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View Full Version : G73SW-XA1 - High Performance Gaming Machine... that can't game.



Jaggz
11-13-2012, 04:19 PM
This began as a RMA issue over in THIS (http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?23974-Frustration-Is-this-the-same-Asus-I-used-to-know) post a bit over a month ago.

Original specs:

CPU: i7 2630QM
RAM: 8Gb DDR3 (Samsung 4x 2Gb)
HDD: 2x Seagate Momentus XT 500Gb HDD
GPU: GTX 460M 1.5Gb
OS:Windows 7 Home Premium x64

Updated Specs:

CPU: i7 2630QM
RAM: 12Gb DDR3 (Kingston 2x 4Gb & Samsung 2x 2Gb)
HDD: 2x Seagate Momentus XT 500Gb HDD
GPU: GTX 460M 1.5Gb
OS: WIndows 7 Ultimate x64


I have upgraded only the RAM and OS as you can see. Have updated the BIOS, HDD firmware, GPU drivers, etc. I have also installed/setup Throttlestop, CPUID, and CrystalDisk Info.


So as the title states, this computer isn't performing like it once did. I've pretty much given up on any semblance of help from Asus to fix this despite it being under warranty.

An example of the problem:

GAMING

Team Fortress 2 ran on absolute maxed settings with very decent FPS, no hiccups, could play for hours. All this before Throttlestop or any changes were made. Quit playing for a few months. Have since tried multiple times in last two months to have hard audio/video freezes every 5-10 seconds making the game unplayable. While the game isn't frozen it runs fine. This is a known issue with many users with TF2, so I thought to just forget about that particular game.

Other games:

FFXIV - another buggy game with a very bad engine. However, originally the game played just fine on maxed settings with the buggy Ambient Occlusion option turned OFF as per SE's instructions. Fast forward a few months, the game freezes up for a second or two at a time and skips ahead.

Guild Wars 2 - according to recommended specs and the wonderful 'How well can my system run this game' tool, my computer is well over specs. Again, freezing every so often and skipping ahead. While the video card isn't the best and I don't expect to play on fully maxed out settings, I think no skips/freezes on Med to Med/High settings should be fine. Not so much.

Call of Duty 2: MW, Call of Duty 3: MW, Battlefield 2 BC, Battlefield 3, Guild Wars 1, Diablo 3, WoW, etc. I have tested this on as many games as I own and could all with the same results.

Changing graphical settings to LOW does not fix the issue. In the case of TF2 disabling/uninstalling Audio drivers, changing all settings to lowest, still resulted in freezes, albeit without the audio loop.

I have tried all these games with Throttlestop turned ON and OFF.

I have run Prime 95 & MemTest 86 over a day with no issues. I am getting no BSODs or critical errors in Event Viewer.

DESIGNING:

I use the computer for work for designing in Photoshop, Illustrator, & Maya. The Adobe CS5 suite initially ran extremely smooth on the computer, but now takes prolonged times to render and also has mini-freezes. Maya has always been notably buggy with the Aero theme even when disabled, but it also has the same experience.

WORD PROCESSING:

When typing a document in Word / Outlook / etc. the screen will freeze for a few moments and then rush to catch up with all that I've typed. I am a fast typer, however I am not THAT fast.



As I told Cl-Scott in a message I have a Toshiba Satellite P105 that is almost 6 years old. It can run some of the above games, do design work, and word process better than my less than 2 year old high performance Asus.


What I've Done Thus Far:

I've run Seagate diagnostic tools on their full test and received no errors. I've run both ChkDsk and CrystalDisk Info as well and the results were mixed. I am rather positive that the HDDs are at least partially to blame.

I have upgraded/downgraded (all fully clean installs) of every possible nVidia driver recommended on this site as well as nVIdias.

I've reformatted my computer TWICE.

I have put in the original RAM only.

Turned off Throttlestop.

Ran 3DMark and got average/slightly above average benchmark results.

Ran PassMark and got average results.


What Asus did (original RMA - refer to post linked at top):

Changed out a fan. (I am so not joking on this.)



I do understand that as the computer ages it will not perform as well on NEWER software. My main issue is that the machine is now performing at all acceptably, but most notable on OLDER software.

Does anyone have any recommendations / possible solutions?

I am at my wits' end on this one.

I do know one solution will to be avoiding Asus laptops in the future from now on. At least with desktops I'm not trapped with these issues and left to the company's technical support.

dstrakele
11-13-2012, 04:56 PM
The "mini-freezes" your report have been reported by others for the Seagate Momentus XT hybrid HDD. It appears to be a firmware issue. See http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?22479-Computer-GPU-Stuttering.

Jaggz
11-13-2012, 05:17 PM
dstrakele,

Thanks for the input. I have been telling Asus support over and over that I thought it was primarily the HDD. They seem to absolutely refuse to replace them. I will try the downgrade for now to see if the freezes at least stop.

I will probably just go the route of buying a new SSD primary and a larger 7200 secondary with my own cash and just forget any help from Asus support.

Will post on how this works or not.

dstrakele
11-13-2012, 05:32 PM
Do research the firmware issue. Some say a firmware upgrade resolves the problem. I recommend you contact Seagate Technical Support and/or research/post on the Seagate Forum to get the most recent resolution.

Jaggz
11-13-2012, 08:17 PM
I downgraded to SD26 from SD28. The freezing issue is gone, however the speed of the HDDs is essentially a 7200 RPM. It appears that the 4Gb NAND on both drives or at least one drive is dead which causes system freezes according to the seagate/notebook forums.

The problem is now my computer isn't freezing anymore, but I got this model specifically for the faster HDDs. I don't have a lot of love for Seagate, never have since their huge bad batches and this just adds another one to the pile. Yes, if I could get Asus to cover the laptop since its still under warranty they'd replace them with another set of Seagates since they're the only supplier of the hybrids and its the original item with the laptop.

I guess I'll have to go ahead and do the SSD/larger secondary like I mentioned earlier. It's just money right? Blah.