Yesterday I started experiencing slow computer performance while playing games. The game in question is COD: Modern Warfare 2, which is the first game I noticed with significant or noticeable performance degradation. The graphics were constantly stuttering and the game feels choppy, although not totally unplayable. It hasn't done this before. Initially I thought it was a latency issue, but then it also happens in single player or private lobbies when I am the only player and the host. I've tested my internet speed with speedtest and pingtest and everything turns out perfect. I then tried other games like Starcraft 2 (works fine without said stuttering), COD: Modern Warfare 3 (works fine without said stuttering).
Then I started COD: Black Ops 2, and to my horror, the stuttering was very evident, even in the menus (where the globe is spinning, check youtube to see what I mean) and even in-game (custom games with me as the host and NO players). Torchlight 2 also experienced slight graphic performance degradation.
I've tried lowering graphic settings to the lowest and the stuttering still happens. Also, I've checked the framerates and they are good (above 60 fps) so my GPU and CPU should be fine. It was then I read somewhere that McAfee might be the cause so I experimented by turning off OAS and Firewall, guess what? Voila, all games now work at full speed again like before. I then turned on Firewall again and it doesn't affect gameplay. Finally I turned on OAS (On-Access Scanner) and the stuttering returns.
So now I can safely pinpoint that OAS is slowing things down, right? I've also experimented by changing the OAS settings under "Choose how thoroughly to scan my PC (Advanced)". I noticed that the setting (before I changed it) was "Strike a balance between the scan thoroughness and my PC's speed (Recommended)", so I changed it to "Minimize the effect on my PC's speed, even the scan is less thorough", and this current setting is working fine for me at the moment, with all gaming performance at peak.
1) Now, my question is, was the previous recommended setting the DEFAULT setting? Or maybe a patch changed it?
2) If it is the default setting, then why wasn't I experiencing performance issues before yesterday? Did something changed? Updates perhaps? Because I sure didn't changed the settings at all.
3) Is this related to my hardware? Is this a sign of my harddisk degrading? Or motherboard, CPU or GPU showing signs of wear? If my hardware is having problems, I shouldn't even have peak performance with the games even after disabling OAS, right? I need experts' confirmation that my hardware is still working fine. (CPU, GPU, harddisk etc.)
Please, any McAfee techs, please do confirm this so I can rest easy as my laptop warranty is valid at the moment, so if I have hardware issues, I can still make a claim, though I rather not as it will be a hassle still.
Thanks in advance for all who's going to chip in!
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Thanks guys. I've just tested my PC again with default (strike a balance) and even "scan thoroughly" RTS settings and now both are working fine with Steam games. My MSC and Anti-virus are still the same versions but Anti-virus & Anti-spyware engine is now: 1630.0, updated on 28 Aug 2013. No more stuttering nor performance issues. All CPU and memory usage readings are normal with McShield.exe now only using a mere 0.35% max CPU resource and about 200,000 Kb memory capped when the games are running. I will continue to monitor though to see if this problem will recur. But so far, several reboots later, the problem has not returned.
Maybe someone from the development team noticed this and quietly fixed it over the past week? One of the recent DAT updates must have fixed this because I still have this problem occuring as recent as last Friday. So, the fault lies with an older DAT I suppose, not the MSC version itself.
Anyway, thanks to Peacekeeper and Selvan again for both of your efforts. Perhaps you guys can relay and highlight this case to the development team so they can take heed in future not to repeat this.
Overclocking uses extra CPU and if you have something onboard that maybe is using extra cycles then stuttering will happen. I sometimes see it on my machine but according to my Task Manager it isn't usually McAfee that's eating the resources.
Technical Support are probably the best people to ask about this and it's free by phone or online chat, linked under Useful Links at the top of this page. Although they sometimes patrol here, it's not always the case, so best contact them.
One thing to check first though would be in SecurityCenter > Web and Email Protection > Firewall > Internet Connections for Programs - have all your games and associated software got full permissions? Using the Edit button try turning Netgbuard off for those items to see if it helps. It's best not to for security reasons, but you could try that.
(Hint when at that section, click the word Programs at the top and it will rearrange alphabetically).
Yup, I've check Firewall settings too and all the said programs have FULL permissions. I never turn off Netguard but like I said, I've poinpointed the source to be OAS. It seems like OAS now uses more CPU resources than before? I have not changed any settings before this.
I am now very curious and anxious to know, why OAS is starting to slow things down when it doesn't behave like this before yesterday. I need to be sure that my hardware is 100% healthy and not the cause of this problem. Also, if this is indeed caused by new changes to OAS' behaviour, perhaps McAfee techs might want to look into this as I believe it may affect a lot of users running gaming systems.Message was edited by: deathstalker on 17/08/13 14:10:54 CDT
It seems like I'm now monologuing, lol. But was OAS previously set to "Strike a balance between the scan thoroughness and my PC's speed (Recommended)"or "Minimize the effect on my PC's speed, even the scan is less thorough"? Can anyone confirm this? I can't remember if it was changed, but it sure wasn't me. I've now set it to "Minimize the effect on my PC's speed, even the scan is less thorough" and it's working fine for me now.
If it was changed, I wonder if a patch did this?
OAS = On Access Scanner, or McShield.exe, or the Real-Time Scanning feature of McAfee SecurityCenter. I am referring to the Real-Time scanner when I mentioned OAS.
In Windows Services, McShield was known as McAfee On Access Scanner service. It is the service that is responsible for McAfee's Real-Time scanning feature.Message was edited by: deathstalker on 17/08/13 14:21:06 CDT
Ex_Brit, thanks for your eagerness to help out. I really do appreciate it.
Can you please help me confirm, is the Real-time scanning previously set to "Strike a balance between the scan thoroughness and my PC's speed (Recommended)" or "Minimize the effect on my PC's speed, even the scan is less thorough"? Which was the default? Did it somehow changed in a recent patch?
If the settings was changed recently by a patch, then it may well explain why things slowed down. But if it didn't, then perhaps OAS is behaving differently now by taking up more CPU resources?
Strike a balance is the default and always was as long as I recall.
Setting it to Minimize whilst playing games may help in this case.
Hmm...that means something's changed with Real-Time scanner now? It is now using more CPU resources? I really hope this is not an underlying hardware issue though.
Ex_Brit, can you please invite a tech guy to confirm this? Maybe they can look into how Real-Time scanning has changed, pertaining to using CPU resources?Message was edited by: deathstalker on 17/08/13 14:51:22 CDT