Author Topic: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?  (Read 6822 times)

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Offline ultraknur

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PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« on: January 16, 2022, 04:45:23 pm »
Hi all,

For a very long time I am facing a problem that seems to be unfixable (at least on my side). My high-end PC and its peripherials don't work like it should in means of responsiveness and smoothness. I don't think I would have realized the problem was happening if I hadn't experienced in gaming cafe what games should actually look like on a high-end gaming PC. From the first clicks on my brand new PC I knew, that something was wrong. It's not reacting fast enough, also screen is not smooth as 240Hz should be and gameplay is off, like not synced with a server (error correction causing delay/input lag?). I've changed every part of my PC, even chassis which is already ridiculous, but so far nothing helped. After I realized that it's not about PC components, internet connection and settings, I started to look for the cause in the electricity provided to my building. I tried to make a choke with multiple ferrite cores of material 31 separated for live and neutral. At the beginning I could feel the difference somehow but the issue came back. I tried Schaffner RFI filter but it didn't help at all. What is interesting I was able to find correlation between how my PC works and relative humidity which as we know is pretty harmful for transformers. Yesterday I spoke to my buddy that something was different at 14:00, for a long time (since summer and dry weather) I've never had such a good gaming experience but then I checked RH in my city and surprise:



This is not the first time I noticed it.

I commissioned my power company to perform electricity quality measurements and everything looks good except 15th harmonics which is still within the limits.



I rule out:
- PSU issues - tried 2 models with 80+ gold cert. They had way too much of power output rating,
- Monitor issue - tested 3 with 144Hz refresh rate and 2 with 240Hz, weren't even close to demanded smoothness,
- GPUs issue - tested GTX1660, RTX2060, RTX3070, no changes beside framerate but even 500fps games are not smooth like a silk with 240Hz,
- RH in my apartament - it's usually 60%,

That may sound like a madness, but it took 2 years to notice that correlation. Does anyone suspect what might be the cause of the problem?



 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2022, 10:44:19 am »
Have you tried playing in (limited) natural light, to exclude the effects of lighting issues?  Fluorescent lights in particular do flicker; so do many LED lights.  You might be experiencing sensory issues due to the almost subliminal flicker.  That is, that the jitter you observe isn't in the hardware, it is in your perception.
In particular, if you have "ambient" LED lights behind your display, those often suffer from flickering issues.
 

Online radiolistener

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2022, 11:04:17 am »
There are two things that can affect your PC performance:
1) air with different humidity has different thermal conductivity, so it leads to different cooling efficiency
2) air humidity depends on environment temperature, higher temperature leads to worse cooling efficiency

At a glance your issue looks like overheating issue. When CPU temperature exceeds some limit, it enable protection which stops clocking internal circuits to cool down the chip die. As result, the speed of CPU slows down. This state is known as "throtling".

Try to measure temperature of your CPU and GPU heatsinks when you catch lags. If its high, then this is the reason for lagging. Just improve your cooling system to solve this.  :)
 

Offline The Soulman

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2022, 11:05:15 am »
Do you have a solid earth/ground connection?
My pc+monitor don't like being un-grounded in a high humidity environment as the screen would glitch to black or won't turn on at all because of a corrupt hdmi signal.
Any equipment with a metal chassis should never be connected to a un-earthed outlet, but because of a house renovation I had to move the pc a few times, including to a old (soon to replaced) socket without earth.
 

Offline ultraknur

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2022, 12:43:08 pm »
This sounds like a C3/C6 sleep state issue.

Could you elaborate? How to deal with that?

Have you tried playing in (limited) natural light, to exclude the effects of lighting issues?  Fluorescent lights in particular do flicker; so do many LED lights.  You might be experiencing sensory issues due to the almost subliminal flicker.  That is, that the jitter you observe isn't in the hardware, it is in your perception.
In particular, if you have "ambient" LED lights behind your display, those often suffer from flickering issues.

That would make sense, but it is present with light off and on. I was considering my perception because my senses are way to sensitive but that actually helped me to see, that something is wrong. It is not normal, that 144Hz monitor in gaming cafe is incomparably smoother than 240Hz in my place.

