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Gaming performance issue possibly heat related

Last response: in Video Games
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October 19, 2011 9:48:38 PM

Hello all, im getting a performance decrease after about 15 minutes of game play. I play Bad Company 2 online ALOT and as of about 3 months ago i started getting a sluggish, laggy sensation that makes playing at my peak ability very difficult. First of all, relevent specs:

Win7 32bit
4GB RAM
Radeon 4850 GPU
Phenom II x4 955 3.2ghz
MSI 770T-C45 mobo


I run the game on low settings (no overclocking) and was getting healthy frame rate allowing me to play competitively for nearly a year. I took some time off from the game and came back to this performance issue. Ive tried many game servers to eliminate the possibility of poor latency, so next i figured its an overheating issue. I used GPU-Z to test my 4850 to find it was never surpassing a temp of 65c. I tested my CPU to make sure all 4 cores were running, and that they too were not overheating (they werent). I then did a clean reinstall of Win7 and added a brand new Radeon 6870 GPU, and im STILL having the problem. Ive jumped through hoops with Comcast to have them test and make sure it wasnt an ISP issue. Now I am at a loss as to what the problem is. Can my memory be overheating?

For a better idea of the performance issue im having, its not artifacting or blue screening or any other of the typical signs of overheating that I know of. My gameplay begins to feel slow-mo, where I cant turn as fast or reload my gun as quick. For those of you who understand quickscoping and noscoping in FPS type games, that used to be my forte', but now its become next to impossible. It really feels like a connection issue to be honest, but investigating that led to a dead end.

Im testing my new GPU for overheat issues currently, just in case. Any advice is much appreciated, thank you.

Tim
October 19, 2011 10:50:02 PM

sounds like either you are running low on memory--shouldnt do with 4gb but might be worth seeing how much ram is free when it happens

or its a connection problem--what about other online games? do they do the same?
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October 20, 2011 1:09:26 AM

Does this happen with any other games than Battlefield BC2? does it do the same thing while playing offline?

I'm running on a 4850 myself and I can almost max BFBC2 eevrything turned up except HBAO or whatever its called.

You can try to see how much ram is being utilized by using task manager and if its not using to much I would think that its a PSU problem. If your not getting enough power to your components then it will run sluggish. If you have a spare power supply you can try to put it in or you can go to a store and buy one and pay the 5% return fee if applicable. I think that a 550W would be sufficient just dont chince out and get $20 PSU :) 

(EDIT) I forgot to mention this, but I'll do it anyway, your PSU loses power over time so that may be the case that when you used to play the game, it ran fine but it got weaker over time and now needs replacing.
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October 20, 2011 12:51:25 PM

Patrickoby1 said:
Does this happen with any other games than Battlefield BC2? does it do the same thing while playing offline?

I'm running on a 4850 myself and I can almost max BFBC2 eevrything turned up except HBAO or whatever its called.

You can try to see how much ram is being utilized by using task manager and if its not using to much I would think that its a PSU problem. If your not getting enough power to your components then it will run sluggish. If you have a spare power supply you can try to put it in or you can go to a store and buy one and pay the 5% return fee if applicable. I think that a 550W would be sufficient just dont chince out and get $20 PSU :) 

(EDIT) I forgot to mention this, but I'll do it anyway, your PSU loses power over time so that may be the case that when you used to play the game, it ran fine but it got weaker over time and now needs replacing.


I doubt its a power issue as it wouldnt take time to ramp up...as soon as the game loaded it would be processing the graphics at max power..10-15mins to ramp as the OP stated would indicate to me a heat issue not power.

Also ....you have a 4850 and are MAXing BFBC2?? uhhh no you aren't. Unless your playing at 1200x800 and lower as a 5750 runs the game at 23fps and under. And on the hierachy charts the 4850 is a few grades below. .... 4850 ran Farcry 2 at 1900x1200 at 17 FPS. BFBC2 is more CPU and GPU intensive so I doubt its running on max perfectly fine.

Also .....You have a thread where you have the same problem of BFBC2 crashing. So it is in fact not running the game at Max fine, might be a driver issue for both of you using the 4850, try install old drivers?
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October 20, 2011 10:03:06 PM

I thought it might have been my card too but I followed someones tip and re installed windows and its working now, no more crashes :) 
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October 20, 2011 10:28:18 PM

Thanks for all the replies. My PSU is a 600w that ive been using since 12/08, so nearly 3 years. Im going to open my case and unplug a few things I can do without just as a test, such as my 2nd hard drive and a few custom case fans. This might help me rule out the PSU.

My graphics card currently, as stated in my post, is a Radeon 6870 1GB. Upgrading from the 4850 didnt alter the problem for me.

Im also going to do some memory testing tonight with my free time. As far as having the issue with other games, particularly online, I havent had a good chance to test it. The only other game I could consider testing it with is Brink, which I havent bothered to play since the week it came out. Thats something else I can test tonight.

Thanks again. I will update soon.
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October 20, 2011 10:34:06 PM

Did you install a 64-bit OS with that new gfx? Otherwise your wasting above 2Gb of memory and that could be slowing system performance since V-ram and onboard ram equals 5120Mb and your OS can't see far beyond 3,6-3,7Gb atm.

