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Crysis lags a bit

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February 12, 2009 11:00:00 AM

Hi
With everything set to Gamer (high) in Crysis Warhead, the game sometimes lags (especially when there's 10 soldiers pumping lead into me :lol: ). It's fine when I'm just walking about and stuff in the game, but when there's action the lags can stop me being able to shoot my enemies (which then causes me to die :fou:  ). On Enthusiast settings, the game's pretty unplayable (around 10 to 20 fps), but I don't need ultra high settings. I'm trying to pinpoint where the bottleneck(s) is/are, because my graphics card is good for the resolution I play at (1440x900). This is a good place to post my specs, so:

CPU: AMD Athlon X2 6000+ Brisbane 3.1GHz 2x512KB L2 cache.
RAM: 2GB (2x1GB) dual channel DDR2 800MHz PC2-6400 RAM
GPU: nVidia Geforce 9800GT 512MB GDDR3 RAM with 1xDual link DVI, 1xHDMI, 1xVGA PCI-express x16
HDD: Maxtor DiamondMax 21 250GB
PSU: 420Watt Thermaltake TR2
Chipset: nVidia nForce 520LE (w/ PCI express version 1)

That's it, any other specs would be unnecessary.

My suspicion right now is that the bottleneck is the harddisk (because it lags while it's loading soldiers, terrain, etc., takes AGES loading levels, and generally seems pretty slow in both Linux and Windows). I will see about this, because when I get the money I'm gonna get myself a Samsung Spinpoint F1 1TB harddisk to play with :kaola: , I heard that this is one of the fastest if not the fastest high capacity harddisk, and the fastest spinpoint F1.
Another bottleneck could be my CPU, which by todays standards has some pretty old technology and isn't up to scratch with the C2Ds or the most recent AMD CPUs. It gets a 5.5 on the Vista Experience Index.
Could the chipset cause slowdowns? It only has PCI express version 1, I heard that's twice as slow as version 2. Although I don't think it's my VGA card causing the lags.
The fourth (and very unlikely) candidate is the PSU, I thought that maybe if my computer was using most of the power that the PSU could provide, it would scale back the clock speed of the CPU or something....not too sure about that though.

I do know that my graphics card/CPU combination can do crysis at high settings with no lag cause I've seen plenty of videos on youtube about it (not to mention benchmarks).

PS. I've disabled CPU frequency scaling in the Operating System (not in the BIOS because I use it in Linux).

More about : crysis lags bit

February 12, 2009 12:40:35 PM

Your GPU isn't strong enough for those settings, 2 more gig of memory would help, and a faster processor.
February 12, 2009 3:30:12 PM

My setup is much like yours, including the 520 chipset and this should help.
First more ram will help in a major way.
Turn off anything that isnt needed. If you arent online turn off antivirus and everything else not needed to keep your system running.
Also running in DX9 offers a major sppedup with with almost unnoticable effects.
Turning shadows down and motion blur down or off helps alot also.

Here is a good link to look at some options
http://www.tweakguides.com/Crysis_1.html
Have fun
Related resources
February 12, 2009 7:48:13 PM

baddad said:
Your GPU isn't strong enough for those settings, 2 more gig of memory would help, and a faster processor.


I'm sure my GPU is strong enough for High settings on 1440x900, as I've heard and seen plenty of reports saying it 'worked for them'. Also, the game runs fine for me on those settings, just except for the fact that it lags when it loads stuff. I was just wondering what would be the minimum CPU and RAM, and HDD especially to get good performance with smooth gameplay throughout. Anyway next month (or maybe the next) I'll get a samsung spinpoint F1 1TB harddrive and I'll probably notice a big improvement, as it's the best 1TB harddrive isn't it? In terms of speed, I mean.

When I get the money I'll order 4GB more memory. (2x2GB), that will be a big improvement.

CPU upgrade will be at least next year if it ever happens. If it does happen, I'll probably go with a 45nm PhenomII 940 (which is very good for gaming, I won't have to upgrade my motherboard).
February 12, 2009 7:53:02 PM

pat mcgroin said:
My setup is much like yours, including the 520 chipset and this should help.
First more ram will help in a major way.
Turn off anything that isnt needed. If you arent online turn off antivirus and everything else not needed to keep your system running.
Also running in DX9 offers a major sppedup with with almost unnoticable effects.
Turning shadows down and motion blur down or off helps alot also.

Here is a good link to look at some options
http://www.tweakguides.com/Crysis_1.html
Have fun


Okay. More RAM seems to be what everyone's saying everywhere, even though I thought 2GB was massive not so long ago! That sounds like a good tip about the DirectX 9 (I guess DX10 isn't required for High settings), I've already set it to disable desktop composition while playing.

