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Long Lag Pauses In Games

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June 4, 2007 5:38:42 PM

Recently I have been experiencing long pauses/lag spikes in games. In Guild Wars and World of Warcraft the game (seemingly at random) pauses for in between 20 and 40 seconds). During this time, the computer is almost totally unresponsive.

I have formatted my computer in an attempt to fix the problem, here are it's specs:

Athlon 64 3700+
2GB RAM
XFX 7900 GT XXX Edition 256MB
Windows XP x64 Edition

The only software my computer has installed is Windows, nForce 4 drivers, graphics drivers, and World of Warcraft.

More recently, during these "lag" spikes, I have seen the objects being drawn on the screen. I see first the background being drawn, then trees and buildings, then my character, then some of the GUI, then the GUI textures. It is as if the double buffer is not working.

Any ideas about what the problem could be? Thanks.

More about : long lag pauses games

June 4, 2007 6:28:10 PM

Quote:
In Guild Wars and World of Warcraft the game (seemingly at random) pauses for in between 20 and 40 seconds). During this time, the computer is almost totally unresponsive.


If it's only when playing games, my first guess would be video overheating. The games are probably the only time the card's actually having to work.

It could be software related as well, but to appear to hang and then release would seem unusual for a 3D driver problem.
June 4, 2007 6:37:01 PM

Is it only online games that you get this?
Related resources
June 5, 2007 1:11:24 AM

MIght be latency/ping if only mmorpgs
June 12, 2007 7:30:35 PM

I have bought a new graphics card, and the same problem still occurs. The problem occurs in both online (WoW, Guild Wars) and offline games (Rome: Total War). I am currently running Memtest-86 v3.2, it is 35% through the first pass and has found 0 errors so far, how many passes should I let it do?

I have tried the following software combinations:

Windows XP Professional SP2 (x86)
ForceWare 84.21 (on installation disc)
ForceWare 91.47 (on manufacturers website)
ForceWare 94.24 (on nvidia website)

Windows XP Pro SP2 (x64)
ForceWare 91.47 (on manufacturers website)
ForceWare 93.71 (on nvidia website)

Any other tests I could run to diagnose the problem? Cheers.
June 12, 2007 10:51:07 PM

Hmm, got me stumped this one.

Here's an idea. Try running task manager before you run the game and leave it running. When you get a spike, alt-tab out of the game and see which process is eating your CPU.
June 12, 2007 10:54:52 PM

Can't, it really is 100% CPU, there isn't even enough CPU time to load up task manager while it's having one of it's fits. I have tried running task manager in advance, and then alt-tabbing out... but this doesn't work, by the time it manages to switch windows, the lag is gone (takes 30+ seconds to switch windows).

I have a feeling that it is the motherboard. I formatted my computer today to put in the new graphics card, and my sound card no longer appeared in device manager. I thought it might be a conflict with the new graphics card as it is just a cheap sound card, but after I restarted my computer to put a program on, my sound card magically appeared.

Additionally, sometimes I have to unplug my USB mouse and plug it back in for it to work.

So what do you think now, motherboard?
June 12, 2007 11:17:46 PM

This may sound stupid but I have had problems lately at the company I work for where the svchost process goes crazy while trying to run windows updates.

It causes the CPU to max out to 100% usage, there was a hotfix released by Microsoft to remedy this problem but it didn't work all I've been doing on affected machines is to disable automatic updates which stops the problem straight away.

Try it you might get lucky.

Also I noticed you haven't listed your PSU if it is on the way out it could perhaps be causing the other problems you mentioned.
June 12, 2007 11:19:50 PM

Sounds like you have some nasty trojan friends...
June 12, 2007 11:35:09 PM

Hello all, my first proper post.

I don`t think its trojans because of the regular reformats(unless maybe using an older version of xp).

