. Plus no reports of system instability.
RAM fine, again no reports of system instability.
CPU fine, was capable of running said games with buddies gfx card.
Hard Drive, not even a suspect here :) 
GFX Card, poor/unplayable FPS, vpu spikes, and just overall crappiness. I just had an idea. Have you checked your GFX Card temps? Maybe it's overheating and causing it the throttle, and perform like dookie. If you can crank the fan speed up to 100% just to see what happens. Other then that i got nothin'

Well i wish you luck in the future. Also if you run into anything else i'd be glad to help. or at least try :) 
April 5, 2009 9:38:20 PM

lucuis said:
Damn, that's unfortunate. I'm currently at a loss on what else you can do.

What we know;
Motherboard is fine, was tested with buddies gfx card.
PSU is fine, worked with buddies gfx card. Plus no reports of system instability.
RAM fine, again no reports of system instability.
CPU fine, was capable of running said games with buddies gfx card.
Hard Drive, not even a suspect here :) 
GFX Card, poor/unplayable FPS, vpu spikes, and just overall crappiness. I just had an idea. Have you checked your GFX Card temps? Maybe it's overheating and causing it the throttle, and perform like dookie. If you can crank the fan speed up to 100% just to see what happens. Other then that i got nothin'

Well i wish you luck in the future. Also if you run into anything else i'd be glad to help. or at least try :) 


Yeah I'm just thinking my card is a total loss. It's definitely damaged goods.

I have my ancient geforce 3 in my computer, which I've always had to fall back on when my ATI cards... 9800's and this x1950 several times have crapped out on me. It still runs, and it runs well. It's just a little ear piercing.

The sad thing is... my XNA program that only has one 3d represented triangle runs at 12-18fps with the x1950... and can't get any faster, no matter what I do. The Geforce 3 runs it at the capped 60 frames per second.

That clearly tells me something is terribly wrong with the card.

What saddens me is I bought a fairly expensive cooler for my x1950, and it keeps it remarkably cool... but that money was clearly wasted. With that cooler, under highest load it never gets above 50 celsius. Whereas before that cooler was installed, under highest ATI tray tools load it would get to 100 degrees celsius.
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