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MW2 Framerate Issue

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 14, 2009 7:53:45 PM

So I tried to start playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 single player, but as soon as I get into the part where I can control my character the frame rate dips to single digits and the audio gets choppy. The opening menu and the opening movie run fine, it's just once I get in-game that problems emerge.

I tried troubleshooting all the usual suspects: turned down settings such as lowering resolution and graphics quality, checked/updated my drivers, turned off all other programs, used fraps to see what my actual frame rate was (9-10 fps avg), etc. That didn't work. So I started up Windows Task Manager, called up the CPU/RAM activity monitor and started up the game to check whether my CPU was maxing out. The CPU was barely at 50% even while I was lagging out. Though this gave me the opportunity to notice that while I was alt-tabbed out of the game that the audio was now fine. I tabbed back into the game, but the audio became choppy again. In addition I also noticed that when I was facing a "less graphically busy" part of the game (ie. a wall vs. a group of soldiers playing basketball) my fps bumped up to ~30 and the audio got better.

This lead me to think that it was my graphics card's fault, so I opened up the Nvidia control panel and turned down/adjusted a number of the settings for MW2. That still didn't work.

Out of fear that I might have done something or gotten some sort of virus without my knowledge I started up a couple of my other games to see how they were performing. Borderlands, Crysis (~40 fps, in fact), Team Fortress 2 and Left 4 Dead all run fine. So it is exclusively a problem with MW2.

So, to summarize, there is something about my graphics card that is failing to work with MW2, and MW2 exclusively. Any suggestions on what I could do here would be appreciated. Thanks.

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Graphics Card: Nvidia GeForce 8800GT
CPU: Intel(R) Core2 Quad CPU Q9300 @ 2.50 GHz
RAM: 6.00 GB
OS: 64-bit Vista Home Premium
Current Mode: 1680 x 1050 (32 bit) (60Hz)

More about : mw2 framerate issue

November 14, 2009 7:58:47 PM

May be time for a new video card, not sure. I think the 8600 or 8800 is the minimum for the game.
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November 14, 2009 8:11:41 PM

I'm using 2xAA and 2xAF, but I've tried turning them both off and no improvement.

The min spec is a 6800GT.

I'm not looking for 100 fps here, just a solid 30-40 minimum (60 obviously preferred). If Crysis can do 40s on this machine I don't see with MW2 can't either.
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November 14, 2009 8:20:25 PM

Crysis isn't doing 40s at that resolution on that computer unless it's all on low/some medium. Turn off both the AA and AF and lower the settings; that's all I can recommend. :/  Your GPU isn't that powerful anymore and it's a brand new game.
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November 16, 2009 5:45:10 AM

Okay I don't have modern warfare 2, only modern warfare 1, but they both use the same graphics and engine. My system is weaker than yours. I'm at e5200 2.5gig dual core with 4 megs of ram and a Nvidia 9500gt DDR2 1 gig video card.

I can run modern warfare in 1600x1050 setting with everything on and 4x anti alias. It runs crappy though if I run at that resolution. I don't know how to show the FPS in the game, but it feels around 20 in gunfights and a little more when there isn't much action.

At 1280x800 it feels fine. Maybe 30+ frames, at 1024x768 it feels really smooth.

I don't think it's your system. I think your system should be good enough to run it maxed. I have no answers for you, but your system should be able to run it at max.
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November 18, 2009 12:18:23 PM

Ok, impossible as it may seem, I actually found the problem. Apparently I have a bad RAM slot. I happen to have 4 slots and only 3 sticks, so I just switched one stick around and it's all sunshine and rainbows.

I was noticing some odd performance glitches that I thought had to do with my graphics card. For example, after all this trouble started I was blue screening on a hard boot up (turning the machine on after being completely off), but it would do a RAM dump, restart itself and be perfectly fine. When I actually logged in, Vista being the inapt helper that it is tells me that I have had an nVidia driver issue. This was especially odd because when I did soft restarts (just restarted the machine, didn't turn it off) no blue screen occurred.

I finally became suspicious of my RAM because I was absolutely sure that I had everything right with my graphics card (assuming it just wasnt' broken). So the fact that my machine needed to do a RAM dump was just something I thought I'd look into. I first checked for bad memory sticks by removing one at a time, it didn't really fix my problem until I took out one particular stick. This left me with only 4GB of RAM, and I being the greedy guy that I am made my self a hopeful bet that it was the slot and not the stick. Turned out to be a good bet because everything is fine now.

Hopefully these long elaborate posts aren't too annoying to the people reading, but I was just trying to make sure that you all knew what I had tried and how I fixed the problem.

So, to summarize: if you get weird graphical slowdowns on your highest end programs and you are absolutely sure that your graphics card is up to the job, among the many things you might want to try, check your RAM.

Thanks for the help.
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March 9, 2010 1:40:38 AM

Hi guys Im new here. I wanted to know exactly how much RAM can MW2 use. My little 2GB shows 95% usage. How much difference would an increase in RAM make. I also have insane Stuttering Problem in MW2. On all max the game runs 40 to 45 at 1600X900 but the FPS varies constantly and sometimes goes below 10 and also freezes. It Runs like a charm if I turn Specular map res to high and leave the rest at extra. Specular map res gives this problem at any Resolution even 800X600. What exactly is Specular Map resolution. Any Patch to fix this?
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March 9, 2010 2:25:45 AM

chinuhark said:
Hi guys Im new here. I wanted to know exactly how much RAM can MW2 use. My little 2GB shows 95% usage. How much difference would an increase in RAM make. I also have insane Stuttering Problem in MW2. On all max the game runs 40 to 45 at 1600X900 but the FPS varies constantly and sometimes goes below 10 and also freezes. It Runs like a charm if I turn Specular map res to high and leave the rest at extra. Specular map res gives this problem at any Resolution even 800X600. What exactly is Specular Map resolution. Any Patch to fix this?


if you are at 95% ram usage with 2GB you should add more, though the amount depends on the OS, if you have a 32bit version (XP, Vista 32b, Win7 32b) only get 2 more as the OS will not even be able to use more

however if you have a 64 bit OS (XP x64, Vista/Win7 64b), then get 4GB more, you never know when you might need more ram
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March 9, 2010 3:16:04 AM

Thanx for the reply
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