Serious Laptop Performance Problems – RC vs. Beta


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I started using the Win7 beta (x86) just after it became available at the beginning of the year and was quite impressed how my laptop seemed a lot more responsive (in comparison to Vista). I can’t say the same thing about the RC release though; I now have a really serious performance issue which I believe is related to chipset drivers.

Laptop Specs:
LG S1: Centrino (Napa) platform
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo T7200 (2Ghz, 4Mb L2 cache)
Chipset: Intel i945PM
RAM: 4Gb
Video: ATI Mobility Radeon X1600
HDD: 160Gb Seagate Momentus 7200.2

The Problem:
Basically any program seems to suffer from a random severe ‘lagginess/jerkiness’. For example, whilst typing this, text often pauses while I am still typing and then catches up with all the missing text popping in. It’s almost like trying to use a modern OS on a very old PC that cannot handle the input smoothly. I’ve even tried a game (Demigod) which suffers from the exact same thing (with all settings on their lowest), the game is jerky with many small pauses at random intervals, seemingly unrelated to the amount of objects on the screen at the time. This can even be seen when opening or sometimes minimising windows, with the windows actually pausing midway during a transition. If it was only in these instances I would accuse the graphics drivers, but since it is a system wide problem, this cannot be the case.

Oh and I’ve eliminated any apps as a cause for these performance issues, I’ve monitored processes using Task Manager with no luck.

The Process:
I can’t recall if I installed the latest Intel Chipset drivers (from the Intel website) in the Beta version I was using however I do know that I cannot install them now. I tried using ‘compatibility mode’ as well as ‘Run as Admin’ mode (together as well) with no luck. The installer extracts, and in place of the dialog detailing the install progress (it actually tells you what it is currently installing etc.) you simply get to the ‘Finished’ screen with no drivers having been installed. I can confirm this by looking at the chipset drivers which are the default Microsoft drivers from 2006.

I really do not want to have to go back to the Beta as I require an up to date working version of IE8 (the Beta comes with IE8 Beta1) + the RC has fixed a few other niggles I had with the Beta (app compatibility etc.). I really cannot continue like this as this is my work laptop (I’m a web developer and work for myself) and currently my productivity is suffering badly. It is immensely frustrating having these pauses in-between almost anything I do. Even scrolling a webpage can result in a similar thing, with the page scrolling in an extremely jerky fashion.

Summary
The default chipset drivers seem to be the issue. The lack of proper drivers seems to be causing severe stuttering of the OS in general in any app, even games.

I would really appreciate anyone’s feedback on this issue, especially those with a similar laptop (same chipset).
 
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Can you do a roll back of your drivers, or a system restore. Doing this will be your best bet. Do you know why you have a lack of the proper drivers, did you have them at one point and now they have dissapeared? If so you might have a virus, do a scan of your PC.
You can get the drivers from your PC manufacturer.
 

Ian

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Thanks for the clear explanation kRayner - it's always a big help to see such a well structured post :)

Windows 7 should have chipset drivers for the i945 already, so I'd be surprised if that caused the symptoms you've experienced on that particular laptop (although I've installed them ok using Vista compatibility mode). Did you do a clean install of Windows RC?

When you mentioned scrolling seems to lag, it could be that you need to update your ATI X1600 drivers. When I've used a graphics card that Vista didn't recognise out of the box it sometimes caused this jerky scroll issue until I installed new drivers and restarted the PC.

It's worth trying anyway, as there are proper Windows 7 drivers for most ATI cards now:

http://support.amd.com/us/gpudownload/Pages/index.aspx
 
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Hey olg207,

I had a look and the system state I had saved directly after installing seems to be gone :-( This wouldn't have helped though as I have installed for a second time, thinking that perhaps I had needed to install the Intel chipset drivers before everything else but I couldn't install them the second time round either.

I lack the proper drivers because windows supplied 3 year old drivers and the Intel chipset installer does not work :p Beta 1 worked perfectly. LG does not support W7 as this laptop has made for XP (however it is 'Windows Vista Capable' and works 100% with Vista)
 
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Hey Ian,

No problem, I find the quickest way to get the right answers is to provide an adequate explanation :)

Yes it does, however they seem to be 3 yrs old. I tried compatibility mode with no luck. Yes, I've reinstalled twice already...

See it's not just the scrolling, it's everything. The whole system kind of 'hiccups' which causing the stuttering/freezing. It happens when typing, scrolling down pages (web or app, doesn't matter), viewing video (youtube, avi doesn't matter) which leads me to believe that it has to be related to the chipset.

The videocard I have is not supported (Mobility X1600) on their site. The W7 drivers for this card are very recent though, Driver Version reads 8.561 (or 2008/12/01)

Oh, I managed to install the Intel chipset drivers by extracting the files to a folder and then manually updating all of the devices with Intel mentioned in their titles, however the problem remains :-( I'm convinced I've forgotten something or perhaps I need to reinstall, then install the chipset drives (in this fashion) and then let windows update at the machine. This will insure that the GFX drivers are installed after the chipset drivers, perhaps solving my issue.

Sound like a plan?

My other option is to simply install the x64 version and hope for the best. I installed the x86 version because this laptop cannot fully utilise the 4Gb of RAM, this is a chipset/hardware problem and not the usual 32bit OS limitation as when I initially added in the 4Gb I had Vista x64 which failed to utilise the full 4Gb hence me opting to install the x86 version of W7.
 
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Ian

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You might be able to use 4GB of ram with a BIOS update for that laptop (then use 64-bit W7). There's a discussion thread about 4GB RAM for the LG S1 in this thread, and it also has a link to a BIOS update - but I wouldn't get use it unless you can't get one direct from LG.

I'd try the 64-bit install and see if you have any luck with that :) Do you have any 3rd party IDE/SATA controllers on that laptop, it might be worth seeing if there are updates for those?
 
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Hey Ian, wow you've really looked into this I see :) I have already found that a few months back and run that update, all it did was limit the actual mem in the BIOS so that the system would read the 4Gb correctly, doesn't actually free up the additional 800Mb I'm afraid :-(

A friend just stopped by and dropped off the x64 version, am in the process of backing up data on my C: partition so that I can reinstall. Nope I don't I installed this myself so I know exactly which drivers are installed.

Thanks for your input, will let you know how it pans out.
 
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Well the LG situation should work as it is vista compliant. This OS is mainly vista, but with a few enhancements. I dont see why it is not working. Is your windows update working ok?
See if LG released any drivers for vista and try them?

I have just read your last post and saw you are reinstalling W7 the 64bit version, you know you will need reinstall all your drivers again, unless it is repair install, and even then most of the NEW drivers.
 
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I must admit the symptoms your suggesting is of RAM trouble, check your pc is processing it ok. and check that your PC is reading your whole hardware ok.
 
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Hey guys,

Fixed the problem, 'all I had to do was install W7 for a 3rd time' and now it works :p I chose x64 this time as I wasn't going to chance x86 a third time however I do believe the process I followed had more to do with fixing the issue than the OS choice. I manually installed all the Intel chipset drivers through device manager (directly after reinstall and without being connected to the net so no interference from windows update), rebooted and then connected to the wireless and downloaded windows updates incl. gfx drivers (which in x64 are 2 weeks older than the ones available for x86 and 3x larger). I even fired up Demigod and it runs 100% smoothly :)

So word to the wise, if installing W7 RC on a Intel i945PM laptop chipset manually install the chipset drivers before connecting to the net. This has solved my problem 100%
 

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