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Author Topic: How can I find out which hardware component is causing lag in FPS gaming  (Read 14269 times)

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TheBiggestNoob

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    Hi,
    Windows 7 -32bit
    3GB RAM
    500GB HDD Western Digital AAKS 7200RPM
    Game: Medal of Honor Allied Assault (a decade old FPS game with little requirements).
    GPU: Galaxy Nvidia 450 GTS (8 month old,75C temp under load,48C idle temp)
    PSU: 500W ocz500mxsp (1 year old)
    CPU: E6550 Core 2 Duo (35C idle temp,60C loaded)

    I've been playing in this particular multiplayer game server for 4 years and never had a problem.Always 50ms ping.They did not move their servers.Not a single other play is experiencing lag issues,just me.My ping is now anywhere between 150ms - 600ms.When my player doesn't move- the ping is low.When I move a lot and shoot- it goes high.
    The internet(router,ISP,modem) is not the issue.Played the game on another computer on local LAN with no problem.
    Speedtest and Pingtest show 10ms latency with 0% packet loss.25Mbps download speed.
    I re-installed the latest version 314 Nvidia drivers.I've also tried the driver from Galaxy's own website (version 306).
    I re-installed the game too.
    I re-installed the entire operating system from a scratch today and installed the drivers only(no other program,no antivirus) but that didn't help.
    I even changed the hard drive today.
    I checked RAM for errors and it came up clean.
    I still have the same high ping issue.Now I believe the problem is caused either by failing GPU or PSU but I need your help to find out which one causes it.

    Any program that I can use to find out which component is causing the mess?
    Thanks !!!

    Geek-9pm


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    That is a high ping. But is the ping test inside the game? Please explain. A ping test from the command line tells nothing about the GPU performance. Or even the game. So I sues you mean the game is reporting long ping.

    Did you say you do not have the issue with another PC?  If so, that implicates the motherboard, especially the south bridge, which is not replaceable. Do you overclock the motherboard in any way?

    TheBiggestNoob

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      The ping is high only while playing the game,inside the game.
      The ping in CMD or speedtest.com is very low(good quality).
      When there are very few players in the server my ping is very good(50ms).When more people join it goes up.
      Another computer on the same network works without a problem(no matter how many other players there are on the server) so this has to be a hardware problem in this specific machine.I did not overclock anything but I've heard that GeForce 540 GTS cards come already over-clocked by the manufacturer but I don't know if it's true.I've used the same card for about a year with no problem.

      Geek-9pm


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      My first guess was the motherboard and the Ethernet connection.

      Let's look at a possible related issue.  When you play this game, are the other players in the same city, or region? Does this game require a special protocol beyond plain TCP/IP?
      Reference:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Online_game
      Quote
      During the 1990s, online games started to move from a wide variety of LAN protocols (such as IPX) and onto the Internet using the TCP/IP protocol
      But not all games use just plain TCP/IP. When several players are one line, an advanced protocol is needed. Check the gamer manual.

      It is just possible that the network controller for your motherboard has wimpy driver for the specific protocol.  If that is the case, you could try a plain PCI Ethernet adapter and install it with its own drivers. Disable the other controller.
      That is the best I can do now.
      Another reference.
      http://gamedev.stackexchange.com/questions/431/is-the-tcp-protocol-good-enough-for-real-time-multiplayer-games

      TheBiggestNoob

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        The other players are all over the world.There are many who are near my area and they don't experience this problem.

        The game requires a special patch version 1.11 in order to be able to connect to server and other players online but I don't know if it has anything to do with protocols.
        http://www.x-null.net/forums/showthread.php?853-MOHAA-PROTOCOLS
        I do have 1.11 patch installed.
        The game was made on 2002
        http://www.gameconfig.co.uk/ports.aspx?game=medal+of+honor+allied+assault
        I've always played this game with the same drivers and never had an issue.It started happening 2 weeks ago.

        Wouldn't faulty network adapter or network driver cause my internet to be slow on that computer ? Like, some packet loss or high jitter? I do network test and it's as good as it used to be.


        Accessless



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        Sorry if you have already stated this but when did the problem start?

        After you upgraded hardware/software or patched the game?
        Back on good old fashioned Air cooling again.

