GeForce GT 540M, Optimus, and Half-Life/Counter-Strike 1.6
  1 / 7    
I have a Dell XPS 15 (L502X) laptop with a GeForce GT 540M. Out of the box, it ran newer games just fine, but had huge frame rate drops in Counter-Strike 1.6. I looked at some forums and gathered that Optimus was making the integrated chip turn on for Half-Life (which is the base game/engine which Counter-Strike uses) when it shouldn't have been. Along the way, I followed a suggestion to add hl.exe (the executable for the Half-Life, as Counter-Strike doesn't have its own .exe) to my list of installed programs in the NVIDIA control panel and to set the preferred graphics processor to "high-performance NVIDIA processor" option. The program appears as "Half-Life (hl.exe)" in my programs list. However, when I did this the preferred graphics processor seemed to default to the "integrated graphics" option and was grayed out, meaning I couldn't open the drop-down menu to change the processor used. I also couldn't remove hl.exe from my list of installed programs. I'm not sure which driver version was on the computer out of the box, but Dell right now has the outdated 8.17.12.6721 on their site with a date before when I ordered the laptop, so I'm assuming it's that version.

I later found the latest drivers on NVIDIA's website, so my driver version is now 8.17.12.7533. The frame rate issue is completely resolved for Counter-Strike 1.6, but now I have a new problem: every 5-10 minutes or so, the game appears to alt tabs out and back in for a fraction of a second, as if it's changing video modes. Occasionally, I'll see the home screen of Counter-Strike when it does this, which leads me to believe it has something to do with the video card. This problem doesn't occur for any of the other games I've tried (Day of Defeat Source, Half-Life 2, Total War Shogun 2), so I'm hypothesizing that it's related to the aforementioned Optimus/Half-Life/CS issue. After the update, when I went to the NVIDIA control panel, "Counter-Strike" was newly listed as one of my installed programs, and I now have the option to choose between the high-performance processor and the integrated one, which is great. However, Half-Life (hl.exe) still appears without the option to change the preferred processor, and is still set to "integrated graphics".

So I have two questions:
1) Is this auto-alt tabbing/self-refreshing an issue that is related to Optimus, or should I be looking for solutions elsewhere?
2) Is there any way to make the NVIDIA processor appear as an option for hl.exe?

I'm just wondering if Counter-Strike being set to using the NVIDIA processor and hl.exe being set to integrated is causing some sort of conflict, since they use the same hl.exe file. Sorry for the essay, and thanks in advance.

Edit:
[attachment=21385:cs_nvcp.png]
[attachment=21384:hl_nvcp.png]
I have a Dell XPS 15 (L502X) laptop with a GeForce GT 540M. Out of the box, it ran newer games just fine, but had huge frame rate drops in Counter-Strike 1.6. I looked at some forums and gathered that Optimus was making the integrated chip turn on for Half-Life (which is the base game/engine which Counter-Strike uses) when it shouldn't have been. Along the way, I followed a suggestion to add hl.exe (the executable for the Half-Life, as Counter-Strike doesn't have its own .exe) to my list of installed programs in the NVIDIA control panel and to set the preferred graphics processor to "high-performance NVIDIA processor" option. The program appears as "Half-Life (hl.exe)" in my programs list. However, when I did this the preferred graphics processor seemed to default to the "integrated graphics" option and was grayed out, meaning I couldn't open the drop-down menu to change the processor used. I also couldn't remove hl.exe from my list of installed programs. I'm not sure which driver version was on the computer out of the box, but Dell right now has the outdated 8.17.12.6721 on their site with a date before when I ordered the laptop, so I'm assuming it's that version.



