Laggy gameplay caused by video card or RAM?

Hello i just had my new HD 3850 512mb AGP for almost two months and i dont seem to have a problem except the fact that gaming is laggy sometimes. Battlefield 2 plays excellent for me. No lags, good framerate and high settings.
But in games like Medieval 2: Total War, Left 4 Dead and CNC3 tiberium wars, it runs fine when the visual effect settings are down to low or medium (VFX, lightning, shadows and effect details). But when i set this to high, the game becomes laggy! But my uncle has the same specs and games and he can set the effects to highest. The only difference is that he has 2 gig RAM and I only got 1 gig RAM. while we have the same vdeo card, motherboard, processor. Also in the Left 4 Dead it is said that effects are based on "CPU performance". Does that mean the processor or the memory? Howevery every setting that is not mentioned and has not to do with effects is set at very high! (shader detail, water ", unit ", anti aliasing, geometry, etc.)

Please help me!!! I'm quite new to this probs. Thanx

Note: I am quite not content with the effects as i could see some of my friend who has the same vid. card run effects settings in high.Should i overclock it? or just add additional 1 gig RAM?
20 answers Last reply
More about laggy gameplay caused video card
  1. Could you please tell us your specs?
  2. My specs:
    Asus P4P-800se
    Pentium R IV 3.20 ghz
    Powercolor ATI HD 3850 512mb AGP
    320 gb Harddisk
    500-watt power supply
    Windows XP Professional (SP3)
  3. How much RAM?

    Mike.
  4. Quote:
    and I only got 1 gig RAM.

    Read the statement carefully!
  5. 1GB of RAM will hurt a bit, and the 3850 is a bit underpowered, but a good match for the P4.

    I'd go to 2GB, but the P4 is getting on in years; your more or less at the end of your upgrade cycle.
  6. Quote:
    1GB of RAM will hurt a bit, and the 3850 is a bit underpowered, but a good match for the P4.


    So is it the 1 gig RAM or my vid card that's causing the lags? I want a short answer to confirm.

    By the way the 3850 is NOT underpowered. As you can see it requires 450 watt psu and i checked and its getting the right voltage from the power rail. And my P4 is not the normal P4s youve been seeing. Its more of the latest P4(dual cpu brands) to go in the market which is i think, 6 months earlier before the dual cores were made. And also its OCed to 3.40 ghz!
  7. I meant underpowered, as in performance, not in actual power. And no matter what, the P4 was a horrific arch overall, regardless of speed.

    You've got the best AGP can offer. Spend the $30 to put another 3GB in there, but I doubt you'll get much more out of that rig.
  8. To check RAM use, start Task Manager and minimise. After a game session, restore. Select Performance tab, bottom left, if peak is more than total, you need more RAM. Check that CPU use gives two graphs. Run HDTune and post the results.

    Mike.
  9. Its almost certainly a combo of 1GB of RAM, a weak CPU, and a AGP GPU. Upgrading to 2GB will help a bit, but the system itself is nearing obsolecense.

    Besides, the only upgrade he has open is RAM; I doubt his mobo can support a core2, and no GPU better then a 3850 has been made for AGP.
  10. Usually all the strategy games use more ram memory so probably that is a problem. Also maybe your resolution is different. Still you should think about buying a new rig because is nothing much you can do with your. You don't have too many options to upgrade.
  11. But my uncle can really play crysis at high settings at high resolution and we have almost the same specs. He also doesnt experience lags. Maybe thats where the RAM upgrade comes in.

    We both have:
    Pentium R IV 3.40 ghz
    Powercolor ATI HD 3850 512mb AGP
    Asus p4p-800se motherboard

    Differences:
    He has 2 gig RAM, I have 1 gig.

    As long as possible i dont want to upgrade my motherboard, processor, and vid card. Especially my vid card, for its brand new.
    Also my motherboard can support 4 gig RAM.

    Im gonna ask this for the last time!
    Basing on my specs, IS LAGGY GAMEPLAY CAUSED BY VIDEO CARD OR RAM?
    please answer this straight!
    no more recomendations or buy-a-new-pc stuff!
    All i can afford is upgrading to 2 gig and i still am going to trade my 1 gig to my friend and add 2 gig. (he owes me 20 bucks)
  12. The only logical explanation would be that you are down by 1 gig of ram. When you have the EXACT same computer as your uncle (meaning 1 more gig). Come back, it's a mere 30 bucks or less these days. But I'd be willing to bet that will fix your problem.
  13. Quote:
    The only logical explanation would be that you are down by 1 gig of ram. When you have the EXACT same computer as your uncle (meaning 1 more gig). Come back, it's a mere 30 bucks or less these days. But I'd be willing to bet that will fix your problem.


    Then its solved!
    Thanks Flash911! I'll make sure to get 2 gig from my friend "easily".
  14. Of course the answer is the RAM. I'm assuming your 1 Gig is 1 stick and anytime you don't use dual channel with 2 sticks you will be significantly slowing down the full potential of that motherboard.

    You could also have filled your task manager with too many background tasks (virus checker, USB cam, media rippers, etc....) and that is eating up your CPU cycles.
  15. anyone that the answer is the RAM that cause of your laggs.. becaue the problem for videocard are always the graphics...
  16. The question was "Why different framerates between almost two identical systems?"
  17. The question should be "How can a P4 and a ATI 3850 play Crysis at high at any playable framerate".
  18. add another gig of ram becouse if u look at the back of the box of the game it will tell you how much ram/mem that game needs to run and if you have 1gig of ram windows its self takes 512mb of ram to run it your video car probley takes around 256mb of ram witch means u have like 200/300mb of avalble ram left and if the game takes any ware from 512mb to 1gb. hope this helps
  19. OK, guys: P4 and AGP + Crysis = Fail. Don't overcomplicate this.
  20. krutz_86 said:
    But my uncle can really play crysis at high settings at high resolution and we have almost the same specs. He also doesnt experience lags. Maybe thats where the RAM upgrade comes in.

    We both have:
    Pentium R IV 3.40 ghz
    Powercolor ATI HD 3850 512mb AGP
    Asus p4p-800se motherboard

    Differences:
    He has 2 gig RAM, I have 1 gig.

    As long as possible i dont want to upgrade my motherboard, processor, and vid card. Especially my vid card, for its brand new.
    Also my motherboard can support 4 gig RAM.

    Im gonna ask this for the last time!
    Basing on my specs, IS LAGGY GAMEPLAY CAUSED BY VIDEO CARD OR RAM?
    please answer this straight!
    no more recomendations or buy-a-new-pc stuff!
    All i can afford is upgrading to 2 gig and i still am going to trade my 1 gig to my friend and add 2 gig. (he owes me 20 bucks)


    i'm sorry, but your uncle is full of $hit (no offense) There is no way in hell a single-core from 4 years ago and an AGP (outdated format) video card can possibly run crysis at high. What is your uncle's standard of a good FPS? 15? 10? Does he like slideshows?
    And, Crysis requires 2 gigs at least for RAM, but it wants 4 gigs for better performance. Get on with the times and get yourself a better computer. You knew that, didn't you? Did you even watch your uncle play Crysis on his POS rig?
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