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astondg
09-20-04, 06:31 AM
Hello,
I have this system:
- Athlon 64 3800+
- ASUS A8V Deluxe (BIOS: 1005.027, VIA Driver: 4.51)
- Corsair 1GB XMS 3200XL
- XFX 6800 Ultra (Driver: 65.73)
- Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
- Western Digital 200GB SATA HDD
- Windows XP Service Pack 2
- Please let me know if any other specs are required

I just installed Colin McRae Rally 04 (also with other games so read on) and I am having a problem with it pausing or freezing for about 1 second at seemingly random times. This happens with the graphics settings on maximum or minimum and even on maximum I get 150fps to 250fps (using Fraps) most of the time and it drops to 80fps when this pause occurs. I have the latest patch for CMR 04 and I checked the Codemaster's website where they said that this could be caused by EAX so they said to add either NOEAX or NOHARDWARESOUND to the shortcut but I have tried both and neither seems to work.

I have also tried Midtown Madness 2 and it seems to have the same problem. FarCry may also have the same problem, it is hard to tell but it seems that every now and then it has a slight pause even on the lowest graphics settings. I have also tried Doom 3, Soldier of Fortune II, and Half-Life and none of these games have this problem.

I have checked the CPU and motherboard temperatures with ASUS PC Probe and they were 48C - 50C and 33 - 35C, the video card I am not so sure about because I can't check it while I am in game (ASUS PC Probe lets me record the temps) but I ran Doom 3 in window mode and I can't remember the exact temperature but it was under 80C.

I have tried setting my XFX 6800 Ultra from it's stock 425/1200 speeds to 402/1100 (for both 2D and 3D) and I have tried setting "Max Frames to Render Ahead" to 1 but neither of these has any effect. I also have AGP Fastwrites set to off.

Does this sound like a graphics card related problem? What should I be checking/doing now?

Thankyou,

Aston

saturnotaku
09-20-04, 07:01 AM
There's a big sticky thread in the NVIDIA forum regarding the 6800 and random freezes. Check that for information and possible solutions.

astondg
09-20-04, 08:13 AM
Thanks, I did check that post and did a search before I posted but I tried most of the solutions I found and they didn't seem to help. Also my problem seems to be only in CMR 04, Midtown Madness, and FarCry. I think this is different from the other posts? I am also thinking that this might not be a graphics problem (because Codemasters mentioned a known EAX problem, but then their fix didn't work?), any opinions?

Aston

CaptNKILL
09-20-04, 08:35 AM
Well all of the games that you have the problem in are Direct 3d (im pretty sure) and all of the ones that you dont are OpenGL.

Doesnt seem hardware related to me.

Check the programs you have running... antivirus, auto-updates, messengers etc.

Try some different display driver versions (uninstall the current ones first).

Try those and see what happens.

Smokey
09-20-04, 02:48 PM
Just to let you know, I havent had any problems regarding EAX on my Audigy2 ZS, using the latest drivers....oh I tell a lie, since using the latest drivers, I have had the odd scratching noise when playing CoD, but nothing major, and no pauses in any games.

I think Capt is on the right track.

Head_slinger
09-20-04, 03:31 PM
Hi,

I was having similar problems in Colin McRae, WinAmp seems to blow it down so dont have it running, as does Outlook. Best thing to check is what you have running in the tray.

astondg
09-21-04, 02:54 AM
Ok, I have tried these drivers:
- 61.77
- 65.62
- 65.73
- 66.32

Unfortunately none of them made any difference to my problem. Each time I uninstalled the old drivers in "Add Remove Programs" and then went into Safe Mode and ran "Detonator RIP", then installed the new drivers.

One thing I did notice while testing all these drivers is that a couple of times when it froze I heard a beep. I am not sure if it was from the soundcard and speakers or the computer speaker but it definately was not part of CMR 04 and not meant to happen. I don't know if this could help identify the problem?

When I run CMR 04 and the other games I have in the tray:
- ASUS PC Probe
- Logitech iTouch
- A HP Printer icon thing
- Disabled Norton Antivirus icon
- Creative Volume Control

There are other programs running in the background that I can see in the Task Manager, e.g. InCD, but I don't really want to just end the process and stuff something up.

I don't have any programs like Outlook, Winamp, or Messenger running.

Any other ideas about what it could be or what I can try?

EDIT: Head_slinger I just realised we have very similar systems, the biggest difference is the video card. So you aren't having problems anymore?

