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New Windows XP install not performing at full potential

By HaLo2FrEeEk
May 6, 2008
  1. Ok, here's the deal, I have 4 gigs RAM, Windows only reads 3.25 of it, I've been told this is normal. I have an nVidia GeForce 8800 GT Superclocked with 512 megs GDDR3 RAM and the latest drivers. I have a 500 gig SATA 3.0GB/s HDD, and a 3.0 GHz Dual Core AMD Athlon 64 X2 CPU. What's really bothering me is, I just went back to XP from a long time with Vista, which had it's quirks but I kinda liked it (atleast it read all 4 gigs of RAM). I'm trying to use my computer to it's full potential (you can imagine with those specs, it SHOULD be fast), but it's just not up to par. I don't know if it's just me, I don't think it is because I'm not the only one noticing it, but it seems to take a lot longer to do anything. Before (Pre Vista XP installs and even with Vista), folders displayed instantly, now it takes up to a second to display a folder and it's contents. This doesn't seem like much, but I move around a lot and it adds up to a lot of waiting. I used to be able to play Halo 2 at 120 FPS with max settings in 1920x1200 resolution, now I can't play Halo 1 at even 30 FPS, and I need to use FRAPS to record stuff sometimes at 29.97 fps, it drops to 25 fps while recording and skips around. It shouldn't be the disk access, because I've played the game enough that the relevant information should be resident in memory. I just went through the process of isolating my computer and unistalling programs, and I'm defraggng too, but it's not really helping. I know I don't have a virus because I have a clean install of XP (just a few days ago) and AVG free version 8. What else could be causing such a dramatic loss of performance. It's really frustrating to have put almost $3000 into my computer and to have it crapping out this badly. Does anyone have any suggestions, maybe some tools that I can run to diagnose any performance hits?

    Thank you.

    Oh, P.S. I make sure to kill any TSR programs and processes running that are not directly needed for what I'm doing BEFORE I play Halo, the only thing I keep running is FRAPS, which uses approx. 22 megs of RAM, and 0% CPU (at the moment).

    Please help!
     
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    I'd suggest taking out 2 Gig of Ram, and test again.

    You may also want to run CCleaner (it does help sometimes)
    And also confirm you have all the latest Xp drivers loaded including MS Security Updates
     
  3. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    What would taking OUT 2 gigs do? Wouldn't it slow it down? I'll try it, but idk. And I do have the latest updates, I know that, Windows Update bugged the crap out of me for the first week, telling me about all the new updates, installing them without my permission, restarting my computer without my permission, etc. But still, I'll check to make sure, and I'll try without 2 gigs to see if it'll help anything, but what am I supposed to look for?
     
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,524

    Having two gigs of Ram for Xp will not slow it down
    Having four gigs of Ram will do nothing on Xp 2Gig
     
  5. HaLo2FrEeEk

    HaLo2FrEeEk TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 164

    But it says I have 3.25 in system properties, it shouldn't be going THIS slow, it's really frustrating and as much as I didn't like Vista's problems, I think I'm going back to it, at least it ran my games well.
     
  6. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,268   +92

    ...Assuming you're using a 32-bit version of XP, it uses 32 bits to refer to the location of each byte of memory. 2^32 bytes = 4.2 billion bytes = 4GB. So, 4GB is the total amount the OS can address.

    Now, you have to minus from that 4GB any hardware devices that need memory access. This can pretty much be anywhere from 500MB to 2GB depending greatly on the amount of RAM your VPU has. The result is anywhere from 2GB to 3.5GB of RAM "recognized" with 4GB of RAM installed, unless a 64-bit OS is used.
     
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