View Full Version : Performance Help !

03-02-2013, 05:50 AM
Hey, Just wondering if someone could have a look at the specs of my computer and make an upgrade recommendation to help me get a little more performance for mid level gaming.

First of all, I know its not a good pc, its a low end computer, Unfortunately for me, that's what I have. I know just starting over and buying a new one would likely be my best option but I just cant afford that at the moment. I only play older less demanding games anyways.. (ie. Americas army 2.5 etc..) But I'm sure with what Ive got, I can maybe spend a few dollars and get some kind of upgrade to help my situation.

So maybe a video card or more ram etc.. If there is a video card that is reasonably priced and compatible with my PC that someone could recommend that would be great !

Mother Board : Gigabyte G41M-ES2L Motherboard
Processor: Intel Pentium Dual Core E5200 2.50GHz
Memory: ULTRA 2048MB PC5400 DDR2 667MHZ
Video Card: Nvidia Gforce 7900GS - 256mb
Hard Drive: Kingston SSDNow V+200 120GB
Case: Apex PC-319 ATX Black Mid-T Case
Power Supply: 450W
Op. System Windows 7 Ultimate SP1


03-02-2013, 07:12 PM
a new videocard and ram will do.

But I'm not sure if you can still find any ddr2 ram, plus ddr2 rams are expensive.

03-02-2013, 09:09 PM
I found another 2048MB of DDR2 ram, thanks I will try that out.

ALSO > Can someone suggest a video card that would well work with my system ?

Thanks !

03-02-2013, 09:32 PM
nvidia 9600gt or 9500gt maybe? I guess that'll work.

03-03-2013, 05:50 PM
What are the brands and model numbers of each memory kit?
Please provide links to the full manufacturers' specifications on their website.
You will need to change some bios settings to get all four memory modules stable.
Using mixed memory brands or models often makes it harder to find stable settings.
Even if your new memory kit is identical to your original memory, finding stable settings might take extra time and effort.

How much are you willing to spend on a new video card?
Video card compatibility shouldn't be a problem.
We can better suggest a card when we know your price range.

Newegg.ca - Desktop Graphics Cards, $75 - $100 (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007708%204027&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=100)

Newegg.ca - Desktop Graphics Cards, $100 - $200 (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007708%204017&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=100)

03-04-2013, 04:36 AM
Hi there, First of all, thank you for taking the time to respond.. Much appreciated.

I haven't actually purchased the 2nd piece of 2048mb or ram yet.. I found some online and was going to buy one. I wasn't 100% sure yet, but this is where I was looking - DDR2 Memory (http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/Category/guidedSearch.asp?CatId=10&sel=Detail%3B30_170_12847_12847,Detail%3B30_1198_1 3061_13061,Detail%3B30_169_47732_47732,Detail%3B30 _1226_1103_1103,Detail%3B30_1225_6870_6870)

As for what I have exactly: ULTRA 2048mb pc5400 Ddr2 667 mhz: Model ULT40089 (could not find manufacture website, sorry ?) If there ram that would work with my existing or possibly a solution to replace my existing memory with 2 new pieces ?> either way. The bios options I would not know the required changes. R u able to supply this info or is their a guide somewhere ? = /

For the budget on the graphics card, I am fine with $100-$200.. Somewhere in there. Its basically just down to what will give me more for my money. If a $100 card will give me a decent boost in performance but a $200 will only give me a little beyond $100 card, then I'd go for the $100 card.


03-05-2013, 05:29 PM
TigerDirect lists your memory, but it isn't available. Buy the Ultra 2048MB PC5400 DDR2 667MHz Memory at TigerDirect.ca (http://www.tigerdirect.ca/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=3127504)
You will have a much easier time if you buy a 2 x 2GB memory kit from a manufacturer that has tested a particular memory kit as compatible with your motherboard. Newegg.ca - 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM, 4GB (2 x 2GB) (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007610%20600006042%20600006066&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=100) shows a list of memory kits where many or most kits should be compatible. I recommend that you buy a kit that is Cas5 (or lower) PC2-6400 (800MHz). PC2-8500 memory should run with Cas4 settings at 800MHz. My 8GB Kingston HyperX T1 PC2-8500 memory has been excellent with my P35-DS3L system. Kingston also has a few models with standard height heat spreaders. Their HyperX kits have better performance than their lower priced kits. As I recall, several forum members had problems with Kingston memory kits that had ValueRAM in their name or with model numbers that began with KVR.

