Game becomes laggy and poorly responsive during multiplayer play as essential windows process thrashes GPU

:arrow_forward: GAME INFORMATION

  • Build: 101.101.37906.0 5105673 (latest)
  • Platform: Steam
  • Operating System: Windows 10
  • Gamertag: Kakutani’s Fixed Point

:arrow_forward: ISSUE

During multiplayer games, I will experience lag in which the game is unresponsive or responsive with a delay. (I’ll click and the click won’t register until a second or two later, making it impossible to manage fights or eco.) Sometimes the game will try to speed up to compensate, sometimes it will just get more and more laggy. I continue to have a blue clock next to my name.

When this happens, a process in the background called Desktop Window Manager will thrash and take up max GPU capacity. This is apparently an essential part of the operating system, and has been known to cause trouble with other games. Due to my particular laptop, this process runs on the integrated GPU rather than the dedicated GPU which the game runs on, and there is no way to force it to use the dedicated GPU.

Sometimes, pausing and/or restarting the DWM process will help the problem, but this still takes a minute or two and requires the other team to be nice about it (sometimes they’re not.) Even after the game is paused, I’ll experience lag just trying to type a message in the chat.

I do not know whether or not a thrashing DWM process was related to lag in previous patches. However, the hotfix has definitely made things worse because I fail to get the yellow or red clock which slows down the game and gives my system a chance to catch up.

:arrow_forward: REPRODUCTION STEPS

  1. Join a multiplayer game either through the ranked queue or with a friend (I was able to reproduce it while hosting a 2 human v 2 AI game)
  2. Play for a while, have task manager open on another monitor or open task manager when the lag hits

Note: I am unable to reproduce the problem in singleplayer play, even on large maps with lots of AI. I also have not yet experienced the problem in 1v1 play, although I have not tried very much 1v1. It seems to happen in non-1v1 multiplayer, and unlike “normal” lag, it does not seem to be related to how many units are in the game or how large the game is. It can happen in the feudal age in a 2v2, or not happen until post imp.

:arrow_forward: GAME FILES


:arrow_forward: IMAGE & ATTACHMENTS

It was hard to get a screenshot during all of this because my computer was not very responsive, even typing to the other team while paused or restarting the process in task manager would take a while. However, if I had a screenshot it would show the task manager open with Age 2 DE taking up less than 100% of GPU 1, and Desktop Window Manager taking up 100% or close to 100% of GPU 0.

:arrow_forward: THINGS I HAVE TRIED

  • Closing all background programs
  • Minimum graphics settings
  • Reinstalling
  • Playing on just one monitor
  • Changing power settings so that the PCI bus gets maximum power
  • Killing the DWM process right before playing (this gives a warning and the process automatically restarts)
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2 posts were merged into an existing topic: Multiplayer game becomes unplayable (rubber-banding, input latency, etc)