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Game Not Running Well on Gaming LaptopFollow

#1 Sep 02 2013 at 10:02 PM Rating: Decent
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Me and my bro bought a decent gaming laptop together earlier this year so that we could both play FFXIV when I'm at his place and when he's at mine. It's an MSI with AMD CPU, Windows 8, a Radeon 7970m GPU and a standard HDD. While running FFXIV in Gridania the FPS is often around 15 and when spinning the camera in a crowded area it often halts for a couple of seconds while loading PCs. Out in the field the frame rate is in the mid 40's, dropping into the 20's while turning the camera.

This is all with the lowest possible graphics settings and the laptop is running in performance mode. I've also turned down all of the graphics settings in the ATI control panel. I guess I expected a little better from a 2013 gaming laptop leading me to wonder if there's something wrong. The benchmark score with these settings is around 7,500, "extremely high" supposedly.

Lowering the resolution of the game has almost no affect on FPS. The frames still drop big time when turning the camera and idle FPS is around the same. I'd like to force V-sync off since that helps the FPS a lot on my desktop PC but ATI's settings aren't as robust as nVidia's and the option doesn't seem to be there.

Should this laptop be able to run this game better? Is this game really that beefy? Is it just the fact that there are so many PCs hanging around the starter nations? Any advice as to how to get better FPS? Has anyone been able to compare HDD vs SSD in this game? Question overload!

Edited, Sep 3rd 2013 9:05pm by TauuOfSiren
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#2 Sep 02 2013 at 10:08 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sounds like it is not running on the dedicated card. Look for that in CC or in-game configuration setting, there should be a drop down to switch which card you are using (my guess is integrated).
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#3 Sep 02 2013 at 10:09 PM Rating: Decent
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Update your drivers, I read something about a performance improvement for ATI cards in a recent driver set.
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#4 Sep 02 2013 at 10:10 PM Rating: Good
Even if it is running on the dedicated GPU, a laptop's integrated graphics, regardless of the name, don't tend to perform like their desktop equivalents. Even so, though, I digress. Make sure you're plugged into a wall in case Windows is throttling the graphics down for power-related reasons, make sure your power profile isn't set to turn off the GPU, etc etc etc.
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#5 Sep 02 2013 at 10:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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The game just doesn't perform as well on AMD CPUs and there's a good chance that if it's not your graphics card, it's your CPU that's the bottleneck. I'm going to be upgrading to a Core i7 myself in the near future because this 3 year old AMD Athlon x4 isn't cutting it.
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#6 Sep 02 2013 at 10:16 PM Rating: Decent
To give you an idea:

Intel Core i7 2600 CPU
16GB DDR3 RAM
Quad-SLI GeForce 5600ti's
8x RAID 0 SATA3 7200RPM Drives

My load times are ridiculously nice which helps when I'm spamming X during a 1017 (I use my PS3 controller on my PC). Graphics-wise I might pull 80 FPS in unpopulated areas with the FPS limiter off. In-city I might pull 40.
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#7 Sep 02 2013 at 10:19 PM Rating: Excellent
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blowfin wrote:
Update your drivers, I read something about a performance improvement for ATI cards in a recent driver set.


Opportunity to self-quote:
AMD Catalyst™ 13.8 Windows® Beta Driver

In the release notes:
- Final Fantasy XIV: Improves single GPU and CrossFire performance

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#8 Sep 03 2013 at 5:52 AM Rating: Good
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Thanks for the responses. I'm going to bring the laptop home next weekend (my bro currently has it) and experiment with it for a while. It's hard to test different settings when it takes hours to log into the game so hopefully things will be better after the maintenance.

blowfin wrote:
blowfin wrote:
Update your drivers, I read something about a performance improvement for ATI cards in a recent driver set.


Opportunity to self-quote:
AMD Catalyst™ 13.8 Windows® Beta Driver

In the release notes:
- Final Fantasy XIV: Improves single GPU and CrossFire performance



That's really cool, I'll definitely try that.
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#9 Sep 03 2013 at 5:56 AM Rating: Good
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I actually rolled back from that because I had a BSOD come out of it twice. I'm waiting til the official release.
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Thayos wrote:
I can't understand anyone who skips the cutscenes of a Final Fantasy game. That's like going to Texas and not getting barbecue.

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#10 Sep 03 2013 at 6:04 AM Rating: Decent
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Also, most of the time it is the simple problem of overheating. when the computer overheats, it slows itself down in all aspects to make sure it doesn't self-destruct.

I have this gaming-ish laptop too, which, tbh, can run any game today out there, but it is plagued with overheating issues. I have improvised a cooling unit with small fans and it helps a lot, but really, the moral of the story is, just get a desktop next time :(
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#11 Sep 03 2013 at 6:16 AM Rating: Excellent
My AMD Phenom II x4 980 handles this game no problem, fyi.

Biggest noticeable performance increase while playing FFXIV since September 2010...switching from HDD to SSD.

