Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Game lags despite graphics card is not at 100%

18 Nov 2011   #1
Fuzz Ball

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 
Game lags despite graphics card is not at 100%

Ohai.

I'm copying this straight from the Steam forums, where I originally posted it. Unfortuantely no one there was able to help me (no replies AT ALL). So if you don't understand some terms about Team Fortress 2 or any of the update names, just ignore them and interpret them as a name.

Ever since the Manniversary Update for TF2, I've been experiencing noticeable lag.

Before the update I played at a smooth and fairly regular 60 FPS. Now I'm fairly happy to get 30 FPS.

I am not aware of any programs I installed or settings I changed around the time of the update, but I don't think anything I did would have affected it.

Here's a quick rundown (from memory) of the settings I was on:
  • Texture, Models etc: High (recommended)
  • Reflective water models, shadows, lighting etc: All on (recommended)
  • AA: 4x, Anisotropic: x8 (recommended)
  • Multicore rendering: On (not recommended)
  • Direct X Level: 9 (despite I have 11 on my system)
  • Multiplayer Decals: 200
Those are the main settings I remembered. After realising what multicore rendering was, I checked it back to off (as my GPU doesn't have more than one core).

About a week ago I decided to forgo the nice graphics a bit and dropped AA from x4 to x2 (NOTE: Steam/TF2 recommended x4). It increased performance by about 20% or so. I'm still having serious issues when:
  • Looking over a vast area. This is clearly obvious when playing cp_manor on the first red point or out of blue spawn. Makes sniper harder to play.
  • Heavy, intense firefights on points etc. Noticeable on every map. If there's too many people, it screws around. This makes playing pyro just that LITTLE bit harder
After being very confused, I decided to log my system usage while I was playing. On a standard temperature day, over the course of 3 hours, this was my approximate usage:
  • CPU (1st core): 30-50%
  • CPU (2nd core): 40-65%
  • CPU (3rd core): 50-70%
  • CPU (4th core): 0-20%
  • GPU: 30-50%
  • RAM: 80%
So my system's not being fully utilised, which would explain the very nice 60 FPS but not the drop. A more unusual note is the high usage of the processor compared to the graphics card. I'm aware my graphics card outclasses the i5, but it's not a big discrepancy.
Now, the very important computer specs:
  • Model/Brand: MSI GX740-235US
  • Processor: Intel i5 450m @ 2.4GHz (standard overclock to either 2.5 or 2.6)
  • Graphics Card: ATI Radeon Mobility HD 5870: 1 GB vDDR5
  • RAM: 4 GB DDR3 @ 1333MHz (CPU slows it to 1066)
  • HDD: 320 GB Western Digital @ 7200 RPM
  • OS: Windows 7 HP: 64-bit
To add a bit more info, I tried playing around with the graphics settings. I set the graphics down to low, pretty much at the minimum. Aside from looking more ugly, it did show a slight increase in the performance and FPS rate of the game. At this stage, the GPU usage sat around 30%.

Then I decided to do something completely different. In my attempts to try and fix this, I'd found something about CPU bottlenecking. I know what it is, but not the way they were putting it. Some guy turned UP his settings in a game and it got better for him. For some reason, the low usage of the GPU was affecting the CPU, and hence the CPU was being over-used or being made to work harder than its limitations. It's a bit confusing, and I don't fully get it.

So I tried it, and I got an even bigger increase in performance. I have 60FPS more often than I used to, however looking over large areas and intense firefights still causes some trouble for me. So basically just about everything is on max (I think the only thing is that AA is set to 4x rather than 8x). Everything else is top as far as I know.

If you would like the log files or a more detailed report of my settings, please feel free to ask for them. I'm open to any help, as this is something I'd really like to get fixed. I know technical stuff, so come at me.

----

Adding extra details, I am very confident my graphics card drivers are up to date, as I just did an update on them (which also blue screened my laptop part way through the drivers... that was scary). Also, the "Manniversary Update" did not involve a major update to the "source" game engine (which TF2 runs off).

