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Switchable Graphics Setting - Issue

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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August 11, 2011 12:30:01 PM

Hello everyone, I'm a first time poster and I have an issue that I just cant get it passed. Ive got a Laptop, ACER Aspire 7745G and it has been giving me some problems since day 1 that I've bought it:

-When playing games (old ones, like Valve games, Call of Duty series, ect...) I get some random freezes that stop my Laptop for 2 to 5 seconds (mostly when an event happends in a game) and the sound keeps going and after those seconds I can play again. This happends in offline and online games, so the issue is not on the Internet, I've even tryed to connect my Laptop directilly to my Router and I still had the same issue.

-Things that I've tryed to do:

1- The first one was to take my Laptop to the shop were I've bought it, they scanned it and found some virus and they in fact saw the issue that I was complaining about. They said to play in lower resolutions (Native resolution is 1600*900) So I've tryed to play in every resolution, even 600x480 and it still lagged, so I concluded that the problem wasn't that the Laptop coulnd't handle the game (I can play Crysis 2 in High Quality with no lag, but I had to try it anyway just to be sure).

2- Searched on the Internet, saw forums that said that ATI Mobility drivers (By the way my graphic card is an ATI MOBILITY Radeon HD 5650) had been given an issue since the release of the version 10.1 (not 100% sure if it was that version) and some people said that if you dowgraded the driver version to an old one it would stop the constant freezes, in wich I did and I still had the issue.

3- People also said that it could have something to do with the Power Plan the battery, so I checked out one thing that many people mentioned, in the advanced options of a certain power plan you can choose to no let the HardDisk go to sleep, so I did, and the issue still standed there.

4- After trying this solutions I've contacted the same shop that I've bought the Laptop and asked them to send it to the ACER company that I have in Portugal. So they did, waited for 4 days and it came back, the report said that they just formated and reinstalled Windows 7 Home Edition, I was mad to know that they just did that and didn't even said anything about the issue that was the main problem. But anyway I tested the Laptop on a game and still the same issue.

5- In a desperate attempt to get my Laptop fixed I tryed one last thing. My OS came in 64bits and I though that if I downgraded to a 32bits it may resolve the issue because those were old games and maybe they couldn't handle the current OS. Downgraded, tested and nothing...

6- And now this is were I ask for your help, I've been reading more forums about this issue and some people say that the freezes happend because the Laptop is switching beetween the onboard and inboard graphic card (don't know if I said it right), so I right clicked the desktop, click on "Configure Switchable graphics" and in the settings were you can uncheck the automatic switch of the graphic cards is missing, I've made I print screen of the windows, link: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/837/graphicsp.jpg/

I dont know why I can't do anything on that setting, can anyone help me? Or if they had same the same issue can you point me the solution out? It's been 4 months and I still haven't found a solution.

Thanks, João Santos
a c 571 D Laptop
August 11, 2011 12:45:43 PM

anzi said:
3- People also said that it could have something to do with the Power Plan the battery, so I checked out one thing that many people mentioned, in the advanced options of a certain power plan you can choose to no let the HardDisk go to sleep, so I did, and the issue still standed there.
Hello anzi;

There is also a power saving option for the Graphics card,
I think it's called PowerPlay and it's located in the Catalyst Control Center.
With power saving options ON for the graphics card it might be forcing a switch to the integrated graphics, away from the HD 5650.



August 11, 2011 12:49:56 PM

Hello, I forgot to meantion that about Powerplay, I've tryed that aswell and it still had the issue.
And new UPDATE: I've saw a solution in wich I'm still working on about the last step. Found out that I need to switch in my BIOS my graphic options from Switchable to Discrete.
Result: Resolution went down to 800x600, and I'm now reinstallung the graphic drivers to see if it works, I'll keep you posted. Thanks for the help :D 
Related resources
August 11, 2011 1:13:14 PM

WR2 said:
Hello anzi;

There is also a power saving option for the Graphics card,
I think it's called PowerPlay and it's located in the Catalyst Control Center.
With power saving options ON for the graphics card it might be forcing a switch to the integrated graphics, away from the HD 5650.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/5/57/AMD_VISION_Engine_Control_Center.png/630px-AMD_VISION_Engine_Control_Center.png


Well, bad news, it is still in the same situation and it appears that I've installed a different driver yet the games are running smother but still with the freezes. About the powerplay ive tryed it with it On and Off
"PowerPlay - Use PowerPlay to adjust your graphics processor settings for higher performance or longer battery life."

And another problem is that I cannot get the option of switchable graphics, so I'm going to install the other driver that I had before this.

Ill keep you posted, thanks.
August 11, 2011 1:25:15 PM

Ok, so I came to the conclusion that I don't have the "switchable graphics" because of the option that I choose on the BIOS "Discrete"...I've got nothing...any ideas?
a c 571 D Laptop
August 11, 2011 1:31:53 PM

Not right now. I had been wondering about your HD 5650 and it being switchable.
I knew that some models of Sony were switchable but it was because Sony has made them that not, not that they were native switchable.

Have you checked out the AMD forums yet? See if anyone there is having the same issue and found a solution?
August 12, 2011 12:23:59 PM

Well...went to AMD posted the same thread and no one replied till now...I get to think that forums like this one that aren't affiliated to a company work better...do you know other forums that I can ask around?
August 12, 2011 12:24:51 PM

EDIT: I even tryed to find someone with the same problem but no one replied to them
a b D Laptop
August 12, 2011 2:03:51 PM

Wait, what are the running temperatures when you're gaming? (get Speed Fan or HWmonitor)

If your CPU or GPU are above 85 at any time that could be the issue of safety cutting back power in order not to overheat.

how much RAM does your system have? what is power rating on your AC adapter? (W)

what CPU do you have?

