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Sudden and dramatic loss in FPS


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#1 sobedragon

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Posted 24 March 2009 - 07:13 PM

In the games I play, I am experiencing a sudden, dramatic and temporary loss in FPS. This occurs without warning, and it doesn't matter what's on my screen...I could be staring at a wall, and my fps will have a downward spike of up to 50% for a second or two, then go back up. This occurs every 15-20 seconds or so.

I have tried everything that I can think of to fix this problem:
~Played with video settings, it doesnt matter if everything is maxed or if everything is on minimum, it still happens
~Tried different games, This happens in CS1, CS2, TF2, and WoW. That's 3 different engines it's happening in, so it's not the game.
~Uninstalled and reinstalled video drivers.
~Formatted and reinstalled XP
~Noticed that my video card was running WAY too hot, and bought a new video card. That didnt fix it either.
~Upgrade my memory from 2gigs to 4. No help
~Formatted and reinstalled with Vista Home Premium 32 bit. Still happens (so now I know its not my OS)
~Ran virus and spyware check. After cleaning, it still occurs
~Quadruple checked the drivers for my video card, its fine. (this happened with both the old vid card and the new)

System Specs:
2.6ghz amd athlon, duo core, 800 FSB
4gigs ddr2 800 ram
ATI Radeon HD 4670 (upgraded from NVidia, so I know its not the brand either)
250gig, 7200 rpm sata HD
SB live sound card

Any advice is appreciated.

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#2 sobedragon

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 12:28 AM

bump

everyone just as stumped as me?

#3 Sterling14

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Posted 30 March 2009 - 07:42 PM

What about your power supply? How many watts does it have, and how many amps on the +12V rail(s)?

Also, have you tried updating your sound drivers?
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#4 sobedragon

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 01:29 PM

Power Supply is 550W, not sure of the amps.

Yes, sound card drivers are up to date.

#5 Sterling14

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Posted 31 March 2009 - 07:21 PM

The label on the side of the power supply should say. There may be multiple +12V rail, we'll need the amperage off both. What brand is the power supply too?
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#6 sobedragon

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 06:27 PM

Sorry for the delay. Getting to the back of my computer isn't easy.

Brand: Turbolink
Voltage: 115/230v
Current: 12A/16A
Frequency: 60/50Hz
Wattage: 500

I made a mistake earlier. The Powersupply is 500w not 550w. I wrote down all of the information on the power supply because I wasn't sure what you're looking for. I hope there is something in there that helps. What is making you lean toward my power supply?

#7 Sterling14

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 08:07 PM

For the current, do you mean the +12V rail has 16A? Is this the only +12V rail? If so, 16A is low for most modern graphics card. I'm not sure about yours, but my card isn't that much better, and it requires 24-26A. This would be reason for the spikes because the card isn't getting enough juice to run properly.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#8 sobedragon

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 11:21 AM

Hmm, I dunno. The power supply was one of the first things I considered. A while back, I bought a video card that didn't get enough power (I had a shuttle case and a tiny power supply). The card would run fine in windows, but would crash almost immediately after being in any 3d game. No performance issue...just boop...freeze.

I did a lot of research on the card that I bought, and its not exactly a high end card. I got a budget card...The HIS Radeon HD 4670. The card suggests a power supply of at least 400w. It also doesn't have an external power connection, so I don't think its pulling that much power.

I may look into another power supply though...

#9 Sterling14

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Posted 03 April 2009 - 04:05 PM

It's not the wattage to be concerned with, it's the current flowing to the card. You could probably run your system with that card with a 300 watt power supply fine (even though that's pushing it) as long as you have a good amount of amps on the +12V rail, and a high quality power supply. See if you can find a power supply with at least 24a on the +12V rail, and try it.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#10 Synetech

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Posted 07 April 2009 - 08:58 PM

Did you try just looking at the Task Managerís performance tab while not playing a game to see if there is a spike every 15-20 seconds? Youíve probably got some other app that is doing some maintenance (if youíre lucky) or bad things (if youíre not).
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#11 sobedragon

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 12:22 AM

It's not the wattage to be concerned with, it's the current flowing to the card. You could probably run your system with that card with a 300 watt power supply fine (even though that's pushing it) as long as you have a good amount of amps on the +12V rail, and a high quality power supply. See if you can find a power supply with at least 24a on the +12V rail, and try it.


I bought a power supply today. 550w, BFG. I looked at the +12v rail, and the one that I got has 42A on it. The problem is still occurring. I guess its not a power issue =/

Did you try just looking at the Task Managerís performance tab while not playing a game to see if there is a spike every 15-20 seconds? Youíve probably got some other app that is doing some maintenance (if youíre lucky) or bad things (if youíre not).


I think you may be on to something. Take a look at my CPU usage chart. This is what it's like while staring at my desktop with no apps running:

Posted Image

This gives me more questions then answers. Why are those spikes happening? Which process is causing my CPU Usage to jump from 0% to 22%, then back down to nothing? Is this hardware or software related? If it's hardware, do I now need to look into a new CPU?

bleeping computer....

#12 Sterling14

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 06:56 PM

If you look under the processes tab, you should be able to see what has the most cpu usage. Try closing some background programs, including antivirus/antispyware programs. What anti-virus are you using by the way?

For the heck of it, try removing the first 2gb of ram you had in your system. Maybe they were bad sticks. At this point though it doesn't look that way, but it never hurts to try :thumbsup: .

Edited by Sterling14, 08 April 2009 - 06:57 PM.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943

#13 Synetech

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 08:06 PM

Yup, either click the CPU column in the Processes tab of the Task Manager, to see what process bubbles up every few seconds, or run Sysinternalsí Process Explorer and watch the activity for a minute or two.
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#14 sobedragon

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Posted 08 April 2009 - 10:14 PM

If you look under the processes tab, you should be able to see what has the most cpu usage. Try closing some background programs, including antivirus/antispyware programs. What anti-virus are you using by the way?

For the heck of it, try removing the first 2gb of ram you had in your system. Maybe they were bad sticks. At this point though it doesn't look that way, but it never hurts to try :thumbsup: .


I dont run one in the background. I use avast whenever I do a scan. I completely replaced my original 2 sticks of memory with 2x2gb sticks. $37 at Fry's...wow!

There are 2 that tend to bubble up every so often. DPC's (deferred procedural calls) and hardware interrupts. I'm so lost now...

#15 Sterling14

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Posted 09 April 2009 - 08:04 PM

Doing a google search, I came across these topics: http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.php?t=425589&page=2 , http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.php?t=425589&page=2 .

If some of the stuff confuses you, we can help you more. Let us know what you try though, and what the outcome is.
"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." - Thomas Watson, Chairman of IBM, 1943




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