Amd Athlon64 system performing horribly! What's the deal?

By GamerX · 16 replies
Feb 3, 2005
  1. Hey all, first of all thanks for the help in selecting a PSU for this system ^_^

    Next, a listing of the main parts of my system, for reference:
    AMD Athlon64 3000+ 754-pin, often running at less than 40ºC, so temp isn't an issue.
    ASrock K8 Combo-Z motherboard (jumpers set correctly for 754-pin)
    GeForce4 ti4200 128MB 8xAGP

    Now for the problem at hand: this chip is performing much worse that my prior system, a 1.88GHz AMD Athlon XP 2500.

    There are several things that appear to be wrong:
    1) At the default settings, the BIOS shows the processor at 2.0GHz, but every software program I have registers it as 1.0GHz. If I overclock it to 2.2GHz, it registers at 1.1GHZ.

    2) Benchmark speeds are weird, let me demonstrate:
    Default settings
    3DMark 2001SE: 9975
    Metabench: 2917

    Overclocking to what BIOS says is 2.2GHz
    3DMark 2001SE: 4099

    Underclocking to what BIOS says is 1.8GHz
    3DMark 2001SE: 11288
    Metabench: 3013

    Reducing past 1.8GHz resulted in only lower scores.

    My previous AthlonXP 2500+ would get above 15000 in 3DMark​

    3) Extreme graphics glitches occur at times. The two main places I've seen this are Dues Ex: Invisible War and 3DMark 2003 (v.360).
    With Deus Ex, if the mode is set to anything other than 800x600, the screen scrolls, parts flash or remain black, and the screen flickers lighter/darker in color.
    In 3DMark 2003, everything is fine until it reaches the CPU tests. The CPU test loading screen flickers between normal position and a position way lower-right, and the loading bar is a thick negative of the backdrop instead of just a sloping line like normal. Once inside the simulation, the screen flickers wildly at times, other times it remains black and shows a single, sometimes messed-up frame every fifteen seconds or so. The first test completes OK (with an average of less than 5 FPS), but in the middle of the second one the screen goes black and an enlarged mouse pointer appears in the middle. The mouse will move, but the system is unrecoverable.

    I know that the video card is not at fault, as it was the exact same one in my last PC, and it worked wonderfully.

    Could someone please help me solve this conundrum? It's really frustrating. Thank you!

    Gamer X
  2. kpc1280

    kpc1280 TS Rookie

    bad cpu

    Hi, is it possible you got a bad cpu? Is it brand new? is it still under warranty? if it is maybe you should get it replaced.
  3. Wotrop

    Wotrop TS Rookie Posts: 72


    I sugest you brush up on the booklet that came with your motherboard &/ or CPU. Other than that burn it!!!!
  4. GamerX

    GamerX TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It was a brand new Processor In a Box. I believe the NewEgg 10-day money back bit is up, but I still have the manufacturer warantee.

    I looked through the booklet, but didn't see anything particularly relevant. What do you mean by "burn it"?

    Gamer X
  5. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    A lower score at a higher clockspeed indicates to me an overheating and/or defective CPU. I'd suggest you RMA it.
  6. Advance

    Advance TS Rookie

    hey. yeah it looks to me that you have cpu issues, either take it back if ya are able and or get cpu testing software from and asses your cpu that way. OH and deus ex invisablw are does have patches/updates you cud try installing them :)
  7. GamerX

    GamerX TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I've gotten all the patches for all my software.

    What testing software did you mean? All I see is benchmark utils.

    Gamer X
  8. Wotrop

    Wotrop TS Rookie Posts: 72

    Well if you cant take it back and it's useless then well set it in its way :angel:
  9. C0d3Warr10r

    C0d3Warr10r TS Rookie Posts: 33

    Quick & Dirty Answer

    The reason why your CPU is reporting 1.0Ghz is probably because of the "Cool-n-Quiet" drivers recommended by AMD. If you uninstall these drivers and reinstall the native drivers for your AMD processor, you might be able to increase your scores significantly. I noticed the same anomaly on my AMD Athlon64 3500+ using these same drivers. I'm not 100% sure if reinstalling the default drivers will fix your problem, but it certainly won't hurt. I have not been able to duplicate your odd scores with 3Dmark2001SE however. I hope this at least helps you tweak your system a bit so that it will run more smoothly.

    Good luck!

  10. GamerX

    GamerX TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hey, uninstalling the Cool'N'Quiet drivers set the dispayed frequency up to the right speed (wcpuclk and such now show 1999.99 MHz), but performance is worse if anything... :( Probably a step in the right direction, though.

    Gamer X
  11. C0d3Warr10r

    C0d3Warr10r TS Rookie Posts: 33


    Another trick you can try to improve your overall system performance (though this can sometimes affect system stability) is to run your RAM in "Turbo" mode from your BIOS. I noticed almost 200 points increase in 3DMark2003 just from adjusting this setting. Once again, good luck.

  12. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942


    Disabling Cool N Quiet should have little to no effect in theory. CNQ ONLY slows the cpu down when it is idle. Any time a program can take advantage of more cycles, the cpu automatically flys up to a higher speed. I have CNQ running in both windows and linux and there is absolutely no performance hit with it.
  13. dopefisher

    dopefisher TS Rookie Posts: 444

    my AMD 64 system seems to have reliability issues with the "turbo" setting in BIOS.... is this normal? btw i don't have a 64 bit OS...
  14. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    "Turbo" is designed for high-end RAM. "Turbo" mode lowers the timings on the ram quite a bit. If your ram isn't designed for or is incapable of said timings, your system will experience anything from minor crashes here and there to total lockups and crashes to the system not even booting.
  15. dopefisher

    dopefisher TS Rookie Posts: 444

    is "high end" determined by ddr speed or the manufacturer? btw i have 1 gig ddr 400
  16. Merc14

    Merc14 TS Rookie Posts: 171

    Make sure you diable C&Q in the BIOS.
  17. Justin

    Justin TS Rookie Posts: 942

    No. You can have a dozen sticks of DDR400 that all have a difference tolerance for timings.

    I suggest going back to the default settings.
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