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.
AMD FX-8120 AM3+ Eight-Core
GIGABYTE GA-990FXA-UD3 Rev 1.1
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
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.
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.