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Why does my computer not run games better?

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December 4, 2012 12:42:12 AM

I recently upgraded my computer from:
Radeon HD 6950 1 GB
2.83GHz Quad Core Intel Q9550
4 GB RAM

-to-

Radeon HD 6950 1 GB
3.6 Quad Core AMD 4100
8 GB RAM G.Skill

Both on Vista Home.

I also got a new mobo, old one fried.. I'm sure as a result of my own stupidity.

I feel like I'm not running anything better, in fact, occasionally it feels slower. I play Planetside 2, Guild Wars 2, SC2, and Diablo 3. On everything except SC2, there's no difference in performance. I get really odd slowdowns in Diablo 3 as well. At first I thought it was the games being optimized badly, but there's no way all of them could be. I feel like I should be able to play most of these (maybe not planetside 2) on the highest settings with no problem. I really don't know what it could be.

It may be worth mentioning I run 1920x1080 on all games. Would that cause problems with a 1GB card?

More about : computer run games

December 4, 2012 1:02:12 AM

Well, the 4100 is actually a Dual core processor, with two modules per core. not a true quad core.

Although the clock speed is much higher, in games that utilize more than two cores the Q9550 should be faster.

Overall they are pretty much on par, which is why you aren't experiencing any difference in performance.
December 4, 2012 1:06:13 AM

AMD FX-4100 Zambezi is what I have. Everyone seems to claim it to be a regular quad?
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a b B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2012 1:06:17 AM

You actually got a CPU one tier lower on the monthly chart than the one you had. You also gave up whole cores for AMD's split-cores.
All is not lost. If your new mobo is decent, you can overclock your FX-4100 quite a bit. What board did you get? If it has a 3+1 or 4+1 VRM arrangement, be careful, as a high overclock, while not necessarily dangerous to the CPU (unless you've added a lot of voltage), could blow the VRMs on the mobo. Furthermore, if your board will take a FX-4100, it likely also (possibly with a BIOS upgrade) will take a Vishera CPU, which could put you a tier OVER what you had.
December 4, 2012 1:10:16 AM

Ah I see. I had to get a new CPU too, as they both fried.. so the price was great haha.
The new mobo is indeed 4+1.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2012 1:18:31 AM

What mobo is it? Some (but definitely not all, esp. MSI) mobos with 4+1 VRMs can overclock at least some.
https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ag...

Edit: And, since you say both your mobo and CPU died, it seems appropriate to me to ask what brand and model (not just wattage) your PSU is.
December 4, 2012 1:21:18 AM

Onus said:
What mobo is it? Some of mobos with 4+1 VRMs can overclock at least some.
https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ag...

Edit: And, since you say both your mobo and CPU died, it seems appropriate to me to ask what brand and model (not just wattage) your PSU is.


Gigabye 970A-D3.

The PSU was fine for about 4 1/2 years. The killing blow was determined to be maybe static discharge when I touched something without grounding myself first. I'll get the PSU in a sec.
December 4, 2012 1:22:20 AM

LMAO i love when people think they know more about CPUs then the own manufacture, If AMD (The Manufacture AKA The creater) says that the FX-4100 is a true Quad core with 4 phycical cores, but with two modules but it still contains 4 cpu cores, Then its 4-cores, which make it a quad-core CPU. so pls stop referring to it as a dual core unless you designed it!!!!
December 4, 2012 1:23:07 AM

the 4100 doesnt suck at all, you arent getting many better fps cause there isnt much to get. the drops in fps could be other things than the processor that processor is really nice it has amazing speed and muiltitasking for 100 bucks while it isnt a 100% true quad core it preforms the same as the phenom II x4 and its more efficiant for about the same price.

i dont know why your games slow down but i know the processor can max those games heck my processor can max or go slightly above medium and its a phenom (not phenom II) 8400 triple core and 2.1ghz

if your looking for a cheap easy upgrade the vishera 4300 and 6300 recently came out both are 95w cpu's and are basically what the bulldozer line should have been not that bulldozer is bad just probably came out to soon to be optimized enough
a b B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2012 1:32:24 AM

