MBP 15" constant graphic stuttering while gaming

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by zerixar, Sep 22, 2008.

  1. zerixar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #1
    on friday of last week i got my brand new $3000 15" macbook pro with a 2.6 intel core duo processor, nvidea geforce 8600, 4 gigs of ram. first thing i did was run bootcamp and put vista 32 on it. everything looked fine until i decided to install and run CS:S to test gameplay and graphics (offline, so this issue is not internets lag).

    problem: my computer has a constant graphics stutter. moving objects such as NPC teammates glitch around about every second or so, thrown grenades glitch through the air.... it is not a framerate issue as i'm running around 60 fps, stationary objects are smooth, my controlled movement is smooth, but everything moving through my game stutters.
    after i found this i tried cutting the resolution down to 800x600, turned everything on low, sound off, everything, did not have any effect, also vsync did nothing.

    test 2: wanting to see if this was just a problem with CS:S, i tried installing something simple such as my gf's copy of the sims that was laying around. the same issue occurs, anything in movement on the screen glitches, like a momentary freeze and then glitch to where it should be, it looks like lag, but it's constant, every second or so, and is not on the internet.

    apple says my vid card or logic board may be defective, but was particularly unhelpful due to the fact that all this happens on the pc side of my comp, which of course apple is willing to sell me, but not support.

    anybody have any advice?

    needless to say when my copy of WAR comes this week i won't be able to play :(

    /cry
     
  2. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #2
    I didn't do much testing with Vista x86 (32-bit) as far as gaming goes, but I can tell you it should not be a Vista issue. I've been running Vista 64 (MBP 2.5 Ghz, 4 GB RAM, etc....basically a step down from yours) and runs games flawlessly (ran Age of Conan medium-high settings). Sorry but I have to ask (I couldn't find it in your post) but you installed the Boot Camp drivers and update them to 2.1 right? :)

    Do you have, say World of Warcraft or some other game that is runnable on both Windows and Leopard?
     
  3. t19880821 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    #3
    Not sure if this would help...

    but I realized that my FPS drops significantly if I unplug the AC adapter

    edit. just realized that you said your fps is fine. but idk, maybe give it a go?
     
  4. zerixar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #4
    the first time i did not run any updates no, being as it was a brand new computer only about a week old. after i talked to apple though i did a complete redo of the system, erased the windows partition, reformatted everything to mac, then erased that and did a clean install of leopard. when that was done did another run of bootcamp and put vista (business 32 bit if that makes any difference) back on, and downloaded all the available updates as well as bootcamp 2.1 drivers.

    STILL get the same thing :(

    now i'm starting to wonder if it's something with vista. i finally brought home a game to try out on the mac side last night, an old copy of ut2k4, cranked everything up to high, and it played pretty flawlessly on the mac side.

    my copy of vista is a clone done in a cd/dvd cloning tower for the school district i work for.... i noticed when installing it the second time that everthing runs smoothly, but after windows restarts itself about 2/3rds of the way through the install and then starts "finishing up" there's a split second graphic blackout of part of the screen. i'm wondering if a bit of my disc might have some corruption.

    anyway, that being said, does anyone have the latest legit nvidia geforce 8600m gt drivers for the pc side, apparently nvidia nor apple support their card. this is the last thing i want to try. if it doesn't work i'm going to scrap my windows partition once again, then redo it with windows xp instead of vista and see if this adresses anything.

    definitely open to any suggestions.
     
  5. t19880821 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    #5
    Could it be because of Vista? There are a lot of people who say that games run better on XP than Vista. But an old game like CS:S should play very smooth on your machine, Vista or otherwise. Then again, Apple did supply us with awful drivers.

    http://www.laptopvideo2go.com/forum/index.php?showforum=94

    Those drivers allow me to play Crysis @ 1440x900, Medium settings, AA Off, at an average of 35-40fps. Framerates never drop below 25. I OC my videocard though... so idk if you want to do that. However, those drivers are just about the most up-to-date drivers you'd want to get for your video card. 177.92 is the most stable recently released driver.

