TechSpot

Counter Strike Source Graphics

By qazaq
Apr 17, 2007
  1. My problem is like this, see:
    I've got a nice new Radeon 9800 xt 256mb.
    I downloaded Omega Drivers for it (as opposed to ATi catalyst control center and whatnot) because I thought it would be faster (as I had not noticed any increase in my fps or anything from the old 9800 pro 128 mb...)

    Anyway, I did all the driver cleaner and all that jazz, and installed the new omega drivers...and then...they don't change anything...still not as good.

    At first I thought I could deal with it. But, no more.

    I've got a P4 3.0 Ghz processor, that vid card I told you about, and 1 gb of ram...

    And Counter Strike Source is a 3 year old game...

    It SHOULD be working fine on the highest settings...but it doesn't matter: I can set the everything to minimum and it only changes the average fps by about 5-10...

    So I guess my problem is that whenever there are a lot of people on the screen...or mainly shooting, I guess, my fps drops to about 10-20 and doesn't come up until I die (which doesn't take long)

    Then it pops right back up to 50-60...whereas it used to be 90-120..and 50-60 on bad maps...(with lots of texture and whatnot)

    Any help would be greatly appreciated...
     
  2. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    Hello and welcome to TechSpot :wave: ! My first question to you would be what resolution are you playing at? That is vital in performance with a game.
     
  3. qazaq

    qazaq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I am running it at 1024 X 768...a little high, I suppose, but that should have little effect on that drastic changes I am getting between people being on the screen and looking at an empty room (even if there are 20+ people on the server)

    Especially since when I change all the other settings down to the lowest...

    However, later on today, I will test it and see.

    ty for the reply!

    qazaq
     
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Why not uninstall the Omega drivers completely and install ATi's Catalyst drivers instead? It should fix the issue. Omega's drivers are mainly optimized for newer cards, like ATi's X series and NVIDIA's 6 series and above.
     
  5. qazaq

    qazaq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    That could be it...but I have an xt...is that not part of the x series? (yah I haven't been keeping up to date with the newest technology... :eek: )

    That might be the problem, although I did change drivers to get a faster fps...because when I put in this xt, it didn't really seem like it changed anything a whole lot.

    btw, when I went down to 800 x 600 it changed nothing. However when I went all the way down to 640 X 480, it improved...moderately. Instead of drastic lows of 7-15 the lows I got were 20-30.

    But I like my eye candy, especially since I got a "new" card and all..
     
  6. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    LOL I meant the X series as in X600, X800 etc. which are now 'old-tech' by the way. WTF? My thoughts exactly. ;)
    The 9800XT I think should run better with the Catalyst drivers than the Omega ones.
     
  7. qazaq

    qazaq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, I'll change them back. :grinthumb

    lol, so my 9800xt is older than the x series? :(
     
  8. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Yes, and quite a bit in fact. The X2900XTX is due out soon, or is that the Radeon HD? ;) The X series started with the X300 I think, so you're pretty far behind. It's still a great card though, and can still cope with almost all the new games out there, even CS: Source. In fact, if I remember correctly, the 9800XT/PRO was supposed to be the officially supported (according to Valve) card for HL2. :)
     
  9. qazaq

    qazaq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I would need to upgrade to the Core Duo processor (and a motherboard that would be compatible) before I bought an awesome video card...

    anyway, I changed it back to the Cat drivers (complete with the Control Center and all) and it works...like it did before I changed to Omega (naturally)

    I guess the 128-256 mb ram difference on the card didn't make much of a difference...

    It seems as if when people shoot at me, and I am looking at them, it slows down quite a bit...maybe the muzzle flashes are screwing me up? I wonder if there is a command to make those...non-dynamic, maybe?
     
  10. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    It might just be lag from the internet connection.
     
  11. qazaq

    qazaq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I don't think so...my ping is generally less than 20 on the tab screen and always less than 40 on the net_graph display (which seems to always be higher than on the scoreboard)

    I got roadrunner cable :)

    But I do seem to have the problem more, when there is more people on the server, although I still see jumps from 15 to 70, depending if I am looking at action.
     