I repeat, mixing memory brands and/or models can often cause problems with stability, even at stock speeds.

Buying a higher performing video card can provide smoother game play and allow higher game settings. While you might not need a much higher performing card with your older games, you will need a better card to play newer games with the ability to use moderate game settings. A google web search using: video card chart 2013 provides some links that will give you a good idea of the relative ranking of older and newer video cards. Check out:
Graphics Card Hierarchy Chart : Best Graphics Cards For The Money: February 2013 - Tom's Hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107-7.html)
Best Graphics Cards For The Money, February 2013 Updates - Tom's Hardware (http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/gaming-graphics-card-review,3107.html)

I like the video card reviews at HARDOCP - GPU / Video Cards Page 1 (http://www.hardocp.com/reviews/gpu_video_cards/) because they include detailed comments on the quality of game play experience with modern high end games. The Newegg user reviews can sometimes be useful when they discuss how good or bad a video card is with certain games.

With Geforce video cards, the Ti models have higher performance and price compared with similar models that don't have the Ti designation.
Buying the older Geforce GTX 560 Ti ($175 or higher) might give you the most performance and it's pci-e 2.0 maximum bandwidth won't make a difference now and probably not in the future if you upgrade your motherboard to a newer model with pci-e 3.0 bandwidth.

There's no substitute for reading video card reviews to learn about other features, such as fan noise and how well the card is cooled.
You should find that there are Radeon cards that offer similar performance and prices to the Nvidia cards.

BTW, two years ago I bought two MSI N460GTX Hawk video cards and they run great in my older P35-DS3L and N650SLI-DS4 systems.
From Tom's chart, the newer GTX 560, 560 Ti, 650 and 650 Ti models have more performance than my 460 video cards.
Geforce cards with the SE model designation are lower performing and less expensive models within the same video card family.

03-06-2013, 11:02 PM
Ok, fantastic reply, thanks again.

I looked around and couldn't find much "official" information on the compatibility of that memory with my specific mobo but in my searches I did find other posts/sites that had this specific memory being used in combination with a my model MB >? So unless you have a better spot to confirm the compatibility, This is what I was thinking, or if you have any better suggestions : G.Skill Ram (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820231122&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&PageSize=10&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&IsFeedbackTab=true#scrollFullInfo)

As for the graphics card, what do you think of this one ? Nvidia GTX260. (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814143189)
I can pick one of these up locally for a really good price.

Let me know what you think,

03-07-2013, 12:44 AM
The G.Skill link at their website is G.SKILL- F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ (2Gx2) (http://www.gskill.com/products.php?index=46&c1=&c2=&search=RjItNjQwMENMNUQtNEdCUFE=) and it is compatible with P4x/G4x motherboards. G.Skill memory was very popular in the forum with P4x motherboards and there were very few problems with their memory in the forum.

According to Tom's heirarchy chart, the GTX 260 that you linked to is comparable to the following video cards:

GTX 260, 275, 280, 460 192-bit, 460 SE, 550 Ti, 560 SE, 650 and
HD 4870, 5770, 4890, 5830, 6770, 6790, 7750
which is pretty decent for an older video card. As long as you're aware of the good and weak points of the older and newer video cards, it will be a major improvement over your 7900GS. If you have any doubts, read reviews of GTX 260 and some of the newer models.
I don't know if the GTX 260 will overclock as high as similar performing newer models.
Note: BFG has been out of the video card business since 2010 so there is no factory warranty.

Before you install your new memory, you should go into the bios and manually set DRAM Voltage to the value that is on the sticker on the memory module, probably 1.90 volts or slightly higher. If you have any problems, let us know and we can help you make any required bios changes.

