analyze this! ~ poor frames per sec

By stratocasted ยท 7 replies
Feb 5, 2006
  1. Arg! I am a PC-gamer all the way. I love the level of controll you get with a keyboard (esdf baby, screw wasd) and I adore my five button trackball. Blasting krauts and aliens and assorted baddies still makes my toes curl & spawning dozens of extra enemies to test my metal is a favorite passtime. For some reason, many of my post-q3 engine games are running very poorly, and I want some suggestions to speed them up.

    Pentium 4 @ 2.8 Ghz
    One gig of RAM
    NVIDIA GeForce FX 5900 Ultra
    Soundblaster Audigy 2
    200/2200 average Pagefile Used
    200/2400 average Commit Charge
    approx 20 free Gigs of Hard disk space

    My graphics card is an oldie, but I got a fair frame rate in half life two, even with high anti alaising settings. Doom three ran like a dream in High mode, but would stutter in Ultra. I'm talking about 1024x768 res too. Now, for whatever reason, my average fps is terrible no matter what game I try. The old numbers reflect a high graphic setting and my new averages are with medium or low settings. for example, bilinear filtering, zero anti alaising, low quality shaders, shadows, post-process effects, et cetera.

                     ye olde average fps        crappy new avrg
    Doom-3              [30]                     [15]
    Half Life 2         [25]                     [10]
    Unreal 2            [35]                     [15] 
    Earned in Blood     [20]                     [5]
    Chaos Theory        [25]                     [15]
    Thief 3             [30]                     [20]
    Black & White 2     [25]                     [5]
    F.E.A.R             [30]                     [9]
    Fable               [20]                     [8]
    Dungeon Siege 2     [35]                     [9]
    Far-Cry             [30]                     [12]
    Max Payne 2         [30]                     [15]

    I'm not exactly sure what I've done to my poor box that makes it suffer so. I have all my firmware & drivers & directx & all that good stuff up to date. I am really looking forward to Bethesda's Oblivion and I know if I can't run Fable and Fear and Far Cry well, Oblivion will get about one frame per second. Before I rush out and buy a new graphix card, and short of a complete system overhaul and reformatting, what steps can I take to at least diagnose the problem?

    Is there a benchmarking program out there that gives a more detailed or accurate picture of my overall system-performance than Task Manager? I really have no clue why these games are running so poorly. I overclocked my graphics card using a program called RivaTuner, but got scared & set it back to the factory default. That was after the games started behaving poorly, and overclocking it had no effect on the performance of those games one way or another, though now I'm concerned I may have damaged my card. (?)

    I've defraged and cleaned the dust off my mobo. I even picked the gunk off the vent to let the poor thing breathe easier. Where should I go, what should I do, woe is me, and so on. ANY advice is welcome.

  2. Cartz

    Cartz TS Rookie Posts: 82

    Well, you can always get a copy of 3DMark, I would guess 2003 version would be best suited to your system. Thats 3DMark03, although if you want to depress yourself, you can get 05 and 06.

    You can use their online results browser to compare your system to other people's with similar scores, and see if you're on par with them...

    Try doing a full spyware scan, and use hijackthis and run it through a logfile interpreter (google it) and see if you have any malicious processes running on your system.

    As for OCing damaging your card, I wouldn't worry too much about that. I've taken my card up to 180Mhz higher then its stock clock setting, at which point it froze up my system completely, it still runs fine, even though I've been using it every day for a month at 120-140Mhz over stock. If it is damaged, it either wouldn't start at all, or would produce some very ugly graphics in. I've never heard of a video card dropping frames from a damaging OC, usually they just die, and that is exceptionally rare.

    Also, if you have an AGP slot, you wouldn't be looking at a system overhaul, you can get a 7800GS which would have you laughing all the way through oblivion (at least from a graphics hardware POV) and if you got PCI-E you're laughing even harder, as you can snag a 7900 when they debut in March (rumored).
  3. cookiedude

    cookiedude TS Booster Posts: 157

    have you recently updated the drivers for your graphics card? Sometimes this can be detrimental to performance of older cards.
  4. stratocasted

    stratocasted TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    thank you both very much for replying, i was beginning to feel foolish for typing all that out. I will be updating my graphics card before purchasing oblivion and I may end up starting another topic about that unless anyone checking this thread reads this. Because I have a GeForce 5900 Ultra, I'm pretty certain I have AGP8x. The system was top-of-the-line when it came out in 2003. I googled and googled but couldn't find out whether my card is agp or pcie, but if anyone reads this, was apg8x the best in October 2003? I was guessing pciE is newer than my computer, but I'd like to know without undoing all those wires and opening the box if possible.

    as for my frame rate issue, I still have made no progress, but I will attempt both rolling back my video driver & looking for a shareware of 3Dmark03. If no one bumps this post again, thank you both for your input.
  5. cookiedude

    cookiedude TS Booster Posts: 157

    Its definitely agp 8x, 2003 was a bit early for PCI-E cards. If you want proper confirmation though, the specs of your card should still be on the nvidia website.
  6. Cartz

    Cartz TS Rookie Posts: 82

    3dmark03 should be available at, if thats not the site, just google '3Dmark03' and you should get it as the first hit.

    The 7800GS is your best upgrade path for oblivion, although you will be extremely bottlenecked by the CPU of your system at that point, as it falls underneath the recommended specs.
  7. stratocasted

    stratocasted TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 19

    heyo, thanks for all this good information! I have decided to give my hard drives a complete formatting, not so much for the fps issue but because I have horrible overlapping re-appearing trojans and worms all over this puppy.

    if you would answer one additional question. Cartz recommends the 7800GS, and the prices I found through ebay wholesalers weren't too far off my budget. If anyone has additional recomendations for agp8x cards, or if Cartz would be kind enough to give me some other high-end agp8 options, I would feel a lil more comfortable researching, cause some of the finer points go right over my head.

    the image attached should be a picture of my geforcefx5900 and the 7800GS product shot. (yes i finally yanked it out for a thorough fan & heatsync cleaning) i encircled a discrepancy between the two pin connections & I wondered if perhaps I have agp4x or something that wont allow a newer card like the 7800gs.

    any advice is very much appriciated, cause this is about the only techie forum I like & I wouldn't know where else to go

    Attached Files:

  8. cookiedude

    cookiedude TS Booster Posts: 157

    don't worry about the gap in the connector, it won't be a problem. I think all the 5 series cards have the gap, don't know why. I have the FX5500 (crap by the way, need to upgrade!) and its def agp 8X.

    I would also suggest looking at the 6800GT or Ultra graphics cards as you'll prob get about the same performance as the 7800GS, your CPU might cause a slight bottle neck with the higher end cards so you prob won't see the extra advantages. Check out a website called as i know this website undercuts ebay dealers prices on a lot of the nvidia cards (at least in the UK it does).
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