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Random FPS drops and GPU usage

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Lpeezy, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. Lpeezy New Member

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    CPU: AMD Phenom II X6 1055t @ 2.8ghz / ASETEK 510LC 120MM WATERCOOLER
    MB: ASUS M4A77T/USB3
    Memory: 4GB Corsair 1600mhz
    HD: 1TB SATA II 3.0 GB 7200RPM HD & 30GB KINGSTON 2.5 IN SATA SSD
    PSU: SIGMA SP-600AB 600 WATT ESP 80+ POWER
    GPU: XFX HD 6950, 11.3 Drivers CAP 3

    Hi, I'm new to these forums, and be warned, I am not very tech savvy although I do know enough to get by. I got a computer made from CyberPower a couple months ago. I thought everything was fine with it until I decided to upgrade the video card from an ATI HD 5750 to an XFX HD 6950. That's when I noticed something was wrong, when playing RIFT: Planes of Telara I would notice my FPS drop out of nowhere almost like my GPU was throttling. This would happen while playing Battlefield: Bad Company 2. My friend told me to monitor it with MSI Afterburner and I noticed that whenever my FPS would tank so would GPU usage.

    At first I thought it was a GPU issue so I sent the card in to XFX for RMA. They sent me back another one with a different revision. Still this did nothing to fix my FPS issue so now I think this must have something to do with the rest of my system. All my drivers are up to date. I’m not quite sure what the problem is. My GPU isn’t overheating and I don’t believe my CPU is either.

    I’ve also tried replacing the power supply with a new one but that didn’t fix the issue either. Could it be my MB or CPU?

    UPDATE: 4/16/11
    So I went ahead and got a new motherboard. I decided to stick with ASUS and got the Crosshair IV Formula board. The problem has not come up at all so I have come to believe that my old board, the ASUS M4A77T/USB3, was the source of the problem. Just wanted to log it here so anybody else googling similar problems can see this thread. Thanks for all the help everyone!
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2011
  2. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Have you tried different drivers?
     
  3. Lpeezy New Member

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    I've tried most of the new drivers, even the 11.4 beta drivers. Should I try a lot older drivers?
     
  4. n-ster

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    While this isn't really related, I suggest you OC your CPU, it will yield better FPS in most games. Try to aim for at least 3.2~3.6Ghz
     
  5. Lpeezy New Member

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    I've thought about this but Heroes of Newerth ran pretty much without a hiccup on my previous computer which was only a Phenom dual core @ 2.8ghz also and sporting an Geforce 9600 GT. HoN shouldn't take very much CPU or GPU power so my new PC shouldn't be doing as bad as it is.
     
  6. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Do the fps drop like that when rendering particular scenes? I'm thinking of things like panning around a map and viewing something particularly detailed. Also, when the action gets going, this can happen quite noticeably.

    Basically, the processing load can increase by 10 times or so, depending on what the game is doing, so drops like that are not so unusual. You have a powerful system there, but it can still happen.

    Try lowering quality settings, such as resolution and turning off AA and see how it runs. Lowering texture resolution can help a lot, too. Frame rate should jump up significantly.

    I wouldn't regard the GPU usage meter in Afterburner as 100% reliable, so it could be showing you a red herring.

    www.fraps.com is a great tool for viewing instantaneous frame rate.
     
  7. n-ster

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    He has a freaking 6950 with a hexacore... Maybe turn down AA, but else it should pretty much own it.

    if you have anything forced in your CCC, make them application managed. since when did you notice an FPS drop?
     
  8. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Yes, I said he's got a powerful system. Yet, he's getting significant frame rate drops, so this is an appropriate troubleshooting measure.
     
  9. n-ster

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    but you were hinting that it may be normal behavior, I just wanted to clarify it it isn't
     
  10. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Yes, it can still happen even if the system is working normally. Depending on the game and the settings used, it's possible for certain scenes to show particularly crap frame rates. Think of the scenario where you're having a fast gunfight with lots of explosions and effects and in the background you've got that fps sapping detail. Then yes, even a high spec system can display low frame rates. The faster the system, the less time this effect is seen though. There's no black and white certainty here.
     
