Game performance on Windows 7

Does anyone else have problems with game performance on Windows 7? When Dragon Age came out I bought it immediately and it ran fine for a while, but then everything slows down and it seems like a memory leak. On the message boards it seems like a lot of people have this problem, so I assumed this was a DA issue and have been waiting for a patch that addresses this matter ever since, not thinking further. However, with Mass Effect 2 coming up I thought to replay the original game to be able to continue with a character from 1 in ME2. Same thing happens with ME as with DA though, even though I finished the game without problems on XP when I played it the first time around and even with quality settings minimal: 5 minutes of quality game play, and then the display stutters. Sound keeps running fine.

So seemingly the games are not the problem, but Windows 7 is. I’ve been searching the internet, but can’t find anything relating to this matter, and the things I read that vaguely resembled my problem don’t offer solutions.

My PC is not top of the line, but should be more than adequate for ME at least. I have:

Intel Q8200 Quad Core 2.33 GHz
GeForce 9600GT
2TB of SATA diskspace

All drivers are updated and Windows 7 and the games are fully patched. I even turned off all the fancy Windows 7 features (Aero etc), but this doesn’t seem to help. Windows Experience Index is a 7.1 (well, 5.9 because of hard disk performance, but I don’t think that’s the issue and even then, 5.9 is not bad) so even Windows thinks I should be OK.

Anyone have an idea what it can be?

This is in no way the correct answer, just a theory. But W7 comes with DirectX 11 (I think it’s the only MS OS that does) and I have read in the past about games designed for one version of directx having performance issues on newer versions.

But as a W7 owner I can vouch for the performance of my games being top-notch (except for GTA4 which is crappy because it was designed that way) But then I do have a geforce gtx 295 and a quad core processor and 8 gig of ram :smiley: ETA: But your own specs are not bad so it can’t be that. I am guessing it’s the directx thing.

I’ve just played through both Dragon Age and Mass Effect on Windows 7. Dragon Age has a pretty obvious memory leak (though all my problems were long load times not the gameplay problems you seem to be talking about). I’ve never played it on any earlier operating system so I don’t know if this is a Windows 7 issue or not. Mass Effect seems the same as how it played on XP. I haven’t had huge sessions but after 3 hours at a time I haven’t noticed any gameplay stuttering.

Windows 7 64-bit
Intel Q6600
4 GB Ram
Geforce 220 (I did have a 9800 but it melted shortly after upgrading to Windows 7 and I needed a cheap replacement).

I only have a 5.0 on my windows score but honestly I think that score is nonsense. I can play pretty much any current game at its max settings (well anti-aliasing is kept around 2x) without a problem.

Not that I’ve noticed. I’m running win 7 64bit since it was released retail. Dragon’s Age plays perfectly smoothly for me, even for 4-6 hour sessions. But I’m using a gtx 260 video card. Haven’t tried ME on the PC, but I’ve played a ton of recent releases without any issue.

I doubt DirectX is the problem, as DA should be DX11 compatible but has the same problem. And, as Darkhold mentions, he’s able to run both games fine. But if it is, what’s there to do about it?

[drool] Modern Warfare 2 on maximum quality settings, on 1920x1200 on a 24 inch monitor[/drool]

The high resolution should (in theory) enable me to spot tiny enemies in the distance better than on lower resolutions. This concept seemed to work in FO3.

Anyway, point being in my experience W7 seems to have no negative effect whatsoever on gaming.

Memory leaks are an application issue not an OS issue. The OS sits there and just hands out memory when an application requests it. If you suspect a leak with Dragon Age then you should contact EA about that. Yes, the OS itself is an application, but I doubt there’s a major random leak with it, or we would have heard it about it from non-gamers.

DA is probably the worst application to use as a litmus test for windows. There’s a major leak or performance issue that crops up, especially in the dwarven area. It also crashed pretty frequently on my XP machine which is otherwise rock solid. Its just another poorly coded rushed out the door app, like most PC games. Have you tried the 1.02 patch yet?

That said, you also have issues with all games on 7 then that sounds more like a video card or video driver issue or perhaps there’s something funky with your system, like running poorly coded AV apps or some service in the background. I always find it helpful to excluse my video game install folders from any realtime AV scans and to shut down everything I dont need before launching a game.

Sounds like something (video card) is trying to protect itself from overheating.

Hmm. GPU temp seems to be the culprit. After downloading nVidia’s System Monitor it says that my GPU idles at 101C (213F) which is way too high. Any ideas on how to cool it best? There’s plenty of room in my chassis and even with the side open it does not appear to cool down.

Check that the GPU fan is running.

Looks like that’s it: fan is not running at all. Now I’m not sure if this is due to Windows 7 or not, so I guess I’ll load Win XP again. Thanks for the help all.

Windows 7 isn’t preventing your fan from running. You need to clear the blockage or replace the heatsink/fan.

Windows 7 is not managing your GPU fan. Its probably managed by the controller on the GPU card or the driver NVIDIA produces. Switching to XP wont help you.

Win 7 user here too, although I’m not sure if the OS is relevant. I had an issue with my GTX 260 fan too. The fan would stay stuck at 40%. Now, I just use EVGA Precision to up the fan speed to 100% while playing games. Not really a “fix,” but it works.

Dragon Age for the PC was finished over a year ago, and they delayed the release to port it to console. It wasn’t rushed out the door. And I haven’t heard anyone else complain about bugs or resource issues.

DLC delayed by serious bug found at last minute.

Oh, not to mention how Patch 1.01 broke the game for lots of people, including yours truly. Turns out there was some needed library but the installer wasnt coded to install it or even warn the user.

Bioware isnt known for their rock solid code. They make games, usually buggy ones. If the OP is having issues I doubt he just discovered some unfound major bug in Win7 that everyone else missed. Something tells me his Dragon Age install isnt any different from mine: its buggy. Or he should fix his broken GPU fan. Installing XP in favor of 7 because DA is crashing is ridiculous.

Again, thanks all for your answer. Note however, that I mentioned that I have my problems not only with DA, but with ME as well, a much older game. It is also not true that fan problems cannot be OS related. It might very well be that the fan is not controled correctly by the driver, which in turn is controled by the OS. There have been many posts on message boards with people who have fans that will not run faster than 30% on one OS, but not another.

Still, my problem was that the fan is not running at all, not even when the PC is booting, so in this case the OS is ruled out. I’ve decided to buy a new video card. It’s time for it again.

>It might very well be that the fan is not controled correctly by the driver, which in turn is controled by the OS.

The OS doesnt “control” the driver. It runs it. If NVIDIA is shipping non working drivers then your beef is with them.

True, but if a WinXP version of that driver does not display the problem, then one might say that the solution would be to install XP, even though the OS is not the direct cause of the problem. Or one could wait for an updated driver.

But again, all this is a non-issue. My problem is now defined and a solution is proposed. End of thread.

I’ve had the slowdowns, and it seems to relate largely to load times. These slowly increase to ridiculous levels during long sessions, but if I quit and restart, it’s back to normal. I’d be very surprised if it were due to any sort of overheating as a result; I certainly don’t give the system time to cool down before reloading. I’ve also noticed this on both my Win7 machine and my friend’s Vista box (both x64). We’ve both got ATI graphics cards with updated drivers, and neither machine has a problem with excessive temps.

As others have said, Bioware have form for shonky coding. Hell, managing save games in KOTOR so the inevitable crashes didn’t lose you hours of play was practically a minigame in itself. Can’t comment on Mass Effect, but I play Bioware games fully expecting something to go wrong. DA:O is the most reliable one of theirs I’ve played, which is a bit of an indictment.