Plz humour another bottleneck question :)

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Hey guys,

I'm pretty noob when it comes to this stuff, so bear with me.

I recently installed a Powercolor 4890, and a new Vantec 520W PSU.

The performance has been pretty bad, spiking as low as 50 fps in CoD4 and in CoD5, forget about it - 20-30fps.

After pretty extensive googling, I have come to realise the problem is most likely a CPU bottleneck.

I'm running an Athlon 64 X2 4200+, 2GB DDR2-800 RAM and a 17" monitor.

My question is would you expect that CPU to bottleneck the card? And will an Athlon 2 X2 240 fix the problem?

I'm on a really tight budget so cant really get a better chip than that.
 

JofaMang

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It is tough to say for sure, though you should be doing better than 20-30fps min even with that older processor. What is the Resolution that you are running? Are your temps stable on the CPU? I just installed a much lesser video card in a computer with very similar specs (same CPU and amount/speed of RAM), and he was playing wow and CoD4 with great fluidity afterwards.

Since you didn't mention your OS or if you did a clean install of it, to help diagnose the issue, I would suggest doing so. A clean install on a formatted HDD, that is properly updated with the newest drivers for your card downloaded and installed is the first thing I do when having issues of the sort.
 

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i'm running 1280x1024 - which is unfortunately the max for my monitor.

I'm running Windows XP, maybe i'll try format the C and reinstall windows.

My 8500GT which I previously had in was actually getting better fps at low settings than I am now. This is why I think maybe the CPU cant drive the card.
 

JofaMang

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Now that is a coincidence: the computer I put another card into last weekend had an 8500gt that died (fan died and the card burned itself out), but was running vista. I installed a 4670, with a 380w coolmax PSU, 4200+ not-oc, and 2gb 800mhz ram. It ran like a champ at higher resolutions than what you are running.

Definitely resintall windows, update, and drivers. Clean out your case with compressed air. If there is any buildup under the CPU fan, remove the fan (not the heatsink) to get at what might be under there. The drop in FPS AFTER you are already running faster might be attributable to a buildup, and eventual downclock, to protect itself from overheating.

If after all that you are still being dissapointed, try return the card for exchange/refund. You should be doing better than what you are gettings.
 

macelo

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Yes your CPU is the bottleneck. I had the same CPU and upgraded from a 7900GS to a 9800gtx+ and noticed very little improvement. When I upgrade to an i7 920 my frames shot through the roof.

That being said. I had a 450w power supply with my x2 4200+ setup and my 9800gtx+ would have to downclock every once in a while because it wasnt getting enough power, leading to horrible drops in framerate. That may be your problem also. 4890 uses a lot more power than a 9800gtx+
 

JofaMang

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He should still be seeing an improvement over an 8500GT, which he isnt, which means that something else is wrong. Probably a driver issue, but I have always had difficulty installing ATI cards to replace Nvidia without doing a windows re-install, due to resilient driver issues.
 

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ati recommend a 500W PSU, I got myself a decent 520W with good amps on the combined rails, so I don't think its that tbh. not rly powering much off it.

will try a clean windows install, but i must say seems like macelo had the same issue - same chip. makes me think more that an upgrade is gonna be the only solution :(