I later found the latest drivers on NVIDIA's website, so my driver version is now 8.17.12.7533. The frame rate issue is completely resolved for Counter-Strike 1.6, but now I have a new problem: every 5-10 minutes or so, the game appears to alt tabs out and back in for a fraction of a second, as if it's changing video modes. Occasionally, I'll see the home screen of Counter-Strike when it does this, which leads me to believe it has something to do with the video card. This problem doesn't occur for any of the other games I've tried (Day of Defeat Source, Half-Life 2, Total War Shogun 2), so I'm hypothesizing that it's related to the aforementioned Optimus/Half-Life/CS issue. After the update, when I went to the NVIDIA control panel, "Counter-Strike" was newly listed as one of my installed programs, and I now have the option to choose between the high-performance processor and the integrated one, which is great. However, Half-Life (hl.exe) still appears without the option to change the preferred processor, and is still set to "integrated graphics".



So I have two questions:

1) Is this auto-alt tabbing/self-refreshing an issue that is related to Optimus, or should I be looking for solutions elsewhere?

2) Is there any way to make the NVIDIA processor appear as an option for hl.exe?



I'm just wondering if Counter-Strike being set to using the NVIDIA processor and hl.exe being set to integrated is causing some sort of conflict, since they use the same hl.exe file. Sorry for the essay, and thanks in advance.



Edit:

[attachment=21385:cs_nvcp.png]

[attachment=21384:hl_nvcp.png]

#1
Posted 06/13/2011 06:24 AM   
"...every 5-10 minutes or so, the game appears to alt tabs out and back in for a fraction of a second, as if it's changing video modes. Occasionally, I'll see the home screen of Counter-Strike..."

I have a Dell 702x with the nVidia 550m card. After fixing the stuck-on-integrated-gpu issue by upgrading to the latest nVidia drivers, I'm having the exact problem as you described. In very regular intervals of 5-6 minutes, counter strike 1.6 would alt-tab "flicker" to the home screen of CS1.6.

I have isolated the problem to these specific CS1.6 settings: [b]OpenGL with full screen mode[/b]. If I choose Direct3D as the renderer, the flicker never appears. If I choose to stay with OpenGL but use windowed mode, the flicker issue never appears. While Direct3D works, OpenGL seems to give better texture quality and smoother frame rate in CS1.6. So I hope these will be a temporary solution.
"...every 5-10 minutes or so, the game appears to alt tabs out and back in for a fraction of a second, as if it's changing video modes. Occasionally, I'll see the home screen of Counter-Strike..."



I have a Dell 702x with the nVidia 550m card. After fixing the stuck-on-integrated-gpu issue by upgrading to the latest nVidia drivers, I'm having the exact problem as you described. In very regular intervals of 5-6 minutes, counter strike 1.6 would alt-tab "flicker" to the home screen of CS1.6.



I have isolated the problem to these specific CS1.6 settings: OpenGL with full screen mode. If I choose Direct3D as the renderer, the flicker never appears. If I choose to stay with OpenGL but use windowed mode, the flicker issue never appears. While Direct3D works, OpenGL seems to give better texture quality and smoother frame rate in CS1.6. So I hope these will be a temporary solution.

#2
Posted 06/19/2011 08:02 PM   
hi guys, i have the same problem as mentioned above (fps issue) and i have really bad english, so can someone explain me step by step how to fix this?
THANX ALOT.

ohh and i have installed the latest driver.


[attachment=21466:GAYGAGYAGAY.JPG]




GEFORCE gt 540m 1gb
i5 540m
hi guys, i have the same problem as mentioned above (fps issue) and i have really bad english, so can someone explain me step by step how to fix this?

THANX ALOT.



ohh and i have installed the latest driver.





[attachment=21466:GAYGAGYAGAY.JPG]









GEFORCE gt 540m 1gb

i5 540m

#3
Posted 06/20/2011 02:33 PM   
Legume, thanks for the suggestions. I'm also relieved that another person has the same problem and that this is not just me.

Vuzmo, what driver version do you have for your 540M? To find this, click Start, right-click Computer and click Properties, click "Device Manager" at the top of the left panel, click the (+) on Display adapters, right-click "NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M" and click on Properties, and go to the Driver tab. What driver version do you have? Mine is 8.17.12.7533 dated 5/20/2011 which is the official Verde driver from NVIDIA. If you have anything that was released before this, I suggest updating to this version. You can find it here: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us . The item that I downloaded is called "VERDE 275.33 DRIVER".

