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Random lag spikes during different games

Last response: in Video Games
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January 24, 2010 5:49:20 AM

So I only noticed this problem a few days ago, I've never had the issue before. I used to game a lot more on my laptop, WoW, Crysis, CSS, lots more, everything ran fine. Specs are:
Windows 7 Professional
Processor: Intel Core2 Duo P9500 @ 2.53GHz
4 Gigs ram
Video Card: Nvidia Geforce 9800M GT

Alright so I haven't really played many games in the past few weeks, but the laptop has always run everything perfectly. Played through Crysis with settings on High with no problems. So a few days ago I installed Assassin's Creed (original) and after about 10 minutes of playing the game I experiences a lag spike that lasted for about 15 seconds. Basically, the sound continued fine but the game's fps seemingly dropped down to like 2. After a bit the game sped back up and was fine, but every few minutes this happens.

I then went to play Left4Dead 2 online, and the same thing happens. Its not the servers or my internet of course, no one else is affected while playing online. So, I decided to test it on one more game, and booted Counter-Strike: Source. I played the game for quite a while experiencing no lag spikes at all.

I really can't figure out what the issue is. I checked all my drivers and their current, I ran a defrag, spyware scan, CCleaner. I even did a system restore to about 2 weeks ago (Windows had done some updates recently) and still had the issue.

I've looked but haven't been able to find any solution that fixes my problem on the forums. I'm not sure if I'm missing something or what, but it renders the games practically unplayable.

Anyone have any idea what could be happening here?

Thanks!
January 24, 2010 9:35:37 PM

Maybe you need to find a way to test your hardware and power,, as the software seems alright ??? :) 
January 25, 2010 6:45:55 AM

What could I use to test my hardware and power?
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January 25, 2010 8:50:33 AM

If this was my system, I would have checked the RAM first.. It sounds to me that your Ram (although enough) is having difficulty loading DATA...perhaps a module that is going pear-shaped..
January 25, 2010 1:24:37 PM

I would suggest heat - CS:S is pretty easy on hardware which would explain why it works okay, certainly more so than Crysis and 'Creed. Laptop cooling is always marginal, a dirty or failing fan may be the problem. Do the mobile nvidia drivers allow you to monitor the temperature of the GPU?
January 25, 2010 2:40:09 PM

No I don't think they do :/ . Is there a way that I can monitor my background processes so I can see if something is popping up when the lag starts? I want to make sure software is ruled out before I jump to hardware I guess.
March 19, 2010 6:35:30 PM

I have the same problem with my 9800M GTS 1GB/ Win 7/ 4GB RAM/ Gateway FX. I've tried with 3 different display drivers, but nothing seems to help. I bought my pc refurbished but it used to work fine when i first bought it. I wonder if it has anything to do with changing vista to 7, but then again 7 works fine, its only when i play pc games. It gets very hot my cpu (85c)and gpu(117c) but i have a notebook fan (4 fans).
April 20, 2010 6:05:35 PM

Good afternoon all,

Unfortunately I am experiencing this exact problem and have tried a plethera of remedies to resolve the issue, but with no progress at all. I will start from the beginning in hopes to give you more direction on what I have done to rectify my issue.

My system is a self built:

Asus motherboard Model M2N-VM DVI
AMD Athlon 64 X2 Duel core processor +6000 3.00 Ghz
2 Gigs of DDR2 Ram
Windows XP Service pack 2

Everything was running geat. Every game I played worked well, I never experienced this problem till one day randomly, and then almost all programs I use cause this video latency (that has graphic processing).

What happens is the game will load just fine, and play perfectly for about 30 seconds, then the cpus spike to 100% for about 5 seconds, causing the video and sound to "strobe" for the duration of the spike, when the spike goes down the program continues to run perfectly.

So thinking it was a video card issue (I was only using the onboard video) I decided to upgrade my video card. I installed:

the Radeon HD 4850 video card into my system with 1gig of DDR3 internal ram. So when I installed this although all my games graphically became much richer, and I could play any game at high settings the lag spike issue persisted...

So then I began to think it was a memory issue (seeing as I only had 2 gigs of ram). So I purchased and installed a 2gig ram stick of DDR2 in the 3rd DIM slot on my system (where the owner manual instructed to). So now I had 1 gig in slot 1 & 2, and 2 gigs in slot 3, totaling 4.

Then realizing that windows home didn't even register over 3 gigs, I decided to upgrade my OS to fully utilize the new memory Ive installed. So I install Windows 7 Professional on my system (I did a complete format, not an update).

So now I have the new video card, 4 gigs of ram (registering properly) & windows 7 and sure enough the problem continues.

So I get CPU monitoring software to check the temp of my system thinking it may be over heating. I placed 3 new fans into my PC tower, and it really didnt change the total temperature load of my system that much, maybe 2 to 4 degrees. My system idles at 42C and peaks at 54C

Frankly Im at a loss... The only thing that I can think of is that my motherboard is about 2 to 3 years old, maybe my bios version needs to be updated? Ive done nothing of that nature since I purchased it years ago and Ive noticed that my PS/2 port mouse wont work with windows 7, something ive read can be rectified with a bios update. Does anyone recommend that I attempt this, or is the problem more obvious then this?

I would appriciate any assistance on this as the issue is driving me mad. Thank you in advance to anyone who takes the time to lend a hand with this issue!!!
!