Laptop performance problems

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Dead Man
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Laptop performance problems

Postby Dead Man » Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:41 am

Ok, so I have a two year old laptop. Its got a geforce go 420 gfx card, and some kind of internal sigmatel sound card. However, even that should be more then adequate to run defcon. The laptop has 256 megs of ram, a 2.4 ghz intel p4, and is running XP home.

Defcon however, REALLY doesnt like running. I start the damn thing, and it runs atrociously slowly. I've turned off edge filtering, lobby effects, and water, and while there is a slight appreciable benefit, it continues to run poorly. I even updated my graphics driver (and if you think that isnt tricky, try it with a freaking go card.) but to no avail, there is no performance change.

Can anyone make any suggestions? is a geforce 420 go just too old a card to try running defcon on?
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Postby NeoThermic » Tue Oct 10, 2006 5:59 am

The 420 Go series is about the same performance wise as the GeForce 4MX range, which isn't too good. I can't say much without having the card here to benchmark, but that is going to be a weakpoint, and the CPU will try take up the slack, but with the AI going and the sound running plus network code, it can get all too much for a decent frame rate. I would suggest to try 800x600, and press F1 to tell you how many FPS you're getting in-game. Tell us the figure's range and what it averages at, and we can go from there.

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Postby Dead Man » Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:30 am

While I can get into a game, I hit F1 and the game is so lagged that nothing happens. Seriously, I pull the mouse across the screen and ten minutes later it actually moves.

Sure, anything below a geforce 5 DESKTOP isnt really going to cut it these days. But we're talking about games like half life 2 and prey and such. My laptop runs semi-recent games like max payne 2/ tron 2.0 just fine. And Honestly, while pretty and retro, Defcon is NOT a graphical powerhorse. It uses some shader effects, but mostly its vector graphic lines.

According to the menus, the sound system is only using 1-5% of the cpu, so my feeling is it SHOULDN'T be the sound.

Is it the way the graphics renderer is running? Is there a way to turn off extranious effects like line glow?
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Postby NeoThermic » Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:33 am

Dead Man wrote:While I can get into a game, I hit F1 and the game is so lagged that nothing happens. Seriously, I pull the mouse across the screen and ten minutes later it actually moves.

Sure, anything below a geforce 5 DESKTOP isnt really going to cut it these days. But we're talking about games like half life 2 and prey and such. My laptop runs semi-recent games like max payne 2/ tron 2.0 just fine. And Honestly, while pretty and retro, Defcon is NOT a graphical powerhorse. It uses some shader effects, but mostly its vector graphic lines.

According to the menus, the sound system is only using 1-5% of the cpu, so my feeling is it SHOULDN'T be the sound.

Is it the way the graphics renderer is running? Is there a way to turn off extranious effects like line glow?


Defcon has no vector graphics past the borders for the countries and the coastlines. Everything else is a bitmap. You can try setting the water shading to none, and the detail low, but it does sound to me that either Defcon is too much for a GF4 Go, or something else is affecting your laptop's performance.

Something to try is under the tools menu, enable the profiler, and go into a game. Tell me what is the most active item on the list that appears once you're in a game.

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Postby LordSturm » Tue Oct 10, 2006 7:44 am

Make sure you turn off RADAR view after placing radars, if its lagging, that relieves 90% of my graphical lag, and subsequently network lag. ( If I'm hosting especially. )
"Surely you didn't mean to press that button just then did you?"
"No, nor will i disarm the nukes."
"Oh well, I will have my Fighters shoot them down."
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"Oh NOES, ITS BEEN PATCHED!!!"
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Postby Dead Man » Tue Oct 10, 2006 9:17 am

Heh, I can't even get to the point where I can turn my radar view ON. The MENU lags, before I even get into the game, and thats with lobby effects OFF.

By far neo, the biggest bar on the profiler is the render bar. Which suggests my graphics card.

Yeah, I turned off every effect I could, from the world detail to setting the water to off, and still it runs poorly. I think the interface transparency is the thing most screwing with my graphics card since, as previously stated, the front menus are running slowly before I even get a chance to launch the game.

However, there's no real option to turn that part off, and I'm not sure why it would slow things down in the first place.
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Postby unseen » Tue Oct 10, 2006 10:39 am

Have you tried turning down some of the default settings in the nvidia control panel? Namely the "Performance & Quality Settings" tab. Even in the latest drivers there isn`t an nvidia profile for defcon, so it`ll be trying to run under the default settings/profile in there.

