Choppiness in Games

By Yinkai
Oct 18, 2008
  1. For some weeks now, I have been experiencing choppiness in graphically demanding games such as Half-Life 2 and its various mods, as well as Oblivion. Now this all seemed to start right after there was a power outage at my house. I did not have a UPS or a surge protector at the time. Other than this however, my computer seems to be fine. The problem may not even be related to the power outage, but I thought I should mention it. Prior to this, these games ran fine so long as I did not set the graphics settings too high. The way things are now, it can get choppy even with fairly low settings that my computer can easily handle. I think that if a piece of hardware was damage then the computer would let me know in some way. I have also tried error-checks and defrags. I have plenty of space on my hard drive. So I guess I am just asking what this could be due to, since it did not happen before. Does this sound like a problem caused by a power outage? The only other possibility I can think of is that it could be Vista, which I have heard is not the best OS for gaming. However, as I said, these games were running perfectly well before. Thanks.

    My computer has Vista, an NVIDIA GeForce 7600 GS 256 MB videocard, 4 GB of RAM, and an Intel Core 2 Duo Processor.

    KINGMEET TS Rookie Posts: 25

    One thing that you can do is check to make sure you got the latest driver for your Nvidia. Go to and do an auto detect and let them install your latest drivers. Plus check in youir display menu in control panel to see if your resultion is correct.
  3. mopar man

    mopar man TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,379

    I would say it could be due to software running in the background. I know you siad that you didn't do anything, but maybe a program that you already had just started during startup now?
  4. TBolt

    TBolt TS Rookie Posts: 65

    A couple more things you could look at in addtion to the above;

    Download a system monitor (HWMonitor is pretty good) that will show your voltages and temps. Check to see if your voltages are near where they should be and are stable. You can keep it running while gaming, it'll show you minimums and maximums of volts and temps.

    Run the latest version of Memtest to make sure you memory is okay.

    Ctrl/Alt/Del to check your running processes against what should be running versus what shouldn't (you can google several sites that show what are "good" and "bad" processes).

    Good luck.
  5. Yinkai

    Yinkai TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the responses. I have tried many of your suggestions. Unfortunately, the sporadic choppiness is still present. So far I have:

    1. Updated my video card drivers.
    2. Downloaded and run memtest.
    3. Downloaded and run HWMonitor. At this time the temps for my CPU are 111 degrees F per core, 183 for my video card and 105 for my hard drive. I'm not sure how normal these are.
    4. I've checked my processes but I'm not sure exactly what to look for. It doesn't look to me as though there is enough memory being eaten up by the processes to affect my 4 gigs of RAM significantly.
    5. I have lowered my desktop resolution from 1680x1050 to 1280x1024. For some reason, Half-life 2 would never let me increase the resolution beyond 1280x1024, yet Oblivion would.

    I should add that my computer originally had 2 gigs of RAM when this problem started. I have just recently added 2 more gigs, hoping it would take care of the choppiness. Although everything seems to run faster, the choppiness still occurs.
    I added this extra RAM after the power outage occurred.
  6. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

  7. Yinkai

    Yinkai TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the above link. I think I may have located the issue. The HWMonitor showed my video card temperature to be around 160 degrees F. I opened my computer and took out to video card to clean off the fan, but the fan appears to be broken. It came out easily and did not seem to turn properly. I guess the power outage did damage something after all. I was planning on getting a new card anyway. Thanks for the help everyone.
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