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Video Game Lag: Solutions?

Last response: in Video Games
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September 11, 2011 8:13:20 PM

Hi all,

It seems that the past couple weeks/months, my computer has been lagging more when playing video games (mostly Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops). Notably, my fan seems to be much louder then when I remember it, as well as the CPU goes to 100% while playing these games. I've recently applied Arctic Silver 5 on my CPU (as in a day ago from when I wrote this), which may be working, though I might have put on too much (I'm new to computer building/maintenance stuff). In theory, I should be able to play these games without a problem:

Windows 7 SP 1 (64 bit)
AMD Phenom II X4 965
6 GB DDR3 RAM
Nvidia GeForce GTX 460 768 MB
Antec Mid-Tower case (don't know the specific model off-hand)

According to HWMonitor (which seems to get similar results to Speccy), my Core temps are around 36 C idle, ~50 C when playing games, and have maxed at 64 C. This is roughly the same for the Graphics Card. "FanIN0" seems to run at 5000+ RPM when playing games and I suspect is the loudness culprit.

So any theories/remedies? Dust buildup? I don't think it's bandwidth since I've got a better connection then awhile ago but am facing worse lag than I remember.
September 12, 2011 1:46:03 AM

Your temps seem to be ok. Try opening task manager (win7 start button, then type "task manager, enter) to see if something like win7 media player is running in the background. Anit-virus sweep. HDD de-frag, to start with. Sounds like your CPU is busy with things it shouldn't be. My system is very similar to yours, component wise, and these few steps fix my lag and 100% CPU usage issues.
September 12, 2011 10:32:40 PM

On closer inspection, I should say that it seems that my load core temps are closer to mid-50s, which I guess is still tolerable.


I ran CCleaner and tried to cut down on background processes, which maybe has slightly improved the issue (there's definitely still lag). The fan is still pretty loud when I'm gaming, so I'm guessing that I'll have to just deal with that until I get money. HDD has been defragged on a ~weekly basis using the Windows Defrag program. I'm updating the GTX 460 drivers to 280.26. If anybody has any other suggestions, they would be welcome.
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September 15, 2011 2:01:06 AM

Alright, I've tried posting this two times already to no avail, so hopefully this will be the success. Things I've found out:

1. Google search shows incompatibility with GTX 460 and Black Ops especially (Modern Warfare 2 less so).

2. I can play MW2 single-player and Mafia II on almost full settings without any stutter/lag.

3. My internet connection is supposedly 4 Mbps, and is in any case much faster than my previous connection, which at least at one point, I could play without stutter/lag issues.

4. Fully up to date Malwarebytes full scan revealed no infection.

So, any suggestions?
September 15, 2011 5:41:12 AM

Check the global settings in the Nvidia Control Panel. Maybe dim those down a few notches. It really boosted my gaming performance. Went from 16fps in Oblivion to well over 40+ simply by switching one setting from Clamp to Allow...I forget the setting. But the AA is definitely something to limit...
September 18, 2011 1:20:13 AM

I tweaked some of the settings in the Nvidia Control Panel, as well as lowered settings on the laggy games. The verdict: same problems. I've tried gaming when no one else was on the network and speeds were relatively good (the DSL around here is a bit flaky) and had the same constant lag spikes. It's cooled down here so my computer hasn't been running as hot either...still the problem remains. Maybe it's the drivers? I see that a lot of people seem to have similar problems with whatever drivers Nvidia is releasing.
September 26, 2011 9:25:06 AM

scher168 said:
I tweaked some of the settings in the Nvidia Control Panel, as well as lowered settings on the laggy games. The verdict: same problems. I've tried gaming when no one else was on the network and speeds were relatively good (the DSL around here is a bit flaky) and had the same constant lag spikes. It's cooled down here so my computer hasn't been running as hot either...still the problem remains. Maybe it's the drivers? I see that a lot of people seem to have similar problems with whatever drivers Nvidia is releasing.



Hmm, well aside from trying Game Booster, check out SysInternals Process Explorer to help track CPU and RAM consumption, also tracks network health.

Setting PE to show the CPU and RAM graphs in the Systray really helps. And run a few games in window mode and monitor it there.

It could be a networking issue, but that's unlikely. If it was dust you would see higher temps, but those checked out.

I personally would bump up my RAM frequencies, but idk if you have the max frequency in your system. Poor performance is usually either a graphical or RAM issue in my experience.

There are a lot of options, just explore em. And since the problem is so broad...idk how to help ya other than suggest this or that.
September 26, 2011 11:32:37 AM

I think I solved the problem: it was, in fact, a network issue. Seems like my roommate can really hog the bandwidth when he's around watching movies, etc. Recently, I've managed to play when he's not around and the games run pretty smooth. So, thanks for all the help anyway.
!