Fast components, slow performance. Tips needed...

  fyak1 20:21 21 Feb 2006

Have just built first PC with very little knowledge of technical side of things. Did research on web and bought components accordingly. All worked on first power up but after 1 week am convinced performance should be better as system seems slower at some things than my previous Dell.

Old system spec:

Pentium P4 3.0
2Gb Crucial RAM
Sapphire X850XTPE
Antec TruePower 450W
Dell stock mobo

New system spec:

Athlon 64 4000+ San Diego
2GB matched OCZ Gold GXT RAM
Sapphire X1900XTX
Antec Neo Power 550W
Asus A8N SLI Premium

Performance issues compared to old system are as follows:

- Start up and Shut down take longer. Only a matter of 10 seconds or so but still irritating.
- In-game graphics stutter (although not quite as much as previous set up there is not much improvement). I have even noticed the basic 3D flower screen-saver stuttering occasionally.
- Opening/closing programs takes a touch longer.
- Performance suffers when operating more than one task/program.

Any guidance as to where I should begin looking would be much appreciated as I am new to all of this. A link to some sort of troubleshooting guide would be ideal.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:40 21 Feb 2006

1. Software

a) Clear out all temporay files and folders -- use Crap Cleaner click here

b) Scan for malware spyware and viruses --Free Anti Spyware :-
Adaware click here
Spybot S&D click here
Spywareblaster click here
a2 click here
MSoftAntispy Beta click here
Ewido click here

Free Antivirus software
Avast4 click here
AVG antivirus click here

c) Clean the registry -- Free Registry cleaners :-
RegscrubXP click here
Regseeker click here
TweakNow RegCleaner 1.3.2 click here
Easycleaner click here ( Use with care, It advises you to back up the registry first, this is a good idea as it cleans rather aggressively. )

d) Pagefile (Virtual Memory) -- Rght click MY Computer - select propeties - Advanced tab - Performance - advanced tab - Virtual memory click change, you can put the page file on a differnt drive (if you have one), click custom size and set Initial size to one and a half times the amount of memory you have fitted i.e. 512MB memory = set to 768MB, set maximum to double your memory amount i.e. 512MB memory = 1024MB click ok.
If your hard drive is full and there is not enough room for the pagefile this can slow down, freeze or even cause the PC to crash (restart).

e) Cut down on the programs that load at startup -- Start - Run type msconfig - startup tab- untick everything except for firewall, antivirus and antispyware

and the services that run in the background. click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:41 21 Feb 2006

2. Hardware

a) Check for errors and defrag your hard drives -- My Computer - select drive - properties - tool tab - Error checking / Defragmentation.

b) Obtain the newest drivers for your hardware
This may seem a bit obvious, but keeping your system's drivers up to date can give both your performance and stability a boost. Video card manufacturers release updates especially often, and these can often give "significant boosts" to gaming performance as video card in question is "optimized."

Don't neglect the other components of your system either. Your motherboard manufacturer may have released newer versions of its Input/output drivers for your board, and sound cards and other peripherals can also benefit from newer software.

Free PC inventory takers :-
Belarc click here
SIW click here
SiSandra click here
will let you knowwhat is installed in your PC.

c) If you are using Windows XP, it's a good idea to convert your system drive to the NTFS file system if you have not already. In addition to providing numerous security and data recovery improvements over FAT32 (the file system of choice for Windows 9x/ME and XP Home) it can also speed up your system slightly.

In fact, the only real reason for sticking with the FAT32 file system for any of your data is if you have more than one operating system on your PC and the other OS's can only see FAT32 partitions (as would be the case with Windows 98, for example, which is incapable of reading NTFS data).

To convert your drives to NTFS:
Right click on 'my computer' and select 'manage'
From the computer management window, expand storage and select 'disk management.'
Using the 'file system' column of the upper pane of this window, you can easily check what file system each of your logical drives is using. Make a note of this information.
Now open a command prompt window by going to 'start\run' and typing 'cmd'
To convert a disk to NTFS, type 'convert (drive letter): /fs:ntfs'
So for example, if you were going to convert your C: drive, you would type 'Convert c: /fs:ntfs' at the prompt.

d) Add more physical memory, this of course means opening the "box" and fitting a memory module, make sure you buy one that is suitable for your PC. Crucial .com click here will guide you through the process of slecting the correct memory. click here for a guide to fitting memory.

  surfsteruk 20:45 21 Feb 2006

Between the two systems, they seem to be pretty much the same.

I have the ASUS SLI premium too. Make sure the memory Modules are in separate channels. If your not using SATA or IDE etc, you can disable the checks in bios to save some time.

Make sure your ram timings are enabled in BIOS.

Trial and error test different drivers for your Graphics card, as the latest isnt always the best.

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