    But even with the drivers apple gave, it should still run fine. Try installing XP and let us know how that works out. If it's the same problem, it's probably the drivers.
     
  6. Markov macrumors 6502

    Markov

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Location:
    Philadelphia
    #6
    I'm not sure if this would make a difference, but in a thread I posted today I was told that the 32-bit RAM limit is 3.3 gigs... therefore the extra gig could be causing the system to act funky. Try taking one of the sticks out (reducing it to 2 I would assume) and run the game.

    I play Half-Life 2 with the Apple 2.1 drivers and they are.... alright (on XP). I used the laptopvideo2go drivers for XP and everything I would boot up, the digital vibrance would make everything dull bright colors. If it's not the RAM, not the drivers, and not Vista, it's probably the nVidia 8600m GT f*** up that makes the MBP's ticking time bombs.
     
  7. t19880821 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    #7
    I overlooked that.

    You'll need 64-bit. And 32-bit actually only supports up to 2GB RAM, right?
     
  8. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #8
    The Apple drivers are bad, yes, but not nearly this bad. I've ran CS:S on my MBP before and it ran pretty good (under Vista 64). And zerixar was saying other games, even The Sims, was running poorly (for comparison The Sims 2, which is more graphic intensive, is easily playable on my MBP). Sounds like there's something hardware-related going on here.

    32-bit supports up to 4, but you'll only ever see 3 - 3.5 GB, and applications can only use up to 2 GB. Again, I'd suggest giving Vista 64 a shot on your MBP zerixar (if you have it available), but it still sounds like it's a hardware issue.
     
  9. zerixar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #9
    last night i wiped vista off my machine, and grabbed the genuine install disk for xp professional (instead of a clone). i'm wonding if the fact that it's actually a re-install disk could make some sort of difference. anyway, i re-did everything with xp, installed cs:s, and got the exact same issue. I went in under my computer to look at what xp said my specs were and it said i had 2.99 GB of ram in it instead of 4.

    so here's my train of thought:

    i've talked to apple already and they've declared it dead on arrival, so i've got the green light to send it back and get an entirely new one sent to me if i don't get some miracle fix. (which kinda sucks cuz i wanna play my new copy of WAR now dernit :p)
    i'm thinking since i'm going to be waiting several weeks to receive this new one, i might as well order myself a regular copy of xp or vista, instead of using a reinstall version that came with school district dells.

    this brings me to my next question, which OS of windows should i get. apparently xp professional and 32 bit vista business will not recognize/utilize all of my ram. i've heard things about 64 being good, but i've heard supposedly it's not compatable (?) with a lot of games. is there a version of xp or vista that will handle all of my ram? and last thing, what's the difference with business/professional vs. home versions of windows. someone tell me what to buy :p
     
  10. t19880821 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    #10
    Since you have all that RAM, it won't hurt you to get vista.. but that's entirely your choice between XP and Vista. Whichever OS you choose, make sure that it's 64-bit. I think that since you have all that RAM, and not all of it is being recognized, it's causing these stutters. You have two sticks.. TWO 2GB, which would add up to four... and 2.99 is being recognized.. that other half of one of the sticks isn't being recognized, which I think could be causing your problem.

    64-bit not being compatible with some games, I'm pretty sure there's a fix for that that you can look up. I think you just have to right click on the game and change compatibility settings.

    As for what version you should get -- if you plan on using Windows just as a gaming platform, then get whatever basic version there is. There's no point spending extra money for something that you don't really need, not to mention you'll be using OSX as your main OS anyway.

    If you're still having problems after getting 64-bit, then at least you have a 64-bit OS for your replacement notebook to fully utilize your RAM.
     
