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I really need help with my computer


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#1 Darx

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:34 AM

Hello everyone, first post. I'm sorry if this is the wrong place to ask this, but I really need some help.

The problem is, basically, that my computer runs games much worse than it should. Here's all the specs I know:

ECS Asterope RC410 Motherboard
Pentium D 2.8GHz (previously Pentium 4 3GHz)
2GB DDR2 RAM (previously 1GB)
GeForce 8600GT 512MB DDR2 (previously integrated)
300W PSU with 19A on the +12V rail
80GB and 160GB SATA HDDs (previously one 160GB)

The computer was an HP Pavilion a1355a which was given to us with a clean install of Windows XP. The original specs are in the brackets.
I've played games like Call of Duty 4, Modern Warfare 2 & 3, Crysis, Crysis 2, Counter-Strike: Source, and Half-Life 2. I've done research and found out how these games should run with my specs. Here's how they should play compared to how they play on my computer:

Half-Life 2
Normal, max settings: 200-300FPS
Me, max settings: 25-60FPS

Counter-Strike: Source, Max Settings
Normal, max settings: 100FPS
Me, max settings: 15-40FPS

Call of Duty 4
Normal, max settings: 60-100FPS
Me, 800x600, low settings: 25-60FPS

Crysis
Normal, medium settings: 30FPS
Me, 800x600, low settings: 20-40FPS

Note: Source games (Half-Life 2 and Counter-Strike: Source) don't like my computer, and lowering graphics settings does almost nothing for performance.

These are approximations from what I can remember, but they're close enough. I've done evewrything I can possibly think of to speed up my computer... CCleaner, defragging, virus and malware scans, Game Booster, upgrading components (I borrowed a much better 400W PSU one time as well), searching all over Google, trying different video card and motherboard and bios drivers. The only thing left that I can think of is the motherboard, and I did buy one once, but it didn't actually work, and I'm only 17 and don't have much money so I don't want to buy another one.

I'm sorry if this post is a bit long, but I'm just so fed up with my computer. I'd really appreciate any help.

Edited by Darx, 13 September 2012 - 07:50 PM.


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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:12 PM

First off, keep in mind, that just because you meet the minimum specs for a game, doesnt mean its going to blow the game away at 100 fps. All those frame rates for those games on your system, look normal to me-in fact, Crysis looks really, really good, Im surprised it can do that much. Your hardware is just to old to be able to run them much faster then that.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

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#3 Darx

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 08:27 PM

First off, keep in mind, that just because you meet the minimum specs for a game, doesnt mean its going to blow the game away at 100 fps. All those frame rates for those games on your system, look normal to me-in fact, Crysis looks really, really good, Im surprised it can do that much. Your hardware is just to old to be able to run them much faster then that.

Look, I've done my research, and I know Crysis requires a lot, but the other games I've listed should definitely be running at 60fps maxed out. I have a friend with a computer that's a bit more powerful than mine - maybe 50% - and it can even run Battlefield 3 on low settings. Oh and my specs blow Half-Life 2's requirements out the window.

#4 the_patriot11

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 10:24 PM

Darx-my system, (check my specs out) will only run Crysis maxed out at 30-40 fps. You may have some driver issues-and it wouldn't hurt to update them-but other then that, with that system, I dont see you doing much better on any of those except maybe counter strike. Pentium Ds were never designed for gaming, its more of a desktop application CPU, that coupled with your 2 gigs of ram is probably what your bottleneck is.

As far as half-life 2 and counterstrike is concerned, it may be a Steam Issue, a driver issue, or a connection issue. If you have a lousy internet connection, it would account for lousy framerate in multiplayer (and even single player in many steam games) I would check your internet connection, re-install steam, and make sure all your drivers are up to date. As far as Crysis and COD4 is concerned, I don't see you getting much better with those, at least not in Multiplayer. Are you framerates taken in both SP and MP or just one or the other?

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#5 Darx

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 12:03 AM

Darx-my system, (check my specs out) will only run Crysis maxed out at 30-40 fps.

Hahaha, what kind of max are we talking? Very High @2560x1600 with 16xAA and 16xAF? Just kidding, but Crysis does use a ridiculous amount of power maxed out, but on Medium settings @800x600 it runs amazingly well, considering the graphics quality.

You may have some driver issues-and it wouldn't hurt to update them-but other then that, with that system, I dont see you doing much better on any of those except maybe counter strike. Pentium Ds were never designed for gaming, its more of a desktop application CPU, that coupled with your 2 gigs of ram is probably what your bottleneck is.

@Drivers: As I've said, I've already tried this, by using older video card drivers and using HP's website to download their drivers, but none of it's seemed to make any difference. I mean, I know there's a lot of drivers, and I don't know how to clean up motherboard drivers, or what other important drivers there are in fact, but I don't know if that's important.

@CPU: I know Pentium D's are crap and designed for heating rather than calculating, but it's still a dual-core and similar to a 1.8GHz Core 2 Duo in power. Call of Duty 4 and the old Source games don't require much CPU power.

@RAM: I'm using XP, so 2GB is plenty for the older games. Crysis 2 is the only game I've played that makes my desktop background black when I quit.

As far as half-life 2 and counterstrike is concerned, it may be a Steam Issue, a driver issue, or a connection issue. If you have a lousy internet connection, it would account for lousy framerate in multiplayer (and even single player in many steam games) I would check your internet connection, re-install steam, and make sure all your drivers are up to date.

Really, the quality of my internet will affect single-player performance in Steam games?

