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Old 04-16-2012, 08:23 AM   #1
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Unhappy Mass Effect Framerate Issues

Hi all,

Ever since I purchased Mass Effect 1 through Steam, I have experienced severe framerate issues. My previous install (non-Steam) ran like a charm on my older, decidedly low-end PC. Right now, the (Steam)game runs very smoothly for about 30-60s, then suddenly the framerate drops till 0-5fps for up to 10s, before running well again.

My Steam copy had framerate drops from the beginning, but only after each 5 minutes I would endure 10-15 fps. Not nearly as bad as it now is. It has become COMPLETELY unplayable, really a shame since I'm doing a complete playthrough for ME3 and can't continue now :'(

So, here's what I got:

My system spec:

Lenovo Thinkpad W520 series
Windows 7 64 bit
4Gb DDR3
nVIDIA Quadro 1000M 1Gb graphics (roughly compares to a GT555M in gaming performance, originally optimized for 3D software)
GeForce drivers with PhysX installed

My system ran Crysis 2 (non-Steam) at native res (1600x900) fluidly, Alan Wake and Mafia II (Steam) when downscaled to 1366x768 (both somewhere at medium settings). ME1 ran great on my older system (Core 2 Duo, nVIDIA 9500M GS) with the non-Steam, which leads me to believe Steam's the bad guy here..

What I've tried so far: checked RAM pagefile, is 6Gb now / disabled in-game overlay / deleted some processes from task manager before playing / Checked gamecache integrity and defragmented the cache, just in case / Used CCleaner to clean up any temporary files and fix registry errors.

If you guys have any other tips or solutions, my Shep would give you a big brohug and containers of omni-gel!
bramthebird is offline  
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Old 04-17-2012, 03:59 AM   #2
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Any advice would be welcome :-)
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Old 04-17-2012, 05:14 AM   #3
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I believe the steam version isn't the latest version of the game. You could try manually updating the game and see if that helps.

Also, it's most likely not steam. ME1 is notoriously buggy and different PC setups will have different performance results. The fact your fps drops after a while would seem like overheating or something taking up resources. Do you have any temperature monitoring programs to see if anything is overheating?

You say a non-steam copy worked well but that was on a different computer correct? Have you tried that non-steam copy on your current laptop?

You could also try and hassle EA support for a ME1 key to add to origin and see if that helps at all.
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Old 04-18-2012, 01:08 AM   #4
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Thanks for your reply SkiLLY2!

I just checked MassEffect.exe, which says its current (file) version is 1.2. I checked http://masseffect.bioware.com/me1/pc/updates/index.html to see if there are other updates available, but there the latest version appears to be 1.02..

Checked overheating, too; although I have not exactly monitored the system, I lifted the notebook to feel its temperature at the underside. It felt remarkably cool. Just in case, I'm going to try and play the game on a notebook stand with fans blazing at full speed. As for the non-steam version; if the problems remain, I might give it a go. But I just like Steam so much, especially with its screenshot taking feature :/

As you suggested, I'll go contact EA support. They've helped me before with some other games quite well. Hope they've got a nice solution for me

Thanks again
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Old 04-23-2012, 06:46 PM   #5
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Try running it in compatibility mode, XP SP3. I´ve solved my framerate issues doing that.
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Old 04-23-2012, 07:37 PM   #6
Join Date: Feb 2012
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to keep track of temperatures, they have some pretty nice desktop gadgets for windows 7, my second monitor looks like a dashboard with all the cpu/gpu/memory/network/hdd monitor apps I use to keep an eye on system stats while I game.
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