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The computer that Edd built running slow... Help!

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Edward1985, Jul 11, 2007.

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  1. Edward1985

    Edward1985 Thread Starter

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    Hi everyone,

    I have an odd story to tell, and I am wondering whether any of you out there can give me a hand in providing a solution. (If you are not interested in back story you can skip my long, work avoiding ramblings, and head to "Anyway" paragraph!)
    I purchased a rather clumsily small computer shop built computer 5 or so years ago, and everything was fine, I slowly upgraded it over the years until one day it blue screened on me, which, as always, was rather upsetting. I re-installed windows and started everything again however this time round it was much slower and more unreliable. What used to be able to run Half-Life 2 rather handsomely, now was a wreck, clogging along at only a few fps. Windows itself was also considerably slower. I eventually gave up and bought a new motherboard and processor and that now seems to work fine... (though that has died on me a few times but seems ok... but that is another story...)...
    Anyway, recently I remembered I had this old motherboard, and a friend has gifted me a case, powersupply, and a hard drive, so I decided to test my computer skills and build a machine from scratch for my girlfriend who is still living off a 700Mhz all in one I-friend PC... It all seems to be working fine... except it is still alot slower than it should be, applications it should easily run move like a slug. However my problem is I do not know of a way of testing the hardware to see why? Can a motherboard or processor or graphics card (these are the only pieces that remain the same) run slower than it should and still work? What would be the cause of this slowness? Can this be fixed without purchasing new kit?
    I can provide as much information as I can remember (it is not here with me at work) about the computer:
    Matsonic MS8157E motherboard
    AMD 1800+ athlon processor
    Radeon 9600 Pro graphics card
    1gb of cheapish ram
    A rather dodgy harddrive that my friend seems to think was dead but seems to be running ok? (I don't think this can be the problem since it had the problem before I even had this)
    Running:
    Clean install of Windows XP (not yet activated, but I'll get round to that), and just the drivers for the motherboard and graphics card installed. So I do not think it can be a software problem, especially since the problem existed on an entirely different hard drive!

    If there is any more information that might help diagnosis, I can try to remember more? But all help is very much appreciated! I apologise for the long winded story!
    Thanks in advance,
    Edd
     
  2. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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    What antivirus program are you using with the AMD 1800? The wrong one can slow it considerably.
     
  3. Edward1985

    Edward1985 Thread Starter

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    Nothing is installed apart from Windows and the drivers. It is not connected to the internet, I do not think it is a software problem, however I could be wrong!
     
  4. Frank4d

    Frank4d Retired Trusted Advisor

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    You can use a free utility like CPU-Z to verify Windows is seeing all of the RAM, and that the memory and CPU are running at the expected frequency.
     
  5. lefty1953

    lefty1953

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    I would test the memory. Memtest86.com has a program you download and then run. When you run it just start it at night and let it run all night and see if there is any errors. Only one chip on the memory can cause all the problems. Oh I see you have 1 GB, is that 2 512 MB chips? If so just switch them around and see if that helps. Or just put the second module in the first slot by itself and try it.
     
  6. brite750

    brite750

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    check the speed of the cpu has to be set to the right FSB, there is also a chance that your friend is right about the hdd, i would test that with the makers diag program
     
  7. Edward1985

    Edward1985 Thread Starter

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    Ok, Thanks to all the replies so far.
    I'll give CPU-Z a try when I get home, it sounds like it might show a few thigns.
    I do not think that there is a problem with the memory as I just donered it out of my main machine (leaving me with only 1.5gb now...), and it ran fine then. Also the original problem arose with entirely different memory, but I will use a mem-check anyway. It is 1 1gb chip, if that helps?
    Brite750, can you explain what you mean by "check the speed of the cpu has to be set to the right FSB" (is that Front side Bus?) how do I do that? Sorry not great on hardware settings!
    Also, I think my friend could be right, if a hard drive dies once, usually it will die again? What could I use to test this?
     
  8. Edward1985

    Edward1985 Thread Starter

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    Also, my main confusion about the whole thing is that it originally blue screened on me, and just went slow from then on. The only parts still remaining since then are the motherboard, processor and graphics card. Hence I suspect them.
     
  9. brite750

    brite750

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    yep, when you run CPU-Z it should give you some details about the CPU, one of them is front side bus speed and the other is mulitplier, those 2 things set the MHZ of the cpu., I dont know what cpu you are talking about here, but as example lets say i have a 2ghz cpu it is meant to run at 200 fsb with a mult of 10, 200x10=2000mhz or 2ghz, MB as designed to handle several fsb speeds, 100,133,166,200 and so on, if you when messing with your pc some how reset the speed from 200fsb to 100 then your imaginary cpu would be running at half speed, 100fsb x mult of 10 = 1000mhz or 1ghz, this is what may have happened when you originally worked on your pc and then complained of slowness and when you built new pc you may have to go into bios or set jumper on mb to get full speed from you processor.
     
  10. brite750

    brite750

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    i am not sure but the orig blue screen may have set your MB to a slower bus speed trying to save your hw, it may be that the cpu is damaged somehow also i guess although somewhat rare
     
  11. Edward1985

    Edward1985 Thread Starter

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    I just read your signature... now I understand!
    I never knew any of that, quite interesting stuff. I believe the processor in the computer is an Athlon 1800+ which clocks at ~1400Mhz... in My Computer/Properties this is the value it gives, however I presume that may lie, or at least not really tell the whole truth? I think CPU-Z is the way forward. Any other suggestions anyone?
     
  12. brite750

    brite750

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    ok i see where you say XP 1800+, as you can see by this chart
    http://www.thedigerati.us/info/amdcpuchart.html
    there are several models
    Thoroughbred AXDA1800DUT3C 1800+ 1533MHz 11.5x 1.60V 266MHz 256KB 130nm
    Thoroughbred AXDA1800DLT3C 1800+ 1533MHz 11.5x 1.50V 266MHz 256KB 130nm
    Palomino AX1800DMT3C 1800+ 1533MHz 11.5x 1.75V 266MHz 256KB 180nm

    so when you run that CPU-Z thing you should see some place where it will tell you that you are running at 266fsb with a multiplier of 11.5, as you can see the core volts are different and will tell you what model you have
     
  13. brite750

    brite750

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    another real easy program is WCPUID again a free d/l, just gives cpu info not the whole pc
     
  14. brite750

    brite750

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    http://www.motherboard.cz/mb/matsonic/MS8157E.htm

    what memory do you have, this MB supports both Sdram and DDR ram, mb bus speeds are 200, 266, so I'm thinking that you may have been running this cpu underclocked at 200 fsb instead of 266

    just a not to totally confuse you the bus speeds in the bios may be listed as 100/133 because of the dual data rate thing, 100 is really 200 and 133 is really 266
     
  15. Edward1985

    Edward1985 Thread Starter

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    Brite is on the warpath! I'm impressed!
    It is One 1gb SDRam chip. I do not know the bus speeds. Would this account for a huge difference in speed if it is underclocked? How would I change it if it is 200mhz?
    Might have a new graphics card to fit when I get home as well I've just been told... a 6600GT is better than a ATI 9600 Pro right?
     
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