Stumped by low FPS problem in CS: Source

By dardenc ยท 50 replies
Dec 13, 2005
  1. My System Specs (#1):
    Inspiron XPS Laptop

    Intel Pentium 4 3.40Ghz

    1GB DDR-SDRAM PC3200 (2x512MB)

    Radeon Mobility 9700

    Hard Disk(s):

    Operating System:
    Windows XP Pro, SP2

    I downloaded Source two weeks ago, and I have had absolutely no luck at all in solving this problem. I will be as specific as possible as to what is going on here so maybe I can get some help.

    The problem is, I am getting 7-11 FPS playing the game, which makes it unplayable. I have tried practically every solution I can think of/has been recommended, but to no avail. I will try to lay out pretty much everything I can to describe what the deal is. The video card has the latest drivers from ATi, i previously had the Omegas, and before that I tried DNA, and the then-latest ATi ones before that. There has been absolutely no difference in FPS performance between them. Also, the video stress test reports FPS of less than 10 every time i have run it. I have tried toying with video settings, in-game, and for the card as well. Using lower DXlevels doesn't work. Changing the max fps doesn't work. Switching any and all of the settings in source to the lowest possible doesn't work. As for the card settings, VSync is off. The drivers are the latest from ATi. There isn't anything wrong with DX9.0c, I've tried DXDiag, no help there.

    I have a cable internet connection, and the computer is wireless on the network. My ping also gets kind of high at times (sometimes its around 80-100, mostly its about 110-320), and the choke also varies from 0-45 depending on the server. I know to try and play on low ping servers and all that, and I dont usually play on one with ping/latency over 170.

    As for commands, i have it set to launch at -heapsize 512288. Something that doesn't make sense is a lot of my CPU Usage. I know to not run a bunch of programs while playing CS, and i run basically nothing when trying to play. I also don't have any spyware or viruses, I am always on top of that, plus I recently reformatted. The CPU Usage lingers between 1-13% when i am running nothing but the basic system processes and no other programs. Explorer.exe varies from 0-12 CPU usage depending whether or not I have Steam and/or CS:S running. When just Steam is open, it takes pretty much no memory up. When i try and load Source, steam jumps up to 40+ cpu usage, and source only takes up 9 at most, but its mem usage is a lot higher than steam's. The Page File usage is always very low, usually between 170-350 depending on if im running steam + source or just random things like firefox or my email client while im trying to research my problem.

    I have also tried uninstalling and reinstalling steam and source, multiple times, which hasn't worked (also cleared out the registry info and stuff too). I can't think of anything else to make note of right now, but if anyone can help me out with this issue, it would be greatly appreciated. I should be getting great performance in source from this system, but something has got to be wrong, so I'll throw this out there for those who know more about this kind of thing than I do.

  2. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Do other 3D games (or dxdiag tests) work fine?
  3. PC_Nerd

    PC_Nerd TS Rookie Posts: 82

    Have you downloaded all the latest fixes and patches? Because the half-life 2 enginge suffers from a bug that makes you think its running slow but it actually is running well.
  4. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    For the first reply: I don't have any other 3d games, just counter strike...

    Second reply: Well I just downloaded Source on Saturday, 12/10...where would I get other fixes and my Steam it says 100% Ready and hasn't told me about any updates, but yes i have it set to update automatically.

    Thanks for the quick responses, hope to hear back again!
  5. osram

    osram TS Rookie Posts: 47

    maybe u've got an overheating problem? isnt that graphicscard a bit crap for source?

    is your antialiasing and such stuff disabled in the graphicscard-setup or game?
  6. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The graphics card should be able to handle source well. It is by no means top of the line, but it's not crap for handling friend has a Latitude 600m laptop with a 1.6Ghz Centrino, 256MB RAM, and a Mobility 9200 and source runs fine on his...Oh and yes, antialiasing and the like are disabled too...
  7. mossimoboy

    mossimoboy TS Rookie Posts: 121

    If you're trying to play on a server hosted from your computer WITH bots, that will decrease FPS, because your computer has to host the AI for the computers.

