Loading issues one games

Okay my spec is

AMD Athlon X2 4200+ Duel-Core (skt 939)
2GB Ram, pc3200 CL2 400mhz
ATI Radeon HD 2900 XT 512mg
Windows Vista Home Premium 32bt
230V 550W PSU
200gb HD SATA II Maxtor HD (OS)
250gb HD IDE Seatage Barracuda
250gb External Western Digital Mybook
22" Widescreen 1680 x 1050

The trouble im currently getting is with games, the games themselves run fine and on high spec, but i'l use Gears of War for an example, the game runs smooth smooth smooth then say in an intence battle or randomly the game will pause to load something new into the game, this happens alot when in an intense battle or when going into a new room orwhen there is a lot going on, the hard drive doesnt even make a sound untill then.

Iv ran this in windows XP, and no problems at all, but then Vista is DX10

This happens with other games aswell, Crysis it does it majorly, but im not compairing that as im probaly going to have to upgrade to quad core to get any steady sort of gameplay out of it.

Its just these little loading jolts like it has forgot to put information into memory.

I think its Windows Vista, my best guess is that its using the hard drive as extra RAM and it just isnt that fast and is resulting in joltyness.

I thought maybe it was just with high end games, but it does the same in games that dont stress my maching, STALKER for instance, has a lot of loading jolts, Call of Duty 4.. actualy i think that runs fine, The Witcher, that has a few loading jolts.

A strange thing aswell, when i load a game and 3D is introduced i can here the performance level coming from my PC, im not sure what it is, it sounds like the fan on my powerpack, or graphics card i cant make out where its coming from, its kind of a hiss sound as the fan gets faster, but like when i get a loading jolt, the hiss stops, its like its fast when the game is running well, and i get a jolty hiss when its under stress, also differnt pitches of hiss for differnt games, im not sure what it is.

But i dont think that is relivant to the problem.

I was just wondering if anyone knows anything i can do to maybe stop these loading problems, its not that things load slowly either, gears of war is a farely fast load, and cnc3 litteraly takes 5 seconds to load a new level, if less, but that runs fine anyway.

Is it a Vista issue? what can i try to stop this from happening?

Any suggestions?

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YGregersenConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Try reducing the overhead on your system before starting a game. You want to reduce the amount of things using your system and video ram before you even start a game. This will reduce the amount the game will send to the virtual RAM that resides on your hard drive.

Use the task manager to look at your ram and cpu overhead or download a 3rd party one that will likely give you a better view.

I would download and use Autoruns from Microsoft (free).  This was original built by sysinternals before MS bought them.  


It is like MSConfig but on steroids. Plus, it SHOWS EVERYTHING  that is starting with windows not just processes and Services. There are other tools on the site that are free too.

Go through and figure out things that can be turned off. Obvious things like quicktime, real player, adobe reader, Instant Messengers are easy to disable for startup and can still be ran when you need them.


There are other windows based things you can turn off too. Windows Sidebar, reduce your Aero desktop settings.


Go into System Properties, Advanced,  and set your virtual RAM to a physical hard drive that does NOT house your OS install. But leave it to windows controlled (be sure to hit SET after changing and reboot to fully take effect) Another physical Hard drive will help speed up response time (as long as the drive is decent and not external). Letting Windows control VM will ensure that you will not run out of virtual RAM otherwise the system will have to wait for things to finish and clear before putting new process into memory.

Good luck and keep us updated.
☠ MASQ ☠Commented:
Sounds like you are pushing the limits of your XT, just to test try dropping your video quality settings (assuming you have the latest Catalysts) in most games the more the PC has to track in terms of NPC's etc the slower things will run.

Your fans probably have variable rates dependent upon temperature so as they really start having to work to keep the card cool you get to notice them more.
ThomasGreenAuthor Commented:
I already tried altering the settings, crysis runs the same as it does on medium as it does on very high, i know its not a graphics issue because gears of war did run a little slow with the post prossessing up high, then i lowered it and it runs smooth now but its just when it has to load something new that it has to jolt to load it
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Anthony RussoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
When a game has to load in a new area, that is when all the information and textures are loaded. Once that is done, the game runs smooth. Entering new areas is a common area for slowdown in modern 3D games. All the textures is the biggest killer, so a graphics card with high memory (like yours) should be the best way to fix it. Since you already have high memory on your graphics card, the only thing I can think of is that Windows is using your hard drive for memory, as you guessed. You have a lot of memory so that shouldn't happen too often either. Is the game installed on the External drive? That might be a cause of extra slowdown. If it is, try installing it on one of the Internal drives as they should have faster transfer rates. Also check your settings for Windows Virtual Memory. I don't know Vista well enough to tell you how to get to that though, sorry.