There are two things that can affect your PC performance:
1) air with different humidity has different thermal conductivity, so it leads to different cooling efficiency
2) air humidity depends on environment temperature, higher temperature leads to worse cooling efficiency

At a glance your issue looks like overheating issue. When CPU temperature exceeds some limit, it enable protection which stops clocking internal circuits to cool down the chip die. As result, the speed of CPU slows down. This state is known as "throtling".

Try to measure temperature of your CPU and GPU heatsinks when you catch lags. If its high, then this is the reason for lagging. Just improve your cooling system to solve this.  :)

It's all true but I excluded that long time ago. I use 360mm AiO and temps are fine and never had any issues even with demanding games on ultra settings. RH in my apartment doesn't exceed 70%.

Do you have a solid earth/ground connection?
My pc+monitor don't like being un-grounded in a high humidity environment as the screen would glitch to black or won't turn on at all because of a corrupt hdmi signal.
Any equipment with a metal chassis should never be connected to a un-earthed outlet, but because of a house renovation I had to move the pc a few times, including to a old (soon to replaced) socket without earth.

PC and monitor are connected to the outlet with L and PEN (neutral is connected to ground pin). I had kitchen renovation and there are outlets with separated ground and neutral. I tried them and nothing helped. I suspect micro surges in the transfomer due to increased conductivity environment caused by RH but most likely I will be never able to prove it. Departing from the RH matter I see huge improvement at 4-5 AM, especially on Mondays so there is also a chance, that somebody is using harmful electrical devices in his flat.
 

Offline wraper

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2022, 01:15:15 pm »
After I realized that it's not about PC components, internet connection and settings, I started to look for the cause in the electricity provided to my building.
Mains electricity has no way to influence computer/monitor performance in any way. Everything is powered by switch-mode PSU, where input voltage and frequency has no impact on output voltage which powers the electronics.
Quote
I tried to make a choke with multiple ferrite cores of material 31 separated for live and neutral. At the beginning I could feel the difference somehow but the issue came back.
You fooled yourself. The same way as audiofools fool themselves with magic crystals voodoo and $1000 power cables. They feel they somehow improve audio quality, yet there is no actual difference. Brain works in a way that a high price gimmick can fool perception, even though there is no actual difference.
The issue most likely is either problem with your perception due to some internal reason in your body. Or some external influence like flickering light already mentioned.
 
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Offline ultraknur

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2022, 01:34:49 pm »
After I realized that it's not about PC components, internet connection and settings, I started to look for the cause in the electricity provided to my building.
Mains electricity has no way to influence computer/monitor performance in any way. Everything is powered by switch-mode PSU, where input voltage and frequency has no impact on output voltage which powers the electronics.
Quote
I tried to make a choke with multiple ferrite cores of material 31 separated for live and neutral. At the beginning I could feel the difference somehow but the issue came back.
You fooled yourself. The same way as audiofools fool themselves with magic crystals voodoo and $1000 power cables. They feel they somehow improve audio quality, yet there is no actual difference. Brain works in a way that a high price gimmick can fool perception, even though there is no actual difference.
The issue most likely is either problem with your perception due to some internal reason in your body. Or some external influence like flickering light already mentioned.

Why are you so sure, that any kind of sine wave distortions can be easily filtered by PSU?

Like I mentioned I experience huge desynchronization with any game server, I would say it's like playing with ping 300-400 ms however it shows 30 ms. Anything what appears on my screen is deviated from what happened on server like a hell. I can even see that by watching demos. It's not about lag compensation or interpolation or anything because it complies to players with much higher ping than mine. Doesn't matter what ISP, it happens with any. Propably my PC is not able to process the informations fast enough due to error correction code due to distorted current causing bit errors.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 01:45:34 pm by ultraknur »
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2022, 01:56:15 pm »
Why are you so sure, that any kind of sine wave distortions can be easily filtered by PSU?
The power supply converts to DC, mainly +5V and +12V, and the motherboard DC-DC converters down to +3.3V, and whatever +1.1V/+1.8V/etc voltages the RAM and CPU want –– they're usually programmable.