I'm thinking if it's running out of RAM it might be causing the freezes while it tries to access the HDD for resources (especially if you have 5400rpm HDD).

If not, maybe you are having power issues, give me a full system spec I'll try to run down the consumption. (Although this is rather unlikely issue)
August 12, 2011 8:37:09 PM

4GB RAM (Im playing games in wich the requirement is 512mb of RAM so its not the issue, and im not using any programs on the background)
Intel Core i5-450M 2.4GHZ
I have a cooler made for a 17" portable from akasa and it isn't hot.
And in thers of temperature ive tested and everything is normal, heres a print screen: http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/809/speedfani.jpg/
What do you think....?
August 12, 2011 10:48:54 PM

Did a Disk Check heres the result:


Checking file system on F:
The type of the file system is NTFS.
Volume label is Windows 7 32bits.

A disk check has been scheduled.
Windows will now check the disk.

CHKDSK is verifying files (stage 1 of 5)...
117760 file records processed. File verification completed.
168 large file records processed. 0 bad file records processed. 2 EA records processed. 44 reparse records processed. CHKDSK is verifying indexes (stage 2 of 5)...
152390 index entries processed. Index verification completed.
0 unindexed files scanned. 0 unindexed files recovered. CHKDSK is verifying security descriptors (stage 3 of 5)...
117760 file SDs/SIDs processed. Cleaning up 256 unused index entries from index $SII of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 256 unused index entries from index $SDH of file 0x9.
Cleaning up 256 unused security descriptors.
Security descriptor verification completed.
17316 data files processed. CHKDSK is verifying Usn Journal...
34517568 USN bytes processed. Usn Journal verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying file data (stage 4 of 5)...
117744 files processed. File data verification completed.
CHKDSK is verifying free space (stage 5 of 5)...
52346629 free clusters processed. Free space verification is complete.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the
master file table (MFT) bitmap.
CHKDSK discovered free space marked as allocated in the volume bitmap.
Windows has made corrections to the file system.

238440447 KB total disk space.
28767340 KB in 86553 files.
61132 KB in 17317 indexes.
0 KB in bad sectors.
225455 KB in use by the system.
65536 KB occupied by the log file.
209386520 KB available on disk.

4096 bytes in each allocation unit.
59610111 total allocation units on disk.
52346630 allocation units available on disk.

Internal Info:
00 cc 01 00 c9 95 01 00 d6 0c 03 00 00 00 00 00 ................
d6 00 00 00 2c 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ....,...........
c8 60 1d 00 50 01 1b 00 a8 1a 1b 00 00 00 1b 00 .`..P...........

Windows has finished checking your disk.
Please wait while your computer restarts.

a c 571 D Laptop
August 12, 2011 10:54:16 PM

Those temps actually look OK to me.
August 12, 2011 11:05:43 PM

When the game freezes the Core 0 and 1 are at 55 - 58ºC after the freeze one of them lowers to 46ºC maybe the Laptop is using a defence mechanism to not let it overheat? Any thoughs?
a c 571 D Laptop
August 12, 2011 11:14:19 PM

That does sound like CPU throttling for thermal control.
a c 571 D Laptop
August 12, 2011 11:16:59 PM

AMD A6-Series A6-3400M AM3400DDX43GX
Maximum operating temperature (°C) 100
except I wouldn't think thermal throttling would kick in at such a low temp.
a c 571 D Laptop
August 12, 2011 11:20:59 PM

AMD website has the same 100C max temps listed
August 12, 2011 11:57:03 PM

Im getting desperate...every time i think I found a solution it just doesn't work...Ive been testing some stuff with a program called "Drive Power Manager" and I've set both of my HDD Drivers to maximum performance and nothing...keep freezing, the temperature keeps going to 58ºC crashing and going down....don't know what to do, I think I have tryed everything...please someone help me out
a c 571 D Laptop
August 13, 2011 12:04:29 AM

Not likely anyone here has much experiance with Llano yet. Your 4 months ownership is the most I know about.

I think you're only option is to work with Acer. Or possibly AMD. Or maybe a Llano owners group.
Ask Acer is that 58C temp / crash symptom is what's expected of Llano performance.
August 13, 2011 12:13:45 AM

UPDATE: One of the games in witch I had freezes (Counter Strike Source) no longer freezes after 20 minutes of gameplay...looks like setting the Power Plan to Balanced and the HDD drivers to maximum performance did the trick, I'm going to keep on making tests just to be sure. Ill keep you updated.
By the way, what's Llano, I have googled and its like a combination of processors of some sort, I'm not really a wiz on computers :\
a c 571 D Laptop
August 13, 2011 12:20:30 AM

anzi said:
By the way, what's Llano, I have googled and its like a combination of processors of some sort, I'm not really a wiz on computers :\
It's something you don't have to worry about after all.

I got on a wrong track and was thinking you had a different (AMD) CPU than that Intel Core i5-450M CPU you actually have.
So scratch all my comments about Llano and AMD - they don't apply to you.
September 16, 2011 11:46:11 AM

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Anonymous
a b D Laptop
December 26, 2011 1:24:07 AM

I have the same laptop, and the issue isn't anything to do with the graphics, its the WD Hard drives in the machine. They have a locking mechanism that kicks in constantly to prevent damage to them if the machine is dropped, even when in use.

I upgraded to a SSD and have had no issues ever since. Played all sorts of MMOs and FPS games, and no lag.

(I know this topic is a year old just letting people know who might still have issues like this)
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