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Graphics slowdown after format/re-install

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 23, 2002 8:57:19 PM

We re-formatted the hard drive and re-installed Windows. Now graphics/video performance has slowed way down.

The System:
Dell Dim.4300 / P4 1.6 GHz /100MHz fsb / 512MB PC133 SDRAM / WindowsME / Gainward GF4 Ti4200 128MB (Golden Sample)
Some test results: 3D Mark 2001SE - before format/re-inst. : 6620. After: 4250. A serious drop in performance !
Other result: PCPitstop.com - Before: Video test-172mb/sec. After: Video test-120mb/sec. Again a big drop.

Side issue: after format/re-inst. PCPitstop.com showed slow hard drive performance in Uncached Test. On their advice, looked up hard drive/controller DMA setting and found it was disabled. Placed check mark in DMA box, re-booted and re-tested. Hard drive then tested very good, no problems.

Question: What should we do ? Is there a check-box for DMA specially for the graphics card ? What about "side-band addressing" ? Someone said that should be OFF with a good graphics card, but I don't know how or where to look, etc.

Regards
June 24, 2002 3:31:40 AM

I believe that you will need to install either some intel patch or intel driver for AGP, DMA and so on. As AMD system, the 4in1 need to be installed in order to make the AGP, PCI bus and UltrDMA work properly. Check your matherbord menalfature or call Dell support to get the drivers.

When I first built 1.4Thunderbird, I didn’t install 4in1 driver service for VIA chip that comes with the CD of My soyo dragon. And I was surprise when I checked the display property and my quadro 2 pro was use PCI mod under Bus type instead of AGP. Also the score on SpecfView was only 40 on Award04. I could not figure it out first until a couple moths later, somehow finally I install 4in1 service driver after kept formatting my hard drive over and over.
Then magic happened, under the display property, Bust type was AGP instead of PCI mode. Now the score on Specfview is 79 for Award 04.

Also check under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers / Primary and Secondary IDEs / Advanced setting / transfer mod / all devices are using ultra DMA transfer mod if available. If your hard drive is using PIO, the access time will be very very slow.

I am a big fan of AMD, because it cheaper than Intel.
Now I am using XP1800+ with Soyo dragon plus (install 4in1) and Dual MP1800+ with Tyan Tiger MPX ( for Tiger MPX, I need to install “ AMD-768 PCI Bus Master IDE Controller and AMP AGP Driver and Patch after install OS system in order to work properly.

Hope this is help.
June 24, 2002 3:54:33 AM

"when I checked the display property and my quadro 2 pro was use PCI mod under Bus type instead of AGP."

In my Display Properties (in WindowsME)there is no mention anywhere that I can see of BUS type - no mention of PCI or AGP. Where exactly should I be looking for this ?

"Also check under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers / Primary and Secondary IDEs / Advanced setting / transfer mod / all devices are using ultra DMA transfer mod if available."

Where exactly do I check for this ? I tried looking under System Properties/Device Manager tab/Hard Disk Controllers...but I can not see the info you refer to.

Regards
Related resources
June 24, 2002 3:43:26 PM

WOW ! It worked ! Downloaded the Intel Chipset Software Do-Dah Thingy. Before running/installing it, I uninstalled GF4 Ti4200, as per Intel's suggestion (to install their utility before other drivers). Think I was mumbling to myself "this'll never work...can't correct a huge performance deficit with some little software utility...ok, that's done...now install 29.42 drivers...ok...run 3D Mark again...AARGH ! Shiver me timbers ! Best score ever !

Thanks v. much for the tip ! How did you know that ? What exactly does this Intel utility DO ? How come the Dell tech support guy didn't mention it ?

You are the best PHSSTPOK, thanks again.
June 24, 2002 3:56:50 PM

Quote:
Thanks v. much for the tip ! How did you know that ? What exactly does this Intel utility DO ?

All modern motherboards need chipset drivers to make many onboard functions work properly. Intel just made it easy with a universal utility, one that will load the proper drivers for many Intel chipsets. You have a Dell P4 system, all of which use Intel motherboards exclusively. If you had something other than a motherboard with an Intel chipset then you would need different drivers.
Quote:
How come the Dell tech support guy didn't mention it ?

That's sad. When 3D performance is 25%-50% low the first thing I suspect is that AGP is not working properly. Your own diagnostic confirmed this. This means reload chipset drivers. The "technician" was probably just working from a scripted response.

What are you getting for 3DMark scores now?

Glad I could be of help.

<b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b>
June 24, 2002 4:16:54 PM

3D Mark scores have never been much good because of bottlenecks in my system, namely a 100MHz front-side-bus, PC133 SDRAM, and a 1.6GHz cpu...and no overclocking of any of those is possible on the Dell/Intel motherboard. Previous best score on 3D Mark was 6530...now (without any fine-tuning as yet) I'm getting 6815. That's using the same 29.42 nVidia drivers as before. Increase of about 300 points is encouraging considering limitations of the system and using same driver set........
June 24, 2002 4:25:56 PM

Well, that's a whole lot better than the 4420, or whatever it was, that you were getting.

