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Smoke and fire effects lag my video card, is it broken?

Last response: in Video Games
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February 25, 2009 1:59:03 AM

This mainly happens in Call of Duty 4, and it's even worse in World at War, walking through a smoke grenade lowers my fps down to 10-15, from a usual 40-80. The single player mission "Burn em out" is unplayable, since there are many smoke grenades and flamethrowers, a combination of the two gives me about 4fps. I don't think this is a common problem although I've heard of a few people having the same issue.

My card is an XFX 9600gso 768MB GDDR2, and it runs pretty much all my games are maximum settings. Smoke in Left 4 Dead seems to lag me as well, but Fallout 3 and Call of Duty 2 for example, play just fine. I know in Call of Duty 4 disabling "Soften Smoke Edges" seemed to help a bit, but this option doesn't exist in World at War. Is there a workaround I could try, or should I contact XFX and try to get a replacement (which I really don't want to do since it could take months). I've tried changing Operating Systems and using different drivers, but they don't seem to change anything. Full specs listed below:

Windows XP SP3 32 bit
4GB G.Skill DDR2-800
500GB Samsung Spinpoint
XFX 9600GSO 768MB GDDR2
AMD Athlon X2 6000+ 3.1GHz
Motherboard was made by Acer (Computer used to be prebuilt until I upgraded everything besides the motherboard)
480W Sunbeam Power Supply, 18A on 12V
February 25, 2009 6:56:24 AM

I think your gfx card is just a little underpowered for those effects. Smoke and fire are the most taxing effects.

The obvious things like turning off AA and playing at lower resolution should help
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2009 7:47:24 AM

+1 to rtfm

However as it is a pre-built can you run cpu-z and find out how many pic-e lanes you are actually using, its a long shot but it might only be 4 or 8, although 8 should be plenty, it was for my 7900GTO.
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February 25, 2009 7:54:14 AM

rtfm said:
I think your gfx card is just a little underpowered for those effects. Smoke and fire are the most taxing effects.

The obvious things like turning off AA and playing at lower resolution should help



I know many other people with the exact same card and they don't have this problem.

And to 13thmonkey, just the motherboard is out of a prebuilt.
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February 25, 2009 8:18:54 AM

I agree with the card not quite being up to it.

Corey, others might not be running as high a res or as much AA or some other graphical setting. there is probably a specific setting that affects smoke and fire although I wouldn't know what it's called.

And the term for graphics isn't lag, that's a networking term.
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a b U Graphics card
February 25, 2009 8:26:06 AM

Its 'just' the motherboard thats the controlling factor in how much PCI-E bandwidth is used. And if it came out of a pre-built they are often custom built down to a price.
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February 25, 2009 3:51:23 PM

Corey, the Nvidia control panel thingy has options for gfx (3d) quality, you could try lowering thoses as well
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February 25, 2009 3:54:02 PM

Nb. As you you say pretty much all your other games run fine, that pretty much eliminates hardware issues like overheating, inadequate power, yada yada - if it were a hardware problem, the system would crap out on any demanding 3d game.
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February 25, 2009 8:07:43 PM

I'm only running 1280x1024, why would it run at 60-80fps then jump all the way down to 15 or so?
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February 25, 2009 9:29:46 PM

Are you running AA? Turn it off.
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February 25, 2009 9:31:26 PM

Turning AA off doesn't help.
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February 25, 2009 10:05:07 PM

Hmmm, that is quite odd indeed as that card gets decent benchies, not great but playable for sure.

Just curious, is AA enabled in your Nvidia control panel? Or perhaps the transparency AA (multisampling or supersampling)? That can be a killer too.

Ya know I got Crysis to run kickass in DX9 on the ole 8800gt, but as soon as I got close to the frozen ship it slideshowed due to the mist\smoke\vapors etc...

You may just have to turn something down a tad or buy another card, that's what I did :( 
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February 25, 2009 10:12:25 PM

Everything is on Application Controlled or off
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February 28, 2009 8:16:18 AM

i can play high settings at 1366x768 on my lappy and i only have a 9600m gs but i spent ages messing with the settings and nvidia control panel to get it just right
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