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FPS chokes or drops to one in MMORPG gameplay in special circumstances

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January 15, 2013 3:25:46 PM

Hi,

I have a bit of an issue with low frame rates under special circumstances. During playing MMORPGs my frame rate chokes or drops down to 1 when entering for instance a building or if turning around in large open areas (with low population). It's getting frustrating to the point that I'm going to give up playing MMORPGs until I can purchase a new PC one day in the future. So an example scenario would be that my average FPS is 70-75, and suddenly when I walk into a building it goes down to 1 FPS, and then goes up to 120 FPS inside the building. Same happens if I turn quickly in a low populated open landscape area; the FPS is a steady 70-75 and drops down to 1 and then up again to normal. These extreme dips or drops causes a slight 1-2 second stuttering that is getting beyond annoying. So my question is if anyone has had this experience or has any clue where I could start troubleshooting? I forgot to mention that this does not happen on modern single player games e.g. Hitman Absolution, Max Payne 3, even the port L.A. Noire runs great. It's an MMO based problem, same happening on several MMOs from older ones to latest releases.

My setup is as follows:
CPU: Intel i7 3500k @ ~3.5GHz
GPU: Gigabyte Geforce GTX 660 Ti OC 1032/6008 MHz
Storage: Samsung 830 SSD 256GB 2.5"
Motherboard: Asus P8Z77-i Deluxe
Memory: Cruical 16GB (2x8GB) 1600MHz 8-8-8-24-1
Powersupply: CORSAIR Enthusiast Series TX650M 650W
CPU Fan: Noctua NH-C12P SE14
Case Fans: Several Corsair AP/SP series (got them on sale).

Notes:
My CPU temp never reaches anything beyond 55 Celsius (idles at 29 Celsius or so) and 65 max for my Graphics Card (idles at 26-27 Celsius). I have heavy airflow through the case and OK CPU fan and stock GPU fan. In MSI Afterburner I notice odd behavior like core clock and memory clock dropping down to 324 in idle mode. That to me is a bit of a worry since what if it needs to react quickly?

I've tried to update all drivers, update all firmwares and using the latest BIOS where applicable. I've run MEMTEST for approximately 5 hours with no errors but I will rerun it a longer time with different settings. I've relaxed the memory timings to 9-9-9-24-1 just to see if it helps but no difference.

Basically I'm stuck and appreciate any help, tips, ideas or advice to get my MMORPG addiction to be more enjoyable!
Thanks in advance.
TJ
a c 218 U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 3:44:45 PM

Please edit your original post to remove everything after TJ. We don't need that info.

Have you run your system at stock speeds (CPU, GPU, and memory) to see how it performs vice with the OC?

If not, please do so. We need a baseline to compare your system to.
January 15, 2013 4:23:26 PM

Hi COLGeek,

Thanks for your reply. I did the following:

I reset everything to default in BIOS, and under-clocked my factory OC-ed graphics card leaving me with:

RAM Memory went back to 1333MHz 9-9-9-27-1
Graphics went to 941 MHz, memory the same.

Result:

The same problem just a 10-12 fps less average fps.
a c 218 U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 4:34:50 PM

Good, now we have a basis for comparison. Just to confirm, are all of your drivers (video, audio, network, chipset, etc) up to date? Same question for Windows...

What other apps are you running when gaming? Also, are your games updated/patched?
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 4:42:41 PM

Is this a new problem or has it happend ever since you built the PC. Also you say this doesn't happen in single player games only MMO. So do you play the Single player games online with out issue ? Alot of MMo's have a "lag" spike meter you may want to check that to see if your having spikes may point to a problem with your firewall/network etc.
a c 218 U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 4:49:05 PM

ikaz brings up a good point. What kind of internet connection do you have (cable modem, DSL, etc)? What download/upload speeds are you supposed to have?

How do you connect to your home network? Wireless or wired?
January 15, 2013 5:09:59 PM

I'm going to do a complete cleaning of drivers with Driver Fusion and re-install all the latest drivers for everything and then retry it. But first to answer both your questions:

- I did not play MMOs on this computer until recently.
- I haven't played any Single Player games Online so to speak. They're all purchased from Steam.
- I have posted trace routes/pings previously on the respective MMO forums (and everything seemed ok).
- I complete forgot (thanks ikaz), I've played Planetside 2 and Team Fortress 2 with no graphical issues or latency issues. In fact everything performed excellent with a latency of 5-11 ms max on (TF2 servers)!
- The issues are specific to traditional MMOs with loading larger maps and landscapes. (almost feels like an object distance sorting problem or loading problem.)
- My network is 100/100 mbit. It performs OK with test servers of 95mbit down and 93mbit up. I'm connected through an Apple Airport Extreme with a Ethernet cable running on a 1Gbit connection from my computer to the router and into the media box which goes to fiber.
- I run ESET Security latest version and use Gaming mode so it doesn't interfere (cross my fingers).

