At my wits' end...losing!

By absinthe
Aug 10, 2002
  1. Poor FPS in Medal of Honor 2 and other games

    You guys are all probably pretty sick of my same old question, but I thought I'd give it one last try because no one's really tried to answer it.
    Here are my system specs:

    AMD Athlon 1700 (1.47Ghz)
    512MB DDR RAM
    Shuttle AK31A mobo
    VisionTek GeForce 4Ti 4400 128MB DDR
    40GB Maxtor HD
    Sound Blaster Live! 5.1
    AOpen 52x CD-ROM
    Sony 24x CD-RW
    10x100 NIC

    And my problem: I absolutely CANNOT under any circumstances get more than 96 fps in any game, at any resolution. Medal of Honor runs at a max of 96, even at 640x480 with all the settings turned down. I know vertical sync isn't the problem because I have that turned off. I have AGP 4x enabled in my BIOS, the latest drivers installed, and a fairly good system (as you can see above). I'm angry about this problem, because my card is performing like a Geforce 2. At times I get 30 or even 20 fps in games. That should not happen when I've got the 2nd best video card chipset on the market. Turning down the settings/resolution doesn't seem to matter, I get the EXACT same fps in games.
    Normally I wouldn't care about FPS, I'm not too fussy, but in some games (Morrowind, for example) it actually gets jerky enough to be distracting, and after all the money I've spent recently on putting together this new system, I want something that's going to run games FAST, at least for a few months, not something that runs like it's two years old.
    My point is, with the above system, at a reasonable resolution, I should be getting at least 40 FPS (at the very worst).
    Does anyone have any clues as to what might be causing the slow performance?
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,573   +65

    First off all, no need for pleas. We all care about your problems equally as much without them.. :eek: I changed your topic to reflect the subject matter better.. So people who actually know something about the topic will read and reply.

    Secondly, I certainly would not be worried about 96fps, but those 20's and 30's sound pretty bad. Also, you should have mentioned what OS you are running and what drivers you are using so we can narrow our help.

    When you try low resolution with low textures and still get frame rates, it means the problem lies with your processor speed. This confirms my hunch that your CPU is the limiting factor here.

    The problem isn't your CPU though, it should be plenty... Truth is though, it is not enough to make up for poor driver optimization, sub-par programming or super high quality settings in next generation games. So you might want to play with some options, get the latest game update patches and drivers.. etc.. Something as simple as a mistake in settings/configuration or a problem on the programmer's part can easily make a game run like crap on any system.

    Turning off, or setting some things on "low" isn't a shameful practice. Try lowering or disabling your anisotropic filtering (if you have it turned on), make sure you do NOT have FSAA enabled and you might want to lower/disable shadows in your games because shadowing uses a lot of CPU. I would lower CPU intensive things likes shadows, specular highlights, lightmaps, geometry/object detail and the like until you've isolated your problem. This will help on the performance angle and shouldn't ruin your graphical experience much.

    I recommend you find some tweaking guides to help you out. There should be a few that would interest you on this very site.

    The jerkiness you get in Mirrowind catches my attention though. Isn't that a 2D game, like Baldur's Gate? Rather than video card, I would assume that uses more memory/hard disk/CPU than anything, so I would narrow the problem down to those things. Once again, updates and new graphics drivers may resolve these problems, so look for them if you haven't already.

    I have an Athlon XP 1.33Ghz
    ATI Radeon 64DDR
    512mb DDR
    MSI K7T266 Pro2
    80Gb/120Gb Western Digital hard disks
    Soundblaster Live

    And I never see 20fps in ANY games at lower resolutions, and you'll notice my CPU is slower and my video card is barely 1/4th the speed of yours in benchmarks. So I'm convinced that your problem is a configuration problem and not a limtation of the hardware itself.

    Among things you should update are your video card drivers (most definitely!), your chipset drivers (Could be an AGP problem) and even your soundcard while you are at it.

