Athlon 64, 1 gig ram, 128mb 9600 = bad for gaming?

I rescently purchased a Time Platina laptop which is running an athlon 64 3200+ (2 ghz), 1 gb ram, and a 128mb dedicated ddr ati radeon mobility 9600 AGP 8x. The preinstalled OS is windows home SP1.

When i decided to test several games (comparing the performance to my brothers laptop, a compaq presario r3000t with a 2.4 ghz P4, 512mb ram and a 64mb dedicated ddr 9200 ati radeon), i noticed that some games were faster, but also had some odd problems...

Need For Speed Underground: The 1 second freeze at the start of races and the small jerks on the first lap of the race (apparently because the ysystem is stil loading the level), which happen on EVERY 32 bit system ive played it on, are gone, but the game slows down in several random places throughout the race... ie, the game will suddenly run at half the speed, cars slow down masively for a second, then shoot off again (this is not jerk caused by lower FPS rates)

Jedi Knight III: as i understand it, this game uses the quake 3 engine and runs in opengl. Witht he same settings as on the P4 laptop (which gives a solid frame rate, usually around 50, drops to about 25 in some places), it runs awefully. lightning and shadow effects dont work, even with verticle sync on, polygons slice vertically, and average fps is around 20 throughout...

I have heard rumours that athlon 64 bit processors have various problems with opengl, and that 64 bit support has not been added to ati cards, so performance may vary.. could this be the reason for these problems?

The radeon drivers for this mobile card are dated 12/08/2003... and tiny do not update their drivers... but i have installed the latest omega drivers for the card, which are based on the latest ati catalyst drivers, and this has improved performance a bit, but jedi knight 2 and 3 still run horribly.

Any advice would be much appreciated, thanks a lot ;)
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More about athlon 128mb 9600 gaming
  1. Just guessing here.. maybe you're having trouble with Cool& Quiet ? Your laptop should blow your friends out of the water in each and every game, so I am seriously suspecting your stuck at 800 MHz powersaving mode. Download the latest C&Q drivers from AMD, or see if you can disable it.

    >I have heard rumours that athlon 64 bit processors have
    >various problems with opengl, and that 64 bit support has
    >not been added to ati cards, so performance may vary..
    >could this be the reason for these problems?

    No, since you are running 32 bit windows, your cpu is just a 32 bit cpu for now. 64 bit mode ("AMD64 long mode") can not be enabled under current shipping windows versions.

    > it runs awefully. lightning and shadow effects dont work,
    >even with verticle sync on, polygons slice vertically, and
    >average fps is around 20 throughout...

    Weird.. probably a GPU driver issue though

    = The views stated herein are my personal views, and not necessarily the views of my wife. =
  2. Apparently, according to a friend, the 800 mhz might be the FSB. He said that amd, and possibly in the future intel, will display the FSB speed of the cpu rather than its speed in ghz, as it is misleading to people with little knowledgew on procesors. Ie, based upon the iea that more is better, they would even sometimes favour a 2.4 ghz P4 over a 2.2 Ghz athlon 64 3400+...

    Using the CPUINFO p[rogram, it says that the cpu speed is 2 ghz on my laptop. 3dmark03 says the same in the system specs...

    Does anyone know whether or not 3dmark03 and this cpu info programw ould display the cpus max capacity, or the cpus actual current runing speed, if the cool'n'quiet system was running? Also, does anyone know h ow to disable cool'n'quiet in windows XP?

    thanks ;)
  3. CPUID and 3DMark03 both read from bios and show what bios settings tell them. The only problem is that they only read what the current speed is and do NOT update as the speed goes up or down. You would have to reload the program to get the periodic updates.

