My FPS rate really, really sux... (CS: Source)

By Lt. Xenodite · 31 replies
Mar 27, 2006
  1. Alright, let's begin:

    I am using a custom-built system running an Intel Celeron 2.4GHz processor with 512MB of SDRAM, a 160GB hard drive, and a Sapphire Radeon 9600 Pro 256MB video card, on an XP Pro machine.

    I play Counter-Strike: Source often. I get an embarassing 20fps at the very best, 9fps when playing with about 6+ people.

    My questions to you are: how many frames per second should I expect to be able to achieve on this system, and how can I improve my current fps? I don't want to have everything with crappy quality, because I want the game to look good while still performing well. Should I buy a new computer? What would be the recommendation for a new computer? Can I make do with the one I have?

    Thank you,
    Lt. Xenodite
  2. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    For today's games (HL2) you have a few things going against you. A celeron CPU (ouch) only 512mb ram (ouch) and a 9600 graphics card (ouch). :giddy:

    What is your current motherboard make/model? How about your PSUs rating (how many watts is it, and who made it)?

    If you can give us this info, plus your budget of what you want to spend we can try and help you put together something with a little more hair.
  3. Lt. Xenodite

    Lt. Xenodite TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Thanks for the fast response :D

    Well, I have a DFI NB72-SC motherboard, and I'm not sure what power supply I have, but I will try to find out right now.

    My budget is probably under $500, unless I need a completely new system, and I live in Canada.

    Ok, there's almost no way I can upgrade RAM because SDRAM is ridiculously expensive, so it would probably be better just to get a new motherboard that supports DDR or DDR2. But then, I would still have to get some RAM and a new CPU...

    Speaking of motherboards, what do you think of this one?
    I go to that store all the time because it has such great prices most of the time :)
    Is it a good mboard for the price? SATA (can't find if it is SATA1 or 2), 4 x PCIE slots, 3 x PCI slots, 4 x DDR SDRAM slots...

    thx again
  4. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

  5. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    Wich could get the fps highier, both combind in a little overclock.
  6. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    I think the hard part is your CPU upgrade. Your board only supports 400Mhz system FSB and those CPUs are hard to find. If you can find one, your system looks like it will go up to a P4 2.6Ghz (which would be a huge upgrade over your current celeron if you can find one).

    My feeling is you should go for a complete overhaul. If you can use your current monitor, keyboard, mouse, optical drives and case (is it ATX?), then all you need is:

    (all in Canadian Bucks):

    ABIT AX8 Via Socket 939 ATX Motherboard $104.99

    AMD Athlon 64 3000+ / 512KB Cache / 2000MHz FSB $202.99 E

    eVGA GeForce 6800 / 256MB DDR / PCI Express $145.99

    Corsair Value Select Dual Channel 1024MB PC3200 DDR 400MHz Memory ( 2 x 512MB ) $107.99

    Enermax / 420-Watt / ATX Price: $94.99

    comes to about $657 so far. This is the basics of a very powerful system which would also be extremely upgradable in the future. Something to think about anyways.
  7. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    That is an excellent high end motherboard. It is a MUCH better board than the one I recommend, and a better price. Looks like a great site to shop from! The nforce4 chipset is the best for the 939 socket boards.

    And this is a great price for this video card too:
  8. Lt. Xenodite

    Lt. Xenodite TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Funny how NCIX has the same CPU but 3200+ for 10 bucks less than TigerDirect's 3000+! ^.^

    By the way, it says 3200+ then 2.0GHZ FSB. Which is the processor speed? I have heard that AMD markets their CPU's by comparing them to Intel's (like an Athlon 2600+ 2.2GHz is running at 2.2 billion hertz, but performs like a 2.6GHz Pentium 4?)

    Yeah, I can still use my current keyboard, mouse, monitor, optical drives, etc. and my case is ATX for sure ("soft" power switch, on/off on the power supply, P1 connector only...etc).

    So those parts sound really good, maybe I'll go to NCIX this week and buy some. Of course, it sucks that my mom is opposed to me upgrading -_- ("your comp is fine the way it is!") so I'll have to deal with that too.


    I think I will try that overclocking tool and see how it performs before buying anything, but I'm not sure how high I should overclock. I don't want to kill the system before I have a chance to upgrade, because I want to use the old parts to build a server computer :) .

    thanks again
  9. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    You didn't say anything about the screen resolution.
  10. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Posts: 144

    Here's a much better system. (Pretty cheap too) By the way, I recommended this system to someone before, and he bought it for playing CS: Source too. American website though. I hope you live in America or else I'dh ave to re-arrange the links all over.

    Hmm, a gaming system eh? In that case you'll need a respectable video card. Here's an eVGA 6800GS, it should handle CS:S on highest settings I think. Not sure though.

    You'll need a CPU for sure. A 3200+ should handle CS:S well. Just remember to upgrade to dual-core when you have the money.

    You'll need 1GB RAM. Corsair is good.

