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Wee lag problem

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December 11, 2008 8:28:39 AM

Hi,
I recently built a new computer with the following components, an E8500 CPU, 4GB DDR2 1066MHz RAM, EP45-DS3P Motherboard, XFX GeForce 9800GTX+ GPU 512MB, 650W power supply and a Seagate Barracuda ST3500320AS HDD, as well as a standard lightscribe DVD drive. I have a 20" monitor that has max res of 1680 x 1050.
The problem is I have been experiencing a bit of lag during gaming, I have all the most recent drivers installed. I was just playing Far Cry 2 and was having a fair bit of lag. I was running it at max graphics at max res and at first had 4x antialiasing on, the high res could be a problem but I would appreciate other people's thoughts :) 

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December 11, 2008 8:50:39 AM

Well, first of all, lag is a internet term, for connection speeds. I think you have trouble with frame drops and (micro) stutter.

You might be pushing the limits too much somewhere. I use a Geforce 8800 GT personally, with the same resolution, but I always seem to have a very fluid gaming experience. There's a big chance your graphics card has to load too much data, too fast, such as being unable to handle the AA well.

Try to play around with your settings. Change every setting bit by bit, and see how it performs.

Also, try to look at programs running in the background. Clean out your RAM, as well as your Cache. There's a few programs that can help you with that, such as CCleaner, which I use myself.

Or, try to defragment your PC, or turn off your Vista theme as well as the effects of Vista. That should help a lot, as well.

Overall, your PC seems to be assembled very well. There's not much wrong about your hardware, so try to look at software.

I hope this will help!

- JC
December 11, 2008 9:04:30 AM

Shouldnt need antialaising at high resolutions, what res do you play at?
Also, do you have a 64bit OS to support that RAM (wouldnt really affect fps with good RAM but i always pick up on it :D  )
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December 11, 2008 10:21:39 AM

A lot the time when people experience "lag" in internet games its nothing to do with connections you can play "lag free" at a ping of 300 no problem (even with "twitch" space PVP starwars galaxies) most of the time when people encounter "lag" in mmorpgs they are experiencing the same bottlenecks that apply to single player games Hard disk seek time and throughput, cpu over heads graphics overload etc etc. Sometimes its server side lag as the servers struggle to cope with database reads and writes. But rarely in these days of broadband is it the connection itself It does happen, but more often its the client side computer being overworked or the server being overworked.

@pr2thej - You need to be carefull with how you word phrases like "you shouldnt need antialiasing at high resolutions" some people might take it to mean that higher screen resolution figures on the LCD screen mean better image quality which is actually in many cases the reverse of the truth... For example a 24" 1900x1200 image will have physically larger pixels than a 1680x1050 LCD screen at 20" and so actually need more AA to attempt to optimize the fewer pixels per inch the larger display has to work with. The larger resolution figure just means it displays more, not better! The lower your pixel pitch the less AA you will need for a given display technology.

You really can't come up with a hard and fast rule for resolution when comparing different screen technologies. LCD displays have large set "Square" physical pixels with very "Hard" edges, great for making text nice and clear - I recommend them everywhere for desktop and office applications. But LCD's simply dont scale, and their large square hard pixels can never be overcome with anti aliasing they are a physical Jagged edge. CRT's on the other hand have pixels made up of groups of triangles of 3 round dots of colour (triads), when the resolution in changed the monitor changes the number of these "triads" per pixel. The very nature of phosphor dots and their glow is far less harsh edged than LCD's, less good for sharply readable text, absolutely great for smooth natural outlines in games!

I find anti aliasing offers an improvement at 1680x1050 on a LCD screen, although unlike resolution increases on a CRT you are never going to get over the physical limitations of the LCD screen - they are by their very nature blocky displays. Many people are happy enough with LCD's and thats fine. We just have different priorities. Personally Jaggies and viewing angles are BIG bug bears for me, for other people CRT's physical size, dinosaur appearance and in low end versions poor refresh rates are unnacceptable.

Increasing resolution on a CRT does far more to limit the need for anti aliasing, at 2048x1536 on a 21" or 19" monitor I find 2xAA to be "good" (Far more so than any amount on a 1680x1050 LCD screen) The difference is in the size and shape of the pixels as well as the technology behind them.

@DRfreeman What you want to do is get some tools running to check system load and graph it whilst you play. I have a second monitor with rivatune speedfan and windows taskmanager, which tells me processor loads per core what processes are using the cpu, processor temperature memory useage gpu temp and clocks etc etc. If I have issues I can see whats happening where.
December 11, 2008 10:24:58 AM

Thanks for clearing that up dtq, my understanding was that more pixels onscreen = smoother graphics as there are less sides in the edge - like the difference between a square and a circle.
December 11, 2008 12:57:20 PM

pr2thej said:
Thanks for clearing that up dtq, my understanding was that more pixels onscreen = smoother graphics as there are less sides in the edge - like the difference between a square and a circle.


It is the case when theres more pixels in the same screen area - cramming more in. But when the extra pixels are just extra screen space instead of a square turning round you have the same square on a bigger page, and if your pixels happen to get bigger you have a bigger square on a bigger page.

Heres some scale images to represent the same image 0.30 pixel pitch on the left 0.20 Pixel pitch on the right. These images are Larger than life but the scale difference is what is important, they represent the differences in size that pixel pitch makes.



0.20 on a LCD screen is VERY hard to find, Generally 0.258 is as good as is commonly available, High end CRT's 0.22 is very common, but what the pictures illustrate is the difference pixel pitch makes, the LCD is "hard edged" which is great for clarity of black on white images - but terrible for smooth natural images, and the CRT with its "rounder" softer edged pixels, less good for crystal clear text, but great for a more natural edge.

Unfortunately I havent yet got round to making an image to accurately relfect the difference CRT pixels make, I want to be sure of the shape and triad count of a CRT running at high resolution, unfortunately determining an individual pixel on a CRT is hard even with a jewlers loupe you can get down to the triads (on shadow mask) or bars of a aperture grille, but which triad \ bar belongs to which pixel is harder to determine :D  unlike a LCD pixel which jumps out at you...

Its also worth noting that with a high end CRT if you run it at low resolution you could end up with a larger pixel size than a LCD, although it would be slightly mitigated by the soft edge the image could look better on the LCD! Of course you could simulate the LCD 1:1 mapping for running at a lower than native resolution by running it in a smaller sized window on a high resolution desktop it's a bit like looking through a porthole, however you would preserve the pixel pitch like that. Its a lot more messing around to get the same effect on a CRT blackeing out the desktop getting rid of start bar and icons etc etc etc...
!