Performance far behind hardware

-Computer is performing far worse than hardware alone can account for

-Prebuilt comp bought approx 1 1/2 years ago.
-Upgraded Power supply to 550 watt, graphics to Nvidea 9800gt
-Nvidea card died
-PCI slots died
*the nework card stop working with the message "system firmware does not have enough information to use..." Upgrading motherboard firmware had no effect. Same error message with card in either slot, in a different OS (Vista), and even with a brand new card.
-Installed ATI Radeon 5400

I suspect my motherboard may be crapping out, but I know of no way to test this and have never heard of a motherboard dying in pieces. With the 9800gt Fallout 3 ran at about 30 fps on the lowest settings. With the radeon it runs at about 15.

So. 2.4 GHz quad core processor, 4 GB DDR, and a radeon 5400 video card. Of course it is not going to be top of the line, but...

Plants VS Zombies stutters. Worms Armageddon stutters. And Titan Quest runs at about 25 fps. Changing video options in either the catalyst control panel or in-game has no effect on this.

And before Marv, or some other genius points out that the 9800gt is better than the radeon 5400, I know. And I know the radeon is hardly an awesome graphics card.

But I also know that Plants VS Zombies can be run by most, if not all, intergrated chips so an actual card, even a 5400, has zero excuse for stuttering. Same with worms. These titles should run on anything bigger than a calculator.

Additional Info. As the PCI slots are not working, there is no card in them. There is no obvious damage. I have tried all current drivers for the video card. Windows is installed on a small partition, not a small hard drive (why can't people figure out that if a report says a hard drive is less than 40 GB it is likely a partition?). The system does not produce excessive heat.

I have done all the standard things in attempting to address this. Drivers, virus scans, clean OS install, etc.

Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q6600 @ 2.40GHz
Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
Graphics ATI Radeon HD 5400 Series
Gaming graphics 2815 MB Total available graphics memory
Manufacturer ACER
Model Aspire M5640/M3640
Total amount of system memory 4.00 GB RAM
System type 64-bit operating system
Number of processor cores 4
Display adapter type ATI Radeon HD 5400 Series
Total available graphics memory 2815 MB
Dedicated graphics memory 1024 MB
Dedicated system memory 0 MB
Shared system memory 1791 MB
Display adapter driver version 8.732.0.0 (rolled back, had worse performace with the new ones)
Primary monitor resolution 1680x1050
DirectX version DirectX 10

So, if you have any idea what may cause this, and I have not already covered, please halp!
7 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Sorry for the 'out of context' text, I copied this from the post I made at yahoo answers after a pair of failed attempts at getting some wisdom.
  2. Motherboards usually die in bits. I/O, PCI, USB, there are many individual parts that can go.

    Did you get a quality PSU or one that started damaging your parts? That's the first thing that comes to mind.

    Your service manual

    So it's an NVidia chipset board. That's a bit predictable actually. You should replace it with an Intel chipset. G31, P43... something like that.
    Based on dimensions and form factor this board should work:
  3. Well, the PS is a Dynex DS-ps500, bought new from future shop.

    So you think it might be the motherboard itself? Is there any way to test this?
  4. Best answer
    The PSU is probably very poor indeed. I have no hard info.. Is it actually a DX-PS? That would definitely be a bad Huntkey-built piece of crap. The kind of PSU they make videos of while they blow up.

    Once a board starts dying off it's never long before it goes completely, and bad PSUs are often the source of this. It's normal for folks to think that a "PSU either works or it doesn't" and that is simply not the case. They fail to supply the correct TYPE of power within very strict ranges, and so damage parts.

    A shop will have some diagnostic tools at their disposal, but you are really just better off replacing the board up front for 50 bucks. Not before you replace the PSU though.
    Seasonic 430W

    Corsair 430W
  5. Unbelievable, that power supply was pulled off the shelf for my computer/video card by the guy who sold it to me.

    This pretty seriously infuriates me, but at least now I know what the problem is. For all the hardware on this rig I researched trying to figure out why it was always sucking, it never occured to me to check to PSU.
  6. You could certainly have other issues such as a CPU that is throttling back due to temperature issues.
    However, I have a great deal of certainty that those two parts have to be replaced, and I'm not in the habit of wasting people's money. The board is dying and the PSU should not be in anyone's computer.
  7. Best answer selected by Stormy Fairweather.
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