Distortions don't degrade performance.  If the distortions are large enough to affect the PSU output, your computer would be unstable and crash ("bluescreen", or whatever it is called nowadays).

Like I mentioned I experience huge desynchronization with any game server, I would say it's like playing with ping 300-400 ms however it shows 30 ms.
That means your network connection is wonky.  Can you see the issues when playing offline, without using any network connection at all?

Propably my PC is not able to process the informations fast enough due to error correction code due to distorted current causing bit errors.
That is not possible.  The hardware does not work that way.

Again, if there are problems that get through your power supply, they will cause your computer to crash.  Current x86-64 hardware (running Intel or AMD processors) does not have the facility to even slow down in case there is a power supply issues; it either works, or doesn't and crashes (locks up, most often).
 
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Offline ultraknur

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2022, 02:08:04 pm »
Why are you so sure, that any kind of sine wave distortions can be easily filtered by PSU?
The power supply converts to DC, mainly +5V and +12V, and the motherboard DC-DC converters down to +3.3V, and whatever +1.1V/+1.8V/etc voltages the RAM and CPU want –– they're usually programmable.

Distortions don't degrade performance.  If the distortions are large enough to affect the PSU output, your computer would be unstable and crash ("bluescreen", or whatever it is called nowadays).

Like I mentioned I experience huge desynchronization with any game server, I would say it's like playing with ping 300-400 ms however it shows 30 ms.
That means your network connection is wonky.  Can you see the issues when playing offline, without using any network connection at all?

Propably my PC is not able to process the informations fast enough due to error correction code due to distorted current causing bit errors.
That is not possible.  The hardware does not work that way.

Again, if there are problems that get through your power supply, they will cause your computer to crash.  Current x86-64 hardware (running Intel or AMD processors) does not have the facility to even slow down in case there is a power supply issues; it either works, or doesn't and crashes (locks up, most often).

It does work like that according to -> https://passat.crhc.illinois.edu/hpca_15_cam.pdf + https://scholar.google.pl/scholar?hl=pl&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_vis=1&q=error+correction+code+latency&btnG=
Modern PCs don't crash because of error correction systems, bsods are not that common nowdays.
My internet connection cannot be wonky, because I know many decent players from my city using same provider and they don't experience any issues at all and I saw it personally. It's not about making conclusions after two or three games but these observations are from 3 years.
I can't really tell you if desync happens offline against bots however inputs are as slow as online.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 02:09:47 pm by ultraknur »
 

Offline magic

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2022, 02:14:22 pm »
Take the PC to one of your friends with known-good network, humidity and electricity. See if it performs there.

That may sound like a madness
No disagreement ;D
 

Offline ultraknur

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #10 on: January 17, 2022, 02:19:05 pm »
Take the PC to one of your friends with known-good network, humidity and electricity. See if it performs there.

That may sound like a madness
No disagreement ;D

If it would perform like it should, what will be the explanation?

Yeah it is madness but I know dozens of players trying to deal with it. One of my buddy claims that it's fixed after disconnecting old FM/AM radio. By looking at this article https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-54239180 nothing is going to surprise me.
 

Offline TMM

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #11 on: January 17, 2022, 02:24:24 pm »
You say that your PC doesn't work as it should but your measure of its performance is purely subjective?

There is literally zero point even considering chances things like power line quality until you have an objective measure of your PC performance. Perhaps run a benchmark like 3Dmark when you perceive a period where performance is poor and run it again when you perceive the performance as better to see if there is an actual difference in performance or if you're just imagining it.

Also if you're playing games online the performance of your internet is going weigh in heavily into the smoothness of gameplay. It is quite plausible that weather affects the performance of internet hardware, especially internet connections that use long copper phone lines (ADSL/xDSL), or wireless. Perhaps also, certain weather conditions are more conducive to people playing online games or browsing the internet therefore internet performance suffers during those weather conditions. If it's raining, people are probably more likely to be inside using the internet compared to a nice sunny day for example.