    A 10,000RPM Raptor as a hard drive is blazingly fast.

    Ha, I missed out the motherboard. This one averages 5 stars and there are 207 reviews and most of em are 5 stars.

    Hmm, don't you need something to put all that awesome stuff in? How about one with a power supply?!!? Yeh that'll be good.

    DVD Drive

    Floppy drive

    All together, it's about 700$, this is an amazing bang-for-buck system. A 6800GS, a 3200+, a 74GB 10,000RPM Raptor, 1GB Corsair Value Select RAM, Antec Smartpower 450W power supply included in the case. WHAT MORE COULD YOU ASK FOR? That is, for that kind of money, an AMAZING system. And it's pretty cheap too. It took me some valuable time to put this system up. Alot of customizing and meeting your gaming needs. I'll be disappointed if you don't buy this. Please do. I like seeing happy gamers with their cheap-but-amazing systems customized by someone else :unch: (OWNED) But I'm stuck with my Pentium III 800Mhz processor(Some processors have FSB speeds higher than this LOL)256mb ram and a AIW 32mb video card. :dead: Come on pleeaaaaaaase buy this. You'll be amazed by the speed it offers for that price. I guarantee it. :approve: :knock:

    EDIT: Just wanted to say that 97.5% of this post was "Copy&Pasted" from my other post :unch:
  11. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Only one problem Akifudin... that system you recommend is over $800 canadian ;)

    I agree though, you have put together a really nice (mid-range) system there that almost any gamer would fully enjoy!
  12. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Posts: 144

  13. Lt. Xenodite

    Lt. Xenodite TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    One thing I'm wondering about the ASUS mboard I suggested (, is if it has enough expansion slots.

    1. Firewire card (which I already have)
    2. New video card (maybe the EVGA 6800GS)
    3. Other expansion cards?

    What about SLI? What is it, and will I need it for gaming? The reviews say this mboard does not have SLI.

    And what are the short white and short brown expansion slots for? I know the three long white ones are PCI...

    And I'm going to need memory. 1 gig or two? I also want to be able to play Battlefield 2 and CS: Source (as stated before). Any idea how many frames per second I can expect with Athlon 64 3200+ and the 6800GS on CS: Source?

    Edit: What about overclocking? Anything you can tell me about overclocking, whether it is good with this board (and how much), whether I need it for CS: S, etc.
  14. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    It looks like the only thing it is missing is the firewire, and you say you have one already which is great. That will use up one of your PCI slots, meaning you'll have 2 remaining. Most systems don't use more than 3. The mobo has integrated sound so you don't need a sound card. What else do you plan to add to it?

    My board has SLI, and I don't really recommend it for most people. SLI is a feature that allows you to install 2 identical graphics cards. So you could buy 2 6800GS cards and install them together for extra gaming performance. But just one 6800GS is enough for most people. It is only for the extreme gamers that are addicted to FPS where SLI becomes fun.

    And I don't really consider SLI to be useful for upgrades either. By the time you decide that your single 6800GS (for example) is getting a little dated and you want more power, instead of getting a second 6800GS it will make more sense to buy a more powerful single GPU that would outperform your dual 6800GS.

    Currently I have one 7800GT in my board. I wouldn't buy a second one if I wanted to upgrade. Instead, I would get a single 7900 series card, as it will outperform dual 7800GTs, use less power doing it, and generate less heat in my system.

    I didn't look at your board, but I'd assume those are the other PCI express slots that you can use for adding other cards that are PCIexpress capable (like some SATA controller cards, raid controller cards etc., all of which are actually built in to your motherboard in your case)

    For BF2 most people seem to be recommending the extra gig of ram. If you really want a mean machine, go for 2gigs. But 1Gb will also due just fine.

    There will be many opinions on this, but I tend to avoid overclocking a CPU until it is on it's very last legs. For example, I had a barton 2500 CPU last year and it was starting to feel very slow, so I overclocked it to a 3200.

    With the CPU you are looking at, it will be fast enough for your purposes for some time. Maybe in a year or so you may want to consider it. It is a fun thing to do actually.
  15. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

    Well It was just a quick momment to spare type of thing.
  16. Akifuddin

    Akifuddin TS Rookie Posts: 144

    1GB is okay for BF2 but if you want to run at highest settings with decent framerates, 2GB is a MUST, not recommended but a MUST. Wit the 6800GS and 3200+, I think even at highest settings you will get decent framerates. The 3200+ doesn't really matter though. The 6800GS is the OHKO :haha:
  17. Lt. Xenodite

    Lt. Xenodite TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    I'm going to try overclocking a bit (but how much?) and test it out with CS: Source to see how much it helps.
  18. kerpunkin

    kerpunkin TS Rookie

    I think the cpu and ram is the main killer, My other comp has a
    athlon xp 2200 and 1 gig ram and a 9600 overclocked and it will play bf2 with medium setting.

