Help! computer performance problems Voltage issue?
Hey folks, I wonder if anyone can help me with this one.
I noticed a couple of days ago that my (almost brand new) system is suddenly a hell of a lot slower than it was when I initially received it, and I'm trying to troubleshoot the problem. Initially, I was getting 3DMark2006 scores of around 8000+, and now I'm stuck down at 3800.
I have no idea when this actually occurred, or if it occurred suddenly or gradually, as for most of the past couple of months I've actually been playing Dosbox games (Crusader No Remorse and No Regret!) which obviously weren't affected by the slowdown.
My system is"
- EVGA nForce 680i SLI motherboard
- Core 2 CPU [email protected]
- 2 640 MB Nvidia 8800 GTS cards running in SLI
- 4 GB Corsair 800 mhz RAM in 4 GB of 1 GB each.
- Windows XP home
The only change to my system since I received it was I installed an additional 2 GB of RAM which my system manufacturer (Velocity Micro) didn't send me at the same time as my system.
--I've updated/reinstalled my motherboard/video card drivers and directx
--checked Device Manager, which doesn't indicate a problem
--confirmed that the video cards are running in SLI mode in Nvidia's control panel.
-- removed the additional 2 GB of RAM in case inserting them screwed up some voltage settings
-- I ran the new Nvidia "monitorview" application, and it seems to reveal a voltage problem, since a couple of the settings are in "red" instead of green, and a couple of other ones are in yellow. The application says that it a component is depicted with a red colour the component is being overstressed and could suffer damage. ULP. I can see the voltage settings in the BIOS, but don't know whether or not it's appropriate to adjust the settings, or the correct adjustments to make -- the default settings are "auto", and that's what it's on, so maybe that's not the problem.
The voltage settings are (in case anyone can provide any insight!):
- CPU 1.3375v (green indicator)
- Memory 1.9000V (YELLOW indicator)
- FSB 1.2000v (green indicator)
- HT (SPP-MCP): 1.4500v (RED indicator)
- PCI-E: 1.5000v (RED indicator)
- nForce: 1.6000v (YELLOW indicator)
- AUX: 1.5000v (green indicator)
Please help if you can!
Wait a second. You ugpraded from 4 gb to 6 gb? Or from 2 gb to 4 gb?
First, remove whatever memory you added. That's the last thing to change, so undo that.
I would not worry about voltages. I recommend running some more comprehensive benchmarks (maybe PCMark? Sandra?) and look for scores that don't line up to expected values.
- Maybe SLI really isn't working even though the software tells you it is.
- Is the heatsink loose and causing CPU throttling?
Both of these would show up in more detailed benchmark results.
p.s. you misspelled "color"
World's End Supernova
The yellow or red color on the voltage readouts just means that the voltage is unusually high. That's not necessarily a problem; actually it's probably required to run your hardware at whatever frequency it's running. As long as the system isn't overheating a higher voltage is unproblematic.
Case in point: I need to increase the voltage of my DDR2-800 DIMMs from the standard 1.8V to 2.0V so that they're stable. That gives me the angry red color in my BIOS setup but it's actually the correct voltage for that speed according to the manufacturer's specification (Kingston Hyper-X in my case).
I can't tell you specifics about your other voltage readings since I don't have a utility handy to give me the equivalent for my system. Do you have some temperature measurements, though? If the CPU is constantly overheating it might be constantly running in low-power mode, for example. Like wumpus said, maybe run a few specialized benchmarks (Sandra) to find out exactly where the slowdown is.
I'm with wumpus. Check your CPU and GPU temps. That performance difference makes me think something in the system is throttling down due to heat, more likely the CPU.
Thanks for the additional information guys -- yeah, I'm not even certain that it's a GPU problem - for all I know it's a CPU problem, but the GPU test numbers in 3DMark2006 were definitely lower than I remembered them (I only have the freeware version, so I can't open the old test results, which I saved - not even sure how to access the saved results again - saw a forum post saying you could get them in excel, but that just produced gibberish for me).
