View Full Version : Terrible Nalu/erratic Doom 3 performance with 128mb 6800

08-15-04, 08:30 AM
Nalu runs at about 2 fps on my standard 6800 (128mb). My CPU is an Athlon XP 2600+ and I have 512Mb of 3200 400Mhz system RAM. AGP is set to 8X.

I read posts here about changing my AGP aparture size to 256Mb, but I'm unable to do this as I have a 128Mb card.

I'm not too worried about not being able to run the demo, but I worry that this is showing up a problem with my system that will affect other games.

I run Doom 3 in high quality at 1024 X 768 and often get long pauses and severe slowdown when enemies appear. Wandering around empty corridors is fine though. Strangely, lowering the resolution/quality settings doesn't seem to improve things at all. The frame rate jumping around like this really destroys the atmosphere for me and makes combat far less skilled (pretty much ruining the game).

I'm considering upgrading to 1Gb of RAM, but only want to do this if I'm sure I'll get a stable frame rate. I'm already in debt after buying the 6800!

Any advice would be appriciated!

08-15-04, 08:41 AM
I read posts here about changing my AGP aparture size to 256Mb, but I'm unable to do this as I have a 128Mb card.

It doesn't matter what size card you have, most modern motherboards allow you to change your AGP aperture size regardless. Even my Intel D875PBZ board allowed this. The only way I could see not having it is if you have an OEM system or your board maker was simply careless.

Also, you really should consider adding another 512 mb of RAM. Doom 3 will love you for it.

08-15-04, 08:43 AM
You really need 1GB of RAM for Doom 3 to run smoothly. Have you installed all the current drivers for your motherboard? If you have a VIA chipset, install the latest 4-in-1 drivers for it. Your CPU is fine, and the GeForce 6800 is a great card. I don't think you have a driver problem. Make sure you have the Forceware 61.77 drivers installed with DirectX 9.0c. You need the latest drivers to get the demos to work properly. I would also strongly recommend upgrading to 1GB of RAM.

08-15-04, 09:14 AM
Are you using more than 1 monitor?

08-15-04, 09:34 AM
Thanks for all the help!

I've installed all the latest drivers (including the VIA 4-in-1). My motherboard is an Asus A7V8X and came fully packaged with all the latest drivers etc.. The AGP aparture size is set to 128Mb and is grayed out in my bios setup menu.

I think I may have tracked down my problem... my 6800 doesn't seem to be using my AGP slot (despite being plugged into it). When I check the properties for my card in Device Manager, it says it's using "PCI Slot 7 (PCI bus 1, device 0, function 0)" - shouldn't it say AGP here? I guess this is also why I can't change my aparture size?

I'm only running one monitor and have made sure the dual monitors option isn't used in my display properties.

Chances are I'll invest in another 512Mb of system RAM sometime over the next few days, but until then, does anyone have any advice on how I can enable AGP?

08-15-04, 09:39 AM
As AGP is just an extension of the PCI bus, it is normal for Windows to report it as you described. The way to make sure you're running AGP is to look at your Forceware driver control panel. On the page where it lists the files and what versions they are, it also lists the adapter information including how much video memory the card has as well as its operating bus speed (AGP 4x, 8x etc). If your card was running in PCI mode, it would be stated as such. The way to fix that is to make sure your chipset drivers are fully installed. Are you absolutely certain that the board came with the latest VIA drivers? The ones that come on a motherboard CD typically are very outdated so you should download them from www.viaarena.com.

08-15-04, 10:18 AM
My card is listed as AGP 8X in the driver control panel, so I guess that's not the problem after all. I installed the latest 4-in-1 drivers from Asus site this morning, but have just installed the latest on the site you linked, and can now change the aparture size to 256mb!

Oddly, Nalu now doesn't run at all - the music plays, but the display is completely black apart from the options at the top of the screen (that can't be clicked on). I have to ctrl, alt, del to quit out. I've been messing around with all sorts of settings since I last ran it, so I doubt the problem is caused by the new 4-in-1 drivers. Have no idea what it could be. Tried repairing the installation, but that didn't help.

Doom 3 is still working though and definitely seems a little smoother after the changes I've made.

Been flicking through my motherboard manual and it seems as though it only supports 1X400mhz DIMM at once, so I'd have to replace my current RAM with a single 1Gb DIMM, which I really can't afford at the moment. :(

08-15-04, 10:52 AM
Download Nalu from nvidia again and run the 6600 version on it. I guess they updated it to run on slower hardware.

08-15-04, 12:56 PM
I have 512 ram on Win2k and doom3 runs fine, have you tried updating your board's BIOS to the latest revision? Maybe the 256 aperature option will be changable then. If you're running WinXP you might want to consider upgrading to 768MB RAM though.

Sir Random
08-15-04, 02:20 PM
The AGP aperture size refers to how much system ram should be made availabale to the card if demand exceeds the card's onboard ram. With only 512Mb, you can't really afford to allocate 256Mb to your gfx card.

Try setting the Aperture to 64 or 128 at the most. Mine is at 128 with 1Gb system ram & 256Mb gfx ram.

08-15-04, 04:07 PM
are you running your ram and fsb at the same speed?? AMD procs tend to not like being ran out of sync from the memory. running them in sync should help increase speed

08-15-04, 04:19 PM
Your problem is that you have a 128MB card but you are running Doom 3 in High quality with should be for 256MB cards. 128MB cards need to be run at Medium quality.

08-15-04, 05:07 PM
Hmmm...I have a 6800 on a mediocre system (2.4 P4, 512 RAM, AGP 4X), and high quality is super smooth (timedemo gives me low 50's). It used to be super jerky though, until I turned v-sync on in the game. Funny, turning it off seems to help most people, but for me, having it on is night and day better. Try that.

08-16-04, 01:29 PM
Are you running dual monitors? If, so disable one and see if that solves your problem.

08-16-04, 03:22 PM
I am/have expereinced similar problems. Maybe my findings can be of some help.

I currently have the same card as you 6800 128mb (BFG OC brand), running on a p4 3.0 ghtz 800fsb, with 1 gig ram (running on dual channel). I have aperture at 128mb.
Anyways, when playing doom 3, I run the time demo (regardless of resolution/quality settings) imediately after it starts, and the game pauses on several places of the demo... and my frames per second end up being like 40. Then, I run the timedemo again, and i do not get any pauses, and have far more respectable results (60's FPS).
So it seems like at the first run, I get some sort of memory bottleneck.. like its feeding the system or card memory, and the data is not getting there fast enough, but then at the xecond run, sicne all the data is there, it runs faster. Try my same exercise, and report your finding.

Also, the nalu demo on mine runs very slow too.. and I do not know why...but again, i ran it a second time, and its running better.. but still somewhat slow for a high end card. Maybe someone can help me with this?