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Old 01-17-2006, 03:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Old PC hardware optimization woes

Hello all this is my first post, hopefully one of many this place...seems quite informative...well onto my dilemma here.... Im going to start with my story and then my current problem lol.

My system is as follows:

(Used to be Alienware)
1.5 P4 Willamette (423 pin) on an
Intel D850GB mobo
512mb RAMBUS PC-800 ECC ram
Geforce 6600 AGP 256mb video (Just installed from my old Geforce 3 Ti500)
SBLive! X-gamer
Windows XPPro

My first real problem is that a long long time ago when I first got this computer from Alienware it totally kicked tail all the time. (This was 2001) In regular CS I always had 100 fps constant no sweat, the computer was fast and the video faster. At this time it had WinME.

One day I uninstalled McAfee virus scan and deleted the registry keys afterward to make sure I got rid of the pesky program, but it turns out that McAfee had hooked itself to a lot of VxD files in the OS and my computer thus booted with many errors and it ended up having to make a fresh reinstall from scratch.

Ever since then my computer's performance has been UTTER JUNK comparitively. I contacted Alienware at the time, many, many times and all they did was skirt around my question and deleted posts about it in their forums and left me high and dry. That was about this: What exactly had they done to my computer to make it perform as it did before I had to reformat? Nowadays they give you a handy CD for 50 bucks to restore your computer to that initial performance, but not then.

So what do they do exactly? Manually set IRQ, DMA, and I/0? Did I simply install everything in the wrong order? Intels BIOS doesn't allow for much manual anything.

Anyway I have been dealing with this computer for a while now, updated RAM got WinXP Pro, and contintued to play CS, trying desperately to find ways to optimize my GF3's and my computers performance, I finally settled for 800 by 600 lower settings with vsync off a few in game tweaks to max out the performance to 25-100 fps range in CS 1.6. The general average was around 60fps. Then I got CS:S and the card seemed to handle it fairly well. Of course this is all at 800 by 600 with no frills. Still it was quite taxing on the card and the performance was sub-par, as it was with CS 1.6.

So I got enough money to buy a 6600 256mb (it was all I could afford really).. expecting a HUGE improvement, only to find that I'm really stuck in the same situation. Its like I nearly have the same video card in. In CS:S I get anywhere from 15 to 100 FPS that is one helluva range! Most often it is below 45FPS But even on simple maps (fy_iceworld) my fps will dip to 15fps. Upon further inspection I find that the specs are rather close to the same on these two cards but anywho... I also played CS 1.6 with it and STILL DO NOT GET 100 fps constant. Cmon, this game is so old that this card should handle it no sweat right? Not only does it NOT kick CS 1.6's butt....BUT I get fps drops down to 30 or 20 fps during certain situations!!!! Which is rediculous!

AGP 4x is enabled
SBA is enabled
FW is enabled

I was able to get faster load times by switching Video load Cache from SC to SCSW in the BIOS.
There are no IRQ conflicts nor does anyone major part of my system share any.

I briefly used Riva Tuner with many different configurations to no improvement.
I have used registry cleaners, 3rd party defraggers, and been reading lots of things to help my system and yet nothing really does it. The only thing I can see being a problem here is maybe Way back when I wasn't able to install Intel's chipset drivers before anything else when I did the reinstall to leave me with this low performing drivel. Here are my marks on 3dmark03:


I'm a little concerned about my core and clock speeds in this report.

Can anyone shed any light on this matter? My Alienware support has long since runout. I know by todays standards this computer is a Piece of Junk but it really is still a very capable system and should beable to handle CS:S and especially CS 1.6 without too much of a hitch but some lower performing graphics, thanks for any ideas or comments.


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Old 01-18-2006, 02:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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ensure all the correct drivers are loaded, make sure dma is enabled. sounds to me more like the rest of your system is struggling not the graphics card.

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Old 01-18-2006, 02:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What I dont understand is how a clean reformat and reinstall could impact the systems performance so drastically. Before the reformat I didnt have a problem with anything EVER for 2 years. NO Blue screens, no error messages, no problems with any of the graphics intesive games I had like Deus EX and Thief 2 and CS 1.6 in 1240 x 768 with AA and AF @4x. and Thats all with WinME. I loved WinME. Ultimately it became the burden of network vulnerability and it had to go, but after the reinstall I got the occational error message, I had slower boot times, I had drastic performance decreases in memory use and graphics capabilities. The computer well basically...sucked after that and has not performed like it did in its first 2 years since.

Now during CS:S and other crazy new games I've had im sure the computer is struggling a little, but it shouldnt struggle as much as it does.

Of course the correct drivers are loaded, of course dma is enabled thats kid stuff. :P
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