I`d be inclined to to agree with the mobo conclusion. The spare pc here is dying, and its the mobo. First onboard sound died, now its having trouble seeing the sound card. Graphically, its got no problems(yet).
June 13, 2007 10:09:38 PM

Yeah I used to get that problem at work - I think it's the PC downloading the latest Windows updates from your IT department's SUS server. I just used to kill it whenever it came up :) 
June 13, 2007 10:11:17 PM

OK, here's another idea.

Try removing your sound card and running with the onboard sound for a while - maybe it's some sort of conflict, or your sound card drivers.
June 13, 2007 11:03:53 PM

This may not have anything to do with it, but what is your power supply?
June 14, 2007 2:13:33 PM

My power supply is a 400W Zalman:

http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=3&code...

I very much doubt that the power supply is the issue. I only have:

Athlon 64 3700+
Gigabyte K8N-SLI
2x 1GB RAM sticks
GeForce 7900 GT/GS
2x 160GB SATA (RAID 0)
1 DVD writer (which I never use)
1 Floppy Drive
1 Optical sound card
1 Optical Mouse
1 Wireless Optical Mouse & Keyboard

I very much doubt this even comes to 250W, let alone a high quality 400W PSU.
June 14, 2007 7:04:31 PM

Quote:
My power supply is a 400W Zalman:

http://www.zalman.co.kr/eng/product/view.asp?idx=3&code...

I very much doubt that the power supply is the issue. I only have:

Athlon 64 3700+
Gigabyte K8N-SLI
2x 1GB RAM sticks
GeForce 7900 GT/GS
2x 160GB SATA (RAID 0)
1 DVD writer (which I never use)
1 Floppy Drive
1 Optical sound card
1 Optical Mouse
1 Wireless Optical Mouse & Keyboard

I very much doubt this even comes to 250W, let alone a high quality 400W PSU.


GT or GS? It probably draws about 300W at spike peek, but normally the PSU would handle that, but it sounds like Either a graphics card problem or power to the graphics card. Not enough power could cause the card to drop in performance, over heating on the GPU could too. The card itself may have a short that cause problems too or the mobo might have a short in it. besides the hardware at this point it could only be a patch update for wow, or the new drivers for your card.

BTW, is all the other hardware showing up correctly? another suggestion is to try Orthos and memtest for the RAM and 3dmark for the card just to check and make sure nothing else is wrong.
June 14, 2007 7:07:59 PM

Ever think of defraging your hard drive?
June 14, 2007 7:18:45 PM

Quote:
GT or GS? It probably draws about 300W at spike peek, but normally the PSU would handle that, but it sounds like Either a graphics card problem or power to the graphics card. Not enough power could cause the card to drop in performance, over heating on the GPU could too. The card itself may have a short that cause problems too or the mobo might have a short in it. besides the hardware at this point it could only be a patch update for wow, or the new drivers for your card.

BTW, is all the other hardware showing up correctly? another suggestion is to try Orthos and memtest for the RAM and 3dmark for the card just to check and make sure nothing else is wrong.
Doesn't use anything even close to 300W:

http://www.xbitlabs.com/articles/video/display/geforce7...

Besides, it's been running for over a year with no problems until now. I have tried Memtest in DOS and it showed no problems with the RAM. I also know that it's not the graphics card, because I have tried both my 7900 GT and a brand new 7900 GS, and the same problem occurs using each of them

Quote:
Ever think of defraging your hard drive?
qDefragging has nothing to do with it, it just affects file access times. Also, a hard drive doesnt need defragging just after it's been formatted.
June 14, 2007 7:22:54 PM

Quote:
OK, here's another idea.

Try removing your sound card and running with the onboard sound for a while - maybe it's some sort of conflict, or your sound card drivers.


Thanks but I have tried that aswell. Through process of elimation, it is either:

Motherboard
PSU
CPU
a c 107 U Graphics card
June 14, 2007 7:54:18 PM

did you flash your bios any time lately? Some updates break things. Asus broke my via sata back in the day. it cause massive audio skipping and random times.

