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Lots of slowdown


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#1

Iconian1
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Posted 18 November 2010 - 11:48 PM

Hi,
After watching Frozenfoxy's Gameanyone videos of Minecraft, I realized it's the sort of game I'd really like to play.  I came to the website and downloaded the client, but realized I needed to buy the game in order to play the survival mode Frozenfoxy was using.  So that's what I did.

So I started up my own survival game, but I've come to find out that for some reason or another the game runs very slowly.  It's slowest when there are a lot of trees around, or when I'm inside a cave, maybe because there are so many separate blocks around me.

The strange thing is that even though THIS game runs really slowly, other games that I thought would be much more processor-intensive aren't nearly so bad.  Months ago I played the Half Life 2 games and don't recall any trouble with them.  Just now I booted up Half Life 2 and Half Life 2 Episode 2 and played for a few minutes.  There was almost no lag or slowdown at all, except for a very little bit once when I saw a bunch of dust particles fill the air (multiplayer Half Life 2 games are pretty slow though).  I thought my computer is very good, with 4gb RAM, and yet for some reason, Minecraft is able to bring it to its knees.  It slows down like molasses when I do most anything.  Even if I just stand totally still, but move the mouse around and around, the mouse lag is still bad (again, it's the worst when there are lots of objects like trees or blocks in my view).  Even though I get no trouble with the HL2 games, I also have very similar mouse lag and general slowdown when playing TES IV: Oblivion.  And yet Half Life 2 isn't affected?!  I'm completely in the dark on this.

I have Minecraft set on Fast instead of Fancy.  When I set the view distance to tiny it seemed to be fine for a minute or two, and then after moving around and looking around for a little bit the lag got bad again until it once again became virtually unplayable.  I also went through the sticky guide on how to increase FPS by ThatCanadianGuy and defragmented, set my power use to high performance (it's a laptop with power plugged in), downloaded the two programs it suggested and ran them, and updated the drivers for my video card.

Minecraft is pretty much fine if I just stand in place, even inside a cave with walls around me, and just hold the mouse button down and mine.  But if I move the mouse or start moving my character around a little bit it gets all laggy.

Anyway, here are the stats on my machine, in case anyone can offer some aid.

Sony Vaio laptop
Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit.
INtel Core i5-430M Processor/2.26 GHz
Storage 500 gb (only 82.1 gb used)
4gb total memory
Intel Graphics Media Accelerator HD (I updated the driver to the most recent version today)
Internet connection is broadband, either 256 or 512k, not sure which.   Speedtest.net says it's 26 megabits/sec.
Browser is Firefox 3.6.12

Since the problems with Minecraft seem so similar to the trouble I'm having with Oblivion, maybe it will work too if I can get to the bottom of Minecraft's issues.  Please, if anyone knows what might be causing this slowdown, by all means offer your suggestions.
Iconian

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#2

TheGuardian001

Posted 19 November 2010 - 04:51 AM

You seem to be using an integrated graphics chip, which will definitely cause troubles. Try setting your fog closer and switching the graphics from "Fancy" to "Fast" in the options menu. Outside of that, there's not much you can do short of getting a proper video card.

#3

Satharis
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Posted 19 November 2010 - 05:26 AM

You need a better video card unfortunately, minecraft may not look it but it uses alot of rendering power having to draw thousands of blocks, ontop of that the game isn't very well optimized right now, in a few months it may run as well as half life does on your computer now but, for the moment its not well setup to take advantage of every little bit of power, so running the bare minimum for a video card will cause trouble.
That one dragon coding thingy.

#4

Shadow_Rave

Posted 19 November 2010 - 06:39 AM

I have the same problem.  And yes I have an intel integrated (piece of ****) video card which really hurts my enjoyment of this game.


I'd switch to a different video card, but my computer is a slimline model with only a 220w power supply (which is lousy for even a mediocre graphics card).  

Replacing the power supply for a slimline tower is going to be expensive.  I've checked a youtube video to see how to do it, and It's intimidating to say the least.

The graphics card will be easy to replace.  It's the power supply that's going to be a nightmare.  

Err... sorry.  I seem to be rambling.

#5

Iconian1
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Posted 19 November 2010 - 07:53 PM

Thanks for all of your replies.

