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Lag with games.

Last response: in Video Games
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February 29, 2012 6:17:39 AM

Hi all.

I have a Q6600 factory clock speed of 2.4 Ghz, 2*2GB DDR2 RAM,
Saffire HD 4850 512 Graphics card. seagate 1 TB HDD.
MSI platinium (forgot the model),

Now the problem is All my games have a slight lag at certain interval of times. I believe the CPU is hitting 100%.
to elaborate.. I start the game.. game runs smooth, then a slight lag or sluttering for a few seconds like 2 or 3 sec.
then again smooth game play for another 15 - 30sec ( or more seconds ) , afterwhich this annoying lag reoccurs for another 2 or 3 sec.
this keeps on going.

I have windows 7 64bit, (system reserved or some similar logical drive got created after i installed windows 7 64 bit)
I run Avira anti virus,which i update regularly,whenever its available.
graphics card has latest drivers.
also i updated my bios to latest.

i experience lag when i play Alan wake (PC), COD MW3, Assassins creed revelations. (these are the games i play now), these games expience this lag issue even in the lowest settings.

I believe my rig is capable of running these games at least in lowest settings since i get smooth game play for at least a min or so.

Please let me know what would be the issue.
the hard disk is like a year old now , would it be bad sectors causing this performace hit and causing 100% for my CPU.
Or is it something related to my GPU.

please advice on what actions I can take.
Thanks in Advance.

NOTE : i have posted the same in the CPU section also. not spaming, cause Iam desperate to end this lag issue.

VVG.

More about : lag games

February 29, 2012 9:44:43 AM

Have you updated the GPU drivers? If that doesn't work I would suggest a reinstall of windows (If you haven't done so in the past 4 months) that may help speed things up slightly. Otherwise the only other thing would be a new graphics card. I would recommend these for a lower gaming budget:

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-evga-gts-450-40nm-36...

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1gb-evga-gtx-460-supercl...

and these for a higher:

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1280mb-evga-gtx-570-hd-s...

http://www.scan.co.uk/products/1536mb-msi-gtx-580-twin-...(plus-bf3

Hope this helps.
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February 29, 2012 11:40:52 AM

Thanks rationalinsanity.
I want to try the windows reinstall as the last option, cause there are lot of other prgms i run.
Would there be any other options or work around to solve this.
Thanks for the reply ..
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February 29, 2012 12:12:41 PM

Have you tried updating the Graphics drivers? Also what programs do you leave running whilst playing games (If any?)? And finally what anti-virus do you use?
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a b U Graphics card
February 29, 2012 1:32:58 PM

you THINK your cpu is hitting 100% load or have you verified that? (hwmonitor, hwinfo or other monitoring tools can tell)

it could also be the fact that you're hitting vram limit seeing how it's 512mb card. (check gpu memory load with same progs as above or msi afterburner)

As mentioned, try drivers update, make sure all your other drivers are up to date. Check that you have the least amount of running tasks in background when running the games (if you not sure with this try io game booster)

check the running temperatures too, although I doubt that's the issue (same tools as mentioned above)

The bad sectors on HDD will not cause this, unless your HDD is trying to read data from said sectors (which it shouldn't do under normal conditions)
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February 29, 2012 1:49:54 PM

+1 on it being the card on CODMW3 my card uses way over 512MB
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March 1, 2012 4:38:55 AM

Thanks AntiZig for the valuable feedback.. My graphics drivers are up to date.
'it could also be the fact that you're hitting vram limit seeing how it's 512mb card."
could you explain this more for me. i mean how I can check and rectify this.

Thanks rationalinsanity. I use Avira antivirus.

And there are no background programs running while i play.
also I use game booster also.
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March 1, 2012 6:58:07 AM

VVG007 said:
Thanks AntiZig for the valuable feedback.. My graphics drivers are up to date.
'it could also be the fact that you're hitting vram limit seeing how it's 512mb card."
could you explain this more for me. i mean how I can check and rectify this.

Thanks rationalinsanity. I use Avira antivirus.

And there are no background programs running while i play.
also I use game booster also.


You can check how much VRAM your using through one of the programs mentioned above (MSI afterburner is quite simple but I don't think it has logs, however it does show a stream of data). Just run the program start a game play for a bit (probably up until you lag), minimise the game (alt tab) and see what you were hitting during the lag time. If you have a dual monitor just have the program running in your second monitor.

