Good Rig - Low Performance

April 13, 2009 at 01:54:32
Specs: Windows XP Pro SP3
I have a fairly good rig but all the games that I play have incredibly low frame rates. I was getting better frame rates from my on board gpu. Also my system makes a noticeable noise when its turned on. The games that I have been playing lately are
1. Counter Strike : Condition Zero
2. Counter Strike : Source
3. Tom clancy rainbow six vegas 1&2
4. C&C - Red Alert 2,3
5. Spiderman web of shadows
6. COD 4
7. Burnout Paradise
8. No One Lives Forever (Contract Jack)
Now believe what I have to say.. The frame rates that I am getting on CS Condition Zero are between 15-25. Even NOLF and Red Alert 2 lag and dont have acceptable frame rates either. Even if a game is running fine for a minute or two, it starts lagging and then it gets frustating. CZ, NOLF, Red Alert 2 are very old games.
ONE INTERESTING THING: My neighbour has the same rig as of mine (except a 3.0 Ghz Dual Core processor) and we share all our games. All the games run at impressive frame rates at his rig and the same game runs very badly on my system.
What can be the problem? I have put in so much money on my system, I could have got a PS3 but.... :-(

System Config.:
CPU :Intel Dual Core 2.8 Ghz
RAM :Transcend 2Gb DDR2
MOBO:Gigabyte GA-945GCM-S2L (gaming series)
GPU :nVidia MSI 8600 GT 512 DDR2
HDD :Seagate 7.2k RPM 500GB SATA
HDD2:Samsung 80 GB ATA
PSU :Intex 400W
Sound card :Onboard
OS: Win XP Pro SP3

The only thing that I never quit is the Anti-Virus (AVAST) rest I close all the programs before beginning with any gaming. Please help.

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April 13, 2009 at 02:02:02
Try closing your antivirus then playing?

If that doesnt do it I had something like this happen once when the fan had broken on my GFX card and it was consequently overheating and running at reduced performance.

I'd check that out next and make sure the fan is working ok/free from dust etc.

If your GFX card needs an extra power connector as a lot of the newer ones do make sure you've connected that up too.

400W is also maybe a little low but it should be ok...

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April 13, 2009 at 04:01:02

the noise issue you will have to track that down.
avast is a light weight AV but it wouldn't harm to temporarily stop services not being used like email scanner and web scanner during games anyway.

Coincidently i have a gigabyte mobo with ide and sata,
when you setup the bios there is an option to run in 'ide' mode on yours its called 'combined' (from your manual) which puts the sata drives into pata mode now i have run my pc with a sata drive and a wd 80 gig ide drive, the 80gig was the original,

i noticed quite a a slow down, so i disconnected the ide and run the pc in full sata mode.
its a lot faster (for games), now this is probably because the old drive has a different sustained data transfer rate than the newer drive. So where have you installed xp ? on the 80gig?. if so move to the sata, drive if possible.

Also check where the page file is, i fiddled around for a while partitioned the sata into two made sure the pagefile isnt fragmented,

& basically i run the new drive only. The 80gig is usefull only as a backup, well mines a desk paperweight.

Additionally update your graphic drivers , nvidia seem to launch a new one every month lately.

And finally ive recently discovered ultimated defrag from distrix its on file, now all i can say is its 'seems' to work ie optimize better than the built in defrag its worth a shot on standard settings.

good luck

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April 13, 2009 at 05:24:47
The 8600GT w/GDDR2 isn't a great card, but it's MUCH better than the crappy GMA950. Make sure you have your BIOS properly configured...don't simply run defaults. Since you refer to your CPU as a dual core & not a Core 2 Duo, I assume you have an 800MHz FSB Pentium D. You should be running DDR2-533 or high rated RAM set to run as DDR2-533. Double check your RAM settings, disable SpeedSetp & all Spread Spectrum options & make sure the GMA950 is disabled.

How are you when it comes to system maintenance? Do you regularly dump temp files, scan for viruses/malware, run defrag, use MSCONFIG to prevent useless programs from loading at startup, keep all your drivers up to date, etc?

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Related Solutions

April 13, 2009 at 09:13:27
Guys thank you very much for your replies. I appreciate that. Let address some of ur questions... I have 2 windows installed on my system. 1 is installed on the 80 gb ATA drive and the other on 500gb SATA. I currently use the 500 gig one. Though I guess the 80 gigs one is the primary HDD and 500gb SATA is the secondary. And I do not run disk defrag. Rest as told by jam, ill try those settings. And I have the latest drivers by nvidia. I keep checking for them every 10 days. And as far as the card's cooling is concerned, its cooled by a copper heat sink, there is no fan involved. It has a big fat copper heat sink and takes place of double slots. Other than that please I am looking for more of your suggestions. Thanks.

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April 14, 2009 at 11:39:07
have you disabled On Board Graphics in the BIOS? using an add-in GPU when the mobo is still trying to use integrated graphics can sometimes cause problems.

I agree your 400W PSU might be a bit low, especially if it is a no name brand and is 4 years old.

These are all hardware specific. It's hard to "fix" hardware problems without spending money to replace said hardware. Hopefully your problem is just because it's a very old Windows installation and you just need to clear out the old junk files and prevent so many services and applications from starting when you boot up (like Jam said).

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April 14, 2009 at 15:44:53
I'm going to have to correct Msg 1 and Msg 5.

The 400W PSU should be fine as long as it's has a decent 12v amp rating. People tend to get too caught up in watts instead of 12v amps. A 400W PSU with a good 12v amp ratings is better then a 550W PSU with a crappy 12v amp rating.

Your card is well under the load limits for watts.

GeForce 8600 GT (256 MB)

2D watts - 20.6
3D watts Full Load - 46.1
Amps - 3.8

Iron Sharpens Iron.

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April 14, 2009 at 21:44:17
Tried a couple of things, not working!!!!
Well from the BIOS I have the initial display set to PCI and also this is a fresh copy of Windows XP Pro SP3 (installed it a month back)
@ cobra : This 8600GT - 512 MB and not 256 MB
How do I check the voltage thing??
and yea, my PSU is like 3-4 yrs old.
@ jam : How do I check the RAM ratings and how do I change them?

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April 15, 2009 at 01:22:29
it doesn't matter if it's 256mb or 512mb it's still drawing the same watts.

Iron Sharpens Iron.

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April 15, 2009 at 08:41:49
Okay, I'm not an expert, but I have dealt with some gaming issues. This might not be your problem but if you have a professional look at the system they might be able to tell you. A lot of computer games leak kernel memory. I have the GeForce 8600GT card myself and learned that it's actually only got half the memory (correct me if I'm wrong someone!!) the other half it gets from using CPU Ram. At least that's what I was told when I queried graphics and lagging issues on my PC. It's possible that your friends slightly larger hard drive is able to make up for these differences.

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