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System not performing as well as it should

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November 25, 2011 11:12:39 PM

Not sure if I'm posting in the right place as I don't know in what area my problem lies, so sorry if this should be elsewhere.

I just upgraded my GPU from a HD4890 to a 560Ti as I felt performance wasn't as good as it once was and some games were getting a bit sluggish when I don't think they should have.

The main offender being StarCraft 2 where I've been having to play on medium/low settings to get a decent framerate and having it still drop to ~20 in even just moderate sized fights.
The game automatically sets the graphics to extreme which I feel my rig should be able to handle, not have to play on much lower settings while still seeing poor performance.
When I was first playing the game over a year ago, I'm 100% certain I was playing on extreme settings without these issues.

Another example is Skyrim.
On my 4890 it recommended the graphical settings be set to high which was fine, I was happy with the performance and the game looked good.
I installed my 560Ti yesterday and the game now recommends all the settings to max, great. However the performance really isn't the best so I turned it down to high, the same as with my 4890, and it don't think it handles it any better. There are more glitches and graphical errors in fact, but this could just be down to the drivers or Skyrim working better with AMD at the moment, I don't know.

Thinking back to when SC2 seemed to run better, the only things that have changed in my system are the MoBo and PSU (and the recent GPU).
It went into a repair shop a while back and a guy diagnosed the MoBo as faulty so I got a new one. That didn't fix it. Took it to another place and this guy replaces the PSU which did fix it.
However, he replaced it with some PSU with a brand I'd never heard of and still can't really find anything about it. It's an EVO Labs 900W thing, but other than that I don't know anything of it. I just figured 900W sounded like a lot so thought it would be fine. Here's a link to as much info as I can find on it: https://www.azzta.com/shop/products/EVO-LABS-900W-80%25...

So I'm starting to wonder, could a poor quality PSU be the cause of this performance drop?
I've been using it for a year or so now and it hasn't died or anything, but my issues seem to have started around the time that it was installed.

Here's my system:

AMD Phenom II x4 955 BE @ 3.6Ghz
PNY 560Ti OC2
4GB DDR3 1333Mhz RAM
Gigabyte 790XT-USB3
EVO Labs 900W PSU

Wrote more than was necessary probably, sorry.

TL;DR: System not performing well, could a poor quality PSU be the cause?

Thanks.

More about : system performing

November 26, 2011 12:43:58 PM

Have you installed the latest Nvidia drivers? Not the drivers from the disc that came with the GPU but the latest from Nvidia. PSU shouldn't be a problem. Aso make sure you go into Nvidia settings and adjust your video card and monitor.
a b ) Power supply
November 26, 2011 12:45:37 PM

Try a different driver and a few more games
Related resources
November 26, 2011 1:17:50 PM

I've tried the latest driver and beta driver.
I also did a clean install of Windows to make sure older drivers weren't conflicting.

The thing is it was like this before I changed the GPU too.
November 26, 2011 10:12:11 PM

Okay, I've got another issue too that's just now started.

I was watching a YouTube video and it kept hanging briefly. It was sort of making a buzzing noise for a second or so then carrying on, doing this maybe several times in a short period of time or not doing it for 30 seconds or a minute.

I restarted and ran a game. The same thing's happening, brief pauses or hanging.
Even as I'm typing this it's doing it, although not as often.

I've been monitoring the temperatures of my hardware and everything seems normal. Although I don't know what a normal temperature range for my motherboard is, and I'm getting three different readings for it with the highest reaching 51C and the other two at 35C and 40C.

Any ideas what this could be?

Also, when I'm trying to update my motherboard drivers it wants me to install ATI Cataylst Control Center.
I can't seem to do it without installing that and I thought if I did that it might cause some problems with having an nVidia card.

Any way to get around this?

Thanks.
November 26, 2011 11:47:31 PM

One last update before I go to bed.

I've opened up Resource Monitor and I've found that when the brief pauses/hanging occurs, 'System interrupts' are taking up more and more CPU usage.

Anybody know what this means?

Thanks.
a b ) Power supply
November 27, 2011 12:20:05 AM

I can't find a PSU review for this brand.

I would find another PSU and try it.

PSU problems can show up in a lot of weird places and almost all the brands suck. Very few are top tier, Seasonic, Antec, Corsair, and XFX are some out of the many dozens out there.
November 27, 2011 12:31:33 AM

The thing is I can't really afford to buy a new PSU if I'm not sure it's the problem.
I'll ask around and see if I can find someone with a decent one that I can borrow to troubleshoot with.

