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Thread: System performance isn't what it should be. Help please...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005

    Question System performance isn't what it should be. Help please...

    Hello, everyone. This is my first post here.

    I'm a veteran computer builder and have been maintaining my own sysytem for years. I hear more and more of people overclocking, but then also I read all over how bad it can be. It sounds like there's soooo many variables to work with and am a bit scared to ruin anything.

    I had to remove a bad RAM chip yesterday and am waiting on some in the mail. Previously I had 1 gig RAM installed (PC2700 333). I was able to get right away 2x 256meg DDR400 RAM chips and replace those from the other old ones that were in there. Now I don't know how much a of a difference I am supposed to see, but it seems like with 512megs of RAM my system is really underperforming and I don't know why it's so significantly lower in speed of loading things.

    Let me give you an outline of my current system. Maybe you can help:

    -AMD 64 Athlon 3200+ (didn't catch what type of core it has, but it's under 1 month old bought from a local retailer in box, any books it's show or just on the chip?)
    - CPU runs at 1.5500v and 31 degrees Celcius @ 2.01ghz, System at 33 degrees Celcius; CPU has standard cooling heatsink equipped
    -Asus A8N-SLI Premium motherboard
    -Asus Extreme AX700-x PCI Express 128DDR x16 Video Card
    -2x 256mb DDR 400 ram
    -Thermal Lake 430w Power supply
    -RAID 0 with a 120gig and 160gig SATA Seagate (running as dual 120gig obviously)
    -additional mobile dock 120gig WD UDMA HD
    -another additional mobile dock 120gig WD UDMA HD
    -80 gig Seagate UDMA Drive
    -Emprex DVD+-RW Writer drive

    Using the Nvidia Firewall and onboard audio capabilities as well.

    I don't know how temporarily losing 512 megs of RAM could yield such HEAVILY, not just subtle, noticeable performance issues. For example, after replacing the bad memory with new good memory I went in and played the online game "Star Wars Galaxies." Now usually with my system to have the system load from one planet to the next MAYBE takes 15 seconds at most. Last night it took 2 and a half minutes. Getting out of the game also took over a minute for it to quit. I don't know it it's my garphics card or what, but there is a serious problem here. I'll be getting 1gig (2x 512meg) of DDR 400 Corsair Valueselect RAM friday so my total RAM by then will be 1.5gigs

    I should be noticing a considerable difference running a RAID too. That was a recent move, but I don't see much improvement in the accessing data performance beyween 2 drives I was told would increase in. I think everything's set for optimal system performance, but from what I've read around you can safely clock these newer systems, but I don't want to blow anything up. I have that NTune wizard on my AI Asus A8N-SLI Premium Nforce4 motherboard, but that tuning utility kinda creeps me out. Is it really a good tool to use? I tried it once and it froze my system while testing. I would like to know how I can safely overclock my system without jeopardizing everything running in it. From what I read you overclock one thing and it can affect other parts and so on. I don't want anything running dangerously high, but I know the potential of my system can be better, I know it.

    Any help would be great. Please post your thoughts and suggestions on my bottlenecking and/or overclocking and should I do it?

    My main purpose for my system is Video Editing. I use Adobe Premiere and Digital Video Editing / Effects processing.

    Thank you very much for the read and look forward to your comments / thoughts. :)
    Last edited by niennumb1; 07-27-2005 at 10:53 PM. Reason: adding more content

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003

    Default Re: System performance isn't what it should be. Help please...

    I'm guessing your new ram will help you overclock a bit better, plus video editing seems to be a considerable ram hog sometimes, so more ram should make a bit of a difference there. On the other hand that raid 0 array will most likely not make much of a difference in speed at all.
    About the time I get an overclock that seems very stable on my systems I'll get a new game that tells me otherwise, It seems like a trend but then again there is probably no average home P.C. user that gets as many new video games installed on a system as I do in a single months time. I'm not really into pay per month games such as Star Wars Galaxies, but taking into consideration the online games that I do play, it does makes me wonder if the loading from planet to planet time you mentioned isn't affected by your internet service and the other peoples service you play against as well as the server you happen to connect to when you play online.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Minnesota, United States

    Default Re: System performance isn't what it should be. Help please...

    It's hard to say what's the culprit here. That's definitely worse than it should be for 512MB. For now, I'd say wait and see until your extra RAM comes. It could very well be something totally different, such as bandwidth like Spongebob mentioned. That said, my own experience with MMOs (Guild Wars, so no fee here) is that my own connection isn't much of a bottleneck when updating areas or going to new ones. Does Star Wars Galaxies tell you what the download speed is when you go to a new planet? Is that even relevant (meaning, does it even need to download much for you to do this)? Also, can you think of anything else you did around the same time this started happening?

    As for RAID, don't expect too much out of it. It will help your video editting, but not hugely. You might not even notice anything without some sort of benchmark. Some better cooling and a better PSU in order to overclock your CPU would have been a much better investment if you want better performance out of anything. Speaking of which...

    As for overclocking, don't even think about it with that power supply. In fact, I can hardly believe that system is stable with a 430W Thermaltake PSU. Get yourself something over 500W. IMO 430W is pushing it even for a system at stock.

    BTW, what's with the motherboard and video card? You have an SLI board and an ATI card, which just doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The only major benefit of the SLI chipset other than SLI itself is that some of the SLI boards have RAID 5 and most of the Ultra boards don't, but that doesn't seem to be relevant here.

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