You should be able to objectively measure your internet performance with a site like speedtest.net
The smoothness of games is most likely to be affected by latency/ping instead of speed(mbps), since online games don't require many mbps.
If you open command prompt and run "ping -t www.google.com" it will continuously show the latency in ms between your computer and google. You can change www.google.com to any ip address - such as the IP address of an online games server you play on - to see how stable the connection is to the server. If it remains at 20ms or less then you'd expect a very smooth gaming experience. It it jumps up to 100ms or more you might perceive some slowness. 200ms or more and you will probably experience lag and jerkiness.

If you play games against others on a LAN at an internet cafe then the latency will be <10ms at all times, so you don't experience the lag and jerkiness that you do playing on the internet.

Also look at getting a new mouse for your computer if you haven't tried a different one. Entry level mice are actually noticeably less responsive than proper gaming mice if you play first person shooters.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 02:49:21 pm by TMM »
 
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Offline magic

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2022, 02:30:06 pm »
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-54239180
I wonder if it's the owner of the TV set who should have been embarrassed, or the ISP, or most likely both :P

But anyway, leaving aside the possibility that high end gaming is the new high end audio ::), network glitches (particularly if nothing bad ever happens in single player games), software problems or aggressive power saving are definitely things that should be considered before humidity, and frankly you would be better off asking on some computer/games/etc forum.

As for mains distortion, forget it. There are three levels of regulation along the way: active PFC, down to 12V, down to ~1V near the CPU/GPU. The sine waveform of mains voltage is actually more of a problem than any distortion.
 
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Offline ultraknur

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2022, 02:45:57 pm »
You say that your PC doesn't work as it should but your measure of its performance is purely subjective?

There is literally zero point even considering chances things like power line quality until you have an objective measure of your PC performance. Perhaps run a benchmark like 3Dmark when you perceive a period where performance is poor and run it again when you perceive the performance as better to see if there is an actual difference in performance or if you're just imagining it.

Also if you're playing games online the performance of your internet is going weigh in heavily into the smoothness of gameplay. It is quite plausible that weather affects the performance of internet hardware, especially internet connections that use long copper phone lines (ADSL/xDSL), or wireless. Perhaps also, certain weather conditions are more conducive to people playing online games or browsing the internet therefore internet performance suffers during those weather conditions. If it's raining, people are probably more likely to be inside using the internet compared to a nice sunny day for example.

Yes, unfortunately it's purely subjective but I trust for my senses and perception. I don't have access to professional measuring equipment, even oscope. Like I wrote in first post I wouldn't have realized the problem is happening if I hadn't experienced perfect gameplay in gaming cafe. It is pointless to do any tests with benchmarks because the problem are slowed down inputs (click -> processing -> appearance on the screen) and degraded monitor refresh rate, not the performance counted with scores. My current internet connection is FTTB so interference through the fiber is excluded but still ISP's routers may be affected.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-54239180
I wonder if it's the owner of the TV set who should have been embarrassed, or the ISP, or most likely both :P

But anyway, leaving aside the possibility that high end gaming is the new high end audio ::), network glitches (particularly if nothing bad ever happens in single player games), software problems or aggressive power saving are definitely things that should be considered before humidity, and frankly you would be better off asking on some computer/games/etc forum.

As for mains distortion, forget it. There are three levels of regulation along the way: active PFC, down to 12V, down to ~1V near the CPU/GPU. The sine waveform of mains voltage is actually more of a problem than any distortion.

Power saving settings are off. I can't count how many combinations of different settings I tried but I can admit one thing - fresh format gives a relief for one day and the same claims a lot of other players I meet.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 02:48:54 pm by ultraknur »
 

Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2022, 02:53:56 pm »
Propably my PC is not able to process the informations fast enough due to error correction code due to distorted current causing bit errors.
That is not possible.  The hardware does not work that way.

Again, if there are problems that get through your power supply, they will cause your computer to crash.  Current x86-64 hardware (running Intel or AMD processors) does not have the facility to even slow down in case there is a power supply issues; it either works, or doesn't and crashes (locks up, most often).