Always unplug the exterior power supply cable from the wall outlet or the back of the psu before removing or installing new hardware.

You can go to Drivers | GeForce (http://www.geforce.com/drivers) to download the latest supported drivers for your video card.

Good luck with your new hardware!
Let us know how it works out.

03-09-2013, 10:57 PM
Ok, So received GTX260, installed and updated drivers, only problem is, no change in gaming performance.(FPS anyways) I don't think its a bottle necking issue as while in game I'm still only getting 25-30 FPS in battle (pretty much same as 7900GS) but my memory and CPU % are both under 50% usage ? I have went into NVIDIA control panel and already adjusted a few of the main settings for performance over quality already.. so it just seems like a setting or something holding the card back ? Is there anything I need to change in BIOS or somewhere ?

*On another note, My BIOS is version F4 and the up to date version is F9.. Unfortunately I'm not 100% I know how to update it.. I have read through the forums here and it seems a little to advanced for me.. unless I'm not seeing the easy way of doing it ? = \

The new G.skill memory isn't here yet, should be here in a day or two, I will also install that and report back my findings as well... but if you can help with my settings = )


03-09-2013, 11:53 PM
Do a web search using: gtx 260 overclock and you will find links to help improve your card's performance.
Take your time increasing gpu and memory speeds and monitor the gpu temperature.
With my GTX 460 video cards, I was able to go from 780MHz to 900MHz for a nice bump in gpu performance.
Video memory speed increases had a less significant boost in video performance.

Overclocking your cpu will also help gaming performance. Your current 2GB of memory is also holding you back. Win7 runs better with 4GB of memory. Read http://forums.tweaktown.com/gigabyte/27576-bios-flashing-how-qflash-guide.html to learn the safe way to flash your bios using QFlash. Ask if you have any bios flashing questions. As long as you are careful and follow directions, flashing shouldn't be a problem.

03-10-2013, 12:45 AM
ok will do thanks. BTW does anything look out of place here to, I took a screen shot using CPUID --> HERE (http://i118.photobucket.com/albums/o105/robberrobbie/CPUID.jpg)

03-10-2013, 01:56 AM
Which version of HWINFO are your running?
I'm using 1.70.1 from 2010 with my E6300 (R0) cpu.
+12 volt is a bit weak at 1.344 volts
Core temps are a bit high, what is your room temperature?
Are you using the stock Intel cpu cooler and fan?
Which fan is running at 2800+ rpm?
gpu temps are probably OK, my 7600GT is currently at 470C

You can upload one picture per post from your computer or you can link many separate images in one post by using the Insert Image rectangular icon. I always compose my posts using the Go Advanced editing option so that I can preview my posts. I prefer to include images in the post rather than linking to an external site.

You can download and install MSI AfterBurner to o/c your GTX 260 and and Kombustor to run some gpu stress tests and benchmarks.
Kombustor is included in the AB download.
Click on the Download AfterBurner User Manual icon further down the page.
Don't download the AB beta version as it is time limited due to frequent updates and does not include Kombustor.
AfterBurner has an optional on screen display where you can select which gpu details you want displayed in most full screen games.
Have fun!! :pinkie:

MSI Afterburner & Kombustor download (http://event.msi.com/vga/afterburner/download.htm)




03-10-2013, 03:23 PM
OK here are a few answers to your Q

Which version of HWINFO are your running? it was 1.21.0.. I have no idea why, i just updated to 4.12-1850
I'm using 1.70.1 from 2010 with my E6300 (R0) cpu.
+12 volt is a bit weak at 1.344 volts - ANything that can be done to remedy this ? Besides new psu.. as in settings ?
Core temps are a bit high, what is your room temperature? - Avg house temp 22C maybe ?
Are you using the stock Intel cpu cooler and fan? - YES
Which fan is running at 2800+ rpm? - That would just be my case fan I believe
gpu temps are probably OK, my 7600GT is currently at 470C

This pc is about 2.5 yrs old, but was only used maybe once a month, just to check email.. Think cleaning fans and replacing CPU paste make a diff ?

