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Periodic sluggishness in games

I'm experiencing periodic sluggishness when I play 3d games like Unreal Tournament (natively) and Max Payne (WineX). It's not a framerate problem, because there's no choppiness, it's periodic (a minute of slowness, a couple minutes of normal, a couple of slow, et c.), and there's no apparent relation to the complexity of the action when it happens. The effect is as if the game itself is going into a slow-mo mode (yes, I know, Max Payne has a slow-mo mode, but that's not what's going on here).

I have a new Dell 5150 with an nVidia GeForce FX 5200 using the latest nVidia-supplied drivers. I don't have any apps running while I'm playing the games, save for Gnome and its applets and such.

Does anyone have any clue what could be the problem here?

Thanks in advance.

Joel Konkle-Parker
Webmaster [Ballsome.com]

Phone     [+1 662-518-1636]
E-mail    [jjk3@msstate.edu]

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