I should have guessed it would be the video card.  In the past when I had older computers it always seemed like the main limiter or bottleneck was the video card, whenever I wanted to play higher end games.  And besides that, whenever I run a Half Life 2 game it says something about not recognizing my video card, though those games all run quite well.

Anyway, perhaps I'll buy a new video card at some point.  It seems weird that a company would put a bunch of pretty good hardware into a computer, such as the 2.26 ghz processor and 4gb RAM, but the video card would still be so poor.  At least, it seems to weird to me, but I probably don't know a lot about hardware.  In the meantime, I guess I'll just have to hope that the game programming gets optimized.
Iconian

#6

Satharis
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Posted 19 November 2010 - 08:05 PM

Iconian1 said:

Thanks for all of your replies.

I should have guessed it would be the video card.  In the past when I had older computers it always seemed like the main limiter or bottleneck was the video card, whenever I wanted to play higher end games.  And besides that, whenever I run a Half Life 2 game it says something about not recognizing my video card, though those games all run quite well.

Anyway, perhaps I'll buy a new video card at some point.  It seems weird that a company would put a bunch of pretty good hardware into a computer, such as the 2.26 ghz processor and 4gb RAM, but the video card would still be so poor.  At least, it seems to weird to me, but I probably don't know a lot about hardware.  In the meantime, I guess I'll just have to hope that the game programming gets optimized.
Iconian

Games tend to take a big toll on the video card unfortunately, and in reality most computer programs besides art editing things like for movies or animation really don't use the video card much. Most of the 'generic' PC's tend to have a buff in every area except the video card so they can mass market to businesses that use them as work PC's or people using them for desktops for browsing the net or doing work for their job.

Sad to say they usually make you pay quite a bit more to get a pre-built with a good video card, and they are usually advertised for animators and stuff, coming preloaded with expensive software they essencially make you pay for.

All of that applies to laptops as well as desktops of course.
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#7

Iconian1
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Posted 19 November 2010 - 11:05 PM

Quote

Games tend to take a big toll on the video card unfortunately, and in reality most computer programs besides art editing things like for movies or animation really don't use the video card much. Most of the 'generic' PC's tend to have a buff in every area except the video card so they can mass market to businesses that use them as work PC's or people using them for desktops for browsing the net or doing work for their job.

That's very interesting.  Even though I've been using computers and have been gaming for about 14 years, I still don't feel like I really know a whole lot about the hardware, or even the software to a fair extent.  Until this particular computer I've always used computers that my dad bought and I inherited down the road, and they were never designed for gaming, though they still ran most of the games I played pretty well.  Of course, I pretty much knew ahead of times which games they would and wouldn't be able to run, and stayed away from the more demanding ones.

I'm going to Costco in just a couple hours to buy a new mouse anyway, and I figure that while I'm out maybe I should buy a new video card too.  I've never tried to upgrade this computer, but do you think you could you recommend a good video card to serve as a replacement for mine?  I don't know if it would have to be compatible with Intel or Sony or what, but I think I'd be willing to pay probably at least $100 to get a good card that can run Oblivion and Minecraft.  So, anyone have any recommendations?
Iconian

#8

Xakel
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Posted 20 November 2010 - 12:07 AM

I'm having the same problems with the integrated video card. When I looked at graphics cards, the least expensive ones were around $50-$100, and the higher end ones (that they had) were over $300. To be honest, I don't know much about video cards, so I couldn't figure out what would be enough to run minecraft decently without being overkill. I'd like to get at least 30+ fps with a normal-far rendering distance.
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#9

Satharis
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Posted 20 November 2010 - 12:38 AM

Iconian1 said:

That's very interesting.  Even though I've been using computers and have been gaming for about 14 years, I still don't feel like I really know a whole lot about the hardware, or even the software to a fair extent.  Until this particular computer I've always used computers that my dad bought and I inherited down the road, and they were never designed for gaming, though they still ran most of the games I played pretty well.  Of course, I pretty much knew ahead of times which games they would and wouldn't be able to run, and stayed away from the more demanding ones.