This is another screenshot of HWINFO after about 30 mins of gaming..


03-10-2013, 03:41 PM
Here is a screenshot with the updated HWINFO 4.12... Maybe this will give you more info ? I didn't explore this version at all, just opened it and took screenshot right away.. But I don't see any temps ?


03-10-2013, 04:01 PM
The low 12 volt displayed value is probably a bug in HWMonitor.
Your system can't run with only 1 - 2 volts output on the 12 volt line.
Download and try HWiNFO, HWiNFO32 & HWiNFO64 - Hardware Information and Analysis Tools (http://www.hwinfo.com/) freeware instead of HWMonitor.

Clean out the dust bunnies in your system.
The Intel cooling fan might not have all four mounting legs fully attached and secure.
Cleaning off the old TIM and reapplying new TIM should help somewhat with your cpu temperatures.
You'll get better gaming performance if you you overclock your cpu and gpu.
You will probably need to buy a decent cpu cooler/fan for about $25 to overclock your cpu.

Download and install GPU-z so that you can post a screen-shot for your video card details.
Downloads | techPowerUp - GPU-z (http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/SysInfo/GPU-Z/)

03-10-2013, 04:06 PM
Are you running win7 32-bit? 64-bit?
If you're running 64-bit, run the 64-bit version of HWINFO.
Select Sensors Only when you start HWINFO.

03-12-2013, 09:36 AM
Hi ProfJim, so the new memory arrived and its installed. (as you mentioned changing the voltage to what it said on the sticker... It says 1.8-1.9V so I wasn't sure what to set it at.. Just left it at auto.)

I cleaned out some dust (barely any) from my cpu fan and changed the thermal paste.. I hope it helps. (any reason why 1 core would be hotter than the other, should they be about same) Maybe the paste did apply universally ?

So here are some screen shots, maybe you can look over and see if everything looks ok with the new parts installed.

Also to answer a previous question of your.. its only W7-32bit, But I am upgrading to a 64 bit version later this week. Right now it see's my 4GB of Ram but says only 3.25 is usable.




** Is the DRAM Freq. below correct at 400mhz (runs at half what it says.. ie Dual Ch. = 800mhz ? ) **



03-12-2013, 03:34 PM
HWINFO shows that 12V = 12.366 and DIMM voltage = 1.902
CPU-z shows DRAM Frequency = 400MHz which means that your double data rate memory is running at 800MHz.
With 4GB of physical memory and running a 32-bit operating system, it's normal to only have about 3.2GB of total memory available.
Differences in cpu core temperatures might be due to "stuck" cpu sensors at idle.
Under load, you should see that core temperatures will usually be similar.

Your video card performance in post #10 might be due to running win7 32-bit with only 2GB of physical memory.
See if the game performance is better with ~3.2GB of available physical memory.
It looks like your GTX 260 might be able to overclock to about 700MHz or slightly more.
When you overclock your gpu, you will need to increase gpu voltage slightly as you go higher.
If you get screen artifacts or you get the video driver stops responding message, your voltage is probably too low.

There was a huge difference in performance when I replaced my 7600GT video card with my N460GTX Hawk video card with win7 x64.
Is your cpu running at 2.50GHz when your system is under load?
Running CPU-z, CoreTemp or RealTemp will show your cpu speed while you run different applications.

03-12-2013, 10:22 PM
I have noticed more of a performance increase installing the new RAM over installing the VIDEO CARD.. So I hope upgrading to 64Bit will give me that much more since it should recognize the rest of the 4GB from the 3.2GB that it sees now and also with it being a fresh install maybe will be an advantage as well.

I will take your advice and try to OC my CPU and GTX260, But I dont have any exp doing that.. I see you have recommended MSI Afterburner/Kombuster for the GTX260.. Do you of any guides or walkthroughs using these programs I can follow, as even where you said I may have to raise the voltage a bit =/ I wouldn't know how much or where to start

Also, Is there a program / guide to OC the CPU >? Or is this only done in the BIOS ?

