Where's the bottleneck?

I have an older system and installed an ATI Radeon HD 4850 late last year. I'm not getting near the performance I expected from it. In fact, my wife's system, which is newer than mine has a GeForce 8800 GT and looks/performs 2x better or more.

Obviously, something else in my setup is holding the performance back, but I'm not sure what. I'll post what I know here, but if anyone needs any additional info, just let me know what you need and how to get it and I'll happily post it.

Thanks!

My system:
Windows XP SP3
AMD Athlon 64 Proc 3000+
1.81 GHz
2 GB RAM

Motherboard: nForce4-A939
Bus clock: 201 mhz

140 GB free on SATA drive

Again, any extra info? Let me know, and THANKS!
9 answers Last reply
More about where bottleneck
  1. by far its your single core CPU
  2. I'm almost 100% certain that the processor is holding you back. A single core at 1.8ghz is not going to keep up with a 4850. That other computer probably has a dual core(better for multitasking) clocked at an even higher speed then your single core cpu.
    I would recommend getting a quad core, but you're going to have to replace the motherboard and ram since those aren't going to be compatible with a newer processor.
  3. Haserath said:
    I'm almost 100% certain that the processor is holding you back. A single core at 1.8ghz is not going to keep up with a 4850. That other computer probably has a dual core(better for multitasking) clocked at an even higher speed then your single core cpu.
    I would recommend getting a quad core, but you're going to have to replace the motherboard and ram since those aren't going to be compatible with a newer processor.

    Indeed. And although dual core socket 939 CPUs exist, they are hard to find. If you can get one for $30 or less, preferably at 2.4GHz, then do. If not, this is your least expensive, immediate upgrade option. Or, you could simply wait until you decide you want a new computer.
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.394163
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820146736
  4. Yeah its the Processor and the bandwith and latency of your RAM. Also 4 GB RAM is rapidly becoming the sweet spot. I have seen 2 GB RAM reached more frequently than ever before, on my own Rigs. If you want the real deal at a good cost aim for the Lynnfield i7 kits available with 4 GB of reasonable RAM. You wont know yourself. Also Win 7 eats XP in multicore Rigs especially if multitasking. Finally such Rigs enjoy something like a WD Velicoraptor for its HDD. Good speed for the money and reasonable capacity.
  5. Thanks for the quick replies! I was guessing it was the proc myself, but wanted to verify before possibly spending more money than I needed to.

    I'll probably take a look at the parts here...

    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/value-gaming-pc,2578.html
  6. Just so that we have all the info, whats the other system?
  7. Oh yeah, it's the CPU. Too bad the motherboard is S939 and not AM2. Buying a dual core for 939 really isn't worth it. Time for a new CPU, motherboard and RAM.
  8. Sorry it took a bit to get back to you all... here are the details on my wife's system.

    Other system:
    Windows XP SP3

    Intel Core 2 Duo
    2.67 GHz
    2 GB RAM

    Motherboard: ASUSTeK Computer P5N-E SLI
    Bus clock: 333 mhz
  9. Yeah see? The other system has a MUCH better CPU. And even though the 4850 is faster then the 8800GT, its being held back by your slow single core CPU. Even OCing it to 2.4+ isn't going to help. Upgrade time, sorry.
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