The FX-4100 contains four integer cores, but they share the floating point silicon between them. In contrast, an Intel quad core has four integer and four floating point units. Depending on the workload, the AMD chip will perform similarly, but if it is FP-heavy, it will perform more like a dual-core CPU.
While I did not say the FX-4100 "sucks," I pointed out that the monthly Gaming CPU Hierarchy chart lists his old Q9550 one tier higher than his new FX-4100.
The FX-4100 is likely a much better overclocker, but will use a lot more power that way, and generate a lot more heat.
According to the table at https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ag... your Gigabyte may be able to overclock some, depending on version, particularly if you can keep it (the mobo, not just the CPU) cool.
December 4, 2012 2:54:08 AM

i wouldn't blame the cpu for this problem and if it is then its probably defective. im pretty sure the 4100 could max any game maybe even planetside 2. when it comes to gaming uses the 4100 is a quad core and is able to max most games including all the ones you posted besides maybe planetside 2 but i think it should anyway, my brother runs it maxed out fine on the 6100 at stock speeds.

and as far as i know if your mobo can take a bulldozer cpu it can take a vishera

maybe its vista not to sound stupid but the bulldozer and vishera cpu's are like a completely new view on a cpu and i think win 7 needed a update to use them correctly i dont think vista ever got one
December 4, 2012 2:58:12 AM

I'm a little lost on what to do at this point. Should I just overclock it and see what happens? If it was defective it seems like I wouldn't be able to run anything at all. I mean, I still get 20-40 FPS. Is there anything else it could be?
a b B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2012 9:35:44 AM

chairsgotoschool said:
i wouldn't blame the cpu for this problem...im pretty sure the 4100 could max any game...when it comes to gaming uses the 4100 is a quad core and is able to max most games including all the ones you posted...

Please go back to school.
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-cpu-review-o... is the chart I referenced. The FX-4100 is a tier LOWER than the Q9550; but note that the FX-4170 (whose speed the FX-4100 ought to be able to reach) is one tier higher.
Here's a chart from the Guild Wars 2 (one of the listed games) article: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/guild-wars-2-perfor... clearly showing the FX-4000 at or near the bottom of the pile; not maxing squat. Here's the Q9550 vs. Vishera; although it doesn't list any games, notice they trade blows: http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/700?vs=50 which means that Bulldozer will probably lose across the board. Here's D3, a game you said had slowdowns; check out the minimum frame rates on the FX-4000, but see that they improve if you overclock it: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/diablo-iii-performa...

Did you find out what PSU you have?

December 4, 2012 9:42:37 AM

^ Listen to this man. He talks sense :) 
a b B Homebuilt system
December 4, 2012 9:43:02 AM

I run through different hardware and do have the almost newest AMD stuff........... the q9550 I have is and always was snappier than anything AMD has to date. Still use it for gaming.

your weakest link would be the 1gig video card..... if you're gaming at or above 1600 res. should have spent money on a 660ti maybe ? other than that I wouldn't have spent money. the machine was fast enough to play on.
December 4, 2012 10:01:19 AM

Definitely a CPU bottleneck situation. I have a 4870x2 and was running it on a q6600 oced to the same clocks as your old q9550 (slightly faster actually).

I upgraded to a 2500k oced to 4.4Ghz and it totally transformed the 4870x2 's performance. Getting double the FPS in some games.

As mentioned previously that AMD chip NEEDS to be overclocked to keep up with your GPU. (the 4870x2 is roughly equivalent to a 6950)
December 4, 2012 8:14:59 PM

how about instaed of looking at benchmarks you look at footage or talk to someone that has one not too mention the fx 4000, 6000, or 8000 dont even exist and if they just averaged the fps in those series then they are just plain dumb

im not saying its better than your old one cause it probably isnt but you should not be having fps issues especially with those games besides planetside 2 i have run those games on a single core 2.1ghz on lowest settings and maxed them on a phenom 8400 triple core and i know for a fact that any fx cpu is better than my phenom.

and the fx series isnt a failure the 8350 is only 210$ and is as good as some of the i7s and is for sure better than the i5's and if you know what your doing you can kinda underclock it so its a quad core instead of an 8 then overclock the crap out of those 4 cores. completely off topic i saw someone disable all but 1 core on the 8120 i think and overclocked that 1 core to around 7ghz, he had a liquid nitrogen cooler but its still pretty cool
December 4, 2012 8:28:33 PM

I OC'd it to 4.3. Seems to be running considerably better, but I only tried Diablo 3.. occasionally had really weird FPS slowdowns, then they'd just go away. It had nothing to do with where I was, it just happened. Heat issue, maybe?