  11. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #11
    There is no "fix" to be able to see all of your RAM. A 32-bit OS has a 4 GB RAM limitation. This is true of any 32-bit (Mac, Windows, Linux, etc.). There are some "hacks" that will change the number to show 4 GB, but that's all it's doing. Changing a number. The amount of RAM your able to use would remain the same. It's like putting a bandaid on a the spot where your arm used to be.

    Just about every game will work with Vista 64 (even Oregon Trail worked fine). You have a brand new MBP. Don't limit it to an old school 32-bit OS. Vista64 is very stable and very fast. I think you'll be surprisingly pleased. :) I was in the same boat as you were with my MBP. After doing a TON of reinstalls of XP/Vista32/Vista64. Been running Vista 64 since February (SP1) and it's been nothing but awesome.

    As far as which version to choose from, Home Premium is perfect for most people. But here's a chart breaking it down (note that those prices can be found for less online): http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-vista/compare-editions/default.aspx.
     
  12. zerixar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #12
    for some reason i was under the impression that MBP's with 4 gigs had four 1 gig ram sticks in them (of course i don't feel like voiding my warranty and opening it up to look ;) ) does this mean that if you went with the customizable 3 gigs you would have one 2 gig stick and one 1 gig stick? wierd.
    anyway, i've gone to newegg and found

    Microsoft Windows Vista Home Premium SP1 64-bit English for System Builders 1pk DSP OEI DVD - OEM

    for $99

    sound good?
     
  13. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #13
    lol I had to re-read that last part a few times. There's only 2 slots for RAM in the MBP (changing out RAM won't void your warranty). And yeah, that OEM you found is perfect. There is a difference between the OEM and the Retail. OEM is much cheaper, but doesn't come with any help manuals, box, etc. I don't think it even comes with support from Microsoft. But big deal, right? :)

    And if you haven't already, be sure to max out that RAM. It's so cheap and well worth it (got 4 GB (2x2GB sticks of Crucial) from Fry's for about $80). The jump from 2 to 4 GB was intense.
     
  14. zerixar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #14
    pfft who needs a box and a manual and support from some dude who barely speaks english and just reads me the manual anyway ;).

    and yea i have 4G of ram.

    ok i just ordered it, rushed shipping and junk, will probably post again when it comes in and i test it.

    thanks guys for all your help thus far
     
  15. The Flashing Fi macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2007
    #15
    Woh woh woh!

    You're using reinstall CDs for dell computers? I'm assuming you nabbed a CD key off one of the dell computers?

    First of all, those CDs are intended ONLY for Dell computers. They may have chipset drivers, video card drivers, and many other drivers on those CDs that will cause headaches. This is true regardless of whether you're using XP or Vista.

    Second of all, you're technically stealing from the school. Those CD keys are OEM keys, and when they buy the computers, they are paying for the XP/Vista license, of which you're stealing from them (if they ever need to use that key, they can't). I'm sure there is a recovery partition on those computers or even an automated CD image you guys are using, but if for whatever reason they need to use that CD key, they likely, will not be able to. I'm sure the job you're working for has some type of punishment for stealing (asides from pens and stupid crap like that, but you get the point).

    The problem may still be that video card, but it may not. I strongly suggest that you stop using your school's Dell re-install CDs/DVDs as well as CD keys (if you are using them, I figure you're not just using that 30 day period with the plan of reformatting every 30 days), buy Vista or XP, of whatever you want to use, I don't care (I suggest Vista 64-bit so you can use all 4 gigs of your memory and XP 64-bit is a mess and has no drivers for your computer).

    If the problem still persists, send it back to Apple for a replacement. If it doesn't persist, then you'll know it was the CD/DVD and Dell's drivers interfering in Vista/XP.

    The fact that not all your memory is being seen shouldn't be causing stuttering. I have never heard of this causing a problem, asides from all the memory not being seen. But of course, you can always take out a RAM stick. It won't void your warranty, provided that you don't mess anything up (I believe Apple has instructions on their site).
     
