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What does this mean? WoW and HDD issues.

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I have been doing lots of experimenting and researching to fix an issue I am having with World of Warcraft on my new laptop. I am semi-tech savvy, but still I am quite confused as to what this situation is. I have already found the cause of the issue, but I do not fully know where to go from here.

Firstly, my PC's specs are:
Dell XPS 15
Windows 7 Home, 64 Bit English
Intel Core i7-740QM (1.73Ghz, 8 Threads, turbo boost up to 2.93Ghz, 6M Cache)
6GB DDR3 Memory
NVIDIA GeForce GT 435M 2GB Graphics
640 GB 7200 RPM SATA Hard Drive

I recently bought this laptop, and I was very excited to try World of Warcraft with actual high graphics for once. It was indeed amazing; however, I began to quickly notice that I am getting game stuttering issues. My FPS is at 80-200, though it would drop to 15 or freeze for 1-3 seconds every once in a while. There seems to be many other players that are mentioning the same issue, and from what I had read, they were mostly running Windows 7 OS. I would just like to mention that this is not a overheating issue, since I am running a very good quality cooling dock, and my laptop is usually cool. (Temperatures at 40-70C degrees)

I tried most of the information posted in the Blizzard tech forums about system performance issues. After trying all sorts of things like tweaking graphics, power settings, reinstalling drivers, updating drivers, and even reinstalling WoW, I realized nothing I did would change this problem.

After some time of this torture, I began to realize the pattern of when this happens. The stutters happened whenever I was seeing new data from the game, like loots, quests, clicking players, certain spell casts, and other so actions. It felt like the computer was overworking to receive the data, and would freeze for a bit. I thought that it had something to do with multiple cores, since I am running with 8 Threads on a Core i7, so I tried all sorts of tweaks that I could find which was mentioned that have benefit game stutters (disabling core parking, disable multiple core GPU usage, running WoW on 2 cores, disabling intel speedstep, etc.). Nothing had an effect on these stutters, it felt untouchable.

Then, I read some post about this kind of issue, and somebody mentioned that this could happen due to HDD problems. So I thought I would give this a try, and I tried running WoW on my external hard drive connected with USB 2.0, and what do you know, ZERO stutters. Just to be completely sure, I played for over 8 hours on my external hard drive, and I haven't had a single stutter. Keep in mind I kept all of my settings and files the same, and this experiment was carefully controlled.

Now I had a lead. So the first thing I tried was to run the computer with diagnostic start up (no start up processes or services, and enabled only Network for internet) , just to check if something was causing problems on reading my HDD. I played on my HDD and within 5 minutes I got multiple stutters. Now my only guess is that there are some incompatibility issues with the recent update to WoW (Cataclysm 4.0.3a) with some systems with Windows 7. And if WoW is running on the same drive of windows, it may be causing these problems. I know some people with Windows 7 that do not have these issues, but there are many other variables as to why this might happen to some. Also, keep in mind that this laptop is brand new. The chances of having a faulty HDD is very minimal, and I have had no problems with any other programs/games running full blast.

I would very much appreciate some feedback to what I can do with this information. The only drive I have currently is C:, and I was thinking of splitting the drive into 2, and putting WoW on it's own drive. Do you think this would solve this problem?
Thank you so much for reading this far.
post #2 of 6
(i split your post into paragraphs to make it easier to read)

maybe it's the game itself.

you could try shrinking your system drive, making a new partition, and installing it there, or maybe replacing the system drive, but i don't know if that will work and replacing the drive could be expensive.

oh, where are my manners - welcome to OCN, and please enjoy your stay .
Herschel
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Herschel
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post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by -iceblade^ View Post
(i split your post into paragraphs to make it easier to read)

maybe it's the game itself.

you could try shrinking your system drive, making a new partition, and installing it there, or maybe replacing the system drive, but i don't know if that will work and replacing the drive could be expensive.

oh, where are my manners - welcome to OCN, and please enjoy your stay .
Hi,
Thanks for the edit, I actually wrote it in word but I guess the paragraphs attached on here.

Okay, I tried shrinking and spliting my drive, and using WoW on the new partition but it didn't make a difference. I'm pretty sure it is the game itself. I tried running the game on another external with eSATA, and it ran seamlessly.

I guess for now I have to use it like this. Today I'm going to buy a SSD External with eSATA
post #4 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaymovez View Post
Hi,
Thanks for the edit, I actually wrote it in word but I guess the paragraphs attached on here.

Okay, I tried shrinking and spliting my drive, and using WoW on the new partition but it didn't make a difference. I'm pretty sure it is the game itself. I tried running the game on another external with eSATA, and it ran seamlessly.

I guess for now I have to use it like this. Today I'm going to buy a SSD External with eSATA
That should definitely improve your WoW gaming, especially loading times.
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Black Betty
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post #5 of 6
My best guess would be that it is a cache issue with your drive. Most laptop drives have very small caches. Therefore, data has to be read directly from the drive causing lag and prolonged load times. This using the external worked, Im betting that the external had a larger cache than the internal drive the PC.
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Moltar View Post
My best guess would be that it is a cache issue with your drive. Most laptop drives have very small caches. Therefore, data has to be read directly from the drive causing lag and prolonged load times. This using the external worked, Im betting that the external had a larger cache than the internal drive the PC.
Yeah, thats what I was thinking as well. I was very sure it had something to do with the cache, that is why I tried the external and it worked!
I'm now using an SSD external with USB 3.0! Very very very fast and seamless
Thanks all for the input!
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