EDIT:
Updating to this version of the driver resolved the frame-rate issues for me.

If that isn't the reason, go to the Nvidia Control Panel, go to "Manage 3D Settings" and click the "Program Settings" tab. Click "Add" and find the hl.exe which is under the cstrike folder under steam, and add that. For me, Counter-strike actually shows up as a program that I am able to customize settings for, so I've set it to use the high-performance processor. I'm not sure if it appeared because of the driver update, or if it is because I added the cstrike hl.exe to the list, but if it appears in the list the problem should be resolved.
Legume, thanks for the suggestions. I'm also relieved that another person has the same problem and that this is not just me.



Vuzmo, what driver version do you have for your 540M? To find this, click Start, right-click Computer and click Properties, click "Device Manager" at the top of the left panel, click the (+) on Display adapters, right-click "NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M" and click on Properties, and go to the Driver tab. What driver version do you have? Mine is 8.17.12.7533 dated 5/20/2011 which is the official Verde driver from NVIDIA. If you have anything that was released before this, I suggest updating to this version. You can find it here: http://www.nvidia.com/Download/index.aspx?lang=en-us . The item that I downloaded is called "VERDE 275.33 DRIVER".



EDIT:

Updating to this version of the driver resolved the frame-rate issues for me.



If that isn't the reason, go to the Nvidia Control Panel, go to "Manage 3D Settings" and click the "Program Settings" tab. Click "Add" and find the hl.exe which is under the cstrike folder under steam, and add that. For me, Counter-strike actually shows up as a program that I am able to customize settings for, so I've set it to use the high-performance processor. I'm not sure if it appeared because of the driver update, or if it is because I added the cstrike hl.exe to the list, but if it appears in the list the problem should be resolved.

#4
Posted 06/20/2011 08:00 PM   
all done that, still not working :(
all done that, still not working :(

#5
Posted 06/22/2011 08:56 AM   
help please :)
help please :)

#6
Posted 06/22/2011 04:15 PM   
Hi! I just like to add that i am having the exact same problem as you people. I have the latest drivers (8.17.12.7533) for my Nvidia GT540m, and i too have this trouble with counter-strike 1.6 "alt-tabs" every 5 minutes or so, just like its changing video modes. I have out both steam and counterstrike to be running on nvidia. Hl.exe is not listed for me either since i dont have it installed, only counterstrike and steam.

I think the problem is either driver-related or some silly option somewhere.
However, I will try a bit older drivers and see if the problem will be solved, will let you people know when im done.
Hi! I just like to add that i am having the exact same problem as you people. I have the latest drivers (8.17.12.7533) for my Nvidia GT540m, and i too have this trouble with counter-strike 1.6 "alt-tabs" every 5 minutes or so, just like its changing video modes. I have out both steam and counterstrike to be running on nvidia. Hl.exe is not listed for me either since i dont have it installed, only counterstrike and steam.



I think the problem is either driver-related or some silly option somewhere.

However, I will try a bit older drivers and see if the problem will be solved, will let you people know when im done.

#7
Posted 06/25/2011 10:56 PM   
Well, i tried to roll back my drivers from 275.33 to 270.61 - and still the same problem occurs. Wierd.
Well, i tried to roll back my drivers from 275.33 to 270.61 - and still the same problem occurs. Wierd.

#8
Posted 06/26/2011 06:40 PM   
Also, forget what i mentioned about Half-life not being installed. I too have hl.exe selected in Nvidia graphics options but it can only run on the integrated Intel card - the option list to choose nvidia is grayed out.
Also, forget what i mentioned about Half-life not being installed. I too have hl.exe selected in Nvidia graphics options but it can only run on the integrated Intel card - the option list to choose nvidia is grayed out.