Also you can try disabling you anti virus and seeing if that changes anything.
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March 1, 2012 7:47:58 AM

Thanks again Rationalinsanity. will try MSI afterburner and will post the result .
Might take a while to reply with the result, since I read and posted these from my work place.
will go home and try these.
thanks a bunch..
hope i wil be able to play smooth soon.
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March 1, 2012 8:27:26 AM

if someone has said this already sorry - Do you have antivirus installed and checking every files as it is opened?
Try disable antivirus and re test see if this helps.
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March 1, 2012 9:21:30 AM

VVG007 said:
Thanks again Rationalinsanity. will try MSI afterburner and will post the result .
Might take a while to reply with the result, since I read and posted these from my work place.
will go home and try these.
thanks a bunch..
hope i wil be able to play smooth soon.


Ok, well I hope we can help you through this problem :) 
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a b U Graphics card
March 1, 2012 9:45:22 AM

I see some possible issues here:
1. as AntiZig said, it could be VRAM limitation. But you can check for this by turning around while standing in 1 place and seeing if the lag appears. If you stand in one place turning and the lag is still with same pattern (i.e. not related to where you are looking), then it's not this.
2. some background app (AV suspect, but it's not alone, but HDD SMART apps are also to blame) is polling something repeatedly. Since you say you have lots of apps, finding out which one it's gonna take time.
3. I saw similar problems with CD/DVD drives when windows reduced transfer speed to PIO mode. If you are using IDE emulation (don't know for SATA native if it still applies), then after a few number of CD/DVD timeouts (like scratched or badly written data discs), the driver will reduce the transfer mode, eventually stopping at PIO mode. This could happen over time with differently scratched data discs. One simple test is to copy one large file from CD/DVD and see the CPU usage. If this problem is present, CPU will stay constantly at 99-100%. The better way is to go to device manager and check Intel IDE/SATA channels for transfer mode (can't tell you exactly what to click). It will show for each channel if something is connected and what speed it uses. If it says something with DMA (Ultra, MW, SW) it's ok, but PIO is deffinetly not. The period is because Windows polls periodically the drive state (open/close, disc present).

PS: almost all of these points could create a pattern between HDD light and lag: so check if the HDD access (which includes CD/DVD) ligths up at the start of the lag.
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March 2, 2012 3:00:52 AM

Thanks all.. I installed MSI afterbuner and ran it with assassins creed revelations.
i could see the GPU use graph hitting 100%. so does that mean its the GPU which is causing this.. but then why would it run smoothly for few seconds if its GPU issue.

Mathew7 .. thanks for the feedback.. could you let me know how i can test the point 2 and 3 you said and rectify the same.

thanks
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a b U Graphics card
March 2, 2012 4:20:37 PM

you have to also look at the GPU memory load, core load at 100% means your card is working full speed, but that doesn't always mean that's the cause of the stutter (although that could indicate that you're tasking your GPU with more than it can handle, try to turn the graphics down and see what load you will see on your GPU then)

To test what mathew7 suggested in 2 you will have to open up task manager and end processes that are not system essential 1 by 1 until your performance improves. If the issue isn't caused by background processes then you might go down to just game + system processes and see no change in performance, that means it's not caused by background applications.

to test point 3, he explained it in his post, read it again.
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a c 291 U Graphics card
March 2, 2012 7:58:10 PM

VVG007 said:
Thanks all.. I installed MSI afterbuner and ran it with assassins creed revelations.
i could see the GPU use graph hitting 100%. so does that mean its the GPU which is causing this.. but then why would it run smoothly for few seconds if its GPU issue.

Mathew7 .. thanks for the feedback.. could you let me know how i can test the point 2 and 3 you said and rectify the same.

thanks


It must hit 100%. You could say you'd have a problem if it didn't. It would mean computer wouldn't be able to make it work at full speed. Instead of looking at GPU usage, watch the memory usage graph. Also, what other programs do you have running in background while playing? I am almost sure that is your problem.
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March 3, 2012 11:57:11 PM

If you are using Gamebooster properly, you shouldn't have any unnecessary processes in the background. If your antivirus program is checking files while the game runs, that could definitely do it. Other things to check: any program that does auto-updates in the background (Gamebooster doesn't always get them all), scheduled tasks (like defrag), and your hard drive's capacity- if there isn't enough space to swap files around, it could cause stuttering. Since you have a TB, I highly doubt it, but maybe you filled the whole thing with videos or something.

Definitely check background programs. You'd be surprised at the system resources instant messaging programs can sometimes use, and generally applications like this are not touched by Gamebooster. Also, try disabling any Windows gadgets you have going. You may also test turning off all network equipment- bluetooth, wireless, all of it. See if something goofy is going on with broadcasts or pairing mode. Its unlikely, but its also really easy to check.

I also find lowering the resolution a game runs in can vastly help with FPS if the video card is to blame. I usually do so as a last resort, but I'm running Skyrim on medium settings with 1280x720, while it was completely unplayable on low settings and 1600x900.
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