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Windows 7: Random Lag Spikes, during Online Multiplayer Games

01 Jan 2010   #1

Windows 7 Professional x64 Edition
Random Lag Spikes, during Online Multiplayer Games

OK, I got tired of looking at some of these post, googling, etc., and not finding any working solutions to my gaming issues.
Lol, its seems I have come across people with similar issues, I play several online FPS games like TF2, CS, MW2, etc. But mainly I play competitively on COD4 and I have also recently been getting these random Green-lag spikes. I see my ping spike up for a second same time as the green-baseline in lagometer spikes. I can go just about every 5 - 10 mins without lag at all, and randomly get lag, green-baseline start showing tall green boxes, ping go from 55-70 to 200-400 for a second or two, and drop back down to normal the next second. I know to some it may not sound like a big problem, but to me it is, and in competitive FPS Games, every second counts. I have noticed my Ventrilo Connection lagging too, I get late messages sometimes during the same time I get in-game lag. So it's not just some bad settings in-game.

During the times I don't get those random lag spikes, my connection is awesome, great registration, and great fps. My rig was doing well back in Win XP, but I had a taste for Win 7, and so far I'm glad I did upgrade, until now I have been getting this problem. I have tried just about everything, from disabling my antivirus, scanning, removing my antivirus, completely clean and defrag, driver updates, even port forwarding, and connecting my system directly to the cable modem (no router). All the same, I have a high-end gaming rig, so I have to say it's annoying, having decent hardware with the latest drivers and still I can't figure out why I'm getting this lag.

So if it's not my settings, it's not any programs installed, it's not my hardware... so it leaves me to suggest its 1 of 2 things... Its ether my WAN, which would be something I would have to call Time Warner RR for, or its Windows 7. And from what it looks like according to other forums and including these I have reviewed, its comes down to some Windows 7 Bug - ( network driver issue, audio issue, or some unknown bug ).

As I said, I have done a lot testing to see if any of the solutions posted work. And double checked them, from regedit changes, to disabling audio, to even running compatible mode. Which in running COD4 (iw3mp.exe) I receive error messages while trying to startup the game in any reasonable compatible mode, and disabling audio. The regedit changes however didn't effect game startup, but it also didn't help resolve my random lag issue.

Any alternative solutions other then what has been posted before? Or is this some unknown issue that would end up forcing me to make a partition for Windows XP just for games.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2010   #2

Windows 7 Professional x64 Edition

Lol, I guess no one has solutions beyond what has been posted. I suppose I will just go make a partition for Win XP 32-bit.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Jan 2010   #3

Windows 7 Professional x64 Edition

Lol, oh well that FAILED.
Im still getting those lag spikes, now back in Windows XP - 32bit. So I guess its ether a failing device in my system, my cable modem, or my ISP.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

02 Jan 2010   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 Service Pack 1 (Build 6.1.7601)

Do you have a wireless card?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Jan 2010   #5

Windows 7 Professional x64 Edition

No I don't I'm using the "Intel Gigabit CT Desktop Adapter". I never use wireless for gaming :P

Anyways, at least you replied to my comment, but I fixed the issue already instead of waiting for alternative solutions.

I removed the Updated drivers from my NIC and Sound Card, which after rebooting, loaded up Microsoft default drivers for them, and its working fine. I Also attempted to double check my cabling wires, blowing in them to make sure there dust free and no static interferences.

I also was getting BSD's (Blue Screen of Death's) while playing COD4. But that was only because of bad OC, now its back down to stock speed. Ever since then I have played continuous hours of online gaming, and I'm lag free... Or just to technically put it, I'm not getting the same random lag spikes as I was before, I dont think theirs such thing as "lag free" it all depends on the the server end, your end, and your connection between the 2 ends.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2010   #6

Windows 7 64bit

I'm actually having the same problem you describe, but I haven't updated any sound card drivers for at least 3 months, whereas the problem began occurring two weeks ago. I expierence 1-3 second framerate lag spikes at regular intervals, but the time between those intervals is dependent on the game I'm playing. In Borderlands and Killing Floor, I see them once every few seconds, in java browser games, I see them spread slightly farther apart. I do not experience any lag while playing EvE Online. I thought it was my (wired) internet, but I even experience lag while playing offline games such as the Borderlands single player, and X3. There is no associated audio lag, it's just video.
Any suggestions?
It's quite frustrating, as it makes all my games (besides EvE) unplayable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2010   #7

win7 pro

Hmm finally a post I may be able to help with. I am also a gamer.

First go here: Game Booster | Faster Play, Free Download | Free Game Accelerator Download

This will close all unnecessary processes that eat up memory and will add fps and eliminate lag.

Next Start the game that is lagging. Open task manager. Click processes tab. Find the game and right click. Choose priority and set level at "High". Also set infinity by checking all boxes.

I know you say you have a high end gaming machine. But what are your specs? CPU, GPU, Memory.

I have many legal tweaks for various games. If this does not help I can give them to you also. AA3, or COD.

