How to squeeze the most out of a Geforce GT 640?

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#1 Edited by StrikerTheLizard (326 posts) -

Hi, I am fairly ignorant about hardware stuff and that's putting it lightly.

So long story short, my old video card (Geforce 9800 GTX) died a horrible death and I replaced it with a (supposedly) much faster Geforce GT 640 2GB.

Though I am noticing that the new card isn't much faster at all, even though most people seem to be having a blast with it, running games like Assassin's Creed III and Witcher 2 at 60FPS and so on.

I don't really know anything about overclocking either.

Here are my specs:

Intel (R) Core 2 Quad CPU Q9300 2.50 GHz


Windows 7 64-bit

Geforce GT 640 2GB

Any tips are welcome.

EDIT: I also have MSI Afterburner installed if that helps.

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#2 Edited by fleabeard (229 posts) -

You need a new processor, more than likely. And the 640 isn't that great.

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#3 Edited by StrikerTheLizard (326 posts) -

Yeah, I didn't really except it to be the best, but I was led to believe that it would trump my earlier card in every way. Guess not, eh?

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#4 Posted by fleabeard (229 posts) -

Your 9800 was on the high end of the spectrum at the time, the 640 is kind of at the bottom :/

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#5 Posted by Donkeycow (568 posts) -

Can you give any examples of what sort of frames per second you are getting on which game and what graphics setting?

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#6 Edited by Fattony12000 (8322 posts) -

@strikerthelizard: Even my card is considered pretty middle of the road (and old) by today's standards. For gaming you really want to be in the GTX range, and to get that second number (the bit that comes after the "6" in "640") up into the 60s or 70s, such as the GTX 560 or GTX 670.

That said, even with your CPU clocked to 3+ GHz, you're going to be bottlenecked by it when moving up to a sexier GPU.

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#7 Edited by StrikerTheLizard (326 posts) -
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Honestly, these are the settings that Witcher 2 is still giving me trouble at. The FPS also seems to jump between either 15 or a solid 50 at random. I know Witcher 2 is not the most optimized game ever, but even at settings where the game looks worse than, I dunno, Company Of Heroes, it's still giving me a slide show. I've also tried turning the texture memory size to the lowest setting with no clear difference in the performance.
Funny thing is, when I let the game auto-detect the best settings, it recommends high-end stuff, which makes it run like garbage.

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#8 Edited by markini6 (549 posts) -

I'd turn the texture memory size down, see if that helps. The 2GB of VRAM means you should be able to handle the "large" setting, but knock it down to medium, and put it up if it makes a big difference.

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#9 Posted by StrikerTheLizard (326 posts) -

I turned the memory size down, but nothing really changed. Even the menu screen lags when I pause the game, I just don't get it. Should I just drop the whole thing?

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#10 Posted by markini6 (549 posts) -

Well, a quick and dirty fix could be to knock the resolution down to maybe 1280x720 and make sure in the Nvidia control panel you have the option "fill screen" or whatever it's called enabled (for AMD cards it's called "Scale image to full panel size"), but then at that point it might not be that much better than the 360 version, it's up to you really.

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#11 Posted by Donkeycow (568 posts) -

@strikerthelizard: To be honest this surprises me, i would have guessed you'd be pulling off better performance from those specs seeing as you meet or exceed all recommended requirements for the game. Maybe just turn down one small option at a time till you get something comfortable starting with bloom. Is it possible your computer is currently using an onboard graphics card? I know with my gaming laptop it switched to the onboard graphics card out of the blue once and took me a while to figure out why games were chugging so much.

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#12 Edited by StrikerTheLizard (326 posts) -

That's what gets me too, people with worse specs are experiencing better performance with games. I am FAIRLY sure my PC is using the Geforce card as intended.

As I mentioned before, the game even recommends higher settings which make it even worse.

EDIT: Okay, I tried running Witcher 2 on the lowest possible settings and it STILL lags up a storm on random occasions. Sure, it was a little more stable, but still fairly horrible. I'm at my wit's end.

EDIT 2: Also tried uninstalling NVIDIA's 3D vision drivers. Didn't change a thing.

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#15 Posted by VACkillers (1286 posts) -

If your changing the graphical settings, from medium to low to disabled! and nothing is changing in your FPS, then you have either a bottleneck somewhere or perhaps the gfx card is defect. as thats an old CPU, are you running PCI Express 16x 2.0? or PCI Express 16? is your RAM DDR2 or DDR3? do you have a slow 5200RPM harddrive, or is it a 7200RPM drive? is your harddrive full of stuff? run defrag at all recently? check those things out, aswell as making sure you are using the most recent nvidia driver as well

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#16 Posted by MonetaryDread (2796 posts) -

Unfortunately, that card is designed for home theater pc's and is not good for anything buy h.264 video decoding. I would return the card if possible, if not, you need a new video card because that one will not work with gaming.

In response to everyone complaining about your CPU, even if you were to change the CPU you would get, at max, 5fps difference. My suggestion is to format your hard drive and re-install windows. Every time I have had a PC that is not performing as expected it is because of malware that, for some reason, is not able to be fixed by running a virus scan.

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#17 Posted by Slaegar (842 posts) -

I used a Q6600 up until last year. Which is a very similar CPU to yours but a bit slower. Some games would perform like absolute garbage even with a newer video card.

I would suggest downloading MSI Afterburner and turning on the on screen display for framerate and GPU usage. If the framerate is low but the GPU is not being used very much, its most likely your CPU slowing the games down. Don't change the card settings with this program, though because it won't help your performance enough to matter and it can blow up your video card. It probably won't, but you still shouldn't do it unless you know what you are getting into.

Its important to note that won't actually fix anything and it can be pretty tricky at first. It will help to determine if its your GPU that's the problem or your CPU.

@monetarydread: As he said, that GPU is not really meant for gaming.

Linus on new video cards in old systems:

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