TechSpot

CPU bottlenecking?

By Shaft
May 19, 2002
  1. I just dropped a Geforce 4 ti4400 into my comp, and in some games (Wolfenstien, Max Payne) the framerate drops into the 20s when I'm in a large, open area. Could my processor be bottlenecking me or is there another solution? I'm getting 6490 3D Marks in 3D Mark 2001, by the way.

    Windows 98SE
    Pentium III 1ghz
    512 mb ram
    Geforce 4 ti4400
    Soundblaster Live! Value
    8x/40x DVD-ROM
    4x4x24 CDRW
    40gb Western Digital 7200rpm HD (for games/mp3s)
    13.6gb Western Digital 5400rpm HD (for system files, programs)
    Linksys network card (128k DSL)
    3com 56k modem
     
  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 6,305   +52 Staff Member

    I would imagine the Geforce 4 you have would put that game to shame (At least at decent resolutions). Of course, you didn't state the resolution you're using, so if it is anything higher than 1600x1200, this could be a slight problem. I have very little to gauge it on, except my "ancient" ATI Radeon DDR 64mb rips through Wolfenstien in 1024x768 and runs very smoothly in 1280x1024 except in a spot or two where it is very wide open.

    See if it slows down while you have it in 640x480 resolution. If it does slow down still, it is your CPU. If it doesn't slow down, it is your video card.

    If it is your CPU, turn off or lower shadow complexity (If that is an option, it's been awhile since I've played). In most cases, shadowing offers a huge performance hit and might make the game run smoother if turned off.

    If it is your video card, you'll want to use a lower resolution or turn down the textures a wee bit.
     
  3. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    My resolution is 800x600x32, so it's not a simple problem like that.
     
  4. JAV

    JAV TS Rookie Posts: 264

    Shaft,

    You might try this for your CPU: http://cpu.rightmark.org/ & this for you system: www.freshdiagnose.com Hopefully either/both might give some 'tips' on optimizing. I've had good luck with the 29.20 driver ( www.guru3d.com ) maybe you will too.

    Is this a new install & maybe you're having compatibility problems with the old drivers? "Detenator Destroyer" @ www.guru3d.com will remove all traces of previous drivers. :cool:

    HTH,
     
  5. Th3M1ghtyD8

    Th3M1ghtyD8 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 794

    It could be the CPU that is the limiting factor. I have seen this in the past on a PII 400Mhz a GF2MX scored around 1000 3dmarks, whereas a Duron 1Ghz with the same card scored 2500 3dmarks.
     
  6. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    I made a mistake on my system specs, both of my hard drives are 7200 RPM...if that matters in this situation.
     
  7. JAV

    JAV TS Rookie Posts: 264

  8. TS | Crazyace

    TS | Crazyace TS Rookie Posts: 329

    No, the CPU is not the limiting factor in this case.

    What type of card did u upgrade from?
    If it was NOT nvidia, you need to reformat asap.

    How long ago has it been since a reformat?
    Have you upgraded anything like your motherboard without reformating?

    This system u describe should play those games at 1280x1024 32bit laughing all the way man
     
  9. TS | Crazyace

    TS | Crazyace TS Rookie Posts: 329

    O forgot to ask:
    What type of motherboard do you have?

    If its a VIA based board, the 4 in 1 drivers will increase performance by %40

    ALSO - You need to grab COOLBITs and overclock that card a bit.
    You can get it in our NEW files section that I just finished uploading to :) (when it officially comes out that is)
     
  10. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    I upgraded from a Hercules Geforce 2 MX 64 mb, so the drivers shouldn't have a conflict.

    I put my larger HD in less than 6 months ago, so that's when it was formatted.

    I have an Intel SE 440BX-3 motherboard that came with my comp.
     
  11. JAV

    JAV TS Rookie Posts: 264

    Shaft,

    Since the GF2 MX400 is an entirely different architecture than the GF4 Ti4400, I'd use 'Detenator Destroyer' & remove all traces of the Hercules GF2 Driver. Use uninstall (if available), add/remove programs & DD for a clean install of the MSI GF4 Ti4400 driver. ;)

    I can't find a BX-3 @ Intel, but this may be of interest/help: http://support.intel.com/support/motherboards/desktop/se440bx2/ I didn't look to see the specs ... does that board support AGP4x or only 2x ?

