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Windows 7: Weird lag in seemingly ALL applications.

23 May 2010   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 
Weird lag in seemingly ALL applications.

Hi everyone, sorry my first ever post here is a technical problem. Its quite a long one so sorry about that aswell ^^;



Ok, I recently installed Windows 7 Ultimate x64. Previously I had a fantastic working version of XP but the things I have heard about Windows 7 as far as gaming goes tipped me over the edge and I finally gave in and grabbed myself a copy.

I formatted my old XP drive after backing everything up onto my other drives and set to work installing 7. Once the installation was complete I went straight to windows update and installed all the updates available, except for a few optional ones.

Now I am an avid gamer so I bought a copy of Just Cause 2 along with my new OS because I wanted to make use of my new Direct X toy. So this is the first thing I installed and got straight into playing. It worked, but not very well, which was disappointing to say the least - my PC can handle it as far as I am aware. I played to begin with on the recommended graphic settings, but everytime I looked at something that had a lot of detail, moved my camera around or even moved my character I would get this weird slowdown, not exactly FPS loss... but 'smoother'. Its hard to explain really, almost as if the game was running in slow motion but without the choppiness of normal FPS loss.

Well anyway, I put it down to a possible hardware issue and decided to try something less demanding. I have played World of Warcraft for a number of years and it always worked perfectly on XP so I set about installing that. I logged into WoW and had the same problem, very strange lag. I usually listen to Winamp while playing WoW and whenever the game lagged, my music would slow down aswell. Very odd.

By this time I was getting worried, I also like to paint so I use Photoshop on a regular basis. I installed CS4 and got to work trying that out, same issue. Really horrible brush lag/delay, not *that* noticeable at first but when you get into minute detail it becomes a huge problem.

I've made sure all of my drivers are up to date, I have installed 64 bit versions of them all, including the newest wacom drivers.

One thing I will mention though is I had an extra module of RAM lying about that I thought I would try using. I'd been using 3GB for ages so I figured 1 extra GB would be a welcome change to go with my new OS. So I installed that, however when I did I started getting the dreaded BSOD so I figured the module was faulty. I downloaded the Windows Diagnostic Bootable tool and used that to confirm my fears, the RAM was faulty. So I took it out.

While I was fiddling around with my RAM I noticed something I'd never noticed before, the timings on my RAM were all different (off the top of my head, 5-5-5-12, 5-5-5-18 and 4-4-4-12) So this got me wondering, could this be the cause of the problem? Although I had never had any issues while using them in XP.

So yea, i'm kinda stumped guys. I've reinstalled 7 three times now trying different things, wondering if maybe the drivers on windows update were the cause. To no avail.



Phew, so yea, if any of you have any suggestions or agree that my RAM could be the cause of the problem. Please help!

~Fletch

(Also, if this is the wrong forum for this I apologise. Could a moderator move it if that is the case? Thanks)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

23 May 2010   #2
stew2

 

hi fletch,

the easiest thing to look at first is a heat issue. Download HWMonitor and run it. Keep it open and play a game until you notice the slow down effect taking place. Exit the game and take a screenshot of HWMonitor and post it here so we can see all the values.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #3

Dual boot XP Pro SP3x86 and Win7 Pro x64
 
 

If you look at the RAM suited to your application, it appears that you have mixed three different types of memory.

See Corsair for the details of what you can use.

Monk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


24 May 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks for the replies guys.

I downloaded HWMonitor and here is the result:

http://i46.tinypic.com/260y26x.jpg

My room at the moment is rather warm, I have the side panel off to try to counteract that. It's been a while since I went around my machine with an air duster though.

One thing I'd like to note is that while I was doing this WoW seemed to run a little better, although not as good as it should be (roughly 20-25fps~) and it still suffered from the same lag at sporadic intervals.

HMonk - do you think that could be the cause of the issue? Like I said I never had any problems like this in XP, and I used the same RAM. I'm thinking of buying a 4GB kit soon to replace them, I'd just like to know if it could actually be that so I dont just waste my money :<
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #5

Dual boot XP Pro SP3x86 and Win7 Pro x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fletchrr View Post
Thanks for the replies guys.

I downloaded HWMonitor and here is the result:

http://i46.tinypic.com/260y26x.jpg

My room at the moment is rather warm, I have the side panel off to try to counteract that. It's been a while since I went around my machine with an air duster though.

One thing I'd like to note is that while I was doing this WoW seemed to run a little better, although not as good as it should be (roughly 20-25fps~) and it still suffered from the same lag at sporadic intervals.

HMonk - do you think that could be the cause of the issue? Like I said I never had any problems like this in XP, and I used the same RAM. I'm thinking of buying a 4GB kit soon to replace them, I'd just like to know if it could actually be that so I dont just waste my money :<
The short answer is yes.