Sounds like memory issues to me, so I would recommend a 64-bit OS.
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October 21, 2011 10:15:44 PM

envymert said:
I doubt its a power issue as it wouldnt take time to ramp up...as soon as the game loaded it would be processing the graphics at max power..10-15mins to ramp as the OP stated would indicate to me a heat issue not power.

Also ....you have a 4850 and are MAXing BFBC2?? uhhh no you aren't. Unless your playing at 1200x800 and lower as a 5750 runs the game at 23fps and under. And on the hierachy charts the 4850 is a few grades below. .... 4850 ran Farcry 2 at 1900x1200 at 17 FPS. BFBC2 is more CPU and GPU intensive so I doubt its running on max perfectly fine.

Also .....You have a thread where you have the same problem of BFBC2 crashing. So it is in fact not running the game at Max fine, might be a driver issue for both of you using the 4850, try install old drivers?


I was retrying Battlefield BC2 after my reinstalling windows and the max that the settings go are high on my computer, maybe its limited or something, is there an ultra setting or something on higher video cards?

Anyway, on my game I set all the settings to high, AA x8 and anisotropic filtering is set to 16x, HBAO turned off, and Fraps give me readings from around 27 - 35 FPS.

(EDIT) i run the game on 1920 x 1080
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October 21, 2011 11:15:24 PM

most of the issues i know about with the 48 series is to do with the VRM overheating. this can happen on any model that has a stock cooler or 1 that doesn't deviate from stock to much...

check your vrm volts and temps you may find that the gfx is shutting off because the vrm is to warm or failing... if its just to warm you can add cooling in the form of fins or get a 3rd party cooler that covers the vrm's with there own heatsync.

also for the guy running x8 fsaa. theres no point in running it that high unless your on a tiny monitor... if your gfx has 512-1Gig the most fsaa you should use is x4 on a 180p-1200 monitor... on a bigger monitor your looking at x2... only if your card has more than 2 gigs of ram should you attempt to run at higher AA settings

as your running a high end gpu with a midrange cpu you may want to consider overclocking... bumping that cpu to 3.4 should help elimiate any bottlenecks... also check the cpu temps normally if a game starts lagging after 10-15 mins it tends to point to a cpu overheat and throttle. so check your cooling is actually effective.
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October 27, 2011 3:14:17 PM

I did some more testing the other day and made a discovery: my virtual memory was set to "system managed". I forgot to change it to a higher value after I reinstalled Win7 2 months ago! So after setting the VM value to roughly 2.5x the available memory (7000 MB), I noticed an IMMEDIATE improvement in gameplay. The sluggish sensation was almost entirely gone.

Then the next day, yesterday, the problem seemed to return across all game servers. Sluggish as ever, to the point that my mouse hand started feeling fatigued from the strain of repeated quick corrections in my hand/finger movements to keep up with other players. Just like the original problem.

It seems obvious that I need to upgrade my RAM. I am a bit confused as to what my mobo can handle for RAM, however. This is a topic for the memory section of the forums, but you may know the answer yourselves. The specs for my mobo are as follows: "DDR2 240pin/1.8v". My current memory is lousy for gaming, 4x1 sticks of cheap Wintec 1gb DDR2 667 (PC 5300) at 1.8v. It seems like all the possible RAM upgrades out there require higher voltage. Can my motherboard handle a memory upgrade? Would it even be worth the money investment?

Thanks again all.
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October 27, 2011 4:41:23 PM

i think the memory voltage is low because thats really slow ddr2--so it may be a good idea to upgrade to pc2 8500/1066

heres the memory specs for your board

Main Memory

• Supports Dual DDR2 533/667/800/1066
- 4 DDR2 DIMMs (240pin / 1.8V)
- Supports a maximum memory size up to 8GB.

still says 1.8v but i seem to remember when i had an amd board that my 1066 memory ran at 2.1v or 2.2v so maybe some one with an amd board can clarify that
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October 27, 2011 5:19:05 PM

ok thanks. i did some shopping and found RAM upgrades that run at 1.8 volts, so I should be all set. Im just unsure how much of an improvement I will get for the money.
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October 27, 2011 5:31:21 PM

well the ram you have is really slow so you should get an improvement just dont know how much

buy it somewhere that you can send it back if it doesnt make a huge difference
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October 28, 2011 4:23:12 AM

Quote:
It sounds like it's a heating issue. Do the simple things like cleaning out your case of any dust, clean the CPU and Graphics Card fans. Easiest way to do this is by using canned air and just blowing it out.

It could be a memory problem (RAM or GPU related) depending on how old your equipment is, but I doubt it.



I do clean my case often. Its been 3 weeks and I used compressed air. The memory is old, and i dont know if the memory is running hot just due to old age but its possible I suppose. Whats a good program to test RAM temp?
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October 28, 2011 3:30:24 PM

Sweatdog said:
I did some more testing the other day and made a discovery: my virtual memory was set to "system managed". I forgot to change it to a higher value after I reinstalled Win7 2 months ago! So after setting the VM value to roughly 2.5x the available memory (7000 MB), I noticed an IMMEDIATE improvement in gameplay. The sluggish sensation was almost entirely gone.


your system vm should be set to 1.5 your actual ram size... if you have 2 gigs the vm should be set to 3gig and the same if you have 6 gigs. set the vm to 9gig...
if you stick to this rule of thumb you will have no vm issues at all...

having vm set to high cn have just as much negative impact on system performance, as having it to small... different errors but errors all the same.
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