Why won't my PC run Mass Effect?

#1 Edited by face15 (1372 posts) -

Today I got Mass Effect for PC cause I want to be up with the story when I play the sequel on PS3. Anyway, I don't often use my computer for gaming, and since it's a laptop I wanted to be sure that it would actually run it. I used Can You Run It? and it far exceeded the recommended specs.   

I went out and bought it but now I've got it home and even on Medium and Low texture detail and screen resolutions it has a really low frame rate and pretty significant input lag. So is it just that Can You Run It is wrong? Or am I missing something else? Like something I should have installed?  
I dunno, I'm obviously not much of a PC gamer but if there's something obvious I've probably missed can you help me out?
#2 Posted by OllyOxenFree (5008 posts) -

If you can tell us your system specs then that would really help.  If you don't know the specs then just tell us your laptop model.

#3 Edited by Tennmuerti (8519 posts) -

What are your specs? 

Also make sure you are not running off battery, laptops will slow everything down to a crawl in games if you aren't plugged in.

#4 Posted by face15 (1372 posts) -
This is just straight of the Can you run it website.
#5 Posted by JJOR64 (19584 posts) -
@face15:  Do you have the latest drivers for your video card?
#6 Posted by face15 (1372 posts) -
@Tennmuerti: Yeah, I've got it plugged in. 
@JJOR64: I don't even know what that means. Do I just go to the GeForce website?
#7 Edited by Bigandtasty (3140 posts) -

Can You Run It is not always good at measuring the performance of video cards, especially laptop models. Your video card is underpowered and there is no way to replace a laptop's video card. There are ways to get an external graphics card, but it's expensive and I'm not sure if your laptop has an ExpressCard (or whatever it's called) input.
Best way to ensure that a video card will run a game decently, if you are unsure, is to search for the game title and the model of your video card. Here are a couple of examples who both got responses of "it'll run badly."
Sorry dude; PC hardware can sometimes be confusing and CYRI obviously has some flaws in how it measures laptop video cards' performance.
Edit: Try to update your video card drivers though (it's usually a safer bet to go through Windows Update rather than nvidia website for laptop video cards) and see if you can get acceptable performance on low.

#8 Posted by face15 (1372 posts) -
@Bigandtasty: I'm only trying to run Mass Effect 1, not 2. I thought I should be alright with a 3 year old game, since my laptop is only about 1 year old. Apparently not, though.
#9 Posted by Teaspoon83 (632 posts) -

I'm trying to think back to when I played it. It does run a lot better than the Xbox 360 version but there are some chuggy moments. But to what you are saying, very strange. Update the drivers, kill all background apps and perhaps see if there is a Performance Tab in the Display/Power Management that isn't trying to extend the life of the battery while killing your power in the process.

#10 Edited by Diamond (8678 posts) -

I don't really know what Mass Effect on PC requires, but isn't the 9200M GS an extremely weak mobile card?
Nevermind, I see that point is already being discussed.  I can definitely imagine that being a huge problem.

#11 Posted by Bigandtasty (3140 posts) -
@face15:  Whoops, didn't see that they are for ME2. Problem with my suggestion of googling game titles is that you often mix the sequel in there. Here's one person who asked about ME1 on a 9200M, although it's not detailed. Here's one person who complained of unplayable framerates on ME1 using a 9400GT.
Anyway, you're thinking in somewhat flawed terms. ME1 and ME2 both use Unreal Engine 3 and are similarly taxing on graphics hardware. Because of consoles being a far bigger market than PCs, coupled with the slower economy, PC games in 2007 for the most part have similar requirements as games in 2010. The majority of laptops have low-end video cards, because it's cheaper to produce and cheaper to sell. So even in 2009 the majority of laptops will not be able to run most contemporary games from major developers, because doing so means less portability, lower battery life, and most importantly hundreds of dollars more in price.
#12 Posted by face15 (1372 posts) -

Well I've downloaded the latest drivers for my GPU and it seems to have made a pretty big difference, so thanks to @JJOR64 and @Teaspoon83.  
I tried closing Norton and Windows Security but I don't know how. That's probably for the best anyway.

#13 Posted by Bigandtasty (3140 posts) -
@face15:  Well, if you can play it and get bearable performance, that's good. I guess driver updates helped more than I expected, or maybe that guy with the 9400GT was just dumb and forgetting something.
 In any case, enjoy Mass Effect. I think it's a pretty cool game.

This edit will also create new pages on Giant Bomb for:

Beware, you are proposing to add brand new pages to the wiki along with your edits. Make sure this is what you intended. This will likely increase the time it takes for your changes to go live.

Comment and Save

Until you earn 1000 points all your submissions need to be vetted by other Giant Bomb users. This process takes no more than a few hours and we'll send you an email once approved.