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Lag on ATI Radeon HD 4850

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
February 18, 2013 11:38:57 PM

Hi I am having lagging and choppy gameplay with my 4850. This card gets really hot about 60c at idle and 70c to 80c at load depending on what games I throw at it. I am starting to think that this maybe an overheating issue but I don't know. that is why I am here asking for help. My pc specs are as follow:

Intel Pentium D 2 core cpu at 3.0 ghz
400 watt PSU ( Had a BFG 550 watt but replaced it due to the fan not working. The problem still persists with this PSU)
4 gigs of RAM

I had a Nvidia Geforce 9800 GT a while back and it ran smooth. I had no problems with that card. But the stock cooling system was not effecient and it overheated. Now back to the 4850. This card ran good on another pc that I use to have. No lag. That pc had a AMD cpu so my guess is that maybe this card runs better on AMD due to the fact that AMD is part of ATI. May I remind you that I have a Intel cpu. Also when I play a game (Warcraft III at pc startup before running any other applications) the game does fine and the fps is smooth. But around 10 mins in, the fps starts to drop and it seems as if the card can not keep up with my cpu's speed. My theory is that my cpu is working to its full capacity but the card does not push pixels fast enough to keep the game running smoothly. At this stage the card is running like a low end card. This card is a high end budget card so it should not act like this. I have also read that this card is faster than the 9800 GT that I used to have but in my case the 9800 GT performed way better. I tried playing Starcraft II and at the start the game is flawless. About 5 mins in, it starts lagging and doing the same thing it does with Warcraft III. This may also be a RAM issue as well I think but I don't know. It has 512 mb of RAM GDDR3. My 9800 GT had 1 gig of RAM GDDR3. Please if anybody can answer or have suggestions, it would be greatly appriciated. Drivers and patches are up to date.

More about : lag ati radeon 4850

a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2013 11:52:24 PM

Has it ever occurred to you that you're causing a major bottleneck in your system? The 4850 isn't that fast by todays standards but even a Pentium D would bottleneck it. Hell i'm bottlenecked by my e2160 1.6GHz dual core running a 9600 GSO. Get at least a e5400 and overclock it. Those pentium d's are way too obsolete. As for temperature goes.. The 4850 was meant to run at those temperatures if you haven't noticed.
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a b U Graphics card
February 18, 2013 11:54:02 PM

If the 4850 was running well on the other PC then it is not the issue, as it is faster than the 9800gt for sure. Also I used to have this card and those temperatures on the stock single slot fan are normal (and it also sounded like a damn vacuum cleaner lol).

So now back to your problem...

Since the 4850 uses more power than the 9800 gt then it is probably a problem with your 400 watt power supply. I think you will require more than that to properly run this card and it requires one 6 pin PCI-E connecter, have you made sure to connect this?

What is the specific exact model number of your current power supply?

Finally, the Pentium D CPU is from an even older generation than the 4850 so if anything your CPU is the problem and not the 4850 which to todays standards would be approximately as fast as a 7750/6750 (probably about 10-15 % slower)

So in summary, assuming the 4850 is functional, the problem is probably due to a slow CPU or my guess would be the 400watt power supply.
February 18, 2013 11:59:09 PM

You're first problem is the 4850. You're second is a 400w PS. Third you need a serious overhaul of you're entire PC it sounds like if you want to play the newer games, just the way it is.
February 19, 2013 12:19:37 AM

I don't think that the psu is the issue because my other pc used the same psu. Bottlenecking sounds right but I don't know how to fix that issue. I was able to play games like Oblivion, Farcray 2, and COD4 on my 9800 GT. So if that card works, than the statments of outdated cpu and low power input would not be affecting the gamplay so it all is in the card. Yes I have connected the 6 pin PCI-E connector. The PSU is a stock Dynex model DX-400WPS.
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 12:31:18 AM

Well, just because a PSU says it supplies 400W does not mean
1) It supplies all that as the kinds of power you need (mostly 12V)
2) It is actually capable of anything like 400W.

Having said that, low power is not a cause of choppy FPS.

An old Pentium D could be overheating or could be overworked by background programs.

