I'm not a gamer, I *only* play a 9 year old game, Counter Strike 1.6. But lately, it's been performing very poorly.
Intel Pentium D 2.8GHz
Nvidia 7300LE 256MB
1 GB DDR2 RAM

I know the stats are terrible, but they're good enough for a TEN year old game. I'd expect a minimum 40FPS, but I dont get that.
I used Fraps for benchmarking.

1.

Frames	 Time (ms)	 Min	 Max	 Avg
7462	 163222	          0   	  62     45.717

Okay here. But then;
2.

Frames	 Time (ms)	 Min	 Max	 Avg
   925	 29746	         14	  56	31.097

3.

Frames	 Time (ms)	 Min	 Max	 Avg
3369	  111489	         13     56   30.218

These were recorded during a single gameplay session, after cleaning my fans/heatsinks etc.

I used to play this game very well on the same PC 1-2 years back, but since, I'm getting this terrible FPS problem at times.

What can be the problem? How do I troubleshoot this?
Thanks.

We'd prolly need to see what else is runnig. A list from Task Manager/Processes would be helpful (sorted by CPU usage).

e.g. new anti-virus version now using more CPU.

I've changed so many AVs, that I think we can rule out that possibility. I'm using Microsoft Security essentials right now. Also, I've reinstalled Windows XP 2-3 times since last year. I've tried shutting down all processes that aren't critical.

Well, you're there right in front of your PC and we're here, perhaps thousands of miles away. The usual forum diagnostic problem.

So, on the basis of your words, the next place to look is your broadband connexion. Say, for example, in the past two years your pipe to the head end has had many more connexions attached and they're streaming or Counterstriking - you'll see your FPS fall away.

We know nothing about your broadband connexion, so perhaps we should move to that with a full description of everything you can tell us.

Okay, it's a 256/256 kbps connection. No one but me uses the connection. I would like to clarify that in a few other games (offline) that I sometimes ran, I'm experiencing the same performance drop.
Biggest example is Portal. I played and *finished* the whole game a year or two back. Last week I ran it, I was getting bearable FPS, but as soon as I looked at a portal, it fell to 10-20.

Let me know if you need any other information.

Aaagh. 256Kbps. I'm amazed that you ever got to even 30fps on CS. You must live miles from anywhere.

Anyway, you said that your fps is poor when you play offline. That's important information. From a distance, diagnosis would be:

1/
Either your cpu is being utilised by something else. A list of running processes sorted in CPU usage order from Task Manager would help.

2/
Or your RAM usage is high and you're constantly swapping. There's data in Task Manager too for that.

Let us know.

Microsoft Windows XP [Version 5.1.2600]
(C) Copyright 1985-2001 Microsoft Corp.

G:\Documents and Settings\Owner>tasklist /V

Image Name                   PID Session Name     Session#    Mem Usage Status
        User Name                                              CPU Time Window T
itle
========================= ====== ================ ======== ============ ========
======= ================================================== ============ ========
================================================================
System Idle Process            0 Console                 0         28 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                    13:26:06 N/A

System                         4 Console                 0        156 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:05:11 N/A

smss.exe                     544 Console                 0         84 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:00 N/A

csrss.exe                    592 Console                 0      3,708 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:01:27 N/A

winlogon.exe                 616 Console                 0        556 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:03 N/A

services.exe                 660 Console                 0      4,332 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:42 N/A

lsass.exe                    672 Console                 0      2,100 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:43 N/A

nvsvc32.exe                  828 Console                 0      2,516 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:06 NVSVCPMM
WindowClass
svchost.exe                  856 Console                 0      2,240 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:01 N/A

svchost.exe                  904 Console                 0      2,144 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE                            0:00:37 N/A

MsMpEng.exe                  984 Console                 0     60,092 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:34:03 N/A

svchost.exe                 1040 Console                 0     42,296 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:05:26 N/A

svchost.exe                 1232 Console                 0      5,420 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\LOCAL SERVICE                              0:00:00 N/A

spoolsv.exe                 1352 Console                 0      3,536 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:01 N/A

svchost.exe                 1844 Console                 0      1,104 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\LOCAL SERVICE                              0:00:00 N/A

FolderSizeSvc.exe           1924 Console                 0      2,776 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:08 N/A

jqs.exe                     2044 Console                 0      1,408 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:02:11 N/A

HPZipm12.exe                 184 Console                 0        488 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:00 N/A

SbieSvc.exe                  404 Console                 0        380 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:00 N/A

SbPFLnch.exe                 568 Console                 0        296 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:00 N/A

