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WoW Cataclysm: where is the bottleneck?

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February 20, 2011 5:19:46 AM

Seems like there is quite a big step between WOTLK and Cataclysm when it comes to performances needed. At least, the previous expansion was quite smooth with my current rig.

I honestly thought my system would do better than that. I currently have to play at "Fair" graphic with a lots of options disabled and very low background FPS. Even with graphs on minimum "Low" I experience lag.

The "lag" (not latency) occurs mostly when I'm moving the view around (rotating my character). The view keeps jerking and there is no fluidity at all...very annoying when trying to PVP for example as you end up with the view aligned in the wrong direction if you move the mouse too quickly.

Anyways, according to my system specs below, does anyone have an idea where could the bottleneck be? And what suggestion would you have to improve the game performances? More RAM? Overclocking? Or is my system just too old as a whole?

Asus P5Q Pro Turbo
Intel Core2 Duo E8500 (not overclocked)
4 GB DDR2 (800mhz)
Asus Nvidia ENGTS450 TOP 1GB
a c 126 à CPUs
February 20, 2011 5:24:44 AM

To be honest you shouldn't see a bottleneck. Recommended wants a dual core and 8600 or higher. Your GPU should handle it pretty well.

What resolution do you play at?

If its anything, I would gander GPU upgrade would help but still I don't see the reason unless the engine isn't very optimized.
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February 20, 2011 5:25:22 AM


For WoW that looks like it should perform admirably, at what resolution are you playing?
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February 20, 2011 5:29:25 AM

Thanks for the reply. I also thought my specs would be good enough to play with at least Fair, maybe even "Good" Graphics on.

I'm playing at 1680x1050 (wide) resolution. Tried both Fullscreen and Windowed fullscreen and I don't see much difference.
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February 20, 2011 6:07:21 AM

Must be some other problem, one rig i play on is an old Conroe 2.3 Ghz with a 8800GT at 1680x1050 and i'm pulling 30+ fps in raids and PvP at mostly good settings ( a few fair). Have you checked this article for settings ?
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/world-of-warcraft-c...

I'd also check temps, drivers and use malwarebytes or other malware program.
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February 20, 2011 7:02:48 AM


Not sure it will do you any good, but try

· download Driver Sweeper and the newest nVidia drivers

· uninstall nVidia control panel and related drivers

· boot to safe mode and run Driver Sweeper to clean out any left over drivers related to your video card

· boot normally and install the newest drivers

another thing to do, just to be sure, is to do an update of your DirectX installation.
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February 20, 2011 8:31:39 AM

Ok, I will try what you suggest lothdk and post the result a bit later.

@dirtmountain: the temps are fine, I have been building this machine myself and have decent temps even at full load. Scanning for malawares quite regularly too...
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February 20, 2011 2:47:53 PM

lothdk said:
Not sure it will do you any good, but try

· download Driver Sweeper and the newest nVidia drivers

· uninstall nVidia control panel and related drivers

· boot to safe mode and run Driver Sweeper to clean out any left over drivers related to your video card

· boot normally and install the newest drivers

another thing to do, just to be sure, is to do an update of your DirectX installation.



I installed Driver Sweeper and downloaded the latest GTS 450 drivers from nvidia website. Not fully sure what is the nVidia control pannel though? In the list of windows program I can see:
nvidia 3D vision driver
nvidia Graphic driver
nvidia HD audio driver
nvidia PhysX System Software

Should I remove all of those? (well, except the audio one)

Also, I analysed nvidia chipset, nvidia display and nvidia physX with Driver Sweeper and it gives me an extensive list of values. Should I wipe all of that?

Thanks in advance, I prefer to get more info before doing something I haven't done before.
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February 20, 2011 7:41:11 PM

don't do nvidia chipset that's for motherboard drivers. just do the display drivers.
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February 20, 2011 7:41:41 PM

nvidia graphic driver is prob what u want
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February 21, 2011 12:50:06 AM

Quote:
What OS are you using?
Easiest way to test if you have a bottleneck is to lower all the settings. Use fraps to check the fps. Then put on all the high settings and such and see if the frame rate changes. If it stays the same then the bottleneck is on the cpu side of the code.


I don't think a E8500 would bottleneck a GTS450 @ 1680x1050. And considering that mobo he has is a P5Q which is the P45 chipset that means he is running at one full 16x PCIe 2.0 lane.

Actually that brings up one question. Which slot do you have the GPU in? The blue or black one?
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February 21, 2011 1:46:59 PM

yea, its actually the asus gamer osd , uninstall it, i have the same card, asus gts 450 top, and i had the same issue, only when turnign would i have problems and suttering, uninstalled gamer osd and suddenly everythign was very smooth in ultra :D 
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February 22, 2011 7:08:45 AM

urbanium said:
Seems like there is quite a big step between WOTLK and Cataclysm when it comes to performances needed. At least, the previous expansion was quite smooth with my current rig.

I honestly thought my system would do better than that. I currently have to play at "Fair" graphic with a lots of options disabled and very low background FPS. Even with graphs on minimum "Low" I experience lag.

The "lag" (not latency) occurs mostly when I'm moving the view around (rotating my character). The view keeps jerking and there is no fluidity at all...very annoying when trying to PVP for example as you end up with the view aligned in the wrong direction if you move the mouse too quickly.

Anyways, according to my system specs below, does anyone have an idea where could the bottleneck be? And what suggestion would you have to improve the game performances? More RAM? Overclocking? Or is my system just too old as a whole?

Asus P5Q Pro Turbo
Intel Core2 Duo E8500 (not overclocked)
4 GB DDR2 (800mhz)
Asus Nvidia ENGTS450 TOP 1GB


WoW could benefit from a 3rd core. I would also have a look (since you have sufficient RAM) at hard drive performance/errors/defragmentation etc. What HDD do you have ? Also how much RAM is being used when gaming in WoW ? (just in case). How about when the PC is idle on desktop in terms of CPU/RAM usage ?

