Performance Issues!

Hey, everyone. I know this is going to be a bit of a wall of text, but I just want to be thorough! If anyone has answers or ideas for me, I would really appreciate it. I put together a budget PC for myself a little over a week ago with the following components:

Intel Pentium E5700 Processor
MSI G41M-P26 LGA 775 Motherboard
Thermaltake 430W PSU
2x4GB Crucial 1333 DDR3 Memory
Sapphire 5770 1GB Graphic's Card

I'm running it all on Windows XP Professional with a Western Digital 160GB Hard Drive. Not ideal, but the space isn't too much of an issue right now and it's served me well.

Everything works fine as far as I can tell, but whenever I play games I get this VERY obnoxious stuttering issue even at high fps. Most games I've tried on it sit around 30-75 fps, including Skyrim, SWTOR and Arkham City.

Sometimes it's just the stuttering that makes camera movement look really obnoxious. Other times it's like things freeze up for a SPLIT second, but it happens frequently enough to make it look horrible. And in some games I'll move the camera around and it's like it skips a frame or two, though this isn't quite as frequent.

During all of this, the FPS usually remains where it is. It does get worse when frames drop down to 30-40, and but 30-40 frames is still perfectly acceptable, so I don't see why at that level of performance it looks like my games are running at more like 10-15 fps.

I've ran a few different virus scans, I've defragged my hard drive, I've gone through three to four different driver versions for my card, I've tried playing with the lowest settings, the highest settings, v-sync on, v-sync off, triple buffering on and off, and none of this seems to have made any difference!

I know the PSU isn't high end, but for what I'm running it really doesn't seem like it should be an issue. And I know my RAM is capped at just above 3 GB due to Windows XP, but that's still more than enough for what I'm running from what I can tell.

One last thing: for the first couple of hours of gaming on here, my heatsink for the CPU wasn't entirely pushed in (I hate the intel heatsink!) I quickly noticed the temps getting as hot as 82+ Celcius, which is above the max operating temp the CPU supports (74 I think). The CPU only actually REACHED those temps for about 10-20 minutes before I quickly discovered the issue, shut everything down and adjusted the heatsink. Now I'm idling around 33 C and I've yet to see my hottest Core go above 56 C during any gameplay.

Could my problems be the result of that brief period of time that the CPU ran so hot, or would I be experiencing much greater issues if that were the case? Any ideas are appreciated, and sorry for making you read so much!
15 answers Last reply
More about performance issues
  1. im assuming you already done simple things like downloading latest GPU drivers of the web, updating Directx, going to XP service pack 3, Updating intel chip-set drivers.
    Disable onboard video s well if you don't use it that is
  2. A few other questions tht might help up front are:

    1. what resolution are you running these games.
    2. what size monitor are you using.
    3. like above have you downloaded all the lastest drivers and updates for both operating system and software and drivers.

    Plus i dont think the heat you experience before seating the heatsink correctly would have caused any issues, as far as i know it would have turned the system off before the heat caused any major damage.

    3gb should be enough for games like skyrim, just try and turn off all unnessecary programs like msn etc and even use a utility such as tune up to turn off un used services in windows to save as much ram as possible to see if that helps.

    have you updated your BIOS since building the system? prob wont help but worth a try.

    try using different monitors and cables to see if tht helps and also try different PCI power cables on your PSU perhaps one is faulty.

    Test your PCI slot on your motherboard to see if it works correctly and test your other components to ensure there isnt a hardware fault.
  3. Yep, I've tried the last three drivers that AMD has released for my card, and I've even tried the preview drivers, correctly uninstalling them each time to ensure everything worked correctly. Since I'm on Windows XP, I can only get up to Directx 9.0C, which I've got, and I've installed all the latest updates for XP included service packs and .Net Framework, too.

    I didn't consider disabling onboard video, but I just looked at Device Manager and I don't see it under Display, Motherboard or System Devices. Would it be located somewhere else? I know my Motherboard has integrated graphics on it, but either I'm looking in the wrong place or it's automatically disabled due to my card. As a side note, I've never had these kinds of issues on previous computers and I never disabled onboard graphics myself. But if I can find a way to do so I'll give it a shot!

    EDIT: I'm running at 1024x768 resolution. My monitor's a 17" CRT, though it's one of the slightly newer ones from around 2005 that don't have the ugly 'tube' curve on the screen. I've switched frequently between 60hz refresh rate and 75hz without any difference.

    I've not updated BIOS primarily because the last time I did that on a computer, following every instruction to the letter, I lost all ability to see anything on the screen (even during startup) and couldn't fix the issue. I'll try switching the PSU connector going to my card and see if it makes a difference.
  4. inboard GPU will usually disable automatically when you pc notices a GPU in the PCI-E slot. the manual setting can be found in your BIOS, i doubt it will be visable whilst in windows.

    your resolution doesn't seem to be high enough especially for the smaller screen to cause any issues.

    You never mentioned tearing or artifacts appearing so it isnt because the GPU is running to fast for your monitor so Vsync wont fix it.

    it almost sound as though the CPU cannot keep up with the information it is being sent, like the GPU and RAM are working faster than the CPU and as it works at a slower pace causes stuttering.

    at an educated guess id say either your CPU or MOBO arent up to the job.