SbPFSvc.exe                 1064 Console                 0      9,028 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:34 N/A

svchost.exe                 1088 Console                 0      2,168 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:01 N/A

uphclean.exe                1196 Console                 0        500 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:00 N/A

alg.exe                     1572 Console                 0      1,080 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\LOCAL SERVICE                              0:00:00 N/A

explorer.exe                 432 Console                 0     45,708 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:05:54 N/A

ctfmon.exe                  2112 Console                 0      2,568 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:23 N/A

RTHDCPL.EXE                 2272 Console                 0      9,768 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:02:04 Realtek
HD Audio Manager
TaskSwitch.exe              2288 Console                 0        348 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:00 N/A

rundll32.exe                2328 Console                 0        864 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:06 MediaCenter

SbPFCl.exe                  2520 Console                 0      2,760 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:13 KPF4MainWindow

jusched.exe                 2560 Console                 0      1,044 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:00 Xfire LS
P 10650-Owner-c3095e22-bf4f-43fe-9909-0481691d8fba

opware32.exe                2904 Console                 0        712 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:03 N/A

msseces.exe                 3620 Console                 0      2,464 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:14 Microsoft Security Essentials

bpk.exe                     4040 Console                 0      4,560 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:07:31 N/A

Launchy.exe                 2488 Console                 0     10,800 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:01:34 N/A

LastFM.exe                  2936 Console                 0      8,828 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:22 Last.fm

rapimgr.exe                 2852 Console                 0      2,288 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:03 RAPIMgr

wcescomm.exe                2992 Console                 0      1,912 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:03 MCI command handling window

svchost.exe                  864 Console                 0        716 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM                                     0:00:00 N/A

wmplayer.exe                1164 Console                 0     25,648 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:03:37 Mika - L
ove Today - MiniLyrics
MyMobiler.exe               3732 Console                 0      4,480 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:09 My Mobil
er
GoogleCrashHandler.exe       168 Console                 0        880 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:00 N/A

chrome.exe                  3844 Console                 0     44,616 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:37 Poor performance by computer - Monitors, Displays and Video Cards - Goog

chrome.exe                  1320 Console                 0     11,276 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:04 N/A

chrome.exe                  1432 Console                 0     16,384 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:01 DummyWindowless

chrome.exe                  1092 Console                 0      6,140 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:03 N/A

Client.exe                  2880 Console                 0      8,008 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:06 N/A

procexp.exe                 3848 Console                 0      8,464 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:03 Process
Explorer - Sysinternals: www.sysinternals.com [CYANIDE\Owner]
opera.exe                   3416 Console                 0     40,864 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:04 /g/tech
- Opera
taskmgr.exe                 2168 Console                 0      5,452 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:01 Windows
Task Manager
cmd.exe                     3628 Console                 0      2,756 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:00 C:\WINDO
WS\system32\cmd.exe - tasklist /V
tasklist.exe                3244 Console                 0      5,280 K Running
        CYANIDE\Owner                                           0:00:00 OleMainThreadWndName

wmiprvse.exe                2320 Console                 0      5,968 K Running
        NT AUTHORITY\NETWORK SERVICE                            0:00:00 N/A


G:\Documents and Settings\Owner>

List of processes.
My RAM usage right now is around 65%. It usually is 45-55 when idle.

I'll take your word for it on RAM and knock that off the suspect list.

Your processes list came out rather un-columned if you know what I mean. But it showed NO CPU usage. What is using CPU at the same time as CS?

Another thought, going back a few years - we did a lot of configuring to CS 1.6 to get the FS up to 60 (WOW). In the end, it was a combination of settings we got from the CS forum with a downgrading to Direct X 7 as one of the parameter specs. Does that ring a bell? Has any update occurred to Direct X with the usual Windows updates?

About DirectX, I've always been running DirectX 9c on this computer. The oldest 9c version is 4.09.00.0903, I'm running 4.09.00.0904, the latest 9c.

This is a stupid question, but I cannot figure out how to get a list of processes running on my PC...

You right click on the bottom taskbar and select Task Manager. In Windows Task Manager, you go to the Processes tab. Dead simples.

Then you left click the word CPU (twice) so that the highest usage item appears at the top.

You post a screenshot or list it all out nicely.

Heh, of course I know how to bring the list up, I dont know how to get it in text form. Like in notepad or something.
Anyway, I just noticed my RAM usage at 60-70% idle, so I'm a bit alarmed. Also, I was playing Manhunt, and it started framing. So, I'll be reinstalling windows, and will report back after a day or two.