TechSpot

low fps Please help me boost it!

By link590o
May 27, 2007
  1. i have a Radeon 9250 128mb pci card with the latest drivers, and catalysts, and i'm trying to tweak things so I can boost my fps without sacrificing too much quality.

    my current system specs, (and i know, they suck):
    Celeron processor (my guess is it runs at 600 mHz or so)
    640mb RAM
    Radeon 9250 128mb gpu
    37 gigabite hard drive 53% free space

    I don't know what else you need to know. But that's pretty much all I can think of at the moment.

    As of now, I cannot really buy any upgrades. I'm forced into waiting another year before I can get a better computer...so that rules out adding in any other hardware.

    I want to see if there is anything I can do to boost my frames per second by tweaking my or my computer to increase my frame rate without sacrificing quality. Right now it's hovering at about 25-27 fps. I've tried everything from getting a RAM booster, clearing my hard drive of useless junk, turning off certain graphical elements in the game....yet I can't seem to break that barrier. But I'm sure that I can gain some more frames from it. I've done everything short of adding more hardware. As a matter of fact, I don't have the money to get a new computer, graphics card, or anything like that until a year from now. I just sorta wanna tweak it and get what I can until then.

    Does anyone have ANY input on how I can boost my frame rate?
     
  2. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 1,094

    Is your video AGP or PCI. Also run dxdiag. To do this go to Start>Run>Type Dxdiag>and then tell us your information.
     
  3. Ph30nIX

    Ph30nIX TS Rookie Posts: 359

    With a celeron 640mhz you shouldnt expect much, i'd say 25+ fps is good.
     
  4. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    my apologies actually...my estimate on how fast my processor is was actually incorrect...i found out it's actually supposed to be a 2.2 GHz processor.

    as for the video, its PCI.

    here's the system information you wanted:

    Windows XP pro
    dell dimension 2400 series
    BIOS: phoenix ROM BIOS PLUS Version 1.10 A02
    Processor: Intel Celeron CPU 2.20GHz
    632 MB RAM
    Page file: 149 MB used 1406MB available
    DirectX Version 9.0c
     
  5. iaino2002

    iaino2002 TS Rookie

    Not bad actually

    The 9250 is actually quite a good overclocker, even with stock cooling.:D

    Core runs at 240Mhz and has been made to run 346Mhz.
    Mem runs at 200Mhz and only has a small overclock to 221Mhz.
    As stated by PCStats

    Please bear in mind that all video cards are different so yours may not reach these speeds, but could on the other hand, go faster.

    A good program to use is ATI Tool http://downloads.guru3d.com/download.php?det=725

    Increase the core frequency 30Mhz at a time but as you go on move on to around 10Mhz at a time. Once you feel you have a stable overclock run the test in ATI Tool and then run Prime 95 to properly test stability.http://www.majorgeeks.com/Prime95_d4363.html

    Not sure how much benefit you'd see from overlocking your processor though, don't realy know much about the celerons except that they're pants.

    Im not condoning overclocking and won't be held responsible if you screw up your card. Do it at your own risk.:dead:
     
  6. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    I'm well versed with the dangers of overclocking...it's partially why I never considered it an option. I'm a little bit too chicken to be messing with my video card like that seeing as it's my only card, and it's a ton better than my onboard.

    However, there's one thing I can take into account. And that is that my friend will be giving me a better PCI card in a few days. So perhaps I could tinker with it a LITTLE.

    I know that overclocking anything is risky business. BUT I want your opinion. Would overclocking it maybe 10 mHz pose a huge problem in the least?
     
  7. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    you know what?...i tried overclocking it some. if i went about about 270 mHz, then i started getting artifacts and ATI tools didn't report anything. but i could see the artifacts on my screen anyway.

    and the default is 240 mHz.

    either way, i overclocked, and tried playing Call of Duty 2, and i only averaged maybe 30 FPS overall....if i was staring at the sky, i got 60 FPS. and if nothing was happening in terms of gun fire, i got maybe 30 fps. rarely 40. and in high gun fire situations, i got maybe 10-20 fps.

    so overclocking didn't really help.
     
  8. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,909

    Might be time to start saving for a whole new system :(
     
  9. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    well...i tried overclocking again. and the good news is, i got maybe 5-10 fps boost from it. i can't overclock too high though because apparently it gets artifacts fairly easily.

    right now i have it clocked at about 270-280 mHz.

    so maybe i spoke too soon with the overclocking stuff.

    as for getting a new system, i have to wait a year....i had the money for a new system a few years ago, but my parents refused to let me pay for a new one on my own for some reason.

    so i'm stuck with waiting for my third year of college (a year from now) before i can get a new computer.

    until then, does anyone have ANY suggestions on some other kinds of tweaking i can utilize to gain some more fps?
     
