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Nvidia 8400M GT working soooooo slow!


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I used to have a Sony Vaio FE21B with 1Gb of RAM, a 1,63 GHz Intel Core Duo Processor and an Nvidia GeForce Go 7400 GT all working seamlessly on Windows Vista. I was able to play without any problems games like Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, Rayman Raving Rabbids, Fable: The Lost Chapters, Oblivion and many other games.

In short, I was really happy with my laptop as it gave me all the gaming needs I was looking for while allowing me for perfect mobility when going to University classes.

Then I bought this Sony Vaio FZ18M with 2Gb of RAM, a 1,80 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and an Nvidia GeForce 8400M GT which NVidia's website says it has 128 Mb of dedicated memory (in comparison to the 64 Mb the 7400 had). I mean, if the first laptop worked well, this one should work only faster, right? More RAM, better processor and better graphics card under the same OS as before: Vista Home Premium.


At first I was happy with the laptop. Oblivion was running up to three times better than on my old laptop!!! I took for granted then that everything was going to work so much better. Then I tried Fable. Upon starting a new game everything worked all right, but if I tried to change video configurations, the game would crash. And if loaded a previous game it would crash in the same way. Ok, maybe it was just that game, so I moved on.

Then there came the Bioshock DEMO. I downloaded it and tested it. Surprisingly enough, it worked GREAT. Smooth with graphic settings turned on high and a decent 1024 x 768 resolution for my 15,4" screen. Of course I first had to upgrade the drivers here on laptopvideo2go.

Next thing I knew, Oblivion wasn't working. I downloaded yet some newer drivers and Oblivion worked again.

Then I tried Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones. On my old laptop, all the Prince of Persia games ran perfectly with all settings turned on the highest levels. Now on the new laptop it doesn't even run well with everything turned off and a 800 x 600 resolution. I've tested many drivers and I'm still not getting any faster framerates. Somehow turning texture filtering off does make it work much faster, but then it looks awful as hell. And otherwise the game runs so slow I can't even bother to get to the first saving spot.

Next game I tried: Black & White 2. Game works perfect. No problems there even with everything set on hightest settings.

And then I tried another Ubisoft game: Beyond Good & Evil. This one was a huge surprise. It was running sloooooooow like PoP, but after a driver change (can't remember which one) it worked perfect with highest settings.

The next game to try was Rayman Raving Rabbids. Not a very graphics-demanding game, but really fun to play. Well... this game works the way it wants to like it's crazy. Sometimes it is slow, then for a few seconds it runs normal, then it freezes for one second, then it goes fast as hell for 5 seconds, stops again, goes slow... It's just INSANE! You can't play a game that runs like that!

I tried another driver change. Still the same. Tried another, nothing new. Now Beyond Good & Evil runs slow again. Bioshock still works, Black & White 2 too.

I've installed all the Windows Vista patch updates NVidia recommends, but it just didn't do anything to improve performance.

I refuse to believe I need to use a different driver for every different game I want to play. It just can't be "this driver for Beyond Good & Evil" and "this driver for PoP". But then WHAT is going on here?

Oh! And one more thing!

Even though the 8400M GT has 128 Mb, the NVidia Control Panel states that it only has 64 Mb and up to a total of 831 with shared memory. How is that possible?

Oh well, sorry for this long post. I'm just really mad at what is going on with my laptop.

Does anyone have any idea why this is happening to me?

Is there any driver you would recommend for the uses I described above?

Will I ever be able to play games normally again?

I hope somebody will answer this.

Thank you for reading my long and boring post :) :)

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Guest Salmonella

I'm having the exact same problem as you do, except that all the games I've tried Battlefield 2 and HL2: Lost Coast both have performed wortlessly and Red Orchestra works, but crashes with cryptic error messages. So frustrating and I don't know what to do.

Please help, someone!

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I have a vaio FZ11S with same specs, and have the same problem. I tried bioshock, and it doesnt work.

I did play nfs carbon on highest settings and it went great. I'm trying to upgrade my drivers, but it doesn't want to

install (even with the inf file).

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So I'm not the only one with problems here I see. But Bioshock does run for me. What I did to fix it was do the following shown here: http://forums.laptopvideo2go.com/index....ost&p=55663

Maybe that will help.

By the way, I found one solution to most of my problems now: I went to Sony Vaio's site and downloaded the official drivers for the Vaio AR 51S (one that has the 8600GT instead) and somehow they worked like a charm, much better than the ones in here and they are dated from September 2007, so they are quite recent. Maybe you should give them a try.