Try an older drivers. 1 or 2 revisions back.

Check the event viewer to see if you have anything in there showing up. Right click my computer => manage then its in there. hard drive time outs and the like. If you use sata also try a new cable(and re-seat all power plugs, look for burning too. thats a sign of a loose connection.). I got a big lag now and then. never even noticed a a drive(my video drive, so its not used all the time) was going offline(bad cable).
June 14, 2007 8:01:40 PM

I recently experienced a similar problem when I installed a replacement 6800 Ultra card. My 2.5 year old card died so I installed new NForce drivers before installign the replacement card. I am also using an NVIDIA chipset mothboard (NF3 250gb) and apparently there is a problem with NF3 and NVIDIA video cards. Games would randomly pause for 5 seconds. I never had a problem before the re-install but I searched the internet and found that many people have had this problem. Do a search for "6800 and NF3". I called BFG tech support and was told to uninstall the GART driver. I did and it fixed my problem but I took a 30% performance hit. I disabled Fast Writes in the BIOS and the lag pause is gone and my performance is back. Hope this helps.
June 14, 2007 8:03:58 PM

Quote:

Motherboard
PSU


I was about to say by now it's one of these two. Usually if it's the cpu, it would be a problem that would get worse really fast, usually to the point that it's in operable.

That's what I thought the gt drew. (again you had gs/gt I'm thinking about the two drives and the dvd rom, as well as other component pull. plus that's including the occasional power spike you might get.
June 14, 2007 8:07:44 PM

someone mentioned task manager, and you said cpu at 100% and unable to switch. Well this food for thought/idea; run dual monitors if possible, run task manager on one and the game on the other. If ya dont have 2 monitors see if a friend can lend you one for a short time? Just an idea----good luck!
June 15, 2007 12:50:44 AM

Quote:

Motherboard
PSU


I was about to say by now it's one of these two. Usually if it's the cpu, it would be a problem that would get worse really fast, usually to the point that it's in operable.

That's what I thought the gt drew. (again you had gs/gt I'm thinking about the two drives and the dvd rom, as well as other component pull. plus that's including the occasional power spike you might get.Aye, and the fact that the motherboard sometimes hands when I try to get in the BIOS, makes me think that it is messed up.
June 15, 2007 1:08:24 PM

Quote:

Motherboard
PSU


I was about to say by now it's one of these two. Usually if it's the cpu, it would be a problem that would get worse really fast, usually to the point that it's in operable.

That's what I thought the gt drew. (again you had gs/gt I'm thinking about the two drives and the dvd rom, as well as other component pull. plus that's including the occasional power spike you might get.Aye, and the fact that the motherboard sometimes hands when I try to get in the BIOS, makes me think that it is messed up.

Have you done a jumper reset of the bios with the battery out?
June 18, 2007 4:21:55 AM

Dont have an SUS server it was update manager.
June 18, 2007 5:02:23 AM

I've actually been having the EXACT SAME problem.. but I have an FX 5200, so I just assumed it was dying (good rittens).

Still havnt fixed it yet...
June 26, 2007 8:48:46 PM

Ok so I have tried a new graphics card, and I have the same problem.
Now I have tried a new motherboard, and I have the same problem.

That leaves, through process of elimination 1) the PSU and 2) the RAM. I have tried memtest on the RAM sticks with no errors, so I doubt it is the RAM, so currently I am trying a 4 pin molex to graphics card power adaptor, might be the 12v graphics card rail. On the other hand, it could be running on the same rail as it has been anyway.

Anything else I can do apart from memtest before I buy a new PSU? Cheers.
June 27, 2007 1:28:34 AM

Found the problem!!!!!!!! Was a faulty power cable in my modular PSU.

After all that....
a c 107 U Graphics card
June 27, 2007 3:11:48 AM

Good to know you got it fixed(damn power cables).

Now go and spread the mental illness of gaming :) 
!