Thanks in advance,
Fuzz Ball


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
19 Nov 2011   #2
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I've experienced the same drop in performance in tf2 since the last few updates. I can only blame the update as I know nothing has changed for my system in the meantime.
All my other games work fine too, I was also forced to add a launch command as my voice stopped working without it.
This kind of stuff happens fairly often with software that is updated so regularly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2011   #3
badger906

Windows 7 Ultimate x64, & Mac OS X 10.9.2
 
 

I think they should have left tf2 as it was, its not like it needed anymore customers!

While this is purley speculation, I'd guess that valve/whoever is involved. Has come to the conclusion computers are more powerful now, just upping the required hardware needs wouldn't cause to much harm.

If you think tf2 uses the original source engine used in hl2 and its sequel episodes. So that's 2004ish tech.

Saying that, my mac struggles with hl2, counter strike and tf2 despite being more than powerful enough.. But that's another subject and a frowned upon word! Lol

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

19 Nov 2011   #4
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

I will tell you that manually disabling catalyst ai has improved performance in a lot of games for me.
The intelligence in artificial intelligence is still a bit lacking it would seem.
Image is clearer and things function better with it off.
Problem is you have to manually disable it now. They don't give you a way to do it in the catalyst control center anymore.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2011   #5
Fuzz Ball

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

With the new Catalyst Centre thingy that came out they've made the interface and program more usable.

I checked up with the settings. Most of the stuff is set to "Use application settings", however something called mipmapping (not sure what it is) was turned to max so I put it down a couple notches.

I just turned Catalyst A.I. off, so we'll see what that does.

The main issue is that my laptop went from playing TF2 on almost max, 60 FPS, recommended settings to a drop very often. I do still get 60 FPS in quieter areas, but I'd expect a drop in performance if my graphics card was at 100%, not sitting happily around 50%. That's why its posted in the graphics card section, is there any way to make the graphics card work harder? Should in theory increase the frame rate.

Thanks for the replies so far, its helping I think.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Nov 2011   #6
Maguscreed

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64
 
 

oh you know I totally missed that it was a laptop, you may want to check the fans and clean it well decreased performance in laptops is sometimes a side effect of heat not dissipating properly.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2011   #7
Fuzz Ball

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Maguscreed View Post
oh you know I totally missed that it was a laptop, you may want to check the fans and clean it well decreased performance in laptops is sometimes a side effect of heat not dissipating properly.
Yeah opened it up a week ago to give it a clean. Need a can of compressed air to do a proper job, but there wasn't much dust there either (cleaned out heatsinks quite well)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2011   #8
smarteyeball

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fuzz Ball View Post

I just turned Catalyst A.I. off, so we'll see what that does.
Ostensibly, it disables any 'driver level' optimizations.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fuzz Ball View Post

Ever since the Manniversary Update for TF2, I've been experiencing noticeable lag.

Before the update I played at a smooth and fairly regular 60 FPS. Now I'm fairly happy to get 30 FPS.

Adding extra details, I am very confident my graphics card drivers are up to date, as I just did an update on them
Just to clarify:

You installed the update and the game starting lagging and then decided to update the video driver?

Or

You installed both the update and driver prior to playing and then noticed the lag?


Assuming nothing else apart from the update was installed - then the problem lies solely with the update. (It may not solve your issue, but at least you can stop wondering exactly what)

If you installed both the update and driver - try reverting your driver.


Also, since it's AMD - have you installed the latest CAP profiles? If not, check it out because CAP profiles often contain 'quick' fixes for certain games.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2011   #9
Fuzz Ball

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by smarteyeball View Post
Just to clarify:

You installed the update and the game starting lagging and then decided to update the video driver?

Or

You installed both the update and driver prior to playing and then noticed the lag?


Assuming nothing else apart from the update was installed - then the problem lies solely with the update. (It may not solve your issue, but at least you can stop wondering exactly what)

If you installed both the update and driver - try reverting your driver.
Order in which things happened:
  • Get laptop, play TF2, everything fine.
  • Update graphics drivers (this is when I first got it)
  • All is fine
  • TF2 Update
  • All is not fine
  • Update drivers
  • TF2 update
  • All gets worse
  • Update drivers
  • Slight increase in performance.
I do suspect it was something to do with the engine update. A couple others I saw had the same problem, but only a couple. No one had answers.


