Video card not doing the best it can offer

By Minime88 ยท 19 replies
Oct 6, 2006
  1. I have a Radeon X850, before that I had a Radeon 9700 Pro. When I played games like Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 and Microsoft Flight Simulator X with my Radeon 9700 it was laggy and it still is with my X850. Why? The X850 is ment to support all these brand new games on the fullest graphics, and it doesn't. What's the problem?
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +422

    What CPU do you have? How much RAM?
  3. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    Also, do have the most recent drivers?
  4. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 and Flight Simulator are both simulation games. These tax your cpu/memory performance much more than your videocard.

    With the X850, you should be able to crank these games up in resolution plus add antialiasing and anisotropic filtering, thus improving the image quality for next to no cost in performance... but alas, the real performance bottleneck for these two games (and Sims2, Civ-4 and other simulations) lies on your CPU and system memory performance.
  5. Minime88

    Minime88 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    SNGX1275: I have Intel Pentium 4 3.2 ghz 1 GB of RAM

    Nickslick74: Yes, I think I do. How do you check if I have the latest drivers anyway? I don't want to download the wrong thing and bugger up my computer.

    Sharkfood: I didn't know that, thanks for telling me. But I do think my computers specs should run it smoothly.
  6. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Yes, you're specs should be able to play at least Roller Coast Tycoon fairly well. Flight Simulator X? Well, this demo runs extremely poorly even on super powerful dual-core systems with super fast DDR2 memory.

    I'd say start with CPU-Z and post it's html dump (zip and attach the HTML output it has in it's last tab). SiSoft Sandra will also be good to download and run it's memory bandwidth tests and cpu arith tests. These will tell us if your cpu, cache and memory performance is getting proper number for your specs.
  7. Minime88

    Minime88 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Ok I've attached the CPU-Z zip file with my html dump in it. I'll try the other later.


    Attached Files:

  8. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Thanks Minime,
    I spot the problem in your CPU-Z output:
    >>Northbridge - SiS 661FX rev. 11
    >>Mainboard Model - MS-7060

    You have an SiS chipset motherboard, no support for dual-channel or low memory latency. Basically, whatever CPU you put in that chipset/motherboard is going to be crippled to Celeron performance. That is, I do not believe that chipset supports some of the basic performance functions for your CPU (dual-channel, performance mode, etc.etc.).

    If you download SiSoft Sandra and run it's memory bandwidth tests, this should indicate everything. A good running P4 3.0-3.2 should be able obtain 4900-5100mb/s memory performance on a good chipset/dual-channel motherboard. In the case of your SiS, I'll be surprised if it's getting 3000mb/s bandwidth. This will also cripple the Prescott core's arithmatic functionality and cache improvement.
  9. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,388

    Non-dual channel memory doesn't affect system performance THAT much...

    Memory speed doesn't matter all that much... look at socket AM2. The processors are no faster that their 939 counterparts even though their memory is twice as fast.
  10. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    Do you even need a videocard besides the integrated one to play Rollercoaster Tycoon?
  11. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Hehe... It doesn't go THAT far... If you get 2000 MB/s, I'd be truly amazed. I had exactly the same mobo, and it performed poorly :mad:

    I got no more than 1500MB/s , and sometimes, I just got around 900-1000 MB/s.
  12. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    It makes a big difference on Intels as they get their performance from sheer clock speed.

    AMD it makes little difference. They can smoke a 3.0ghz Intel with little more than 1.8 ghz clock (and comparable memory feed at that lower rate to boot).

    Prescott's especially need good memory performance due to their reliance on their higher cache size/optimizations.
  13. nickslick74

    nickslick74 TS Booster Posts: 575

    Yeah, that 20 stage pipeline was great for sheer speed, until it had to purge if it perdicted wrong...
  14. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Just a little Intel/P4 poop on this topic.. and this is also unfair given it's on an Intel chipset with low latency.. just a single run flipping my dual/single option in the BIOS on an i865/CAS2 ddr400's:

    Single Channel/Dual Channel:
    Bandwidth INT: 2463 mbs /4986 mbs
    Bandwidth FLOAT:2357 mbs / 5037 mbs
    Drystones (INT math): 7731mips/10013mips
    Whetstones (FLOAT math): 4098 mflops/7277 mflops

    You can see what a big hit in (already suckful by AMD standards lol) integer and floating point the simple matter of keeping the cache full has on these Intels.
  15. CrossFire851

    CrossFire851 TS Rookie Posts: 766

  16. Minime88

    Minime88 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Ok. Well I have copied and pasted my memory stats from SiSoftware Sandra, and I've attatched the file in notepad form.

    Attached Files:

  17. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Hi Minime.
    You have to click on the Memory Bandwidth Tests and run them. This can be done by clicking the check mark at the bottom or pressing F5 with the benchmark window open.

    This will take a minute or two to run, then the results can be copied into the clipboard.
  18. Minime88

    Minime88 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 55

    Comparing your estimated results with mine.. things aren't looking too well for me.

    Attached Files:

  19. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST TS Rookie Posts: 596

  20. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    Ooof, yes- if you look at your benchmark scores, overall memory efficiency is at 35%. That's absolutely ghastly.

    And while I agree with FINEST about the motherboard upgrade, that Biostar I wouldn't recommend as it has a funky "XGP" graphics slot which takes an enormous performance hit when used with decent AGP videocards. It's a real bummer too because everything else is perfect with that motherboard as it's an Intel chipset with dual-channel support.

    As you're on Socket 478, it's going to be very difficult to find an Agp 8x, dual-channel motherboard. They have been discontinued in favor of the newer Socket 775 Intel CPU's. I'd keep my eyes open for an i865/i875 chipset motherboard with dual-channel memory support and an AGP 8x slot. The only one NewEgg carries I'd recommend is out of stock at the moment, and it would be:

    If you have local vendors as well, the Asus P4P800 or P4C800 series comes highly recommended as well. Just ensure your desired motherboard: a) will fit your case (see if your case can take both ATX and MicroATX as you have a microATX motherboard now), b) Socket 478 with 800mhz fsb cpu support, c) Uses DDR-400, d) Dual-channel memory support, e) Preferrably Intel chipset.

    Alternatively, it's up to you if you wish to invest the time or cash into an AGP Socket 478 system. This will require disassembly of basically the entire system, as well as more than likely require a re-install of Windows. This is a lot of work given how Socket 478 and AGP are now obsolete to Socket 775 and PCI-Express.
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