I'm going to Costco in just a couple hours to buy a new mouse anyway, and I figure that while I'm out maybe I should buy a new video card too.  I've never tried to upgrade this computer, but do you think you could you recommend a good video card to serve as a replacement for mine?  I don't know if it would have to be compatible with Intel or Sony or what, but I think I'd be willing to pay probably at least $100 to get a good card that can run Oblivion and Minecraft.  So, anyone have any recommendations?
Iconian

Few things really:

One, laptops, laptops are notoriously hard to upgrade especially video cards, most video cards on laptops are integrated into the motherboard, and more often then not they aren't even designed to be opened without unsealing the case, nor do they usually have a 'slot' for an upgraded card. Laptops actually use small 'plug in' cards that are rather unlike a desktop card, it usually depends on the brand of laptop and i doubt i could help here i'm not really an expert on laptops.

You may have quite a bit of trouble upgrading it, desktop pc's are loads easier to upgrade usually, however, there are a few rules usually.

-Power, power is your first consideration usually, cards have various power draws and your power supply has to have enough juice to power your newer card, usually you want to find a way to figure out how much power your PC is drawing(or designed to draw if its a prebuilt, manufacturers usually list this somewhere) and compare it to the rating of the PSU, you usually want to have a bit of breathing room, don't buy it right up to the max output.

-Slots, slots on desktop PC's come in the form of PCI and PCI-E slots, they're essencially places to 'plug in' the card to the motherboard, you have to make sure the card you buy has the proper amount of slots, and the correct type to fit your motherboard.

-Form factor, form factor refers to the physical size of the card, in a desktop you have to be careful theres actual room in the case for the card to be seated without bumping into other components, a little measuring tape and reading the dimensions helps here.

-Cooling, gaming rated cards tend to run MUCH hotter then a lower grade card, heat can be a big problem and you have to be prudent about having enough cooling fans and keep the case dust free to insure performance, cooling can cause catastrophic failure such as melting your GPU if it overheats, or even destroying other components, usually most cases are pretty well ventilated but you should monitor the card during idle and heavy gameplay for temperature.

Theres other little things but those are the most important to watch for in buying a new card.
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#10

Iconian1
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Posted 20 November 2010 - 12:52 AM

Thank you a lot, Satharis.  It's nice to have some guidelines to approach this with.  I haven't even opened the laptop up yet.  It looks I'll need to be doing some more research before I can say for sure what to get.  I don't know what the power supply on this is.  As far as heat, anytime I run Oblivion or even the Half Life 2 games I can hear the fan whirring furiously, so it may be lacking that regard too.  I think maybe I'll just take the computer with me when I go shopping and see if anyone at Costco could help out.
Iconian

#11

Iconian1
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Posted 21 November 2010 - 12:50 AM

Last night I visited both Costco and Best Buy and neither has video cards for laptops.  Best Buy told me that the only way might be to contact Sony and see if they have a better video card available, and that it would likely cost $500-600.

Anyway, I suppose that Minecraft is playable, barely.  Perhaps if a new version is released in the future it will work better.  Until then, I might play a little of it, but probably not a lot.

It's kind of annoying too because before I bought it I played the free version briefly.  It ran slow on my computer, but I hoped it would be different for the paying version--survival mode.  No such luck.
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#12

Xakel
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Posted 21 November 2010 - 03:12 AM

The one thing people seem to forget, is that minecraft is still in the developmental stages. There are going to be a lot of bugs that need to be worked out, and additions to the game itself. For now all we can really do is wait for notch to improve performace.
"People don't change, they're changed by the actions of others."
"In the end we're all just chalk lines on the concrete, drawn only to be washed away."
"Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean people aren't out to get me."

#13

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Posted 21 November 2010 - 09:31 AM

I ONLY suggest this if your computer runs at decent cool temperature.
WINDOWS ONLY
start minecraft
start taskmanager
do the steps in pic
Posted Image

Yes set priority to high.
When you next open minecraft it will start at normal priority again.
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#14

Xakel
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Posted 21 November 2010 - 06:29 PM

Bl4ck5tar836 said:

I ONLY suggest this if your computer runs at decent cool temperature.
WINDOWS ONLY
start minecraft
start taskmanager
do the steps in pic
Posted Image

Yes set priority to high.
When you next open minecraft it will start at normal priority again.

This only gives a minimum of improvement, if any at all.
"People don't change, they're changed by the actions of others."
"In the end we're all just chalk lines on the concrete, drawn only to be washed away."
"Just because I'm paranoid, doesn't mean people aren't out to get me."