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Old May 25, 2008, 07:25 AM
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Unhappy New PC is SERIOUSLY underperforming.. help!

Hello guys, I have just bought the following PC (brand new).

XFX 790i Ultra 3-Way SLI Motherboard
Intel C2D E8500 Processor
XFX Geforce 9800 GX2
Corsair 2x2GB DDR3 Ram @ 1066 Mhz
WD 500GB 7,200 RPM HDD
Creative SoundBlaster X-Fi XtremeGamer
Windows Vista 64-bit


I have bought this game primarily to play the new MMORPG, Age of Conan. However I was bitterly dissapointed with the performance. On High video settings, with only 8x AA and Disabled Water Reflections, my FPS was getting down to 15, and averaging around 35-40. Changing the AA to 4x bumped that up to 20-25 minimum and 40-45 average.

Speaking to other people, they are much less powerful systems (around 2.8 ghz C2D processors and single 8800GTS cards) and are getting 35-40 FPS as a MINIMUM. Here are the things that ive tried doing so far:

Removed all Nvidia Chipset + Graphics drivers, used Driver Sweeper to completely remove the leftover files, then tried the XtremeGamers Nvidia Drivers and the Official nforce 790i Ultra SLI drivers from the Nvidia website. That improved things, but by very little.

I then had a look at my BIOS settings for some obvious mistakes and found none. All the core clocks were supposedly running at defaulted speeds and there werent any blatantly obvious mistakes (being the noob that I am, I might have overlooked or missed some though).

However, looking at CPU-Z I found the following things (Potential problems??):

Core Speed (for Core#0) is showing at 2000 Mhz, and goes up to 2666 Mhz when I open a program (putting load on the CPU), but never to the claimed 3160 Mhz of the E8500?
Bus speed is 333.3 Mhz, compared to a Rated FSB speed of 1333 Mhz?
Core Multiplier shows 6x. However, it shows 7x in Bios settings and 8x in Ntune view?
Dram Frequency is 533 Mhz. Ram timings are 7.7.7.20.27. and RAM is getting 1.5V.
Bios version is the standard one (not flashed or updated).

My initial guess.. is maybe the Ram/CPU clock frequencies are incorrectly set in the Bios, and maybe the Ram timings as well. How do I check for those and what are safe and performance-biased figures?

Also, in my Motherboard I have a feature named "CPU N/2 Ratio" which I have heard gives some performance gains when it is Enabled (Currently disabled). Is that true?

PS. Got a friend that has the same system, except 2GB of ram running at 1333 mhz and a XP OS, suffering from the same problem (we built PC at the same PC shop.).

Any help or information on this matter would be MOST appreciated, since at the moment I dont really know where to look for some help. Thanks a lot guys!

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Old May 25, 2008, 07:57 AM
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Your ram settings are way out of wack and will probably need to be set manually, and it sounds like your cpu not only has speedstep enabled, but also has the multiplier set too low.

Have you tried a c-mos re-set?

Aside from that... if you had the computer built for you I'd take it back to them and tell them to fix it.
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Old May 25, 2008, 08:33 AM
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Thanks alot.

I have fixed the cpu multi and disabled the halt state, the cpu is working properly now at 3.16, but were can i get the ram timing and how do i change it and do i need to change the ram voltage.
I have 2x 2gb 1066 dd3 and my friend has 1x2gb 1333 dd3 ( since he has the same hardware config )

*edit since were on the subject if i wanted to over clock my e8500 from 3.16(333x9.5) to 3.8(400x9.5) what voltage should i use and would i need to change anything els than the fsb and voltage ? and would i need more cooling ( i have 4 fans big ones and a big vertical heat sink without a fan )

Last edited by binkenaid; May 25, 2008 at 08:39 AM. Reason: more info
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Old May 25, 2008, 09:11 AM
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I'm not familiar with the bios setup on that board, but there should be enhanced memory settings which will allow you to change the big 4 to what the memory is rated at. Make sure you set the mem voltage up according to the manufacturer's specs.

As far as voltages for overclocking go... that's up to you to find out. Every board/chip combo is different.

Read up on a few OC guides, and take baby steps. I suspect you might be able to get away with 3.8 on stock voltages, but you never know.
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Old May 25, 2008, 09:25 AM
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Thanks alot ill start reading OC guides thanks alot
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Old May 25, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Most game benchmarks posted to user forums are based on lies, ignorance, or incompetance.

I would rely more on the stand alone benchmark suites to compare you system's horsepower with others.

What resolution are you gaming at? And what other games did you like playing?
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Old May 25, 2008, 03:40 PM
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I'd load the setup defaults in the BIOS. If that doesn't fix things, then flash it. Once flashed, load the setup defaults again. Everything should run at their correct speeds with default settings, although the CPU will downclock when idle. Also, the memory may not run at the correct speed either, but you should be able to fix that yourself. Depends on how the RAM is programmed.

Your friend's PC is going to be slower though as he has single channel RAM. Don't know why he'd do this. He should of got 2x1GB and not just a single 2GB stick. So he'll have far lower memory bandwidth than you making his overall system slower.

You should be able to run 3.8GHz (400FSB) without any changes in voltage.

You can find the latest BIOS here: XFX - Support
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Old May 25, 2008, 08:19 PM
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some boards wont allow you to adjust the memory timings untill you set overclocking to manual. Once set to manual you should get alot more options related to overclocking
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Old June 2, 2008, 03:27 AM
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i tryed to overclock to 360FSB once i hit this the pc freezez i didnt change the ram timing, my friend has 2x1gb ( 2 sticks ) 1333 the same issue happnes with him once he hit 360FSB the Pc freezez my friend ram timing is 9-9-9-24 for Crosair XMS3 DHX Series(1333) is this timing good ?
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Old June 2, 2008, 07:53 AM
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Well I've been in the beta for AOC and am playing release and have some explanations. First off; it's been reported that SLI is definitely broken in AOC.. If I enable my second video card I LOSE performance in AOC. The patch to fix this is not far off apparently.

This could also be an issue with your GX2 as it's basically "SLI".

The other issue is that the Anti-Alias in AOC is severely broken. There are many reports that logging in on the lowest AA, and then turning it on the highest works for some people but for most people anything above 2x the game has severe performance issues. They did impliment a patch to fix it but to no avail. It's why Dx10 was disabled for now as well. As far as AOC goes; anything more than 2x on any system will severely limit your performance - I'd wait for a fix for these major issues before worrying too much.

There are definitely some inconsistencies with your settings, you should take care of those - however I wouldn't expect them to fix age of conan for you. You should use other, offline games to test performance.
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