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If you have experience with gaming hardware, please help

To start I'll say I built my computer last year in November 2010. I'm sad because I feel like my computer never ran games as well as it should. I took a lot of the time to write all this out so hopefully someone with experience can read over everything, view the screenshots, and let me know if my computer is running how it should.

The game I mostly play is World of Warcraft. I was told my computer would be able to run it on ultra and get over 100fps with ease. My friend with a 8800gt used to be able to play on max settings. People with worse computers than mine can run WoW maxed out without lag. For me, on Ultra at 1920x1080 I get around 40fps in most maps, and only 15-25 in a city with lots of people like Stormwind.

Lineage 2 just went F2P so I went ahead and tried it. The game is from 2004 I think. Playing the game on max settings gave me between 6-20fps and 30 if I was away from everything. But even on lowest possible settings I was getting between 30-40fps...How could I possibly on get 40fps max on lowest settings. I was able to play Skyrim with the graphics turned up and not lag at all. In Darkspore I don't notice graphical lag at all either, so why in MMOs? If it were a problem with the game and not me, then how is everyone else able to enjoy playing?

An example of an offline game running badly is Sims 3. With everything turned up I only get 15-20fps and it's real annoying to play like that. I spent some time reading their forums and it seems a lot of people with much worse computers can play it just fine. -.- Something has to be wrong with my system. CPU usage and RAM usage never reach anywhere near 100%, and my computer never over heats, so I can't figure this out.

My internet connection is a low ping, 20mbit down/5up so I don't want to blame that.

(Click the spoiler below to see system specs)
Operating System
MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit SP1
CPU
AMD Athlon II X4 640 20 °C
Propus 45nm Technology
RAM
4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 666MHz (9-9-9-24)
Motherboard
BIOSTAR Group TA785G3 HD (CPU 1)
Graphics
SMB2330H @ 1920x1080
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
Hard Drives
625GB Western Digital WDC WD6401AALS-00L3B2 ATA Device (Unknown) 35 °C
Optical Drives
HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GH22LS50 ATA Device
DTSOFT Virtual CdRom Device
Audio
Realtek High Definition Audio


If you could please take the time to check these out, here are some screen shots of pcmark/3dmark scores, cpuz, gpuz, and stuff like that. If anything looks odd or like an obvious problem, let me know. Something in my computer could be not working right or something and I wouldn't know. Or I could have put it together wrong. :(

Screenshots> http://www.flickr.com/photos/72283881@N07/sets/72157628455747411/with/6526014799/

I didn't want to make this so long that people wouldn't read it, so let me know if you need more information. Thank anyone who replies
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about experience gaming hardware help
  1. Hey something is wrong indeed. For now, I got three theories:

    1. Your computer is overheating
    2. Driver problem
    3. Your graphics card is broken

    I doubt it's 3, because it still works, right?

    To find out, whether it's the first one, download three problem: prime95, HWMonitor and FurMark. Run prime95 in-place large FFTs stress test, run FurMark Burn in test, and run HWMonitor. 10 minutes later, take note of the temperatures, or just take a screenshot (make sure all temperatures make their way to the screenshot).

    If the first one doesn't solve things, download DriverSweeper. Go to device manager in control panel, find GTX 460 and uninstall it's drivers. Then when restarting computer, press F8, and select SafeMode. When it's in safemode, run driversweeper to clean up the old uninstalled drivers. When it's done, go back to normal PC mode, and download new drivers, and install them.

    If that doesn't fix it, I'd recommend clean install.
  2. when you put the machine together did you install the motherboard drivers off the disc that came with the board ? did you go into the BIOS and disable the on board video ? is the ram in the right slots and is the ram running in ganged mode ( dual channel ) ?......... the ram-- how many sticks ? if only 1 it won't run in dual channel.
  3. what is your Power supply wattage?
  4. Best answer
    MMORPGs are characteristic of poor visual performance, this is not necessarily surprising at all.

    Older games do not necessarily run better than newer games. If you were to load up Everquest, you'd find that the graphical engine is a complete hack that looks like it's from the year 2003 and performs like a slug even on modern machines. This is not a symptom of the player's computer, but a symptom of extremely poor optimization as a result of the game being unable to precook a lot of the entities into the scene.

    World of Warcraft is no exception and 30 FPS on max settings is probably about what I would expect from it. Lineage II was also nothing special.

    So why do MMOs always choke?

    The kicker is in what your computer knows ahead of time. If you're playing a single player game, the process knows what it's going to need to completely render a scene ahead of time. Every entity, animation, sound, texture, etc... can all be computed and preloaded in RAM/VRAM as necessary to the point where accessing the hard drive or waiting for information from the network is almost completely unnecessary until a scene transition takes place.

    On the other hand, MMOs are extremely dynamic and only a small subset of the necessary data to render a scene can be known ahead of time. Take for example a city, you have tons of players popping in and out of the city with different combinations of gear, each of which has a different model/texture. Your computer has all of this visual information locally (that is, it's all on the hard drive) but there's no way for it to know ahead of time what it's going to need or where it's going to need it. So when a player enters the scene, your computer receives from the network information about that player's visual composition, translation (physical coordinates), heading (angle), relative scale (shrunk, grown, etc...), armor tint, etc... It may attempt to load the data from RAM if it is cached, but mostly it will have to read it from the hard drive. In the event of a single player entering, this takes at most a few milliseconds and won't cause a noticeable interruption. Now compare that to a city with tons of NPCs, players, etc... none of which have their actor data stored locally for a myriad of reasons (the actual visual data is there, but the entity data needed to make use of and position the visual data is not) and your computer will be spending a heck of a lot of time either juggling information or waiting for it to arrive.

    I would not be at all surprised if your GPU was idle most of the time when experiencing these low frame rates. If you want to get a noticeable performance boost, your best bet is to get an SSD which will reduce access times but even then, if the bottleneck is the server's ability to transmit all the necessary information to render a scene to your computer, there is nothing that you can do to improve performance.
  5. Best answer selected by Eroge.
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