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Kiro
12-07-2005, 19:34
Okay, I haven't got a fancy graphics card, in fact I've just got the bog standard one that came with my computer. I only have 510 RAM, which I thought would be a lot, but isn't even enough to play DoW, so as you can guess my computer is a little...sub-standard, even though it's only 2 years old :rolleyes:
Can anyone help me tweak this beast? I've heard that there are various programs one can download that can improve performance of your computer, if even only a little bit. Unfortunately, I haven't a clue what to download, nor where to get it. Any help, people?

Sgt John Keel
12-07-2005, 19:43
Okay, I haven't got a fancy graphics card, in fact I've just got the bog standard one that came with my computer. I only have 510 RAM, which I thought would be a lot, but isn't even enough to play DoW, so as you can guess my computer is a little...sub-standard, even though it's only 2 years old :rolleyes:
Can anyone help me tweak this beast? I've heard that there are various programs one can download that can improve performance of your computer, if even only a little bit. Unfortunately, I haven't a clue what to download, nor where to get it. Any help, people?

512 mb ram works for me. Granted, it's a bit laggy in large scale online battles, but it works. And then I'm running on almost highest grapics level. What kind of graphics card do the computer have?

/Adrian

Cade
12-07-2005, 19:46
FreeRAM Xp Pro is a good programme......it de-frags your RAM and speeds things up a little.

You can buy a really quite good graphics card for only 40 these days......that's what I spent on my nice little Nvidia GeForce Fx-5200 128 Mb card. (from amazon, of all places!)

Performance boosting programmes are given away on a free disc every month in almost every computing magazine in the UK.
It's faster than downloading them all, and they are virus-free!

PC Gamer is where I got all of mine.

Hope this helps...

Kiro
12-07-2005, 19:53
Well, two things. Firstly I've got broadband, so dowloading things isn't a problem for me. Secondly, I've got no money, literally, I have the sum of about 1.90 in the bank. I am a student after all, gentlemen ;) . Gimme those linkies!

Starkey
12-07-2005, 20:34
The best place to buy graphics cards is www.aria.co.uk (http://www.aria.co.uk)

depending on the price they will have what you need. Also the do next day delivery aslong as it is ordered by 11am

they are also the cheapest place to buy TFT in the UK

Kiro
12-07-2005, 21:01
But Starkey, I have no money :(
So I need away to get around having to buy anything.
What's this FreeRAM xp pro and how do I get ahold of it? I don't like the sound of having to de-frag my drive. I did that once and ended up totally destroying my computer!

Starkey
12-07-2005, 21:15
if you are running it should be ok. It may also help if you remove as much as possible from the dasktop so only key icons remain, a blank background also speeds things up a bit.

Freeing up hard disk space will also help.

Apart from that the only thing is to upgrade the graphics card

Kiro
13-07-2005, 01:31
512 mb ram works for me. Granted, it's a bit laggy in large scale online battles, but it works. And then I'm running on almost highest grapics level. What kind of graphics card do the computer have?

Erm, I'm not sure, it's a generic one I can tell you that much. I'm not even sure how to check out the details!

TenTailedCat
13-07-2005, 01:43
If you open your start menu, click Run and type 'dxdiag' it should shouw you everything about your machine, just click through the tabs to find the relevant information.

I'm sure there's an easier way to find it out but I don't know what it is. :P

Kiro
13-07-2005, 02:15
Oh I know about dxdiag, but where do I go to find out who has made my graphics card, or how powerful it is?

TenTailedCat
13-07-2005, 02:37
If it's bog standard with the computer it should be in your user manual.

Kiro
13-07-2005, 02:45
Nope, it doesn't give any of the technical details in there. Help! :(

Vanus
13-07-2005, 02:59
The display tab in dxdiag will tell you everything about your graphics card.

Kiro
13-07-2005, 03:46
Ah, I see. Well, in that case, I've got an Intel 82845G 64 MB graphics card. Is that good? :confused:

Egads I've only got 248 RAM!

TenTailedCat
13-07-2005, 04:39
Better than my 32mb offering. Currently a 128mb (I think) is enough to run most of the more demanding graphical games. It depends on what you want to play.

Kiro
13-07-2005, 11:54
Well for one thing, it can't properly play AvP 2! :mad:
The game is how old and I have to put it on the lowest graphical settings, and it still stutters!

Starkey
13-07-2005, 12:03
The graphics card is intergrated into the motherboard. It is a bit naf really

However you can change the amount to memory the graphics cards has.

Because it is an intergrated graphics card it shares memory so you can allocate the amount of memory it has. To do this you have to go into the computer BIOS and find where it mentions VGA(or somethig similar) size. Then change this umber to around 128mb.

It should make AvP2 play faster.

HalberdBlue
13-07-2005, 15:34
Stuttering is not necessarily a problem with your video card itself, it could be you have outdated drivers, or that because the game is so old it wasn't designed to run on future hardware.

