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9800pro worse with faster CPU

By larg0
Dec 26, 2005
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  1. i just built a new pc with a revised mobo/CPU, but kept the AGP radeon 9800 pro card i had.

    the old pc was:
    ASUS P4PE mobo
    pentium 4 2.4 ghz CPU
    radeon 9800pro

    with 3dmark05 i was getting maybe around 2700 (i dont remember exactly, and i'm away from my comp out of state atm) with the GPU tests.

    now i have:
    asrock dual socket 939 mobo
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16813157081
    AMD 939 3700+ san deigo CPU
    same AGP radeon 9800pro card

    while the cpu score is much higher (obviously) the GPU tests only yield about 1900...there was some AGP setting in the bios which was originally at 64mb (gpu ram), and i moved it up to 128, as my card is a 128mb one.

    whats the deal...why is my videocard doing so much worse? i thought i noticed more lag with lighting effects in F.E.A.R. too...is there some setting i'm missing somewhere? does this mobo deal with AGP cards much worse than the p4pe?

    maybe this post belongs in the mobo forums, but i thought i'd try here first.

    plz help!
  2. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,896

    when you built the new system did you do a clean install of XP? also did you install the mobo drivers? you should also check nd see if the card is operating at AGP 8X.

    what version of catalyst drivers are you running?
  3. larg0

    larg0 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yes, yes, and yes...however now that you mention it i did install the ati drivers off the original cd i had as opposed to dling the most recent

    when i get back home i'll try the newest and see what happens...could this really acount for the 400-800 point drop on 3dmark05?
  4. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,896

    if it is the disk that came with the 9800 Pro then they are pretty old drivers. had you keep the drivers updated to the latest versions before building the new computer? even if you did that would seem like a pretty incredible drop in performance just because of drivers.

    one more thing, in device manager are there any devices with a yellow question mark or yellow triangle beside them? also you might try disabling fast write in the Catalyst control panel. it has been known to cause problems on many systems.
  5. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,198

    Several things to note:
    1) That mainboard has a ULI chipset, which is really not the best performer for AGP. It still should be getting better performance than you are receiving though.

    2) That mainboard supports dual-channel memory configurations. You must have memory in PAIRS of the same size/speed and have them installed correctly. Page 12 of your mainboard manual lists possible population order for memory sticks to enable dual-channel.

    3) As already mentioned, you need to get newer drivers directly from ATI's website. I'd recommend the 5.11's and the 5.12/5.13's have some issues with a few games right now.

    4) Some newer versions of ATI drivers rely on Catalyst AI for 3dmark05 scores being in the "High" setting. Catalyst AI is a set of optimizations specific to benchmarks and some games. You MUST install the CCC version of the drivers to access this feature (which also requires .NET)... or find a 3rd party tweaker/tuner like ATI Tray Tools. ATI has moved some of the optimizations from the default "Normal" to the "High" setting. If you do not install the CCC Version of the drivers, Cat AI will default to "Normal" or "Low" setting.. and this setting now gets lower 3dmark scores... but better tuned for image quality for GAMES. Boy, I wish NVidia had this setting as I'd love to turn off these "optimizations" for 3dmark scores so they don't effect game textures..

    So.. in a nutshell- inspect your mainboard and memory installation to ensure you have dual-channel. Get the 5.11 Catalyst drivers w/ .NET +CCC or 5.11 with Control Panel and ATI Tray Tools. Run 3dmark05 with Cat AI Set to "High" to see if your scores are back where they used to be. You can reset this to "Low" or "Normal" for games though as it improves image quality at the expense of a few frames.
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