Bad gaming performance/low fps. Not sure what is causing it.

Hi everyone.

I recently bought the Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra. I'm a casual gamer (2-3 hours a week), so I didn't see the need to buy a more high-end machine. Here are the specs:

intel i5 3317u 1.70 ghz
10240 mgb (10 gb) ram
nvidia geforce gt 640m (1gb)
445 gb hard disc space

Bottom line, the gaming performance is pretty bad. Normally I would just chalk it up to needing a better system, but from what I've read online it should be better than it is. For example, here is a video of battlefield 3:

which runs well at 1366x768 resolution with mostly medium settings, as you can see. When I have tried it, however, I simply can't get that level, and even on 1280 resolution and lower settings, it still runs worse than in the video. Other games like Crysis have the same problem. Also, I have been playing the Assassin's Creed games, and the performance (already not very good) has actually got worse over time (which makes me think I might have installed something negative at some point).

So basically: I know my system won't run games amazingly well, but I think performance is significantly worse than it should be. I would be very grateful for any advice/tips.

4 answers Last reply
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  1. chriss000 said:
    Are you telling me the laptop only has 1 gig of ram? If that is true, which I doubt, then there is your problem RIGHT THERE! You need 4 gig in that machine for the cpu to stretch its legs.

    Sorry, I meant 10 gb (10240 mb) ram.
  2. chriss000 said:
    Did you buy it second hand? If so some joker nicked the memory.

    Missed out the zeros, woops (it's 10 gb). I've edited the op.
  3. chriss000 said:
    Then I have nothing. I wouldnt know if that cpu is good enough. Ten gig is 2x4 + 2. or 5x2. either would result in single channel mode. that cant help.
    See if you can check the gpu is running, not the onboard graphics. Thats the next thing to check.

    I've checked (I have Optimus), and nvidia is running during gaming.
  4. Bumping this.

    I know my laptop isn't great per se, but what I'm asking is why it is performing significantly worse than what I have seen/heard for the exact same model, with the same specifications, online. For instance:

    I whacked in a good mouse, cracked open a Mountain Dew and fired up the shiny new Battlefield 3 to shoot some people square in the face. I set the game to full-screen and the graphics options to 'ultra' and was immediately impressed at the average 22 frames per second I was shown. Gameplay was mostly smooth. Only in the very intense areas did it become a touch jumpy.

    Moving on to Crysis 2 -- a game that's well known for being demanding of a computer's power -- I again set all options to ultra. The M3 achieved an average 21 frames per second, which only dipped a little in the more intense sequences. That's astounding, considering the slim, portable size of the thing. When I knocked the settings down to 'very high', frame rates leapt to around 43fps, which provided super-smooth gameplay, free of any lag.

    On Battlfield 3, I'm getting frame rates of 20-25 at the absolute lowest settings. I tried it on 'ultra' and it was near unplayable (under 20). Likewise with Crysis 2, playing on 'very high' gives me 20-25 fps, compared to that reviewer's 43. This is the same machine, right down to the same 1.7 ghz cpu.

    So my question isn't 'why is my laptop performing badly', but rather 'why is it performing less well than the same model used elsewhere?'.
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