Upgraded from 98SE to 2K and now MAME runs at a crawl with 100% CPU Usage

By Jay Jay
Feb 2, 2007
  1. Hi TS'ers,

    Recently I upgraded to Win2K w/SP4 from Win98SE with a totally clean install on my HP Omnibook 500 (700mhz, 20GB HDD, 256MB). Everything works just as well as it did under 98 apart from MAME. On the previous OS it used to run really fast, but now the emulator crawls along - the sound stutters and the graphics are slow and jerky, with exactly the same ROMS (and MAME versions) I used before without any problems.

    When I checked in Task Manager, MAME is using 100% of the CPU time, no matter what changes I make to my startup or how many processes I kill - I've tried every resolution imaginable and it makes no difference.

    Anyone have a clue what's causing this?


    P.S: Yes, I have all the updates and the latest DirectX, disabled any possible resource drains and tried all tweaks etc...
  2. dopefisher

    dopefisher TS Rookie Posts: 444

    I have no idea what is causing this, but i suggest you go the forums and post your questions there so someone who understands mame better than i do can help you out.
  3. Jay Jay

    Jay Jay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Thanks for getting back to me, Dopefisher. To be honest I was reluctant to ask for help in there because their attitude. Regardless of your problem, their solution is nearly always to buy a faster machine or "upgrade to dual core" - even if you're only playing Space Invaders! :D

    Since I posted this thread I have noticed that the problem is far more widespread: all 2D games crawl along and stutter. Even basic static screen DOS games like PacPC which even on a 486 zips along on, runs at snails pace. I even performed a reformat and re-installation but nothing changes.

    I have a 2nd laptop, an HP Omnibook 6000 with virtually the same hardware/software configuration (the only difference being that it is 100mhz slower) works fine with the same games.

    Given that the situation has changed, since the original thread was created, should I close this one and create a new thread?

  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Why not go with XP on this system?
  5. Jay Jay

    Jay Jay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    Hi Tmagic :)

    I'm not the biggest fan of XP, plus you really need at least a 1Ghz machine to get the best out of it. Besides, I'm not sure how running XP over 2K would solve things - especially since my 2nd laptop works without problems under the same conditions.

  6. Liquidlen

    Liquidlen TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,094

    I think you should first make sure that machine is capable of running 2K by using the manufacturers web site for all drivers,info, etc.
    Try installing/running the games under the W98 emulator in W2k
  7. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,233   +234

    Sometimes XP will have better drivers for laptops than Windows 2000 has. I have corrected a lot of problems in Win2K by reverting to Windows 98SE or upgrading to XP... That's where I speak from
  8. Jay Jay

    Jay Jay TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 31

    HP originally shipped the machine with pre-installations of 98SE or 2K depending on the end users request. I downloaded all the relevant drivers available from HP's site. The only other option is to obtain the official 2k recovery CD for the machine and see if that makes any difference.

    Ok, that makes a lot of sense - I did have a similar suspicion about returning to 98SE and I see from your experience that the same philosophy applies to XP. Strange thing is that my two HP laptops have virtually the same software/hardware specification but yet the end results in terms of performance behaviour are totally polarised.

    If the worst comes to worst I'll get rid of 2K: go back to Win98SE as a small "games partition" and use Kubuntu for my main OS. I'll post back with an update on what proved to be the best solution in case others with a similar issue (and the same machine) run into problems.

    Thanks to Tmagic & Liquidlen for all the info - you can always count on the folks at this forum to help you out. :)

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