     
  12. beef_jerky4104

    beef_jerky4104 Banned Posts: 1,094

    Ahh good and bad memories of 3 years ago. The Radeon 9XXX series does remind me of stuff, good and bad. I was bullied back then by classmates.

    Those are still pretty good cards. My friend has one.
     
  13. Famine

    Famine TS Rookie

    CS loading problems

    I started having problems with my 9700 pro, I tried everything and came to the conclusion it was my card. money being tight, I opted for a 9800 256Mb. installed it takes care of all display problems (odd bits on the screen). regardless, CS, HL2, Lost Coast etc. wont load, I get no error messages, nothing. Windows task manager shows the app start, then I get a not responding message for Steam and CS Source then CS just quits. Apparently its not just my card. any suggestions?
     
  14. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Have you installed the latest drivers? Also, have you tried re-installing the game too or patching it?
     
  15. Famine

    Famine TS Rookie

    cs loading problem

    Hey Rage, Yep, the latest drivers I could find for the 9800 pro. I think that my old 9700 was not the only problem, although, it was definetly on the way out. I don't have many games on this computer CS is my big addiction. I have tried to run a Homeworld demo the same thing happens it starts to load then drops out tothe desk top. I tried to run Halflife and I get an error mesage that says there is a problem with the video and will run in software. It will start then but the controls are all messed up. I think there is a conection with all my problems with that video error message.
     
  16. qazaq

    qazaq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well guys, looks like i have my fps as high as it will go: 20-50 on servers with over 10 people...that is, servers with over ten people that the map is pretty low texture and whatnot (like aim_texture maps if you play CS).

    It is pretty good on most maps if there and less than 10 people.

    Anyway, if I wanted to so upgrade my computer, what part would I upgrade:

    My CPU: 3.0 Ghz P4
    RAM : 1 Gb (two 512s)
    Vid Card: Radeon 9800 XT 256 mb
    I have a raptor hd (and also a 250 gb other drive, but it is not my main one)
    and...I have a GigaByte mother board. Which, if I upgraded my processor to the Core Duo, I would have to replace.

    Thanks for all the help so far.

    qazaq
     
  17. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    I think you should upgrade the video card to a 7600GS or something similar. You could also upgrade the RAM while you're at it. The processor is alright. The video card is top-priority, followed by RAM.
     
  18. qazaq

    qazaq TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hmm...I'll do that.

    later :)

    I actually just "upgraded" to this card from a radeon 9800 pro 128mb...and it didn't seem to help any.

    maybe I'll get a kickin' vid card ($200 maybe) and then slowly upgrade from there. That way, by the time I get a new motherboard, I am ready to go back and upgrade the vid card again!
     
  19. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    AGP is not dead yet. There will be DX10 AGP cards too, so don't fret about absolutely needing a mobo with PCI-E. You asked my opinion on what you should upgrade and I gave it. The 9800XT is a good performer, but will get overwhelmed very soon, looking at the sheer graphical complexity of future games, not to mention DX10, which is why I suggested you to upgrade. The choice in the end is yours to make.
     
  20. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,198

    Actually, from what you've described, you have a very common problem with online play with Source engine games... and it's not the 3d card.

    The way CS:S is coded, it puts huge demand and a huge multitude of smaller, highly expensive cpu comparisons... thus putting the most strain on the cpu and memory bandwidth + latency.

    I've improved many CS:S rigs that are Pentium based by focusing on memory performance. While latency is also very important, latency issues on various budget Intel motherboards and/or misconfiguration is usually the culprit. By gaining improvements here, you can often times double your fps drops in heavy situations in CS:S.

    First things first, ensure you're testing without Antialiasing enabled. This will safeguard if we're not seeing video bottleneck issues.