    HTH,
     
     
  12. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    I really appreciate your assistance.

    I think the mobo is basically an enhanced BX-2, possibly made just for Dell. It supports AGP 2x only.

    I just gave everything a complete clean install and used different drivers (27.50), which, ironically solved my nview problem. I've yet to check on performance.
     
  13. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,568   +103

    Re: I really appreciate your assistance.

    This is always something I do when I have a problem that just doesn't seem to go away with normal fixes. One thing you could have tried first is to use the detonator destroyers to remove the old drivers before reinstalling ( available at www.guru3d.com ).
    Sometimes uninstalling DirectX and reinstalling can help too.
    Glad you got it sorted out though. Let us know if you have achieved a reasonable increase in video performance ;)
     
  14. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    I did the detonater destroyer thing before, and it helped my other problem.

    I dled that application accelerator, but it says I need an 800 series processor and it won't install.

    I did a little experiment in Max Payne. I was running it with the settings on high, so I tried it on low...same problem. The large areas really slow things down no matter the detail level. I barely had any performance hit with higher resolutions and high detail.

    I also installed newer motherboard drivers and overclocked my vid card (to 300/650 from 275/550), so it's essentially as fast as a ti4600. From the looks of things the card isn't the problem...thank god ;).
     
  15. JAV

    JAV TS Rookie Posts: 264

    Shaft,

    Hmmm. Hub controller bottleneck? Strange. Strange the "AA" didn't install (it did on my 810E & 500 Celeron) & strange on the low frame rates even at lower resolutions. :confused:

    I think you're right: it isn't the card > it's the system. I *think* the BX chipset & it's 2xAGP coupled w/a possibly slow controller is the problem, BUT I don't know.

    SiSoftware Sandra or Fresh Diagnose will tell you your bus, hub, AGP, PCI (sound card right?), CPU, RAM, USB & IEEE1394 speeds, along with a lot of other useful info. Maybe just looking at the #'s will shed some light on where the system is bogging down. ;)

    Arris has another thread where he has some excellent info on the GF cards. I hope he can help you, cuz I'm a tad stumped > to be honest. Those #'s will probably help him too.

    Arris? Could you enlighten us both? :D
     
  16. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    AGP speed is 66 mhz, PCI is 33 mhz. My sound card is an SB Live Value. FSB is 100 mhz (I've heard it's overclockable to 124, but I don't want to try). AGP version is 2.0.
     
  17. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    SiSoft Sandra report.

    CPU & BIOS Information

    Notice N224: System BIOS : SMBIOS/DMI information may be
    inaccurate.
    Tip T207: System BIOS : A SMBIOS/DMI 2.3 or later compliant BIOS
    is recommended. Check for a BIOS update.
    Tip T212: System BIOS : BIOS can be shadowed so check whether it
    is.
    Warning W214: System BIOS : BIOS is flash-able but surface-mounted.
    An unsuccessful flash may be fatal.
    Tip T210: Processor 1 : Mainboard supports faster CPUs, so the
    CPU can be upgraded when needed.
    Notice N224: Processor 1 : SMBIOS/DMI information may be
    inaccurate.
    PCI, AGP, CardBus Buses Information

    Warning W1206: Intel Corporation 82443BX/ZX 440BX/ZX PCI to AGP
    Bridge : PCI latency too high. Device could hog the
    bus for too long.
    Warning W1206: Bridgecom Inc Linksys LNE100TX Fast Ethernet Adapter :
    PCI latency too high. Device could hog the bus for too
    long.
    Video System Information

    Tip T316: Default Monitor : Use a Energy Star (DPMS) power
    saving monitor.
    Warning W332: Default Monitor : Use a Plug & Play/DDC compatible
    monitor and video adapter.
    Tip T327: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) : Reduce colour depth to improve video
    performance. 16-bit may be enough.
    Tip T322: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) : Turn off screen savers. Use the monitor power
    saving mode.
    Tip T323: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) : Remove the desktop wallpaper to save memory
    and improve performance.
    Tip T325: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) : Turn off window animation to reduce delays.