<b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b>
June 26, 2002 8:04:32 PM

3D Mark, Quake3 demo, and Comanche4 demo are all showing around 5% to 8% improvements above their previous best. Acid test is actually in the gameplay where I can now either run 4x and 4xs AA or simply run at 1600x1200....think I prefer 10x7 with AA. Anyhow, extra horsepower seems to be in evidence, especially in RallyMasters where I used to get slowdowns after playing a little while. Now I'm running 6 or 7 races with AA on and no slowdowns ! Haven't tried any overclocking at all in the games - no need !
June 26, 2002 8:24:17 PM

I still wonder about those slowdowns after long periods of play. I just attributed it to Windows' memory leaks. From what you are saying it must be more complicated than that.

Glad I could be of help.

<b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b>
June 26, 2002 9:42:56 PM

Mmm, had the same slowdowns after playing a little while on our previous computer which was, of course, way slower to begin with (500MHz AMD plus 4 GB hard drive). Anyhow, I can't fathom the cause. Other 3d games always ran smoothly. These rally-racing games twist & turn a lot and the scenery is ever-changing with lots of detail plus the complicated physics modelling for the car's handling, not simple repetitive stuff like you see in oval-track NASCAR-type racing games. My favorite is Colin McRae Rally 2. Out-standing ! But again, it's graphically intense so you have to make sure you've turned off all other progs, etc. before you start the game or it just won't run smoothly, even with my Geforce4 Ti4200.
June 26, 2002 10:34:42 PM

By the way, I never asked you WHY it is that I needed that little utility from Intel. I mean, the motherboard is officially a Dell Dimension 4300 board, but it's a good bet that it's really an Intel board. So how come when I "flashed" the BIOS with the latest A05 revision, it didn't take care of all this ? It's a bit like the garage changed your oil but didn't include a new oil filter....an incomplete job ! So, can you explain all this ?

Regards
June 26, 2002 10:48:03 PM

Hmmm, Colin McRae Rally 2, I'll have to download the demo and see if I like it. I usually don't like racing games. They are either too much an arcade game or too much a simulation (and not very playable). The only exceptions being, and these are old games, I liked Swedish Touring Car Championships 2, nice car physics and pedal response could be made just right. I also liked the Canadian game Warm!up (don't remember why). Unfortunately, neither of the games are available in the USA (or at least I haven't found them) That limits me to the demos. Also the graphics are primitive by today's standards. I want something that would look good AND play well on my Radeon 8500 so I will check out CMR2.

<b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b>
June 26, 2002 11:02:34 PM

I can't give you a definite answer but I will take a guess. When you update the BIOS, Windows identifies this change as new hardware. Windows then loads the drivers which it thinks are appropriate. Windows doesn't always get it right. So you took things into your own hands and loaded the drivers that a specific to your hardware.

This happens all the time with my Via chipset (KT133A). I've learned that rather than fussing around trying to troubleshoot a weird problem similar to yours I just do the following. Whenever I change the BIOS, a video driver, a chipset driver, or DirectX I always do a clean install of the latter three drivers (I only do the BIOS when I need a new BIOS, I've learned my lesson but that's a different story). I do a clean install of the above drivers. That is, I uninstall them then I reinstall them. When I had a geforce card the order was Via, video, directx. Now that I have a Radeon 8500 I do Via, DirectX, then video. Makes things go a lot smoother and I don't have to worry that I messed something up by crossing old versions with new versions and vice versa.

<b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b>
June 27, 2002 12:26:50 AM

Thanks for explaining. As for Colin McRae Rally 2.....the reason I didn't buy a Radeon 8500 is because it's incompatible with that game. Both ATI and the U.S game distributor (Codemasters ?) confirmed this. There IS a workaround......apparently if you enable dual-monitor support on the Radeon and have both monitors on and running then the game runs OK. Now that's totally weird, but true. So good luck with the demo. I'm really curious to know if it runs OK for you. Anyway, I got a Ti4200 and it's bright RED...and so is the fan !! VROOM-VROOM !
June 27, 2002 2:07:58 AM

You installed the vid card drivers but you didn't think about the mother board drivers? Unless you have an older chipset (some of the Intel's like this 440BX I'm on) the OS usually won't have the 'right' drivers for it. The board will run but not at full speed!
June 27, 2002 3:30:48 AM

Hey, I "flashed" the BIOS on the advice of a Dell tech support guy. Since I'm not even sure what "flashing the BIOS" means, how the heck would I know about the other stuff ? When the tech was talkin' "flash" I imagined it might involve droppin' my pants and NO tech is that cute, right ? But I'll tell ya what, any such update to the motherboard SHOULD include ALL required utilities in an auto-install package. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it !!

Regards
June 27, 2002 6:36:57 PM

I forgot that I already have the CMR2 demo. You were right. It won't run, Invalid Page Fault.

It used to work, when I had the Geforce2.