        TheBiggestNoob

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          The problem started happening about 2 weeks ago.I did not make any changes to my computer at all with the exception of Windows Updates which are set to automatically install updates.I checked the update history and there were about 25 security updates related to NetFramework 4.0.
          When I re-installed the operating system yesterday I did install those same updates but no other software,just the game.It still had the same problem.
          Could NetFramework update cause this mess? Anything to do with gaming or graphics ? I do not have system restore point,right now I'm trying to uninstall those updates one by one and it's taking 20 minutes to uninstall just 1 lol

          The game needs to be patched right away after the installation otherwise it can't connect to any server online.Always used the same patch file.

          Accessless



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          The patch itself is years old so that can't be the culprit and if it was .net framework then every one running win7 or above (maybe older versions as well) would have the same issues.

          You say that the game only drops fps when online never in single player? It does seem to point to a lag issue, bear in mind that I have never played medal of honor so I have no idea how it works.

          It may be that the game matches everyones game speed. I have known games to reduce everyones frame rate to compensate for someone with a slower computer to ensure fair play for all.
          Back on good old fashioned Air cooling again.

          TheBiggestNoob

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            No lag when I play single player I guess because the game is not demanding much resources ,and no lag when I play in online server when there are few people(like 10).When there are about 30 people that's when the lag begins.
            I was just testing my PSU with a multimeter.My multimeter has 4 levels to test the DC voltage: 2V;20V;200V and 500V. I set it on 20V(cz that's higher than 3.3V,5V and 12V) .I tested the 12V cable that feeds my GPU and it showed 12.45V(normal).I also tested the main power cable(24-pin) and only two of the pins reported a voltage.
            Pin 6(Red - 5V) was showing 5.01V
            Pin 16(Green - PS_ON#) was showing 4.34V.
            None of the other pins reported any voltage at all.I had the black sensor touching the black pin(ground) and used the red sensor to check the voltages.
            Does this mean the pins are not getting power? If this was the case then would my computer power on at all and function in general?

            I just remembered another thing.About 4 months ago my computer would not power on at all.After pressing the power button all the fans would spin like crazy and they would not stop(or they would spin very fast, for a long time).I thought that was a CMOS battery problem so I replaced it but the problem happened again.One time I tried taking the GPU out and putting it back and it worked.I tried it next time and it didn't work.I noticed that the problem would happen especially in the morning when my PC was OFF all night.In the morning it would not start.Then the problem disappeared by its own and I never had any issue in the past 4 months with computer powering ON.Don't know if this is related to the issue.

            Basically I'm trying to figure out if this is a GPU or PSU or motherboard problem so I don't have to waste hundreds of dollars replacing a good component.
            Thanks !

            Accessless



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            Yellow connectors are 12V and you may have to try different grounds (any of the blacks) to get an accurate reading. Besides that I believe you are correct in assuming that a computer will not work at all without the 12V connector.

            A faulty power supply would cause more severe symptoms like blue screens, power outages, etc.


            I Just looked at the system requirements for that game, most of my collection of relics could run it without a problem. Your problem cannot be hardware based. Especially considering the fact that the game runs fine single player. It does just sound like server related lag.

            My only other possible cause would have been malware or torrent programs but you took those possibilities out of the picture when you re-installed Windows. So unless someone else in you household is steaming videos or torrenting whilst you are trying to play it's got to be server side lag.
            Back on good old fashioned Air cooling again.

            TheBiggestNoob

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              It can not be a server problem.I have another computer at home on the local LAN that runs fine without a lag in that game server.

              I just realized that I made a mistake when I checked the voltages with multimeter.The 24-pin cable has to be connected to the motherboard so the multimeter can show the results.I'm not sure why.
              The other cables don't have this requirement.

              I just ran a SpeedFan and it reported -16.72V on the -12V rail and -8.48V on the -5V rail.I'm not sure if this is a software bug or my PSU is really bad.
              On other hand why I think this could be GPU problem is because a friend of mine had a very similar situation when the ping was high during running/shooting and it was low when the player was idle so he replaced the GPU and the problem went away.His GPU couldn't handle too many moving objects or some other "rendering" thing.

              ehhhh...

