Why am I not seeing improvements after upgrade?

By dreamtildead ยท 10 replies
Oct 15, 2010
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  1. I recently upgraded my Dell XPS 410.. Yes, I know.. These systems are the least capable for being upgraded.. But anyways, I went from having:

    3.5GB Ram to 8GB all 800mhz DDR2 for ram
    E6300 Core 2 Duo to a Q6600 Quad Core
    7900GTX to a 460GTX 768MB graphics card..

    When I installed the graphics card alone I noticed a decent improvement in gaming..


    After the new processor and new ram Im not really seeing any improvements.. Still seeing some of the same lag in games when in high resolutions.. and just overall performance is practically the same as it was before.. In fact, I noticed it took a little longer to load one of my games than it did prior to the RAM and CPU upgrade..

    When I pull up CPU-Z it shows my processor core speed at 1594Mhz and the rated FSB at just under 1100Mhz... once in a while the core speed will jump up to about 2400 (which is what the processor should be at 2.4ghz) but then it jumps right back down to 1594 again...

    Im not really sure how to read the ram figures but this is what it shows:


    the ram speed I thought would show at 800Mhz...

    Is there something Im missing? Just doesnt seem like everything is reading at the speeds that it should.. All the ratings went up in the windows experience index except for Disk data transfer rate.. what exactly does this affect ? If I get a faster hard drive would this help out any??

    Any help would be appreciated.. thanks
  2. pjamme

    pjamme TS Enthusiast Posts: 208

    Do you have a 64-bit Windows? If you are still using 32-bit you won't see the otrher 4GB at all.
  3. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,186   +469

    I don't know all the answers to your questions but your motherboard doesn't support more than 4GB of RAM and each DIMM only supports a maximum of 1GB. See Dell documentation here: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/xps410/en/SM_EN/specs.htm As pjamme pointed out, if you are using a 32 bit operating system, you won't actually see more than 3.5 or so RAM. The extra 4GB of RAM you installed is totally wasted.

    Also, the RAM speed CPU-Z is reporting half the actual speed. DDR means double data rate so you double 400MHz to get 800MHz.

    If you still have the stock 375W power supply, it might be a bit low for the GTX 460. For most systems I think 500W is recommended.
  4. dreamtildead

    dreamtildead TS Rookie Topic Starter

    No, I see the 8gb in system. Im running Win7 (64).
    Ive actually noticed a little bit more of a difference when I popped in Crisis.. Its pretty smooth now even at max settings.. I guess it did make a difference.. Odd though that when we tried it on Sims3 it still lagged on high settings in high resolution.. I thought Crisis would have lagged but barely nothing on it. Runs great.. Why would my CPU state that its only running at 1.6 though? Does it boost up when a game is utilizing it more or something? Oh well.. Im just happy I can play Crisis at max w no problems. (would upgrading my power supply improve anything? Or what about the hard drive.. would getting one with a faster speed make a difference?
  5. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 930   +31

    try use high performance in power option. the CPU speed down when idle due to intel feature called EIST.
  6. dreamtildead

    dreamtildead TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yea its actually set to high performance.. noticed something else though.. I opened up task mgr and closed out some random processes that were taking up quite a bit of memory and it speeded up pretty good.. problem is - I went to work then came home and had blue screen.. rebooted and everythings fine.. How can I tell what processes I can close that wont have a negative impact on my pc.. ?
  7. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    Well, I suppose you could research exactly what each process does. Accordingly, if you have 67 processes, then you would need to do 67 Google searches. Or, you could Google "sysinternals", and see where that leads.

    "Where there's smoke, there's fire". Most processes are an indication of a running program. In many cases programs force their own start up at boot, whether they need to be running or not. So, if you manage the start up programs, then the process issue will, by extension, resolve itself.

    The program "Spybot SD" carries with it a start up manager, which is very helpful in this regard. However, it also has what it calls a, "Tea Timer" function, that is a resource hog. The moral here is, if you install Spybot, disable "Tea Timer".

    You've partially answered your own question, if performance didn't "improve", (other than the video card/gaming issue), then perhaps you didn't actually need the upgrade, for your intended purposes!
  8. hellokitty[hk]

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

    Upgrading from 3.5gb of ram to 8gb in context shouldn't really do anything.
    Upgrading from an E6300 to a Q6600 would help in some games, but overall wouldn't really be that useful. Wrong components to upgrade, sir.
  9. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I suspect the the motherboard/bios is very minimal, as it is with most OEM desktops, especially with Dell
  10. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,996   +2,528

    Ya know "T", we hit on the BIOS issue in our OP's original thread. Apparently that fell on deaf ears.
  11. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Yeah captaincranky,
    I have trashed so many of those huge Dell XPS monstrosity's. The motherboards fit into a tray with the built-in IO panels. You can't easily put a better 3rd party motherboard into them

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