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alt tabbing increases system performance?

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#1
Hello! I'm looking for information on what would cause games to run better after alt-tabbing and reopening the program? this is the only thing that fixes the strange FPS/GPU usage issues i've been experiencing post going 5760x1080...

3570k on msiz77g45 w/ 2x 670ftws...
 
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#2
I have a friend with a similar "problem"... He's running an i7 3820 on an Asus Rampage V Extreme w/ 16 gigs of RAM and 2x Asus reference HD6870 in CF. He's getting 20-30 FPS in WoT and Crysis 3, but after alt-tabbing it goes up into the high 50s. No settings change in the meantime, and no other action is needed, and the FPS stay the same until he exits the game.

Strange, I wonder what's actually going on...
 

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#3
Alt+tab often forces the game to reinitialize the DirectX renderer. It's likely an opportunity to reattempt to start SLI/Crossfire if it didn't start with the game.

Mind you, alt+tab is as likely to cause the game to crash as it is to improve performance. Some games support it, some don't, and some are somewhere in between.
 

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#4
I have to do this with Crysis 3 when using my main rig in the system specs (2x 7970's).
 

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#5
indeed i have seen this phenomenon with a lot of intel CPUs! i used to think alt tabbing back to the games gives all other programs less priority, and minimises those programs, and hence the performance increases.
 

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#6
I have 6870s in crossfire and a 3820. I haven't experienced this yet, but I also don't play a huge variety of games. Civ 5, SC2 and Minecraft are the commonly played and have been working pretty good lately. Civ 5 was crashing on the cfx driver library a lot but a recent driver update fixed that.

Maybe there are particular games this happens with? In the past I know that there we some games that won't restart CFX if you alt-tab out of it and back in. That could have changed with a more recent driver. That used to happen to me but not any more.
 
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#7
Never tried it. Will do today.
 

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#8
I stand to be corrected but I've heard that it clears the RAM (or the VRAM I'm not sure).
Some games don't run well after alt-tabbing though, or crash. Bethesda games in particular.
 
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#9
I stand to be corrected but I've heard that it clears the RAM (or the VRAM I'm not sure).
Some games don't run well after alt-tabbing though, or crash. Bethesda games in particular.
Call of Duty Blackops also.
 

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#10
I stand to be corrected but I've heard that it clears the RAM (or the VRAM I'm not sure).
Some games don't run well after alt-tabbing though, or crash. Bethesda games in particular.
Skyrim doesnt work correctly you alt tab, but if you alt tab to it again while the screen is black, it loads up with the windows cursor over the top. If i repeatedly do this, eventually it fullscreens properly without issues. Slightly weird.
 

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#11
^ usually all games alt tab from the pause screen. try that.
skyrim is an example which will work from pause screen, but not from during gameplay.
 
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#12
Depends on the game. I always tell people who are having problems crashing or with performance.
"if you are in fullscreen, try windowed/full mode (Aka borderless)"
If they are running windowed, I say "Try fullscreen".
It matters occasionally.
 
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#13
^ usually all games alt tab from the pause screen. try that.
skyrim is an example which will work from pause screen, but not from during gameplay.
There are also games that put the game in PAUSE when you alt tab them and when you get back they remain PAUSED until you unpause it yourself. Great way of properly coded games taht prevent you from getting killed because the game continues to run when minimized...
 

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#14
There are also games that put the game in PAUSE when you alt tab them and when you get back they remain PAUSED until you unpause it yourself. Great way of properly coded games taht prevent you from getting killed because the game continues to run when minimized...
indeed!
dirt 3 is one i think?
 
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#15
Though i never Alt-Tab from games. If i have to, i do it with Ctrl+Esc. And i never in what, 15 years really bothered to check if this is in fact the same thing... lol
 
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#16
I either get a crash or a lil boost but most of the time its a crash with Bethesda games
 
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#18
To add to the library here: Blacklight Retribution doesn't respond well on alt+tab. At least on my laptop.
 
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#20
Skyrim doesnt work correctly you alt tab, but if you alt tab to it again while the screen is black, it loads up with the windows cursor over the top. If i repeatedly do this, eventually it fullscreens properly without issues. Slightly weird.
Only had this issue on cracked sky rim and batman

To everyone else thank you for your input... Many of these theories crossed my mind... +thanks ... This is cross.platform which points to game coding more then.CPU/GPU right?
 
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#21
I wonder if CTRL+ESC would cause the same effect?

I've never noticed any alt+tab behavior in game, either good or bad.
 

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#23
I wonder if CTRL+ESC would cause the same effect?

I've never noticed any alt+tab behavior in game, either good or bad.
Should. They both pull DirectX out of the fullscreen render by switching focus to something else.


This is cross.platform which points to game coding more then.CPU/GPU right?
Yes. Games, by default, aren't intended to lose focus. They're supposed to be started, played, then closed from an in-game option. Developers have to add code to pause the game when focus is lost and reinitialize the full screen aspects of the game when focus is gained. The initialization can take a while which is why some games take several seconds to go full screen again.

I run SimCity windowed a lot, for example, and when I play a game full screen and hit alt+tab, I can see SimCity reinitializing itself even though it really shouldn't have to.

It definitely isn't a hardware thing. It's game programming. In the case of Crossfire/SLI, it could be a driver issue.
 
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#25
I don't know much but whenever I play games specially those on my ssd on a 7680X1440 resolution I don't feel any lag or increase in performance thought.