There are several things you should try to make your computer run better:
Defragging the disk driver at least once a month (I do it every week)
Overclocking (pretty much everything on my computer that can be overclocked, is)
Modding (I have a Radeon 9800 Pro that I modded to an XT)

and the most important one: making sure your computer isn't overheating. This causes more performance issues than pretty much everything (except maybe for not having enough RAM) and its dangerous to your hardware and potentially you. If your case is warm to the touch, that is A Bad Thing (tm). If the air blowing out of the back of your computer is hot, that is A Bad Thing (tm). If its just a little hotter than room temperature you are fine though. To make it better you can make sure that your that your fans aren't all dusty or covered up, that you have a sufficient number of fans, that high-heat parts aren't placed right next to each other (if you have room) and area around the case is well ventilated. You also can never have enough fans but you said you didn't have any money...

Kiro
13-07-2005, 17:54
Erm, I don't know about overclocking, I did it to one of my computers a few years ago, and it blew up!

Cade
13-07-2005, 19:26
GRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!

I was gonna post you a link to the cheap Graphics Card I got.......and in doing so spotted a much better one for the same price!!!!

Dammit!

*orders the better card*

Now I have to find a buyer for the current one!

wilting_laughter
13-07-2005, 19:28
Okay, I haven't got a fancy graphics card, in fact I've just got the bog standard one that came with my computer. I only have 510 RAM, which I thought would be a lot, but isn't even enough to play DoW, so as you can guess my computer is a little...sub-standard, even though it's only 2 years old :rolleyes:
Can anyone help me tweak this beast? I've heard that there are various programs one can download that can improve performance of your computer, if even only a little bit. Unfortunately, I haven't a clue what to download, nor where to get it. Any help, people?

I play Dow on 256 Ram (I assume you means MB)?

Kiro
13-07-2005, 21:47
I play Dow on 256 Ram (I assume you means MB)?

Yep, but when I attempted to install it, my computer decided to tell me it doesn't have enough RAM to support the game and cancels the installation.

athamas
13-07-2005, 22:04
with XP you need 256 just to run it!

im afraid you might need to get some new ram chips... get some of the 128 ones, as they would be the best priced [almost considered old now!]

128 meg graphics will run any game out currently, though if you have lots of ram it takes lots of preasure of things like graphics ect, and loading times....


i managed to get 1.5Gb of ram with my computer, [it was cheap]
i got one when going to uni, and did alot of searching for a cheap site... go look. you will be surprised what you can find!

Cade
19-07-2005, 23:37
*installs new graphics card*

*plays Dawn of War and Darwinia on max settings*

Whoah!

Thanks to Kiro......if I hadn't treid to give you the link to my old, cheap 128MB card, I would have never found my new, much faster yet still cheap 256MB card!

46.86 for a 256 Mb graphics card?
Can't be right!

BigJim
20-07-2005, 00:05
*installs new graphics card*

*plays Dawn of War and Darwinia on max settings*

Whoah!

Thanks to Kiro......if I hadn't treid to give you the link to my old, cheap 128MB card, I would have never found my new, much faster yet still cheap 256MB card!

46.86 for a 256 Mb graphics card?
Can't be right!

..And where wold this be from? ;)
I'm either going to replace my GFX card, or just stuff it & get a new processor & mainboard, plus the card quite soon(ish), I like the sound of that card, a lot.

Currently mine sometimes struggles with UT2003 with about middling gfx settings. :(

Kiro
20-07-2005, 17:48
Where's the link Cade!?! :eek:

Chuffy
20-07-2005, 17:54
Don't put all of your PC problems down to having a poor graphics card. In fact, you want a good processor and RAM over a good graphics card any day. A graphics card just makes it look prettier, no doubt if things are stuttering you might want a better processor.

Cade
20-07-2005, 19:19
Here's the link:

Performance for pennies! (http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B0000E2Y8M/qid%3D1121883993/026-1359074-6217267)

I have a 2.8 Ghz Intel Pentium 4 proccessor and 512 RAM.

Kiro
20-07-2005, 20:05
Okay, new problem here. I just tried to pop an old stick of 64MB of RAM, enough to allow me to install and play DoW. It doesn't fit though. Just compared it to the stick that comes with the PC, and for some reason the 64 stick doesn't fit. The "clamps" that hold it down won't fasten. It fits in the slot quite tightly but the clamps won't go on. Will it work anyway? I'm afraid to try it as it is, but am I just being paranoid, or do the clamps have to fasten it in place in order for it to work?

BigJim
20-07-2005, 21:48
Don't put all of your PC problems down to having a poor graphics card. In fact, you want a good processor and RAM over a good graphics card any day. A graphics card just makes it look prettier, no doubt if things are stuttering you might want a better processor.