For some reason in xp I run anywere between 400-700 fps on COD4 but with win7 only cap at 90 fps with no fluctuations at all. But my ping is twice as good with win7 and games are lag free.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jan 2010   #8

7 Ultimate x64

Hi Prosthetix,

You've not listed your sound card in your specs, so I'm going to assume you're using onboard Audio? If so, I would try the latest Realtek drivers: Latest Realtek HD Audio Driver Version

For online play, I recommend the mmcs regedit tweak that pinstripe found; it worked wonders for me, and a lot of others:
Leave the multimedia class scheduler service running, but disable its network throttling "feature":
  • Open regedit
  • Go to: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Multimedia\SystemProfile
  • There will be an entry for network performance throttling, default value is 10; set it to FFFFFFFF hex (willl look like 0xFFFFFFFF to the right of the entry)
  • Reboot
Lastly, I would avoid like the plague any so-called "optimizer". 7 does not need a program to "clean RAM", nor does it really need you to kill a bunch of services.

I've been a competitive gamer for 10 years, so I understand that it's somewhat reflexive for us gamers to go and disable a lot of services we perceive as unnecessary; however, since Vista, and especially with 7, this is more or less a wasted effort... and in the long run, the cause of headache trying to figure out what service you killed months ago is needed to run the app you just installed today.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2010   #9

Windows 7 Professional x64 Edition

Your issue sounds much like what I have seen around other boards. However my issue was only during online gameplay, not offline. Offline everything was running normally. I really think for me, my issue was just simply dust or something on/inside the cable(s).

You issue sounds like a drivers issue, I would try "Fumz" posted help quote first, and there are other boards I have seen with that type of issue. If that didnt help, do what I would call for this, "Trial n Error (for drivers)". If you updated your drivers like Sound, Graphics, NIC, etc... Go to Device Manager, and try removing them. Check driver dates before removing them, restart OS after removing and use Windows default to see if help. Check dates to see if it successfully reverted back to a previous driver (look at driver date). Same as if you didnt update in reverse, update those drivers and see if it helps. Also check to make sure you have no yellow or red icon on any of your devices in Device Manager.

I remember getting something like that even while offline, back in Win XP. And I had a "Razer Lachesis Mouse". I only installed like basic drivers that Windows loaded up, and Windows would keep saying "New Hardware Found". Every time I restart windows it would repeat that, and even after I accept and install default drivers, it would repeat after restart. Anyways when I go ingame, I noticed lagg spikes randomly on and offline. I guess it was cause the OS was continuing to detect/scan the device for drivers and it would drop the system performance for a few seconds, and run normally again for another 5 - 10 mins, and repeat the performance drop. I install the correct drivers from Razer, and it worked fine since, however I still ended up returning the mouse cause I didnt like the fell of it. XD

Im not a serious expert at this, but I have used many programs and OS before on my testing/dummy computer. Im not going to say much whats done with it, but I have used Gamebooster, and I havent found it much useful at all if you using a high-end rig or gaming PC, whatever you prefer to call it. I recommend it I guess if you have a crappy system. I dont think its best to close a bunch of background services when they really dont use that much of resources. Also they needed to run perhaps some critical applications & services. Just use your experience, you install a program, and after 2 or 3 days you noticed your system slowed, clean it up. If its clean and still slow, its likely the program you just installed, if you need it, just fully close it when not in-use.

I agree with your view on the so-called "optimizers". I guess the only thing close to whats acceptable as that, is something like System Mechanic. But only use whats needed like defrag, temp cleanup, and other junk and old clean up, etc.

Sorry for long post, hopefully it was helpful.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jan 2010   #10

Windows 7 64bit

Hey everyone! Thanks for the prompt replies! I really wasn't expecting this.
Allright, first off, I tried Game Booster a while ago, as it was suggested by multiple people, but I didn't see any real change aside from it kept requesting to turn my anti-virus off.
I'm using Borderlands to test, as that is the game with the most frequent lag spikes 3 seconds of framerate lag to every 1-2 seconds of play. With antivirus/spyware/firewall off, there was no change. I disconnected completely from internet (to see if it was a faulty updater or the like) and still no change. Then I tried the registry edit, to no avail. Updated the sound driver you suggested, and despite improved sound (which, unrelated, is nice), lag is still there. I'm going to update my video drivers now, and if that fails, I'll end up reverting back to the default drivers and updating from there.
I didn't think the sound driver would work because of a detail that I left out, but the lag is purely framerate lag. The game (beneath the video) continues to run smoothly, and the audio is still lagless, and crystal clear. I can even play some games (like Borederlands, for example) while lagging by listening on my headphones as the targets run around. Granted, I'm essentially playing blind (al la Book of Eli), so I'd like to fix the problem. But it seems it's not an external issue, rather just my video. Also, as of recently (after all attempted fixes) the games have begun lagging out. That is, lagging to the point of overflow, and crashing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Random Lag Spikes, during Online Multiplayer Games

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