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MASSIVE FPS drop -- help!


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#1 Showbiz

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 12:53 AM

Hey guys,

some have helped me with a problem or 2 in the past, so I thought I'd throw another one your way that I've put up with for a while now!


Here's the issue:

- (First noticed when playing QuakeWorld -- taking MASSIVE FPS hits in fights and just running around).

- Now, when browsing almost _any_ video online (youtube, redtube) the picture is unwatchable. The image moves a couple of frames a second (or not at all on some of the higher resolution videos), and is EXTREMELY jerky. - The sound during this time plays as normal.

- I can hear the HDD (spinning?) or under serious stress (chugging) while attempting to do this.

- By maximising the actual video itself (full screen), I can sometimes IMPROVE the video frame rate, making it more watchable (possibly because ads or other surrounding website images are no longer visible?)..

- (This problem does not occur with any videos I've downloaded and played through VLC etc, so it's purely online based).

- CPU Usage is close to 100% over various processes during this time.

- Also, downloading a file from say Rapidshare website (which contains graphics and animated buttons), there is a serious delay in the time it takes from me clicking on the download button, to the time my download window appears, and also when the download finishes, the little pop-up box to say the download has finished (in Firefox) appears in stages and is laggy/jerky.

- Once again, the HDD is very noisy during the download process, making loud spinning/chugging noises.

- These same problems occur when browsing _any_ website involving moving/animated graphics (pop-ups, banner ads etc.), or websites with multiple embedded videos posted. -- They take forever to load, with serious delays in watching the videos.

- My FPS are also well down in other games (apart from QuakWorld), making them next-to-unplayable. -- These are games I've successfully played and had MAX frames per second in prior to..


Here's what I've tried:

- In terms QuakewWorld, I tried adjusting all the Smooth Quake settings, messed around with sys_yieldcpu + highpriority.

- I've tried Downloading and installing the latest video card drivers, tried reverting back to the 178.24 drivers, disabled all running programs, dropped my resolution down to 640 x 480 and reduced FPS to 240 and STILL can't get stable.

- I've also tried getting rid of the 24 bit textures and using standard, as well as r_drawflat.

- v_sync is forced OFF

- Freshly formatted the computer and installed a "streamline" Performance Edition of Windows XP, with all latest updates.

- Bought and installed new RAM - same difference.

- REPLACED video card with another working card - same difference.

- I've run memtests on RAM and stress tests on my video card which came back fine.


System as follows:

- P4 3.00ghz
- ASUS P5VD2-VM MB
- 1gb RAM
- GeForce 8600 GTS 256mb card
- 19" Philips 109B4 monitor
- XP Pro Performance Edition


If anyone can provide me with any suggestions, I'd GREATLY appreciate it!
I know it's an old system, but it has worked fine in the past. -- I'm starting to think it might be a Hard Drive issue? ..either that or CPU?


Thanks in advance!
Scott

Edited by Showbiz, 08 August 2011 - 12:57 AM.


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#2 cryptodan

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:01 AM

Your processor and video card is not what they used to be. You also have 1Gig of RAM.

Also where did you get this Performance Edition of Windows XP.

Windows XP comes in the following flavors:

Windows XP Home

Windows XP Professional

Windows XP Media Center

Of course the above can be purchased via Microsoft to be ran in a certain nation which can exclude IE and Windows Media Player. All other versions are considered illegal and pirate copies.

#3 Showbiz

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:11 AM

Your processor and video card is not what they used to be. You also have 1Gig of RAM.

Also where did you get this Performance Edition of Windows XP.

Windows XP comes in the following flavors:

Windows XP Home

Windows XP Professional

Windows XP Media Center

Of course the above can be purchased via Microsoft to be ran in a certain nation which can exclude IE and Windows Media Player. All other versions are considered illegal and pirate copies.


Thanks for the reply.

So what are you saying? - That even though the games/websites have stayed the same over time, my processor and video card have just 'shat' themselves due to age and are barely functioning?
Like I said; it's an old system, but if you look back at say the specs for QuakeWorld (a game from 1996), 1GB Ram is more than ample..

I have a purchased copy of Windows XP Professional that I was using, but grabbed a copy of this "streamlined" version a friend had downloaded to see if it would help. - it didn't.. :/

#4 cryptodan

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:20 AM

Over time system specs for software can change with or without notice.

#5 dpunisher

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:35 AM


So what are you saying? - That even though the games/websites have stayed the same over time, my processor and video card have just 'shat' themselves due to age and are barely functioning?
Like I said; it's an old system, but if you look back at say the specs for QuakeWorld (a game from 1996), 1GB Ram is more than ample..


You operate from an incorrect assumption.

