Upgraded my graphics card and now games run even worse than before!

By smashr ¬∑ 21 replies
Oct 17, 2010
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  1. [SOLVED] Upgraded my graphics card and now games run even worse than before!

    Update 27/11/10 : found a solution / fix / answer, check out the second page if you have similar problems.


    The only game I tried my new graphic card is StarCraft 2 but I also get weird things from Windows itself.


    I have an old PC but that matches the minimum specs of SC2 (the only game I tested my new graphic card with yet):

    Pentium 4 at 3ghz, 2.5GB of ram (previously 2gb), WinXP, and previously an Nvidia 6600GT card.

    The game ran fine in all low settings but I had lock ups frequently and 2v2 was impossible framerate wise after mid game.

    I changed the graphics card to get some more juice, I took out my 6600GT from Nvidia and got a ATI Radeon HD4670 from Asus.
    The card is installed, I even added 512 mb of ram in the process and the new graphic card has 1gb of DDR3 ram, so it looks quite nice compared to the old one.

    Now my problem is that the SC2 menus have horrible framerates (worst that before with the 6600GT), the mouse cursors is laggy as well, like if the PC could barely handle everything. When I still had the 6600GT I didn't have any problems with the menus.
    I launched a skirmish game just to see and the game lags as hell in all low (previously it worked correctly in all low) and lets not talk about medium settings cause i'm gonna cry.
    I don't get it ! How can upgrading my graphic card make things worse !

    When I got the new card I uninstalled the old Nvidia Drivers, installed the ATI Catalyst Drivers (the latest 10.9). Windows runs fine. What should I do?
    The card is directX 10 capable, but I heard that on XP you can only get direct X 9.0c.

    Windows itself

    When I got my new card I installed the ATI drivers from the CD I got with it, then I wanted to get the new ones the most recents. So I downloaded the new ones and uninstalled the previous.

    After uninstall, I'm required to reboot I say "Yes". Then the PC takes a long time to just get out of Windows and start the reboot process. Weird.

    Then after loading windows XP and all, I get a black screen with only the mouse, I have to stare at it for quite a long time (I didn't have that with the 6600GT) and then the login screen appears. On a side note, during those two screens the mouse is really lagging, like if I was in a really recent game with a crap PC, but it's just windows , again weird and I didn't had that with the 6600GT.
    Once I get the Windows login screen, I can't click the user name to enter the password because it lags too much. I even click, it lagged, then went to bed letting it like that and when I woke up it hadn't changed a bit : So each time I have to force reboot which is never a good thing.

    When changed graphics cards do I need to uninstall Windows to get a fresh start ?

    Also each time I boot up I get a windows bubble saying a new HD audio PCI stuff, I heard it's the HDMI audio of the graphics card, could this cause the lag ? I downloaded the latester driver for that ("ATI HMDI Audio Driver) from the Realtek website and it doesn't work. I'll try with the CD I got from the card.

    I'm really lost here guys. I upgraded the graphics card, I even added 512mb of ram (not much but I had one 512 ram that fried to instead of Getting 1x512 again I got 1gb making it : 2gb (1gb+2x512mb) => 1gb+1gb+512mb of ram.

    And in the end I'm stuck with a computer that runs worst than before all this, and of course along the way I spent like 75 euros for the card, and 40 for the ram, great, pay do worsen things. Also I always had Nvidia cards, this is the first ATI card I bought and already I'm getting the fear that all the people saying ATI sucks where right.

    If anyone can help that would be greatly appreciated ! Sorry for the wall of text.
  2. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Here is your problem. If you want to play SC2, to put it bluntly, you're rather screwed.

    Absolutely not true.
  3. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I would imagine your pushing your luck gaming with that CPU. I get roughly 60% load on my quad core CPU playing games like Crysis.

    As for your commenting regarding ATi, I have two things to say:

    1. Your comment is a load of rubbish - Both Nvidia and ATi (AMD) make good graphic cards. Which you choose depends on your budget and system (if your going SLI or Crossfire).
    2. I have a HD4670, and it happily plays Crysis all day long at medium settings, and most other games at max settings and still maintains 50+ FPS.

