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MMO games stutter really bad in big populated areas

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#1 RichAC



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Posted 23 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

Hello all,


I'm not sure if i should post this in the Drives or Games section. But I think i pinpointed all my problems to my hdd access. when the hdd is being accessed, the computer feels slightly laggy. Especially when playing MMO games. Loading new areas and going into cities or areas with alot of other people are making the game almost unplayable.  I've played mmos before in the past and no pc i ever had was this bad.


I check process explorer....nothing is unusual except the game process will ocassionally spike to 100 when the hdd is being accessed. I think the hdd is generally causing issues on my pc.


  I have a samsung hd103SJ sata 1tb. Samsung spinpoint f3. i reformatted, reinstalled windows... updated my chipset, video drivers, realtek drivers....broadcom driver..... bought a new corsair psu.....


I've updated my bios. Updated my hdd firmware. There was an urgent firmware update with this drive which i did successfully.


It shows the new firmware in seagate tools now. The seagate tools pass. Although i haven't done the long term test yet i will do that tonight.


I make sure to defrag every day with auslogic bootspeed.


I don't think this is normal. Is this a sign my hdd is going bad? Did i wait too long to update the firmware? I admit I haven't done much mmo gaming in the 2 years i've had this pc until now. It ran bc2 perfect, and other fps games perfect.  I use to notice some hitching with skyrim....but i don't believe it was this bad, its been awhile.


I have been having issues lately with bf3 lately, which i posted about in these forums, and i'm thinking now this might have been the cause all along. i even sent hijacked logs to some expert removalists and scanned with every spyware program.


Is this a hdd going bad.....or a driver problem?   what are your thoughts?  


I appreciate any opinions. Tks in advance.




EDIT: according to dpc latency checker i was getting bad latency i believed was due to my network card.  When disabled it showed everything ok.    And it seemed resetting my windows firewall fixed the issue    But i'm still getting system interrupts when downloading files at speeds of 4mb/s   about 10-15%.   Not sure if thats normal.  I'm not seeing big system interrupts when playing the game.  what actually spikes is the game process themselves.     In bios i have it set to ahci and not raid.  because i only have a single disc?    even with firewall and av disabled i'm still getting severe lag when downloading to the drive.    Especially noticeable when playing mmo games.

Edited by RichAC, 23 January 2013 - 09:32 PM.

#2 RichAC



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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:25 PM

I mean really bad. MY hdd is basically going nuts and the game process is spiking. I don't know what the problem is, this can't be normal can it? I'm not sure if i'm just chasing ghosts again here
. I've tested my hdd. updated all my drivers and firmwares including bios. I have a very fast verizon fios internet connection, i guess its still possible something is wrong with it.
Only thing i haven't tested is my memory yet.
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I use to play wow and guild wars on an old p4 machine and never had issues like this lol. Could this just be horrible driver issues and there is nothing i can do about it? i'm using the latest amd drivers for chipset and graphics, catalyst 13.1 updated all my firmware, even the firmware on the hdd,  including bios.
I've been trying out some free mmorpgs. like lotro, global agenda, aion. my hdd badly caches and lags all of them. it can't be normal? do i have a hardware problem? video drivers can cause this? or does windows 7 64 just suck in general. I've already heard nightmare stories about windows 8 :(
i have issues sometimes in bf3 which i posted about on these forums.....and the general consensus is its just bad coding in the game and bad compatability....but i'm thinking maybe its the same general problem i'm having witht hese games....bbut not as noticeable in games like bf3.
My hdd caches and it spikes my cpu in the game. I have no other processes using cpu in process explorer. I thought it might be system interrupts but its not. its the game processes themeselves spiking when the hdd caches. i was thinking my hdd is dying...but it passed the seagate tool tests.  maybe they are wrong?   I get normal fps for my rig. decent temps..... its just when loading textures from hdd its slow as hell. could it be my ram? my network?   the hdd really does go crazy loading, even on the lowest settings.   
I'm ready to give up on pc gaming....

Edited by RichAC, 23 January 2013 - 10:58 PM.

#3 EuroFight


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:03 AM

Try running Memtest86+ (RAM causes some wierd issues sometimes), otherwise perhaps test a spare HDD in the system

That's my 2ยข anyway, hope it helps :)

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#4 RichAC



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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:32 AM

I let memtest86 go for an hour with a couple passes and no errors.

I did the long generic test with seatools on the hdd and it passed. I don't have another hdd to test.....but i have a feeling now it won't make a diff.

I think win 7 64 = shit for gaming. Maybe thats why these games are free now I don't think i'm the only one with the problems. I'm afraid to buy gw2 in case it also has an issue. Maybe they have a free trial.

I think I'll prolly end up buying one of these new gen consoles when they eventually come out. For the first time in 20 years. I haven't owned a console since super nintendo lmao. I feel like i have no choice. They don't even make sports games for the pc anymore.

