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PC requirements lag/choppy gameplay

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February 27, 2012 4:30:07 AM

Hello,i decided to start a new thread since the topic im doing is a bit specific,and other threads are months old... so im hoping someone can give me some advice since im kinda confused about this issue with choppy/laggy gameplay. by this i mean fps dropping extremely low.
to start ill state my system specs,Narra5 MB AMD Athlon X4 640 3.0Ghz,PNY Geforce GT 430 1Gb DDR3 128Bit 500Gb 7200 baracuda HDD and 2Gb DDR2 system RAM.
id really hope to hear some feedback on this,as ive invested a few hundred into this build already and will be getting better end hardware soon. i hope its just a low RAM issue, the game im running is GTA EFLC DLC version, not off a CD Rom. im almost positive is not my GPU, since i can fun COD 2 burnout paradise, devil may cry 4 dirt2,bulletstorm,AND need for speed world, completely MAXED out,with very minimal lag and near 30Fps all the time. with GTA ive noticed "while watching GPU meter" the temps are minimal, the memory is about half used,and GPU use percentage isnt even touching 100%,meanwhile other games have made my GPU run at 100% and up to 900MB off my GPU memory. thats why i think it cant be a video card issue... while monitoring my system via second display screen, i notice my ram usage goes up very high while playing gta, when the lag/chop occurs ill notice high spikes in ram usage & percentage. as much as 99% RAM 2009/2048 would that alone be enough to cause these FPS chopping issues with my gameplay? ive also tryed small 800X600 resolutions on a tiny 15" monitor with all the graphics settings low/off and the gpu is barely using any of its resources.yet my ram will still be around 91-96% used,and i still have the chopping lag issue. my OS is win 7 X64 home premium. please someone give a noob some advice lol :) 
note: plan on getting better ram sticks by ADATA next month, High performace.gaming specific PC6400 2Gbx2 that have heat sinks. for a total of 4Gb "max my system will support. THANKS!
February 27, 2012 4:41:32 AM

gta is one of those screwy games, even if you have high end hardware it still runs choppy. Crappy console port if you askme :/ 
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February 27, 2012 4:58:41 AM

amuffin said:
gta is one of those screwy games, even if you have high end hardware it still runs choppy. Crappy console port if you askme :/ 

lol yeah i do kinda agree, i know IV itself is horrible but i have episodes from liberty city,which is the newer one as a DLC. some other places are saying that RAM is more then likely the issue as well,my current specs SHOULD OF been able to at least run it at the lowest possible... like i stated the only thing i see that gets highly stressed is the ram usage. the gpu seems hardly in use,cpu isnt fully loaded,temps are decent... do you have any personal experience with this game yourself? thanks
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February 27, 2012 7:38:44 AM

If you run out of ram the app has to reach into the page file on the HDD for extra memory, that would create lag since the latency would be many times higher than the ram.
Extra ram would be your best upgrade at the time.
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February 27, 2012 5:30:16 PM

rolli59 said:
If you run out of ram the app has to reach into the page file on the HDD for extra memory, that would create lag since the latency would be many times higher than the ram.
Extra ram would be your best upgrade at the time.

interesting fact,sounds right though. when the available "free ram" reaches 0MB around 98% ram usage, it gets so choppy its horrible. is it possible that one game IE GTA would NEED more ram then others? comparison wise,i did burnout paradise at full settings at 1300 resolution and it hits about 95% ram usage but doesnt lag one bit. thanks for the help
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February 27, 2012 5:37:13 PM

burnout paradise also doesn't have hundreds of phsyically rendered characters, props, and vehicles. GTA Iv is a good game on consoles to due the consoles low graphic settings and fewer pedestrians etc. and it was also developed for consoles and lamely ported to pc. you have to remember, GTA IV is a pretty game and it renders all the animations n crap in real time, it can be a real RAM wh0re at times also as well as eating up VRAM like candy.

Grab some 4 gig sticks at the store (or the interweb) and put it an and see if it helps.
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February 28, 2012 1:06:05 AM

cyansnow said:
burnout paradise also doesn't have hundreds of phsyically rendered characters, props, and vehicles. GTA Iv is a good game on consoles to due the consoles low graphic settings and fewer pedestrians etc. and it was also developed for consoles and lamely ported to pc. you have to remember, GTA IV is a pretty game and it renders all the animations n crap in real time, it can be a real RAM wh0re at times also as well as eating up VRAM like candy.

Grab some 4 gig sticks at the store (or the interweb) and put it an and see if it helps.

i couldnt agree more. my VRAM is actually fine for some reason, it seems to eat my System RAM more then anything...
im getting a pair of ADATA 2Gb PC6400 800mhz DDR2 sticks for a total of 4Gb system ram, next month. its the best ones i can find thats made for gaming,AND have heat spreader/sinks none the less, its also unbuffered which is what i need.
EDIT: SOLVED ISSUE. just as my first thoughts were it IS my system ram causing the lag/chopping issue.
tested with In-game benchmarker FPS average improved by 12fps by adding 1Gb DDR2. so running on 3Gb almost completely eliminated my choppy gameplay issues, and with 4Gb im more then assured itll be completely gone :) 
-THANK YOU ALL FOR YOUR HELP-
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