Any ideas on the constant hanging and 'system interrupts'? Think it's getting worse.
a b ) Power supply
November 27, 2011 12:38:24 AM

Possible symptoms of a PSU problem.
November 27, 2011 10:54:05 AM

Okay, thanks. I'll see if I can borrow a decent one to test it out.

Any ideas on how to install my MoBo drivers without installing the ATI stuff?
a b ) Power supply
November 27, 2011 12:39:41 PM

To upgrade a BIOS usually you need either an exe file that can be run from within windows or a USB thumb drive.

You shouldn't need to install anything from ATI to do either of those things.
November 27, 2011 8:07:10 PM

Well I flashed the BIOS a while ago to the latest version.

When I download the chipset drivers from the Gigbayte website for my motherboard it just tries to install ATI Catalyst.
a b ) Power supply
November 27, 2011 11:55:17 PM

I can't imagine why it would try to install the Catalyst Control Center when you are trying to upgrade the firmware on the videocard.

Maybe you should try deleting the file and re-downloading it.
November 28, 2011 5:43:01 PM

Tried that.
It's not the videocard that I'm trying to update though, it's the motherboard.
a b ) Power supply
November 28, 2011 7:56:01 PM

Tell me this, when you upgraded the video cards, did you completely uninstall the old video card drivers before you inserted the other card in the motherboard?

Also, please paste me the link you are going to in order to download the motherboard BIOS update.
November 28, 2011 8:42:29 PM

I uninstalled the old drivers manually then ran a driver cleaner to get rid of anything left over.
That didn't seem to help so I did a fresh install of Windows and it's still the same.

http://uk.gigabyte.com/products/product-page.aspx?pid=3...

That's where I'm downloading from.
It's the 'chipset' one that's prompting me to install Catalyst.
a b ) Power supply
November 29, 2011 3:06:45 AM

What is the file name of the one you are downloading?

Any luck on the PSU borrowing?
November 29, 2011 9:57:01 AM

The file's called 'motherboard_driver_chipset_amd_333_win7'.

Haven't been able to get my hands on a PSU yet.
However, my dad's computer is basically exactly the same as mine and actually has some of my old components in it that seemed to perform better.
I'm going round at the weekend and giving him my old GPU so it'll be pretty much identical to how mine was a bit over a year ago.
I'll take StarCraft 2 with me and see how it performs in comparison to mine.
a b ) Power supply
November 29, 2011 12:01:03 PM

I looked and I couldn't find anything files to use updating that board outside of windows. I opened the exe file with 7zip to see what was in it and there are like 100 files in it with ATI written all over it.

Unless you are going to just let it do what it wants to do I don't see what other options are available than just trying other things to fix the problem like the PSU route.
a b ) Power supply
November 29, 2011 12:29:59 PM

I just spend like 1 hour searching "EVO LABS 900w" looking for a review, or a label, or even a manufacturer home page and I didn't find any of those things so far. I did, however, find plenty of "HELP! CAN'T BOOT!" threads with that combination of characters in it.

I really feel like I am going far out of my way here to try and explain why it isn't the PSU and I am kinda failing.

Could you either take a picture of the wattage label and host it somewhere (ideally) or just write out what is on it (failing the ideal) to the best of your ability? Also, include what things are connected to what connections in your PC?

- Edit - Typos
November 29, 2011 2:36:44 PM

Yeah, I'll have a look at it later in the evening and get back to you.

Thanks for all the help so far. :) 
December 6, 2011 9:06:27 PM

Sorry it's taken so long to get back. Been a bit busy.

I wrote down some of the info from the wattage label.
Let me know if you need more or if you need a photo.

+3.3V +5V +12VDC1 +12VDC2 +12VDC3 +12VDC4 -12V +5VSB

36A 40A 20A 20A 20A 20A 0.5A 3A

Hopefully that comes out right.

Computer's been hanging more aswell.
For a while it'll be okay and then it'll start hanging briefly every few seconds until I restart.
When this is happening my CPU usage shoots up due to 'System Interrupts.'
Getting annoying.

Thanks again.
December 6, 2011 9:08:02 PM

Okay, so that failed completely.

I'll just do it this way:

+3.3V : 36A
+5V : 40A
+12VDC1 : 20A
+12VDC2 : 20A
+12VDC3 : 20A
+12VDC4 : 20A
-12V : 0.5A
+5VSB : 3A
a b ) Power supply
December 6, 2011 11:00:26 PM

If possible, it would be nice if you could either take a picture of the label because the way they are linked under those numbers is what matters most.
December 7, 2011 12:01:04 PM

I can tell you that underneath all that it just says '900W' spanning all of those figures.
I'll get a picture a bit later though.

