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Is Hard Drive Limiting Graphics Card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
July 21, 2012 4:54:24 AM

So I recently bought myself some new hardware, and I've been having some performance issues. The system just doesn't feel like I would have expected it to, its slow on games that it really shouldn't be (Tropico 4, Civ 5). When tested while playing, the gpu is maxed out all of the time on lowest graphics, and even right now it has a 20% load.

Through some research I've come to two conclusions, either the gpu is bad, or the issue pertains to the hard drive/os. I bought all new hardware, bar a hard drive that came out of a dell studio xps. The drive has bad sectors, but is able to boot okay. Installed on the drive is a copy of windows xp media center edition 32 bit. The hard drive is now making an almost constant clicking noise. Could the hard drive be slowing the gpu, also could the 32 bit os not be compatible with the 64 bit cpu?

I apologize for the rambling/wall of text, its late and I'm getting frustrated. :fou: 

System Specs
AMD FX-8120 AM3+ Eight-Core
8 Gbs Ripjaw X RAM (I realize only 4 Gbs are usable)
600 Watt PSU
EVGA GTX 550 Ti (Fermi) 1GB 192-bit GDDR5 Video Card

Thanks in advance,
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2012 4:56:58 AM

Back Up your DATA! Clicking sounds from the HDD is usually a sign that the HDD will fail soon!
July 21, 2012 4:58:53 AM

I understand that, this is a fresh install, there is no data.
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a c 141 U Graphics card
July 21, 2012 4:59:20 AM

looks like you need to get new HDD soon
July 21, 2012 5:02:40 AM

I understand that too, but my question is is the hard drive slowing the gpu, or is it the 32 bit os? Or have I missed something entirely?

Best solution

a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2012 5:02:41 AM

Then it's the HDD that is going to fail soon, it's best to get a new one. That is most likely the reason for sloppy performance. After you change to a good HDD, if it continues to give you the same issues, then it may be the GPU. For now, I suspect the HDD is giving you your current issues.
July 21, 2012 5:04:35 AM

So then is the gpu falsely reporting 100% load?
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2012 5:05:37 AM

Until you try it with a good working HDD, it could be the HDD that is giving you the headaches. It's like changing a transmission in a car but the engine is still blown.

If you are still having issues with a working HDD, then it could be the GPU.
July 21, 2012 5:06:42 AM

Do you have any good hard drive recommendations?
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2012 5:09:47 AM

If you can afford one, I would opt for a SSD (Solid State Drive) as they are both faster in read and write operations meaning games would load much quicker than a HDD.

I have a Crucial M4 256GB SSD and has been wonderful ever since I replaced an aging WD Rapter HDD.

Samsung, Seagate and Western Digital make good HDD's.

It would depend on the storage space and your budget to give you a solid answer.
July 21, 2012 5:12:32 AM

I've got a few ide seagates lying around, would it be worth getting a ide to sata adapted or just getting a new hdd?
July 21, 2012 5:14:08 AM

I would say that using 32bit operating system can be really bottle neck because it can not support more than 3+1 Gigabytes of ram and many features of CPU are totally wasted.

So basically, I would advice to get 64bit OS ad seeing after that, if you keep having performance issues.
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2012 5:14:59 AM

I would usually suggest to getting new HDD's/SSD's to have less issues. You can try it with those older IDE ones. Just make sure they are at least 7200 RPM. Also getting a 64 bit OS would help make the most of your RAM and CPU.
July 21, 2012 5:19:20 AM

Alright thanks, I want an ssd with windows 7, but I just don't have the cash. I'm gonna go out tomorrow to look for hard drive, I can update then.
Thanks again.
a b U Graphics card
July 21, 2012 5:28:30 AM

You're welcome, report back when you get a new HDD. Windows 7 is a nice upgrade from XP as you will be able to utilize DX 11 as XP goes to DX 9.0c only. ;) 
July 25, 2012 2:01:32 AM

Thanks, that was the issue. I ordered a Black Caviar off newegg, it got in today. Performance is one hundred times better. :bounce: 
July 25, 2012 2:02:41 AM

Best answer selected by Zabot.