So in terms of other benchmarking - how can I tell what numbers I'm supposed to get? I have detailed numbers from 3Dmark2006, but I don't have any relative comparison (other than I know they're about half what they should be - so SLI not working would make some sense. I tried disabling SLI in software and I just lost my display (even trying all of the DVI slots on the cards) and had to reboot, which automatically reenabled it).
I don't think it's a temperature problem, since my system IS stable - I think it's crashed once since I got it, and I was doing something weird like trying to open a media file that was already open in another player. After leaving it off for hours, it performs the same as it does when it's on indefinitely, so it doesn't seem to be scaling down to overheating. What are normal heat numbers? The Nvidiamonitor tool gives my system temperatures as follows:
- CPU 30c
- System 39c
- GPU1 59c
- GPU2 55c
I removed the memory I added with no change (I ordered a 4GB system, but it only came with 2 GB, but Velocity sent me the other 2 when I noticed the omission, and I added it myself). I do not know if this problem occurred immediately after the memory was added or a long time later (I suspect the latter, so I don't think it's related, but it is the only component in my system I changed since running the initial benchmarks, so as Wumpus said, I thought I should troubleshoot by taking it out).
Damn I hate this stuff. Really appreciate the help.
Did you hard drive knock itself down to PIO mode, as opposed to UDMA? Check system properties, on the devices for the hard drive (or maybe hard drive controller).
Also, check the Windows event log. Every now and then there's a cryptic error message which will at least give you a name. (I want names, Guido! NAMES!)
Hard drive still has "DMA if available" checked.
Other than a zillion DCOM errors in the event log: "The machine-default permission settings do not grant Local Activation permission for the COM Server application with CLSID" -- security stuff? Nothing that seems related to hardware.
World's End Supernova
Unless that COM server application was required for the video driver. Try reinstalling all your drivers, just to make sure.
Your temperature readings look fine, but then again something could already hvae been throttled down.
You should run SiSoft Sandra. It will give you a list of reference numbers for each component benchmark and show you where your component sits in comparison. That makes it easy to identify a bottleneck.
The DCOM error is actually coming up every minute (?) in the system event view. That can't be good, although not sure how it could be related. The full message states:
"The machine-default permission settings do not grant Local Activation permission for the COM Server application with CLSID
to the user NT AUTHORITY\LOCAL SERVICE SID (S-1-5-19). This security permission can be modified using the Component Services administrative tool.
For more information, see Help and Support Center at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/events.asp."
It doesn't seem related, but what the heck is it, hacking attempt? Google search didn't really answer. I found this: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=899965#appliesto but do I really want to grant permission? I don't really want to open a new can of worms if it's not related to my slowdown problem.
World's End Supernova
The COM application that's causing problems is identified by its class ID, or CLSID -- that's the long string of hex digits in the error message. So to find out more about such an error the simplest way is to google for that string.
The first two hits are relevant threads on the Nvidia forums: first thread, second thread. This COM application is apparently Nvidia's firewall ("Network Access Manager") which sucks anyway, so the general recommendation is to uninstall it rather than allowing it to run.
This application also seems to consume tons of resources so maybe it's actually behind your system slowdowns. Try uninstalling it and see what happens.
Yeah, don't install any of the optional Nvidia firewall crap. It's bad mojo. I've had some horrible experiences with it.
Just stick with the basic NVIDIA network drivers, that's all you need.
O.k., definitely making some progress here - thanks very much for the help. I uninstalled the Nvidia firewall crap and all the other nvidia stuff except the general mobo stuff and then reinstalled just the basic display driver. The error messages are now naturally gone from the Event log, so thanks for that - and I guess I won't get that error message relating to the firewall from utorrent anymore.
An unexpected outcome -- in the nvidia control panel, SLI now says that it is NOT enabled. Yet when I rerun 3Dmark2006, I am now getting much better scores with just the single graphic card than I was previously (back up to 7715 instead of 3803). The scores I was getting when I originally got my system were around 8842, so I'm pretty close to that with just a single video card. Unforunately, when I try to enable SLI from the control panel, I'm just getting a black screen with some lines through it, forcing me to reboot, which then causes SLI to be disabled again (which is exactly what was happening before when I tried to DISABLE it, when it indicated it was enabled), so I guess I have to do some more digging to see what I'm missing (maybe the video drivers have to be installed separately for each card?), but at least I've made some progress....