I managed to find an XFX Core Edition 550W PSU at an affordable price.
Would you say it's worth getting it even if I can't be certain there's anything wrong with my current one, just so that I know I have a good, reliable PSU?

Thanks again.
a b ) Power supply
December 7, 2011 1:12:38 PM

I do hate to suggest people spend money when I don't know if it will fix their problems so I generally try to suggest people try to acquire one temporarily from.... somewhere... just to test with before they go out and spend money because my own tech budget is under $200 a year and I am so far behind the tech curve because of this it isn't funny (no ipod, no smart phone, no ipad, no consoles, etc).

So... I really hate to suggest it. That being said, I do take particular delight in knowing that I have a Seasonic PSU and that my power delivery is solid in both amount and cleanliness and my $200 video card (a whole years worth of tech budget video card) and my motherboard (even though it was free I don't want to pay $60 for another micro board) aren't likely to get destroyed by my PSU.

Power problems are extremely insidious, though, and usually try to disguise them as problems with something else. It is hard to rule out the power being a problem in any case without trying a different PSU in the PC.

I don't know about you, but I am comforted quite a lot by having a PSU that I can trust.

My wife had a computer problem lately and I was able to rip my XFX PSU out of my computer and shove it in hers to make sure that the problem wasn't with power delivery (hers is off brand like yours and it pains me) which it wasn't. It was a long shot anyway, but I was able to rule it out this way which was helpful to me in solving the real problem.

Personally, I think I would rather have the XFX 550 instead of the EVO Labs 900w if I were you and if anything I think it would help figure out what is going on with your computer if it doesn't solve the problem right away, but it could also be $50 wasted and I don't know how much that will impact you.
December 7, 2011 1:43:49 PM

Just tried taking a photo.
Either the flash covers the whole label or I turn it off and you can't see anything.
I could try taking the PSU out later to get a better shot if you want?

I'll have a think about buying a new one though...
a b ) Power supply
December 7, 2011 2:03:28 PM

Just tell me this and its fine.

You have the layer that says 12v1 = 20a, 12v2 = 20a and everything on that horizontal line. You also have a line across the whole bottom that says 900w.

Are there any lines horizontally between those two?
December 7, 2011 2:20:55 PM

Basically it's one horizontal line for the voltages, underneath that it's a horizontal line for the corresponding amps, underneath that it's '900W' on a horizontal line that spans the entire thing.

Sort of like this http://www.ocztechnology.com/resources/drivers/SXS400w_... but without the 'Max Combined' part.
a b ) Power supply
December 7, 2011 3:49:12 PM

That is fine, though it sounds a little odd. I generally expect there to be lines in between like the one you linked.

Anyway, if I am to assume that you can max 20a on each line only limited by the total 900w and if I am to assume that what it says on the label is what it does in reality are the same things, then before you go out and buy a new PSU you may at least want to play a game of randomize the power connectors.

Basically just unplug all the 4 pin MOLEX connectors that go into things like hard drives, dvd drives, and so on and connect them to some other wire that they aren't connected to now.

Mine looks like this



with just 1 listing for +12v with 53A on it so I can't possibly connect the cables in a way that it won't work unless I went over the 53a.

For your EVO Labs one, if you put a 15A using device and an 8A using device on the same 20A line, then it would max at 23A and pass the 20A, potentially causing instability or shutdowns.

If you switched cables around, you could attempt to rule this out as a possibility, but it is usually pretty hard to tell which 12v line you are connecting things to. It is entirely possible if you had 2 things with 15A and another with 8A, you could move the 8 onto the one the other 15 is using, or move the 15 onto the one the other 15 is using, etc.

The manual might be able to give you some guidance on what connects with what, if you have one, or you could be left with trial and error. In the latter case, you would just have to do as I described above and try to play musical power cords and just switch a bunch of things around, try it, and if it doesnt work switch things again, etc.

I don't completely trust what is on the label since I can't find any serious reviews of the product or anything other than "WONT BOOT" threads with "EVO Labs 900w" in it, but it conceivably could fix your problems, at least temporarily.

If you have plenty of time on your hands, it may be worth pursuing.
December 7, 2011 6:09:53 PM

When I've next got the time I'll give the changing the connectors around a go and see if there's any change.

And to clarify, there are lines inbetween, like a little table.
It's just there's no 'Max Combined' row.

Thanks again for the help.


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