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PC Hardware Annoyances by Stephen J. Bigelow

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3D ANNOYANCES

FIXING A POOR FRAME RATE

The Annoyance:

When I play games, my video card stutters and the frame rate jumps around.

The Fix:

No matter how fast and powerful our graphics cards become, the frame rate always seems to suck. Unfortunately, many factors affect game performance. Here’s a whole checklist of items to investigate:

Check the graphics system requirements.

Your video card should use the chipset and onboard memory recommended by the game. Underpowered video cards will kill your frame rate (if they work at all).

Check the other game requirements.

Your PC should employ the recommended CPU and RAM. Otherwise, the game will not operate at peak performance.

Close other applications.

Operating systems can run numerous applications at the same time, but multiple applications siphon off resources (e.g., processor time and memory) from the game. Close all applications and reboot the system if necessary. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and use the Task Manager to verify that all other applications are exited (see Figure 3-17).

Use the Task Manager to see and disable any unwanted applications running in the background.

Figure 3-17. Use the Task Manager to see and disable any unwanted applications running in the background.

Consider the game itself.

Most modern games offer a wealth of 3D-rendering features, including multiple lighting sources, real-time shadows, long ranges of sight, and other processing-intensive options. If you enable these options, it may bog down your computer and slow down ...

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