What is the limiting factor? CPU or graphics card?

I have an Athlon XP 2000+ and GF4 Ti4600.
I want to know what limits my FPS in games? is it the cpu video card?
for example when I play the game Mafia I experience low FPS sometimes and I dont know if its the cpu or video card.
Can someone please tell me which component usually limits performance in gaming?
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More about what limiting factor graphics card
  1. I think its your Graphics card holding you back, however your parts are fairly well suited.

    <A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=5467618 " target="_new">Almost Breaking 12k!!</A>
  2. what do you get in 3Dmark2001?
    what are the other parts of your system? memory, motherboard..
    Just looking at what you have, XP2000+ with Ti4600, it's hard to imagine that game will run slow
  3. I get about 11200 in 3dmark 2001.
    the game doesnt run slowly, only at certain times it runs slow. However, I still cant run the game smoothly at maximum detail and resolution. That's why I want to know what's holding me back.
    Motherboard is Asus A7V333 and 512mb ram.
  4. That 3D mark score is low for an Athlon system and a Ti4600. Unless you are running SD Ram and bunky drivers, you should get around 13K 3D Marks....(I believe)

    (Crashman) "That pic..Are you sane?)...<A HREF="http://www.lochel.com/THGC/html/Genetic_Weapon.html" target="_new">http://www.lochel.com/THGC/html/Genetic_Weapon.html</A>
  5. Actually when I compared it to the systems that had the exact same specs as mine, the scores were the exact same.
  6. So as I was asking...how do I usually determine what limits my performance? especially in the case of Mafia: City of Lost Heaven. I'd really like to know what it is that I will need to upgrade in the future.
  7. *should have bought a radeon 9500pro*

    mUAHhAHAHAHHAHAHAhahahah sucker
  8. Actually from what you've listed with no name brands heres some suggestions: Shoot for RAM with a CL2 like Corsair XMS 512MB PC-2700LL, run that RAM by itself the performance will increase unbelievably.
    Make sure your hardrive is a 7200RPM, and preferably on the Primary IDE channel as Master by itself.
    Any games that you have to have the CD in the CDROM drive to play, get a program that allows you to make a VCD image on your hardrive to run the game straight from the hardrive at hardrive ATA speeds instead of the CDROMs ATA 33 speed, big, big, huge, performance difference. Gamedrive is one of those programs, costs $20 US but theres some guys out here that use a free program, I don't remember the name but they'll probably be along to tell you about it.
    Any time you need help in the future list your entire system specs including the P/S wattage, it will give us more information to help you with, Oh and by the way you should be running, with what you've listed around a 350W P/S.

    <b><font color=purple>Details, Details, Its all in the Details, If you need help, Don't leave out the Details.</font color=purple></b>
  9. That Virtual CD-ROM Drive is called Daemon tool (one of them anyway)

    "There is no God but God!"
    - Iraqi civilian woman after being bombed by the US.
  10. You better include more details.
    1. OS version
    2. Background apps running while you have your game on (e.g. antivirus software)
    3. Your ram type: SDRAM or DDR and their spec
    4. Your harddisk rpm, amount of free space available for virtual memory.
    5. The game(s) you are experiencing difficulty. Some games are more CPU intense, others are more graphic card intense. And of course some are both.

    6. Yup, your PS wattage

    7. Your case's internal temp after a couple hours of intensive loading.

    A fine day!
  11. from your 3Dmark, I believe that your computer has no problem at all.. if it's run slow certain time, then it might be causing by the background program..do you have any?
  12. Most people here arent getting a score that high. I dont think you have alot to complain about...

    My Score..<A HREF="http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6258104" target="_new">http://service.futuremark.com/compare?2k1=6258104</A>
  13. True, I got only around 8500 with my XP2000+ and R8500
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