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Laptop losing framerate periodically

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#1
This has been an issue since I got the laptop. I've formatted, I've installed the latest nvidia drivers, I've set global settings and specific game settings to use the nvidia video, and it still happens. In demanding games like Assassin's Creed II, Mass Effect (but not Mass Effect 2) and Saints Row The Third, it goes fine for a couple minutes, then it gets drops. 60 fps to 10 fps, then 3 seconds later back up again. Then repeats, anywhere from every minute to every 20 seconds. Saints Row gradually becomes unplayable, it has the worst of it. I've tested with GPU-Z and HWMonitor, GPU is 70 degrees C under load and CPU is only about 60 degrees C. So I have no idea what this is. Some program that's been hiding in the background, faulty hardware, I don't know.
Lately it's also been getting hotter, although I'm not sure if that was caused by the room it was in or what. The laptop isn't even 2 months old.

Asus A53SV-NH51
i5 2.4 ghz
GT540M 1GB
6GB memory
 
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#2
That does sound like a CPU/GPU throttling because of heat. But 70/60c is pretty much normal (better than normal where I come from). Could be faulty sensors ! I had a laptop that reads wrong CPU temps yet it throttles itself after 10 minutes of gaming.

If you have a program that logs CPU activity, use it, run a game till it starts to lag and see if the CPU frequency drops.
Use GPUz to log the GPU freqs too.
 
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#3
Source games can go indefinitely with no issues. Just adding that.
 
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#4
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#5
Never done a BIOS update. On this computer or any. Have to figure out how it works, I guess. Which BIOS version stood out? I was guessing the CPU microcode, but I have no actual idea.
 
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#6
Well it's actually quite easy, you just download the bios flash utility from the folder below the bios and/or you could probably use asus live update tool as well from the utility folder. (I use the asus live update tool)


download the 320 bios, they've done some strange numbering it looks like, releasing 315 after 320. But I'd go with that one.

Try googling and read up a bit on bioses because you can fuck things up and i'm not gonna be responsible for it. (not trying to scare you, the procedure is very easy but the concequenzes of doing it wrong can be big)

Though with these programs it's very easy to flash your bios, the key thing is you MUST have the power source hooked up on your laptop and you can never turn the laptop off during the flashing, which takes like 2 mins tops.



Also after you've done that, update "ATKACPI driver and hotkey-related utilities"
it does the power management in your asus.
 
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#7
Never done a BIOS update. On this computer or any. Have to figure out how it works, I guess. Which BIOS version stood out? I was guessing the CPU microcode, but I have no actual idea.
download the BIOS, extract it to a flashdrive, reboot, go to BIOS, select ez flash to update the BIOS, presto :)
 

OneMoar

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#8
don't go updating the bios :banghead:
you WILL brick it
a bios update is NOT gonna help you a bios update is a LAST RESORT for very very very rare issues ....
lets do some investigation other options before listening to the noobs without a clue shall we ......
first off remove all drivers and clean install the latest ones
second off run a game and run gpu z in the background need to know the voltage and max temps reached
this sounds exactly like overheating
also make sure to disable pci lane state power management in the windows power options as well as ASPM
 
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#9
don't go updating the bios :banghead:
you WILL brick it
I guess all them poor peeps with a z68 mobo will never be able to use an Ivy bridge cpu as updating the bios WILL brick it.

Don't be such an offencive dramaqueen, bricking it is a possibility but when you've done your research it's a small chance not a YOU WILL BRICK IT.

This noob has done plenty o bios updates without bricking anything (and most of those being ASUS mobo's)


However I do agree that finding out what is causing the problem should go before resorting to bios flashing.
 
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#10
Don't be such an offencive dramaqueen, bricking it is a possibility but when you've done your research it's a small chance not a YOU WILL BRICK IT.
+1 on that drama queen :roll:

anyway, BIOS recovery on laptops is usually easier than on motherboards ;)
all you need to know is the right key combination to invoke firmware recovery :toast:
 
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#11
Check the HDD activity (the LED if the laptop has one) when the FPS drop down into nowhere.

I bet the BIOS update won't change anything.
 
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#12
ctrl+shift+escape, open resource monitor and go play, when the framerate drops, exit and see what happened. should help with the diagnose
 
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#13
first try to check what that run behind like apps, service, antivirus etc then i agree check your chipset temp. is it normal? then run benchmark, from benchmark you can see how about your vga performance
 

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#14
make sure you run with Vsync enabled, to keep the temps down.
 
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#15
I can't play games with mouse lag. Needing to turn on Vsync is its own problem, so wouldn't be much of a solution.

If you're going to run in and make a big deal out of not updating the BIOS, you could at least check the original post. I already said I've formatted and reinstalled the drivers, as well as given the GPU and CPU temperatures. Uninstalled the default anti-virus so that isn't going in the background, disabled automatic updates for Windows and Asus. This isn't a 2 year old laptop that has never had a defrag, this is a 2 month old laptop that was just formatted. Only thing I haven't tried yet is resource monitor.

Please stop asking about the temperatures. I've checked repeatedly from 10 minutes to 20 minutes to 2 hours, the GPU never goes above 70 degrees, the laptop never shuts down, and the performance issue only affects specific games. I'm going to reiterate: This issue has been present since I first started up the laptop nearly 2 months ago. The heating issue, if it really is an issue and not just the room, is less than 2 weeks old at most.
 
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#16
OK, I know first hand how annoying and frustrating it is when some games give you issues but Mussels is just trying to help mate and he is a good guy.

I'm willing to help but troubleshooting can take time/patience, it pays off though as it can really help narrow it down when you take out some of the variables involved with PC gaming.

First of all list a few games that play fine and then list all of the ones that are having issues and we'll take it from there.
 