  10. iaino2002

    iaino2002 TS Rookie

    Ok, well thats a fairly decent overclock, and 5-10FPS isn't to be sneezed at.
    If you have just a little money to spare you could try adding in another 512mb of RAM, anything more than that and you wont see the benefit. If you could tell me what sort of budget you have then I could give you a little more advice on what the most beneficial upgrade would be. What card is it that you're getting from your friend? Are you sure you have the right slot for it (the 9250 is either AGP or PCI-E) so worth checking if you haven't already.

    At the end of the day though you're going to reach the point where graphics cards are limited purely by the processor. Shouldn't cost you more than £150 to buy a low-spec Core 2 Duo eg. E4400 and motherboard combo, ideally you'd want some faster RAM aswell (assuming that your's is around PC2700) but you could just hold on to the RAM you've got and stick it in the new motherboard for now.

    However, if you don't have the cash then overclocking is the only option you have for now.:suspiciou
     
  11. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    just to clarify even further:

    as of right now, i have no cash. i can't upgrade anything, and i'm being forced to wait a year before i start to see anything resembling a new computer.

    and as for what type of card it is, i checked with him to make sure it fits. I have a PCI slot only. it's a dell dimension 2400 series that was not meant to have a video card upgrade. but i found a way to upgrade it anyway. i'm lucky to have what i have right now.


    that said, yes. it looks like overclocking is the only option i have right now.

    the other sad thing about this computer is that it wasn't meant to have more than 1 gig of RAM put into it. and i already have 632mb. another limiting factor :(

    when my parents bought this thing, they had the idea of keeping it down to bare bones. they didn't expect me to be playing games and stuff on it. so i haven't had that much luck with computers. i'm lucky call of duty 2 runs at all.....in fact, i can only DREAM of getting a nice one. and i'm going to force their hand when i get my new one a year from now.

    i'll be going for an AMD x2 64 bit 4800 processor, 2 gigs of RAM, a geforce 8800 gts, and windows vista premium.

    THAT computer would last me for years to come....but for now i can only drool.

    i'll keep on fiddling with stuff to see if i can get any more benefits.
     
     
  12. iaino2002

    iaino2002 TS Rookie

    Haha, a year from now you wouldn't want the AMD X2, it'd be crap by then. Im not even sure if people still buy AMDs at all, its all about the Core 2 Duos now!

    So yeah, that's it really, overclock as much as you can, you could do a bit on the CPU as well just by increasing the FSB is the bios. You'd want to research to find out how much extra you can sqeeze out of it though.

    Good luck with that anyways.:grinthumb
     
  13. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,909

    People still buy AMDs... in fact the X2 4600+ is better than the E4300 at stock speeds... more efficient too. Just that the Core 2s are amazing overclockers and they have higher performance per MHz of clock speed than the Athlons.
     
  14. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,273   +151

    To be honest. ive tried lots and lots and lots of ram booster, memory freeing, xp tweaking, defragmenting tricks... none have ever made a noticible diffrence to my pc,s frame rate.

    Overclocking can make a reasonable diffrence, dependent on you setup, graphics card, ect. but should always be approached with knowledge and caution! go go go google. your pc will be a risk!

    But unfortunatly. if you really want to see some dramtic improvement.. its time for a upgrade :)

    Good luck :)
     
  15. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 1,094

    With whose specs I'd say that is good performance. If your ready to finally jump the middle-range PC band wagon, then you'll have to upgrade.
     
  16. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,273   +151

    Totally agree with beef jerky.

    Those frame rates are nice for your setup. (unless your playing alex kid:) )
     
  17. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    well...just to update you all.

    i've done plenty of reading and hw on overclocking in the past. i never considered it an option because of the risks and i was a bit chicken to try it.

    the only reason i'm willing now is because i am going to be getting another card in a few days from a friend of mine. i already checked up on whether it would fit my PCI slot and it looks like it will. so that's good news.

    so if i break mine now, i don't really have to care. as a matter of fact, i already tried overclocking my gpu earlier today and i managed to coax maybe 5-10 fps out of it. it wasn't much. but in comparison to what i have to work with, that's leaps and bounds. but i am still left in want.

    lucky for me, i'll also be getting some other nice little goodies from that same friend. he also has some RAM cards lying around. maybe i can tweak this thing some more, and breathe some life into it long enough to get myself a new computer in a year. unfortunately i haven't got the budget for a new one, and my parents refuse to let me get one until my third year of college so...i'm stuck with modding and overclocking for a while.

    thanks for the tips though.
     