<b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by phsstpok on 06/27/02 02:38 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
June 27, 2002 7:28:07 PM

Hate to see your hopes dashed ! My OTHER favorite racing game, which is very similar to Colin McRae, is called Rally Masters. Here is the link to download the demo from GamesDomain.com http://www.gamesdomain.com/demos/demo/1100.html

Give it a whirl and see what you think !
June 27, 2002 7:37:38 PM

Thanks, I'll know in 2 hours (dial-up connection, ugh!)

<b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b>
June 27, 2002 10:01:07 PM

2 hours, hmm....must be NAP TIME !
June 27, 2002 10:41:11 PM

Just for the h*ll of it I activated TV out as a second display (instead of mirroring the primary). What do you know? CMR2 (demo) works.

<b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b>
June 27, 2002 11:51:12 PM

Hey, nice one ! Is there a TV actually connected to that output ? Does it have to be turned on for the game to work ?
Did you download the RallyMasters too ?
June 28, 2002 12:59:21 AM

You need to connect something to the video out port for the options to be available. The device does not need to be on but it must be connected. The device does not have to be a TV. I'm using an All-in-Wonder card on another computer (long story).

Haven't had time to play either game I just started CMR2 to see if it would work. Just enabling S-Video out didn't work. I had to use the dual display option, one being a TV (as far the Display Manager knows).

I was playing Warm Up! demo. It's pretty fun (but a little difficult) now that I have something better than a Geforce1 which is what I had the last time I started the demo. (I forgot all about it while I used a Geforce2).

Here's a link if you want to give it a try.

<A HREF="http://pc.hotgames.com/games/warmup/download.htm" target="_new">http://pc.hotgames.com/games/warmup/download.htm&lt;/A>

I wonder if this game ever was released.

<b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b>
June 28, 2002 3:26:25 AM

You've taunted me with yet another racing game that I may not be able to obtain. All the Infogrames' links lead to vendors that are out of stock on this game. Internet searches don't do any better

When I installed Rally Masters demo it tried to install itself in the same directory as Swedish Touring Car Championship 2.

I ran the demo and it appears to use the same engine as STCC2.

Where can I find Rally Masters being an older game? in the USA?

<b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b>
June 28, 2002 8:49:33 PM

Rally Masters is a lot of fun and very addictive. So is Colin McRae Rally 2. Colin Mcrae maybe has the edge overall with its slightly better graphics and choice of cars...but for sheer fun I think these 2 games are about equal quality. Each has Novice/Intermediate/Expert levels (or Easy/Medium/Hard) so you could get months of fun out of either. And you can always go 'round smashing into stuff to see how badly you can damage it and still drive ! Once I had all windows smashed, headlights gone, black smoke pouring from under hood, and rear bumper scraping ground with trail of sparks......barely got to finish line. Colin McRae 2 is still available online from www.gogamer.com (where I got my copy) for $19.99 + shipping, so about $26 total U.S. dollars. I checked 7 or 8 online stores for Rally Masters. Nobody has it. A couple of vendors have the (Sony)Playstation version. You could try requesting a used copy at Amazon.com maybe. The PC game itself came out back in 2000. Amazingly, my local SoftwareEtc. store in the mall here in Flagstaff, AZ. has a copy on clearance for $9.99 + tax. With sales tax and postage it would be $15 to $17. Of course you don't know me personally so it would be totally on trust if you want me to get it and mail it to you. Also, Colin McRae Rally 3 is due out in 1 to 3 months.......

Question: Did you have to actually TURN ON a second monitor or TV to run that Colin McRae demo, or just ENABLE the 2nd output ?

Regards
June 28, 2002 9:19:37 PM

Quote:
Question: Did you have to actually TURN ON a second monitor or TV to run that Colin McRae demo, or just ENABLE the 2nd output ?

I actually had to configure for 2 display output, display 1 being my monitor, display 2 being the TV. It did not work if I just enabled TV-out, i.e. TV mirroring.

As for the game. Thanks for the offer I'm not sure I like Rally Master now. Yes, it seems to have the same 3D engine as STCC2, definitely the same sound effects. RM has much more powerful cars. In STCC2 the car feels like its only has about 200 HP and is a front wheel drive that understeers badly. ABS brakes can't be disabled in the demo. The car in RM is much more powerful than anything I have driven in real life but I would guess its in the 400-450 HP range. It oversteers. These are things I like about both games. They "feel" like cars.

The complaint I have with RM is the bumper car feel. There is no run-off. The car is limited to the road surface only. Are all the tracks like this? In STCC2 you can get two wheels in the grass then you're off the track.

Quote:
Amazingly, my local SoftwareEtc. store in the mall here in Flagstaff, AZ. has a copy on clearance for $9.99 + tax. With sales tax and postage it would be $15 to $17. Of course you don't know me personally so it would be totally on trust if you want me to get it and mail it to you. Also, Colin McRae Rally 3 is due out in 1 to 3 months.......

Trust isn't an issue. I have to trust Ebay sellers all the time. However, I'm going to think about it, maybe rummage through the local bargain bins. Don't worry about it if your local copy gets sold. Just in case I want to take you up on your offer do you have PayPal?

Whatever I decide to do I want to thank you for your offer to help.

<b>I have so many cookies I now have a FAT problem!</b>
!