XPS M1330 - Playing any game consumes 100% CPU - heats up and triggers maximum airflow

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XPS M1330 - Playing any game consumes 100% CPU - heats up and triggers maximum airflow

  • Dear friends,

     

    Please help me with this which I think is pretty serious and I couldn't find a solution on Dell Forums or somewhere else: 

     

    Laptop: Dell XPS M1330 (2200MHz Core2Duo)

    Video: Nvidia 8400M GS

    DirectX: 9.0c 

    OS: Windows XP, SP2

     

    When trying to play any game (no matter if demanding or a 10-years old one) such as:

     - Colin McRae Dirt Reloaded

     - NFS Pro Street 

     - Keepsake

     - Disciples II

     - Elastomania

     - Virtual Pool 3 

    The CPU goes to 50% (1 core full) from the begginning - even in the menus.  After a short while fans fun at a full throttle - very hot and noisy.

    Windows applicatios (other than games) run fine.

     

    I tried:

     - using both with latest NVidia drivers and latest Dell drivers (reccomended, bit older) for my video card.

     - make sure having the latest update for DirectX 9.0c.

     - disabling DirectX (some games don't work, but the ones wich start still heat up)

     - disabling HW acceleration in games (still heats up)

     - tuning the NVidia driver for less stressing optioins; choosing lowest graphics settings in games

     - switching through differernt flat panel scaling mode

     - turning on or off NVidia PowerMizer in the driver's settings 

     

    What would you think it might be? Is there a driver issue? or a directx one? how can I isolate this and find the problem?

    I was really keen about being able to playing games on my laptop and the video card is impressive for a laptop; but this heating horrifies my gaming experience and makes me think twice about starting any game.

     

    Best wishes,

    RumburaK 

     

  • Have you updated Windows through Windows update? Most XP setup disks are lacking a lot of updates. 

    Could you try opening up the task manager while leaving Windows idle and see if there are any CPU hogs?

    Desktop

    Asus Rampage, Q9450 @ 3.2GHz, 4GB DDR2 800MHz (4-4-4-12), 8800GTS 512MB

    X-Fi XtremeGamer, 4 1TB HDs, Triple Boot - Ubuntu (Hardy), XP Pro and Vista Ultimate 64bit

     

     

  • Yes, sure, I have tha latest update.

    The CPU hogs are, as I said, the games themselves.

     

  • Trying running a full system diagnostic just to rule out a hardware fault

    EDIT - Another thing to remember is:

    Most of the rendering on older games, and older versions of directX use mostly CPU power, and unless you put a framerate limiter on the game, it will continue to eat up your CPU until there's nothing left . Newer games do far more of the rendering on the GPU, including physics in some, but still need a very powerful CPU. Single core mode SHOULD be eaten 100% when in ANY game, no matter how old the game.

    Message Edited by mfinnan101 on 04-24-2008 07:38 PM
    Message Edited by mfinnan101 on 04-24-2008 07:39 PM

    Desktop

    Asus Rampage, Q9450 @ 3.2GHz, 4GB DDR2 800MHz (4-4-4-12), 8800GTS 512MB

    X-Fi XtremeGamer, 4 1TB HDs, Triple Boot - Ubuntu (Hardy), XP Pro and Vista Ultimate 64bit

     

     

  • mfinnan101, could you reccomend such a tool? also, can you reccomend such a frame limiter that would support all games which obviously do not have a frame limit in the settings?

     

    do you believe that 100% cpu is a standard behaviour for games and every laptop shoud get hot by playing any game?

     

  • For diagnostics press F12 @ boot, or boot from your diagnostics CD.

    As regards the frame rate limiter I have never used one, and I can't seem to find any application that'll let you limit the frame rate. One thing you could try is turning down the settings, not sure how much that'll help though....

    The CPU usage really depends on how graphically intense the game is - An old game will primarly put stress on the CPU, whereas a more graphically intense one will put more hurt on the GPU. With an old game the CPU becomes the main bottleneck in the system - the GPU isn't being taxed at all and thus the CPU can't supply it with data fast enough. So 100% CPU usage shouldn't be uncommon, by 100% you mean one core is fully loaded right? Something such as a graphically intense RTS such as Supreme Commander will put hurt on both the CPU and GPU.

    My XPS M1530 gets quite hot no matter which game I play even Homeworld 2 which is quite old now. While gaming you're looking at putting stress on either the CPU or GPU so unfortunately any laptop will get hot and loud...

    Message Edited by mfinnan101 on 04-24-2008 10:14 PM

    Desktop

    Asus Rampage, Q9450 @ 3.2GHz, 4GB DDR2 800MHz (4-4-4-12), 8800GTS 512MB

    X-Fi XtremeGamer, 4 1TB HDs, Triple Boot - Ubuntu (Hardy), XP Pro and Vista Ultimate 64bit

     

     

  • It's the nature of the beast unfortunately rumburake.