I'm not ever gonna turn off/down motion blur!!!!!!! Or shadows!!!!!! Everything on High remember.

OK, I'll try it with all the apps closed, and see if I still get the lag (BTW, the lag isn't as bad as I might of made out in my original post), the game's very playable with everything on high.).

And when I upgrade my harddisk I'll report back too.
February 12, 2009 8:16:28 PM

Its not just your ram or cpu... its everything. crysis lags even on my setup on high, bro. its a VERY demanding game. look up crysis benchmarks and you will see for yourself what kind of system is needed for a snappy crysis even on low resolutions.
February 12, 2009 9:10:27 PM

werxen said:
Its not just your ram or cpu... its everything. crysis lags even on my setup on high, bro. its a VERY demanding game. look up crysis benchmarks and you will see for yourself what kind of system is needed for a snappy crysis even on low resolutions.


Well, it's smooth most of the time. I think it's my harddisk mainly because the lag only shows itself when it's obviously loading stuff off the harddisk. It also pauses for a couple of seconds when it autosaves (again, using the harddisk). And it takes forever to load each level, which is, you guessed it, harddisk intensive. I do get a 5.9 for harddisk in the Vista Experience Index, and that's why that very index sucks!
February 13, 2009 12:55:16 PM

I think they all pause a bit while autosaving.
As for the shadows, one notch down wont be noticed but will improve gameplay alot. The link I provided above gives screenshot examples of the differences.

When you get your new HDD look for average seek time and cache size as the most importants issues.

With the drive you have you can turn on write caching if your sure that you have a stable power supply in your area. It just delays writing to the disk for a moment but it is pretty helpful at times..
Of course defraf is a must.
Also something I forgot to mention is that both Crysis and Warhead have a memory leak that causes your memory to run out after time so that will make machines with less memory have troubles.

In the original Crysis there was a mod pack called Natural Mod that I used that made the graphic much better than the original game settings capabilities and I think it works in Warhead as well.
Below are 2 links to find out more.
http://www.incrysis.com/forums/
http://www.crymod.com/portal.php
February 16, 2009 1:02:39 AM

I have a Phenom 9500, 9800GT and 8GB DDR2 800. Crysis runs fine on high settings @ 720p when I'm just walking around, but when a fire fight starts my FPS drop to 10-20. If I run it on low settings with physics and sound high. The game runs fine even in the toughest firefights (22fps).

My friend has a Core 2 Duo E8400, 9800GT and 4GB DDR2 1000. The game runs about 10+ FPS better overall on his system on high @ 720p. The game runs above 20 FPS on medium on his box even durning tough fire fights.

The bottom line is like someone said above, your whole system is kinda of a bottle neck. I would start with your ram though. Crysis 64 will take up to around 3 GB of memory for itself depending on the your texture detail and object detail. 2x 2GB sticks of DDR2 800 should cost no more than $30-40.

Your GPU is the next bottleneck. Crysis is still to this day the toughest GPU test you can put your graphics card through. Get the GURU3D benchmark utility and play around with the benchmarks just to get an idea of how Crysis stress specfic parts of your system.

Your CPU is obviously the last real bottleneck. The new Phenom IIs and the Core I7 are I beleive the first CPUs that go beyond what Crysis wants. But, like it was said above, Cysis is a beast and the only real way to have the game run smoth at high (min FPS 25-30) at the resolution you want is to spend money and it'll cost you about $1200 for the box.

But be happy cause every other game out there will run maxed fine.
February 16, 2009 8:58:20 AM

pat mcgroin said:
I think they all pause a bit while autosaving.
As for the shadows, one notch down wont be noticed but will improve gameplay alot. The link I provided above gives screenshot examples of the differences.

When you get your new HDD look for average seek time and cache size as the most importants issues.

With the drive you have you can turn on write caching if your sure that you have a stable power supply in your area. It just delays writing to the disk for a moment but it is pretty helpful at times..
Of course defraf is a must.
Also something I forgot to mention is that both Crysis and Warhead have a memory leak that causes your memory to run out after time so that will make machines with less memory have troubles.

In the original Crysis there was a mod pack called Natural Mod that I used that made the graphic much better than the original game settings capabilities and I think it works in Warhead as well.
Below are 2 links to find out more.
http://www.incrysis.com/forums/
http://www.crymod.com/portal.php


Thanks for that. Don't worry, I chose what drive I'm gonna get very carefully (it even has the reccomended badge on bit-tech.net), it's a 1TB drive that beats the velociraptor on alot of tests and trashes the raptor completely. (samsung spinpoint F1 with 32MB cache). I tend to take the manufacturers' claimed seek times with a pinch of salt, as they're often a bit, uh, "enhanced"?