To me the odd thing is that everything runs smooth playing single player games offline, and the FPS games online but traditional MMORPGs start to hickup.

I may just download all the latest drivers, and wipe and re-install everything including Windows 7 and upgrade it to Windows 8 while I'm at it.

As always really appreciate the suggestions, questions and help.

TJ
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 5:19:25 PM

Are the MMO's chocking when loading from the hard drive? (just watch your HDD activity light, hearing a drive spin up is another good indicator)

Are the games on your SSD or an HDD (and if you have an HDD, what's it's rpm); does it help to put them on the SSD?

Does the game have a 64bit client, if so that could help. Is there an ini file somewhere where you can edit the amount of vram allocated for textures?


My guess is the game is just not well coded.
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 5:24:09 PM

Yes, I was going to ask what MMO, I know for example that WOW has a 64-bit client now, and also try scribbles suggestions.
January 15, 2013 5:25:36 PM

djscribbles said:
Are the MMO's chocking when loading from the hard drive? (just watch your HDD activity light, hearing a drive spin up is another good indicator)

Are the games on your SSD or an HDD (and if you have an HDD, what's it's rpm); does it help to put them on the SSD?

Does the game have a 64bit client, if so that could help. Is there an ini file somewhere where you can edit the amount of vram allocated for textures?


My guess is the game is just not well coded.


Hi dj,

It's on a pretty OK Samsung SSD 830 series. I don't have a traditional HDD. There are no 64bit clients to any of the MMOs, and it's the same symptom on both MMOs.

---

On another note I will go ahead and do the following and get back to you in a bit, thank you again everyone:

- Buy Windows 8 and do a clean install.
- Install latest firmwares.
- Install latest drivers.
- Run MEMTEST overnight to make sure it's not the RAM.

and then get back here.

TJ
January 15, 2013 5:30:59 PM

chugot9218 said:
Yes, I was going to ask what MMO, I know for example that WOW has a 64-bit client now, and also try scribbles suggestions.


Everything from Vanguard, The Secret World, Everquest, Guild Wars 2. Please note that this happens in low populated areas also and is not specific to population and texture/resource loading of other players as such.
a b U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 5:39:13 PM

I know that Guild Wars 2 is EXTREMELY Cpu heavy! When the frames drop check your cpu usage. It could be bottle necking your gpu! I get around 70~100 fps (i5 3570k @4.5ghz and a Msi 660ti) but I some areas I will get 40 FPS (only like 3 people there too)
a c 85 U Graphics card
January 15, 2013 5:47:31 PM

Yeah, guild wars 2 is simply badly coded - don't hope for it to ever run perfectly.

As for the others, here's a weird thought, but it only takes a second to check. When you open Task Manager, how many graphs are under CPU usage history in the performance tab? It could be your computer is only using a single core.
January 16, 2013 9:06:52 PM

Hi again,

I'm posting to follow up that it has been resolved. I did do a clean install and upgrade to windows 8 also but prior to that I turned my computer on for 11 hours of unattended MEMTEST. After the 3rd Pass it seems that it started finding errors. In the end it has located 7 addresses that were not returning the correct values. I proceeded to reboot and restart again. Again the same addresses that I wrote down showed volatile RAM memory not returning what it was suppose too. So I went back to the shop returned the RAM and got Corsair Vengance 16GB (2x8GB) 9-9-9-24-1 sticks.

Everything is now running so smooth it brings tears to my eyes. I'm ecstatic and back to my MMORPG super addiction.

I just want to say thank you to all of you for taking the time to ask questions and replying with ideas. I would never had tried another MEMTEST if it wasn't for making 100% sure that I'm not posting wrongful replies back here on this board.

The ironic part is that when I got the computer the first thing was that I did a 2 pass MEMTEST and everything checked out fine. I thought "Hey it's a new puter assembled by people that do it everyday" but of course they can't always detect a faulty component either if it happens over a small period of time.

Thanks again guys, no more extreme stuttering and weird behavior in MMOs. The errors were in the higher region of the first stick which I guess the GPU had reserved for loading textures and didn't show up on Single Player games and stuff.

Will be back to read these forums frequently,
TJ
!