pc bottlenecked, what to upgrade?

July 25, 2010 at 05:37:35
Specs: Windows 7
I'm trying to find out if my pc is being bottlenecked by something I can easily upgrade or if its time for a new mobo / processor.
i'm running a HP Pavilion Media Center m8400f Desktop
tech specs found on link.

I have upgraded the powersupply to 500w. and the video card to an ATI 5670.

I can run the new games like MW2 and BF2 and APB with playable frame rates but i'm looking to improve them so i can play on higher graphic settings.

I'm running windows 7 ultimate 32 bit. and 3 gb of ram. I can only have 4gb of ram on the 32 bit os and dont think 1 gb will make that big of an improvement.

I'm thinking of upgradeing to windows 7 64bit and installing new ram to bump me to 6-8gb.
Will this make a big improvement for gaming or a small one??

but i'm not sure if the Phenom-9500 (A) 2.2 GHz (95W) processor is still good enough to run everything or will I be wasting my time and money upgrading this system??

GeForce 6150SE nForce 430
Manufacturer: ECS
Motherboard Name: MCP61PM-HM
HP/Compaq motherboard name: Nettle3-GL8E

dont know much about chipset and MOBO to tell if they could be a problem or not so i included there specs above.

My windows rating is over 7 in the game graphics and my lowest spec is 5.8 for my Hard drives. but running benchmark software gives me pretty low scores compared to other people.

Any information / suggestions are welcome.
I am sick of running games at medium settings with 30fps. If i have to leave it at medium i at least want 60fps.

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July 25, 2010 at 06:04:07

Look at this article about video cards. I don't know much about vid cards, but when gaming, that's the most important element. I think going to the 64 bit version of win 7 would be a waste of time and money. Your system specs seem fine, all except for the video card. You would probably be better off with the Radeon 4850. Wait for others who know more about this than me.

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July 25, 2010 at 06:10:24
Well the ati 5670 is a new card, recently released and just perchased and installed by me, installing the card improved the system enough to play new games like mw2 and bf2 and APB. and since my gameing graphics in windows rateing is my highest rating, sitting over 7, i think it was 7.5(not at home to check right now) the graphics card has good reviews and may not be very top of the line, but it should get the job done if everything else is up to par.

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July 25, 2010 at 06:13:05
I also have a gtx240 sitting around at home, its slower then the ati 5670 and the gtx 240 is listed in the article you have linked.

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Related Solutions

July 25, 2010 at 06:15:05
When I check games on Can I run it . com It always tells me my pc is way over recommended and everything should be great, as this is not quite the case i'm looking for the culprit.

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July 25, 2010 at 06:19:00
u need better v-card (geforce 250gts or hd5770).
Upgrading ram or change os to 64bit won't improve gaming perfomance.
Hd 5670 can run mw2 max settings aa 4 or 2.
Which games? And mention resolution u are using.
List psu specs +3.3v, +5v, +12v.

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July 25, 2010 at 06:32:14
Your specs are fine. They far exceed the the requirements for the 3 games you listed. If you're having problems, it's more likely a software issue than a hardware issue.

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July 25, 2010 at 06:34:13
u need better v-card (geforce 250gts or hd5770).


Hd 5670 can run mw2 max settings aa 4 or 2.

you make no sense, first the card is the problem then the card is fine to run mw2 on max settings.

let me re-iterate, I know the card is upto par i can toss it in my other rig and things are smokin. I'm looking for the bottle neck in the hardware on this computer. If you dont know what your talking about plz dont reply. TY

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July 25, 2010 at 06:40:25
Jam I thought the same thing so I reinstalled windows 7 on a fresh HD, formatted and installed, new HD. And things are still the same, so it can't be software related. so Now i'm looking at the hardware, esp the processor and MB. i know my MB can only run ddr2 ram and not the newer ddr3, the process or is about 2 years old and not sure if the phenom was every good or not.

looking up the MB specs i can upgrade my processor to a
Athlon 64 X2 with Dual Core technology up to 5600+
then installed win 7 64 bit and upgrade to 8 mb of the Corsair TWIN2X4096-6400C5C 4GB XMS2 PC2-6400 800Mhz 240-pin Dual Channel DDR2 Desktop Memory.

this would cost a grand total of about $150, but i'm not sure if it will be that big of an improvement as this setup is still a bit dated.

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July 25, 2010 at 06:52:06
u won't be able to run modern games (high settings) with hd 5670, if u don't believe try just cause 2.

"Iam sick of running games @ medium settings with 30fps"
i notice the problem that why i said hd 5670 can run mw2 high settings aa 2 or 4 (i run it max settings with 9600gt 1gb)

Next time don't be rude.

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July 25, 2010 at 07:04:32
well we must not be following each other then b/c if i'm running the ati 5670 with MW2 at MEDIUM settings with no aa or mabey 2 at the highest and i'm getting crappy frames per second still. then how the hell is it the vid card if you say it can run the same game at Higher settings then i posted i was useing? again your logic has lost me.

further more you state the updgrading ram in a computer has no effect on gaming which is completly false.

i don't want to have an argument on a tech form lets just say i disagree with you and am hoping someone else will offer different advice, TY

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July 25, 2010 at 07:26:30
Iam gamer, i know this things.
U already have 3gb of memory, upgrading ram to 6gb or 8gb won't improve anything (gaming).
I know it's not hd 5670 fault but since u enjoy running newer titles using high settings that why i suggest new v-card.
Did u try updating v-card driver?
Use gpu-z to check if the card is running x16.

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July 25, 2010 at 07:45:30
yes, drivers are updated, its running 16x.

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July 25, 2010 at 07:59:10
try install v-card driver without catalyst. Check gpu temp. U mentioned gt 240, have u try to install it? There are 2 version of gt240, gt240 with gddr5, gt240 with gddr3, which one do u have?

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July 25, 2010 at 08:08:30
Your motherboard is based on an old nForce 400 series chipset (nForce 430). It was originally introduced about 5 yrs ago for the S939 A64. NVIDIA's currently into the nForce 900 series, so your board is 5 generations old. Boards based on the 6150/430 chipset combo have been fitted with DDR3 slots & are still being sold today, but I don't know why anyone would buy one considering all the newer/better options available.

Your CPU is one of the "bad" Phenoms - "the problem is with the CPU’s translation lookaside buffer (TLB) and L3 cache, and can cause system crashes and data corruption." The 9500 & the 9600 were the only Phenoms to have this problem. Once it was identified, AMD rushed to fix it. The "new" Phenoms all had "50" added to their model model to identify them as the fixed version...9550, 9650, 9750, etc.

AMD Phenom is BROKEN

BTW, the transition to DDR3 is not all it's cracked up to be, at least not for AMD. Intel's Core i7 & it's derivatives can take full advantage of it, but there's little performance difference between DDR2-1066 & DDR3-1333 in AMD's lineup. The memory controller in your CPU can handle up to DDR2-1066, ideally, that's what you should be running. But it's not worth repacing your DDR2-800.

That'll give you an idea where your current CPU/board/RAM config stands.

Regardless of the above, your system *should* play the games you mentioned without any problems at all. Are you sure you're not installing something that's bogging the system down? Are you installing the latest NVIDIA chipset drivers & the lastest ATI graphics drivers? Which anti-virus program are you running? Did you install a bunch of programs that load at startup (AIM, Yahoo, iTunes, QuickTime, Adobe, Nero, printer/scanner/camera software, etc)?

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July 25, 2010 at 08:23:51
at this time i have nothing but windows 7 and the 3 games i mentioned before installed. Im not even sure i'm running the ddr2 800, ram installed is what came with pc and i have not looked to see the speed yet. From what i've read my motherboard only supports upto the ddr2 800mhz ram and nothing more. If the phenom is the problem, do you know what the best processor i could drop into this motherboard is? all i've been able to find says the athlon 64 5600+ which is also showing as slower then my current cpu in benchmarks. I will be running some benchmarks when i get home to try to find the issue, If the problem is the chipset on the motherboard as you said its 5 generations old, would a new motherboard with a new chipset improve preformance greatly or just a little? do you know?

ty for the response. Will look further into the MOBO and processor when i get home.

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July 25, 2010 at 08:37:33
kuwese- i have the gt 240 gddr5, i have installed this card and played games and get slightly lower preformance then with the ati 5670 1g. Either card should run the games above what i have them set as. I can put either card in my other computer and run them just fine for the games I play. I'm trying to find the bottle neck that is causeing the issue, it lyies somewhere in this computer and not the video cards. As i've reformatted the pc, tried win xp, vista, and 7 with no real changes Im trying to find out what is slowing down the video card.

After reading jam's last post I do believe its the processor / motherboard (mabey both) that are just old, old chip set and crappy processor probably working together to ruin my good time.

I will run some benchmarks on the process or chipset in a few hours and see how they add up. If they are way under par then i will know the problem. If not I will keep looking.

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July 25, 2010 at 08:58:43
did u read this
"Regardless of the above, your system *should* play the games u mentioned without any problems at all*

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July 25, 2010 at 09:01:52
ati 5670-



these are the 2 cards i have and have used in the computer, both on fresh installs. cards work good, but the games are running much slower then they should be.

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July 25, 2010 at 09:10:49
yep I did. And i agree that with the specs on my pc the games should have no problems at all but they do. but as i've already ruled out software, ie fresh install on formated drive. only the games are installed on the pc.... I can't see how software would be an issue. I use updated drivers directly from the ati / nvida webistes. but theres nothing i can do at the moment, as soon as i can run some tests on the pc i'll post back.

the last benchmard i tried was 3dmark 06 and i scored about a 9000, i saw an average of 15000 for most people with the high end machines pushing 25000, so being so far under the pack, it has to be some hardware. I will run again and view details to find out what lagging behind.

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July 25, 2010 at 09:11:14
The system came with 8500gt, did u have any issues witg 8500gt?
The reason i told to swap v-card is, i suspect v-card driver issues but nvidia driver react the same as ati driver. So it isn't.

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