Funny sidenote, my parents still use an old p4 on windows xp everyday. And the thing runs lightning fast compared to most peoples new pc's especially new laptops. I'm always fixing friends pc's, which usually end up becoming desk ornaments cause they are computer illiterate and most new computers are unbearable to use. A core 2 duo with windows 7 makes me cringe. They should be illegal to sell. I personally think the computer industry has gone to shit, and its a shame kids are growing up computer illiterate nowdays with ipods and iphones.

Edited by RichAC, 24 January 2013 - 06:47 AM.

#5 Locutus


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:28 AM

Pretty much every computer I've seen gets serious lag while loading a densely populated area at first.


If it's still lagging after you've rendered everything maybe you should turn down your settings.

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#6 ClayMeow


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:27 AM

MMOs are highly RAM and CPU intensive. It sounds like the games could be using your pagefile instead of all your free RAM, which is causing your HDD to do more work than it can handle. I'm not sure what would cause that though. I assume you lowered your graphical settings to ensure it's not a VRAM limit though, right? Only thing I can think of since 6GB RAM should be enough (unless for some reason your system isn't recognizing it all).

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#7 stackrainer



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Posted 24 January 2013 - 09:51 AM

I have the same HDD as you do and also started experiencing it once I bought my SSD. I never looked into it because most everything now is on my SSD but it does get annoying. I'll do some research on it and get back with you but have you installed another drive in recently? Off the top of my head, I think it is just the drive going into sleep mode. For example when you load into a new area, all of that data is loaded into your RAM and after some time your HDD probably goes to sleep if it is not the primary drive. So when you go to the next area, it has a rather long delay to fire the drive back up. This sounds like it might be the case. I'm not really sure, but I would definitely look into having that drive on all of the time and see what happens. Mine makes a spinning noise whenever it does that, I would check to see if it does that too.

#8 Andrewr05


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:26 AM

Yeah, some drives park the heads after a certain period of time, which means when the computer goes to read/write to the drive after it has gone to 'sleep' it has to move the head back over the platters and spin up again.
Not sure if this would cause that much of a delay bit its a possibility.

Also defragging every night isn't necessary and it might actually be hurting performance.


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#9 RichAC



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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:29 AM

ya lowering the resolution and settings down to their lowest have no effect.   The hdd is still alaways caching causing major stuttering in areas with alot of other players.


I don't know why.   bc2 ran perfect on this machine.    bf3 runs good except for long ticket servers at the end of the match.  and i'm wondering if those symptoms are related.


   matter fact when playing aion,   unlike bc2 or bf3,   the cpu doesn't go above 45  degrees.  when the hdd is not being accessed the usage is not even 50%.  unlike bf3 which is a constant 80% usage...and sometimes 52 degrees.      Its my graphics card that gets hot in aion....not even hot in lotro.   so i lowered reslution to 1600x900 to ensure things are under 70 degrees. 


but the cpu is spiking sometimes  to 100 percent at times when the hdd is loading new areas, no matter what mmo game,  causing major stutters, so bad it makes the game unplayable. it just seems like the hdd is caching way too much in these games.   even on my old p4 playing wow i never had issues like this.


I wanted to install wow or gw2,  two games i never had issues in on other pcs,  to see if maybe these free games are just badly optimized, especially for newer hardware, like my phenom processor.  or maybe its my hardware maybe my hdd.  


but gw2 has no trial....which is nuts imo.     and i can't install a wow trial because i had a gw trial back in 2009 and nc soft only allows one per account.  gw would be pointless to test because its not an open persisten world.    Im emailing ncsoft support to install wow and see if i get the same issues.


myabe my processor is going bad? but i thinkt he reason bc2 and bf3 run better is because the hdd is not really being accessed in those games?


so what would be the cause of hdd access spiking my cpu in these other games?   could this be network releated?  or is it striclty a hardware or driver problem.  I wish i had another hdd to install windows on for testing.

Edited by RichAC, 24 January 2013 - 10:33 AM.

#10 Bosco


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 11:34 AM

Have you tried turning Superfetch off?

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#11 Fogel


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:14 PM

Well MMOs are not exactly the best optimized games.   Add to the fact you have some free ones on your HDD and that would be the first blip on the radar that I would attack first.  If possible, reformat your HDD, if not remove all but your key essential games and see how they play.  If the machine is behaving, I would add a game at a time as the desire to play those games come up.   I try to keep my PC light for this very reason.  I have had other games impact performance on a system level as well just impact other games.  I think my issues were related to how some games modified DirectX on my machine.


Speaking of BF3, it was one of the more troublesome games for me.  I finally got tired of installing and unstalling that piece of crap software.  I'm pretty picky on which games I install on my machine now. I get most of my games on the console to keep things simple and buy the really awesome games on the PC. 

#12 RichAC



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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:20 PM

Have you tried turning Superfetch off?

ya i tried this, i think it was slightly better but not enough to matter. I still get tons of cpu spikes in populated areas.

Could it be my network card i wonder now?