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I've got the same problems. I have a Vaio VGN-FZ18M and I just can play fifa and medal of honor only if i set the 800x600 resolution. However, I don't have any problem with Madden NFL 08 or Half Life 2, running perfectly. It's something strange. If somebody finds a sollution please tell us. Thanks

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Still trying out different drivers, I found out something really weird.

Sometimes when I install certain drivers (latest one being 163.75) Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones works perfect, with graphics on their highest settings and using a 1280 x 800 resolution. The framerate is seamless for a few minutes.

Then, at some point that occurs randomly after a few minutes of playing (independently of which area of the game I'm in) the game slows down to an unplayable framerate (for example, jumping may take more than 5 seconds), ocassionaly even slowing down much more if there is water present in the area. This strikes me because once the game slows down, if I quit the game and start it again it keeps the slow framerate, and I can't play the game again until I reinstall the drivers again (after which the game will work fast until the slowdown starts once again).

This same thing is happening to me in two other games: Beyond Good & Evil and Rayman Raving Rabbids. All this are Ubisoft games, so maybe it has to do with one specific graphic engine they may have in common. Other games such as Oblivion, Splinter Cell games, Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Halo 2, Bioshock and many others work seamlessly without any sign of slowdown.

Let's see if somebody knows how to fix this...

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Sorry for double posting, but I just read that the starforce copy protection drivers in PoP The Two Thrones may slow down the system. Could this be the reason why I'm having so many problems?

The game is original, and before I could play it the first time I had to update the Starforce drivers because otherwise they wouldn't work on Windows Vista. Any ideas?

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I know, I know, now I'm triple posting, but I needed to mention this in a separate post.

It seems they sold me the wrong laptop. Well, not exactly like that, but they rather missinformed me when I bought it.

Sony Vaio's website said the FZ18M had an NVidia 8400M GT with a total of 831 MBs of video memory, but it never ever mentioned that only 64MBs were dedicated, while most 8400M GTs have 256. I have complained at the store I bought the laptop in about that and they have agreed to exchange my laptop for a more powerful one: the FZ21S. I have already paid for it with a discount price of 1100 ? and they have given me back my money for the old one.

This new laptop has several improvements over the FZ18M:

- Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz over the old 1.8 GHz one (dunno if the change will be noticiable)

- Blu-Ray Disc reader drive (not writer, that is waaaay too expensive) which I will use when I connect the laptop to my parent's HD TV via the HDMI port

- 200 GB HD at 5400 RPM over the 160 GB one I had before (a small capacity increase is never a bad thing)

- Higher resolution webcam (from 0.3 megapixels to 1.3) that may be handy for taking one or two pictures sometimes in my room


- Nvidia 8600M GS with 256 MBs of dedicated video memory (up to 1023 in total). I suppose that at the price I'm getting this for this will be more than enough for some decent gaming, right?

I mean, I'm not trying to play games at 1280 x 800 resolutions, but at least at 1024 x 768 I should be able to play most recent games. Or so I hope...

What are your oppinions on the laptop I described above?

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I think that if you update drivers you may get just a little bit more, but don't expect over 1400 in 3DMark '06.

As soon as I get the new laptop with the 8600M GS I will post my score here (that will be around tomorrow or the day after that)

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I just bought the sony fz (1.8ghz/1gb memory/120gb harddisk/8400M GT (64mb dedicated?)).

My 3dmark06 score is just 1021 >_<. What scores do you guys get and with which drivers?

Just a question: is games like half life 2 playable with that score? what fps rate can u expect?

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actually i have a n8600m GS and i have problems hwen their is soft particles around and the fps just DROPS so much and anti alising in some places are weird, like you can see lines on where its been anti alised.

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  • 2 weeks later...

@ Anchel. I am experiencing the same problem as you. I haven't installed any new drivers or anything but the problem is that when I start playing the game it works fine for a few seconds (about 10-20 secs). Then it starts slowing down. i mean the gameplay is smooth but extremely slow. Since a lot of people seem to be having this I don't know what to do. This is a weird problem. Hope someone comes up with a solution.

By the way I own a Sony VAIO AR41L

C2D 1.8GHz



So probably the dedection the

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Choi, the 156.69 drivers seemed to do the trick for me.

Right now every single function of my laptop is working, there are no slowdowns, no crashes and finally my games are working as they should.

But also don't forget I changed my laptop for a newer one with the 8600M GS, so take into account that this may not be the same for you.

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  • 4 months later...

Oh! And one more thing!

Even though the 8400M GT has 128 Mb, the NVidia Control Panel states that it only has 64 Mb and up to a total of 831 with shared memory. How is that possible?

theres a little change with the 8400mGT video card memory... if your screen is XBRITE-HiColor your video card has 256MB and if is just XBRITE-ECO it has only 64MB...

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