New Hard Drive Gives Poor 3d Performance

Posted on 2003-03-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have just upgraded my main hard drive from an old ata-66 12gb to a new DiamondMax plus9 80gb and while it seems to have better transfer and access times my systems 3d graphics performance has nearly halved. I used 3dmark 2001se to benchmark my old system and acheieved a score of about 11500 on the default settings but after installing the new drive i could only score about 7000! I have checked that dma transfers are enabled and I'm using an ultra dma cable with no other drives on the same cable, I have the latest Nvidia drivers and DirectX 9. My system supports udma-133 drives so I can't work out the problem!

Oh I suppose i'd better give you my system spec,

Athlon Xp2000
MSI KT3 Ultra2 board
256mb DDR Ram
Nvidia Geforce 4 Ti4400
Maxtor DiamondMax Plus9 80gb
Question by:KevinFolkard
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Expert Comment

ID: 8204410
First.. what operating system are we talking about.
Secondly, have you checked to see if the memory usages areas For the video and hard drive overlap, spec sheets show that This model hd has either a 2mb or 8mb buffer, it is possible that There is a conflict...
Harddrive also could have an SATA interface, does this drive have the SATA interfaces ??  This may not be working correctly., are there SATA or ULTRA jumper settings that came with the drive.
LVL 24

Expert Comment

ID: 8204869
check DMA access
ensure windoze configured to HW acceleration for video
I've been running DirectX-10, you can try that one.

Expert Comment

ID: 8206328
sure you didn't bump anything while installing the drive? i'm not sure how your hard drive could hamper 3d performance.
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LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 8207688

Expert Comment

ID: 8207916
Were you using dx9 before? I dumped the dx9 and went back to 8.1 and solved some problems with 3DS as well as many system testing games. I also notice that large HD's are notoriously slow with rendering file manipulation even the UATA133's. I agree with pratigan on the overlap too. In addition...don't trust the new NVIDIA drivers. Why did you switch those out if they worked fine? Since you can't uninstall DX9 you have to do it by hand and search it all out. Registry entries included...check by the date you installed it. Windows new media player can screw things up too. Download a new copy of DX8.1 and reinstall your OLD Nvidia drivers...then run your test again.

Good luck!

Author Comment

ID: 8208827
Thanks fellas, I'm using Win Me and I had DirectX 9 & 41.09 nvidia drivers installed on my old system so that hasn't changed, not sure if its the 2 or 8mb buffer and theres no jumper settings that I'm aware of. How do I check if the memory usage areas overlap and sort it out if they are? I'll try the original nvidia drivers and directX 8.1 to see if that works although on my original system the new nvidia drivers did give an extra 2000 or so on my 3dmark score and seemed pretty stable!
Thanks for the suggestions, keep em' coming.

Expert Comment

ID: 8211323
There are the Dos Commands for memmory that should allow
You to see what is mapped into memory areas. Norton
System Works can pruovide this information when it is
Installed on a machine also.  All hard drives that are
Purchased via retail come with documentation on the hard
Drive, if purchased thru a Computer Repair center it will
At times come with the documentation, as they purchase
Bulk and there maybe only one copy of the documentation,
However they should be able to provided it...Also
All hard drives show all jumper settings on the drive label
And model number and serial number, so accessing the internet
Web site for manufacture can also provide all information on
The drive...........  
Also a valuable link:
LVL 49

Expert Comment

ID: 8212518
Buffers are on the hard disk and can't overlap normal memory.

Both tests were done using 3dmark 2001 se?

Expert Comment

ID: 8213552
I agree with everyone who’s commented before me, I’d subject that one of the things you do is to put more RAM into the machine, if your running windows 2000 or XP and doing 3D graphics, your going to need ALOT more than 256 RAM.  RAM is cheap these days so if you can, put at least another 256 in for 512, or remove the existing modules and put in a single 512.  When you run out of Physical RAM in your computer, it starts swapping to the HD, this combined with problems stated by the above people will drastically slow down the system.

Make sure your IDE cables aren’t bent or crimped too much.  Use only GOOD quality 80 wire IDE cables as these support the fastest and most reliable data transfers.

PS:  Only buy Corsair, Kingston, or Micron memory and check the motherboard to see what kind of connector type it uses.  You want to match Tin connectors with Tin contacts on the RAM or Gold on the motherboard for GOLD contacts on the RAM, failure to do this can result in oxide / corrosion buildup over time.  Also DONT buy from just anyone,

Expert Comment

ID: 8215686

Hello Kev, i'm still differing over this and still trying to find a solution, because our systems are so alike having pretty much the same motherboard, you the KT3 ultra and mine being the ARU version with only the difference being the raid which i've turned off in the bios, your CPU a 2.0 and mine a 2.1, memory i believe to be the same apart from the size me having a gig of 333ddr, my hard disk being the same Maxtor drive as your's apart from me having an 8MB cache but the difference is nominal and i'm not even sure your's is a 2 mb cache(look on the drive it's self(LO=2mb PO=8mb)

your specs                My specs
KT3 ultra                 KT3 ultra aru
256 DDR266                1024 DDR333
CPU ATHXP2000             CPU ATHXP2100
Nvidia Geforce 4 Ti4400   Geforce 3 Ti200
Maxtor diamondmax plus 9  Maxtor diamondmax plus 9
3dmark2001se              3dmark2001se
before=11500              mine now=7250
after = 7000
winME                     win98SE

we are both using the same IDE cable that come with the motherboard which is defined ata 133.

How can your mark be lower than mine when your card is some what quicker than my Ti200?

As i've found after 256mb of ram it make very very little affect to the 3dmark.

maybe has something to do with the config of 3dmark and our video cards.

The difference in OS is a consideration.

I've been doing some searchs to find a comparrison to the problem, check out this link, it may help.


anyway, catchup with ya on msg soon mate

Expert Comment

ID: 8215731
I forgot to add that we are both using the latest Nvida drivers and our hard disks are of the same capacity(80GB) as larger drives normaly give slower performance

Accepted Solution

Tosher earned 225 total points
ID: 8215918
hi kev, if i don't speak to you on MSG before i get home from work you could try updating the miniport driver.

This is an excert from the web page as follows,

The VIA IDE Miniport driver does not install with the VIA 4in1 drivers. It should only be installed on systems with a VIA chipset and:
•     IDE Zip drive, under all Microsoft operating systems, with a 686b southbridge chip
•     ATA100 hard drives with Windows 2000 prior to Service pack 1
•     ATA133 hard drives under Windows 2000 and Windows XP
•     IDE Zip drives under Win2K - install the driver and then set the Zip-Drive to DMA disabled and PIO-Mode 1 in BIOS. Open the IDE Tool provided with Bus master Driver and set the Zip-Drive to PIO-Mode 3.

Download the mini port driver, really hope this help



Expert Comment

ID: 8219733
one thing i'd like to point out, the 3dmark score is an overall score on sys performance. you previous (good) score MAY have been a fluke due to 3dmark thinking it was reading textures from your HD much faster than it really was, and switching to the new HD is somewhat more compatible with 3dmark and gives a truer reading than from before.

unless you actually SEE a big difference in gaming then I would think it might be a 3dmark fluke. just a suggestion since i have seen systems which are 3x slower than mine have 4x higher scores than mine. its all the way the hardware works with 3dmark.

Author Comment

ID: 8223777
Sorted! I installed the latest Via 4in1 chipset drivers and hey presto! I've got the 3dmark score back up to 10500, its a bit less than the old system but what the hell, I'm sure I can crank it up a bit more with some tweaking. Thanks for all your comments, none of it helped but it ruled out some stuff it couldn't be!!!

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