  16. Stridder44 macrumors 68040

    Stridder44

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #16
    No worries. Let us know if you have any other questions.
     
  17. zerixar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #17
    um, as far as the school thing goes actually i'm a tech liason working for them so i have access to these things (didn't steal it), also my using the discs was based on two circumstances. first is that we have a section of our special education program that has to use windows for certain sped software, these machines need to be set up with bootcamp, which i have to do. I however had no experience with and had never used bootcamp, so i needed to know how it works. It just so happens that I just bought a new MBP because i needed a new personal computer, and i wanted to game on it, so i used it as the guinea pig, intending to buy my own copy of windows after.

    we are a mac district so our department has minimal experience with windows). i realized the disks were windows reinstall discs for dell after i'd already done vista the first time (because on the first round i was using a cloned disc that i got from another tech so i wouldn't have to take the original home). i asked another tech if he thought this would be an issue and he was of the oppinion that it was just a disc with an operating system, shouldn't cause problems. apparently this is incorrect.

    as far as the registration code goes, i have not registered it and was not planning on it, as those are currently being used by our radio station. This whole thing was about testing windows and making sure it worked before ordering my own copy, as well as learning how i'm going to be setting up the computers for our sped department. had everything gone smoothly i would be enjoying my games while i wait for my personal copy to get here, then would be installing that one when it got here so as to have the least amount of waiting. as things stand i'm now waiting anyway for the discs i purchased today.
     
  18. anthonys macrumors member

    anthonys

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #18
    Strange, I seem to be having that problem in Warhammer and WoW on Windows XP recently too.. every now and then the framerate drops to almost 0 then goes back up to around 35-40. I'm still on 2GB so don't think it's a RAM issue. I suspect it's something wrong with XP, I installed the laptop2go drivers and still happens.. :confused:
     
  19. NateEssex macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2008
    #19
    I have a Dell laptop, from work, with almost exactly the same hardware as my MBP. I play WAR on the Dell atm, and I also have some lag and then excellent fps. I am going to try to put XP on my MBP and try that too.
    BTW, WAR is awesome!! I love the PQ's and instances.
     
  20. zerixar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #20
    this thread is not about lag and framerate from an online game, this is about glitching/stuttering of video aspects even while framerate is high on an offline game. try reading.
     
  21. t19880821 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    #21
    have you tried anything yet?
    such as installing OEM version, or 64bit version?
     
  22. zerixar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #22
    i got my copy of vista 64 in the mail yesterday, had sent the computer back to apple and am waiting for the replacement. it shipped earlier this week, so it should get here end of this week/early next week. i'll be able to test it then.
     
  23. t19880821 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2008
    #23
    damn. now we'll never know if it was defected hardware or if it was the 64-bit thing, or driver conflicts, or whatever.
     
  24. zerixar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #24
    yea :(, since i live in a remote part of alaska it takes longer for things to come through the mail i had to make a decision whether or not to send it back because the 30day replacement/return policy was running out. hopefully the new one won't have any problems. with the dell windows reinstall disc drivers possibility tho, i have a buddy that used one to put it on his machine and he runs cod4 just fine with it, none of the same issues as me, so i'm pretty sure it was hardware.
     
  25. zerixar thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    #25
    so my computer came yesterday, i installed a brand new OEM copy of vista 64 on it, and counterstrike still runs pretty much the same, where all the textures and physical properties of the map run smoothly, but NPC's and any moving object kinda glitch around. it's wierd, i installed cod4 as well, and it has somewhat of the opposite issues, where all the npc's and moving objects run smoothly, but the environments are a little choppy. one of our tech guys got his technition certification a couple weeks ago, and has some advanced hardware diagnosis software i'm going to run on it today. gotta say i'm a little frustrated. if i can't clear up this problem i think i might just demand my money back and.... buy a pc..... *shudder*
     

Share This Page