I hope something here helped, good luck.

ThomasGreenAuthor Commented:
Iv done what you said about swithing the Vram to a harddrive without the O/S on and that has seemed to speed it up a little, infact gears of war flys now, just little slow down parts but i believe that is due to having a outdated CPU, im going quad core when i get paid, people have told me that the core 2 due extreme is better, but i think that once more programs start to use the quads that it will be a sound investment.

I think that maybe the jolting issues are due to my own rams responce speed, although i know i have fast ram for its time, i think that DDR2 ram now over powers it, when vista rates my computer components my graphics card i think is about 6, as is the graphics power, and i think my ram is 4.5, its the slowest part of my computer, im aiming for the q6600 and 3gb of ran which is DDR2 PC7200 @ 1066MHz.

Do people think this will give me a large increase in performance?

To reply to the original post, i did use the task manager and minimise gears of war, which alt tabs in and out so quickly now i have switch the vram its incredible, usualy with games it might have to reload textures etc... this jumps in and out like its media player. Anyway it uses about 800mg RAM tops and as i have 2gb it leaves almost a full gb left.

I was thinking aswell if Vista is asigning Vram to another hard drive will it only use that space if my actual RAM is used up? or will it use it never the less, because i would think that if i have ram left over and it was using it from the hard drive still that if i was to turn it off i might get a performance increase?
YGregersenConnect With a Mentor Commented:
It looks like your original question may have been solved. At least to the ability of your hardware.
Please dole out your points accordingly. Thanks

However, to answer your other questions based on my personal experience.

My philosphy is not to shut down VRAM. Windows puts a lot of OS things in there whether you have a lot of RAM or not.
Wierd errors can occur when you don't have Vram. However, I have seen people create Virtual drive out of real RAM and then throw things like the Vram on it.

Different games are dependant on different pieces hardware. Gears of War is a CPU dependant game based on the Unreal engine.
Don't get me wrong though it likes a good video card too. But performance increase scale dramatically with a better CPU where as getting a better video
card does not as much(e.g. going from a modrange card to a high end card).

Right now only a few games will utilize quad core and few more than that utilize 64bit code (requires 64bit CPU and OS).
But if they are written to do both they should fly. However, the issue is that the game coders max that out too.
So you never can really outpace the games for long.

I would suggest waiting on purchasing a quad core until first quarter of 2008 when the full line up of the Penryn series of chips come out from Intel.
They are based on the  45nm dies and are supposedly 5-10% faster at the same clock speed. However, these should make the current quads
that are out now drop in price. You shouldn't need DDR2 PC7200 to make a quad fly, plus they are spendy.

If you get into a new CPU and RAM likely you will have to replace almost everything in your PC.
Right now Intel and Nvidia are King.

CPU - Quad Intel (every review and benchmark have them out pacing AMD)
RAM - Above what is rated for your CPU but not too high because of cost and at least 4gb
VIDEO - . Make sure its native DirectX 10 supported. Nvidia is king right now. A fantastic card out now is the 8800 GT - cheaper and faster then the 8800 GTS. But by as much as you can afford but balance with what is highly rated
HARD DRIVE - Get a 75GB or 150GB Western Digital Raptor and put the OS on it. It runs at a blistering 10,000 RPM - It has some of the fastest access times out there.
            - I will stick with this until Sold State or Hybrid drives are proven faster and much cheaper than they are now.
 Any other drives put as D's and E's. Or get two or more of the same model and make and turn it into a RAID drive and make it D. Helps increase speed, redundancy, and good storage.
OS - Go with a 64 bit OS a few older programs have problems and a few drivers but almost everyone is working on that.
    I personally would go with Vista 64bit because DirectX is supposedly only a vista product (there hacks available for XP though)
 Games run much prettier and a bit faster on DirectX 10.
 I have
 8800GTX 758MB card
 Core 2 Duo running at 3.6ghz
 4gb RAM running at 1066mhz
 1 - 75GB 10,000 RPM Western Digital as primary
 2x400GB Seagate Barracuda drives (perpendicular technology) in a RAID as drive D
 Vista Ultimate 64bit (UAC disabled I hate that part)
 I love the way Crysis and UT3 play on this bad boy. boowyah!
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