The "games and websites" have not stayed the same over time. Unless you are running some sort of adblocking software, websites can hog memory. Top it off with online games, that 1gig of RAM starts to shrink. I can compare IE9 to IR6 on my old lappy, and that Turion with 1gig of RAM don't cut it like it used to. I even reformatted 2 weeks ago to see if the OS was just cluttered, it wasn't. IE is still slow, Chrome is slightly better, but flash/java still slug it.

Run "Task Manager", keep it in the background. Keep an eye on memory/CPU utilization when your problems occur. When the memory runs low, that hard drive will start pagefile writes/reads and slow everything to a crawl. Try the simple stuff first.

I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#6 Showbiz

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:53 AM



So what are you saying? - That even though the games/websites have stayed the same over time, my processor and video card have just 'shat' themselves due to age and are barely functioning?
Like I said; it's an old system, but if you look back at say the specs for QuakeWorld (a game from 1996), 1GB Ram is more than ample..


You operate from an incorrect assumption.

The "games and websites" have not stayed the same over time. Unless you are running some sort of adblocking software, websites can hog memory. Top it off with online games, that 1gig of RAM starts to shrink. I can compare IE9 to IR6 on my old lappy, and that Turion with 1gig of RAM don't cut it like it used to. I even reformatted 2 weeks ago to see if the OS was just cluttered, it wasn't. IE is still slow, Chrome is slightly better, but flash/java still slug it.

Run "Task Manager", keep it in the background. Keep an eye on memory/CPU utilization when your problems occur. When the memory runs low, that hard drive will start pagefile writes/reads and slow everything to a crawl. Try the simple stuff first.


Thanks for the reply Punisher.

But even if I'm running these games in an offline mode (single player), the FPS issue is still in effect. These are big unplayable drops by the way (like everything is in slow motion..) with the HDD chugging overtime!
To me, it sounds like the HDD is about to bleep itself. -- Even when just scrolling down the sidebar on webpages it makes a little churning noise for every scroll.

I've run task manager in background, and when checking say, a porn in redtube, CPU usage is anywhere from 70-100% with the main usage being divided between firefox.exe, plugin-container.exe (65+) and SYSTEM. The video in 'normal screen mode' basically wont change, with the sound playing as normal.

Is there one aspect/part that can be replaced to fix this problem? IF anyone can pin-point it?

Thanks for the help!

#7 cryptodan

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 02:00 AM

I would recommend with having 1Gig of RAM that you close out of any and all un-necessary applications to give all available resources to the video card.

By default a fresh install of WIndows XP SP3 with nothing running can run up to 512 Megs of RAM fully used up. Start adding applications like Virus Scanners and chat programs and other application that number will slowly rise to 1Gig of RAM used, and when all that RAM is used up you start paging and that is why you are receiving high amounts of hard drive use.

Also now that you mentioned porn, you could very well be infected:

Hello,

And welcome to BleepingComputer.com, before we can assist you with your question of: Am I infected? You will need to perform the following tasks and post the logs of each if you can.

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware

NOTEMalwarebytes is now offering a free trial of their program, if you want to accept it you will need to enter some billing information, so that at the end of the trial you would be charged the cost of the product. Please decline this offer, if you are unable to provide billing information. If you want to try it out, then provide the billing information.

Please download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and save it to your desktop.
Download Link 1
Download Link 2MBAM may "make changes to your registry" as part of its disinfection routine. If using other security programs that detect registry changes (ie Spybot's Teatimer), they may interfere or alert you. Temporarily disable such programs or permit them to allow the changes.

  • Make sure you are connected to the Internet.
  • Double-click on mbam-setup.exe to install the application.
    For instructions with screenshots, please refer to the How to use Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware Guide.
  • When the installation begins, follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
  • When installation has finished, make sure you leave both of these checked:
    • Update Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
    • Launch Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware
  • Then click Finish.
MBAM will automatically start and you will be asked to update the program before performing a scan.
  • If an update is found, the program will automatically update itself. Press the OK button to close that box and continue.
  • If you encounter any problems while downloading the definition updates, manually download them from here and just double-click on mbam-rules.exe to install.
On the Scanner tab:
  • Make sure the "Perform Full Scan" option is selected.
  • Then click on the Scan button.
  • If asked to select the drives to scan, leave all the drives selected and click on the Start Scan button.
  • The scan will begin and "Scan in progress" will show at the top. It may take some time to complete so please be patient.
  • When the scan is finished, a message box will say "The scan completed successfully. Click 'Show Results' to display all objects found".
  • Click OK to close the message box and continue with the removal process.
Back at the main Scanner screen:
  • Click on the Show Results button to see a list of any malware that was found.
  • Make sure that everything is checked, and click Remove Selected.
  • When removal is completed, a log report will open in Notepad.
  • The log is automatically saved and can be viewed by clicking the Logs tab in MBAM.
  • Copy and paste the contents of that report in your next reply. Be sure to post the complete log to include the top portion which shows MBAM's database version and your operating system.
  • Exit MBAM when done.
Note: If MBAM encounters a file that is difficult to remove, you will be asked to reboot your computer so MBAM can proceed with the disinfection process. If asked to restart the computer, please do so immediately. Failure to reboot normally (not into safe mode) will prevent MBAM from removing all the malware.