    We just have to accept that our gaming laptops/desktop replacements, run much hotter than a similarly specced desktop system - due to the confines of the chassis.

     

    And yes... it's quite normal for CPU usage to go to 100% when gaming.

    I'd be rather annoyed in fact, knowing I had CPU and graphics power in abundance, and it wasn't being used during gaming sessions :smileytongue:

    From experience, I've found that:   “Beauty is in the eye of the beer-holder”!!

     

    XPS M1730:

    Smoke Grey Magnesium Alloy Chassis - with White LED Backlights
    17" UltraSharp WUXGA Widescreen TFT (1920 x 1200) with TrueLife
    Intel Core 2 Duo Processor T9300 @ 2.50GHz (800 MHz FSB, 4MB L2 cache)
    4GB (2x 2GB) Patriot Signature PC2-5400 @ 667MHz
    DUAL 512MB Nvidia 8800M GTX cards in SLi + 128MB Ageia PhysX
    640GB SATA II (2x 320GB WD Scorpio Black 7200rpm)
    8x Super-Multi DVD±RW
    Creative X-Fi Notebook (ExpressCard) + Creative GigaWorks T40 Series II
    Integrated 2MP Webcam
    Dell Wireless 355 Bluetooth 2.0 Module
    Intel Next-Gen Wireless-N Mini-Card
    TV Tuner and Dell Travel Remote Control
    4-in-1 Flash Card Reader (SSD/MMC/MS Pro/xD)

    230W AC Adapter / 9-cell Lithium-Ion Battery

    Windows 7 Home Premium (64bit)

  • Dear guys,

     

    There is nothing wrong with the system... and even if, that F12 diagnostig probably would't have a clue.

     

    Regarding the way games are suppose to use 100% of a core in my sistem, you can't be serious about that - did you see the list of games I mentioned? - they are pretty classycs.  E.g.:

     

     - Virtual Pool 3:

     static game, most of the time only thing that cpu should do is: redraw the table as reacting to mouse movements; simple 3d graphics are surely standard hw functions of direct3d

     

     - Disciples 2:

     heroes-like turn based strategy. while me thinking what to build in the city and looking at a static picture of a building, what is the computer computing?? i am sure it is directx because it doesn't work without it. so what can be so stressful for the cpu in displaying an image in directx? - the AI works seprately at the end of the turn.

     

     - Menus for Colin McRae:

     video effects on menus - some shades and glowings; GPU probably handles everything - again what is the cpu working on? SETI?

     

    What I wanted to outline is that your thaughts are welcome, but they are just some general thaughts and although they may appear in the forum as a clarifying solution - they are not and they just bury the problem.

     

    There is clearly something wrong and a chance is that the good old XP, designed before real laptops came into highstreet, doesn't know much about real power management (other that increase and decrease frequency).

     

    Maybe I'll give Vista a second chance - just to know I tried.

    Also another thing I might try is runing those games in Wine on Linux ;-). 

     

     

    RumburaK

     


  • rumburake wrote:

    What I wanted to outline is that your thaughts are welcome, but they are just some general thaughts and although they may appear in the forum as a clarifying solution - they are not and they just bury the problem.

     

    There is clearly something wrong and a chance is that the good old XP, designed before real laptops came into highstreet, doesn't know much about real power management (other that increase and decrease frequency).


    I'm afraid you'll have to write you own drivers or reprogram the games if you really want to solve the problem.

    There's still a good bit wrong with XP primarly the kernel doesn't really benefit from multiple cores. :smileysurprised: 

    Desktop

    Asus Rampage, Q9450 @ 3.2GHz, 4GB DDR2 800MHz (4-4-4-12), 8800GTS 512MB

    X-Fi XtremeGamer, 4 1TB HDs, Triple Boot - Ubuntu (Hardy), XP Pro and Vista Ultimate 64bit

     

     

  • Well I'm on Vista now and it's ok.

    Solved.

     

    Thanks mfinnan101 for his amasing in-depth knowledge about windows kernel, drivers and game programming.

     


  • rumburake wrote:

    Thanks mfinnan101 for his amasing in-depth knowledge about windows kernel, drivers and game programming.


    Oh, the sarcasm.....

    Desktop

    Asus Rampage, Q9450 @ 3.2GHz, 4GB DDR2 800MHz (4-4-4-12), 8800GTS 512MB

    X-Fi XtremeGamer, 4 1TB HDs, Triple Boot - Ubuntu (Hardy), XP Pro and Vista Ultimate 64bit