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What is slowing down my games?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 1, 2010 4:52:41 PM

Specs:

Core 2 Duo E7400 2.8ghz
Geforce GTS 250
Intel dg43gt motherboard
2gb ram- 1gb ddr2 533 and 1gb ddr2 800
530w power supply
200gb harddrive
1680 x 1050
Fresh install of windows 7 86x


Processor temp doesn't go above high 30s, GPU temp is 53c at idle. CPU-Z says my DRAM frequency is 333.3mhz

Team fortress 2 drops to 25-30 fps sometimes no matter what options I lower, including resolution. Same for borderlands and dragon age origins. Basically every game doesn't run as good as I feel it should. What could be slowing me down?

More about : slowing games

April 1, 2010 4:57:47 PM

I'd say increase to 4GB DDR2 800 and install Win 7 64-bit, see if that helps.
April 1, 2010 5:04:41 PM

What if I got another ddr2 800 1gb stick the same as my other to replace the 533 stick, that way they could run in dual channel...but would I see a noticable increase?
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a c 130 U Graphics card
April 1, 2010 5:07:09 PM

If your motherboard does not support dual-channel, then swap the 1GB DDR2-533 for 2GB DDR2-800. You're running slow RAM with fast RAM, which might cause something.

Also, try something like this.
-heapsize [Kilobytes]: This command tells the Source Engine to allocate more RAM to the system heap, where it can be accessed by the game to improve performance by caching more game information in RAM and hence reducing loading pauses. The default heapsize varies, but can be 256MB or less. If you have 2GB of RAM you may wish to increase this to 512MB (a heapsize of 524288). You can use higher values if you wish, but I don't recommend exceeding half your physical RAM (e.g. for 2GB RAM, don't set heapsize higher than 1024000). You can't force the game to load completely into RAM, that's not what this command does.

Add -heapsize using the command-line, which is found in Steam->My Games -> Team Fortress 2 -> (right click) Properties -> (advanced?) -> Set Launch Options -> "-heapsize <Kb>" (no quotes).

mem_max_heapsize [MB] - This command tells the Source Engine the maximum amount of memory to be allocated to the system heap. If you are using the -Heapsize command line variable (see previous page), then you may need to increase this value from its default of 256MB to allow a larger heapsize to be used for certain caches.
April 1, 2010 5:19:47 PM

My motherboard supports dual channel. I just don't think it works with 2 different speeds. and cpu-z says my ram is running at 333.3mhz for some reason...
April 1, 2010 5:51:08 PM

it is a rule of thumb not to combine Ram. You should try using the same ram for both slots especially since its DUAL channel, which generally is the best option to have them running identical, since they increase efficiency when communicating with CPU in sync.

Also check to see if you have an antivirus or a scan program running in the background.

A) Antivirus program check (try pausing while playing)
b) defrag your harddrive.
c) defrag your steam files
d) Verify filed integrity (re validate the steam files)

For c-d you can do this by right clicking on the game in steam, then properties, then local files and you should see it there.
April 1, 2010 6:06:22 PM

I am aware you aren't supposed to combine ram like I am, but my question is how much of an improvement would I see if I got another ddr2 800 so they could run in dual channel?

I always make sure I don't have anything but the game I am playing running on my computer, I've even tried using a program called gamebooster that turns off some of the stuff windows runs that you don't need for games. And for defragging windows says my hd is 10% fragmented, I don't know if that is alot or not, but I will do it anyways. I'll defrag my steam gasmes too, but I don't think either of those will make a difference, cause like I said I have a fresh install of windows 7 I formated my harddrive and installed it less than a week ago.

Another thing I thought could maybe be the problem is my harddrive, it's only a 200gb drive that came stock with an HP computer like 3 years ago...But i'm not really sure how much harddrives affect gaming performance, if any at all
April 1, 2010 6:14:09 PM

getting my ram to both being exactly the same (same brand and product series and item everything) improved stability and also increased OC potential. As for System speed I dont know if it will do much, but i think going from 533 to 800 should be a pretty noticeable difference in my opinion. It was for me. But that was back in the day:p 

I doubt its the hdd, I mean most of the game runs from virtual memory once your playing it, not alot runs off HDD. And since thats the case, I'm pretty sure having good equal dual Channel ram will prob help the problem. I remember Far Cry 1 ran like hell for me when I had a DDr533 and 800, but when I got both to 800 it ran flawless, but thats 1 game:p 
April 1, 2010 6:20:25 PM

Yea, I guess I will just get another 800 gig the same as my other, It is only 26$. If that makes a noticeable increase in performance, but still not as good as I think it could be i'll just get two more eventually. I'll have to change to windows 7 x64 then i guess
April 1, 2010 6:28:51 PM

yup, I hope I helped:)  Let us know how everything works out:) 
a c 175 U Graphics card
April 1, 2010 6:30:38 PM

Is that "530W" PSU a Chokemax? If it can't hold up its end of the log, your GPU may be getting power-starved and throttling, although I'd think you'd hear an alarm. Check your Event Logs in case a problem shows up there. Does a reboot fix this, even temporarily? How about exiting and restarting the game? You might have a memory leak, so adding more will help. Do make sure it's all the same spec.
April 1, 2010 6:32:56 PM

doubtful thats the problem, even on a 250 GTS. I had a cheap 400watt PSU running this thing. No problems.
April 1, 2010 6:42:03 PM

It is a Rosewill ps, 530w 4 +12v rails. I'm pretty sure its isn't a video card issue because i've tried to lower the settings/resolution in multiple games and it makes no difference. Nothing in event viewer. And a reboot/restart doesn't make a difference, and it's not just one game that doesn't run as good as expected it's basicly every game i've played on my pc. Borderlands and tf2 are just the games I am currently playing alot. I was pretty sure my system could run borderlands on max with no AA at 60+fps but nope it goes anywhere from 60 to 25 depending on whats on screen, same for tf2
April 1, 2010 8:59:26 PM

sorry for the double post, but I ran 3dmark 06 and scored 11753... should I be getting better than that with my setup? also the cpu test ran at like 1fps...is that normal?
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