Thanks,

Aston

CaptNKILL
09-21-04, 03:55 AM
Try this:
Go into msconfig (im assuming you know how to get there... start\run:msconfig) uncheck everything from your startup, then restart. I know, this isnt a good idea for every day use, but you can always go back and check them again, this is just for testing purposes.

Uncheck them all, restart, try the games again with nothing running.

astondg
09-21-04, 05:18 AM
Ok, when I uncheck everything in the "Startup" section and a couple of the things in the "Services" section and I start the game with the NOEAX or NOHARDWARESOUND options then CMR 04 seems to work ok. I suppose the next step is to enable things one by one, that's going to take a while :( . I might try reinstalling the soundcard drivers first.

Thanks,

Aston

CaptNKILL
09-21-04, 05:31 AM
Ok, when I uncheck everything in the "Startup" section and a couple of the things in the "Services" section and I start the game with the NOEAX or NOHARDWARESOUND options then CMR 04 seems to work ok. I suppose the next step is to enable things one by one, that's going to take a while :( . I might try reinstalling the soundcard drivers first.

Thanks,

Aston
Generally, you want to avoid doing 2 things at once. Maybe, enable EAX and hardware sound with all the programs off and see if the problem is still gone. If it is, dont reinstall sound drivers... the less you do, the less complicated thnigs will get.

I wouldnt mess with the drivers yet. Narrow it down first by enabling things. If its sound related, then reinstall sound drivers.

Might want to try enabling the virus scanner first to see if that brings the problem back... right now thats what id say it was.

Anyway, im glad my advice helped this much... if the problem still persists when you disable all running programs, then you usually have a lot of work ahead of you :p

DJMONDY
09-21-04, 05:46 AM
Apart from the pausing problems hows it run far cry, doom 3 etc??

Im waiting for my XFX 6800U to arrive any day now :)

astondg
09-21-04, 06:26 AM
Far Cry runs fine at high detail, I haven't really played it that much because I am waiting to see if SM3.0 support is included (again :) ). In Doom 3 with the standard card (425mhz/1200mhz), 65.73 drivers, at 1280x1024, in game settings on High Quality (I think includes 8x AF), all "Advanced Settings" set to yes - except vsync, and 4x AA, I ran timedemo demo1 and got 53fps. In game I haven't had any problems with the frame rate and it looks amazing.

Except for this problem (which it seems is not video card related anyway) this is a very nice video card.

EDIT: I see a lot of people are benchmarking Doom 3 without AA so I just ran two more benchmarks without AA
1024x768 - 95.1fps
1280x1024 - 80.7fps

Aston

DJMONDY
09-21-04, 06:48 AM
Have you tried turning fastwrites back on? Im sure i read on these forums that fastwrites turned off is the cause of the pausing problems. Try it and see what happens!

What is your AGP Aperture size set at? Recommended is 256

You have 1GB of ram so try turning off your pageing file (no pageing file) or try it on system managed size.

Ive set my pageing file size to no pageing file and my 5900 Ultra runs far cry without pauses but i had to set it to system managed size to play doom3 on ultra (bad framerate tho) and MOH pacific assault demo but far cry seems to be jerkyier now??

Maybe these will help you :)

CaptNKILL
09-21-04, 06:59 AM
Have you tried turning fastwrites back on? Im sure i read on these forums that fastwrites turned off is the cause of the pausing problems. Try it and see what happens!

What is your AGP Aperture size set at? Recommended is 256

You have 1GB of ram so try turning off your pageing file (no pageing file) or try it on system managed size.

Ive set my pageing file size to no pageing file and my 5900 Ultra runs far cry without pauses but i had to set it to system managed size to play doom3 on ultra (bad framerate tho) and MOH pacific assault demo but far cry seems to be jerkyier now??

Maybe these will help you :)

Removing everything from startup made his problem go away, he just has to find out which application was causing it.

DJMONDY
09-21-04, 07:02 AM
My bad. Sorry guys :bash:

CaptNKILL
09-21-04, 07:27 AM
My bad. Sorry guys :bash:
Its ok, any input is always good :)

Head_slinger
09-21-04, 12:36 PM
Hey aston,

I have a question for you seeing we both have same setup. Do you get strange slowdowns in Unreal Tournament engined games. Raven Shield, UT2k3/4 even the original unreal tournament?

