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Gaming going down hill?

Last response: in CPUs
March 25, 2004 3:12:28 AM

Ok here are my system specs -
AMD Athlon XP 2700
Kingston Hyperx PC2700 512MB
Asus A7V8X-GBL
ATI Radeon 9800XT
SB Audigy
Promise S150
-WD740GD (74GB, 10k RPM, 8MB, SATA)
- DiamondMax Plus 9 (200GB, 7200 RPM, 8MB, IDE)
Channel 1 –
Liteon XJ-HD166S
Optorite DD0203
Channel 2 –
Liteon LTR - 52246S

Windows XP SP1 w/ all updates and newest drivers (including games).

Now this is my gaming machine. Its only used for gaming and I spend a lot of money and time on it and it doesn’t perform as good as I expected. Here are my benchmarks –

3D Mark 2001 SE (newest version)–
All Defaults, unregistered -
ATI Catalyst 4.3 – (over drive on, agp 8x, fast write on, driver defaults)
About 15300
Over driver off
About 14700

Omega’s Optimized drivers based on 4.3 –
Defaults –
About 14200
Test 2 – (over drive on, agp 8x, fast write off, driver defaults)
About 14500
Test 3 – (OC 435/750, over drive off, fast write off)
Around 15880

3D Mark 2003 (newest version) –
All Defaults, unregistered -
ATI Catalyst 4.3 – (over drive on, agp 8x, fast write on, driver defaults)
Over driver off

Omega’s Optimized drivers based on 4.3 –
Defaults –
Test 2 – (over drive on, agp 8x, fast write off, driver defaults)
Test 3 – (OC 435/750, over drive off, fast write off)

Then there is actual game play. Unreal tournament 2004 just came out a week ago. I use the “stat fps” command in the console menu and watch my fps. The highest that I have seen is 130, but that was very unusual. Its usually between 30-50 fps. That is very low for a $400 card! My settings are 1280x960 and max detail. I have tried switching to 1024x768 but there is literally no difference! Plus when I play single player with 8 people (7 are bots) then it lags all the way down to 10 fps and lower. This is unplayable. The bots are at the “skilled” difficulty level. I also have a t1 line at my residence and when I play online its pretty much completely unplayable, 15-25 fps max. Again I have tried changed resolutions, which didn’t help.

Now there is Far cry. On max detail again at 1024x768. This game is unplayable. There is not fps counter in the game, but the game it self can not be played. Its way to jerky, slow, unresponsive, ect.

Next on the list is Star wars – Knights of the Old Republic. Yes I do have the 1.03 patch. When ever I enter a fight, either at 1024x768 or at 1280x960 max detail (no aa, 4x af) it lags horribly. Which then makes it almost unplayable but you can always pause the game and play that way. Pause, click, attack, pause, heal, click, attack, ect.

My system temps are –
CPU – 25 idle to 30 load
MB – 25 – 35
VID – 66 – It never changed, could be broken.

Voltages are –
+12 – 12.256
+5 – 4.9
+3.3 – 3.202
vcore – 1.87

There are only minor changes between load and idle, if any.

Now, true I don’t have real numbers for unreal and far cry but the game play speaks for it self.
On a fresh xp install the results are weird, you add 280-300 points to 3d mark 2003 and 700 - 800 points to 3d mark 2001 SE - for ati’s drivers. 50 – 75 for 3d mark 2003 and 100 – 120 for 3d mark 2001 se - for omega’s drivers.

Lastly, in case you wondering I only have 22 processes running. Which are not firewall or antivirus related. They were shut prior to game time. The system has no viruses, or spam programs. It was defragged before playing.

My questions are –
Why/is my system running so slow?
Are these scores the same as you other guys?
How do I fix it?

PS – All tests were ran multiple times and averaged. That’s why there are some “abouts” and “arounds”.

Supporting AMD with your breakable stuff.

More about : gaming hill

March 25, 2004 9:27:12 AM

1.) You only have a 2700XP.
2.) You only have 512MB ram.
3.) You only have 2700 ram so your stuck overclocking.

New games need a fast cpu like a 3ghz P4 or 3200XP and run very well on 1gb ram. Far cry is another good example as using 1gb ram for this game gives super smooth gameplay. New games will always be optimized for the standard and to run on the maximum details you will need the best setup at the time.

You have the best card around with a low-mid range cpu and average memory so thats whats holding you back. If you stuck a 9800XT in an athlon 64 you would get over 21,000 stock and 23,000 when cpu/gfx overclocked.

<A HREF="" target="_new"> My rig </A>
March 25, 2004 9:42:48 AM

I dont agree at all! The xp2700 is not a low / mid cpu! I think there is some problem here, I get good fps with my *lowly* XP2000, MX440 with UT2004 on 1024 x 32 bit.
Sure some games like lots of ram, but 512 is enough for much better performance. Maybe you had an nvidia card before and the ati card is confused - I think format is a must when changing from nvidia to ati.

