CPU usage goes to 100%, game becomes super laggy and stuttery

:arrow_forward: GAME INFORMATION

:point_down: These details are CRITICAL; DO NOT skip them or your issue may not be reviewed.

  • GAME BUILD #: 6421374

:arrow_forward: ISSUE EXPERIENCED


While playing a MP game, the game becomes super laggy (computer processing issue, not a network issue), with a super-low FPS and stuttering audio. After 10 seconds or so of this, it usually recovers, and “catches up” to the server version.

I’ve only managed to complete 1 game without force-quitting AOE 2 DE, and in this case it remained in this stuttering / laggy state until I reached the main menu and then quit the game.

:arrow_forward: FREQUENCY OF ISSUE

:point_down: How often does the issue occur? CHOSE ONE; DELETE THE REST!

  • 100% of the time / matches I play (ALWAYS)

:arrow_forward: REPRODUCTION STEPS

:point_down: List CLEAR and DETAILED STEPS we can take to reproduce the issue ourselves… Be descriptive!

Here’s the steps to reproduce the issue:

  1. Set up a 1v1 MP ranked match
  2. Play as usual (I typically play on Arabia, have tried various civs)

:arrow_forward: EXPECTED RESULT

:point_down: What was SUPPOSED to happen if the bug you encountered were not present?

Game should not stutter / lag

:arrow_forward: IMAGE

:point_down: ALWAYS attach a PICTURE (.jpg, .png, .gif) or VIDEO (.mp4, YouTube link) that highlights the problem.

AOE 2 DE is in red below:

Split by CPU:

:arrow_forward: GAME FILES (SAVE / RECORDING)

:point_down: Attach a SAVE GAME (.aoe2spgame) or GAME RECORDING (.aoe2record) of the match where you encountered the issue. Link it below if using an external file service.

MP Replay v101.101.46295.0 @2021.04.28 191934 (2).aoe2record (801.2 KB) MP Replay v101.101.46295.0 @2021.04.26 215001 (2).aoe2record (1.7 MB) MP Replay v101.101.46295.0 @2021.04.26 211651 (2).aoe2record (1.4 MB)

If helpful, happy to take a video of the occurrence and share it (can I upload it here?)

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Hi, does it only happen when playing multiplayer? could you catch some pattern? like game time, age, number of units on the map or it just happens randomly? I hope you can get some feedback from another guy having similar cpu (what about throttling? what is core frequency during the slowdon?) have you tried the the april’s Public Update Preview (enable the beta on steam) and still the same?

If you know msi afterburner can help you monitorize system status with in game overlay

What’s your GPU? Is it also reaching 100%?

̶H̶o̶w̶ ̶c̶a̶n̶ ̶I̶ ̶e̶n̶a̶b̶l̶e̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶b̶e̶t̶a̶?̶ ̶S̶t̶e̶a̶m̶ ̶a̶s̶k̶s̶ ̶m̶e̶ ̶f̶o̶r̶ ̶a̶ ̶c̶o̶d̶e̶ ̶w̶h̶i̶c̶h̶ ̶I̶ ̶d̶o̶n̶’̶t̶ ̶h̶a̶v̶e̶.̶ Never mind, it worked without a code.

I’ll try the other stuff you mentioned. Only thing that comes to mind is that the Process Hacker screenshot above shows my CPU’s clock rate as being 0.97 / 2.30 GHz so I’m wondering if it might have been throttled (though I’m unsure how to investigate or fix that).

UPDATE: It is indeed the CPU being throttled. I only experience this in-game with AOE2DE, and not otherwise on this computer (when browsing internet, watching videos, etc.). The CPU (which is rated 2.3 GHz) seems to “rest” at 0.8 GHz when I’m in the AOE2DE menus. Then once I’m in game, it throttles to 0.1 GHz for no apparent reason. In this test, it happened as soon as I started the game (i.e. when myTC and villagers appear).

See below a chart of the CPU clock rate (the red line scans across capturing the latest clock rate, so the data to the right of the line has been captured earlier and is now being overwritten by the latest – see the timestamps on the X axis)

No, you can see the GPU chart in the left of the screenshot; it’s definitely way below 100%.


Thanks to @IRCketchUP the issue was identified as the CPU being throttled due to cooling issues. I’ve moved the laptop to a better position and the game is now running fine.

That said, there is still throttling happening because the CPU does reach almost 100 degrees. It’s just not enough to affect gameplay. Any advice on better cooling a laptop CPU appreciated.

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Could be dust inside the laptop preventing the fan exhaling the heat properly? This may need some work to fix since you need to dismantle the laptop and the screws are a pain.

Every time I have done this I have painted the rear of the laptop with the holes in a paper and put the screws one by one there, so putting every screw in place later, they may have different lengths, if you do this, you should put new thermal paste in cpu/gpu. Not sure if this the issue, and probably we can discard it if laptop is new and has been running in normal environment (sort of a clean room xD).

They sell some kind of cooling tables (some even with fans on it) to rise the laptop, not really a fan of them, they dont offer much improvement unless you use the laptop over your thighs, they cool only the outside plastic, and wont help with the real cause of the overheat which is the inside. Customers reviews on amazon may come handy if you buying this.

I dont use laptops anymore, I found that manufacturers tend to create designs that serve only light use, and those that dont are far more expensive than a desktop of the same components. Undervolting the CPU may be a solution (it’s like overclocking but reverse), heat and power consumption will be lower just by giving a few less volts, you will have to mess with the BIOS and run some stability tests.

As I can check you have 4 cores and 8 threads. You can disable half of the cores (in the bios) and / or Hyper-Threading and check performance / heat while gaming.

You can cut CPU from clocking higher in windows 10 and check ingame performance as well. With energy plans, editing the “maximum state of the processor”, max 99% for example just prevents CPU from using intel’s turbo frequency. Sorry my windows is in spanish but I mean this window

You can obviously tweak frequency values in BIOS as well. Remember heat will be the result of frequency, volts and usage. Speaking of usage, what are your frames per second while playing? You should cap the frames to the screen (which is what vsync ON does) eg 60hz 75hz 120hz etc.

Anyways, Im happy you found what was causing the issue!

Good shout. I found a solution.

1 Like

Holly shiet.That looks pretty clean. And what have you done? What was the cause of the throttling?