I get these strange slow downs kinda like the physics of the engine is going slower. In raven shield its annoying to be walking fast then slow without any framerate hit the same for UT2k4.


Any ideas anyone??

astondg
09-21-04, 07:26 PM
I think I have found the problem! I went through the list of things I had disabled and ran them one by one testing CMR 04 after I ran each one and it seems that it is when I run the "ASUS WLAN Card Utilities" file "Center.exe" the pause/lag problem occurs. I disabled it in msconfig and enabled everything else and it seems that my problem is now fixed! :) I will keep testing but so far CMR 04 is running smoothly.

Head_slinger : I don't have UT2k3/4 but I just ran the original UT and it seems like the game runs at normal speed for a few seconds and then runs at fast speed for a few seconds etc. It is like I am walking and then running. I am installing Raven Shield now and I will try that. So there is another problem I have to fix :( .

DJMONDY : Thanks, I will keep those things in mind if I have problems again.

Thanks very much everybody for all your help,

Aston

Head_slinger
09-22-04, 01:12 PM
yeah thats the exact same problem!

so im guessing its an ASUS A8V problem or whatever utils come with it.

Could you list your system specs please.

astondg
09-22-04, 04:42 PM
Full System Specs:
- Athlon 64 3800+
- ASUS A8V Deluxe (BIOS: 1005.027, VIA Driver: 4.51)
- Enermax EG651P-VE 550W Power Supply
- Corsair 1GB XMS 3200XL
- XFX 6800 Ultra (Driver: 65.73)
- Sound Blaster Audigy 2 ZS
- Western Digital 200GB SATA HDD
- LG GSA-4120B 12x Super Multi DVD Rewriter
- DLink DFM-562I Modem
- ASUS 820.11b/g Wireless LAN Card
- Logitech Cordless Keyboard & MX700 Cordless Mouse
- Samsung 172x LCD Monitor
- Logitech Z680 Speakers
- Windows XP Service Pack 2

That is about everything (I wasn't sure how much you wanted :) ), is there anything I missed? It is a strange problem, I will keep looking for a solution.

Aston

Head_slinger
09-22-04, 05:20 PM
Thanks!

Now i can pretty much compile a list of possible hardware that could be causing it.

Athlon 64 3500+
ASUS A8V Deluxe (BIOS: 1005.027)
Audigy 2


Thats the hardware we have in common. Im thinking it might be something todo with Cool & Quiet, just wondering if you had it installed and enabled?

astondg
09-22-04, 09:58 PM
I do use Cool & Quiet. I just disabled and ran the original UT again and it runs fine now. So it seems you are right, it is Cool & Quiet that is affecting it, which is anoying because we can't just turn it off in Windows before we start a game, we have to restart the computer and change a BIOS setting.

I just installed the UT2k3 demo and I don't have this problem and I can't notice it in Raven Shield either (although it is harder to tell because it is a slower paced game). Maybe there is something else to this problem? Have you tried to disable Cool & Quiet?

Aston

CaptNKILL
09-22-04, 10:36 PM
What exactly is Cool and Quiet?

astondg
09-22-04, 11:30 PM
Cool & Quiet turns down the CPU speed and voltage when it is not needed. For example, right now when speed is not important the CPU Frequency is at 1000MHz and the Voltage is at 1.075V, but if I start something that requires more speed, like a game, the CPU Frequency goes back up to 2400MHz and the Voltage to 1.475V. This helps to reduce heat, instead of my CPU temperature at idle being 40-46C it is 28-33C. Of course during a game it goes back up to 46-50C.

Unfortunately it seems that this causes problems with UT, maybe the CPU Frequency is changing while the game is running causing it to speed up and slow down or something.

Aston

CaptNKILL
09-23-04, 01:44 AM
Sounds like a neat program, but I dont think it does much good. I guess in theory it could lengthen the life of your CPU, but they last so long anyway, I doubt it matters.

Since it doesnt lower temps when your CPU is at its hottest, theres really no point unless you just dont want your system giving off a lot of heat, warming up your room all day.

Just my opinion anyways... figured it was worth some input since its causing problems anyway. My guess is that the slowdowns in UT are because it doesnt use a lot of CPU power on newer CPUs, so its trying to downclock the CPU during the game, which slows the game down some times... then when it realizes it needs more power, it clocks back up... then back down... then up.

Doesnt sound like a program anyone should be using... thats why we buy these new CPUs, to make things fast. If its running at half the speed most of the time, whats the point? :p