All in all I think its pretty badly programmed or outdated game imho.
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February 22, 2011 11:55:11 AM

noble said:
WoW could benefit from a 3rd core. I would also have a look (since you have sufficient RAM) at hard drive performance/errors/defragmentation etc. What HDD do you have ? Also how much RAM is being used when gaming in WoW ? (just in case). How about when the PC is idle on desktop in terms of CPU/RAM usage ?

All in all I think its pretty badly programmed or outdated game imho.


its not badly programmed, heck in low settings you can play with good framerates using onboard gra[hics, my 5 year old laptop can play with smooth framerates in fair, the problem is the asus software gamer osd, i had the same card, and the same issue on the same game.

wow benefits greatly from multicore cpu's but the biggest gain it 1 -2, after that amd sees a gain from 3 cores, but intel doesn't see much of one and 4 gigs is more than aenough its a software problem and not even a wow software problem

assuming he's not playing at 1080p then he shoudl be able to play in ultra mode withhis system, heck even at 1080 p could just lower shadows to low and run in dx11 mode (assuming windows vista/7) and he shoudl even get most of the ultra visuals at good framerates
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February 22, 2011 12:09:15 PM

The HDD is a wild guess I'm only speculating I know but I noticed at least in my system stuttering, when it rarely occurs, is combined with HDD activity.

But really I think on the highest end of the graphics quality/resolution I think it's a matter of bad programming/optimisation or an outdated engine.

I can't find a reasoning for example in my system (athlon 640 + radeon 6850) when playing maxed out at 1920*1080 why the performance drops down to 20FPS in highly populated areas when there are much better looking games around that the above setup handles with ease.

Some might say it is a CPU bottlenecked but how can it be when I alt-tab out to task manager and see core usages in the range of (~ 80%, 60%, 20% 20%) for the 4 cores (average around 50%). Not even a single core gets maxed out and I really can't figure out how it works.

There is so much processing power left over at least on AMD platform. If WoW was better coded wouldn't you expect it to take advantage of all the processing power you have and in all platforms ??

What other reason can there be ??

Thanks for reading :kaola: 
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February 22, 2011 12:48:33 PM

yea wow is odd in high pop areas, there can be server side lag though , thats why in like tol barad or the old winterspring pvp where you had even a 2-3k machine getting 3-4 fps, i run a 955 o/c to 3.6 Ghz, 2x asus gts 450 top's in sli, 8 gis ram (4x2 gig sticks) OS and WoW running on two different SSD's (osz agility 60 gigs x2), on a good msi board, and i STILL get framerate drops in high pop areas, i've built better machines (i7 w/ 2x 480's ) and that machine can drop framerates in heavy pvp in tol barad and then in winterspring as well

i take this to mean its not the cpu, its the server nto being able to relay the data on exactly what every character is casting, what every caster is wearing, and how everybody is moving all at the same time getting that info to everybody else, there's gonna be hiccups, same in org when i'm on the ah in the front i sometimes end up with lag spikes just casue there's to many people around ( i now use the auctioneer in the back in the valley of honor to avoid this.

but i still think his issue is the gamer osd, even on my machine i'd get frame stuttering when turning or changing camera views
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February 22, 2011 12:59:06 PM

Maybe! But I would think as you say, server side lag to be the lack of getting the textures spell or graphics etc on time and all that stuff.

But even if you do wait for 2-3 minutes stationary to download all these details the framerate will be low no matter what.

It not such a big issue but its a pity as things could have been better imo.

Thanks for your insight! :)  Maybe its all about the servers in the end in these areas!
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February 22, 2011 1:42:20 PM

The severs/web connection at WoW are what i normally would say is the issue most of the time out of the years i seen these type of questions asked.

I've seen people ask why WoW run so slow on there computers when there system is literally the best computer setup for the time of posting. i've seen a person with quad SLI GTX 295 and Core i7 965 about 2 years ago asking the why WoW run so slow (this question was asked on the WoW forums and i think the officals said it was his computer and not there severs. I'll i did was [:badge:3] )

Now im not sure with these newer expansion packs thats the case now, but history does sometimes repeat it self....
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February 22, 2011 3:20:15 PM

WOW doesn't run much differently on:
Athlon X2 3.1ghz + 9600 GSO (2x AA)
Phenom II X4 3.1ghz + 9600 GSO (2x AA)
Phenom II X4 3.1ghz + GTX 460 (4x AA)
i5-760 3.9ghz + GTX 460 (4x AA)

These are with high graphical settings.

I did notice a big performance boost going from Windows XP to Windows 7 or DX9 to DX10/11.
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February 22, 2011 4:26:02 PM

g00fysmiley said:
yea, its actually the asus gamer osd , uninstall it, i have the same card, asus gts 450 top, and i had the same issue, only when turnign would i have problems and suttering, uninstalled gamer osd and suddenly everythign was very smooth in ultra :D 



WOAH! THANKS! This solved everything. My sincere thanks to everyone who took time to answer to my topic but g00fysmiley just hit the nail on the head with Gamer OSD. I can't believe an Asus app was messing up so much with my Asus graphic card to the point of making a game almost unplayable. How can this be?

I can't thank you enough for your insightful experience :) 

...oh and just for the record, I can run at Ultra settings now and no lag in Orgrimmar.

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February 22, 2011 4:26:21 PM

Best answer selected by urbanium.
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February 22, 2011 4:37:16 PM

if you raid also turn down shadows it'll help when there's alot of particle effects going on to kep framerates up, glad to help :) 
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