    <font color=blue> Did you know that 89.72% of all quoted statistics are false? </font color=blue>
  4. with power adapter plugged in: (power settings on "always on")
    my computer system info : 800 mhz
    3dmark03 system info : 2 ghz
    CPUID info : 2000 mhz

    with power adapter plugged in: (power settings on "minimal power useage")
    my computer system info : 320 mhz
    3dmark03 system info : 800 mhz
    CPUID info : 800 mhz

    with laptoip running from battery power:
    my computer system info : 320 mhz
    3dmark03 system info : 800 mhz
    CPUID info : 800 mhz

    I assume ythat because the processor uses a 200 mhz fsb (which is what the sam is st to), and has hypertransport, thr FSB is 800, and since the multiplier is 10, the cpu speed is 2 ghz. but when on minimal power settings, or using battery power, the ram runs at 80 mhz instead of 200, wiha resulting cpu speed of 800 mhz (40% of the normal speed).

    Does this sound right?
    also i assume that the 800 mhz in the my computer system settings must be the fsb, as when running on minimal power setings, and the stated speed is 320 mhz, the system still runs extremely fast... im pretty certain that even an athlon 64 could run windows and games such as UT2004 with very good speed at 320 mhz.
  5. I have a AMD 3000+ 64-bit chip in my laptop, and mine pretty much always sat at 800 mhz too. During benchmarking however, it did go back up to the full 1.8 mhz.

    Anyways, here is what I did, Under Device Manager I uninstalled the drivers for the CPU, restart and the computer now stays at the full clock speed. You can download the drivers again from AMD, or your manufacturer, once I start school again this fall I will have to re-install the drivers to help battery life.

    My Desktop: <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>
  6. @ Zal :

    It does seem strange to me that AMD decided to speedstep their Mobile A64s by underclocking the Bus/Memory frequency when Mobile AXPs speedstep by changing the multiplier on the fly.

    I don't think that AMD suddenly decided to change the way that their CPUs manage to speedstep. Underclocking by lowering the Bus/Memory used by their Mobile A64s seems like a ridiculous idea, why kill the memory bandwidth of a CPU that feature an on-die memory controller when you can just drop the multipliers and keep all the memory bandwidth.

    Fok Speling Misstake
  7. Youre right, but i wqas told by the manufacturers Tiny/Time, that the system info is displaying the FSB now, and not the processor speed. Im not sure what the difference is between a 64 bit 3000+ and 3200+, it could just bew that the default multiplier for the 3000+ is 9, whereas the multiplier for the 3200+ is 10, but i would have thought that the decreases in speed would be proportional (ie 2.0 ghz -> 800 mhz = 60% drop, so 40% of 1.8 ghz is 720 mhz (possibly set to 700, with a 3.5 multiplier)

    I will try uninstalling the processor driver, but i have already updated the druiver from and so far amd's technical support has proven to be no help whatsoever with this issue :(
  8. Mr5oh, did you try benxchmarking your system after uninstalling the amd drivers, to tell if it made any difference?
    Also, what type of benchmark did you run, and how did you know that your processor speed had increased to the full 1.8 ghz?

  9. Just a reminder, the memory speed is sepparate from the HT speed. The ondie controller can maintain the mem speed, if the HT speed is reduced. I think this is how AMD gets around the problem of needing an unlocked multiplier to speedstep.
  10. Yes I did try some benchmarking. With the CPU driver un-installed my PCMark02 CPU score went up roughly 200 points.

    However even after un-installing the CPU driver, the next time I turned on my computer the cool'n'quiet controls were back on, and my laptop resumed at 800 mhz.

    I also tried setting my power settings to always on, and desktop as some others suggested, which works temporarily also, after a restart cool'n'quiet resumes control of the CPU speed.

    As for telling when the CPU was back up to full clock speed, I just was checking Windows System Properties. In most benchmarks, are CPU ID programs my processor comes up as a 1.8 mhz, when windows stays reporting 800 mhz.

    Cool'n'Quiet is supposed to speed up the CPU only when it is needed, which I suspect why my PCMark02 scores were decent with it enabled, the CPU was speeding up during benchmarking. However I am wondering why the score goes up slightly once the CPU driver is un-installed.

    My Desktop: <A HREF="" target="_new"></A>
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