Seriously is like night/day. At least it was. I am not will to go back and try it on a HDD again. THe sad thing is I am running my SSD on SATA II because my mobo doesn't have SATA III support...xD so, it could be even better then it is for me now....
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#12 Sep 03 2013 at 8:17 AM Rating: Good
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I'm on an SSD and while the game runs great, it could run fantastic. Smiley: lol

Hence, the desire to upgrade to a latest and greatest Haswell i7 with a new motherboard.
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Thayos wrote:
I can't understand anyone who skips the cutscenes of a Final Fantasy game. That's like going to Texas and not getting barbecue.

FFXIV: Katarh Mest and Taprara Rara on Lamia Server - Member of The Swarm
Curator of the XIV Wallpapers Tumblr and the XIV Fashion Tumblr
#13 Sep 03 2013 at 8:48 AM Rating: Excellent
If I upgraded my PC again I would probably run:

AMD FX-9590 (4.7GHz)
ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 (2600MHz HT FSB)
G.SKILL Trident X Series 32GB RAM (1866)
EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN SuperClocked Signature (6GB 384-bit GDDR5)
[3x] G.SKILL Phoenix III SSD (SATA III; 240GB each, total of 720 GB)

Just saying...i7...no thanks... xD
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#14 Sep 03 2013 at 9:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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The other things you may want to try:

Make sure you're plugged into the wall [common sense]
set your power profile in windows to high performance


Also download a temp monitoring program like HWmonitor to keep an eye on your temps. Just leave it running in the background

Be aware that MSI notebook build quality is hit and miss. I have a 683DXR w/ 570m that runs fine [GPU tops @ 72c], and I have a GT70 w/ 675m that I can't use to game without the max fan button on [tops around 98c otherwise]. Pulled it apart to repaste, and the heatsink is not sitting entirely flush with the GPU.

If it's still under warranty, I'd doubly recommend checking temps, documenting performance issues, and contacting MSI ASAP regarding the issue.

Good luck ^^
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#15 Sep 03 2013 at 10:10 AM Rating: Good
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Game plays great with 670m on med settings with a few high options. However even though I have the 670m set as default for XIV and from time to time the Intel GMA will load anyway and it's slideshow time at those settings. It is pretty impressive that the GMA can play the game very well at low with some med settings.
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#16 Sep 03 2013 at 10:32 AM Rating: Good
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StateAlchemist, Om nom nom... wrote:
If I upgraded my PC again I would probably run:

AMD FX-9590 (4.7GHz)
ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 (2600MHz HT FSB)
G.SKILL Trident X Series 32GB RAM (1866)
EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN SuperClocked Signature (6GB 384-bit GDDR5)
[3x] G.SKILL Phoenix III SSD (SATA III; 240GB each, total of 720 GB)

Just saying...i7...no thanks... xD


I've been an AMD fangirl for many years, but I'm AM3 socket limited right now and can't get an FX chip without getting a new motherboard anyway.

I've seen some really impressive numbers with the 4770k i7 and I'm willing to give Intel a shot now that I can finally afford one. Smiley: lol
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FFXI: Catwho on Bismarck: Retired December 2014
Thayos wrote:
I can't understand anyone who skips the cutscenes of a Final Fantasy game. That's like going to Texas and not getting barbecue.

FFXIV: Katarh Mest and Taprara Rara on Lamia Server - Member of The Swarm
Curator of the XIV Wallpapers Tumblr and the XIV Fashion Tumblr
#17 Sep 03 2013 at 11:48 AM Rating: Excellent
Catwho wrote:
StateAlchemist, Om nom nom... wrote:
If I upgraded my PC again I would probably run:

AMD FX-9590 (4.7GHz)
ASUS SABERTOOTH 990FX R2.0 (2600MHz HT FSB)
G.SKILL Trident X Series 32GB RAM (1866)
EVGA GeForce GTX TITAN SuperClocked Signature (6GB 384-bit GDDR5)
[3x] G.SKILL Phoenix III SSD (SATA III; 240GB each, total of 720 GB)

Just saying...i7...no thanks... xD


I've been an AMD fangirl for many years, but I'm AM3 socket limited right now and can't get an FX chip without getting a new motherboard anyway.

I've seen some really impressive numbers with the 4770k i7 and I'm willing to give Intel a shot now that I can finally afford one. Smiley: lol


I will admit I am a die-hard fan of AMD. I will never go back to Intel. However...I will also never use an AMD GPU. Weird like that.
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#18 Sep 03 2013 at 1:26 PM Rating: Good
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Hmm, interesting... personally I haven't bought anything AMD in years simply because the Intel chips always beat the everloving daylight out of their AMD counterparts in benchmarks. I have to say the new AMD chips are catching up though. I mean look at this:

http://cpuboss.com/cpus/Intel-Core-i7-4770K-vs-AMD-FX-9370

Here in NZ from Playtech, the two chips are very similarly priced, and the Intel chip only just beat the AMD one. Back in the sandy-bridge days the Intel chips were miles ahead.