    Drives Information

    Warning: 1.44MB 3.5" (A:) : Cannot obtain drive information;
    check that a disk is in the drive and it is correctly
    formatted.
    Tip T1822: Hard Disk (C:) : DMA transfers improve performance.
    Enable it if possible.
    Tip T1821: Hard Disk (C:) : Label (name) drive.
    Warning W1802: Hard Disk (C:) : Large cluster sizes waste disk space.
    Break drive into smaller partitions or use FAT32.
    Tip T1803: Hard Disk (C:) : Increase max. disk cache. It should
    be at least 25% of system memory.
    Tip T1805: Hard Disk (C:) : Change typical role to 'Network
    Server' to improve disk performance.
    Tip T1813: Hard Disk (C:) : Scan drive for errors at least
    weekly.
    Tip T1814: Hard Disk (C:) : Optimise drive at least monthly.
    Tip T1822: Hard Disk (D:) : DMA transfers improve performance.
    Enable it if possible.
    Tip T1821: Hard Disk (D:) : Label (name) drive.
    Warning W1802: Hard Disk (D:) : Large cluster sizes waste disk space.
    Break drive into smaller partitions or use FAT32.
    Tip T1803: Hard Disk (D:) : Increase max. disk cache. It should
    be at least 25% of system memory.
    Tip T1805: Hard Disk (D:) : Change typical role to 'Network
    Server' to improve disk performance.
    Tip T1813: Hard Disk (D:) : Scan drive for errors at least
    weekly.
    Tip T1814: Hard Disk (D:) : Optimise drive at least monthly.
    Warning: CD-ROM/DVD (E:) : Cannot obtain drive information;
    check that a CD-ROM/DVD is in the drive.
    Tip T1822: CD-ROM/DVD (E:) : DMA transfers improve performance.
    Enable it if possible.
    Tip T1822: Nolf disc 1 (F:) : DMA transfers improve performance.
    Enable it if possible.
    Sound Card Information

    Warning W710: Creative S/W Synth : Driver may be obsolete. Check
    that it is the latest version.
    Printer and Fax Information


    Tip T403: Capture fax BVRP Extended : Print to an EMF data type
    to improve printing speed.
    Tip T401: Capture fax BVRP Extended : Printer resolution may
    have been set too low. Check settings.
    Windows Information

    Tip T1313: Consider upgrading to Windows 2000.
    Tip T1300: Enter your company name or "Home" instead of
    "Unknown".
    Tip T1308: Boot without the Windows logo to reduce boot delay.
    Tip T1302: Double-Buffering is only needed for real mode SCSI
    devices.

    DirectX Information

    Tip T2221: Primary Display Driver (display) : Driver is not
    certified.
    Tip T2221: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) (\\.\Display1\U0) on \\.\Display1\U0 : Driver is
    not certified.
    Tip T2221: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) (\\.\Display1\U1) : Driver is not certified.
    Warning W2207: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) (\\.\Display1\U1) : Video card does not have 3D
    accelerated hardware. Consider upgrading.
    Tip T2212: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) (\\.\Display1\U1) : No hardware stretch support.
    Tip T2213: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) (\\.\Display1\U1) : No hardware overlay support.
    Tip T2216: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) (\\.\Display1\U1) : No Z-buffering support.
    Warning W2211: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) (\\.\Display1\U1) : No hardware colour-space
    conversion support.
    Error: Game Compatible Device (emulated) (WaveOut 1) :
    Resources Already Allocated
    Error: Voice Modem Wave #00 Line (emulated) (WaveOut 2) :
    Resources Already Allocated
    Error: Game Compatible Device (emulated) (WaveIn 1) :
    Resources Already Allocated
     
  18. TS | Crazyace

    TS | Crazyace TS Rookie Posts: 329

    Having AGP 2X is not the problem.
    There is not a significant increase with 4x.
    Also, this system should be on FIRE man, a 1GHZ p3 with a geforce4! I mean really..

    HOw about BIOS settings.
    Make sure L2 cache is ENABLED, and set latency to "1"
    Also, set all RAM timings to "2" (that is if your RAM can handle it)
    Turn of bios cache/vid bios cache and that stuff..