Both of your games will put increasingly strenuous demands on your processor as they are played. This is the nature of ANY strategy game because every time a unit is added to the field it uses more resources... the longer you play, the more units present.

Do either of these games permit a save in the middle of a large game? If you can save the game, exit, shut down the PC for 10 minutes, then reboot and immediately start from the save game and NOT have FPS issues, I would only then entertain some GPU issue.
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 12:33:00 AM

Dude. 9800GT and HD4850s are different cards. The 9800GT is 20 fps slower compared to the 9800GTX+ and the GTS250 is 2fps faster than the 9800GTX+ THE HD4850 is slightly better than the GTS250 if not equal. THESE CARDS ARE WAY power hungry. I can't see how i overlooked the PSU. what brand and make is it? If games lag when something graphically intensive is happening on screen (E.g game slows down then speeds back up) then its a psu problem. If not then you're bottlenecked
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 12:53:46 AM

Sounds like a heat issue to me. Since you can play for several minutes and then the throttling starts. Good point by Proximon on your CPU possibly overheating. Download the program: core temp and see what your CPU's temps are.

Have you ever blown the dust out of your system with compressed air? Plus, you can never get all the dust off. Overtime it gets baked on the cooling fins and systems will run hotter and hotter.
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 1:02:04 AM

pentium D are notorious for temp issues, that reason is my first bet.
a c 91 U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 1:09:21 AM

so, clean all the dust off the case fans, off the heat sink & fan and and clean the heat sink on the video card. and it might be a good idea to pull the heat sinks off both, clean off the old and reapply new thermal paste.

a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 1:09:35 AM

Your PSU, DX-400WPS, is worthless....

"The overall build quality of the Dynex DX-400WPS seems poor for a 200-300w unit let alone a 400w unit with its low quality build and “missing” components." Source:

Also just because the other system is using the same PSU does not mean this one in this system isn't faulty.

I would also not say the CPU is overheating because with the 9800gt you did not have that issue (the CPU useage shouldn't change much, if at all between going from the 9800gt to the 4850)

To prove my point that Power is most likely your issue (among other issues like your ancient CPU), take a look at this article:

To summarize the article the 9800 gt 1gb (same as 8800gt) pulls 77.5 Watts Power and 6.5 Amps
The 4850 however pulls 109.6 Watts and 9.1 Amps.

With a very low quality power supply like yours with two small 12V rails I would never run it with an HD4850.
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 1:33:19 AM

Haven't read the entire thread so pardon me if I only repeat something previously noted. Sounds a lot like a Power Supply issue, and or Heat. Maybe both. PSU could be possibly overheating and throttling the current down, making the GPU slower. I would get the power supply tested first before drawing the conclusion that it's the gpu.
February 19, 2013 1:54:51 AM

Well after much thought I decided to change my psu back to the BFG 550 watt. In my attempt to install it, I noticed that the red switch in the back was not fully on 115. I fixed that issue and now the fan works again. I was hoping that this was throttling the power that was sent to the intire system but it turns out that this did not fix the problem. Anymore suggestions? The model for the psu is BFGR550WGSPSU.
February 19, 2013 2:25:19 AM

Scratch that fan working part. At startup when the BIOS starts up, the fan spins but right after the computer loads windows, it stops working and stays off. Is it suppose to do this?
a b U Graphics card
February 19, 2013 2:42:21 AM

Vue said:
Scratch that fan working part. At startup when the BIOS starts up, the fan spins but right after the computer loads windows, it stops working and stays off. Is it suppose to do this?

lol no man, the PSU fan shouldnt stop.... get a psu that works and try it
February 19, 2013 4:32:04 AM

amirp said:
lol no man, the PSU fan shouldnt stop.... get a psu that works and try it

Lol everythings fine now. Turns out it was the psu. I shut off the pc for about an hour than turned it back on and now the fan is spinning inside the psu. Everything works great. Animations are smooth, no more sudden lags, and overall my pc is just alot faster now. Bottlenecking was true, but in the electrical part it was. Might of been something to do with that red switch. Hmmmmm I wonder if this was the cause for my 9800 GT's so called "overheated does not work anymore" issue. I will find out.