    I'll leave you to decide what you think the issue is, but a wee hint - It's not your GPU. ;)
  4. Appzalien

    Appzalien TS Rookie Posts: 94

    Your memory is only double data rate (ddr) if you run it in matched pairs, as soon as you added the third wheel you forced the memory to run at single data rate speeds and that can slow you down. XP can only use 4gig anyway and your graphics is included in the total. If you have 2 - 1gig sticks, and a 512 (your explainations are a little confusing and contradicting to me) then take the 512 out and let the two 1gig sticks run at twice the memory buss speeds. The way you seem to have it set up now, you have more memory but its not running in double data rate mode.
    Also I have found that allowing Windows or even ATI to uninstall the graphics drivers can lead to problems since they tend to leave alot of stuff behind when you uninstall. if you do go that route use the uninstall utility that ATI puts in its extraction folder under your C drive. The best way is to get a hold of something like "driver cleaner pro" (there's a free version 1.5) and after you uninstall from add remove programs run the cleaner. ATI is notorious for having alot of separate things to their install, so you have to use the "select multiple cleaning filters" to do a good job. Add (ATI - ATI CCC - ATI Hydravison). If your motherboard does not have any ATI Chipsets or onboard audio/video (typically its with the all in wonder) you can add them all just to be sure, but do not uninstall stuff you need. nvida is nicer, all you have to uninstall is the word "nvidia" and it gets all graphics stuff. You should also install the nvidia physx (previously Ageia) even in an ATI system since many games require it. And since you previously had a 6600gt, I would run the cleaner on that too just to make sure all of nvidia graphics (registry entries and system 32 files) are gone as well.

    Now how does it run?
  5. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    I'm pretty sure your wrong here.

    Only the 512mb stick will be running in single channel. The remaining paired RAM will be running in dual channel mode.

    I agree with the above though.

    You need to make sure all instances of previous and current drivers for both graphics cards have been completely removed, and then download the latest ATi driver for your HD4670.

    That said, I still think your pushing your luck with the P4, so its likely your not going to get much more out of it - Even with a top of the line GPU your CPU is going to act as a bottleneck and rob the graphic performance from your system.
  6. smashr

    smashr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I thanks for your comments.

    Just to make things clear I don't really have anything against ATI, as a proof: I bought one even though I always got Nvidia cards in the past. But you got to understand the frustration here.

    Also about my CPU. I am aware it's old and outdated, when I wish to play recent games I make sacrifices and mostly play with graphics at their lowest or medium depending on the game.

    Now also, the problem here is that the game runs worst with that new card than with the old one, I knew I was not going to get the full power of the graphic card (a bottleneck effect) when I got it, but it should be at least as "powerful" as the previous one. The game went from "playable at low settings" to "completly unplayable in low settings".

    Are you talking about the dual channel thing ? Because if I put the two 1gb in dual channel and add the 512mb in another slot I'm still going to loose the dual channel. Also I always heard that dual channel is fine but it's not a crazy thing that's going to add that much to the overall PC's effeciency.

    About the "driver cleaner pro" idea, I did it but with CCleaner (I clean in the Windows tab and the Registry tab), is it as reliable as your program?

    Also on a side note, 10mins ago I tried TF2, the game runs better than with my previous card. I'm going to test other games too.
  7. Appzalien

    Appzalien TS Rookie Posts: 94

    The free driver cleaner pro v1.5 I'm talking about is specifically for certain drivers and chipsets only, in its list will be things like 3DFx ATI Nvidia Creative Audio Intel Extreme, nforce chipset, razor mouse etc. Ccleaner is a temp file cleaner for the most part, I don't even use its registry cleaner cause its too easy to screwup with if you do not understand what your looking at.

    here's a link to driver cleaner:
    just click on the picture of the floppy (after getting rid of the ad) afterdawn is a site I trust.

    Install it, run it and just remove "nvidia" since your 6600gt was the last card you had and see what happens.

    I don't agree with Leeky up there DDR must be run in pairs for it to give you the best possible result. Here's a wiki page that will help explain it:
    If you think about it (double rate means 200mhz memory runs like 400mhz on a 200mhz buss) if you wanted to overclock your memory you cannot overclock the mhz of channel a and leave channel b alone, both are going to be effected the same way so double data rate works in pairs.

    Albeit it may be more effective to run 3gigs (3 - 1gig sticks) in single channel mode for certain applications than to run 4 gigs with two pair, but 3 gigs with two 1gig sticks and two 512s matched in there color coded slots will beat any single channel setup of the same amount on the same board.

    Also some cards require more power than others, that why some have their own power connectors and others do not. Even if both cards do not require a separate power connector your power supply requirements can be different. From what I can see the Asus card needs a minimum 400watts (and better than that is always nice) pardon me asking (pentium 4 can be either) are your cards PCI-E or AGP? I tried a Vision tech ATI HD card in an AGP machine and ended up returning it. Even with the drivers supplied on the disk or the ones from Vision Techs site i couldn't make it work.
  8. Leeky

    Leeky TS Evangelist Posts: 3,797   +117

    That isn't what you said in your original comment, and I certainly wasn't implying that at all.

