Gaming performance drastically lowered after install of Win7?

By wompai ·
Ey guys,

Yeah, as weird as the titel sounds, it's true... The PC I'm talking about recently had problems booting. It had some trouble with the RAM, but I've tried to fix that and it works perfectly. Now that I've got Windows xp replaced by windows 7, it's gaming performance drastically lowered for some reason. But I did my research, and this pc must be able to run Win7 and the game perfectly. It runs on a Pentium 4 2.6 GHz HT with 3GB of RAM. Also, it uses a Sapphire HD 4650 AGP with 1024MB VRAM. The game I'm talking about here is World of Warcraft. The user of the computer told me that it's performance seemed to have lowered since the crash. I could imagine that it has something to do with the driver, because I had some trouble finding the right driver, but I think I've got that covered...

Thanks in advance!

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All Answers

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Second effort here...

by SmartAceW0LF In reply to Gaming performance drasti ...


The system you describe above will never run either Windows 7 or WOW "perfectly". Not sure where you did your research, but it amuses me a great deal that WOW will run at all with any AGP card. Most games these days will not.

The differences between the AGP and PCI-E bus are landmark leaps in technology where the video gaming experience is concerned. This says nothing of the poor performance of the Intel P4 chip in this arena. Case in point; AMDs rise to the top of performance-minded consumers for the short while that Intels' P4 was their best and the astronomical decline of AMD since the advent of the multi-core Intel processors. A decline so profound that AMD has even announced their intention to no longer aspire to be competitive in that market.

Your client needs to weigh their pleasure in playing that game against their pain of lightening their pocketbook. Honestly, I believe one would likely enjoy a more satisfactory experience with a low-end $300.00 tower from just about any major manufacturer coupled with a low-end PCI-E Graphics card than that which one would get from the system in this post.

Make no mistake about it, Windows 7 is an exponentially better choice of OS for gaming than XP. It does however require technology that is newer than 8 or 9 years old.

"The user of the computer told me that it's performance seemed to have lowered since the crash." <----- I would point out the "seemed to have" qualifier in this statement and submit to you that this users experience is measured in terms of least painful rather than most pleasurable. Further, until someone relates the hard facts to him regarding the money necessary for an "adequately pain free" gaming experience with this particular game that his will always be one measured in least misery.

In my minds eye of what I desire to deliver to my clients in value, were this machine brought into my shop with this clients expectations, he would have been instructed to begin in purchasing another machine as opposed to me wasting his money in trying to meet those desires with his present technology.

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How about..

by Bo Tym In reply to Gaming performance drasti ...

just bumping the gfx settings down? Perhaps this was done before, but since the OS reload reset the games gfx settings, you could try retuning them to find a happy medium between performance and quality. I've seen WOW run on "less" machine then the one described by Wompai.

"Make no mistake about it, Windows 7 is an exponentially better choice of OS for gaming than XP."

This statement indicates that it should run better now than it did before, which doesn't seem to be the case.

It does not surprise me that you had trouble finding agp drivers for that OS/gfx card combo. Maybe the solution would be to just revert back to XP so that compatible drivers no longer becomes an issue?

Edit: Also check the audio settings, I've had some games default to software emulation. Perhaps forcing the hardware to do the work would take load off the cpu. Some HD audio settings can really cripple the performance as well.

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Reponse To Answer

by wompai In reply to How about..

I'll check my audio, thanks!

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Make sure Aero is turned off

by Slayer_ In reply to Gaming performance drasti ...

Aero can suck a lot of power from such an old card.
Also, make sure your drivers are installed and working properly, ATI is notorious for not supporting their cards with new drivers.

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by wompai In reply to Gaming performance drasti ...

Thanks for the quick responses everybody!

This rig was entirely build by me, at no budget at all, with parts that where given to me by people that didn't need them any more. By buying a new product you don't solve the problem you just decide not to deal with it.

This rig here got 50 FPS on WoW with settings set to max (except the shadows but I've got that covered already). Don't ever tell me that AGP graphics cards are bad! I've seen cards that kick ***! They aren't as fast as PCI-e but AGP is not as bad as you describe.

Dissabling Aero makes sence... I think I'll try that, and I am sure gonna check out my driver cuz, I don't trust that yet.

I'll get back to you if I ever need anything, but for now I know everything I need to know, thanks!

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Sorry but AGP can never be as fast as PCI E

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Gaming performance drasti ...

If you have high end Video Cards. Of course if you have a Crappy low End PCI E and are comparing that to a really high end great AGP Card the AGP will appear faster and better which it is but that's not really a fair comparison.

Also no matter what anyone says 7 requires more hardware to do the same job as XP did so I would expect the system to be slower running 7 than it was when it had XP loaded. While 7 may run on it that doesn't mean that it will run great just that it will run. The same as was described when XP was released it was much slower on the same hardware when compared to 98SE. Just the same as Vista was slower than XP on the same hardware.

However saying that what version of 7 is involved here the 32 Bit or 64 Bit?