XP2000, 256ddr 2100ram, GF4 MX440, XP Pro
Related resources
March 25, 2004 10:49:59 AM

I would be inclined to agree that your config should perform much better. a 2700+ is a fairly decent CPU, even in today's world...

I would suggest an old driver conflict issue, but you say you've tried a clean install of XP. assuming you're not just installing over the top of an existing install, but are starting from a totally blank HDD that should rule that out.

and 512Mb of RAM with XP is not <i>ideal</i>, but it shouldn't affect the in-game FPS, it should merely make your game 'chug' (pause briefly while it loads something off the HDD) more often than with more RAM.

Have you installed your motherboard chipset drivers? Particularly the AGP drivers. That can have a huge impact on performance.

And I assume your CPU/RAM is all running at the right speed?

If you're sure all this is ok then the only thing left I can suggest is to junk the VIA mobo and buy an nforce2 Ultra 400 one. Abit and Epox are good ones.

Epox 8RDA+ rev1.1 w/ Custom NB HS
XP1700+ @205x11 (~2.26Ghz), 1.575Vcore
2x256Mb Corsair PC3200LL 2-2-2-4
Sapphire 9800Pro 420/744
March 25, 2004 11:55:49 AM

Did you install VIA 4in1 drivers(Hyperion). Maybe you should try that. Or maybe you video card is overheating. I would check that too.

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!
March 25, 2004 4:38:49 PM

I'm not sure if anything is terribly wrong, your benchmarks seem a tad low, but not out of the ordinary.

Unreal 2k04 is cpu hog when you enable bots, especially on "skilled". The fact that switching resolutions doesnt help also points to this fact, you're not GPU limited, but cpu limited. Your FPS seem pretty "okay" to me in this game.

Far Cry is probably the most demanding game (demo) out today. It runs like crap on my 2500+ (GF4Ti) with anything more than low/medium detail settings. This game brings Athlon 64's to its knees. Turn down the detail a few notches, it still looks fantastic,even with medium detail.

Also, don't be fooled, the "sluggishness" of Far Cry is just the way its programmed, its not a fast paced shooter like UT, even with high FPS, you can't run around your enemies in circles, jump, turn around quickly and frag like in some other shooters like quake or UT; its programmed to be "realistic". Maybe its just not your cup of tea ?

As for Star Wars, I don't know, I can't comment. I've heard horror stories about the game, but never played it or anything, so...

It wouldnt hurt to download the latest VIA 3/4-1 drivers if you haven't already, but I frankly, I don't think there is anything wrong with your setup (besides the fact you spent far too much money on a screaming videocard that is not well matched with low-end/mainstream cpu. A videocard half the price would have given you roughly equal gaming performance with that 2700+).

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 25, 2004 5:34:10 PM

Definately something wrong. I have a much inferior system. (p4 2.4 gig, 256 RDRAM, Radeon 9800 pro, all at stock) and I can run SWKOTOR flawlessly everything turned to full, and I get 50s in FPS in UT2k4.

I'm guessing driver issue, did you install your motherboard AGP drivers? That definately looks to be the case, but who knows...
March 26, 2004 1:35:03 AM

Ok, I can see only having 512 for ram, because the game does start to lag after I get playing and right before. In fact there is a long pause when I start a match in unreal to when I get to play; its about 3-4 seconds.

I have never ran an NVIDIA card. The first benchmark the windows install was 3-4 months old and the second was brand now. Minutes old. But since the scores are so close I decided to present them the way I did.

When I “re-do” my computer. I zero my raptor and partition it like this –
5 GB for Windows
25 GB for Downloads
35GB for Games
4.? GB for Swap/Temp
In that order on my drive

I do have VIA’s Hyperion 4in1 4.51 driver set installed. Along with all the other most current and updated drivers for the rest of my devices.

I do not want to upgrade to an Nforce2 Ultra 400 mb, because I am planning on buying a socket 754 system soon. Or waiting until the socket 939 chips come out.

CPU/RAM are all running at correct speeds

Supporting AMD with your breakable stuff.
March 26, 2004 1:47:02 AM

Most of my problems with via boards were with soundblaster sound cards. Try using the onboard sound to find out if it's your problem to.
March 26, 2004 2:16:11 AM

The only thing i see is you went from Nvidia to ATI drivers. There could be a problem.
I have a 2500+xp 9800pro. Before oc i was getting around the same marks as you, and to be honest with you i didn't have any performance problems with far cry or ut2004 or battlefield. Not even hiccups.

I'm wondering if your memory has anything to do with it becuase i have 1gb mushkin lvl2 pc3500. I originally had 512 of the same memory, but due to my frustrations with SWG*which i don't play anymore* i bought 1gb of it.. and haven't had any problems whatsoever with a game.