  11. n-ster

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    From the problems he is mentioning it is not the case at all. his GPU usage suddenly drops sometimes, which also leads to lower fps....
     
  12. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    And do you trust Afterburner to be accurately reporting GPU usage? I'm not convinced it is and I've said so above. There could be any number of reasons why that number could be off.
     
  13. Andrei23 New Member

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    try overclocking your gpu by 10 mhz :)
     
  14. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    And what's that gonna do? :slap:
     
  15. n-ster

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    it's not 100% accurate but it does the job.... the fps drops are noticeable by his eye..... when he checks MSIa, he sees that when the FPS drops, his GU usage also, and MSI A is a good genera indicator of GPU usage, and does OK with FPS, though not very accurate, it can easily tell you when a massive FPS drop occurs
     
    qubit says thanks.
  16. Lpeezy New Member

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    Well while playing RIFT, I could be doing anything, even sitting still in a low populated area and the FPS would still tank. Even using the lower quality render option in the game I would start out with 60+ FPS then all of a sudden it drops down to below 15 fps for a minute or so and then jump back up to normal. Maybe afterburner isn't trustworthy, but the same event happens in three separate games.

    EDIT: RIFT has an in-game utility that shows your FPS and Ping.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2011
  17. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    Hmmm... that certainly doesn't sound like normal performance, does it? Especially if it sits like that for a whole minute or so. Does the CPU usage perhaps spike due to other tasks when this happens? Try turning off your security software and see if it helps. If it decides to do a scan or update at the wrong moment, it could certainly cause this. Do you see lots of HD activity when the fps drops?
     
  18. n-ster

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    I doubt it is an update...

    but software conflict/ driver conflict is entirely possible
     
  19. Lpeezy New Member

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    I certainly hope its not normal performance. As far as I know, CPU usage never goes above 60ish %. I only have the Win7 security stuff, nothing else.
     
  20. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    No, it's definitely not normal performance. Your card is switching to video 2d mode and you are getting the FPS drops. Are you playing in windowed mode? If so, that can cause it. Other programs running in the background can also cause it.

    All that being said and barring the FPS drops due to your GPU underclocking you really should put a slight overclock on your CPU. 3.2 - 3.4ghz at 1.35v should be easily done, safe and stable.
     
  21. Lpeezy New Member

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    To be honest, I don't think overclocking my CPU would solve the problem because like I said, BFBC2 and HoN both run fine on my old system at the same speed with four less cores. Although overclocking wouldn't hurt, now I just need to figure out how to do that :p. There was something in the BIOS that allowed me to up the % of each core by a set amount so I tried 12% but my CPU still read 2.81 GHz. I've never toyed with overclocking before so I apologize for my badness!

    I play BFBC2 and HoN both in fullscreen, and I've tried RIFT in windowed, fullscreen, and windowed-fullscreen. The problem still persists.
     
  22. n-ster

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    He said he knows this isn't the problem, but performance would be better with OCed CPU.

    Only thing I can think of doing is a clean OS install
     
  23. Lpeezy New Member

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    Ah, well sorry. I've tried doing a clean OS install. Previously, I had the OS installed on the SSD with RIFT on the 1TB HD. Then I tried installing the OS on the 1TB HD with RIFT also on the same HD. Currently, OS is installed on 1TB HD with RIFT on the SSD. Same problems with every set up.
     
  24. qubit

    qubit Overclocked quantum bit

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    This might well be a driver problem. Any chance on you borrowing a similar performance nvidia card and trying that? If it fixes it, then it's definitely a driver problem.

    Do you have Windows fully patched and the latest DirectX runtime installed? Do this first, if you haven't.
     
  25. alexsubri

    alexsubri New Member

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    Make sure that the 6pin's are connected correctly as well as the GPU card pushed all the way in the PCI-E Slot. This happen to me before when I first starting running Crossfire. I learnt from trail and error.

    Edit: Get HW Manager and check out your temps, fan speeds, etc... because any slight variance that isn't normal can pin point your problems.
     

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