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Contemplating Upgrade

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February 3, 2010 2:09:11 PM

I'm thinking of doing an upgrade to my system. I'm a light gamer (for REAL games), but a heavy online flash gamer. I often have system bog downs when playing online flash games. I'm wondering what, if anything I should upgrade to improve system responsiveness.

My current build:
Q6700
GA-P35-DSLR3 2.0
ATI HD4670
2x2GB DDR2-1066 MHZ
750GB Caviar Black (Along with 2-3 other SATA drives)
Earthwatts 80 (500W PSA)
Antec Sonata II
SB 24 Live!

For less that $400, what can I do to improve my system? I am concerned about keeping system noise & energy use to a minimum. That is the primary reason I am not overclocking. Any thoughts?

More about : contemplating upgrade

February 3, 2010 3:26:37 PM

jack_attack said:
Laggy flash games? Wouldn't forsee that with your setup. I think what I'd do is throw a 5 series in there. They're pretty affordable, and really sip juice when idle. Something like this perhaps:

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


I'm not currently using the beta driver/flash version that uses GPU acceleration, so perhaps I should try that. However, I have been getting a few cyclical boot sequences lately, so I'm worried the motherboard may be getting buggy. If I'm NOT using the GPU much for flash, would a faster CPU help? Hard drive?
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 3, 2010 3:32:16 PM

I don't think so. That quad should be able to demolish flash games with onboard. I'd try using the beta (?) and see what that does. Is it all flash games, or certain ones? It could possibly be the games host that's causing the lag. Another thing you can try is pulling up a flash game and see what your CPU usage is at. I can't imagine even one of those cores is over 10% with a flash game going on.
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February 3, 2010 3:35:00 PM

jack_attack said:
I don't think so. That quad should be able to demolish flash games with onboard. I'd try using the beta (?) and see what that does. Is it all flash games, or certain ones? It could possibly be the games host that's causing the lag. Another thing you can try is pulling up a flash game and see what your CPU usage is at. I can't imagine even one of those cores is over 10% with a flash game going on.


I play lots of facebook/armor games apps. Farmville, Cafe World, tower defence games....they all get MAJOR slowdowns when the number of elements gets high ( as in over a few dozen/100 depending on app).
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 3, 2010 3:35:40 PM

I would focus more on your internet connection than the system for flash problems. That system is plenty for flash games.

Your boot problems are likely RAM related since you're using DDR2 1066 RAM. Are you sure your RAM speed/timings/voltage are set correctly in the BIOS? Have you run Memtest86+ lately to test for RAM errors?
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 3, 2010 3:38:36 PM

Weird. Check that CPU usage and let me know what that's at. I have farmtown up right now, fullscreen, high quality and I'm at 0-10% CPU usage, with only 2 cores, and I can't get my FPS to go over/under 25, no matter what's happening.
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February 3, 2010 3:54:00 PM

Will do. Interestingly enough, I don't seem to have this issue at work when I get a chance to play...*ONLY OVER LUNCH*. :-) My setup at work is:

Q9650
4GB DDR2-800
ATI FireGL V3400
Slower HD (not sure what exactly)
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February 3, 2010 6:40:38 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
I would focus more on your internet connection than the system for flash problems. That system is plenty for flash games.

Your boot problems are likely RAM related since you're using DDR2 1066 RAM. Are you sure your RAM speed/timings/voltage are set correctly in the BIOS? Have you run Memtest86+ lately to test for RAM errors?


Funny thing about the RAM. Sometimes it will fail an Memtest86+, sometimes it won't. Sometimes it will fail the Windows 7 Memory Diagnostic, the next 2-3 times, it's fine. And if I go back to a restore point when it happens, everything works fine.

Internet: Home 7Mpbs/768k; Work 6Mbps/512k. So that can't be it...ping times are roughtly equal.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 3, 2010 6:45:52 PM

You didn't answer whether you've manually set the RAM speed/timings/voltage to their rated values. That would explain the weird behavior if you haven't. It's very important with DDR2 1066 RAM since it's factory overclocked DDR2 800 RAM in most cases. The motherboard usually doesn't supply enough voltage to the RAM when using "Auto" settings.
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February 3, 2010 6:59:38 PM

shortstuff_mt said:
You didn't answer whether you've manually set the RAM speed/timings/voltage to their rated values. That would explain the weird behavior if you haven't. It's very important with DDR2 1066 RAM since it's factory overclocked DDR2 800 RAM in most cases. The motherboard usually doesn't supply enough voltage to the RAM when using "Auto" settings.


Great! I will look into that tonight. I had just plugged it in and figured it would work since the specific modules I bought were listed on Gigabyte's compatibility list.
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a b B Homebuilt system
February 3, 2010 7:12:00 PM

There are also some known issues with using DDR2-1066 on P35 chipset boards. You may be able to OC DDR2-800 to DDR2-1066 speeds, but if the RAM is native DDR2-1066, it won't work reliably, no matter how you set the voltage. I've got a pair of Crucial Ballistix DDR2-1066 that would not work in three different P35 boards. I put them on an AM2+ 790G board and they've been fine there for over a year.
When your system chokes, you could be getting corrupted files, which is why going back to a restore point is a temporary fix. I think you should replace your RAM with native DDR2-800 that runs on the JEDEC standard 1.8V.
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February 10, 2010 12:05:01 PM

Best answer selected by singingigo.
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