Next time I play crysis I'll set the shadows to mainstream and see if there's a big difference. I was thinking, maybe the physics could be stressing my CPU a bit too much as I heard it puts massive load on the CPU. But I'm not about to set my physics down, it's already a bit too unrealistic on gamer settings in my opinion! You can shoot some things and they stay intact (such as some computer screens).

My PSU should be pretty stable (as it's a thermaltake, not a lemon one), but it's only rated at 420 watts. I didn't think of future proofing when I got that.

What is defraf?

When I have the time i'll have a look at those two websites (right now I'm actually on Linux so can't test Crysis and fiddle around with it). I spend most of my time on Linux as I find using Windows is a bit like being a bird stuck in a cage.
February 16, 2009 9:11:20 AM

bigal18 said:
I would recommend this motherboard so that you can get more out of your gpu(if your motherboard only has pci express 1.0 x16) and you can get fast, and vast amount of memory, and a nice cpu.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...


That looks like a nice motherboard, but I 1) don't have that money to spend, and 2) especially not on a motherboard! Thanks for the info though, that looks like one good motherboard.
February 16, 2009 9:14:44 AM

MykC said:
I have a Phenom 9500, 9800GT and 8GB DDR2 800. Crysis runs fine on high settings @ 720p when I'm just walking around, but when a fire fight starts my FPS drop to 10-20. If I run it on low settings with physics and sound high. The game runs fine even in the toughest firefights (22fps).

My friend has a Core 2 Duo E8400, 9800GT and 4GB DDR2 1000. The game runs about 10+ FPS better overall on his system on high @ 720p. The game runs above 20 FPS on medium on his box even durning tough fire fights.

The bottom line is like someone said above, your whole system is kinda of a bottle neck. I would start with your ram though. Crysis 64 will take up to around 3 GB of memory for itself depending on the your texture detail and object detail. 2x 2GB sticks of DDR2 800 should cost no more than $30-40.

Your GPU is the next bottleneck. Crysis is still to this day the toughest GPU test you can put your graphics card through. Get the GURU3D benchmark utility and play around with the benchmarks just to get an idea of how Crysis stress specfic parts of your system.

Your CPU is obviously the last real bottleneck. The new Phenom IIs and the Core I7 are I beleive the first CPUs that go beyond what Crysis wants. But, like it was said above, Cysis is a beast and the only real way to have the game run smoth at high (min FPS 25-30) at the resolution you want is to spend money and it'll cost you about $1200 for the box.

But be happy cause every other game out there will run maxed fine.


Well after I get my new harddisk I could get 4GB RAM I suppose. The cheapest I've found it is £40 (I'm in the UK). Then I'll have 6GB RAM for Linux, 3.5GB (or whatever the limit is) for Windows.

PS. Flight Simulator X is limited to Medium High, although that's good enough for me. I guess that's two very demanding games.
February 16, 2009 12:51:24 PM

Sorry about the typo. It should be defrag.
Fat Fingers dont you know.

One other thing I didnt mention is EVGA Precision.
It the easiest and most accurate program Ive found to overclock the GPU.
It gives in game FPS and temps, can be set for many different progs. and profiles.
It is simple to use and I found it to be the most accurate.
When testing I loaded 5 or 6 progs like Riva Tuner, Fraps,Speed Fan, N Tune and so on.
I found this one to maintain the best average as none of them reported the same thing.
Good luck
February 16, 2009 1:28:54 PM

pat mcgroin said:
Sorry about the typo. It should be defrag.
Fat Fingers dont you know.

One other thing I didnt mention is EVGA Precision.
It the easiest and most accurate program Ive found to overclock the GPU.
It gives in game FPS and temps, can be set for many different progs. and profiles.
It is simple to use and I found it to be the most accurate.
When testing I loaded 5 or 6 progs like Riva Tuner, Fraps,Speed Fan, N Tune and so on.
I found this one to maintain the best average as none of them reported the same thing.
Good luck


Hmmm..I totally forgot about defragging as I only recently began using windows for games (I primarily use Linux and before that used MacOSX on another computer).

I'd rather not overclock my GPU, for a few reasons: my case doesn't have superb cooling, it's just bog standard 2x cheapie 120mm fans on the back and front. I'd also like to keep my GPU for more than a year and I don't have the funds to get another one if it breaks. I'll do the defragging though, when I get the time!

EDIT: I tried the windows defrag tool and it was taking so long that I decided to cancel it - I'll try another program soon.

EDIT2: I used another tool to defrag, and it is a bit better although still has lag at some parts, well when it loads new stuff anyway. I'm sure it's due to my harddisk.
!