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Extremely Poor Performance (I am not a newbie)

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November 14, 2009 10:47:02 PM

My current setup is this:
Corsair 650w psu,
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ clocked at 2.6ghz stable
3.25 gb ram , configured as 3x1gb and 1x256mb pc 3200 sticks,
I have 2x36gb raptor sata drives for windows and 2x100gb for games and media, these are not raid setup,
ATI Radeon HD 4890 1gb Overclocked 910mhz core clock, 1100mhz memory clock
I have a gigabyte ga-k8n pro sli mobo,
Nforce4 chipset,
windows xp pro

Long story short, I have a strong tech background I have alot of experience behind me regarding computers and performance. Long story short,
I have a secondary computer with the SAME EXACT PROCESSOR , 4x512mb ram pc 5200
1x200gb ide hdd for windows and games, same copy of windows, only this one has an asus mobo with no sli, its an agp 8x geforce 6800 gt 256mb ram.

Now I can lower settings on the secondary computer and get around 60fps on games like Left 4 Dead and Quake 4, I also have been benchmarking with Serious Sam 2, but its for ANY Game. If I have both computers at the same lower settings , my secondary computer gets a much smoother true to life frame rate. When it says its doing 60+fps I know for sure it is because its super smooth.

When I run the same exact level, everything, on the MUCH higher end computer, it says I get 60+fps but it looks more like its 20-30, theres stuttering or almost dropped frame type of look. Its not smooth. I have been racking my brain with this.

Both computers have ample cooling, I have all fans on manual, both fresh copies of XP, fresh drivers, tried OC'ing cpu and GPU and using default values, the end result doesnt change. I am losing my mind, I wanted everyone to try to give me their two cents to see if I might be missing something.

The only possible things I can think of is the secondary computer is using a much higher quality ram, or the fact that my high end card is on an SLI board I heard messes with it, my main computer I noticed runs a bit hotter than my secondary. I NEED to find out the bottleneck or what is causing this odd behavior. I have tried 4 different video cards on my high end rig, I tried a 6800gt (same card just pci-e) a 7700GS a 9600gt and now the 4890, it just seems like something is really bottlenecking this system and I have to figure out what it is, I have Sandra loaded on so I can give you my full spec readout for ram timings and the like, please help!
November 14, 2009 11:22:38 PM

Will give that a try
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November 15, 2009 11:08:42 PM

I tried a full defrag, NO LUCK, I just installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 ultimate 64bit, it runs better but I am still not convinced my machine is running the way it should.

I set both IDENTICAL machines to the SAME settings on Serious Sam 2 (the benchmark game Im using)

I start a lan game, set both guys looking in the same direction

I get 140+ FPS on the 6800GT setup and only 60-70 FPS on my ATI RADEON HD 4890(!)!!

Theres something TERRIBLY wrong I must be missing!!!!!!!!!

Please throw your ideas at me, I resorted the memory its running dual channel 408mhz 128bit

I got a fresh clean copy of windows 7, all bios firmware is updated, latest clean install of all drivers

IM LOSING MY MIND!

I checkd ATI Catalyst settings, ran lowest, highest , quality , performance NO DIFFERENCE.

I have elite cooling, the cpu at full load never goes past 50 degrees, thats full load ALL DAY RUNNING

Somebody any body,I cant handle this!


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November 15, 2009 11:42:26 PM

Are you doing all your benchmarks in LAN? Having the high end comp double as server is a lot to ask of a 3500+.

The other thing I find odd is the ram config. I'd drop 1.25 gigs just to see if the unbalanced dual channel is part of the problem. Go with just 2 gigs. Should be enough for games in win7.
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November 16, 2009 12:06:49 AM

1x256mb pc 3200 ???

Is that DDR1 RAM?

PC3200 pr PC23200 = slow RAM, which will bottleneck your system

And is your CPU a single core or dual core? If it's a single core, that's going to also be a bottleneck.

Try the better RAM and see if it helps
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November 16, 2009 4:23:34 AM

Its 3x1gb pc 3200 , ddr1 , Im under the impression that that is the best memory my amd athlon 64 3500+ can handle, and yes its single core , and the LAN SERVER IS BEING HOSTED ON THE LESS POWERFUL COMPUTER ,

THEY ARE THE SAME BUILD, the only difference is one is geforce 6800gt and the other is ati radeon hd 4890

Gonna try pulling out some ram on the other
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November 16, 2009 4:30:44 AM

Both machines have the same type of ram, pc 3200 ddr1, the thing Im getting at is my lower end rig is getting higher end FPS on the same exact test, its blowing my mind, something has always been off about this computer and im trying to figure it out
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November 16, 2009 4:33:47 AM

ill stick with the 2x1gb pc3200 as well and report back
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November 16, 2009 6:26:39 AM

How are the temps?

Did you swap out just the GPU's in the systems? Take the card out the machine is performing better and toss it in the troubled machine and see what happens.
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November 16, 2009 9:29:18 AM

Corsair 650w psu,
AMD Athlon 64 3500+ clocked at 2.6ghz stable
3.25 gb ram , configured as 3x1gb and 1x256mb pc 3200 sticks,
I have 2x36gb raptor sata drives for windows and 2x100gb for games and media, these are not raid setup,
ATI Radeon HD 4890 1gb Overclocked 910mhz core clock, 1100mhz memory clock
I have a gigabyte ga-k8n pro sli mobo,
Nforce4 chipset,
windows xp pro

this is ur main pc wow

cpu bottle necking gpu probally lol
ram prob bottle necking it to lol


is V-Sync turnned off on the 4890?

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November 16, 2009 11:49:56 PM

As Far as temps are concerned im reading ,32 degrees cpu, 40 degrees case , 42 degrees GPU ,this is under full load.

I need to reiterate that the 6800gt is an AGP 8x card and the 4890 is a pci-e 16x card

And to viper200 , no this is not my main rig, I am setting up a LAN for gaming and have dropped a new higher end card on this machine in hopes of it handling more demanding games.

Bottlenecking is a moot point, I know that my CPU and RAM are holding me back, The point you are missing is that both machines have identical processors and ram setups , only the MUCH higher end card is getting severely lower performance .

And yes I have tried Vsync on and Off, in most cases that simply limits the Frames per second to that of the refresh rate of the monitor, in my case 60hz so I can cap it at 60fps , but its doing me no good.

Any other ideas?
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November 17, 2009 12:22:09 AM

Well your main rig isn't doing Dual Channel memory. You need to install memory in pairs to get the best performance with that setup.

The only other thing I can think of is that maybe you're having an issue with the Radeon HD 4890 and the nFarce 4 chipset. nVIDIA chipsets are notoriously bad and if memory serves me right, support is horrible with nVidia on the chipset front (the last driver update is probably more than a year ago I would assume).
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November 17, 2009 2:08:21 AM

I got dual channel going, it says so on POST Dual Channel - 128bit

I have 2x1gb paired in DIMM 1 and 2 and then I have 1gb i dimm 3 and 512 in dimm 4
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November 17, 2009 10:52:25 PM

So I updated the nForce 4 chipset, no change, I put in the SAME EXACT video card into the higher end rig, and its getting HALF the FPS as the secondary Rig, theres something terribly wrong that Im missing, I cant get over it.
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