    I have a 5770 and tht runs skyrim V without a hitch on high settings on a 42" tv (not 1080p).

    according to toms cpu benchmark for skyrim it is a CPU taxing game perhaps this is the reason why, they advise on a higher CPU than yours to get 30FPS at least.

    perhaps the board and CPU are bottlenecking your other components and causing the stutter. Remember this is just a sugestion and is best to wait for a few other replies before you go ordering a new board and CPU lol.

    other off the cuff idea is the harddrive is too slow but this has never really come into play with games apart from loading times. but if the game loads alot of information from the harddrive as you go along perhaps it isnt able to access the files fast enough causing stutter?
  5. Yeah, I considered the HD being a problem for that exact reason, but I've also played a couple of older games, namely Neverwinter Nights 2 and Mount & Blade Warband (not necessarily old, but pretty low-end requirements there) and I still get some issues. Though I'll admit, NwN 2 doesn't have the stuttering nearly as bad as my other games do, and M&B only gets that way when my fps drops to 40-50, but I still get it.

    As for the CPU and Motherboard... I hope that's not the case! I watched a ton of youtube videos (Yeah, I know... not the most reputable source lol) of people playing various games with this processor. Most of the videos were playing higher end games like GTA IV, Dead Island, even Crysis 2 with this exact processor, a comparable or worse GPU, and usually worse ram, and yet I never once saw this issue in any of those videos.

    I think I'll try out a few more games that are a bit older than most of the one's I've tried and see if I'm still getting it there, too. I tried changing the PSU connector to my card without any luck, and I also upped my resolution briefly as well without any real change other than the expected drop in FPS. Thanks for the suggestions so far and I'll keep trying new ones 'til they stop coming! Does anyone think upgrading to Windows 7 and taking full advantage of my 4GB of ram and Directx 10 or 11 would make ANY difference? I'm considering getting it if it's a possibility.
  6. maybe use Update tool from your motherboard maker to check make sure all components updated

    MSI Live Update 5 download and check maybe something comes up
  7. im going by skyrim again as its a new game your pc specs are low but not minimum in the running of the game, but then your not pushing the quality and resolution to the maximum so that should be absolutly fine and you shouldnt have any issues.

    Given this information i would say that your motherboard isn't up for it and is causing a bottle neck or something similar. Let me read up about it to see.
  8. Are you overclocking your system?
  9. think i may have worked it out, you need to see if you on board gpu is still running or not by checking in the bios.

    if they are both running for some strange reason then you could be getting micro stuttering which is why fraps shows you getting 60fps but you still get this in game lag.

    read this
  10. I'm not overclocking anything, no. I ran MSI Live Update 5 and ran a scan for updates, the only things that showed up were a few utilities that I don't use, drivers for the onboard VGA I don't use, and for some reason the LAN drivers which I downloaded and installed right when I got everything running, not sure why it wants me to update. But since I'm here posting on these forums, I'll assume that doesn't matter. Oddly enough, it also says my BIOS is up to date, and I've not updated it at all.

    I looked into microstuttering a few days back because it really does sound so much like my issue, especially the way it's describe in that link you posted. But I read that it's only something that affects Crossfire or SLI, so I wrote it off. If my integrated GPU is still somehow active and causing this issue, I have no clue how to disable it. I fished around in BIOS for about 20 minutes and the closest I could find to it was choosing my primary graphics method, and it's already set to PCI-E.
  11. well it not that then, i noticed your motherboard doesn list wether it is an AMD or Nvidia board or can it use both type of cards? perhaps that is causing some issues?
  12. "wether it is an AMD or Nvidia board" ^^ what are you talking about btw

    Just remember one thing that might cause shutter when playing
    how is your CPU set (max performance, power saver)
    try and disable CPU throttling. forgot what intel call's it but feature to lower cpu clock when not needed
    preferably try and disable it in BIOS maybe will help
  13. My Motherboard is Intel, but that doesn't affect graphics card compatibility. As for how my CPU is set... I don't really know! It's at whatever the default setting would be, and I'm not sure where to check for that. When I was in the BIOS I couldn't really find anything that sounds like what you were talking about. I'll look around again in a little while and see if I can find it.

    Thanks everyone for the suggestions so far! Hopefully we can get this figured out, although prospects are looking a bit grim. If it helps at all, Duxducis, my games generally take up anywhere from 50% to 75% CPU resources. I've never really checked it all that often, so I don't know if it's ever used up everything for one application before.
  14. was talking about
    Enhanced Intel SpeedStep Technology (EIST)
    try windows first , Control panel>Power Options> Change power schemes to Always On.

    Also can go bios and disable EIST or SpeedStep

    I only mention so you can try, once my was buged and would not function nice, so after disabling it, problem solved, your problem could be different but can try as well
  15. I just switched my power scheme from the default 'gaming mode' to always on, that didn't seem to make a difference. Went into the BIOS and turned off EIST (it was on to start with) and it brought my CPU frequency down to 1.8 ghz instead of 3. I tried it anyway, and it doesn't seem to have fixed the problem. Only difference was that the game ran a little worse due to the slower CPU speed.

    However, when looking in Everest just now, I spotted TWO entries for Video Adapter. Both say the same thing: ATI Radeon 5700 Series (1024 MB). Anyone know if this is just a glitch with Everest, or if maybe it's indicative of a problem? I only have a single GPU, and I completely removed my previous drivers before installing these new ones. Not only did I uninstall them first, but I also removed any traces of it on my PC through hidden folders and the registry (basically what driver sweeper would do). So I don't think that's the cause. Really strange though.
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