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New Computer, Looking for a Little Help


Grand_Admiral_Thrawn
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I just got ny laptop from Dell (yeah, I know, that's one of my problems right there, but let's ignore that for a minute :lol:0 and I'm having two problems. Whenever I play any games that are 3D I get a sort of "chugging" experience. To be more specific, the computer will read from the HD every twenty seconds or so causing the game to jerk. My second problem is that occasionally the computer will read my processor as a 750 MHz instead of the 2.0 GHz that it is.

 

For system specs:

 

Dell XPS M170

1Gb DDR2 533 RAM

nVidia GeForce Go 7800

80Gb HD

Intel (*shudder*) 2.0 Centrino processor

 

As far as I know this systems should perform about as well as a desktop of similar specs. Any suggestions?

History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up with it will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all."

- ”Grand Admiral Thrawn"

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I guess RMA is out of the question? Find out as much as you can about the video card and check all of the settings. I'm sure Dell did you no favors when configuring it. As for the mysterious swapping processor labels, I have no clues. Check CMOS to see if everythings correct and save (even if you didn't change anything. Maybe the CMOS battery is dying?). Either that or there is a mini-gnome physically swapping chips inside your laptop (depending on the application running, as necessary) 8O
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  • SWR Staff - Executive

My guess is that it doesn't have dedicated video memory. If its sharing main memory, it will be a lot slower - esp for all the 3D games. A lot of intensive memory usage. It is possibly maxing out your RAM, so then it has to go into virtual memory (ala, your hard drive).

 

Second, the Intel chips have Speedstep - they will lower your clock speed to conserve power and cool down, and ramp it back up as needed. That is probably what you are seeing.

Evaders99

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I have already checked my BIOS settings, thinking that Dell might have under-clocked my computer by lowering the RAM speed. It all checked out. it seems that only a few of my 3D games act oddly. Primarily World of Warcraft and F.E.A.R chug a little (well, the latter does it alot). I can play Battlefield 2 with no problems, as well as Age of Empires III and Warlords. I was thinking it might have to do with the refresh rate on the display. I know that if you have a lower refresh rate with a hight resolution it can lead to a performance drop. I tend to run things at 1290x980 (or something to that effect) as that is the default desktop rez. The only refresh rate you can get with an LCD is 60Hz, so I might try dropping the rez down a little. I know that anything more than 1024x768 on a 17" screen is usually overkill.

 

The processor is disturbing, but it doesn't seem to affect performance. When I attempted to install WoW on here it told me I didn't meet the system requirements for my processor (much to my horror), yet everything works fine. I might have to contact Dell about that one.

 

I'm confident my issues aren't software related as I removed pretty much everything Dell had on here when they shipped it to me. It's one thing to get spyware when I'm on the internet, it's another to have it included with a system out of the box :evil:

 

EDIT:I just read Evader's post. I know that the video card has 256 Mb of onboard RAM in addition to the 1 gig of system ram, so it shouldn't need to dip into virtual memory to pick up the slack as there shoudln't be any slack. What would happen were I to reduce the allotted space for VM?

 

 

EDIT II: It seems that Dell set a custom size for the VM of just over 1.5 Gb with a max size of almost 3.5 Gb. My question now is, to save straining hardware memory, would the system revert to the VM before physical memory was maxed?

 

 

EDIT III: Ok, I went in and it seems that Dell had set a custom amount of VM for my computer. It was set to have 15. -3.5 GIG of VM. Now, as I've been learning in class, that's excessive, so I switched it to allow Windows to manage my VM. After doing that F.E.A.R seems to be running much more smoothly. Perhaps this was my problem.

History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up with it will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all."

- ”Grand Admiral Thrawn"

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Ah video card has dedicated memory? Nice. I believe it actually does use VM before the physical memory is full. A lot of it is because the overhead of the actual OS and VM system needs to be physical memory.

 

VM is something that Windows actually does well. Don't know why :)

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I guess you could try calling Dell. I have been told they hae a very good constumer(excuse my appailing speeling but i have drunk about 3l of beer) service.

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I can speak from experience on all of the following: Dell's laptops are good; Dell's small business desktops are good, as is small business customer service; Dell's home desktops are so-so, home customer service is garbage.

 

Like Evaders said, have you tried disabling SpeedStep? It and AMD's equivalent are both problematic.

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Guest Scathane
sorry don't know about about laptops. If it was desktops I could help but anyway. EWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW DELLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!
:?::roll:
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I'll have to investigate as to how I would dissable this "SpeedStep" program. I saw the settings in my BIOS, however Dell is kind enough to lock certain settings to prevent them from being changed :S.

History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up with it will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all."

- ”Grand Admiral Thrawn"

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Dell's soloution was to reformat the computer. I'm in the middle of re-installing some of the important games right now to see if it worked. It better, or else I've wasted a perfectly good homework afternoon...

History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up with it will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all."

- ”Grand Admiral Thrawn"

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Guest Scathane
Dell's soloution was to reformat the computer. I'm in the middle of re-installing some of the important games right now to see if it worked. It better, or else I've wasted a perfectly good homework afternoon...
You haven't tried their user knowledge base, have you?
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I did try their online database, but as with many such resources, it was all but useless. Th ereformat seems to have worked well thus far, thought some instances have lead to a little lagging (primarily when I use excessive amounts of Anti Aliasing). I'll give it a true test run tonight.

History is on the move, Captain. Those who cannot keep up with it will be left behind, to watch from a distance. And those who stand in our way will not watch at all."

- ”Grand Admiral Thrawn"

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