It does work like that according to -> https://passat.crhc.illinois.edu/hpca_15_cam.pdf + https://scholar.google.pl/scholar?hl=pl&as_sdt=0%2C5&as_vis=1&q=error+correction+code+latency&btnG=
Modern PCs don't crash because of error correction systems, bsods are not that common nowdays.
Those links are utterly irrelevant.  First, because current crop of AMD and Intel processors used on typical gaming computers do not even support error correction (ECC) for main memory.  Second, the latency caused by error correction codes is constant; they are not "switched on and off" as needed.

Simply put, error correction codes cause a constant slowdown.  Whether they do correct an error or not, does not affect the time taken.

My internet connection cannot be wonky, because I know many decent players from my city using same provider and they don't experience any issues at all and I saw it personally.
Incorrect.  Depending on what kind of service you use –– LTE, ADSL, DOCSIS, Ethernet to the premises ––, a borderline device on your end (either in your apartment, or if you use ADSL, DOCSIS, or Ethernet to the premises, the wiring or the switch in your building) can explain the observed connectivity issues.

For example, I happen to have Ethernet to the premises, i.e. an Ethernet trunk switch and switchboard in my building, with the Ethernet ports exposed in my electrical panel.  I use a short patch cable to connect that to one of the four Ethernet connectors around my apartment.  The building is connected to a local junction via fiberoptics (a fiberoptic switch for this neighborhood), and from there to the national trunk via further fiberoptics.

If I use a router or switch and it glitches, or the router in my building has a glitch, a typical symptom is a lot of lost packets.  The ping time –– or more properly, round-trip time –– seems okay, but the actual problem is that too many packets are lost, so that retransmissions occur often, and that increases the observed ping time 2× to N×.  (Nasty internet service provides also insert RST packets, which disconnects an established TCP connection, to reduce the bandwidth used by heavy users.)

The test comparing your gaming setup performance when offline (and that means disconnected cables, not just "I'm not using the net right now"), to when online, is all you need.

If the problems are only fully reproducible when online, then it is your particular internet connection at fault.  It does not mean that your internet service provider is shit, or that your friends elsewhere in the same city using the same internet service provider should see the same issues, because the issue could just be faulty hardware.  Or a low-quality optical connection in one of the switches.  A proper network test by an engineer would pinpoint the issue.

You could test TCP and UDP packet loss to a remote server, to check the exact round-trip times and percentage of lost packets; both raw, and when tunneled (encrypted).  I don't know what software you'd use on Windows, because I don't use Windows, and I myself would check those things with code I'd whip up myself in a few minutes.

however inputs are as slow as online.
You use USB for your gaming controllers, right?  I wonder if your Windows setup respects the USB HID 1ms interval, or forces a longer one.

Basically, USB HID, Human Interface Device, is a way for each keyboard/mouse/joystick/gamepad to request the host computer to reserve N 64-byte slots per second, with the maximum being N=1000, or one slot every millisecond.  This yields at most one millisecond latency per event – change in joystick orientation, button state, keypress or release, mouse movement, etc.  However, the operating system, in this case Windows, can refuse, and only give the device fewer slots per second than it requests; for example, 16 slots, which yields 62.5 millisecond latencies, which is easily observed.

I do not know how to verify this in Windows.  It can be due to hardware –– too many HID devices on the same root USB port ––, or it can be a configuration thing (although I do not remember there ever being such a configuration knob for Windows).  If you are using a long chain of USB hubs ending with a single USB cable to your motherboard, or perhaps two using stacked ports, split them, so that your controllers are connected to different root USB ports on your motherboard.  This ensures there is maximum number of HID slots available.

(I don't know which software you use in Windows to explore the USB tree.  In Linux, the /sys/bus/usb/ pseudo-tree contains this information.  USBView?)

In Linux, the USB traffic is easily tracked and dumped using Wireshark, and a snapshot with timestamps will quickly tell if there is a hardware or USB issue.  A quick web search says USBPcap should be able to do the same in Windows.  Checking the interval between consecutive events from the same controller will tell if this indeed is the cause for the input latency.  The timestamps will have "noise" because the software does not record the timestamp at the exact moment the packet is received (there is a small delay until one of the processor cores gets to handle the incoming packet).