Watch your HDD light when you play games.. if it's constantly flashing then you might want to consider more memory.

<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>
46,400 , movin on up. 48k new goal.
March 26, 2004 2:16:19 AM

tried the sound suggestion. Nothing really different. I even left the audigy out and disable onboard sound and sound in the game/benchmark. This game very little improvement, but some none the less.

Like i said before i have never used an nvidia card in this system before and my harddrive does hit through out the game. maybe some ram then. You would except with a drive that can xfer at 80mb/s that you could use it as ram, but i geuss not. <- that was a joke. Just reitterating the fact i have a raptor. I love it. :D <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by songoku on 03/25/04 08:20 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
March 27, 2004 8:45:19 PM

any other ideas?

Supporting AMD with your breakable stuff.
March 28, 2004 12:43:24 AM

i play Farcry on:

xp pro sp 1

plays fine. of course, i dont have effects up high because its a crappy video card, but the game is playable. that means my cpu is able to handle the game.. and theres no hard drive activity while im playing, so ram isnt an issue either. i can play UT2004 demo @ full detail settings it will allow , with over 50fps average.

hes obviouysly having other problems... has tried other drivers and stuff...

if ive tried a bunch of drivers, and makes no difference, then the next thing i do is format/resintall windows/install fresh drivers from scratch. probably the next thing to do ... and yes 14500 in 3dmark2001 is too low on that system, altho the 2003 3dmark score isnt that bad... but yea, i can

<A HREF="" target="_new">please dont click here! </A>
March 28, 2004 12:51:00 AM

> i can play UT2004 demo @ full detail settings it will
>allow , with over 50fps average.

Sure you can, *online*. try again with bots and bot level set as high as you can. It chokes my 2500+@3200+, I doubt your 2000+ could handle it. (I have the same videocard).

As for Far Cry, set everything to medium, 1024/768 only, and tell me its playable once you get beyond the beginning of the map. Its not. Unless you think ~15 FPS or less is playable.

= The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
March 28, 2004 1:06:53 AM

well i geuss a zero is in order. thanks guys.

Supporting AMD with your breakable stuff.
March 28, 2004 2:42:30 AM

No wonder it plays well. Where did you get that 20,000+ ?

ABIT IS7, P4 2.6C, 512MB Corsair TwinX PC3200LL, Radeon 9800 Pro, Santa Cruz, TruePower 430watt
March 28, 2004 2:46:18 AM

i was just comparing my system to his. obviously his video card is going to use higher settings than mine, but its compensated by my using lower settings so if i can play farcry, yes most things like texture detail and lighting on medium most of the time its quite playable, of course not ideal because 85fps+ is ideal for first person shooters but still i could kill wiht accuracy and navigate the map..

so his system which is totally better than mine, and its not quite able to, just a comparison asshat

<A HREF="" target="_new">please dont click here! </A>
March 28, 2004 5:39:30 AM

Does the demo play more smoothly than the full game or something?

The reason I ask is I've been playing a little online, just now. I'm seeing a solid 40 FPS (don't laugh wait to you see my rig) with smooth action, no stutter. I've got all LOD set to max. 1024x768. That's playing Onslaught (I think). I've seen framerates as low as 30 FPS (avg) in some other online game modes and the Assault Benchmark only averages 25 FPS. The Flyby about 42 FPS.

I'm impressed how playable UT2004 demo is, both online and single player.

My Rig (now you can laugh)

Radeon 8500 @290/630 (this is really pushing my video card without my helper fans), Omega drivers based on Cats 4.3, XP1700+ @2.1 Ghz (~XP2600+), KT133A mobo, 384 MB PC150 SDRAM, 56K dialup connection, Windows 98SE.

I was crying at the low performance until I saw how playable the game is.

I noticed that the game seems very CPU dependent (as others have mentioned), evidenced by nearly identical framerates with any resolution from 640x480 up to 1280x1024. Only at 1600x1024 (why isn't 1600x1200 available?) do my framerates drop off significantly. At anything above 1024x768 stutter shows up fairly quickly on my rig but the game is fine at 1024x768 and lower.

I was astonished that even with a dialup connection and voice chat enabled (I can only listen, no microphone) I can still play this game online. OK, with low pings I'm a sitting duck (my game nick is temporarily dumb_duck) so I usually just grab a turret chair and defend. I just got 8 kills and only got killed twice. (Had to brag because I'm really terrible at FPS games).

Does UT2004 have some kind of ping/lag correction? Even with dial-up I'm able shoot down fast movers (flyers).

<b>56K, slow and steady does not win the race on internet!</b>
March 28, 2004 2:13:29 PM

yep, the demo plays just fine. The retail how ever does not. Maybe its becuase i have the specail edition?

Supporting AMD with your breakable stuff.