Also, my PSU is a 700w ATX.
December 4, 2012 8:45:17 PM

rfas said:
I OC'd it to 4.3. Seems to be running considerably better, but I only tried Diablo 3.. occasionally had really weird FPS slowdowns, then they'd just go away. It had nothing to do with where I was, it just happened. Heat issue, maybe?

Also, my PSU is a 700w ATX.


maybe you should re-apply some thermal paste on it, you can use speedfan or HWmonitor to see if its running super hot. its stull super weird its having troubles at stock speeds, it should be having no problems on diablo 3.
December 4, 2012 8:51:31 PM

It's worth mentioning my old processor also had problems with it as well. They're not really problems, but I feel like I should get 60 FPS. At least, I want to :p 

Someone mentioned earlier the 1GB video card, I play at 1920x1080 on a widescreen monitor. Should I turn that down and see what happens?
December 4, 2012 9:13:24 PM

weird. your drivers and bios are all updated right? the video card should play it no problem too. you could try turning the res down a bit or disabling AA.

do you have a good internet connection i dont know if they ever fixed that problem on diablo 3 where you have to have a good connection or else it runs horrible even though your pc is fine.
December 4, 2012 9:22:31 PM

Graphics card drivers, yes. BIOS.. not sure. I haven't updated anything to do with the motherboard since I got it out of the box. I was told it could be catastrophic if I didn't know what I was doing or didn't absolutely need to.
December 4, 2012 10:20:08 PM

well with fx cards its good to keep them up to date cause they are more complicated processors but your probably good i would try and look into it. the only thing i can think of is vista but since it was the same on the old cpu it makes me think its not vista.

i remember my brother had the consumer preview for win8 with his fx 6100 and his pc would freeze up and never come out and games ran good then he switched back to 7 64bit and games ran roughly 2x faster and his pc stopped freezing

as long as you get the right bios for your exact board and dont try flashing it you should be good, look up a tutorial for your board. i think the fx series runs fine on linux if you want to install that on a partition and see if they work better but thats kinda going to far.

its really weird they arent running good. the 4100 is just a little bit behind the best phenom II x4 in per core performance and still not too far behind on overall performance.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 5, 2012 12:00:18 AM

Plenty of sites have benchmark charts that will consistently show what I've been saying. It's not that the FX-4100 sucks; in fact it does ok if you overclock the poo out of it. You DO need to OC it to get that performance though. Just make sure your mobo can handle the additional power without blowing its VRMs. Hopefully they'll be heatsinked, and you've got good airflow through your case.
You did take one step backwards, but a good OC will let you take two steps forward.
What brand and model, not just wattage, is that "700W" PSU?
December 5, 2012 12:58:16 AM

Onus said:
Plenty of sites have benchmark charts that will consistently show what I've been saying. It's not that the FX-4100 sucks; in fact it does ok if you overclock the poo out of it. You DO need to OC it to get that performance though. Just make sure your mobo can handle the additional power without blowing its VRMs. Hopefully they'll be heatsinked, and you've got good airflow through your case.
You did take one step backwards, but a good OC will let you take two steps forward.
What brand and model, not just wattage, is that "700W" PSU?


yup i did some research on your original cpu and the 4100 is a bit worse sadly but it with ocerclocking i think it can be better. its still kinda bugging me that your fps arent great i looked of some benchmarks for cpus and on per core the 2500k got 1904 the 4100 1232 and the phenom II x4 B65 got 1379 and the fx 8350 got 1537 and the q9550 your old one got 1206

then the overall scores were 8350 9242 of course the highest with 8 cores then the 2500k at 6503 the 4100 4045 phenom II x4 b65 4916 and the q9550 at 4059 the q9550 is just barely ahead so you shouldn't see much of a difference in preformance for better or worse. the cool thing about bulldozer sockets is you can easily upgrade it and they can easily overclock. in a year or whenever you want to do another upgrade you could get a 4300 or 6100 or 6300 the most expensive being the 6300 at 140$
December 5, 2012 2:31:18 AM

Onus said:
Plenty of sites have benchmark charts that will consistently show what I've been saying. It's not that the FX-4100 sucks; in fact it does ok if you overclock the poo out of it. You DO need to OC it to get that performance though. Just make sure your mobo can handle the additional power without blowing its VRMs. Hopefully they'll be heatsinked, and you've got good airflow through your case.
You did take one step backwards, but a good OC will let you take two steps forward.
What brand and model, not just wattage, is that "700W" PSU?