In my BIOS there is an option to run at 2.4 or 2.5GHz so i selected the 2.5 but I'm not sure if thats under load or not.. I will check that out as well.


03-12-2013, 11:08 PM
Make sure that you download the AfterBurner user manual on the same page as the software download.
With AfterBurner you can save up to 5 different overclock profiles.
GPU overclocking is much simpler than overclocking your cpu and memory.

Use AfterBurner to increase the gpu speed 25MHz and apply the setting.
Stress test the new setting by running the most demanding Kombustor tests for 15 - 30 minutes.
If there are no artifacts or "driver stopped responding" issues, play your favorite game to see if there are any problems.

Repeat these steps until a gpu problem arises, where you will need to increase the gpu voltage the smallest amount possible, probably +0.10 volts.
Go as far as you can with your gpu o/c and then take a similar approach to overclocking your memory. As stated earlier, it looks like you should be able to o/c up to about 700MHz on your gpu. I don't know how high the memory can overclock.

Your saved GPU o/c settings will only be applied when you start AfterBurner and load a saved profile. There's no reason to apply your gpu o/c settings unless you're gaming or doing video encoding. You should be able to find more information by searching the web for GTX 260 overclock sites.

I think that your cpu overclocking will be very limited because of heat. If you buy a lower cost cpu cooler such as the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro (rev 2) you will have much better cooling. I had decent cooling with my overclocked E6550 and E6300 (R0) processors to 3.50GHz using the Freezer 7 cpu cooler.You will need to read reviews and make sure that the cooler you buy will fit in your case. Tower type coolers usually offer the best cooling compared with down draft coolers.
Newegg.ca - Computer Hardware, Fans & Heatsinks, CPU Fans & Heatsinks, $25 - $50 (http://www.newegg.ca/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007999%204025&IsNodeId=1&bop=And&Order=PRICE&PageSize=100)

If your bios has C1E and EIST enabled, your cpu speed will fluctuate depending on the system load. My system varies between 3.50GHz (8 x 438MHz) and 2.63GHz (6 x 438MHz). Your G41 motherboard is not a good overclocker, but we won't know how high it can go unless you have a better cpu cooler. Hopefully you will be able to o/c to 3.0GHz but your cpu core temperatures are already on the high side with the stock Intel Cooler.

http://forums.tweaktown.com/gigabyte/26112-gigabyte-x38-p35-p965-ds-dq-s3-overclocking-general-bios-tweaking-guide.html is a good o/c guide. Read it to understand the overall basics, and don't get hung up on the details.

All cpu/memory overclocking will be done in the bios.

03-23-2013, 02:41 PM
Hi Jim, I noticed with the new Ram when my PC starts it says "Memory runs at Dual Channel Interleaved" I posted screenshot of CPUID... Is my memory not running correctly and if not do yo know how to fix this problem ?


03-24-2013, 03:00 PM
Your memory is probably OK with the "Memory runs at Dual Channel Interleaved" message.
The screen-shot you included only provides the programmed memory settings, manufacturer, model number and size of one specific memory module.
You should update your PC Specs with this information and the total installed memory size, such as 2 x 2GB.

The attached screen-shot provides useful information about a system.
Copy the screen-shot into an image editor program and zoom in to better read the details.

The Cpu-z SPD and Memset SPD screens show similar information but Memset provides additional memory timings information.
Cpu-z Memory and the main Memset window show how much memory is installed, the memory timings that are currently used and the FSB/DRAM ratio aka System Memory Multiplier. This information is what we need to know.
The information in the red box in the Cpu-z CPU window will fluctuate if you have energy savings enabled in the bios and in windows.
The Cpu-z Mainboard window shows your motherboard model and bios version, but it does not display the revision number of the board. The rev number is found in the lower left rear corner of the motherboard and will look like rev: 1.0 or have a different number. The rev # should be included in your PC Specs.
The Cpu-z About window lets you create a very useful report when you click on the Save Report (TXT) button. This report contains a lot of useful information about your system and its settings. You can upload this report as an attachment in a post.