For example, if the problem was that for some reason, a controller was only given 32 slots per second (i.e. 1000/32 = 31.25 milliseconds intervals between events), and an event occurred at time 236.220115 seconds, all events from the device would occur at time 236.220115+K/32 seconds (plus minus say 0.001000 seconds), where K is an integer.
 
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Offline TMM

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2022, 02:55:05 pm »
Yes, unfortunately it's purely subjective but I trust for my senses and perception. I don't have access to professional measuring equipment, even oscope. Like I wrote in first post I wouldn't have realized the problem is happening if I hadn't experienced perfect gameplay in gaming cafe. It is pointless to do any tests with benchmarks because the problem are slowed down inputs (click -> processing -> appearance on the screen) and degraded monitor refresh rate, not the performance counted with scores. My current internet connection is FTTB so interference through the fiber is excluded but still ISP's routers may be affected.
You don't need electrical engineering equipment to investigate this problem. What you're trying to do is akin to working out why the engine in your car isn't running right by performing metallurgy on the engine block.

Years ago as a teenager I was a 'gamer' and troubleshooted problems like this without any knowledge of electrical engineering. The first question I'd ask is, do you experience the poor performance when playing games offline? If yes, then you can tentatively rule out the internet as a source of problems. Next things to try:
-Try a different mouse and keyboard
-Make sure you have the correct drivers installed, especially for your mouse and for your graphics card. Also try an older version of graphics card driver - the latest driver may have a bug.
-Turn down the graphics settings in your game. Try VSYNC on and off if your game has the option.
-Make sure your CPU isn't throttling because it's getting too hot
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 02:59:11 pm by TMM »
 

Offline MK14

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #16 on: January 17, 2022, 02:57:44 pm »
fresh format gives a relief for one day and the same claims a lot of other players I meet.

Which would point to software, not hardware being the real problem. Consider the opposite situation. Let's say your hardware really was faulty in same way, and messing up your gaming experience. A fresh format, shouldn't make a blind bit of difference, if it does, it tends to point to software (drivers, windows, etc), being the real problem.
EDIT: There are more complicated scenarios, whereby faulty hardware, can eventually cause the software to give up and go into some kind of less functional operation (and lots of other variations). Some of these things can be checked for, by looking in the right places in windows error log things. Which can tell you what has been reported. I'm not a big fan of windows, so maybe google it, or get help from someone who knows how to access these logs. Also, detailed performance analysis tools might help (benchmarks, memory/disk(SSD) transfer speeds, other tests).
Example:
https://kb.blackbaud.com/knowledgebase/Article/75433 Which is about 'How to use Event Viewer in Windows'
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 03:15:43 pm by MK14 »
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2022, 03:06:27 pm »
I totally believe you are sensing something real and not going crazy.  Some people just have highly tuned sensory systems that get annoyed by things that most other people are able to ignore or don't notice.   For example, I remember once deploying new software on a financial trader's workstation.  He called and complained a few days later, "the screens are flickering".  He had 8 screens on this PC, all bombarding him with financial information.  I sat next to him for hours, trying to see what he was talking about.  After a couple of hours of intense concentration, I noticed the slightest, tiniest little stutter in the "flow" of information, as if the music stopped on all 8 screens for a brief few milliseconds before continuing as if nothing had happened...  I found it almost imperceptible, but I did notice it.   He immediately screamed,  "THERE!!  DID YOU SEE THAT??"  - it had hit him like being slapped in the face.  Here, the problem was caused by the new software somehow blocking the flow of video for a few milliseconds at a time.  I uninstalled the software, and the PC was smooth for him again.

Based on this experience, it seems to me that it is most likely there is a problem with some software running on the PC that is introducing tiny stutters in the smooth flow of video that you notice (maybe subconsciously).  You can absolutely get small stutters in the flow of video (gaming) due to things going on in the operating system, interactions between drivers and hardware, etc. -  and it can be very difficult to pinpoint.

I would try to borrow a laptop or another PC (even if not as high performance) and see if they behave more smoothly for you, just to convince yourself you're not crazy (I don't think you are...  you just need the PC to flow smoothly!).

