video slowdown/bottleneck, please help!!

By neqsohthree
Jun 30, 2006
  1. i just reformatted my hdd, and reloaded all the software/latest drivers for chipset/graphics card/everything on my dell inspiron 5150 notebook today. i'm getting extremely sluggish response during any type of gameplay! at first, i would get relatively smooth video with severe stuttering every 20 to 30 seconds, then i changed some drivers around and even the menus on most games are just consistently sluggish.

    along with the reformat, i replaced the hdd as well as my motherboard.

    the thing is, i've been using this machine for years without ANY such problem. any ideas?
  2. Mugsy

    Mugsy TS Guru Posts: 416   +24

    Sounds like driver didn't install

    Sounds to me like the video driver did not install correctly.

    If everything seems to be drawing slowly, the card is probably using the generic default Windows VGA driver (this is Windows XP, right?), or is experiencing a driver conflict. I had a similar problem after reformating my own PC recently.

    Give me some details:

    Are you using XP? With or W/O sp2?
    What brand/version video card is it?
    What version of the driver did you install?
    Are you noticing any other video related problems ("artifacts", crashing, etc).
    Is the card new? How long have you been using it and what did you use before?
    Did you reinstall Windows from the same CD or another copy?

    More than likely, you'll just need to uninstall your existing driver, clean out all remnants of it, and try again.
  3. neqsohthree

    neqsohthree TS Rookie Topic Starter

    i'm on windows xp, but the factory installation of windows is *different* from the disk they sent with the computer. i was running on the drivers from the dell website, as the GO line of geforce cards has little/no support from nvidia's website.

    after going through about six different types/versions of drivers that i found all over the web (all of them causing one type of slowdown or another) i was able to finally resolve the issue with the omega driver...from the omegadrivers website.
  4. dlpriest

    dlpriest TS Rookie

    The solution to your problem.

    What you are experiencing cannot be blamed just on your video card, you are experiencing what most 5150 owners go through after a certain period of time.

    The cooling system within the DELL Inspiron 5150 is laughable at best, I've used one for quite some time and I've traced this problem to Speedstep and heat.

    Basically your machine is throttling up and down in response to the major heat output from your CPU.

    If you track the data being output from your system via monitoring software you can see these stutters are caused by Speedstep throttling your system when things are getting too hot.

    The solution itself is quite simple.

    Download SpeedswitchXP, install it.
    Run Speedswitch XP and set it to "Battery optimized" when on AC power.
    Reboot, press F2 to enter your BIOS settings, ALT+P until you find the page that has the speedstep enable/disable option, disable it.
    Save and exit the BIOS settings, your CPU will now be clocked at half it's normal frequency, next step is to download I8K which will allow you to force the highest fan setting possible at all times on your laptop, this will allow for better cooling but will also lower the fans expected life (The fan will outlast your motherboard in an Inspiron 5150 anyways)
    Force the cooling fan to it's fastest speed at all times, this will be noisy.
    To take some strain off the video card find out how you can set the number of pre-rendered frames to 0, so the GPU doesn't have to work overtime rendering frames you have not seen yet.

    You can enable Speedswitch XP to pump out your maximum CPU speed once again if so be your wish but I'm sure you will find all your games run just fine on the half-clock setting.

    This is a common problem referred to as "matrix lag".

    Anyone who disagrees with this solution is a fool and should never speak again about hardware/software.

    At some point you're also going to have to bite the bullet and remove the horrible stock thermal compound that DELL decided to slather all over your CPU, get a good non conductive silver thermal paste and apply only a VERY small amount to the top of the CPU. Make sure to remove the old crap using rubbing alcohol.

    Spread the word, I'm seeing way too many posts about this stutter problem and people barking up the wrong tree thinking it is a driver issue.

    Stop ignorance where it starts folks.
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