    Make sure DIRECTX is 8.1 (latest version, but should not really matter that much)

    Check SYSTEM RESOURCES. I know you have 512MB ram, but check them anyhow. Make sure NOTHING is running in the backround when doing benchmarks.

    Use only NVIDIA certified drivers

    Clean your REG with reg clean

    If you do all this, and your system performance is still that bad, I think you need to reformat and try a fresh start.
    What type of motherboard is it (brand??) Is it actually an INTEL branded m/b?
     
  19. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    I couldn't find those options in my bios...how do I get to them?

    DirectX is 8.1. System resources is almost always between 70% and 85%. I just cleaned my registry, and yes, my motherboard is Intel brand.
     
  20. TS | Crazyace

    TS | Crazyace TS Rookie Posts: 329

    those options might not be there :(

    If not, L2 cache is enabled.. Not to worry..

    Your resources should be in the 90% area, mine usually run about 99% :)

    Hmmmm..

    Not all bios's offer optimized options, mabey yours doesn't..

    Could just be your motherboard , Intel does not make performance motherbords thats for sure..

    Hmmm..
    I dont know what else to recommend.
     
  21. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    I can get an ATA/100 controller card for $25, so I think I'll give that a try and see if it works.
     
  22. JAV

    JAV TS Rookie Posts: 264

    Shaft,

    Intel made 2 versions of the 1Ghz PIII FC-PGA > one @ 100 FSB & one @ 133 FSB. If you have the 133 running @ 100 = 750mhz. Just a 'heads up' to check on. ;)

    I'd suggest applying the 'tips' on SiSandra. Some (splash screen, animated windows, etc.) won't matter much, tho'. Here is what I see tho':

    "Warning W2207: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) (\\.\Display1\U1) : Video card does not have 3D
    accelerated hardware. Consider upgrading. What!?
    Tip T2212: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) (\\.\Display1\U1) : No hardware stretch support.
    Tip T2213: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) (\\.\Display1\U1) : No hardware overlay support.
    Tip T2216: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) (\\.\Display1\U1) : No Z-buffering support.
    Warning W2211: MSI MS-StarForce GeForce4 Ti 4400 (NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti
    4400) (\\.\Display1\U1) : No hardware colour-space
    conversion support. "

    Where is all the hardware support? :confused: SiSandra says: "Tip T2207 - Your video card does not support any hardware 3D functions or they are not implemented in this version of the video driver.
    Fix: If you do have the latest video driver consider upgrading the video card if you play 3D games.
    SiSoftware Sandra Help File"

    It doesn't say the driver doesn't support it > says the card doesn't. ??? SiSandra is a respected benchmark/program. I'd get ahold of MSI (or your retailer) & try another card.

    I agree: you should be on fire! :hotbounce

    PS: FWIW, my GF2MX400 doesn't have any of these 'warnings' & shows everything is supported & working.
     
  23. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    My processor is 100 FSB, I know for sure. As for the SiSoft reporting, I've had a number of programs reporting things wrong, and I believe SiSoft said something about inaccurate info when I ran the tests. If the card actually didn't support these functions the games wouldn't run, which they do. My hard drives are transferring data at ATA-33, but with the controller card they will with ATA-100, which should make a difference.
     
  24. JAV

    JAV TS Rookie Posts: 264

    Shaft,

    I missed the ATA-33, card couldn't hurt. :cool:

    I'm sure you've done this, but gotta bring it up anyway just in case: you have gone into 'Control Panel" > 'Display' > 'Settings' > 'Advanced' > 'Performance' & set the slider at full? Might set it lower > reboot > set it all the way up & reboot, too to check its 'function'.

    Have you ran: "dxdiag.exe" in 'Start' under 'Run'? I should have mentioned that sooner. Have you checked w/Western Digital for a driver update? Might get lucky ...

    HTH,
     
  25. Shaft

    Shaft TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 100

    Yes performance is all the way up and DirectX supports it's direct3D/directdraw. The problem isn't with the vid card, as I believe I had slowdown in large areas with my Geforce 2 as well (I figured it would go away with the upgrade).

    After doing some more tinkering with FreshUI and my video drivers, I've raised my 3dmarks to 6701.
     
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