Keeper of the Frop Bog
How To Go
Desslock, the NVidia hardware firewall/software is pretty terrible. Causes all kinds of problems. I'd guess during the uninstall it affected your vid drivers. So I'm going to suggest you uninstall your NVidia video drivers, and reboot. Reboot into safe mode and run drivercleaner. Clean it all out and do a fresh install of the vid drivers. Both NVidia and ATI are notorious for leaving all kinds of crap behind (registry and files) after an uninstall. If that doens't fix the SLI issue, then you may need to go so far as to unstall your mobo drivers, cleana nd re-install.
<Offtopic>And people doubt that consoles are easier?</offtopic>
World's End Supernova
Glad that you've made some progress, even if the direction was somewhat unexpected. :)
Before messing around with third-party software like DriverCleaner I'd suggest that you simply try uninstalling and reinstalling your video drivers if you haven't already done that.
Maybe one of the video cards is dead or having a problem? Try running with only one of them plugged in at a time and see if they're both functioning properly.
Ok, I think I've managed to resolve this with everyone's help. The very first thing I did in this process was an uninstall/update/reinstall of my video drivers, which obviously didn't work - but after stripping out the firewall crap (which I certainly never voluntarily installed) and any other excess Nvidia crap other than the basic video card/motherboard drivers and doing it again - couple reboots and I could re-enable SLI, and I think it's resolved my slowdown issues (I'm now getting 3dMark2006 scores of around 8800, which I think is where I was when I first got my system -- it's a pretty dramatic difference - FPS of 40-55 in the tests instead of 9-16).
I didn't mess around with Drivercleaner because it is a brand new system, so there wouldn't be a lot of legacy driver gunk - this is actually the first update to the video drivers I've made since I got 'em. Dave - I tried checking the video cards individually, but only the one DVI plug worked - maybe rebooting with the monitor plugged into the other card may have worked, I dunno. But it's moot now, I guess, because things seem to be fine again. Velocity Micro has volunteered to log in remotely to make sure everything looks o.k., and I'll probably let them do that just to be sure.
Anyway, much appreciated for all your help - everyone's tips really helped troubleshoot at a point when I had tried everything I could think of - couldn't have done it without you guys~!!
(in the middle of reviews for Silverfall and Oblivion Shivering Isles too, so your help was really timely!)
Supplement -- the game Silverfall, has actually at least in part been responsible for mucking up things. It seems to have real problems with an SLI setup - disabling SLI for that game runs the game much faster, and at one point Silverfall actually disabled my other 8800 card in device manager. Blah, I haven't ruled out that I actually do have a bad 8800 card, but it seems like Silverfall is just screwy -- the only post I could find online relating to it indicates problems people were having with the Silverfall demo and SLI systems, so hopefully it's just that game.
World's End Supernova
Wow, that was quite a conspiracy of crappy software to bring your PC down. Good thing you thought to look at the Windows event log, or else we'd never have known about the NVidia firewall.
What kind of monster power supply do you need for SLI'd 8800s, anyway? Even for the GTS versions I'd think each card needs a separate 20A rail.
I got a Silverfall patch that seems to no longer kill SLI, so I think everything is fine again.
Yeah, thanks to Xpav for hightlighting the event log, and everyone else who contributed here. You guys are GOOT.
I went with the GTS versions both to save some bucks and to avoid having to get quite as large a power supply -- have a 700 watt one. Would probably be fine for 2 GTX cards too, but it's below what Velocity Micro recommends. Their 1000 watt one was preposterously overpriced -- it worked out to almost double if I'd have gone with GTX SLI set up instead of GTS. Not that I needed an SLI setup at all, but I thought I'd splurge with some poker winnings since Gothic 3/Oblivion/NWN2, etc. would be pretty sweet with an overthetop system.
World's End Supernova
Oh right, XPav mentioned the event log first. Sorry for selling you short, Alex!