Radeon 9700 performance issues?

I purchased a Radeon 9700 OEM from newegg.com. Last Tuesday, it finally arrived. I replaced my Gainward Geforce 3 TI 200. However, it seems that my performance has not increased where it counts - within games. Before I explain, here is my present setup:

AMD Athlon XP 1900+ w/ Glaciator-Lite HSF
EPoX 8KHAL KT266A DDR Retail Motherboard
Transcend PC2100 DDR SDRAM - 768 MB (512 MB, 256 MB)
IBM Deskstar 60GXP 7200 RPM UDMA100 60 GB Hard Drive
Pioneer 16x/40x DVD
Plextor Plexwriter 24x/10x/40x CD-RW Retail
SB! Live Sound Card
3COM V.90 PCI Hardware Modem
3COM 3c905c-TX EtherLink PCI NIC
SuperPower KS201 Steel Tower w/ 300 W Power Supply
Windows XP Home (no SP1 yet)

Here are the programs I'm using to compare performance:

3DMark2001SE: This benchmark hasn't given me any problems. With my Gainward TI 200, I couldn't break 7000 without overclocking. With OC, I get around 7500. With my Radeon 9700, I get around 10500 easily, but I have similar setups get 11000-12000 without overclocking the PC. I am unsure where I could have missed the boat.

Quake 3 Arena: I run a high detail config with everything pretty much on. With my Gainward TI 200, I get around 150 FPS on demo four @ 1024x768. If I overclock, I can get to 160ish. For some reason, with the Radeon 9700, I don't get any higher running that same config. I had seen at least one Radeon review and a personal account where demo four ran @ 190-200 FPS. In fact, the fellow sent me his config - he was running a very similar setup as well. His config got 203 on his machine. The same config on my machine got 160-165 (a 20% drop). I am at a loss as to why there is such a discrepancy for the same chip speed, OS, and card. I could see a 10% fluctuation but over 15% seems unusual. My point is that this card should not be bested or tied by a Geforce 3 TI 200 under almost any circumstance.

The only good (yet unusual) part of this is that the Radeon 9700 seems to scale so well that I can use max quality detail in OpenGL and turn on 2x FSAA and AF and lose 1-2 FPS max. This scaling continues into 1152x864 and even a little into 1280x1024 (r_mode 7 & 8 for you Quake buffs). Using this does make the game look a lot nicer, but I was hoping for a significant FPS boost as well.

Unreal Tournament: Running the thunder.dem (from Reverend's UT site), wicked400.dem, and wicked405.dem, both cards demoed in the 85-90 FPS in OpenGL for thunder.dem. The values for the other demos were pretty much identical. I know UT is a lot more CPU limited than Quake 3, but I was expecting at least a small increase using the same config. I don't see any difference between the games in terms of FPS, but that may be more to CPU limitation. As with Quake 3, the game does look nicer in general from what I have seen.

I have tried many things to improve the FPS performance. I have reformatted my hard drive and reinstalled XP twice in the last 5 days. None of this has had any effect. I have moved around RAM and taken out PCI cards. None of this had any noticeable effect. I have turned off services like indexing and other "useless" services. I have been looking in the BIOS for things I might have missed. I have the BIOS set to run AGP 4X with fast writes disabled and Aperture = 128 MB.

I don't want to sound like a whiner as other people are having more serious problems with Radeon 9700 at the moment. However, for as much money as I paid for this card, I was expecting a whole lot more considering how good my TI 200 had treated me.

My questions would be:

- Am I CPU limited by the Radeon 9700?
- Is there any reason why I am running seemingly 15-20% below similar setups?
- Am I just SOL?

Thank you for your time whomever replies to this. I am at a complete loss after trying to improve the performance for 5 days. The card is presently in my machine and I hope to solve/improve the situation soon. Thanks again.
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  1. BIOS version ??
    is your associate running say 98se 'cause 98se will get higher scores in games & benchmarks... set your memory to turbo-mode... why did you disable fast-writes ?? mebbie pray for newer gfx drivers...

    PS A question... how big is the card on your board, I have a 8KHA+ and am getting a 9700 soon, I am concerned that gets in the road of the dimm socket clips (my current board & gfx card means that I have to remove the gfx card B4 I can access the dimm socket 1)...

    no-one shouts louder than someone who is being ignored, or in the case of techies, to be heard over the noise of their PC's ;-)
  2. I'm sorry I can be of no further help than this, but you should also set always twice the amount of Aperture mem than the card's or half the RAM. In this case 256MB or even 382MB would not hurt and in many cases would help.

    I doubt you are CPU limited, even an AXP 1900+ at 1.6GHZ is more than enough to provide very good performance. Something is definitly rotten.

    BIOS Flashing, recent drivers are also to be considered.

    Sorry I could not help more, there are already many having such problems here, so perhaps you are not alone and maybe there will be some fix soon!

    When buying an AthlonXP, please make sure the bus is at 133MHZ, or you will get a lower speed!
  3. You're definitely CPU limited but you should be getting a little higher. Really, if all you play is Quake3 and UT, then you wasted a lot of money on the R9700.

    Intelligence is not merely the wealth of knowledge but the sum of perception, wisdom, and knowledge.
  4. isnt 300W for a PS a little on the low side...considering your setup and that R300 needing all that power!!!!
  5. AMD_Man, my intent was to start purchasing more recent games once I got the Radeon 9700 configured. Max Payne and Jedi Knight 2 were my next purchases come late Sept/early Oct once the cash flow recovers from this purchase. If all goes well, I was looking forward to RTCW or MOH:AA for Christmas.

    In the meanwhile, I'm working on getting a lil higher. I am looking at some BIOS tweaks and other factors. If XP SP1 ever finishes downloading, I may be able to pursue them. Thanks again for your input.

    Peace & God Bless,

    John 14:27 & Numbers 6:24
  6. Marneus, the card did fit, but it was close. The far edge of the board had about a 2 mm clearance from a capacitor on the motherboard. However, it didn't come near any DIMM clips. Since I have an 8KHAL and not an 8KHA+, your mileage may vary since I remember the motherboards being laid out differently. I don't foresee a problem though.

    My BIOS is 6.00 PG dated 05/29/2002. My cohort also has XP, but he has an Abit motherboard. I'm leaning towards the motherboard/BIOS as a huge factor. If XP SP1 ever finishes downloading, I can go tweak it and overclock it potentially.

    Peace & God Bless,

    John 14:27 & Numbers 6:24
  7. Eden, I appreciate the help. I am looking to see how CPU limited I may. Some CPU/memory voltage management is in order. My Aperture size is 128; I will change it to 256 and see if that has any effect. I have many other settings to tweak in my BIOS as well. I will probably also reinstall many drivers (BIOS, ATI VGA, VIA, etc). Thanks for your help.

    Peace & God Bless,

    John 14:27 & Numbers 6:24
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