Hey guys, I apologize in advance for the long post...
I just registered but have browsed the forums from time to time, they have always been a great help. I am having an issue that i hope someone might be able to help me narrow down to what component might be causing it. I am posting in the graphics forum because that is where i am having the problem while gaming. Going to try to give as much info as a can so here goes...
I have 2 pc's one at work and one at home that are nearly identical. Both i put together fairly recently using AMD am2 5000 cpu's. One of them has a 5 year old(at least) Nvidia 9500gt video card and the other has a newer ATI radeon hd 4870. Now according to the video card comparison site the radeon card is much better, which is should be.
Now, for some reason while playing on the machine with the older 9500 i get consistent 40fps but on the Radeon machine my fps is bouncing all over and usually sits at 23fps. (i am using age of conan as a reference point, both machines set with the graphics options low) Over the last 2 days i re-formated both computers and all that is on them at the moment is a fresh install of windows XP, the video cards driver software(nvidia control panel, ati catalyst), 1 game for testing and 1 benchmark program. I tested both last night and the issue is still there although i am getting a bit higher fps on the radeon machine BUT, now every 10 seconds or so the game will freeze for a split second, really noticable while running.
So, the only thing i did noticed last night before bed is that the radeon machine only has a 380w power supply in it which i started thinking was the problem, but today i ran the antec power supply program
and if i am doing everything correctly, it is saying i only need a 347w supply. I have a spare antec 550w supply im going to try tonight but I thought i'd post this up and see if anyone has some suggestions.
One last thing, i ran 3dmark03 on both machines and the radeon shows results 3x higher, do benchmarks put a good load on the system?
1. Download drive sweeper. Clean out the older drivers in safe mode. Do a clean install of the latest ATI drivers.
2. Run a program and monitor the temperatures with HW-monitor.
3. The 4870 does suck up a lot of power, so make sure your PSU has two PCIe connectors (you need both of them connected for the card to work properly) and enough amps to run it. I doubt a 380watt can handle it, so try your 550watt.
I forgot to mention i had tried drive sweeper pro and did get the new drivers already, plus the total drive format so i should be good to go there. The temp of the 4870 has been low from what i have read in other posts, like 46C. When i get home from work ill put in that 550w antec and see how it goes.
The total wattage is not as important as the amps that power supply can push on the 12volt rails. That is the real key. I doubt seriously if the the 380 PSU is supplying enough amps to run the 4870 correctly.