#9
Posted 06/26/2011 07:10 PM   
so is there a solution or not ? please..
so is there a solution or not ? please..

#10
Posted 07/07/2011 08:29 PM   
[quote name='vuzmo' date='07 July 2011 - 09:29 PM' timestamp='1310070546' post='1261539']
so is there a solution or not ? please..
[/quote]

I am currently discussing this matter with a helpful guy from nvidia and he told me to try the latest beta drivers 275.50. Tried but no luck - the problem still occurs with the game alt+tab flickering every 3-4 minutes.

Are you still having FPS issue? I am also unable to run Half-Life on the GPU, but counterstrike works great (except for the game flickering). I have 100 fps all the time with vsync off.
[quote name='vuzmo' date='07 July 2011 - 09:29 PM' timestamp='1310070546' post='1261539']

so is there a solution or not ? please..





I am currently discussing this matter with a helpful guy from nvidia and he told me to try the latest beta drivers 275.50. Tried but no luck - the problem still occurs with the game alt+tab flickering every 3-4 minutes.



Are you still having FPS issue? I am also unable to run Half-Life on the GPU, but counterstrike works great (except for the game flickering). I have 100 fps all the time with vsync off.

#11
Posted 07/07/2011 09:14 PM   
vuzmo, does counter-strike appear in your installed games list on the nvidia control panel?

nilsson, sounds good. at least somebody at nvidia is aware of this.
vuzmo, does counter-strike appear in your installed games list on the nvidia control panel?



nilsson, sounds good. at least somebody at nvidia is aware of this.

#12
Posted 07/07/2011 09:18 PM   
[quote name='smagic' date='07 July 2011 - 10:18 PM' timestamp='1310073525' post='1261560']
vuzmo, does counter-strike appear in your installed games list on the nvidia control panel?

nilsson, sounds good. at least somebody at nvidia is aware of this.
[/quote]

Okay, this is the response i got an hour ago.


"I apologize for the inconvenience caused and I request you to continue using the previous working display driver version 182.50 until a new driver is released. Also, I will go ahead and forward this case to the concerned department for further review the case and if we are able to reproduce this issue we will try coming up with a fix in our future driver release."


Not sure what he meant with 182.50 (that driver is from like... 2009?) Anyway, he also told me to do a bug report to nvidia so that's what im doing. Hope to see this solved.
[quote name='smagic' date='07 July 2011 - 10:18 PM' timestamp='1310073525' post='1261560']

vuzmo, does counter-strike appear in your installed games list on the nvidia control panel?



nilsson, sounds good. at least somebody at nvidia is aware of this.





Okay, this is the response i got an hour ago.





"I apologize for the inconvenience caused and I request you to continue using the previous working display driver version 182.50 until a new driver is released. Also, I will go ahead and forward this case to the concerned department for further review the case and if we are able to reproduce this issue we will try coming up with a fix in our future driver release."





Not sure what he meant with 182.50 (that driver is from like... 2009?) Anyway, he also told me to do a bug report to nvidia so that's what im doing. Hope to see this solved.

#13
Posted 07/08/2011 08:31 PM   
hi, I used nonsteam before and that caused troubles to me, but now i use steam(legalplay) and my fps issue is solved. but with nonsteam i still have problems, but this doesnt bother me anymore. but i keep working to find a solution and i let you know, and you guys keep up the work.
thanks for support


apologizes for bad english
hi, I used nonsteam before and that caused troubles to me, but now i use steam(legalplay) and my fps issue is solved. but with nonsteam i still have problems, but this doesnt bother me anymore. but i keep working to find a solution and i let you know, and you guys keep up the work.

thanks for support





apologizes for bad english

#14
Posted 07/10/2011 06:58 PM   
oh now my cs background is blanking middle game(only in steam)

thanx
oh now my cs background is blanking middle game(only in steam)



thanx

#15
Posted 07/10/2011 07:04 PM   
  1 / 7    
Scroll To Top