SUPERAntiSpyware:

Please download and scan with SUPERAntiSpyware Free

  • Double-click SUPERAntiSypware.exe and use the default settings for installation.
  • An icon will be created on your desktop. Double-click that icon to launch the program.
  • If it will not start, go to Start > All Prgrams > SUPERAntiSpyware and click on Alternate Start.
  • If asked to update the program definitions, click "Yes". If not, update the definitions before scanning by selecting "Check for Updates". (If you encounter any problems while downloading the updates, manually download them from here. Double-click on the hyperlink for Download Installer and save SASDEFINITIONS.EXE to your desktop. Then double-click on SASDEFINITIONS.EXE to install the definitions.)
  • In the Main Menu, click the Preferences... button.
  • Click the "General and Startup" tab, and under Start-up Options, make sure "Start SUPERAntiSpyware when Windows starts" box is unchecked.
  • Click the "Scanning Control" tab, and under Scanner Options, make sure the following are checked (leave all others unchecked):
    • Close browsers before scanning.
    • Scan for tracking cookies.

      Scan with SUPERAntiSpyware as follows:[list]
    • Launch the program and back on the main screen, under "Scan for Harmful Software" click Scan your computer.
    • On the left, make sure you check C:\Fixed Drive.
    • On the right, under "Complete Scan", choose Perform Complete Scan and click "Next".
    • After the scan is complete, a Scan Summary box will appear with potentially harmful items that were detected. Click "OK".
    • Make sure everything has a checkmark next to it and click "Next".
    • A notification will appear that "Quarantine and Removal is Complete". Click "OK" and then click the "Finish" button to return to the main menu.
    • If asked if you want to reboot, click "Yes" and reboot normally.
    • To retrieve the removal information after reboot, launch SUPERAntispyware again.[list]
    • Click Preferences, then click the Statistics/Logs tab.
    • Under Scanner Logs, double-click SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log.
    • If there are several logs, click the current dated log and press View log. A text file will open in your default text editor.
    • Please copy and paste the Scan Log results in your next reply.
  • Click Close to exit the program.
If you have a problem downloading, installing or getting SAS to run, try downloading and using the SUPERAntiSpyware Portable Scanner instead. Save the randomly named file (i.e. SAS_1710895.COM) to a usb drive or CD and transfer to the infected computer. Then double-click on it to launch and scan. The file is randomly named to help keep malware from blocking the scanner.

Instructions:

Download and scan with SUPERAntiSpyware Free for Home Users
  • Double-click SUPERAntiSpyware.exe and use the default settings for installation.
  • An icon will be created on your desktop. Double-click that icon to launch the program.
  • If asked to update the program definitions, click "Yes". If not, update the definitions before scanning by selecting "Check for Updates". (If you encounter any problems while downloading the updates, manually download them from here. Double-click on the hyperlink for Download Installer and save SASDEFINITIONS.EXE to your desktop. Then double-click on SASDEFINITIONS.EXE to install the definitions.)
  • In the Main Menu, click the Preferences... button.
  • Click the Scanning Control tab.
  • Under Scanner Options make sure the following are checked (leave all others unchecked):
    • Close browsers before scanning.
    • Scan for tracking cookies.
    • Terminate memory threats before quarantining.
  • Click the "Close" button to leave the control center screen.
  • Back on the main screen, under "Scan for Harmful Software" click Scan your computer.
  • On the left, make sure you check C:\Fixed Drive.
  • On the right, under "Complete Scan", choose Perform Complete Scan.
  • Click "Next" to start the scan. Please be patient while it scans your computer.
  • After the scan is complete, a Scan Summary box will appear with potentially harmful items that were detected. Click "OK".
  • Make sure everything has a checkmark next to it and click "Next".
  • A notification will appear that "Quarantine and Removal is Complete". Click "OK" and then click the "Finish" button to return to the main menu.
  • If asked if you want to reboot, click "Yes".
  • To retrieve the removal information after reboot, launch SUPERAntispyware again.
    • Click Preferences, then click the Statistics/Logs tab.
    • Under Scanner Logs, double-click SUPERAntiSpyware Scan Log.
    • If there are several logs, click the current dated log and press View log. A text file will open in your default text editor.
    • Please copy and paste the Scan Log results in your next reply.
  • Click Close to exit the program.
If you have a problem downloading, installing or getting SAS to run, try downloading and using the SUPERAntiSpyware Portable Scanner instead. Save the randomly named file (i.e. SAS_1710895.COM) to a usb drive or CD and transfer to the infected computer. Then double-click on it to launch and scan. The file is randomly named to help keep malware from blocking the scanner.