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#17
Anyway, this is what resource manager came up with after half an hour of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood, and a couple drops. It's windowed, I haven't exited the game.
http://img835.imageshack.us/img835/8620/28911065.jpg

http://oi40.tinypic.com/1zbqo0x.jpg

Not sure if that tells anything.

Games with no issues:
All Source games (including Portal 2). I've played at least 12 hours of TF2 on this laptop and never experienced stuttering.
Bastion/ Capsized/ Dustforce (all 2d-based indie games, really)
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition

Mass Effect 2 has minor issues. Rarely slows down, might just be because of demanding effects when it does. Not sure.

Major framerate drops:
Mass Effect 1
Assassin's Creed II and Brotherhood
Modern Warfare 2 (played only an hour of MW3 mp on a free weekend but had no issues. Strange, seeing as games are nearly identical)
Saints Row The Third (the worst by far. The most frequent drops)

Different issue?: Tested Deus Ex HR: The Missing Link (but not the base game), ran way under benchmarks. Mid-20 fps regardless of settings or resolution.
 
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#18
OK initial impressions are that your service CPU usage in the second pic looks excessive, mine is practically a flatline whilst gaming so there may be a random service causing excess CPU cycles to be eaten up causing performance issues in certain games but not evident in others.

Regarding your vsync comment early, I recently discovered that running a framelimiter at 60fps alongside alot of games practically eliminates any mouse lag. I have seen a few people have issues with Brotherhood similar to yourself where the framerate fluctuates dramatically.

I myself have had issues with Deus EX HR and only just solved it yesterday. Off all the things that could cause it, it was the bloody language bar that gets launched alongside the Left 4 Dead Series. I was having fluctuating framerates and very bad stutter regardless of settings.

I have just checked your card and on High Settings its getting 37fps average at 1366 x 768. Its also a game that scales with CPU speed so any issues with the CPU could bottleneck you at the 20 or so frames you are seeing regardless of settings. Now I understand source games are very cpu orientated and you are having no issues with them but then they chuck out hundreds of frames so perhaps the deficiency is not noticeable maybe? Have you benched with something like Half Life 2 or CSS in comparison to what you should be getting with your processor? It may shed some light on the matter.

Mass Effect 1 & MW2 should run without an issue, have you made any engine tweaks to Mass Effect at all?

Also, forgive me for this but are any of these games pirated? I'm not judging just trying to troubleshoot.
 
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#19
I can't play games with mouse lag. Needing to turn on Vsync is its own problem, so wouldn't be much of a solution.

If you're going to run in and make a big deal out of not updating the BIOS, you could at least check the original post. I already said I've formatted and reinstalled the drivers, as well as given the GPU and CPU temperatures. Uninstalled the default anti-virus so that isn't going in the background, disabled automatic updates for Windows and Asus. This isn't a 2 year old laptop that has never had a defrag, this is a 2 month old laptop that was just formatted. Only thing I haven't tried yet is resource monitor.

Please stop asking about the temperatures. I've checked repeatedly from 10 minutes to 20 minutes to 2 hours, the GPU never goes above 70 degrees, the laptop never shuts down, and the performance issue only affects specific games. I'm going to reiterate: This issue has been present since I first started up the laptop nearly 2 months ago. The heating issue, if it really is an issue and not just the room, is less than 2 weeks old at most.

GPU is only part of it, whats the CPU temps.

you might find it annoying that we're asking about this stuff repeatedly, but we do it because 99% of the time, it really is the only cause for this kind of problem.

and running without Vsync or some kind of frame limiter on a laptop is just asking for overheating.
 
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#20
Everything but Brotherhood is on Steam.

Lost Coast benchmark is 135.42 fps.

Haven't made any tweaks to Mass Effect.

Never heard anything about a language bar launching with Deus Ex. Would take all night to reinstall so I can't test that right now.

CPU temperatures are same as before, 60 C.

And I don't know of any useful fps limiters.

Task Manager, with no games running. Haven't cleaned out unnecessary programs beyond the default anti-virus.

http://oi39.tinypic.com/1f7kwp.jpg
 

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Mussels

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#21
Everything but Brotherhood is on Steam.

Lost Coast benchmark is 135.42 fps.

Haven't made any tweaks to Mass Effect.

Never heard anything about a language bar launching with Deus Ex. Would take all night to reinstall so I can't test that right now.

CPU temperatures are same as before, 60 C.

And I don't know of any useful fps limiters.
try bandicam, i think the free version can do it.
 
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#22
I currently use D3DOverrider for the tripled buffered vsync side of things and then MSI Afterburner 2.2.0 Beta 14 which has a framelimiter built into it but also doubles as a great in game indicator of gpu usage/vram usage/temperatures/api version/framerate.

Oh and the language bar was installed with left 4 dead not deus ex. As soon as I closed it I stopped having issues.

That Steam CPU usage looks way high? Anyone else agree, I only see flickers of 1% normally with it going to about 5% when I'm installing something.
 
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#23
That's about the same I've seen for Steam on every computer.

And I don't think the language bar has anything to do with Deus Ex on the laptop. L4D and Deus Ex are installed on the desktop and it never had any problems.
 
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#24
Anyone have ideas?
 
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#25
one of three things is happening here
1. either the gpu/cpu is getting to hot and the sensors are not working right (most sensors are off by at least 5-10c) as to if they are reading low or reading high thats anyone's guss
2. the gpu/cpu is not staying in high-clocks possible from the above could be software bug
3.something is causing a resource conflict
first thing first

DISABLE Windows's power (dis)Management go in and turn all the power saving crap off until we can confirm if thats a probabl cause
make sure its disabled
secondly download GPU z From here http://www.techpowerup.com/downloads/
and give us a screen shot of the sensors page and the main page under gaming load