Also, I`ve installed/reinstalled about a squillion XP`s for myself and others, and 256M of memory really isn`t enough nowadays. I say this due to defcon`s apparent memory leak problem being reported by a lot of people. If it does exist (I`ve not checked to see if there is a leak on my machine, as I haven`t noticed any problems in that regard) It`s always possible that windows is dumping parts of the game to swap memory on your hard drive as it thinks it`s running out of memory. That would make things seriously laggy like you are describing. This could be more apparent if you`ve got a lot of things running on boot like messenger, quicktime, realplayer, etc even if they`re only sitting in your system tray or quicklaunch.

jeez, neo. I remember my gf440mx, a hideously slow card, I had to upgrade it when it refused to launch Dawn of War and gave me the black screen due to it lacking the shaders, but I`d swear just by looking at Defcon it`d run on any of the 30 odd ancient cards I`ve got sitting in the spares box. I mean, c`mon... it`s barely above asteroids on the gfx scale. It`s a bitmap with some (rough in places) vectors on top. Could just be a symptom of coding old style gfx using modern API`s and drivers optimised for whizzy 3D rather than plain old 2D I suppose :?
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Postby NeoThermic » Tue Oct 10, 2006 6:22 pm

unseen wrote:jeez, neo. I remember my gf440mx, a hideously slow card, I had to upgrade it when it refused to launch Dawn of War and gave me the black screen due to it lacking the shaders, but I`d swear just by looking at Defcon it`d run on any of the 30 odd ancient cards I`ve got sitting in the spares box. I mean, c`mon... it`s barely above asteroids on the gfx scale. It`s a bitmap with some (rough in places) vectors on top. Could just be a symptom of coding old style gfx using modern API`s and drivers optimised for whizzy 3D rather than plain old 2D I suppose :?


Defcon uses the same engine as Darwinia does (as far as I can tell), so although you might *think* it doesn't require much to run, it actually does. However, I will note that Darwinia was in the same situation on my S3 card in my laptop, before the 1.2 patch, I was unable to run Darwinia any higher than 320x240. After the patch, 640x480 worked at 18fps, which was decent enough. There is hope that Defcon might get an eventual patch which might increase performance.

Dead Man: Yes, if the rendering bar is the most then there's little I can suggest at this moment in time. I would keep watching to see if any patches help the speed issue, but a 440 Go isn't exactly the card to write home about.

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Postby Dead Man » Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:27 pm

Thanks for your help Neo.

Yeah, I was hoping to be able to run it on the laptop for a number of reasons(lans), but my desktop has plenty of power (and the electric bill of a small city.) so its not like I can't play the game at all.

Here's hoping for a patch. While pretty, I dont really graphically see much that REQUIRES all the latest Lighting and Transform so we'll see.
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Postby xander » Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:40 pm

Dead Man wrote:...Neo.

/me ducks to avoid the rain incoming nukes launched by NeoThermic.

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Postby NeoThermic » Wed Oct 11, 2006 3:53 pm

xander wrote:
Dead Man wrote:...Neo.

/me ducks to avoid the rain incoming nukes launched by NeoThermic.

xander


Eh, I'm getting called Neo in pratically every support topic so I'm triyng to ignore it. Either that or I'm building up the hate and I'll just go to London and shoot random people. ;)

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Postby xander » Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:37 pm

NeoThermic wrote:...Either that or I'm building up the hate and I'll just go to London and shoot random people. ;)

Sounds like a good reason to duck.

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Postby Ruges » Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:43 pm

My spare puter is an Inspiron 8200. 2gig proc, 1gig ram, GF440 54MB VidCard, ANd cyrstal audio card. Now stat wise the game should run fine since the game is so simple. However when first playing I was getting horrible lag. Now after running some tests I believe the lag comes from the audio card. My audio card drivers are old and there are no updates for them. Now I lowered sound settings as low as I could without crashing and it seemed to help.
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Postby Mighty Santa » Thu Oct 12, 2006 12:02 am

You've a Geforce FX4200 card ? I quite envy you !

I'm still using a 1999 TNT2 riva Vanta card. I've no graphics issues at all.

From how I see it, its not the graphics card, its probably a software leak issue, or some other program that does not work well with Defcon. The game is only 60mb, how fancy a card does it take? My 1999 card works just fine, I can't imagine how all these fancy cards from recent years are having issues.

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Postby Dead Man » Tue Oct 17, 2006 5:50 am

No no, not a geforce FX4200, a geforce GO 420. Its the generation after the geforce 3, but becuase it was the GO model it doesnt even support pixel shaders. the FX's came much later.

In an off topic comment, nice avatar. BSG rules.

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