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New graphics card, emperor slows down.


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I upgraded from a GeForce 5700 LE to a 7600 GT a few days ago and I've noticed that while most games have sped up a bit, emperor slowed down considerably. There is a really noticeable difference in the speed buildings are made when I move the screen from the base to an empty area of the map.  Is there anything I can do besides going back to the old card?

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Did you uninstall the old driver correctly first before installing the new driver ?

Also make sure you got the latest DirectX for that video card.

I recommend you this:


That version of DirectX contains alot more then the normal ones, you get additional DirectX fonctionnality for games and multimedia that isn't included in the DirectX on Windows update.

Some games require this to work correctly (The Witcher for exemple).

Also if you upgraded your video settings in Emperor, make sure that something else isn't the bottleneck now in your computer.

Defragment, do disk cleanup and close all programs you don't need open while running the game.

Let us know if this helped and solved your problem.

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I have DirectX 9.something, it could probably use and update whether or not that will fix it. I downloaded the version you linked to but it's not a simple installer.  Where am I supposed to extract the files to?

As for drivers, I just went through the selection process on EVGA's website.  I probably didn't uninstall the old ones properly and I really don't know how to find the best drivers.  Could you provide some more help?

I didn't change Emperor's graphics settings, it always ran perfectly with everything maxxed out.  The video card and the drivers are the only changes I've made that could have done anything.

Thanks for the advice.

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For the DirectX you can extract where you want.

In the extracted folder you will find a setup file, launch that one and it will update your DirectX and install the additionnal fonctionallity also.

After the installation of DirectX you can delete the folder where you extracted DirectX to

For your graphic card you better go on the website of nVidia for the drivers.

You can get the drivers here:


Don't forget to uninstall your old drivers before installing the new one.



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I updated DirectX, uninstalled the old drivers, got the newest one from Nvidia (175.19), and to be extra safe closed all background applications.  Emperor still slows down to less than half its normal speed anytime 10-20 buildings and units are on the screen.

Should I try some older drivers? That's the only potential solution I can think of at the moment. 

The strange thing to me is how only Emperor seems to be affected.  Halo and the games from The Orange Box run much faster, Sim City 4 and Evil Genius run just as well as they ever did.  Red Alert 2 on the other hand does have the same symptoms to a degree, but I never played that as often as emp so I don't know if it's worse than before.

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I'm using an nVidia card as well (8800GT) with this driver version: 175.16

Emperor runs perfectly fine without any problems.

You could try some other stuff as well:

From the execute box launch this: dxdiag

When dxdiag has launched wait abit so it can check your hardware.

Once loaded click on save all data and it will make a dxdiag.txt file in the location you specify.

Open the document and copy paste the content on this forum.

The document contains all information on your hardware, drivers, driver version, known problems and some settings.

It doesn't contain any personal information.

With that info I will be able to check what hardware you use and if your drivers are up to date.

You could also check the event viewer of your operating system and check the system errors that are logged.

You could also try reinstall Emperor as well, just backup your maps and saves and put them back after you reinstall.

I also recommend you analyse your registry and check your computer for "junk"

Some programs I recommend:


Spybot search and destroy

Ad-Aware 2008

You can also install Fraps on your computer and launch the game with Fraps running.

Fraps will show you the framerate in the game of your video card, if it drops below 30 the game starts to slow down.

Before you open the game launch the task manager and open the performance setting.

Play the game, as soon it starts to slow down wait 1 min, close the game and go to the desktop.

Check the task manager if for some reason all your memory got eaten suddenly or CPU stayed at 100% non stop while playing the game.

You can see the game usage just before the drop (where you closed the game).

All the programs I've mentionned are free to use and if they don't solve your problem, they will at least make your computer run better.

Let me know the results,


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I had 175.16 just before getting the .19 version from NVidia's website.

I ran Spybot and Ad-Aware, they didn't find anything.  CCleaner got rid of lots of junk but I doubt any of it was affecting the game.  I also reinstalled the game.

With fraps I see that the frame rate is about 45 when first building the base, and it eventually settles at about 20 over the base when everything is built up, sometimes dropping down to 15.  Over an open part of the map with no units the frame rate is always 60.  Are these normal levels?  The game uses about 160,000K memory, and hovers between 60-80% CPU use.

The dxdiag text is attatched.

Thanks again for the help XaarKhan.

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I checked your dxdiag file and everything seems ok, some drivers are old but they wont interfere with the graphics.

Also your graphic card updated correctly to the latest drivers and DirectX to the latest version.

The framerate report is very interesting, it helps alot to advise you your game settings.

When you are on empty part of map, framerate is high, what is good, but when units and buildings it drops alot.

Meaning there is no problem with textures, bump mapping, resolution and FX.

There probably is a problem when rendering the shadows or the models.

You could try turning off the shadows for the game since visually it gives the less impact, but it helps the framerate alot.

Put the models to medium also and then try again and keep in check the framerate.

As for resource usage you are fine.

There is no memory leak on the game since the memory has a small footprint (normal for and old game) and there seem to be no problems with the cpu/chipset for ai calculation (movement of units, building orders etc).

The problem definitely is on your graphic side.

Since the graphic card works fine with other games, it could either mean:

1. The game has problems with your newer card.

2. Your graphic card doesn't support the old way of rendering of the game correctly (abandonned) and they didn't code the drivers for it anymore.

If lowering abit the graphic settings like I said don't help, you could always try to download the latest Beta drivers for your graphic card.

Sadly enough nVidia is reputated for releasing immature drivers and often it's best to stick with a driver version that works best with your video card.

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It seems shadows were the problem.  I turned them off and the game rarely went below 60.  A completely packed screen fully zoomed out only went down to 30.  You'd think a game from 2001 would be a piece of cake for 2006 graphics cards but I guess not.  How does the game play with an 8800 by the way?  I wish I knew more about PCI-e vs AGP back in January 2005 =P

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I'm glad to hear we found your issue and you can play correctly now.

As for the slowdown you are having, your graphic card IS more powerful then the old one, it's just not very compatible with how the game was coded for graphics rendering.

Emperor was made with the hardware of 2001 in mind, they couldn't predict what hardware would come over the years and how that would change the system for rendering graphics.

As for playing on my 8800GT, I can tell you I don't have to worry about framerate issues on games made before 2007 with everything maxed out.

Even old games not made for my graphic card runs very good, because pure calculation power of my graphic card makes up for any of the rendering slowdowns.

Since I'm playing on a 27" monitor and resolution is 1920*1280 or 1600*1200 if the game doesn't do widescreen, I need a good graphic card to avoid slowdowns at that resolution.

Of course the game is alot of eyecandy on such a screen and resolution ^_^

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