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Author Topic: Laptop acts sluggish even after all attempts are made to increase speed...  (Read 3852 times)

wreckedcarzz

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This one has me puzzled...badly.
For the people that know (or can help) what might be causing "lag" (LOW FPS) here are the specs:
HP Compaq nc6000 Business Laptop
1.6GHz Intel Pentium M processor
512 MB of RAM
One 37 GB HD (2 partitions, 1 for normal use and one for gaming- the only difference from my old and new setup)
An ATI Mobility Radeon 9600 graphics card
Genuine Windows XP Home Edition SP1 on the Gaming partition- no updates excluding Direct X 9c and drivers.
Genuine Windows XP Home Edition SP2 on the Normal partition- all updates.
(The Normal partition also uses Windows Live OneCare for security www.windowsonecare.com)

The game that is having low FPS problems (my main graphics testing game):
Need for Speed Underground 2 (no patches)
Runs in 640x480 res or something similar
Basic graphics demands: no texture filtering, no anti-analysing, world detail 100%, car detail high, road reflection 33%, car reflection update rate: 50%, basics (NO vsync).

The rundown on what happened and how can I fix it:
The computer- or more precisely the programs on the computer weren't acting like I wanted them too, and as usual, with tons of time to burn, I simply reformatted my hard drive (yep, lets lay on my bed and reformat and dual-partition my hard drive so I can re-install everything onto 2 partitions and blow away 3 hours or so. yep, GREAT IDEA!). So everything installs great. I setup my gaming and my normal/casual partitions like they were separate computers (only on the same hard drive). So, being all happy about boosting my FPS on my gaming and my overall performance on my normal, I boot up the gaming and give Need for Speed Underground 2 a whirl.
Whenever I get near a car with any high-detail items on it...I GET THE WORST FPS I HAVE EVER SEEN ON A COMPUTER!!! 1 FPS SLOW ENOUGH FOR YA? So I'm sitting here, waiting for the lag to go away, and I keep wondering why it is still not catching up. I think about my dual-partition hard drive. The hard drive light isn't on, so it isn't working, and that isn't my problem; OK, so I am, basically, screwed (to put it nicely). And after about 45 seconds, the FPS comes back to about 30-35 or so, like normal. But it repeats itself. The gaming partition never touches sites other then www.there.com and vlb.there.com, two perfectly safe & tested sites. So I know its not viruses, spyware, malware, adware...
The disk has 1 fragmented file. 1. So it isn't fragmented. It is just that I need to install SP2 on that hard drive partition too? If so, that basicly just defeats the purpose of re-formatting in the 1st place. But, is there ANY way to accelerate the FPS on this thing?

If you reply:
THANK YOU FOR READING THROUGH THIS AND TRYING TO HELP!
-Wreckedcarzz
« Last Edit: October 12, 2006, 06:10:59 PM by wreckedcarzz »

mouser

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if its just the FPS for a game, i would guess it could be your graphics card driver.

i'm not a big game player but occasionally i see posts about how a game has impossibly slow framerates due to incompatibility or old graphics driver.  an update of game or driver fixes it eventually.

lanux128

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yes, mouser's right. if you installed the graphics driver from the oem cd, then it's probably outdated. you have to visit the website of the GPU chipmakers (nVidia, ATI, etc) and get the latest drivers..

wreckedcarzz

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Ok, updating drivers now.
Thanks for the help!  :)

f0dder

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Have the game every run okay on your laptop? It *is* a relatively demanding game for a 9600 card when details are set to highest. Also, does the video chip have dedicated memory, or do your system use a unified memory model?

And... why two installations of XP? Does SP2 give any measurable speed impact anywhere? (apart for possibly a bit longer bootup time).
- carpe noctem

jgpaiva

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f0dder: notice that he plays with the detail at the minimum setting.
Also, i've played this game on a very very similar compaq laptop, but with 1.5ghz, and a ati radeon 9200 and it played fairly well, with much more detail than the conditions wreckedcarzz mentioned.
There shouldn't be any problem, the problem must be elsewhere.

wreckedcarzz

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Have the game every run okay on your laptop? It *is* a relatively demanding game for a 9600 card when details are set to highest. Also, does the video chip have dedicated memory, or do your system use a unified memory model?

And... why two installations of XP? Does SP2 give any measurable speed impact anywhere? (apart for possibly a bit longer bootup time).