As for the thread itself, I am running the game on a Dell XPS 15... definitely not designed for gaming, yet it still runs the game at 1080p on high (laptop) settings. If this laptop can run the game, a dedicated gaming laptop should definitely perform better than what it has been. I agree to check overheating issues as well as updating all the drivers (chipset, audio and graphics).
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#19 Sep 03 2013 at 1:33 PM Rating: Good
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For notebooks I steer away from MSI/ASUS as they are notorious for heating issues. I picked up a sager system for 1.0 and have loved that purchase. Check sagernotebook or xoticpc's website. Solidly built and great built in fans, and ample space underneath the machine for airflow.
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#20 Sep 03 2013 at 1:34 PM Rating: Decent
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Its a decent card when compared to all graphics cards, above average for a laptop card.

However, its not the beast you may think it to be.

http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=Radeon+HD+7970M
here is their recommended graphics card the 660 (desktop) : http://www.videocardbenchmark.net/gpu.php?gpu=GeForce+GTX+660&id=2152

So your card is no slouch for a laptop card, but a little worse in performance to a modern budget desktop gaming card.

With that said, I would expect some issues running at high settings.

Do bear in mind laptops are notorious for poor cooling and your stuff wont preform well if its overheating (yes even the laptops with excessive cooling suck at cooling)

I would update or reinstall the drivers, I would crack it open and dust the living **** out of it with compressed air...also if you have the option to...remove the battery when playing (plugged in of course) as the battery will charge and create heat.

In hindsight you could have paid the same price for a desktop and gotten an insane graphics card..which is why laptop for gaming is fail.


Oh, one more thing: SSD will only speed up load screens and wont improve gameplay any. Keep that in mind. Yes I play the game off SSD and the load screens are super fast, but it offers no increase in FPS ect...just loading.

Edited, Sep 3rd 2013 3:36pm by Strangerous
#21 Sep 03 2013 at 6:27 PM Rating: Decent
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That rig should run this game in much higher settings at higher framerates as well. I am running the same video card in an Alienware with 16 mb ram and an i7 processor. I run with everything maxed with 50fps typically.

I know my laptop has a hot button to switch back and forth from the dedicated graphics and integrated graphics. My old Alienware had the same feature but it was found in the bios. Do you know how to check it in yours? I have to think that is the issue.
#22 Sep 03 2013 at 7:01 PM Rating: Decent
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Thanks again for all of the responses guys. There's a lot of great suggestions and I'll try them. I don't know about AMD. The last time I tried an AMD cpu it was a 486 and it ran like an Intel 386 (the days before Pentium). I think something was wrong with that one too. Haha! I must just have bad luck with AMD, but I'll try to straighten out this laptop.

zaarel wrote:
That rig should run this game in much higher settings at higher framerates as well. I am running the same video card in an Alienware with 16 mb ram and an i7 processor. I run with everything maxed with 50fps typically.

I know my laptop has a hot button to switch back and forth from the dedicated graphics and integrated graphics. My old Alienware had the same feature but it was found in the bios. Do you know how to check it in yours? I have to think that is the issue.

I went in the ATI control panel and set FFXIV to run in performance mode and the light on that hot button switches from white (power saving) to orange (performance). I do need to double check the in-game config to make sure the Radeon is being used.
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#23 Sep 03 2013 at 7:20 PM Rating: Good
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desmar wrote:
For notebooks I steer away from MSI/ASUS as they are notorious for heating issues. I picked up a sager system for 1.0 and have loved that purchase. Check sagernotebook or xoticpc's website. Solidly built and great built in fans, and ample space underneath the machine for airflow.


I have an ASUS Republic of Gamers laptop and it used to overheat, until I decided to make a simple modification:
http://imgur.com/G3hjyEy

Now here's the thing. My laptop has only one GPU, an nVidia Geforce GTS 360m. My wife has a Samsung laptop with two GPUs, one is an Intel integrated one and the other is an nVidia Geforce GS 520m.

My wife can only run the game on the lowest possible setting (Laptop Standard) with everything turned off or low, and averages 26-30 fps. On my laptop I can run the game 30~60fps on Laptop High. I have no idea why. Running a GPU monitor while the game is running, I can see it's putting load on my wife's nVidia card and there's hardly any load on the Intel chip, so it appears to use the correct GPU. What kicks me is that her graphics chip is technically faster than mine. For example, I cannot run Metro 2033 with a playable framerate on my laptop, yet hers runs 30+ fps. Her computer actually outperformed mine in FFXIV 1.0. My guess is it's purely a driver issue, and that since her laptop is 2 years old it's now "legacy" hardware and won't see another dime in support. My laptop is 3 years old by the way.

A laptop isn't bad for this game really. During Phase 4 beta my brother used my laptop to play FFXIV over a 4G tethered cellphone connection while we were on a road trip from the Mississippi gulf coast to Florida. He was helping his LS members clear Ifrit. The only problem we ran into was we blew up the power inverter on the return trip, which we joked would happen and it did anyway.

Portable gaming at its finest.
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