My internet... that's another story. I'm pretty sure the upload and download speeds are fast enough at least. Speedtest just gave me 13.54Mbps down and 0.97Mbps up (I live in New Zealand so that might look slow to you), and on Steam my download speed maxes at 1.6-1.7MB/s, though it fluctuates a lot, sometimes going as low 50KB/s occasionally. As for speed, Pingtest rates it A, aka the top rating which very good, but when I play games it doesn't feel that way. I always seem to be quite a bit behind people, for example in Counter-Strike I'll see someone for a moment then I'm dead. Obviously CS can be like that anyway, but there are cases where my connection is definitely behind, even if my ping is less than 10ms. I don't know why my internet is like that.

As far as Crysis and COD4 is concerned, I don't see you getting much better with those, at least not in Multiplayer. Are you framerates taken in both SP and MP or just one or the other?

I don't have Call of Duty 4's SP anymore, but I remember it being laggier than MP. Crysis Wars runs awfully, 15-30fps maybe on minimum settings @800x600.
I have to apologise for something though. These last few weeks I played CoD4 @800x600 and maxed everything but left AA and AF off, and it actually ran pretty well, maybe 20-50fps, but I forgot that when I made the first post. It must've been because I always used to use 1280x1024, which is a bit too high resolution I think.

#6 the_patriot11

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:46 PM

full out, at 1920 x 1080 with 8 x AA and AF, at Crysis. And as far as performance to a core2duo-that depends. The Pentium D was a great processor-for what it was designed for, and that is desktop calculations and the like-it had nowhere near the cache or the BUS speed to keep up with gaming. It may peform like a 1.8 ghz core2duo in everything else-but in gaming, and in some cases, better. probably far lower then that. I had a pentium D 930 (3 ghz) I used to run in a Linux machine, the thing was blazing fast, but I wasnt doing any 3D applications with it.

As far as HL2, specifically, Im not sure if the internet connection would affect the performance that much or not, Im not to familiar with that specific game and how it runs-I just now with some Steam games it can.

Thats the other thing-the AA and the AF. Both take a lot of power to run, and the 8600 was never good at either (In fact, its never been NVIDIAs strong point, but the 8600 was particularly bad) I had a friend with dual 8600s in SLI, that couldnt handle the AA, at least not and get a good framerate. I would suggest turning the AA off in all your games and trying that-its just eye candy anyway.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#7 Darx

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 04:12 AM

Oh, I think I made an error with the CPU speed. The Pentium D's about half the speed of the Pentium Dual-Core I think, which is similar to a Core 2 Duo, so it'd be more like a 1.4GHz Core 2 Duo.

What games was your friend playing, and at what settings? Anyway I don't use AA or AF.

Half-Life 2 should run easily with my specs, easily 60fps, probably 150fps, but I only get around 30-40fps most of the time, and the flashlight destroys my frame-rate.

Another thing I should point out is that particles kill my frame-rate too. I know particles use a lot of power, but if I stand next to a wall in CoD4 and shoot at it, my fps can drop from 90 to 40 or worse. Smoke grenades cause massive lag too, especially when I walk through them.

#8 Stevey McFly

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 04:46 AM

Maybe it's the problem with the processor? After all, u said you had a single core, and now you have dual 2,8 or smoething like that. Remember, that multi-core technology is not fully "funtional" yet.

#9 the_patriot11

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 01:03 PM

Actaully, the pentium D is a dual core CPU, 2.8 ghz with a 2 mb cache and 800 mhz BUS speed if I recall right. And Im thinking that is indeed his problem here-that CPU, when it was new, was never even designed for 3D gaming. My old pentium D 930 (3 ghz) combined with an ATI 4550 (which outperforms the 8600) and 2 gigs of ram would only give me 30-45 fps in COD4, at similar resolutions. So when I say the machine just plain isnt fast enough to play most modern games beyond that-I am speaking from experience. As far as Half life 2 and counter strike, he is right it should play a little better then that I would think-which leads me to think its a steam or connection issue.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.


#10 Darx

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 01:33 AM

@Stevey McFly: I'm not sure, but I think my computer is able to use both cores. Crysis used to lag a lot with the old P4 3GHz when buildings collasped, but the frame-rate only drops a little with the Pentium D. That's the only evidence I remember though, apart from Task Manager, dxdiag, and other software recognising that it's dual-core. Really though, I've watched videos on Youtube of people with the P4 playing games like CoD4 and it runs fine.

ATI 4550? Do you mean the HD 4550? Because I just looked that up, and I read that it's not better than the 8600GT. Anyway, I think I'll have to use an even older game as an example now. Halo: Combat Evolved. I don't monitor my frame-rate, and it usually runs smooth, but if there's a lot of particles around, like when I'm shooting, the frame-rate can drop to maybe, 30-40fps? I think I only get around 100-150fps normally as well, which is pretty terrible for an old game, right?

#11 the_patriot11

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 05:42 PM

The HD 4550 is the ATI 4550, they are one and the same. and it is better-it is 2 generations newer then the 8600 for one, so the technology alone will outperform the 8600. The 8600 was at best a mid range card when new, and not a well performing card-the only card in that series that really performed well was the 8800, which was ahead of its time. Ive tested my 4550 against 8600, and in every case it outperformed it. Keep in mind, a 500 ghz GPU will outperform a 2 year older 600 mhz GPU, simply because of the better technology. (those arnt actually the GPU speeds, their just numbers I threw out there)

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.





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