SP2! OMG SP2! I HATE IT (rant rant rant here I come)! OK, from the download time I knew it was bad (I get all my "Microsoft Updates" manually. Security Measure :)). So I get it downloaded. While im downloading I order it on CD. (I am NOT waiting to download this on 3 computers!!!). The installation starts. (I HATE PROGRAMS THAT SAY THAT YOU MUST RESTART YOUR COMPUTER IN ORDER TO GET THE ANNOYING BOX TO GO AWAY!!!) It says I have to restart. So, I'm waiting. You ever look at your new SP2 boot screen if you had Home Edition? They too the Pro boot screen, took out the words "Home Edition" or "Professional" and left you with "Windows XP -bar-"! Then there is this new blue screen that says "Please Wait..." for about 10 lines! Then once you get into XP (finally!) There is this Security Center that they put in. I HONEST TO GOD TRIED TO DELETE ITS EXE FROM THE WINDOWS FOLDER. I SEARCHED AND SEARCHED AND SEARCHED. I WAS INSULTED THE SECOND I SAW THAT. I'M 13 AND I KNOW MORE THEN THE AVERAGE USER (or most users) AND THEY WANT TO PUT A SECURITY CENTER ON MY COMPUTER. AND THEN WHEN I TRY TO RUN GAMES, "AVG is turned off", "Avast is off", "ZoneAlarm is off", "3,000 other things are off". And then, they add a firewall. This is the most retarded addition to an OS I have ever seen. I swear to god...here is my idea of what they do at Microsoft Corp. "OK, here is what we're gonna do. We're gonna add a firewall to all the suckers running Windows XP SP1. Then, it wont do anything. It will be just for show! All in favor? IIIIIIIIIIIIII. All who oppose? _____. Ok." So I actually got so pissed I almost asked Microsoft how to delete the SP2 and still get updates & such.
But those were my 2 cents about SP2 (and not all of the problems with it).

Back to Underground 2 and the SLOW computer.
I play the game in 640x480 or something. No res problems. I played the game ALL the time on it. (I actually used it to "benchmark" my computer. If it went too slow, I tuned up my computer.) And according to the games HORRIBLE graphics detail meter, I used to run it in 1/4 full mode. Now it is at 0/4 mode and it is still slow (the reason I put up this topic). The graphics does have its own independant memory. Any help?
(trying AGAIN to see if updating/reinstalling drivers helps...)

wreckedcarzz

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AND SP2 USES A LOT MORE SYSTEM RESOURCES.

wreckedcarzz

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Well, not exactly sure why, but I guess you need SP2 to update the drivers on my graphics card... :o
so I went with my "hybrid" idea, using the gaming data on the normal partition...
It actually hit some nice FPS on better detail then I used to have it set to... :huh:
Anyways, thanks to everyone that posted & tried to help. At least I got it running again  :D
-Wreckedcarzz

JavaJones

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Sp2 not so bad after all? :D

I know a lot of people had/have problems with it, but I for one always advocate people upgrade to it. The security center is definitely annoying and I wish it could easily be *completely* disabled, but it's not hard to turn off the warnings anyway (and I bet you could slipstream that setting in somehow). As for the built-in firewall I think it's far from useless and in fact I applaud MS for including it. After the Sasker (I think?) and other similar worm problems, that were due to vulnerabilities in various systems, but were nonetheless preventable by a generic firewall, I think it only makes sense to include one. I suppose it seems stupid if you believe it does nothing, but that is quite clearly not true. Personally I think ZoneAlarm and similar more "full featured" firewalls are really bloated and unnecessary. To each their own I guess?

- Oshyan

f0dder

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Re: Laptop acts sluggish even after all attempts are made to increase speed...
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2006, 04:57:09 PM »
JavaJones: I think it's "sasser".

And the builtin firewall is far from useless, and it's not a silly thing to include (linux and bsd generally come with firewalls as well, even if not enabled by default). Yes, if you run as admin a piece of malware kan turn the firewall off... but it could do the same with any other firewall as well.

I prefer a NATing router anyway, "personal firewalls" are too much hassle for me compared to what they're worth. The only thing I miss is the ability to easily see apps that phone home, but it's not that big of an issue to me.
- carpe noctem

JavaJones

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Re: Laptop acts sluggish even after all attempts are made to increase speed...
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2006, 05:38:12 PM »
Yes, sasser is right. Thanks. :)

I agree about doing firewalls at the hardware and router level. But I wonder why I haven't yet seen "the best of both worlds" - a piece of software that runs on a connected system that interacts directly with the router firewall and allows you to control it just like a software firewall. Seems like that should easily be possible and would be a lot better than dealing with the web-based control panel most routers have. You could have notification of outbounds, immediate optional block or allow (the biggest thing I miss with hardware firewalls), etc, etc. Surely such a thing exists at the consumer level!

- Oshyan