Performance Problem, High Spec, Please Help

By buttonz99 ยท 16 replies
Sep 18, 2006
  1. Hey everyone, thanks for taking time at looking at this post. I have posted this post many different places and not had one response! Which is when I decided to come to TechSpot and hopefully someone here can help me out, I've listed my system specification below, and also my problem. I really hope someone can help because it's driving me mad not being able to find a solution!

    Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition SP2
    2.7 GHz Intel Celeron CPOU
    1GB DDR400 Memory
    Nvidia 6600 256mb PCI-E Graphics Card
    550Watt Power Supply
    P4V800D-X Asus Motherboard.

    I feel that this is a computer that meets most of todays gaming requirements. The game i'm experieing problems with is Half Life 2 - Game of the Year edition.

    It loads without problem, but gameplay is unbearable. It's incredibly slow, not at all smoth, and i'd say it's playable but not how it should be. I play many games such as Need For Speed Most Wanted, and Sims 2, but half life is the one i'm struggling with even though my computer is way above both minimum and recommended and even my graphics card is one that Valve (Steam) Recommend!

    Sorry that this post is so long, but I'm trying to give as much information so that someone can help. Thanks for taking time to read, and any posts i'll be greatful with!

    One thing i forgot to mention, there are no running processes hogging my memory and it's a fresh install of Windows, there's no viruses or spyware and adaware and AVG is disabled when trying to run the game so minimal memory's used. Thanks
  2. Rayss523

    Rayss523 TS Enthusiast Posts: 102

    Well the first question here is always always always, "Did you update your drivers" For the game and for the graphics card?
  3. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    I played HL2 on my AMD 63 3500+ and a 6600GT PCI-E with no probs. One trick to try is force the hunkMegs to 512MB (ram used for game). Righ click on the desktop short cut for HL2, select properties and in the target window after everything put a: (space)-heapsize 512000,

    Example:"C:\Program Files\Valve\Steam\Steam.exe" -heapsize 512000

    The other thing is check your CPU temperatures, HL2 is very CPU intensive and maybe you are hitting a thermal slow down point. Load the game and play it for several minutes, then minimize and open some program like Motherbrd Monitor or Speedfan and check your temps.

  4. buttonz99

    buttonz99 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks alot for the responses it was great to come back from college and find replies. I've updated all drivers but will check again incase maybe the last week somethings been updated? One problem though is a friend recommended me to do a graphics benchmark test. The results were quite shocking as my frames per second result was 7.94 and i've heard that the average is between 40 and 70? What does this mean and how can I overcome the problem? Is this is a graphics card driver issuse or something else?

    I'll also look into the temperature thing you recommended, i'm on my laptop at a friends but will try it tomorrow, if someone could just come back to this post so I can let you know how I got on, and then help me identify the problem. Thanks again, and could someone please help me out with the problem where my fps is only 7.94. Cheers
  5. Sharkfood

    Sharkfood TS Guru Posts: 1,019

    There are a number of things that can slow down Source engine games so it will be difficult to hone in on the precise issue you may be experiencing.

    One thing you can do is: if you also have Counter Strike Source, copy the PRECISE settings you have in Half Life 2 to Counter Strike Source (write them down along with the Advanced Video Options) then try running it's Video Stress Test. This will report a framerate upon completion that may help us arrive at what may be the problem.

    On your prior 3d benchmark runs... it would depend on what benchmark you are describing. Some of the tests in 3dmark05 and 3dmark06 will only be able to muster 3-7 fps as they are meant to completely saturate your 3d card. Even high end, multi-card solutions aren't able to get very good framerates in the more grueling/abusive tests and this is intentional.
  6. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Maybe that's your problem. If it's a normal Celeron, thats your main problem. If it's a Celeron D, something is wrong with your config.
  7. buttonz99

    buttonz99 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    To be honnest i'm not entirely sure whether it's a Celeron D, I know that if it's just a celeron then it's not as powerfull as the pentiums and D's? Maybe I should look at putting a more powerful CPU and see if that helps anything. Could anyoine recommend a gaphics benchmark to try for this type of problem i'm having and then perhaps I could put the results up here? I know it could be many things aswell that's causing me this problem... I just need someone to point me in a direction that I can work on such as is it my spec? Is it more likely a technical setting or something? I've been working on this about 2weeks now and I really want to get something sorted. Thanks for the help guys,
  8. buttonz99