    Next, try hitting doing a google/websearch on SiSoft Sandra. Download this tool and run it's memory bandwidth tests. A properly configured Pentium 4, 3.0ghz system should be able to achieve 4800-5400mb/s bandwidth in these tests. A budget chipset motherboard (VIA, SiS) or single-channel memory configuration will cripple Pentium 4's to sub-Celeron performance as those older Pentium 4's absolutely lean on memory performance for any kind of decent gaming.

    That being said, even a 9600 Pro or 9700 Pro will play CS:S at 1024x768 with most settings maxed without those kinds of nosedives. While this is easy to achieve with a budget AMD system, on Intels it needs attention to memory, which in turn can be crippled by many budget motherboards. My main CS:S box is a P4-3.0ghz (5400mb/s bandwidth, CAS2 dual-channel on Intel i865 chipset) and it rarely ever drops below 40-45 fps even in massive firefights with a 9700 Pro. It took work to get the memory setup properly, but I was able to enjoy a 100% improvement in memory performance and game performance this way.

    Also, if you can run CPU-Z and screenshot it's various tabs (imageshack can host if you can't attach here).. this can also help us determine how/why your Sandra scores may be low if they turn out to be sub-3000mb or <4000mb/s memory performance.

    Good luck!
     
    1 person likes this.
  21. bennythejet

    bennythejet TS Rookie

    I'm having a similar issue with an ATI x800. I've been playing CS:Source on this rig for more than 2 years without a hiccup at the highest graphics settings available and rarely had fps below 90. Typically run windowed at 1600x1200 on an NEC FP2141SB CRT. My fps typically ranged from 90 to 200 (P4 3.6GHz, 2Gb DDR2 RAM, 7200rpm HD on an Alienware laptop).

    About 3 weeks ago something happened with CS:Source. I join a game and everything is good for about 30 seconds, then I get a stuttering sound, the graphics card spins down like there isn't a load on it at all and my fps goes from >90 to less than 30 and stays there.

    I've removed Steam and all local content for CS:Source - reinstalled fresh after doing a serious cleanup and defrag of the hard disk. I updated the ATI drivers to latest edition for the x800 Mobility, I've even tweaked lower DirectX versions (forced 8 and 8.1), set heapsize to half my RAM, set affinity to only one processor since it is HT - all to no avail. I did the SANDRA comparison as suggested but don't know exactly which memory benchmark you're referring to - please advise.

    This has to have something to do with a Source update because I haven't changed a program or a piece of hardware (it is a laptop). It is really driving me crazy for some CSS goodness...any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  22. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,286   +24

    Maybe ur video card has finally come to the end of its life?
     
  23. bennythejet

    bennythejet TS Rookie

    Certainly could have, although everything else runs just fine, so I wouldn't expect it to be a EOL issue...
     
  24. Mammoth

    Mammoth TS Rookie

    I've had exactly the same problem with my CS:S. I've been playing with this machine for a year now, it has an x600 PRO graphics card and I've never had a problem. I come to play the game again after a few month break and I get so low fps.

    I join the game i get 100fps easy, a few rounds in and my FPS drops to <30 and wehn i go to shoot someone my fps drops to 15-18. I've tried a fresh install of my whole computer, installed omega drivers, reinstalled the latest catalyst, reduced my res to 800x600 in game and even set every graphic setting to low in game.

    Im trying to find out the problem, though I'm saving for a gfx card anyway, but until then I want my fps back =[
     
  25. Famine

    Famine TS Rookie

    CSS woes

    The mystery goes on. Why would a program that has worked for years suddenly become unstable and now not run at all. Every “cure” that I have found has done nothing for me, every possible component has updated drivers. I installed a different GPU, albeit older tech it should still handle CSS.
    However there is a new twist, I noticed that my clock was off by over an hour, I reset it but after a few days it was off again. It would seem that my CMOS battery was the most likely culprit. After changing it and resetting the clock it still runs erratically, losing time, although not at a constant rate. Is it possible that my chipset may be damaged? I had thought about flashing my BIOS but that could be a fatal mistake if the chip is going belly up. What do you think?
     
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