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S&M 201 is very choppy

posted by Mel on - last edited - Viewed by 520 users

Ice Station Santa has been very choppy on my laptop. It was going pretty well and then the whole game started getting choppy - music & animations. It was so bad at one point that I finally got to save my game (which saved) and then quit and everything froze. If I stop and restart the game, it goes well for a while, then gets choppy and stuttery again.

I have a HP Pavilion ZD8000 laptop - Windows XP Home, Intel Pentium 4 2.8 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, 128MB Radeon Mobility X600 video card.

I turned down the hardware acceleration a couple of notches but that didn't help. Should I try turning it down more?

Edit: I know it's a holiday weekend, so I know it'll be a bit before I get any suggestions from the tech gurus (aka Will and Seg). :)

Edit 2: I noticed that the game will be going along fine and it's when I change locations that the choppiness starts. I have no idea if that's indicative of anything but thought I'd mention it.

7 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
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    A few things to start:

    * As a point of reference, how does any of the Season 1 games run on that machine?
    * What resolution are you running the game at?
    * I know we say it every time, but do you have the latest drivers installed? (Direct link for your card's drivers)

    Make sure you don't have any other applications running in the background. The smaller taskbar stuff like an Antivirus program and such are OK, but close any major applications while playing. Helps out a bit.

    If you put in updated drivers, make sure you crank up the hardware acceleration back up to the highest setting.

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    [*]Season 1 ran fine (although I haven't played them lately).
    [*]I'm running it at 1440x900 resolution
    [*]I haven't updated my drivers (I don't think I ever have).

    I did turn off background programs but that didn't seem to help much. It seemed to happen most when I switched major locations (office --> street or vice versa).

    I'll try different resolutions just to see if that does anything and then update my drivers. Thanks! :)

  • Hey Mel!

    It is always worth updating drivers like Seg said, but it sounds to me like this is a RAM issue. The big scenes are pretty memory intensive :(. Background programs will make a bit of a difference, but mostly I would suggest saving and restarting the game whenever it starts to get crufty.

  • I've got this problem.

    I'll say it once and I'll say it again.

    You guys really need to get a handle on release of resources.

    Sure, it's nice when you can swap out nodes really fast walking back and forth, but if you've just examined everything in both nodes and entered a third, it's gonna hang for a good long while. Has done all of last season, too. It's just worse now because the nodes are bigger and more numerous.

    Try loading things from the hard drive a little bit more often, perhaps?

  • @Maratanos said: I've got this problem.

    I'll say it once and I'll say it again.

    You guys really need to get a handle on release of resources.

    How much internal memory do you have and which OS do you run?

    I'm running XP with 2GB memory here and never have problems, likely because S&M cleans up its garbage long before running out of memory :)

    As far as I remember 512MB (which the original poster has) is the absolute minimum to run XP, even Home.

  • Yes. I have had this problem with a gigabyte of RAM on both XP and Vista.

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    First my organic brain is short on memory and now my laptop. :(

    At least I can buy more memory for the laptop. ;)

    Thanks for all the input!

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