Have you made any progress with overclocking your video card?


03-25-2013, 01:56 AM
Hey Jim, Just updated my specs thanks.

I have not had a chance on to overclock my video card yet, I might take a stab at that tonight.. But I did however play around with overclocking my CPU/RAM. I currently my have CPU at 3.33Ghz [12.5 x 266], which I believe changed my Ram settings, as its now at 444mhz. I ran Prime95 and the temps maxed out around 60C. I still have stock cooler installed but I will be taking your advise and picking up the Arctic Freezer 7 Pro, I seen one at local computer store a couple days ago and it was $25 I think.

I have attached the screenshots as you suggested, Have a look. Thanks.

03-25-2013, 03:24 AM
Not too shabby.
Which Prime95 test did you run and how long did you let it run.
I like to see a 6 hour (or longer) test while overclocking and an 8 - 12 hour test when you've reached your final o/c goal.
For my final stress tests, I run each Prime95 test separately (Small FFT, Large FFT, & Blend) for 8 -12 hours.
I demand that my system is more stable than I am. :smilies13

My E6300 (R0) @ 3.50GHz Prime95 cpu core temperatures were ~ 52O C when my room temperature was 20O C.
The Freezer Pro 7 (rev 2) is a decent cpu cooler with an excellent 92mm fan.
Buying a more expensive cooler/fan setup for your system would be overkill.

Download MaxxMem2 to benchmark your memory settings. MaxxPI² - Download (MaxxMEM² - PreView) (http://www.maxxpi.net/pages/downloads/maxxmemsup2---preview.php)
You show me yours and I'll show you mine. :smash:
After you post your MaxxMem2 screen-shot, you can lower your Static tRead Value (aka Performance Level or tRD) for better memory performance.
I'll provide you with a small range of values that should be stable.
Naturally you need to repeat your stress tests each time you tweak your system.

With Memset, press the ">>" button to display the memory timings for both memory channels, A and B.

03-25-2013, 05:22 AM
ok I'll start running tests now.. Ive read several posts that ppl were getting around [core 670 & mem 1190] Or somewhere in around there.. and some ppl got more so is it a good idea to start at that mark or a bit under ? Or should I just start right from stock ?

This may be a dumb question, but if run Kombustor for several hours, how do I know if my card passed or not.. does it give a report or something ?

03-25-2013, 05:56 AM
Starting at the high end of your video card's setting probably won't work.
You'll learn a lot more increasing your gpu frequency in 25MHz increments and increase gpu voltage as required.
I covered this briefly in post #19.
If you increase gpu and memory frequency at the same time, you won't know which one caused the problem if you get screen artifacts or video driver problems.
Your biggest performance gains will probably be with higher gpu speeds, not with increasing video memory speeds.

1/2 hour of Kombuster should be enough to determine if your settings are stable (no driver crashes) and that there are no screen artifacts.
It's best to use the most demanding Kombustor OPTIONAL settings where your screen display runs without being jerky.
Take detailed notes about your video card settings and the results, good or bad for each test.
You should note the maximum gpu temperatures during each test once everything heats up. :FIREdevil:FIREdevil

Happy testing!! :smash: :smash: :smash:

03-25-2013, 06:53 AM
ok well I started the tests before I got to read your post = ( So for about an hour and a half now I have been running Kombustor with my settings at - Core 666 / Mem 1188. There have been no issues at all and GPU temp topped out at 65C but was for the most part around 58-60. So I can reset setting back to stock and start from there if you think that is best.. or just continue from where I'm already at ? and not sure how to view the actual results in Kombustor.. I know from visually watching it, it ran quite smooth and there were no problems/glitches on the screen at all while it was testing, but how can I actually look at the results ?

03-25-2013, 07:27 AM
Continue from your current video card settings.
It's been a while since I last tested with Kombustor.
Do a web search using: kombustor user manual and follow the suggestions in the links.
If you are not using "moderate" optional settings, you probably aren't stressing your card enough.

Another good test is to play your most demanding video games with your new settings.
It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it. :pinkie: