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Games running slow on upgraded system


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#1
upspete

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I rebuilt my nephew's pc and it runs games very slowly. They take a very long time to load and they stutter during game play so bad the games are unplayable. I've tried the ati drivers that came with the card, the most recent ones from the ati website and older 5.8 drivers (thoroughly removing the previous ones before installing different ones), but they make no difference. I've set the graphics levels and resolutions in the games very high and very low. I've scanned for spyware and viruses, and defragged. I stop background programs before I run the games. I've tried SWAT 4, COD2 and NFS:Most Wanted Demo, all with similarly poor results. The pc seems to run pretty good otherwise, Although, after I quit a game, it takes awhile before the pc is ready to work on other things. It seems preoccupied with the "quitting process". This pc now runs games worse than it did before I upgraded it! Please help me save face. My nephew is expecting his pc back on his birthday on March 1st! Thanks for any ideas.

Asus K8V-X SE
Athlon 64 3000+
512 mb Corsair ValueSelect DDR RAM
Logisys PS480D Power supply
ATI Radeon X700 pro
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#2
troppo

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look idont no all that much about it but deffinetly some more ram would help maybe try another 512 stick or borrow one of the same speed from somewhere then see if that helps 1 gig is pretty average now days so maybe try that and see if that helps
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#3
comanighttrain

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hmmm. . . more ram and a better graphix card would help
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#4
warriorscot

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Did you remember to reinstall windows.
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#5
upspete

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Well thanks, but I fixed it. I rescanned for viruses and spyware, found a couple of things, got rid of them and system hums along nicely now. I ran NFS: Most Wanted with every graphics option maxxed out and it runs smooth. No hiccups or stutters even with a lot of traffic.
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#6
upspete

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Well that didn't last long. The same problem with games stuttering is back. Do you really think I need to reinstall windows? Do I need to do a complete reformat?
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#7
comanighttrain

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did you turn off the anti virus before you played?

A reformat always helps, but i think the core of the problem is probobly the Ram and the Graphics.
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#8
warriorscot

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If you made any major hardware changes then yes you always need to reinstall windows as otherwise it wont have the proper drivers loaded for the system as it only loads the ones it needs for a specific system configuration if you change it then it needs reinstalled. Primarily motherboard and CPU you can get away with the others sometimes but if you change those its a must.
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#9
upspete

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I reinstalled windows but it didn't help. I also defragged and played around with the agp aperature setting and I tried setting agp to 4x as someone in a different post suggested, all to no avail. I know the specs on this pc aren't stellar but it doesn't seem to matter whether I have the games graphic settings set very low or not, it still stutters. I also have 2 other machines with lower specs than this one and I can get them to run these games without a problem. Another thing I noticed was the pc takes a very long time to do things like load the desktop after windows loads and shutting down. It also takes a long time to become usable after I quit a game. Th hdd led stays on bright and it just chugs away for 3-4 full minutes, unable to do anything until it finishes whatever it is it's doing.
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#10
jrm20

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I reinstalled windows but it didn't help. I also defragged and played around with the agp aperature setting and I tried setting agp to 4x as someone in a different post suggested, all to no avail. I know the specs on this pc aren't stellar but it doesn't seem to matter whether I have the games graphic settings set very low or not, it still stutters. I also have 2 other machines with lower specs than this one and I can get them to run these games without a problem. Another thing I noticed was the pc takes a very long time to do things like load the desktop after windows loads and shutting down. It also takes a long time to become usable after I quit a game. Th hdd led stays on bright and it just chugs away for 3-4 full minutes, unable to do anything until it finishes whatever it is it's doing.


Hey upspete it could be a few things. You said that you rebuilt the system, its possible that the pc has a 5400 rpm harddrive that could be causing the stutter that you see. The x700pro isnt a high end card or the bottom of the line but it has 13.8 Gigabytes per second memory bandwith or (Memory Transfer Rate). Hardly holds onto the mid range cards. The memory is a possible problem. I would suggest getting another 512mb stick which you should not have anything lower than that in todays gaming pc. About the agp aperature setting you tried setting agp to 4x. I dont know what your talking about there. Its going to be listed in Megabytes. Usually ranging from 32 to 256 in the agp aperature. Whatever your video cards ram ammount is set it at the same as the video card or either leave it at 256Mb for the agp aperature in the bios. If the motherboard supports 8x agp then the video card should be running at 8x not 4x. Get the latest service pack updates if you are using xp. You need atleast service pack 1 installed on a win xp system but its very hard to find it. Get service pack 2 if you can. Get the latest video card drivers and direct x of course. If you do all of this or check all of this, since you reformatted the harddrive it should work fine.

If you still have problems then it has to be a hardware problem of some kind, either harddrive going bad etc or possibly cpu, I highly doubt it though.

The only other thing I can think of is if its an amd processor the cpu could be underclocked or set at the wrong setting/multiplier in the bios. Sometimes that happens and you have to manually go into it and change it but not hardly.


Thats all I can think of im just trying to troubleshoot and help you out.
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#11
upspete

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Thanks for the detailed reply. The C drive is a Maxtor 7200rpm. I've also run games off the secondary drive, western digital, also 7200 rpm. I read in an ati forum to try setting the agp to 4x in the bios even if it's an 8x card. It didn't work but I'm trying anything at this point. I have the agp set to 128 mb, it seems to be the most stable setting. I have sp2 installed. I have the latest ati drivers and most recent directx. I've run dxdiag and found no problems. I ran 3dmark03 when I had older drivers installed and got a decent score-better than on my "gaming pc". I'm thinking it's either the memory or the power supply. Should I update the bios? I've never done it before and don't want to screw it up if I don't have to. I'll swap memory with my other pc and see if that helps but do you think that would cause it to get so bogged down when it loads the desktop, shuts down or after quitting games?

the pc takes a very long time to do things like load the desktop after windows loads and shutting down. It also takes a long time to become usable after I quit a game. Th hdd led stays on bright and it just chugs away for 3-4 full minutes, unable to do anything until it finishes whatever it is it's doing.



512 mbs should be enough to load a desktop fairly quickly, no?
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#12
jrm20

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Is the video card a 128mb or a 256mb?

Try the agp aperature at 256mb.


Its not going to be the powersupply because if it was the problem you would have alot of random restarts in games etc..
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#13
warriorscot

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Have you tried the ram from a system that you know works.
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#14
upspete

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Well, it looks like it was the ram. I swapped in the ram from a different pc and it's running fine. Thanks to everyone for your help. I only wish I had tried the ram swap sooner but it's a pain in the neck getting my tower out from under my desk. Turns out that would have been the easiest thing to do.
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