Also how is the 3 GIG of RAM Configured? 2 X 1 GIG Modules and 2 X 512 MEG Modules or 3 X 1 GIG Modules or some other combination?

If you have Matched pairs of RAM or at the very least the same RAM in Pairs you'll be running in Dual Chanel Mode which is faster than Single Chanel Mode so here it may pay to remove the third Module and see if it's faster with 2 GIG of System RAM.

Also you have 4 GIG installed here when you include Video RAM which should be included when you are addressing the 3.25 GIG or thereabouts System Limitation of 32 Bit Systems. It depends on things like the Chip Set of the M'Board and BIOS Versions as well but generally speaking if you have more than somewhere around the 3.25 GIG of Total System RAM you are not using it all.

So it may very well pay here to remove the third GIG and see if that improves performance including Video Performance.

Of course if you have a 64 Bit Version of 7 it doesn't matter but you may still get better performance with a Pair of RAM as the M'Board supports Dual Chanel Mode.

It's not enough to look at what is possible/required but what works fastest for the hardware that you are using.


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I know,...

by wompai In reply to Gaming performance drasti ...

...what your saying and I agree that AGP can not be as fast as PCI-e, but go check out the specs of the Radeon HD 4650. You will see that it's actually a pretty nice GPU and it's fit for gaming. Not very demanding games but it should and it had run WoW!

On the RAM thing: I've always had issues with how to place RAM. And since all the RAM in this thing is second hand stuff, I had to use whatever I had to get the highest performance even if the brands aren't the same. Now, it's configured as 2x1 GB modules of two differend brands and 2x512 MB modules of the same brand.

Also, the Dual Channel Mode can be turned on, but it turns on when you have Multithreading on, right? Or am I completely wrong? Just tell me if I am... But I've tried turning Multithreading on, but I turned it off again, because I read in some articles that it could cause problems with certain Dell motherboards. I have a compaq motherboard installed, so I thought it would be ok.

The two 1GB modules are on the first channel and the two 512MB modules on the second. If you have tips on how to place them better please let me know.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to I know,...

Actually the card specs don't really matter, it is just spinning its wheels. The AGP is a huge limiting factor.

But I would still check with your drivers, if you are running AGP, your probably 32 bit, you probably don't have duel core, and your system is probably way to old for windows 7. 7 likes to try and split processes onto processors. And has changed much of the OS to utilize multiple processors.

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Well to get the best performance

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to Gaming performance drasti ...

You have the RAM installed Correctly. Though as you say it's all Second Hand and not Matched so the Speed will default to the Slowest RAM Module you have installed. I would assume that is one of the 512 MEG Modules but I could be massively wrong there.

If you can turn on the Dual Chanel I would but it should be on by Default if you have the same sized RAM in pairs and with 7 it will improve speed some.

I would however still try removing the 1 GIG of RAM 2 X 512 MEG and see if its faster you may very well find that XP made better use of the Video RAM and that 7 isn't using anywhere near as much of it as XP was which could be a factor here. It's to do with the way that the Software makes use of the Hardware and here 7 is a Multi Processor OS much more than XP could ever hope to be.

While XP worked with 4 CPU's it's wasn't great and I did run it quite often on several Dual Xeon M'Boards with 2 X Dual Core with HTT which made the OS think that there where 8 CPU's but it wasn't much faster in that configuration.

7 on the other hand is a True Multiprocessor OS which uses all of the CPU's available equally. It also addresses the M'Board differently to XP and hence the available RAM and this may drastically vary depending on the Chip Set of the M'Board involved.

Also Multi Threading may only work with Dual Chanel Mode but again this all depends on the M'Boards Chip Set.

I'd opt for Video Drivers not making the best use of the OS here as well but it also depends on which P4 you have installed here. Some supported HTT and some didn't and the same applies to the M'Boards Chip Sets as well you need to remember that the P4's where around for a long time and went through many changes. You can even get a Socket 775 P4 and while most are the older version Socket 479 the Socket 775 CPU's are much faster than the older versions.

Also if your M'Board has a Intel Chip Set it's going to perform better than one with a SIS Chip Set which where very common and considerably cheaper.


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Despite my extreme displeasure with...

by SmartAceW0LF In reply to Gaming performance drasti ...

the commonplace tendency of IT personnel in discussing the subject in a condescending manner, here I catch myself doing just that. For that I apologize. I continue to be a work in progress. I catch myself trying to make all of the rhetorical excuses regarding this manner of communication even now. I have been doing this for many years and if anyone should know better, I would think it would be myself.

Forgive my assumptions, which were after all my reason for the flavor of that post. Alas, even that gives me pause.

That said, isn't it a wonderful thing to have at our fingertips the vast universe of knowledge of the few regular contributors on this forum that we do? It is not just their technical knowledge and skills I aspire to but their consideration and generosity in sharing it. Thank you all -and you all know who you are. Please do accept my apology wompai. It is genuine. While I sincerely hope this will be my last plea for it, chances are that it will not. However, rest assured that when the need arises I will not fail to own the reason and request it once again.

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