1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Game runs very slow on decent system - where to find optimization tips?

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Technical Support' started by scl004, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. scl004

    scl004 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    TBA
    Symptoms:
    - SLOW movement of units
    - Stuttering/lots of frame drops during unit movement
    - Stuttering/frame drops during city zoom
    - Wonder videos play perfectly, but game-intro video stutters heavily

    System specs:
    Model: Gateway MT3705 Laptop
    Processor: Intel CoreDuo 1.6GHz X2
    RAM: 1.5GB
    Graphics Processor: ATI Radeon Xpress 200M with 64MB on-board and up to 256MB including shared
    OS: Vista Home Premium
    Resolution: 1280 X 800
    DirectX Version: DirectX 10
    Game version: Warlords + latest patch
    Civ IV Graphics settings: As low as possible
    Swap file: 2280MB min/max

    Yeah, so everything works with no crashes, but everything is VERY slow. There are the slowdowns/frame drops described above, plus there's a delayed response when I click on anything with my mouse.

    I thought my problem might be my RAM, but when I went from 1GB to 1.5GB nothing changed. I have another 500 on the way, but I don't expect it to make much of a difference.

    Any tips to speed things up would be great. I searched through this forum looking for a unified tip source, but most of the advice seems to concern specific glitches or crashes. This is a little more general.

    Thank you VERY MUCH in advance.
     
  2. scl004

    scl004 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    TBA
    One thing I forgot to mention, the game runs slow with all map sizes. Even with a tiny map I am encountering the above-mentioned problems.
     
  3. Clovis

    Clovis Charlemagne's Grandfather

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2005
    Messages:
    299
    Location:
    Michigan, U.S.
    I think you have plenty of RAM, the problem might be in your graphics card. I'm sure it's integrated chipset, and 64 MB card will probably have pretty low processing power. However, laptop video is very hard to upgrade, from what I know, so you might be stuck with that one.
     
  4. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    22,385
    Location:
    UK
    Sound like the memory leaking problem that i have with my laptop. 512mb ram, 128mb onboard graphics, p4 3.2ghz.

    Not sure theres much you can do if it is memory leaking issue on your laptop.

    I normally find the game slows down to a crawl now and then. Slow movemnt of screen when you scroll. Movement of unit slows down. Battle graphics are slow. Game basically grinds to a halt at times. Sometimes after a minute it recovers for a while.

    Sometimes i can get through hours of play with no issues. Other times 30 seconds

    Lets hope you dont have same issue as me. There are other threads on memory leaking. Most suggested buying more ram. Alas almost impossible on this laptop as most of new ram is not compatible.

    Hope your issue is just graphics!!!
     
  5. scl004

    scl004 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    TBA
    Thanks for the input.

    I'm certain that it isn't a memory issue. I'm now up to 2GB, and Vista is only using about 500mb. Even if my GPU eats up another 200, that leaves me with 1.3GB free just to run the game.

    And the slowdown isn't temporary. It's ALWAYS slow. The speed remains constant. The only thing that fluctuates is the time between turns, and that seems to be directly related to the # of enemies and the era. I can live with the long time between turns, but the general slowness is tough to swallow.

    If I had to guess, I would say my CPU is probably the problem. Does anyone know if Civ IV is programmed to take advantage of multi-core CPUs?
     
  6. auldian

    auldian King

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2004
    Messages:
    648
    Location:
    Alaska, USA
    It doesn't support SMP but should still play well. There was a discussion here some months ago.
    Is your antivirus scanning the Civ folders (there are 3 "trees" where it installs)? That could account, possibly, for some of the slow crunching you're seeing.
     
  7. scl004

    scl004 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    TBA
    Interesting auldian, you may be right about the CPU. I ran the task manager monitor in the background while making some moves, and here's what I got:



    As you can see, the CPU is taxed, but isn't really maxed out. Memory obviously isn't an issue.

    As far as the antivirus goes, I'm running AVG which hardly uses any resources at all. And I'm pretty sure it isn't doing much active while running Civ IV.

    Maybe I will try running it in compatibility mode... Time for a new experiment!
     
  8. T.A JONES

    T.A JONES Deity

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2006
    Messages:
    3,471
    I'd give you some advive. Check the amount af memory your onboard is allocated in bios. I had the same problem and when I freed up the onbaord with a Radeon 128mb 95500mb I did the trick big time only cost 75 bucks Canadian to boot

    Here a link to that thread. Hope it helps here: the "Computers forums" Sorry bout all the smiles. I was new to all forums back then :blush:
     
  9. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    22,385
    Location:
    UK
    Yeah dont think memory is your issue. My laptop when lagging shows cpu 100% usuage and normally about 50mb free physical ram with a huge pagefile usage.

    Wonder if reducing my onboard system graphics usuage would work. Need to work out how to do this in my bios. If it will let me!

    Thinking of 3/4gb of ram for my new system if i ever get round to buying one. Always waiting for that next technology to use.
     
  10. Gumbolt

    Gumbolt Phoenix Rising

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Messages:
    22,385
    Location:
    UK
    Grrr scanned through my bios and could see no such option. I assume you meant the menu you enter when the laptop loads up??

    Hmmm perhaps I cant alter the settings??

    *sigh*
     
  11. engelthefallen

    engelthefallen Chieftain

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    12
    Be careful editing bios. It ends in tears more often than not.

    I remember when the game first came out some setting in game were eating away at animation. Given this is a strat game if you have not done so tone down the graphics all the way to see if that helps. Then one by one enable things.

    For AVG to test if that is the problem close it down.

    I know obvious stuff, but when you are frustrated sometimes the obvious is overlooked.

    Another thing to try is to get some graphics game demo or if you have it a game like that and play it to see if there is a problem in Civ or a problem elsewhere.

    One final thing to try is test the game with EndItAll. I do not think it is supported in Vista but may be worth testing to see if it is a program conflict. If you are not familiar with this problem, it basically closes down anything it can sans the bare minimum to run windows.

    You can of course also do this manually through the task manager. Vista's one is a bit better than the older ones. Maybe try to run it in safe mode as well. Not sure if it will work or not as I have not used Vista's safe mode yet, but again see what is up.

    I would make sure that vid card is all updated with drivers and stuff, as if it is not a conflicting program, it is that were you are pipelining.
     
  12. scl004

    scl004 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    Messages:
    39
    Location:
    TBA
    I made an interesting discovery today which is related to your post. My chipset uses a relatively new technology called HyperMemory (a memory sharing program) which is not integrated in the BIOS. Not only that, but the driver software (current) from ATI doesn't mention it at all. So I have NO WAY to play with my HyperMemory settings, or to allocate more RAM to it.

    Not good, ATI, not good at all. :sad:

    I decided to go ahead and bump up my UMA Frame Buffer Size in BIOS since I have way more memory than I ever use. I'll let you all know how that goes after I test it out later tonight.

    As always, thanks again for the help.
     
  13. crunch

    crunch Emperor

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    Messages:
    1,100
    Location:
    Slovakia
    General performance tweaks:
    - resolution 1024/768
    - disable audio, movies
    - low details
    - enable single unit graphics
    - disable animations
    - SetMaxFrameRate=30
    - play smaller maps, fewer opponents
    - try both windowed and fullscreen
    - shut down unnecessary background applications (antivirus, instant messengers) before running civ
     

Share This Page