The long answer follows and is quoted from KnowBrainer Forums.


"The type of RAM that you use is irrelevant to DNS. RAM is entirely a hardware issue. If it works, fine. DNS doesn't care.
However, be very careful about mismatching RAM. Depending upon your motherboard and your CPU, you can have anywhere from 4 to 6 memory slots.
1. Never mix and match RAM from different manufacturers. The RAM that you use must have the same exact specifications for all RAM chips. Occasionally, as long as you properly match the specifications, you can use different manufacturers. However, 9 times out of 10 you got a run into problems if you do this. Therefore, it is never recommend. Always purchase RAM with the same exact specifications from the same manufacturer unless you know exactly what you're doing. Rule of thumb is if you're using Kingston, then replace or add ram from Kingston. If you using Corsair, then use Corsair, etc.
2. You cannot install RAM that has different specifications. That is, for example, if you're using Corsair 667 MHz DDR2, than any RAM that you're adding to your system must have the same exact specifications as the RAM chips that are installed. That is, they must be 667 MHz DDR2 and they must use the same voltage, etc. If you try to add 800 MHz RAM to a system that has currently 667 MHz DDR2 or if you try to add DDR3 RAM to a system that is using DDR2 RAM, it won't work. That is, your system won't even boot up and you'll get for beeps at start up that indicates the RAM is incompatible. Always match RAM.
3. You can use RAM chips that have the same specifications but different sizes. For example, each RAM slot is numbered 0 through 4 or 0 through 6. As long as the RAM that you are installing has the same core specification, you can put a 1 x 2 GB RAM chip in slot 0 and oh 1 x 4 GB RAM chip in slot 1, etc.. However, because most of the current CPUs run dual channel RAM, slot 0 and slot 2 comprise channel 0, and slot one and slot 4 comprise channel 1. If you only have to RAM chips, then you should insert them as noted in channel 0. If you have 4 RAM chips then you should insert them so that slot 0 and slot 2 have the same size and same specifications (i.e., 1 x 2 GB, 1 x 1 GB, 1 x 4 GB). The same applies to slot one and slot 4. This is what they mean by matching RAM in addition to making sure that all RAM chips are from the same manufacturer can have the same voltage and speed specifications.
4. depending upon the number of RAM chips that you have you should always populate channel 0 (slot 0 and slot 2) first and then populate channel 1 (slot 1 and slot 3). Remember we're talking computers here so all hardware designations start with 0. So, if you have 4 RAM slots they are labeled 0 , 1 , 2 , and 3, not 1, 2, 3, 4. Remember, computers don't count the way we do. RAM channels are numbered 0 and 1, not 1 and 2. So, just to reiterate, populate channel 0 (slot 0 and slot 2) first and then populate channel 1 (slot 1 and slot 3).
The bottom line is, to be safe, do the following:
1. Check with your motherboard manufacturer regarding CPU and compatible RAM specifically with regard to your motherboard and FSB (Front Side Bus) speed for your CPU.
2. Use the same manufacturer. Although you can mix and match to a certain extent, it's not recommended for anyone who is a novice with regard to hardware. If you run into trouble you won't understand what's going on and how to remedy it.
3. You can't mix RAM speeds. That is, you can't mix 667 MHz with 800 MHz RAM chips.
4. You can't mix and DDR2 with DDR3 RAM chips, and you can only use DDR3 if your motherboard and CPU support it.
5. You can't install RAM that is faster then your FSB (Front Side Bus) speed. If your CPU has an FSB (Front Side Bus) speed of 800 MHz, you can sometimes use 800 MHz RAM, but you can't use higher speed RAM unless the CPU & the motherboard support it (i.e., you can't install 1066 MHz RAM on a system where the CPU only supports an FSB (Front Side Bus) speed of 800 MHz) no matter what the motherboard specifications are. You are limited to RAM speed that is supported by the CPU. In addition, there are occasions when even though the FSB (Front Side Bus) speed is 800 MHz, 800 MHz RAM chips may not work properly. The rule of thumb is that your safest by backing your RAM speed off to the next lowest level (i.e., CPU FSB (Front Side Bus) speed 800 MHz, RAM speed 667 MHz). If you're motherboard manufacturer says that the motherboard will support RAM speeds up to and including the CPU FSB (Front Side Bus) speed, then you can go for that. However, if it doesn't work for what ever reason, get back to your motherboard manufacturer and complain bitterly. Your only option at this point is to exchange the RAM for the next lowest RAM speed.
6. If RAM that you install is incompatible or incorrectly installed, the BIOS posttest will prompt you with four continuous beeps. If you get that when you start up your system, your RAM is either incompatible or incorrectly installed. Regardless, your system won't boot. That is, you'll get no video and the for beeps, so you won't even be able to get into your BIOS to make appropriate changes.
7. If you're a novice at computer hardware, I recommend you get someone who knows what they're doing to install your RAM. However, the bottom line is do your homework and make sure that whatever RAM you purchase is compatible with your CPU (FSB (Front Side Bus)) and your motherboard. If necessary get your motherboard manufacturer on the phone. It generally is fairly easy to research RAM online re: compatibility. Nevertheless, don't play games with RAM if you're not sure what you're doing. I can't count the number of times on both fans and both feet that one of my clients made a basic and simple mistake installing RAM, or purchasing and installing RAM and pull their hair out for three days before they called me, after which it took me three minutes to figure out and solve the problem.
8. Laptops are completely different issue. Laptops must have matched RAM chips. They can be different sizes, otherwise they must match exactly.
Chuck Runquist
Technical Project Manager
VoiceTeach LLC"