Don't worry, I don't blame my gfx card entirely; I'm running a 1.3gz AthlonXP, with 256mb or ram, since it inexplicably crashes after 3 minutes (almost to the second) whenever I insist on using ore than one DIMM slot, plus other things set it off.

There's much that could probably be upgraded to improve performance, but in the end it'd probably be better to replace the whole job than to add obsolete or almost obsolete components.
My drives & such are all sound though, so I'll probably just replace the mainboard, processor & memory, maybe power supply if I need to.

Ps; Cheers Cade! :)

athamas
20-07-2005, 22:13
@cade...

you are right.. it should not be that cheap..

it is for a reason, its the old 5200 processor with improved ram!

in preformance tests, a 9800se 128 is far far better,
there is also the upgade problems, that 5200 is limited to directX9.0 [not 100% sure about this!][IIRC we are now on 9.1c] [or maybe its open GL its limited on...]

it should be good for a while though, though dont be surprised when it starts rejecting new games, [once ppl finaly start using PCIE] as it will not cope im afraid!

Firebreath
20-07-2005, 22:28
Okay, new problem here. I just tried to pop an old stick of 64MB of RAM, enough to allow me to install and play DoW. It doesn't fit though. Just compared it to the stick that comes with the PC, and for some reason the 64 stick doesn't fit. The "clamps" that hold it down won't fasten. It fits in the slot quite tightly but the clamps won't go on. Will it work anyway? I'm afraid to try it as it is, but am I just being paranoid, or do the clamps have to fasten it in place in order for it to work?
Did you take a look at the type and speed of the old memory stick? There should be written something on both sticks and they should be the same, something like DDR (type) and PC2700(speed).

KingNic
20-07-2005, 22:30
Guys... the memory on a graphics card is in no way a measure of the performance of the card. My 9800 pro has 128mb memory and it runs more than twice as fast as my mates 9600 pro with 256mb memory. Heck, I could name a dozen 64mb cards that'll run faster than the 9600 pro.

To the OPs origional problem - you're using on-board graphics. On-board graphics are designed to do no more than run 2D applications. If you are going to get an upgrade, MAKE IT COUNT. Your computer has plenty of speed so don't waste it on a 5200. Find a 2nd hand 9800 pro - that's about the right level of graphics card for your machine.

And the RAM that you're trying to put in at the moment is probably SDRAM, not DDR. You can't mix/match types.

Kiro
20-07-2005, 22:33
To the OPs origional problem - you're using on-board graphics. On-board graphics are designed to do no more than run 2D applications. If you are going to get an upgrade, MAKE IT COUNT. Your computer has plenty of speed so don't waste it on a 5200. Find a 2nd hand 9800 pro - that's about the right level of graphics card for your machine.

And the RAM that you're trying to put in at the moment is probably SDRAM, not DDR. You can't mix/match types.

Um, what's a 9800 pro? :confused: :angel:

How can I tell whether it's DDR or SDRAM?

BigJim
20-07-2005, 23:16
Well, it should say on the chips (in tiny tiny letters), or on a sticker mounted to the ram.
If not, it'll probably tell you in the bios, press delete, or F1, or whatever button it mentiones when you boot up & look for your ram settings.

Looking at SD Ram, (I have a spare DIMM here I had to leave out of my computer - see above), on the bottom surface where the little metal contacts are, you'll find a pair of little notches, one a quarter way along & another in the middle, and these match up with a pair of little ridges inside the DIMM slot on your mainboard, so only a DIMM with notches in the right place can sit in it..

IIRC, DDR ram only has one of these little notches, & so the dimm just won't fit in (it's dark in your case, so check & see if this isn't why the DIMM won't fit).

*EDIT* :BigJim's handy DDR/SD recognition guide:

Look at one of your DIMMs, & compare it to these pics. Check out the little notches at the bottom.

http://images.micron.com/images/products/photos/v2/Modules/DDR%20Reg%20DIMM%20256MB%20w%20l.jpg
this one is DDR ram

http://www.nuggetlab.com/comptia_files/equipment/mem_168-pin%20DIMM%20memory%20module.jpg
and this one is SD-ram



AFAIK, a 9800 pro is a graphics chipset made by Radeon, & the term can also be used to describe any gfx card using that chipset, in the same way my card is made by verto, but I call it a geforce 5200-yadda-yadda, after the chipset it uses.

WLBjork
21-07-2005, 17:47
A graphics card just makes it look prettier, no doubt if things are stuttering you might want a better processor.

Not entirely true. Graphics memory will hold information relating to graphics processes, e.g textures. Larger memory capacity means less transfer between the CPU/RAM and Graphics card, and that can cut down on FPS problems.

The there are programs which will refuse to run without certain instructions, which can only be run on GPUs sufficiently advanced enough.

Finally of course, too many instructions and the GPU becomes a bottleneck.


A decent graphics card is essential for any computer, just like the other components.