 
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Offline Nominal Animal

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2022, 03:30:30 pm »
I totally believe you are sensing something real and not going crazy.
Me too.  I perceive the 100 Hz flicker of fluorescent lights, and when I'm tired, it gives me a headache.  (I also get mild symptoms in the dark when e.g. cyclists have fast-blinking lights.  I know it makes them more visible to drivers, but sometimes I get nausea, usually just a small ache behind my eyes.)
I'm so happy to have stable backlit LCDs now, with very little to no refresh flicker!

Do not see my brusque tone as "not believing".  I'm always this direct, but I do try hard to help discover the underlying issue.

In this case, there could be several: one is the input latency (and some software burning CPU time could definitely cause this!), and the other is the network latency (some software taking up CPU time could cause this, too).  I assume you scan regularly for viruses and malware.  Oh, and if you have many games installed, their copy protection systems might be "fighting" against each other, running all the time, and causing the glitching.

I do not think the noise in your mains voltage, or the changes in the humidity are the cause.
However, they could be related, if they happen to affect say the building switch; it could be in a bad cabinet, glitching when humidity is high, maybe causing condensation-related connector issues.

I would try to borrow a laptop or another PC (even if not as high performance) and see if they behave more smoothly for you, just to convince yourself you're not crazy (I don't think you are...  you just need the PC to flow smoothly!).
An excellent suggestion!  For one, comparing the performance of this other machine at say one of your friends place, to performance at your own place using your current internet connection, could tell if there is a reproducible issue in your internet connection.

Also, you could lug your gaming setup to one of your friends' place, one that does not suffer from similar effects, and test it there with their internet connection.
If your gaming computer works well there, then you've excluded your gaming computer as the cause of the issues.  If it has the same problems there too, then it is something in your gaming setup that causes the issues.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2022, 03:32:28 pm by Nominal Animal »
 

Offline ultraknur

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2022, 03:41:49 pm »
fresh format gives a relief for one day and the same claims a lot of other players I meet.

Which would point to software, not hardware being the real problem. Consider the opposite situation. Let's say your hardware really was faulty in same way, and messing up your gaming experience. A fresh format, shouldn't make a blind bit of difference, if it does, it tends to point to software (drivers, windows, etc), being the real problem.
EDIT: There are more complicated scenarios, whereby faulty hardware, can eventually cause the software to give up and go into some kind of less functional operation (and lots of other variations). Some of these things can be checked for, by looking in the right places in windows error log things. Which can tell you what has been reported. I'm not a big fan of windows, so maybe google it, or get help from someone who knows how to access these logs. Also, detailed performance analysis tools might help (benchmarks, memory/disk(SSD) transfer speeds, other tests).
Example:
https://kb.blackbaud.com/knowledgebase/Article/75433 Which is about 'How to use Event Viewer in Windows'

What software would be responsible for this having freshly installed Windows and Nvidia driver only? That's the question. Is my PC infected with some kind of super hidden cryptomining virus? I don't possess enough knowledge to verify this. The problem occurs since first click on brand new PC 3 years ago. During this time I replaced every part of my PC including cables, chassis, router etc and spent hell of money.

Yes, unfortunately it's purely subjective but I trust for my senses and perception. I don't have access to professional measuring equipment, even oscope. Like I wrote in first post I wouldn't have realized the problem is happening if I hadn't experienced perfect gameplay in gaming cafe. It is pointless to do any tests with benchmarks because the problem are slowed down inputs (click -> processing -> appearance on the screen) and degraded monitor refresh rate, not the performance counted with scores. My current internet connection is FTTB so interference through the fiber is excluded but still ISP's routers may be affected.
You don't need electrical engineering equipment to investigate this problem. What you're trying to do is akin to working out why the engine in your car isn't running right by performing metallurgy on the engine block.