    Processor Intel® Pentium® 4 630 with Hyper-Threading Technology
    3.0 GHz
    800 MHz FSB
    Microsoft Media Center OS
    Memory (RAM) 2.0 GB PC3200 DDR SDRAM in dual channel mode
    Sata Hard Drive 250.0 GB 7200 RPM
    Evga Geforce 6800Gs Superclocked PCI-E got it up to 545/1300
    TV Tuner Card AVerMedia® M113
    Optical Drives DVD-ROM drive Double-layer DVD±RW/CD-RW drive
    Media Card Reader 8-in-1
    Other FM tuner and antenna
    IR receiver
    Media Center remote control
    Antec TruePower 550W Power Supply
    Intel (South Lake) P4 550 800 MHz Motherboard R0 D915GSN: BTX Form Factor
  19. Lt. Xenodite

    Lt. Xenodite TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Omg my 6800GS is no longer available to buy at NCIX! :(

    How does it compare to: the XT?

    And why is the 7300 less than half the price of the 6800GS? Shouldn't higher number be better?

    EVGA E-GEFORCE 7300GS 550MHZ 256MB 650MHZ DDR2 PCI-E VGA DVI-I TV Out Video Card

    Is the 6800GS still the best choice for me if I find it somewhere else?


    Edit: Should I opt for the CO version for 10 bucks more?
    versus CO

  20. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Is this out of your price range?

    EVGA E-GEFORCE 7600 GT $228 CDN

    It performs close to the 6800GS, does it using less power and runs cooler. Very nice card at the moment.

    But stay away from the 7300 card. You are comparing a high end 6000 card to a low end 7000 card. It would be nice if the higher the number the better, and generally speaking it works that way but not this time. The 6800GS is a much better card than a 7300GS.
  21. Lt. Xenodite

    Lt. Xenodite TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    By "close" do you mean better or slightly worse?

    If I can still find the 6800GS, should I get it, or go for the 7600GT?

    $228 is probably in my budget, but that's cutting it close...

    One more question: what is the difference between GT, GS, XT, etc. and which is best ?
  22. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    They are almost identical, but it looks like the 7600GT even has a slight edge over the 6800GS

    That plus the fact that is has a lower power consumption, and runs cooler I would say make it a better choice over the 6800GS.

    .... if you ever figure that out, can you come back and fill us in? lol.
  23. Lt. Xenodite

    Lt. Xenodite TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    You mean you don't know either? puke: heh

    Well is there a major difference between 128-bit (the 7600GT) and 256-bit (the 6800GS) that I should be concerned about?



    Your link is the 7600 GT CO, right? I found a review for it, but it says 7600 GT CO Superclocked:
    Is the one you posted "Superclocked"?


    Obviously I can't read, because I scrolled down the list and saw this:
    EVGA E-GEFORCE 7600 GT CO Superclocked 580MHZ PCI-E 256MB 1.5GHZ GDDR3 Dual DVI HDTV Out Video Card

    I really don't want to spend that much (my parents probably wouldn't let me anyway :mad: ), but the review above is for the Superclocked one and it has great results...

    And I don't really know what the difference between this and this is. The first one says *Bundle Only*.
  24. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Even the regular 7600GT beats out the 6800GS. The 7600GT superclocked is probably one that has been pre-overclocked for you by the maker so that it is still under warranty.

    As for the difference between the "bundle only" version and the regular version, it is not clear on that website. I'd fire them off an email and ask them. I'd assume it is referring to the software/games that come with the card, but "bundle" is usually a GOOD thing. When they say "bundle ONLY" I wonder what it is they are leaving out... the box?
  25. Lt. Xenodite

    Lt. Xenodite TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 18

    Good idea, just sent them an e-mail asking about it.

    Here's a list of what I'm looking at so far:

    EVGA E-GEFORCE 7600 GT CO 580MHZ PCI-E 256MB 128BIT 1.5GHZ GDDR3 Dual DVI HDTV Out Video Card

    ASUS A8N-E Motherboard ATX S939 NFORCE4 Ultra DDR PCI-E16 PCI-E4 2PCI-E1 3PCI SATA RAID Sound GBLAN
    $112.98 on sale until April 4, reg. $120.75

    AMD Athlon 64 3200+ Processor S939 Venice 2.0GHZ 512K L2 Cache 90NM Retail Box
    $183.99 on sale until April 4, reg. $210.38

    Corsair Value Select PC3200 1GB 2X512MB DDR400 184PIN DIMM Dual Channel Memory Kit


    Did I forget anything? Hard drives, optical drives, IEEE1394 card all come from my current computer.

    Total: $711.69 CDN all from NCIX, plus two 7% taxes GST and PST is $811.33.
    That is way too much for my budget...



    (Maybe) Power Supply:
    Aspire Clear-Top 500-Watt ATX Power Supply
    $80.99 at

    That makes the total $903.66 with taxes.


    P.S. sorry my budget is so crappy that it's making it hard for you :(
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