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Laptop Issue that has beaten TS


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#1
okc0r

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Technical Support is failing me

1. Specs of my laptop: Intel PEntium 4 3.0 ghz 1mb l2 cache; 1gb 400 mhz pc3200 dual channel; 60 gb 5400 rpm hd; 17 inch 1400x900 WXGA+TFT lcd; Windows XP Home

2. Problem: While playing video games like Everquest 2 and Star Wars KOTOR 2 my character will slow down. Similar to a speed hack except my character slows down instead of speed up. It ran Everquest 2 fine for about 2 months before this happened so i know it has the capability.
Example: Start playing the game the character will run at normal speed for awhile then you hear the laptop fans? kind of start working really hard then you hear them kind of die off then the character starts moving really slow. The game will continue running fine it just slows down a hair, it's noticeable but only to someone who knows what normal speed is.

3. Known facts: I know that it is not a virus/malware/spyware I have done thorough cleanings and eventually followed up with a format(deleted partition completely) and reinstalled windows xp followed by eq2. EQ2 still did the slow down. I know that it is not internet connectivitiy issues being as how SW KOTOR 2 is a single player game.

4. TAke Note: If the laptop is booted from battery(don't plug into the wall) and the game is started... the game will run fine. But my systems windows reads my processor as 2.28 ghz. Meaning game's run fine at 2.28 ghz... but i bought a 3.0 ghz...... So i feel like the processor is overheating when it is running at 3.0ghz then it drops speeds to accomadate the heat and that's where the slowdown is coming from.

5. Conclusion: Widow PC tech support keeps telling me nothing is wrong with it. So i'm looking for help here so that maybe i can tell them what's wrong with it since they can't figure it out. Can anyone please help me... has anyone else had this problem???
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#2
Samm

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Sounds like its overheating to me. New Pentium 4 systems have a built in response to overheating - if they start to get hot, the system is slowed down significantly in order to reduce the load & therefore cool the system. This explains why it coincides with the fans coming on.

You said the system only runs at 2.28GHz when running from battery only, does it run at 2.8 right from boot up or does it slow to this speed later? I'm guessing that if it runs at 2.8 at boot up, its probably due to the battery not being able to support the CPU's full speed - laptops often have decreased system performance when the laptop is being powered by the battery alone. You may also find that the graphics card isn't being run at full power either.

If this is so & it boots up at 2.8GHz then the system probably won't get too hot & thats why you don't experience the problems when running from the battery.


Can you tell me a couple of things please :

1. What make is the laptop? (coz their tech support suck)

2. Where do you normally have the laptop situated when this happens? ie on your lap, bed, desk etc. And also the environmental conditions in the room, such as proximity heat sources, ventilation, room temp etc?
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#3
okc0r

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If this is so & it boots up at 2.8GHz then the system probably won't get too hot & thats why you don't experience the problems when running from the battery.


Yes this is the conclusion i've drawn as well but when i tell there tech support this... they just kind of ignore me.. :\

The system boots up at 2.28 the system window reads : Pentium 4 3.0 ghz 2.28 ghz. Just like that. If i boot while plugged into an outlet it reads Pentium 4 3.0 ghz. So that's precisely what i think is happening.... but i have a feeling there giong to send it back to me unrepaired... meaning i'm going to have to either get "meaner" with them or fix it myself...... :tazz: I've already had to get mean... really bad tech support.


1. The make is The Sting 4754 if that's what you're looking for.

2. I've tried multi environments to see if i could provide more air to the inside... I made a little "tray that would hold up just the sides of the laptop so that air could circulate over and under it.... but i couldnt tell a difference in the "speed" of it overheating.

ohh and i forgot to mention my video card specs earlier: ATI RADEON™ 9700 Mobility 128MB SDRAM video memory

Edited by okc0r, 09 May 2005 - 09:52 PM.

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#4
Samm

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I can't find much info on that laptop on the web but it's the same hardware as alienware apparently, so i visited alienware's website & knowledge base.

They say that you may be able to sort out the problem by doing this :

1. If you have a system CD that came with the laptop, have a look on it in the drivers section for a utility called agputil (I suggest you search the hard drive as well, just in case) If it exists, you should be able to run it & lower the AGP speed down to 4x. This should help prevent it from overheating during games etc.
I suggest if it this utility doesn't exist, then have a look in the bios for the same setting.

2. See if the CPU fan grill needs cleaning. A build up of dust & fluff etc will prevent it from cooling efficiently.

Apart from that, I don't know what else you could do. I think underclocking the video is the best option personally, if you can find a way of doing it. I agree that if you send the laptop back to tech support, unless they find that a fan has failed or something, they will just return it with no fault found.

Try running a system monitoring utility on it. If the laptop doesn't come with a windows based one, then have a look through the majorgeeks.com site & see if you can find one. At least then you'll get a better idea of exactly what temps the system is hitting at 3GHz.

The only final option, if you bought the laptop recently, is to try & return it & claim a replacement one (different model) or refund on the basis that it 'doesn't do what it says on the packet'. ie doesn't run at 3GHz
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#5
Alex_Harris

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Is it a mobile processor in the machine?
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#6
okc0r

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Thanks for the help. They currently still have my laptop at tech support so I'll give those suggestions aa try when i get it back. They were supposed to call me yesterday but of course they didn't :tazz: So i'm going to call them today to find out the "news".

The specs read : Intel Desktop Pentium 4 so I guess it isn't a mobile processor, but I'm not really sure. =D
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#7
okc0r

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Hoorrayy! After 2 1/2 weeks with my laptop they have finally seen my laptop do the "slow down" technique! ..ooOO(Allthough I did kind of tell them exactly how to make it happen) But that's ok! They've seen it now and are testing the hardrive and ram and whatever else it could be till they get it fixed....

When dealing with Technical Support you must be persistant and not take "they'res nothing wrong with it" for an answer! Well... if you know something's wrong =D
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#8
Samm

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Nice one! You're right, you need to be persistant (and often very patient & explain things sloowwly to them without using too many technical terms!)
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#9
Supergeek.dcse

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get them to change the heatsink and fan any way some lab which cant be named have over heating prob under heavy work load and fresh one curs it for while
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