Sapphire 3850 AGP Card - Need Help!!

I purchased a Sapphire HD 3850 AGP card a few months ago to try and get some better frame rates on some games that were laggy... However I feel like I do not have this card or my motherboard optimized to get the full effect.

I've went through about every driver known to man and no matter what driver I use, I get the same frame rates. I originally purchased the card to run Age of Conan, but I quickly gave up on that, as I never got above 10 fps no matter what driver I used. I *did* have to change the "agp aperture size" to 256mb (this is the maximum setting in the version of my bios) to even get the game to run.

But still, even running older games like Diablo 2, or World of Warcraft... and newer games like Red Alert 3, I'm still getting significant frame rate lag. So far with everything I have tried, I have literally noticed zero improvement over my 128mb 9800 AIW.

Some more details about my system:

I've got 2GB of RAM that I upgraded from 1GB when I purchased the card. The RAM I currently have installed seems to be working fine, however when I tried to use it with the 1GB I had previously (for a total of 3GB) I kept getting blue screens. I think that has to do with one of my old 512mb ram sticks going bad, or maybe a bad ram slot?

The motherboard I am using is an Asus P4C800-E Deluxe. I've been searching all over the internet to see if I can find what if any chipset and bios updates are available for this motherboard that may help my performance in games. However, most of the information on the internet about this motherboard seems very outdated.

I'm using Windows XP Pro 32-bit. I've tried different versions of directx, and currently have some third party beta version of directx10 installed that is *supposed* to work on 32 bit systems. However I noticed no improvement whatsoever when I installed it. (dxdiag does say I have dx10 installed...)

Any tips that you can give me as far as what drivers to use, what version of directX, chipset updates, bios updates, ect... Or any settings ect. that I can change on this card, would be greatly appreciated.
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  1. Well i've heard mixed reviews on DX10 for XP. and since they're pretty shakey I'd just stick with DX9. DX10 is only gonna hurt your FPS even more. I'd recommend going for the newest drivers. make sure you're not using the ones from sapphire. they're gonna be outdated. Use the ones from ATI. You could also play with over clocking the card. I recommend Rivatuner. It works well and is easy to configure. GL
  2. Frankly, your CPU just is n`t fast enough to drive a HD3850 and your MB only supports Socket 478 processors so the chances of finding a faster one are slight unless you take the risk of buying through E-bay or Craiglist.
    That said there are things that can be done to smooth things out a bit:
    First off get your system in order.
    Reset the BIOS to defaults, then change only what needs to be changed, so no overclocking.
    Get rid of the DX10 and any add ons, it`ll only slow the system down.
    Make sure Xp and DX9 are fully updated (DX does not autoupdate).
    Clear out unwanted programs and close down any on the task bar you do n`t need before playing or, better still, use MSCONFIG from the run menu to disable unwanted startup programs altogether.

    Download the latest drivers from ATI, then Driversweeper. Install Driversweeper then SET A RESTORE POINT (sorry about shouting).
    Uninstall your video drivers, restart in Safe Mode then use Driversweeper to clear out any remaining video driver components. Restart and install the new drivers.
    The Asus site has chipset/BIOS files for your MB.
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