The thing that just really confuses me is that it doesn't matter what level I put the graphics on, it will still lag (I am confident its not my internet).

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by smarteyeball View Post
Also, since it's AMD - have you installed the latest CAP profiles? If not, check it out because CAP profiles often contain 'quick' fixes for certain games.
Uhh... not entirely sure what CAP profiles are, but if this is what it is:
http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/8462/cat3v.jpg

(I know its not the most up to date picture, found it on the internet).

Then that's the thing I just updated with my drivers at the same time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Nov 2011   #10
smarteyeball

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Fuzz Ball View Post
  • Get laptop, play TF2, everything fine.
  • Update graphics drivers (this is when I first got it)
  • All is fine
  • TF2 Update ◄ Bingo?
  • All is not fine
  • Update drivers
  • TF2 update
  • All gets worse
  • Update drivers
  • Slight increase in performance. ◄ Hmm. Driver level optimization. known issue?
I do suspect it was something to do with the engine update. A couple others I saw had the same problem, but only a couple. No one had answers.
It looks like the Update was definitely the beginning. Have you read the changelogs to see if it mentions network optimization or any such thing?

Quote:
The thing that just really confuses me is that it doesn't matter what level I put the graphics on, it will still lag (I am confident its not my internet).
It's been eons since I last played TF2 - can you still create a 'local' server to run around the map by yourself? If you can, have a quick run around some empty maps. If so does it still lag?

If yes, it's probably a core change to the engine. If it only occurs with other players, then it's probably something they've changed in the network.

(How do you know it's not your ISP? Good pings etc? )


Quote:
Uhh... not entirely sure what CAP profiles are, but if this is what it is:
http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/8462/cat3v.jpg
No, that's just the Catalyst Control Centre suite. The CAP profiles are a separate download.

This page explains them (and has links). Although I couldn't see any reference to TF2
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Game lags despite graphics card is not at 100%




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
A graphics card good enough to game with a 300W psu to run it?
hello everyone! i currently have THIS PC and its good enough specs to game! well all but the graphics, it will run games now such as black ops 2 easily but i need dedicated graphics for some games. My problem is, I would like to put a graphics card inside but it's a very VERY low power psu (300W)...
Graphic Cards
what game could run in this Graphics Card?
hello, I have a Dell Inspiron 1545 Laptop, i brought it in 2009 "Old Huh:sarc:" Anyway, i think my Graphics card is weak "i'm sure IT IS " it's "Mobile Intel(R) 4 Series Express Chipset Family" with "812 MB" i'm just wondering what game could i run on it ... "if anyone knows" and is there...
Gaming
Game not recognizing graphics card, HELP!!!
Hi, i have installed Microsoft Midtown Madness on my windows 7 PC but it does not recognize my graphics card. This game worked on windows XP but i Upgraded To Windows 7 and now it wont so the graphics are running on software not hardware. i have the same hardware as before and it all is compatible...
Virtualization
lags in game
Hey how's it going everyone. I have a quick question. I want to up grade my video card, but don't want to change the processor or anything else. Like i want to upgrade the card that sit fits my system specs, not sure if you get me. My system spec. Windows 7 professional 64bit AMD Athlon 64x2...
Graphic Cards
New Graphics Card Crashing Game/Windows
Hello All, Normally I can deduce enough information from Google and searching for the errors that I might get but right now I'm stumped. I just gotten a new MSI N560-GTX-Ti 1mb Graphics Card and replaced my old nvidia 8800GT (which had fan speed issues). I had a very stable system as I used MSI...
BSOD Help and Support
Game graphics is bad even with the graphic card!
hi everyone I'm new here I work on Windows 7 Ultimate 32 bit OS and I've ATI Radeon 4300/4500 series Display adapter, but still graphics in my game "Fifa 2010" is just normal the same game looked so awesome in trial version of windows 7 with the same graphic card. I don't know what happened...
Graphic Cards


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:04.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App