I've just joined these forums - I built my own PC about a year and a half ago. I spent quite a bit of money on it, but I've been feeling constantly let down by it's performance. I thought the lack of performance was due to stuff clogging it up, so I have formatted fully in the past which did improve matters a little. Its probably around 7-8 months since I last formatted.

I ran 3d Mark benchmarking tool yesterday, and it drew a graph of my PC versus similar spec'ed PCs. They were about 60^ of the distance up the scale, and my PC was RIGHT at the poor end of the scale.

Now, 1 problem I do have is I have a 64bit processor, 4gb RAM but only a 32bit OS. I'm going to get a copy of Windows 7 64 bit soon, so that will address that particular issue. Another issue may be overheating - my CPU temp sits at around 50 Celcius, but i'm not sure what it peaks at when running games etc.

I was wondering if anyone could suggest any bottlenecks my system may be experiencing? My specs are below:

CPU AMD AM2 D-Core 6400 Black Edition (3.2Ghz/core)
RAM 2x Matched Pair Corsair TwinX 1GB DDR2 6400 C4 (of which 2Gb are being addressed)
Gfx Card 512M BFG 8600 GT
HDDs 1x 500Gb SATA, 1x 300Gb SATA

Just to put the 'poor performance' in to perspective. My system boots to the Windows login screen very quickly. When I login it then takes around 8mins to properly load everything up and start behaving normally. I can then cause system lag just by loading a few different applications - a few Firefox tabs (with Firebug and various other plugins - i'm a web developer).

Thanks for any help anyone can offer me on tracking my issues down and fixing the buggers!

Super Dave

Welcome to HotHardware, Dave! The first thing I would do is run some adware/spyware scans to see if their are any malware nasties on your system that are running in the background, gobbling-up resources. There are some really good FREE programs that I like to use, including Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, and SUPERAntiSpyware. Which version of Windows are you running?


Hi Super Dave,

I shall run a Spyware check tonight when I get home from work to rule that out. I'm also going to run a defrag tonight to again rule that out also. Seems a bit pointless as I'll be formatting when I get Windows 7, but I'd like to get to the bottom of this!

I'm currently running Windows XP, fully up to date. While I'm here, I'm thinking of getting a new graphics card anyway - my budget doesn't stretch that far, around £150 ($246) would be my very upper limit. Then at some point down the line I'll buy a second of the same card to get SLi running!

Thanks once again,


Do what superdave suggested but you may want to go through and get rid of a bunch of those programs in your startup that you don't need. Thats is usually the main cause for windows loading slowly. Also if your using something like spybot or spyware doctor and also using IE8 it could be causing a problem. There could be a number of underlying issues but I would start there.

Super Dave

Follow Nelson's suggestion and use MSCONFIG as described in THIS article to prevent unnecessary programs from starting. Also, HERE is another article that might help you speed things up a bit.