I cannot say for sure that Chuck's protocol for populating the RAM slots is universal. To be sure, check your mobo install manual and verify how to populate the RAM slots depending on the number/type of RAM sticks being installed.

Monk
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #6
stew2

 

Although all your temps are on the high side, they should not be causing problems and we will just ignore the 12v reading as that has to be wrong.

If i was you id check your ram and find out the exact voltages each 1 uses and what timings they can run at. Once you do that you can go into the bios and set the timings and voltages manually.

If you can post your exact cpu eg. "intel core2quad q6600" and provide links to the ram you are using then i can tell you what voltages, fsb and ram timings to use if you dont know how to do it..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks Monk, although I can't see any mention of different RAM timings in there? all the RAM I have is 800mhz DDR2 and theyre all from the same manufacturer. Or have I misunderstood/confused myself? (sorry >.>)

Stew2, the RAM I have installed atm is a mixture of:
Corsair 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 XMS2 Memory Kit Non-ECC Unbuffered CL5 1.9V - Ebuyer
and
Corsair 2GB (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 XMS2 Memory Non-ECC Unbuffered CL4 Lifetime Warranty - Ebuyer

The CPU I have atm is:
Processors Intel - Core 2 - Ebuyer

To be honest, I think I might just save up a little money and buy some new RAM, I've checked the compatability list you posted Monk and these seem to be fine:
Corsair 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 XMS2 DHX Performace Memory CL4 2.1V - Ebuyer
or
TWIN2X4096-8500C5D Corsair Dominator 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 PC2-8500C5 1066MHz Dual Channel Kit 1066MHz RAM Speed, CAS 5-5-5-15 Timings, 2.1-2.3v VDIMM, Lifetime Warranty with Corsair. : novatech.co.uk
or
TWIN2X4096-8500C5C Corsair XMS2 4GB (2x2GB) DDR2 PC2-8500C5 1066MHz Dual Channel Kit 1066MHz RAM Speed, CAS 5-5-5-18 Timings, 2.1-2.3 v VDIMM, Lifetime Warranty with Corsair. : novatech.co.uk

Although i'm not sure if that second one requires a special cooling solution as well as the heatsinks on the RAM.

The reason I have a mixture of RAM is I have had to mix and match in the past after a couple of modules died on me, iirc.

Thanks again for all your help guys.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #8
stew2

 

Ok as 1 set is 5-5-5-18 @ 1.9v and the other is 4-4-4-12 @ 2.1v and both are 800mhz ram, id go into the bios and set the ram speed to 400mhz as ram uses a multiplier of 2 so 400 x 2 will you give you 800mhz ram and give them timings of 5-5-5-18 @ 2.0v and see how that goes.

If you don't know how to do that then just ask
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Thanks again for the reply Stew2.

(edit)
Just noticed something even stranger, if I visit a site such as http://twitter.com/rockstargames and scroll up and down with my mouse. Winamp starts screwing up in the same way it does when I lag in WoW. :S
(/edit)

Ok I went into the bios to make sure I could apply these settings before doing so. I found an option to change the Memory Voltage to 2v, so that is fine. However all I could find as far as the speed was 'DRAM Frequency' which would only let me select DDR2-800mhz (533, 667, 800, 889 etc.)

I couldnt find an option at all for setting the timings.

Should I go ahead and change the options that *are* available or not?

While on the note of the bios, another thing I've never understood is why my CPU tends to run quite hot (I guess) when it isn't overclocked in any way. From what I understand the cooler I have is a good one, and the q6600 can be overclocked relatively nicely. (Sorry for the tangent >.>)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 May 2010   #10
stew2

 

In your bios there should be a tab called "advanced", choose "jumper free configuration"

In that there should be a screen with "AI tuning" and "DRAM frequency", put them both to manual and it will allow you to change the settings you need.

EDIT: Just found this guide for you - http://www.thetechrepository.com/showthread.php?t=41

If you think your cpu is too hot when you have finished setting up your ram and made sure your pc boots, you can then focus on the cpu. Its best to try and focus on 1 at a time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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