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What is the bottleneck on my wifes desktop

Last response: in Components
August 4, 2010 12:05:09 AM

My wife has an HP computer she got at BestBuy about 3.5 years ago.
Since she got, I have upgraded the Vid card on the one PCI-E slot, as well as upgrading the ram. There is now 2x 1gb DDR Ram (Not sure of speed) as well as the stock 2x 512mb DDR Ram, for a total of 3gb. The GPU is an 8800GT I think.

The Processor and board are stock.

The only "strenuous" program that is ever used on it is a 1.5 yr old game that does not use multiple processors, but is relatively RAM intensive (Darkfall Online). She also played WoW on it, and never had any problems with that turned all the way up.

Right now she is having trouble in DFO handling sieges with large amounts of players involved.

I know it is not purely a server problem (at least not all the time) because I will be at the same spot next to her, see her running at the wall, while I am playing relatively good at 20-30 FPS.

I know her comp is pretty old so, I am wondering:

what is the bottleneck? Is it the CPU where I could OC it or get a better one? Is it the mobo where I should just upgrade the whole thing and save her Ram and Vid card? Is it the CPU but the mobo isnt much better, and I should still replace them both? Should I do the new Mobo and upgrade CPU, Ram to DDR2, and save the vid card? Get a second 8800GT?

I built my personal desktop and installed OS, tweaked some BIOS settings and such, and technically it functions just fine, but I make no claims at being an expert and I have no experience overclocking or anything.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks a lot!

HP Pavilion a1250n Desktop PC

Base processor
Athlon 64 X2 3800+ 2.0 GHz
•2000 MT/s (Mega Transfers/second)
•Socket 939

ATI Radeon XPress 200
•Manufacturer: MSI
•Motherboard Name: MS-7184
•HP/Compaq motherboard name: AmethystM-GL6E

Component Attributes
Memory Installed 1 GB (2 x 512)
Maximum allowed 4 GB* (4 x 1 GB) requires the replacement of the installed 512 MB DIMMs
*Actual available memory may be less
Speed supported PC3200 MB/sec
Type 184 pin, DDR SDRAM
DIMM slots Four
Open DIMM slots Two

Hard drive
•250 GB SATA
•7200 rpm

DVD-ROM drive
Maximum speed: 16X
PCI K56flex data/fax modem

Video graphics
Integrated graphics (upgraded to an 8800gt, possibly gtx? not sure, but one of those)

•Controller: AC97 audio
•Location: Integrated

Expansion slots
Slot type Quantity
PCI Three (two available)
PCI Express One (available)
DIMM Four (two available) (hers are all occupied, 2 with stock, 2 with the higher end DDR2 1gb sticks. I dont remember the speed on them, but it was much higher than the stock RAM. They are paired and installed correctly, tested with MEMTEST for up to 2 days. Had a bad stick the first try, and memtest found it so had to make sure the second set was good)
August 4, 2010 2:46:10 AM

What graphics settings is she playing at? if she's on high or Ultra or something, simply turn them down to medium.
Agreed with CT, iit's the CPU bottlenecking her.
an athlon x2 4800 may help a bit... if you can find one cheap it will help a little bit. Seems like they're still selling for $100 new on ebay (about 50-60 used)

If you decide to upgrade teh CPU - essentially you will be required to get a new motherboard/cpu/ram - Your RAM is original DDR - so even if you picked up a newer mobo/cpu, your ram is not going to work in the motherboard. Most are using DDR3 now, some will still use DDR2- but DDR1 doesnt work in either of those motherboards
Related resources
August 4, 2010 6:52:52 PM

If you people knew anything about darkfall you would know that the chat UI is what eats up all your resources. An easy fix to boost your fps is to go into your chat options. Reduce the amount of history that the chat saves. the amount of chat lines that are saved. anything else you can find that you can reduce reduce it down low. Another thing when your not typing and just doing what ever hit the x on your chat UI to close it down. if you need to bring it up again hit enter to start typing or just select chat on your chat tab in the options menu. This fix brought my fps from being stuck at 60 to well over 200. you can disable v sync as well if you want.
August 4, 2010 7:05:22 PM

Well as mentioned, the CPU is going to be slowing things down but so is the RAM. 1GB isn't much these days and it's regular old DDR to boot. I mean my PC uses up almost 1GB just running Windows.

Honestly, you might consider spending like $300 hundred on a new mobo, CPU, and RAM and she won't have any issues. An 8800GT is still an ok card, doesn't sound like she's really a gamer so it should definitely get her by.

Best solution

November 8, 2010 7:17:59 AM

Late reply...

Darkfall is very, very CPU intensive. Your wife's CPU is the main issue. DF doesn't use multiple cores, so a speedy base is needed (3.0+)

To the person above talking about UI windows, chat history, etc. That isn't going to help the processes for handling sieges; just the FPS (if that... adjusting those does not do magic for everyone). Even a small siege will lock up the OP's stated PC.

Check out this thread from the DF forums:

The $600 i5-750 gtx460 siege PC -

You can get some ideas from there.
November 8, 2010 8:01:01 AM

Time for a new pc i wouldn't bother to upgrade
November 8, 2010 8:09:28 AM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
January 12, 2011 12:31:19 AM

Best answer selected by imrys.