Ok, after spending many hours and some cash I have hit a brick wall full force. I was running XP pro sp3, Phenom 4 6400, asus m3a78-eh mobo, 4 gbs of ram installed (Gskill PI black pc6400) evga gtx280 sc edition, antec 11oow psu, thermaltake v9 case. I play alot of games via STEAM. with the XP set up was fps was 85 to 100 fps depending on map. do able but could have been improved somehow.
Thinking Win7 64 bit was the way to go, I did it. WOW What a mistake. same set up as above and I have the cpu OC-ed to 2.85 and is a factory 2.3ghz cpu and I added another 2 gbs of the same Gskill memory with 4-4-4-12. My fps are as low as 30 to a meager 55 fps on a good day. I have tried different versions of nvidia drivers, played around with every setting in the nvidia control panel and via game video panel. I play alot of L4D and have my own server in Chicago. I cant get evga precision to go above 685/1489/1154. I leave the link between core and shader clock linked. fan speed I adjust to keep the card below 58 - 59c.
ANY HELP PLEASE ! I am thinking of going back to XP PRO and just let the other almost 3 gbs of ram just be useless.
First off, if you do HAVE to go back to XP, go back to a 64-bit version of it. Ask Jack Sparrow to help you if you can't find it.
Second, I think your CPU is the main limiting thing here. Win7 has a lot more processes in it, and your CPU is NOT really great. if I were you, I'd try to OC it another 400mhz (if possible), and compare the frames you get. If they go up, then it's the CPU.