Help me get the most out of my new 3D card

I recently purchased a GeForce4 Ti4400 and I’m not getting the performance I should out of it. My 3DMark benchmark scores are in the 6700-6800 range when systems comparable to mine (1.5Ghz PIV, 384MB RAM) are getting higher than 9000. I was told I should install 4-in-1 drivers for my motherboard but I’m not sure where I would get those or which ones I should get (I have a Gateway running XP). Can anyone else help me out on this please?

I believe the 4-in-1 drivers are for Athlon based systems but don’t quote me on that.

Whatever the case update your BIOS for your motherboard to the latest revision.

Once the BIOS has been updated enter the setup screen when your PC first starts (before you ever see the Windows splash screen. Depending on your BIOS you may have varying options so I can’t point you directly to where you need to be. Unfortunately Gateway and Dell machines tend to have few user configurable options in the BIOS but hopefully it’ll have what you need. What you are looking for are settings for your graphics card. You want to enable 4x AGP, Turbo Mode and/or Fast Writes if ti has those options.

That should juice up you graphics port. Of course, you should also get the latest/greatest drivers from NVidia.

Let us know how it goes.

One other thing…

Make sure you don’t have any antialiasing enabled in the video driver options. While a GeForce 4 can do AA pretty well in games and the like you still take a framerate hit. If you are forcing AA via the video driver this may be skewing your results.

[sub]NOTE: Setting AA to work via the video driver only forces the issue on anything you run whether it likes it or not. With it ‘disabled’ in the video driver other software may still turn it on and use it if it wishes.[/sub]

I have been through the BIOS but I can’t seem to find a place where I can change my AGP settings.

I already checked that. I’m beginning to get upset, it looks like I may never be able to get the most out of this card, went through my BIOS for the third time and it has very little I can change as far as video - I can only switch from AGP to PCI and back.

I hate to say it but this is what you get with Dell and Gateway (and their ilk) PCs. They don’t want users mucking about and causing themselves trouble that translates into support calls to them. You may be SOL and have to live with whatever teh default settings are. You may peruse Gateway’s web site to see if you can dig any info up. Beyond that you may need a new mobo to get the full power of your new video card (and that video card rocks when it’s cranking).

definately Install 4 In one !

once you do you will get an extra item in your bios relating to agp speed. choose the slowest. (Ironicaly that will give the best performance from your card)

for example, if the choices are “agp 4x” and “agp 2x” choose agp 2x

Ignore people telling you to install the 4in1’s. First contact Gateway and ask them how change the settings in your BIOS and what make/model your motherboard is (don’t flash your BIOS either I can pretty much guarantee you that isn’t needed). After you figure out the make and model of your motherboard search google for that motherboard and your video card. If there are any known issues you should be able to find it looking through the hits that it returns.

If the chipset on your motherboard happens to be a VIA chipset then you can download the 4in1 update and install it. That probably won’t help much though.

Another thing is that P4 chip you have is relatively rather slow. It’s preforms about on the same level as a 1.2 Ghz celeron. The problem with those chips are that they only have 256kB of cache and aren’t all that great of preformers.

Also when you installed the video card did you use the drivers that XP recommended or did you use the ones from the driver CD that came with the hardware?

One final note: please I beg you to ignore benchmarks for the most part. Whether you get 6500 or 9500 3dmarks it is irrelevant. And those people getting 9000+ are almost definately overclocking their computers making them even quicker than yours.

If it’s killing you that much visit the kind folks over at Arstechnica. They can help you out much more than I ever could.

Badtz, come to the Dark Side…

First off, snag the latest nVidia drivers. Then, take a look at this page. Follow the directions carefully, and enable the CoolBits hack.

CoolBits is more than just an overclocking utility. It has a multitude of tweaks you can employ to see how it affects your performance. But you know you want to overclock, man. Yes, you do.

As for your specific problems, I can’t be of much help but I will tell you this.

A gateway should not require any 4n1s. Those are for Via chipsets that I have only seen on Athlon systems.

Secondly, Windows XP does not require 4n1s anyhow. As ATG said, ignore anyone who tells you to install them.

That has nothing to do with it and would almost certainly cause more harm than anything else.

The 4in1’s are also for Intel based motherboards. I’ve currently got them on my Celeron system. While XP doesn’t require the 4in1’s it can benefit from them. I seen a slight preformance increase after installing them. They usually just provide a bit more stability.