    I don't disagree that you get better results running memory in dual/triple channel mode, but that wasn't the comment you were making, and it certainly wasn't the comment I was challenging.

    You said it would all be running in single channel mode - That was the specific comment I challenged, as I clearly stated.

    Thanks for the wiki link, but I'd rather read it from proven sources myself personally, anyone can edit a wikipage, whether they know what they're talking about or not - It's always wise to take any comments you read on there with a grain of salt unless you have other sources proving it. ;)
  9. smashr

    smashr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I thanks for the link. I'll also try the ram placements, also conserning the power supply, I have a 550Watts power supply so it should be ok. Also I'm stiff wondering why I get horrible lags when logging out or in WinXP each time I reboot to install a new driver. I never had that with my 6600GT
  10. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,115   +9

    if it came down o it you could always reinstall windows xp and go from there might actually help out a lot.
  11. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    I distinctly remember a very similar thread.
    Basically, nothing happened, they guy was still pretty limited by his hardware. He also got lower framerates after upgrading his card.
    Go ahead and make sure your drivers are cleaned up, but I wouldn't expect anything extraordinary to happen.
  12. smashr

    smashr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I mean for me it's completly impossible that by upgrading something you would get lower performances. And there's a world between an nvidia 6600GT and a HD4670. Of course my cpu is limiting the ATI card but I mean it's got to be more efficient. Another clue could be that the SC2 game itself has problems with ATI cards. On the SC2 forums there are two kinds of people the ones with ATI cards that are fine and the ones with ATI cards that can't play, even with bigger rigs than mine. So that's another possibility.

    Also I wanted to have your opinion: can I just install the Display Driver for my ATI card or do I have to install the whole Catalyst Suite ? I mean they says it's recommended but it looks kind of a heavy thing. But I wouldn't want to damage my card.

    Also there still this problem I can't figure out, sometimes when my hard drive is working I get some lag with my mouse, I never really had that. Could it be related to the card or something that got partially unplugged during the transport to the computer shop ?

    Sorry for all the questions guys, thanks for your help I really appreciate it !
  13. Appzalien

    Appzalien TS Rookie Posts: 94

    I use ATI cards with the drivers only all the time, but I admit I install a third party app in place of CCC. here is a link to a page that will explain it (Ati Tray Tools):
    It also has some guides to help you out.

    Mouse cursor lag and windows dragging lag can also be caused by graphics drivers since they have to do the work related to those functions. It might still be a good idea for you to completely uninstall all your drivers and use the driver cleraner to remove all traces of those I mentioned as well as nVidia just to be sure, You can use the multiple cleaner box to include them all in one pass. Then reboot and install the newest drivers from safe mode (thats what I do since they often tell you to disable your processes and anti-virus during install safe mode is way better for that since its limited. If you choose safe mode only with no networking even your third party firewall will not be needed.

    The one thing that I forgot to mention and you didn't tell me AGP or PCI/PCI-e, is the cards I looked at to see their specs (I didn't see Asus) all seemed to have HD and an HDMI connector on the card. Is yours an HD card? I suspect it was the HD part of my AGP card purchase that screwed everything up fopr me. I would also be curious which connection are you using to the monitor VGA (blue 15 pin) or DVI a lot more pins and digital. Because the digital connection will usually work better than the analog (VGA).
  14. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,182   +469

    I too have installed drivers only with an ATI card although I usually install CCC. When you installed the full CCC suite, did you install everything or did you perform a custom install. The reason I ask is because if you install the full suite, you may also get a trial game. I do a custom install so I can omit the game. For lack of a better suggestion, if you have that trial game installed, uninstall it and see if that improves anything.
  15. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    Thats not true.

    When the harddrive is working, yes you get lag. Anyway, there are so many possibilities that cause mouse lag. If it makes you feel better, my computer's cursor lags.

    How are your other games doing?
  16. smashr

    smashr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    @ Appzalien : thanks for the link but i'd rather prefer to avoid having lots of utilities running in the background. I'm not overcloaking or anything so do I really need a program like yours or the CCC ?
    Also I didn't use the driver cleaner you suggested yet but I used a program called Driver Sweeper from Guru3D that someone suggested on the SC2 forums to people with ATI Cards, I dunno if it's the same kind of program, I'm guessing yes. Anyway I used it in safe mode to clean remains of Nvidia drivers etc, it did find a lot of stuff but now that I cleaned the PC with it, I still don't have any change in Starcraft 2 (my test game let's say since I bought the card to be able to play it).