    buttonz99 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Just found out it's a Celeron 2.7Ghz processer and nothing else, No D at the start of anything like that... Is this likely to be the problem? I've read many places half life is dependent upon alot of CPU power. Because of my socket 478 motherboard would I need to get a new motherboard for something like a pentium 4? or would it be better to go along with an AMD compaitble motherboard, thanks and i'd be greatful if someone could advise me.
  9. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Have you set something extra in HL2's cfg/autoexec.cfg or cfg/config.cfg files?

    What are your graphics settings in HL2?
  10. buttonz99

    buttonz99 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply, No I haven't changed anything i've left them as the default.

    The graphics settings I firstly left as default it says that it's selected the recommended options for my system. Typically all of the options are set to the highest detail and highest option, I've tried playing at these options, and also tried playing it with the lowest detail options. I still have the same sort of problem. :(

    Does the CPU sound like it's the problem with it just being Celeron? at 2.7Ghz I would have thought it would be ok, thanks for the replies again
  11. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Well it's definately not helping but you shouldn't be having a "unplayable" condition.

    I use GameXP, it turns off unnecessary XP services. This can be done manually which I did first (that's the best way but it takes a long time to read about each service and know which one you can safely turn off). Then I ran GameXP it turned off less then I did. My point is it is completely safe and effective. Your CPU needs all the help it can get.

    Did you try the -heapsize 512000 thing yet? Check your temps for sure.
    With my 6600GT I could run a medium graphics and still get 40-60fps. The worst thing is to have AA and HDL on, turn those OFF.
  12. Rayss523

    Rayss523 TS Enthusiast Posts: 102

    And make sure you mobos onboard graphics card is unistalled or disabled
  13. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    Half-Life 2 is a CPU intensive game. I had a Celeron D 2.8, and it wasn't running too well. Playable, but not perfect. I don't want to imagine the gameplay on a Northwood, 128kb L2 cache CPU, using DDR 200-266.

    I replied to your PM buttonz99, I hope that helps :)
  14. buttonz99

    buttonz99 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    My Conclusion...

    Firstly I'd like to thank everyone for their responses and support. Everyone has helped me looked into possibilities and pointed me into different directions. I've taken all the advice here but it seems as though it is a CPU Problem.

    The change in heapsize didn't really effect nothing, and no matter what settings I changed under my graphics card settings or settings during gameplay i'd have a problem either way. One strange thing i noticed however, it tends to run alot smoother when at the highest possible settings and with AA at it's maximum and with HDR set as full. You probably all think i'm mad at this point, but that's just the outcome I had... It's still not great, still irritating, but at least I can play the game now just not at it's best because of it still not being 100% smooth.

    I mentioned the problem to a friend, he has a very similar system to mine, only his graphics card is the 6600GT Version, and his RAM is only 512mb compared to my 1024mb... However his main advantage compared to my system is his Intel Pentium D 930 3.0GHz Dual Core LGA Processor... This probably isn't a surprise, but this is what seems to the problem after swapping our parts around and seeing how smooth the game runs.

    I'm going to get probably an Athlon64 because of it's price difference compared to Intel's chips, and the motherboard also hopefully by next week... So i'll be posting in this same spot shortly so others can learn off the problem if they suffer the same.

    Thanks again, and if anyone could correct me in the meantime incase i'm wrong about anything here... again I'd be greatful!

  15. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    I think that the game ran smoother, because most of the heavy load, was transferred to the graphics card. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe not.

    Good luck with your future PC parts mate!
  16. buttonz99

    buttonz99 TS Rookie Topic Starter


    Yeah you probably are right because obviously the 6600GT has more of a boost compared to my standard 6600 but we tried all my components just with his CPU and motherboard and it was as smooth as silk lol...

    Thanks again,
  17. wolfram

    wolfram TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,967   +9

    BTW, I don't know if I said before:

    Welcome to Techspot!! :)
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