Years ago as a teenager I was a 'gamer' and troubleshooted problems like this without any knowledge of electrical engineering. The first question I'd ask is, do you experience the poor performance when playing games offline? If yes, then you can tentatively rule out the internet as a source of problems. Next things to try:
-Try a different mouse and keyboard
-Make sure you have the correct drivers installed, especially for your mouse and for your graphics card. Also try an older version of graphics card driver - the latest driver may have a bug.
-Turn down the graphics settings in your game. Try VSYNC on and off if your game has the option.
-Make sure your CPU isn't throttling because it's getting too hot

It's not about performance in means of amount of frames. You would be surprised how unsmooth it is with 500 FPS and 240Hz. I can't really tell you if this happens in offline games but after spending thousands of hours in Counter Strike I can easily tell you, when the game is working properly or not. I wouldn't if I hadn't see it in the past. All of your 4 points I can rule out with a fair amount of certainty but thanks for your engagement.

I totally believe you are sensing something real and not going crazy.  Some people just have highly tuned sensory systems that get annoyed by things that most other people are able to ignore or don't notice.   For example, I remember once deploying new software on a financial trader's workstation.  He called and complained a few days later, "the screens are flickering".  He had 8 screens on this PC, all bombarding him with financial information.  I sat next to him for hours, trying to see what he was talking about.  After a couple of hours of intense concentration, I noticed the slightest, tiniest little stutter in the "flow" of information, as if the music stopped on all 8 screens for a brief few milliseconds before continuing as if nothing had happened...  I found it almost imperceptible, but I did notice it.   He immediately screamed,  "THERE!!  DID YOU SEE THAT??"  - it had hit him like being slapped in the face.  Here, the problem was caused by the new software somehow blocking the flow of video for a few milliseconds at a time.  I uninstalled the software, and the PC was smooth for him again.

Based on this experience, it seems to me that it is most likely there is a problem with some software running on the PC that is introducing tiny stutters in the smooth flow of video that you notice (maybe subconsciously).  You can absolutely get small stutters in the flow of video (gaming) due to things going on in the operating system, interactions between drivers and hardware, etc. -  and it can be very difficult to pinpoint.

I would try to borrow a laptop or another PC (even if not as high performance) and see if they behave more smoothly for you, just to convince yourself you're not crazy (I don't think you are...  you just need the PC to flow smoothly!).

I am glad, that you understand me. If someone doesn't notice it, it doesn't mean it doesn't happen. Playing with this issue for years made my senses even sharper and I notice the slightest fluctuations immediately.

@Nominal Animal that's the most professional answer I've ever received and the part about UDP latency interested me most. I am not very proficient into networking, but testing UDP performance wouldn't be a bad idea. I don't know how to approach it on Windows to get reliable results.







 

Offline ultraknur

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2022, 04:47:46 pm »
I am posting results of kernel timer latency. Maybe you can draw some conclusions however I've heard, that these results are fine.

 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #21 on: January 17, 2022, 05:06:23 pm »

It could be something very fundamental, e.g. the interaction between motherboard, graphics cards, and drivers - sometimes it is down to certain versions of drivers and libraries.   It is a total pain in the neck to troubleshoot something like this.

The fact that you think it has been going on since the PC was new means it has never worked 100% smoothly, and it could be anything...  USB, SATA, memory, video, their drivers, OS libraries, application software, etc. etc. ...  - that is the culprit.

I remember now that with the trader workstation example I talked about earlier, it turned out that the application that caused the stuttering was built on Microsoft's .NET framework.  The developers couldn't cure the problem; they believed the issue had something to do with how the .NET framework interacted with the OS and drivers.

 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2022, 05:22:41 pm »
I just tried the same latency test on the ancient laptop that I'm couch surfing from...   Your latency numbers seem on the high side, for a gaming PC?



 

Offline magic

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #23 on: January 17, 2022, 05:29:14 pm »
I don't know what's the relevance of "Windows kernel timer" latency, but 23ms is an eternity by computer standards ::)
And whatever it is, the "kernel" part suggests something to do with O/S and drivers.

(If the whole result isn't a red herring.)
 

Offline SilverSolder

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Re: PC performance correlated with relative humidity?
« Reply #24 on: January 17, 2022, 05:43:14 pm »
I don't know what's the relevance of "Windows kernel timer" latency, but 23ms is an eternity by computer standards ::)
And whatever it is, the "kernel" part suggests something to do with O/S and drivers.

(If the whole result isn't a red herring.)

The kernel keeps track of the flow of time by means of timer interrupts.  If they are not flowing smoothly...
 


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