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Thread: Hardware diagnosis, gaming problems

  1. #1
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    Hardware diagnosis, gaming problems

    Hey, sorry to post another "help me" topic, but as you can appreciate upgrading the wrong hardware can be a costly mistake.

    Basically, I'm getting pauses when loading a new area or enemy etc. in most of my games, most notably FPSs like Doom 3 and FarCry. Most notable is Doom, where if I were to open a door into a room where a few enemies were waiting for me, the game would freeze for about 2 seconds before the door would open. I'm sure it's meant to happen seamlessly, because doors into empty rooms open immediately. The same thing happens in FarCry.

    It's quite irritating, because during normal gameplay I'm getting exactly the good performance I'm after, and stutters like this really bring down the experience.

    My hardware is:
    CPU: 2.8Ghz Pentium 4 LGA 775
    GPU: Gecube Radeon X800GTO 128mb AGP
    Memory: 2x 512MB DDR400 3200RAM
    Sound: Sound Blaster Audigy
    HDD: Some 80GB 7200RPM Deal
    OS: Windows XP SP2

    Any help would be very much appreciated. I'm hoping it's the RAM myself.
    Last edited by Nobuo; 25-04-2006 at 04:57 PM.

  2. #2
    Xet
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    My guess would be the ram too, although 1gb is still a fair whack... can you borrow someone elses ram to test it out?
    AMD64 3000+ Winchester @ 2.38ghz
    ATI x850 @ 621/621
    Custom-ish Watercooling

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    • Barkotron's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Asus X99-A
      • CPU:
      • i7 5820K
      • Memory:
      • 32GB Crucial Ballistix Sport
      • Storage:
      • 128GB Samsung 850 Pro (OS), 512GB Samsung 840 Evo (Games), various other SSD/HDD (storage, work)
      • Graphics card(s):
      • Inno3d GeForce GTX 980
      • PSU:
      • Hiper Something Something 800W-ish
      • Case:
      • Define XL
      • Operating System:
      • Win 8.1 x64 (fun!), Win2012 R2 (work)
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    I'd guess video card RAM - 128MB is getting a bit skimpy these days. If it's only when you see a new enemy, it'll need to transfer the textures etc into on-board RAM before it can display them, and depending on where it's loading them from it could show as a bit of a drop or a longer wait, I reckon.

    Could be wrong, but I'd guess you might either need to play with lower texture quality or get at least a card with 256MB of onboard RAM.

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    whats the buffer cache on the hard drive ??? it could be down to three things that I can think of, the graphics card could be overclocked which can be checked by installing Rivatuner. it could either be the hard drive or the memory. Thats just my two Cents

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    Splash
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    Might be worth checking running processes? A rig like that shouldn't struggle too much...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Barkotron
    I'd guess video card RAM - 128MB is getting a bit skimpy these days.
    Ugh, I was worried it might be that. Hope you're wrong! Is there no good way to test what might be happening? Unfortunately I have no other hardware to test with.

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    Doom and FarCry = especially large texture transfers, so it could be the lack of onboard memory on your graphics, but I don't remember having those symptoms when I played FarCry on a rig with a 128Mb 6600GT and a Venice 3000...

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    • emul8's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Intel PM55
      • CPU:
      • Intel i7 920XM
      • Memory:
      • 8gb Kingston HyperX PC3-12800
      • Storage:
      • 2x60g OCZ Vertex 2e Raid0
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    Sounds like the HD is loading to slow perhaps doing a defrag may help?

    I played doom3 with 128meg graphics 1gig of ram a 3gig pentium and maxtors in raid no probs at all
    Last edited by emul8; 26-04-2006 at 11:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by emul8
    Sounds like the HD is loading to slow perhaps doing a defrag may help?

    I played doom3 with 128meg graphics 1gig of ram a 3gig pentium and maxtors in raid no probs at all
    *Slaps head* can't believe I asked this question without doing a defrag first... I'll do one when I get home. Thanks for the refresher lesson!

    Quote Originally Posted by kstanley7
    whats the buffer cache on the hard drive ???
    Umm... I don't know what that is, or how to find out how big it is. Help?

  10. #10
    Splash
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    Look in Device Manager>disk drives. That should tell you your drive model, which you can plug into the wonderful Google and find the cache.

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    OK, thanks, I'll do all this when I get home. What's a good size buffer cache?

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    Another thing to put into the mix is the Audigy. If its an Audigy 1 then I'd tried it without if you have on-board sound on your motherboard?

    I took my Audigy 1 ex Platinum out recently as I was getting stuttering and crashes - the drivers aren't too good on these earlier boards to be honest.

    These days buffer cache is either 8 or 16mb. If its a slightly older hard drive your probably looking at 1 or 2mb.

    IMO this is going to be the least likely area for problems - the extra cache ram will improve things but not by 2 seconds to be fair.

  13. #13
    Nox
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    • Nox's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Yes
      • CPU:
      • Yes
      • Memory:
      • Yes
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    Its unlikely to be HD cache size, but it could well be HD being fragmented.

    To be honest, its all guess work, as no one other than you can see what is happening on your PC, or pick up tell tale signs (ie HD noises etc)

    If you really want to get to the bottom of this, or atleast rule out some likely culprits - run 'perfmon' and add in all the likely candidates, leave it running in the background, then alt-tab out and look to see what is maxed out. Not sure it will do gfx card texture transfers though. Will certainly do CPU/RAM/Logical Drives etc though.

    Nox

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    Quote Originally Posted by cheechy
    Another thing to put into the mix is the Audigy. If its an Audigy 1 then I'd tried it without if you have on-board sound on your motherboard?
    It's an Audigy LS PCI card, I would be surprised if it's giving me problems because it's been a good little card since day one. You're right though, the software was crap, I just let Windows grab the necessary stuff from the disc and install it itself.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nox
    Its unlikely to be HD cache size, but it could well be HD being fragmented.

    To be honest, its all guess work, as no one other than you can see what is happening on your PC, or pick up tell tale signs (ie HD noises etc)

    If you really want to get to the bottom of this, or atleast rule out some likely culprits - run 'perfmon' and add in all the likely candidates, leave it running in the background, then alt-tab out and look to see what is maxed out. Not sure it will do gfx card texture transfers though. Will certainly do CPU/RAM/Logical Drives etc though.

    Nox
    I'm leaning towards the disc being fragmented ATM, I have been installing and uninstalling lots of stuff lately. Again, I'm very embarassed I asked before I tried it.

    Will try that perfmon stuff if that doesn't work.

    Thanks

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    Hmm... I just realised that on this machine it's still got the stock 280W PSU... that can't be good can it?

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    • kalniel's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Gigabyte X58A UD3R rev 2
      • CPU:
      • Intel Xeon X5680
      • Memory:
      • 12gb DDR3 2000
      • Graphics card(s):
      • nVidia GTX 1060 6GB
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      • Seasonic 600W
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    Depends who it's made by. If it's a Dell in built one you're fine - they use much lower ratings than others, but they're capable.

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