Need help with current build, I've worked hard, now I'm dissapointed

jazzy763

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Apr 13, 2009
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After years of tinkering with system, I finally started to play games on it. Now, I am dissappointed at the systems performance. I do understand that the harddware is dated, and that there is bigger and better out there. So, please if we can, work with what I have, that would be great. If there is an ultimate culprit..ie graphics card, cpu, or just everything than I guess thats the way it is. I will just have to start planning my next build.

PSU: Ultra x3 1000w
CPU: Intel Extreme Edition 965. 3.73ghz (stock clock) 4.3 Oc'ed
Board: Intel D975xbx v.302
Memory: 4x DDR2 Mushkin 2048 = 8gigs @ 667mgz and 4-4-4-12 timings
HDD: 4 x Seagate 7200.10 320gigs in a raid 0
Video: 2 x SAPPHIRE HD2900pro's GDDR 4 with 1024 each OC'ed GPU to 832MHz and Memory to 1104MHz .....Crossfire enabled.
Cooling system: Koolance Exos 2 liquid cooling. Cooling the Cpu, Graphics Cards and Memory. In addition, I have 2 120mm fans in a push/pull config from front to rear, the 120mm fan from the Psu on top and a 80mm fan blowing in from the side toward the Cpu.
OS: Vista Ultimate 64
CCC: 9.4
Monitor: Samsung 19" @ 1400x900 res
M.S. base score 5.5

All drivers, updates, bios and patches are all up to date within the last 2 weeks.

My very first game was Cysis. I got it this Christmas. With the auto setting at medium, the game was playable. Although every so often would crash blaming the ati driver.
My next game is GTA IV. This has game has given me a lot of trouble. Crashing often both with blue screen and driver failure.

To start, I turn on my computer and wait about 15mins or so. Then I turn off all apps including Nortons. I turn on FRAPS. I start the game. Start up screens go as high as 3000fps...and then the game starts in the safehouse my fps drop to between 60 and 34fps I then walk outside and it drops again to anywhere from 37 to 17fps. This is with everything set on low.

This is annoying at best. Two days ago I had a GTA marathon I played for 10 hours straight. So thats about 12hours of computer up time. For breaks and such. I averaged about 20fps. The cpu averaged about 75% capacity @ 48c my ram only hit a max of 3gigs, my cards hit a max temp of 48c with a room temp of 25c. I have added 10c to the Cpu reading because the sensor is on the outside of the chip.

A few questions:
My motherboard's PCiE's go down to 8x, 8x with two cards inserted. Would I get very different results with a board the does 16x, 16x?

In GTA IV, in the grahics section, there is a memory reading, it says that Im using 512 of 1028 available. Should'nt is say 512 out of 2048 (crossfire enabled)? Each graphics card has a 1gig of gddr4 mem.

My motherboard says it supports a max of 8gigs of ram. Does that include the Graphics cards ram?

If I turn off crossfire, I get just about the same readings. (yes, I've tried both cards) Anyone?


I guess the biggest questions are: Is there a way to tweek the current system to get more performance? If I have to chage an item, which would give me the best results?....new motherboard with current cpu, graphics cards and new faster mem or new graphics card with current set up

Thank you in advance for your help
 

affinitydesigns

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Apr 13, 2009
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Yes your graphics card is quite dated. You will probably want to bump up your card. An ATI 4850 should run you about $120 and significantly improve performance. However, some newer games cannot be run at high or ever medium settings without some extreme graphic solution.(Crysis)

If you do decide to take my advice and get a 4850(or above), make sure you do not crossfire with the 2900's. Crossfire only runs as fast as the slowest card.

Your processor is a little dated, but should not be the biggest bottleneck of your system.


 

jazzy763

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Apr 13, 2009
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Its starting to look like if I want to make a change with out doing a whole new build, the graphics cards are first. I was just wondering if the MB was holding me back more than the graphics cards. The last two comments were about the cysis game.......I thought that crysis was a more intense game than grand theft auto IV...I was able to enjoy myself on Med setting with crysis but only on low with GTA. Is GTA more graphics intense???
 

affinitydesigns

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Games mix a variance of both CPU and GPU. Some games require more CPU power than GPU power such as GTA. Having a weaker dual core processor will effect the game. It's all on a game to game basis.
 

Zenthar

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+1 On my stock E8400, my CPU is pretty much maxed-out all the time when playing GTA IV, but if the CPU only gets to ~75% it should be "ok"; so my guess is definitely the GPUs. I can't remember how efficient the 2900 Pro was in CF moreover on x8 PCI-E, but based on Tom's charts, 2 HD2900 Pro should be at best as good as a single 4850.

So for a nice boost, I would suggest a 4870.
 

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