  18. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    Uh, just don't tell us which game you're playing... it's not like they have different graphics features or anything.
     
  19. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,273   +151

    Good luck with your overclocking.. but plx dont be tempted to overclock to destruction. get a program like rage ati 3d tweak, follow the instuctions carefully, find your cards limit. and drop the settings by 10 to 15 per cent.

    Most graphics cards are actually capable of permorming higher clock speeds than stated on the packaging. however there is a reason for the limiting.. Manufacturing processes are not perfect, so the card you have may or may not have been made by a machine that was not quite "on the ball" that day.

    The speed on the box is an average of the speed that a whole card family was tested and found safe to run at.. some may run a litle faster, some may not :)

    In my experience the extra 10 to 15 fps is pretty good overclocking. if its running stable for a long period of time (eg 12 hours).

    Done a little reasearch on your gpu :)

    Box speed = 240 mhz
    Overclocked uncooled = around 300 mhz
    Topping out at = 346 mhz

    Hope these numbers give you a better idea of how this works.
     
  20. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter


    ok fine smartass. you could at least ask what game i'm playing in a nicer way.

    but for your info, i'm playing call of duty 2. and i've already messed around a lot with the graphics settings on it. i don't want to sacrifice too much quality since it's already fairly terrible by today's standards. i've turned off brass, turned off the gpusync because it's preset to adaptive mode, i've tried running it with some lower textures, all kinds of crap really.

    and fimbles: no worries mate. i have done a lot of research in terms of overclocking in the past. as of right now though, i'm using the ati tool that was recommended earlier and right now and i'm managing to find varying overclock speeds with this card of mine. sometimes it will clock up safely with no artifacts to 290 and maybe a little bit higher, and other times it's pissy and only lets me go as high as maybe 285 mhz. for the most part, it runs fairly stably at 288 mHz without any artifacts.

    obviously the card can get pretty warm with overclocking, so i've actually removed the front cover of my PC's tower to allow better airflow.

    and i actually have a question about the memory overclocking. when i hit the button titled "Mem" for memory settings, it tells me that it is not meant to be overclocked. and yet right on the main interface, i'm allowed to set the meter for the memory clock higher. am i really allowed to overclock the memory? and if so, does that make any noticeable difference?
     
  21. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    is that so...

    well to be perfectly honest i don't really care which one i get. the super computer i built and priced used the AMD x2 64 bit processors, and i'm getting a really sweet deal out of it. with some compensation in the right areas and a little tweaking, in the end it won't really matter if i'm using an intel or an AMD core duo.

    you have to admit that with an upgrade to that kind of a processor from what i'm working with, it'd be like putting human life on mars. today.

    as much of a hardcore gamer i am, all i care about is having a really good game like halo 2, with really sweet graphics, and having it running at a good framerate. like 50+ fps. with a processor like that, the latest nvidia graphics card, 2 gigs of ram, and a massive 200 gig hard drive, i think i'd be in business, don't ya think?

    and even if there are upgrades in technology a year from now, the site that i'll be buying from keeps their products updated so i can buy what's awesome when it comes out. so no worries there.
     
  22. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 1,094

    Whoa dude, that is overboard dude. Calm down. This is good community and we don't appreciate posts like this.
     
  23. link590o

    link590o Topic Starter

    a good community eh?...is that why i keep getting snide comments from people i don't even know?

    don't come screaming at me for my reaction to someone else's abrasive sarcasm. i understand that you're trying to keep things civil. but i'm growing tired of taking crap from people i don't know. i even wrote in my post, "the least you could do is ask what game i'm playing in a nice way."

    i feel like i'm in the right on that one.
     
  24. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 25,948   +19

    Threads merged.
     
  25. fimbles

    fimbles TS Evangelist Posts: 1,273   +151

    Yes. memory can be overclocked. but generally only by a tiny amount with stability problems. Again this is dependent on your particular gpu.

    This threads getting slightly off topic though. and the overclocking thread right here at techspot is where i picked up most of my overclocking stuff :)

    Good luck!
     
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