    Also, try playing on a better, faster server. (if you're trying to play online.)
  8. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I don't have a server on my computer, or bots...The servers i have connected to were pretty fast, with Latencies between 72-113, and mine was also low, Latency in the 70s and Ping usually stays around 86-117
  9. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    If anyone can help me out, I still can't get this to work...I just reinstalled Steam and CS: Source but I'm still getting at most 11fps in-game. I've had this for about a week now and I'm kinda salty I paid 20 ills for something I can't (but should be able to) use...I can't even get on Steam's forum to post for help...
  10. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    bump, plus i updated what's wrong
  11. spyker_C8

    spyker_C8 TS Rookie Posts: 20

    Make sure you don't inadvertantly have AA or AF set on high levels. You can check this by going to Display Properties>Advanced>3D.

    Another thing I might reccomend is to try and lower the in-game resolution(if you haven't tried alreadY).
  12. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    yeah i checked and tried both of those, no luck...although at one point today i had an arbitrary two minutes of 30 fps, then it went to **** again
  13. osram

    osram TS Rookie Posts: 47

    how long was your last reformat ago? ever tried another graphicscard?

    maybe its something with your system? some faulty hardware maybe? ...

    are other high-req. games running fine?
  14. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    my last reformat was about a month ago

    i dont need another graphics card, a 9700 is plenty enough to run source

    i was thinking that there could be something wrong with the hardware, but i dont really know much about laptop hardware, and i don't want to open it and break something...

    and i don't have other high-requirement games except for source, unless you think i should re install old counter strike and see if that works or it doesn't as well...
  15. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well i did just that; re installed cs 1.6, and getting a good 5-14 fps. it ran fine before so i still don't know what's going on, but good thinking on trying out other games
  16. osram

    osram TS Rookie Posts: 47

    uff i didnt realise you use a laptop. i dont know much about lappies at all. (those little fluffy dark-colored bunny-like things you can treat badly without expecting that they will be able to defend themselves and take revenge some day.)

    but trying other games might be a good idea. i have no idea about changing lappy-guts though. -.-

    ps: some newer, good-looking games dont really support laptop graphiccards.. maybe thats the issue with your mobility radeon? in nfs most wanted it says for example that laptop gfx cards or something are not supported at all...
  17. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    I'm not sure either if the 9700 can run CS.S very well but your on-line lag is related to your low FPS. with on-line gaming your FPS can only be as high as some function of your refresh rate with the server.

    You can try this command in the console or find your user config file and edit it there . Rate = 20000 and cl_updaterate 60 or higher, but not greater then 100.

    Also play with your resolutions, LCD displays like to work at an intrinsic resolution which is usually quite high (say 1280X1024). Your heapsize is correct, about half of your RAM. Do you have fast writes turned of in BIOS?

    Just some suggestions.
  18. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    It can. Even a GeForce3 runs it nicely provided that the settings are correct.
  19. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    kirock - okay i wil try those commands, but like for instance yesterday, my ping wasnt very high, it stayed at about 96-120ms and still no real improvement, maybe a frame or two, but hopefully those commands work out a little bit, thanks

    oh and a 9700 definitely can run CS:S well. my friend has a 9200 with a 1.6Ghz centrino and 256MB ram, he gets like 30-50 fps easy, which i would kill for right now, but thanks for the tips guys
  20. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    aright well i cleaned it out and reset the cmos and it's working now
  21. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Maybe you did have fast writes on and resetting CMOS turned it off.
    Mostly CMOS reset would set BIOS to defaults, which means RAM timing, CPU clock and voltages, PCI and AGP bus timings etc. So someone was screwing around with the BIOS settings and getting things pretty out of whack for your laptop. You'll probably see a whole improvement on many apps now! :p

    Not sure what you mean by cleaned it out (you reformatted the HD?)?

    Remember to still try those settings I said, it improves your ping and will help FPS.

  22. osram

    osram TS Rookie Posts: 47

    yeah i was wondering too what cleaned it out should mean exactly.
    but with a cmos reset its probably hard to say ;)

    it works now and thats the most important thing.

    btw 100-120 ping isnt very high but it also isnt too low. i had pings of maybe 30ms etc. on my old connection.. and with HL-netcode your ping is strongly related to your fps.
  23. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    oh, i mean i literally opened it and cleaned it, there were loads of dust everywhere
  24. osram

    osram TS Rookie Posts: 47

    lol?! wodsefak.. man do i have to consider employing a cleaning-woman?

  25. dardenc

    dardenc TS Rookie Topic Starter

    might not be such a bad idea!
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