    And sorry about that: my card is PCI Express 2.0. My motherboard's PCI express 16x slot is a 1.0 but everywhere I read about it people say it's retrocompatible. I also have a HD thingy, called HDMI the card model is Asus EAH 4670 (this one). As for the screen connection I have an old flat screen so I'm using the classic plug, I think it's the VGA (it's blue). Also for the HDMI each time I boot in windows I get a windows bubble saying that a news thing was detected, Microsoft UAA High Definition Audio or something.

    @ Mailpup: When I installed the CCC I chose "Rapid installation" or something like it, indeed I have a short cut on my desktop to give access to a Lord of the Rings trial. Also I guessing it's just a game, so it won't use PC ressources if it's not launched.

    @ Hellokitty: Well apart from SC2 I tested Team Fortress 2 also. TF2 runs better than before when I had the Nvidia card.
    As to your remark about having lower performances with a upgrade, what do you mean exactly? Because here with SC2 the change is dramatic, I went from 30fps to 1fps between the two cards, and the only changes I made where add a new, more recent card (the other one was about to burn) and 512 mb of ram.

    @ everyone ^^: Also I had a question regarding ram. I heard WinXP could only manage 3gb of ram (i'm not sure if it's 3 or 4 by the way). Anyway if it's 3gb, then does also take into that count the 1gb of my graphic card ? Cause if yes then I have 3.5gb or ram for a OS that can only manage 3gb. Maybe the pr oblem could come from this ?

    On the website I linked previously with the stats of my card, it says it requires Windows Vista to work, I'm guessing it's for the directX 10.1. But I should be able to make it work correctly with a Win XP system. Or do you think upgrading to Windows 7 might help?
  17. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145

    In the other thread, SC2 FPS dropped by just a little. All other games improved. I guess the situation is a little different if all your games are performing significantly worse. You still shouldn't really expect to play SC2 well with that processor.
    Driver sweeper is fine; IMO it's better.


  18. smashr

    smashr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Like I said so far I tried Team Fortress 2 and Starcraft 2. Team Fortress 2 runs fine, even better than before. SC2 just went through the ground.

    My processor is the minimum required according to Blizzard. I know I won't get any crazy results but I'm ok with that. The main problem here is that the game ran much better (30fps better) with the same processor and a way older graphic card, so something is wrong here.

    Also I can't explain those horrible log in and log out times I get with WinXP (3-5 min long each). I never had that before with my 6600GT card. The same for the mouse lags, rarely had mouse lags before, now I just need to right click to get one.

    I took out the 512mb ram, so that I could try the rig with 2 x 1gbram in dual channel, nothing improved, same horrible login/logout times with XP, same FPS with Starcraft 2.

    The PCI Express slot where my card is connected is a 1.0, the card is 2.0. Even though it's supposed to be retro compatible, would flashing the bios (updating it) improve things ?

    Another info: I changed my card because it was often heating a lot, and it was very old but really made me go to the shop was that one day the fan on it just stopped making a really crazin noise (it was hitting the radiator), the PC also rebooted at that moment, I got really scared so I savagely unplugged the PC, could this have damaged something ?
  19. hellokitty[hk]

    hellokitty[hk] Hello, nice to meet you! Posts: 3,448   +145


    With that amount of RAM, it's probably best to have more.

    Oh, in that case, the card is working fine.
    Do whatever driver cleanups you can do, but you're pretty much stuck with it.
  20. smashr

    smashr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Well obviously something is still wrong since I have this drop of performance in Starcraft 2 (even the menus lag, and they didn't before), as well as those very long login et logouts of windows since I got this card and the frequent mouse lags.
  21. smashr

    smashr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

  22. smashr

    smashr TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Alright I found a solution and now it works so I thought I could just post it here in case someone needs help too in the future.

    I did three things (I didn't format in the end), I don't know which solved my problem but one of them (or several) solved it:

    - Opened my PC case (with power off of course) and check for connections in it, my DVD drive was not correctly connected, fixed it.

    - On the motherboard there was a battery looking like a watch battery, took it out for 10 secs to restore factory settings on my motherboard.

    - Went inside the BIOS of my motherboard and stumbled upon the fact that USB 2 was not activated, so I swiitched from USB 1 to USB 2.

    And now voilà ! Rock n Roll baby ! The game runs well with high settings (;) hellokitty[hk]), of course I get some lags here and there so I might tune it down a bit just in case to have optimal performances.
    I hope this helps anyone with similar problems, and remember if you don't know anything about PCs don't open the case without someone experienced with you, and power off the computer before doing that !

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