Weird, I thought I edited my old post. Anyways, this is my PSU:

http://kingwin.com/products/cate/power_supplies/abt_730...

Also.. WoW kept bothering me with a 10 day free trial of Pandaria so I booted it up.. I got between 30 and 50 FPS in a mostly uncrowded area on Ultra. Something is definitely wrong.
December 5, 2012 8:47:06 AM

^^ WoW favours intel and Nvidia...

As "chairsgotoschool" finally realised, all of us experienced forum members were spot on from the beginning having already done our research before mouthing off to everyone...

you did a sidegrade (as opposed to upgrade). The only way to extract more is to OC the hell out of the new CPU. You may need to buy better cooling.
December 5, 2012 8:59:43 AM

Watch out when you OC though. As Tom's discovered in its system builders marathon the FX CPU's get very hot so good cooling is needed.

They also draw huge amounts of power when oc'ed so make sure you have a good PSU.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 5, 2012 9:43:49 AM

The new Kingwin PSUs are built by Superflower, and surprised reviewers with how good they are; that's because the older ones aren't so good. I would not try to pull anymore than 500W-550W from your older model, and if your PC experiences stability issues, it is one thing I'd suspect. Do you know what fried your old CPU and mobo? You may wish to seriously consider a PSU replacement. Planning to overclock an already power-hungry system, you'd probably want 550W-600W to allow for some head room. Anything built by Seasonic (e.g. their own, XFX, some Corsair, some Antec), FSP (their own, some Antec), Enermax/LEPA, or Superflower (new Kingwin and Rosewill) would be decent. The Corsair V2 Builder units are not among them; those were built by CWT using some inferior Samxon capacitors from a line known to experience early failure.
December 5, 2012 10:18:04 AM

darth pravus said:
Watch out when you OC though. As Tom's discovered in its system builders marathon the FX CPU's get very hot so good cooling is needed.

They also draw huge amounts of power when oc'ed so make sure you have a good PSU.



He only has the 4-core one, so half of the heat.... The recent review was highly flawed with a cooler that may be worse than a stock one.

But you are correct that decent cooling is necessary...
December 5, 2012 9:24:00 PM

Static discharge was likely what killed my old PC. What would I have to OC this processor to so that it would be better than my old one? 4.3 runs great, I tried 4.6 just to see what would happen and it wouldn't boot past the "Welcome to Windows" splash screen.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 5, 2012 9:35:54 PM

I would think somewhere between 4.3 and 4.5 should do. Any others? That's just a semi-educated guess on my part, as I've OC'ed Phenom II's and Core2Quads, but not Bulldozer.
December 5, 2012 10:22:27 PM

Onus said:
I would think somewhere between 4.3 and 4.5 should do. Any others? That's just a semi-educated guess on my part, as I've OC'ed Phenom II's and Core2Quads, but not Bulldozer.


Had another question, lets say I did a luxury upgrade in the near future. What would you recommend I jump to in terms of any piece of hardware I currently have? Radeon and AMD things seem to just run worse in general.. or at least be less well optimized for a lot of things.. than intel and nvidia. I really know next to little about the differences though, and could be completely wrong.

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a b B Homebuilt system
December 5, 2012 11:30:43 PM
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I prefer AMD graphics cards myself these days (have owned both, and would own non-crippled nVidia again).
As to a "luxury" upgrade, if overclocking your CPU provides steadily increasing benefits, but doesn't get good enough before you've hit the limit, your CPU is still the bottleneck and going to an Intel build will help you the most.
IF, otoh, the benefit tops out BEFORE you reach the overclocking limit (continued increases in clock speed no longer increase FPS), then you've hit a graphics card bottleneck, and something like a HD7870 would be a nice jump over your HD6950.
A HD7870 also uses no more power, so you would not have to replace your PSU. Replacing that PSU anyway, with something decent (e.g. built by Seasonic, around 550W-650W) would be a good long term purchase that would last into future builds.
December 5, 2012 11:39:17 PM

I really appreciate it man. Thanks for all the help, everyone. If I have any more questions, would it be okay if I dropped you a message Onus?
December 5, 2012 11:39:31 PM

Best answer selected by rfas.
a b B Homebuilt system
December 5, 2012 11:51:39 PM

Thanks. And yes, I try to respond to PMs, but be advised I work ten hour days and my response times can be extremely variable.
!