              Geek-9pm


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              Quote
              I just ran a SpeedFan and it reported -16.72V on the -12V rail and -8.48V on the -5V rail.I'm not sure if this is a software bug or my PSU is really bad.
              That is just wrong. Check it with a voltmeter.

              IMHO it must be the video card. Remove the video card, the built-in VGA will be selected by default. Check performance with the stock VGA of the motherboard. Of course it  will have less performance, but it should be ste4ady.

              The only logical hardware explanation is that a component failed and the GPU is stressed when under heavy use. We hope nit was a component on the video card, not the motherboard. Motherboards cost more.

              TheBiggestNoob

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                After thinking a lot I decided to buy a new power supply.It will arrive in 5-7 days so I will let you know if that fixes the problem.

                My existing power supply is 500W with double 12V rails which provide 18A on each rail.My GPU requires 22A on 12V rail so when I purchased my power supply at that time I thought I could combine those two 18A on both rails and that would be 36A(more than 22A required by GPU).Now I believe that a single rail has to have at least 22A.
                I'm surprised my computer powered ON all this time.I've been using this PSU for about a year duhhhh

                Do you think my assumption about 18A and 22A thing was correct or did I just wasted money on buying a new power supply ? lol

                P.S.
                I did try playing the game with built-in VGA without Nvidia card but the game wouldn't start at all.

                TheBiggestNoob

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                  Still doesn't work.
                  Things I've tried so far:
                  1) Changed the power supply
                  2) Changed the hard drive
                  3) Changed the graphics card
                  4) Monitored temps,everything is cool,even applied some heat grease on CPU and GPU just in case
                  5) Used another computer on local LAN to play in the same server, no problem(this completely rules out internet or server side issue)
                  6) Re-installed the operating system with all the drivers and the game itself.

                  I believe you were right about the motherboard.It is the only option left I think.
                  I bought a new(and better) power supply,I confirmed that my GPU works fine,purchased a new very good hard drive, should I buy only a motherboard,CPU,RAM and tower and put the other existing components inside instead of buying a brand new PC ?Would I save some money this way?
                  Thanks.

                  DaveLembke



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                  Just thought of this... have you run a memory benchmark to make sure thats all running correctly. Even though it passed memory test it doesnt mean the memory not lagging. I like the passmark benchmark that is free for 30 days and gives you a benchmark and results of all hardware?

                  Also 3GB RAM is that 4GB that is running at 3GB because of 3GB limit of 32-bit OS? Or do you have sticks installed that are mixed pair or 3x 1GB sticks instead of 2 sticks ( 1GB and 2GB )so instead of the memory running in Dual-Channel Mode they are running in single channel mode? I did see once 3GB RAM running in dual-channel mode setup as DIMM0 = 1GB stick, DIMM1 = 512MB stick, DIMM2 = 1GB stick, and DIMM3 = 512MB stick with the DIMM slots 0-2 and 1-3 matched pairs, but its not a common find in 32-bit systems running at 3GB limit. Single channel mode does hurt performance, but its usually the newer games that this bottleneck stands out on and not older games.

                  Also make sure your swap space is set correctly on the hard drive. It should be automatically set by default to 1.5x your ram count, so 3GB RAM = swap space max size of 4.5GB.

                  * It could be a motherboard issue, but just thought of suggesting these items before throwing in the towel on this motherboard.

                  I did have a motherboard a while back that had lag issues that was the motherboard failing. But it was an AMD Athlon XP 2800+ 2.08Ghz with 1GB of DDR 333 in which for some reason all of a sudden games would get choppy. Installed newer nVidia drivers, still choppy. Swapped out AGP video card with more powerful and still choppy. Temps were all good CPU and GPU. Swapped RAM and still choppy. Checked PSU voltages with multimeter and all was good. Reinstalled OS clean and installed games and all games choppy graphics. Ran benchmarks and all ran ok but the graphics kept running down in the dirt almost 3 x slower than it should. Did some research on google etc and found no cures, swapped out motherboard with Pentium 4 2.0Ghz with slower 266Mhz FSB 768MB DDR RAM etc sold to me for $40 from a friend who upgraded to Core 2 Duo and the games like WoW etc ran fine and fast on lesser and slower memory. My conclusion was that the motherboard lost something related to the 8x AGP controller which caused the problems.