Onboard Video : Radeon Xpress 200. Is it insufficient?

By Darbarian
Sep 11, 2005
  1. Greetings,
    After a long struggle with my old "home-made" computer I decided to just go buy a new, ready made modle. It is an E-machine (which I swore I'd never buy), and it was a good deal given my finacial situation.

    Here are the general Specs:

    2.3 GHZ AMD processor
    ATI 128mb Radeon Xpress 200 on Board graphics. There is a PCI Xpress port available for future upgrade.
    900 mb of DDR memory

    3.0mps DSL service through SBC.

    I've attached a direct X diagnostic of my system that will give a far more detailed description of my set-up, should you care to look.

    Ok, here is my issue. I just don't think the video card is doing what it should or is nearly as good as advertised. It is either that, or there is something else wrong with my configuration all together.

    I realized the issue when I attempted to play a "fairly" intensive 3d game, Call of Heros. The game is intense, but my computer is well above the minimum reqs in all aspects (on paper anyway).

    I've also noticed in far less intense games like Diablo2, that my FPS is stuck at 75, which is pretty low from what I am told. My server ping is very good though at 60-75.

    Here is what I've done:

    *I downloaded/installed the newest video driver
    Checked for memory leaks (none found)
    *Defragmented memory using SYSTEM MECHANIC
    *Ran benchmarking software that rated my onboard card as similar to Nvidias Gforce Ti 5600 (not too bad, not overly great either, but plenty for CoH and Diablo2)
    *Ran Virus checks and spyware checks and found nothing significant.
    *Defragmented my hard drives.
    *Ran Error checks (none found).
    *Shut down any un-necessary background programs found using msconfig (at least the ones that I knew I could turn off w/o messing up my OS).
    *Adjusted in-game graphics to minimum settings (this allowed me to at least move around, but my frame rate was still slow and I could not actually play due to lag increase when near other online players or near non player characters)
    *set video card for high performance rather than high quality

    I've checked multiple forums regarding the Radeon Xpress 200 onboard video and have yet to find a similar issue. Most people who do not like the card are simply against on-board cards in general or do not like ATI, but have no specific complaints with the Xpress 200 itself. In fact, most independant benchmarking efforts show it to be a decent, if not spectacular card that can run games like Doom3 and Half life 2 with relative ease.

    That about taps my limited knowledge for trouble shooting this issue.

    Any assistance would be great! I'd hate to think that my new computer just has a sub standard card. However, if the only solution is to splurge on a PCI 16x card, then I guess I will have to.

    :) Darbarian

    Attached Files:

  2. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    That sounds like V-sync to me. Anyways, it's no use having your card throw 200 fps at the screen when the screen can only show 75. You'll just get visual tearing.

    As for the card performance, that sounds pretty normal. What does it do when you play CoH ?
  3. Darbarian

    Darbarian TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Never heard o visual tearing, sounds painful! :eek: Hee he.

    My monitor is a 19" Viewsonic A90 CRT. Dot Pitch .23h/.27D 1,600X1,200 max res.
    It is about 5 years old now, but I thought it would handle more than 75fps. I'm no expert though, so thanks for the insight on that one! How would I go about adjusting Vertical Sync? I could not find the option on my card OR is that a monitor setting only? (Now you can see my computer amatureness)

    As far as CoH goes...
    The load up screens and character select seemed to work fine (although I did have a lock up once while choosing character skins). Once entering the game, it was like walking in concrete. I could move the mouse around the screen with some lagg, but any key movement or text typing was almost impossible. I would hold the "walk forward" key down and it was like watching a slide show. One moment I would be standing and the next I would be in a running pose over by something that was far in front of me just moments before. It was like having a frame rate of one every 5 seconds.
    I also tried to type a message and found that every keystroke required about 3 seconds to be recognized (it took a good 2 or 3 minutes to type "HELP, I am new and mega lagged, what do I do?").
    Eventually, I found the options screen and turned ALL video options to lowest settings. So textures, particles, spell graphics etc were all set to lowest standards. Once this was done, I could at least move around. However, the choppyness of the video still made any meaningful play impossible. The lag effect would lessen if I would look all the way up at the sky or down at the ground OR if I was in an area with no other online OR Npc players. (This is what lead me to believe it was a video card that could not deal with graphics).

    That was pretty much it for CoH. I went to the trouble shoot page and did all of the things they recommended, but the problem persists.

    If you have any other questions about how CoH went, I'll be happy to answer if I can.

    Thanks for you help!

    Darbarain :)
  4. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    If your monitor supports the resolution you use for gaming with a refresh rate of 75hz, that's when there's no need to go beyond. Most 19" CRTs could support 85hz for resolutions such as 1280x1024 & 75hz for 1600x1200. Unless you have one of those very expensive ones that could do 100hz for 1600x1200 (in which case I should call you a lucky *%Ā£#@&, pardon my French :p ).

    As for vsync, you need to look around in the options of the VGA card. I haven't had an ATI card for a while so I don't know where this option is located in the new control panel. In the old drivers, it was located under OpenGL/Direct3D (the options were separate for each API).

    Try playing around with it to see if it changes anything.
  5. tallkev

    tallkev TS Rookie

    I have an Emachines T6410 with ati xpress 200. It seems to work pretty good. I'm able to play battlefied 2 at settings set to low. One thing I have to do is disable my Norton internet security and hit control alt delete and end all "owner" processess except explorer and taskmanager. Also cut off your screensaver. Hopefully this will help your game play.

    Also, I bought a new PCI-E card to upgrade and as of now I can't get it installed. For some reason this Emachine does not have a Plug-N-Play feature. Emachine support couldn't help. Good luck if you buy one.

  6. Darbarian

    Darbarian TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Howdy Kev,

    I too have since purchased a PCI-E card. It is a Radeon X300 SE. It was only about 75 bucks new. I had to uninstall the onboard card before my new card would install correctly. Once I did that, it seemed to install smoothly. Also, I had to intall the newest Catalyst Drivers from the ATI website. :hotbounce

    Let me know if you run into anything else. The ATI site will help quite a bit with the details.

    Good luck!

    Darbarian :D
  7. tallkev

    tallkev TS Rookie I've been struggling to install mine. How exactly did you uninstall the onboard graphics....through device manager?? So you actually did an uninstall rather than disable? Did you install the new drivers before or after inserting the graphics card? I would appreciate the info.

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