    You might want to change some system settings as well, such as disabling AGP 4x fast writes in the BIOS if have them turned on it. Many systems don't agree with 4x fast writes and it can actually make games run slower if something's wrong.
  3. dylman

    dylman TS Rookie

    Morrowind is full 3D, not only that, it is probably the most demanding game on hardware yet released, due to both the graphical beauty of the game, and a shoddy 3D engine that draws everything, even the things you can't see.

    To absinthe: Morrowind being jerky is absolutely normal. Many people built powerful Pentium4+Geforce4 systems especially to play the game, and started crying when they bought it and realised they were only getting 15-20fps in the towns and cities.

    Great game though :)
  4. absinthe

    absinthe TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks a lot for your very thoughtful and helpful reply. You're right about one thing, I should have been a bit more specific when I wrote it up, but it was like 3am :)
    Anyway, I'm using the latest NVIDIA Detonator drivers (the 30.xx ones released on August 7th) and Windows XP Home edition. Fast writes are turned off in my BIOS, I have my AGP aperture size set to 128MB (the size of the DDR RAM in my video card) and AGP speed set to 4x. For some reason it seems occasionally that my video performance is slightly improved if I set the AGP speed to 1x.

    Regarding your suggestion that I turn down settings, I have a tale for you that you won't believe. This problem is really the weirdest computer problem I've EVER had. Usually bad framerates were solved by a simple driver update. But right now, even when I turn ALL the settings down and put the game at the lowest resolution, I still get the same basic framerate. Basically what I'm saying is, settings/resolution don't seem to make much of a difference in my performance in games. That goes for Medal of Honor, Morrowind, Jedi Knight II, and anything else you can name. I've also got all the latest patches for all of these games.

    RE: Morrowind, it IS actually a 3D game. Very good role playing game by the way if you like that sort of thing.

    My take on this problem is it's gotta be related to my BIOS. My mobo BIOS is a year old, and the driver disc that ships with it only has Windows 2000 drivers (nothing for Windows XP) and I notice a lot of features that should be there like side-band addressing and whatnot are absent from the BIOS. So I'm thinking a BIOS update could be the answer to my problem...unfortunately, I'm scared to update my BIOS because I don't want to wreck my system. :)

    One thing is for certain, the limiting factor in performance in this case should NOT be my video card. And logic dictates that it really shouldn't be my CPU either. I'm stumped.
  5. McNab

    McNab TS Rookie

    heres another one for ya
    this is my system:
    AMD Athlon(tm) 64bit processor 3200+
    1gig ddr 400mhz ram
    Radeon 9600 series graphics card
    sound blaster live sound card
    chaintech vnf3-250 mother board
    2x 120gig maxtor hdd
    windows xp pro

    now for the funny part, with all this my fps in call of duty: united offensive drops below 30 pretty much all the time. I am blessed when if it gets over 60 which happens once a blue moon. It is only in games this happens the same as absinthe. The rest of the time my pc is as fast as can be. I have now been told by several people that it is my mother board, if it was any thing else the entire system would suffer.

    oh yeh one last thing, that graphics card is new so i know it aint that cause it did it on the old one. all latest drivers are installed.

    so any suggestions on what settings it might be or should i just splash out on a new board??
  6. butcher

    butcher TS Rookie

    Same thing

    I have a 6600GT and it started giving the same problems in one of my pc´s a amd 64 3000 mhz with 1gb ram, on an asus board. All was ok but suddently it started giving only 20 fps even setting all game settings to low, in any 3d game.

    I didnt´ do nothing to pc, (driver´s etc) it just stayed like that, after some weeks i had to move the graphic card to other pc, due to a disk failure, that pc is where i am now and still i have the same problem, 20 fps never more. one day i tried with another graphic´s card equal to mine from a friend and the same thing happen´s, 20 fps.

    It can´t be from de motherboard because on my amd 64 with the asus, it happened suddently, im waiting for the new disk to make a clean install and see what will happen.

    Most probable conclusion WINDOWS equals to ****, NVIDIA equals to ****!

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