Now GMER

GMER does not work in 64bit Mode!!!!!!

Please download GMER from one of the following locations and save it to your desktop:

  • Main Mirror
    This version will download a randomly named file (Recommended)
  • Zipped Mirror
    This version will download a zip file you will need to extract first. If you use this mirror, please extract the zip file to your desktop.
  • Disconnect from the Internet and close all running programs.
  • Temporarily disable any real-time active protection so your security programs will not conflict with gmer's driver.
  • Double-click on the randomly named GMER file (i.e. n7gmo46c.exe) and allow the gmer.sys driver to load if asked.
  • Note: If you downloaded the zipped version, extract the file to its own folder such as C:\gmer and then double-click on gmer.exe.

    Posted Image
  • GMER will open to the Rootkit/Malware tab and perform an automatic Full Scan when first run. (do not use the computer while the scan is in progress)
  • If you receive a WARNING!!! about rootkit activity and are asked to fully scan your system...click NO.
  • Now click the Scan button. If you see a rootkit warning window, click OK.
  • When the scan is finished, click the Save... button to save the scan results to your Desktop. Save the file as gmer.log.
  • Click the Copy button and paste the results into your next reply.
  • Exit GMER and be sure to re-enable your anti-virus, Firewall and any other security programs you had disabled.
-- If you encounter any problems, try running GMER in safe mode.
-- If GMER crashes or keeps resulting in a BSODs, uncheck Devices on the right side before scanning
.


All scans above should be performed in regular boot mode, and if that is not possible then I will post instructions in a follow up reply on how to get into Safe Mode to perform the scans. Also all scans should be COMPLETE and not quick unless specifically instructed to do so.

#8 HiroPro

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 02:02 AM

You need to disable all Firefox plugins. The performance issue is due to a screwy plugin for Firefox as you have already diagnosed in seeing the plugin-container.exe CPU usage. Close Firefox then CTRL-ALT-DEL and make sure firefox.exe and plugin-container.exe is closed. To disable all plugins in firefox use the new menu at the top left then goto help then let it expand to the left then select "Restart Firefox with Add-ons Disabled..."

This will tell us if it's a plugin causing the issues.

It could also be flash plugin issues with your video card driver and it's use of directshow IE directX.

Make sure you download the DirectX enduser runtimes and update directX

DirectX Enduser Runtime Webinstaller

What I would personally do would be the following.

Completely uninstall firefox making sure you nuke it's Appdata folder.
Run directX webinstaller.
Update Video card drivers.
Reinstall the latest version of firefox.
Reinstall Flash player.

Return to your ahhem... redtube site and see if it plays video with low CPU utilization. I'll bet money it now does it with 10-20% CPU usage.

I'd also follow Bleepin Madman canned AV scan and remove advice because your probably also infected.

I would also not use the latest GeForce drivers from nVidia. Even though it's a unified driver architecture drivers for the 8600 era will run better than newer ones.

Using this older nVidia driver for that board should work best.

GeForce 196.21 WHQL

Edited by HiroPro, 08 August 2011 - 02:53 AM.


#9 Showbiz

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 06:51 AM

You need to disable all Firefox plugins. The performance issue is due to a screwy plugin for Firefox as you have already diagnosed in seeing the plugin-container.exe CPU usage. Close Firefox then CTRL-ALT-DEL and make sure firefox.exe and plugin-container.exe is closed. To disable all plugins in firefox use the new menu at the top left then goto help then let it expand to the left then select "Restart Firefox with Add-ons Disabled..."

This will tell us if it's a plugin causing the issues.

It could also be flash plugin issues with your video card driver and it's use of directshow IE directX.

Make sure you download the DirectX enduser runtimes and update directX

DirectX Enduser Runtime Webinstaller

What I would personally do would be the following.

Completely uninstall firefox making sure you nuke it's Appdata folder.
Run directX webinstaller.
Update Video card drivers.
Reinstall the latest version of firefox.
Reinstall Flash player.

Return to your ahhem... redtube site and see if it plays video with low CPU utilization. I'll bet money it now does it with 10-20% CPU usage.

I'd also follow Bleepin Madman canned AV scan and remove advice because your probably also infected.

I would also not use the latest GeForce drivers from nVidia. Even though it's a unified driver architecture drivers for the 8600 era will run better than newer ones.

Using this older nVidia driver for that board should work best.

GeForce 196.21 WHQL



Hey Hiro,

thanks for the reply.

I thought you might have been on to something with firefox for a second there!

Unfortunately however, after following your instructions and re-checking redtube, CPU Usage was back at 100% with firefox.exe and plugin-container.exe sharing the load.

Firefox wouldn't have explained the same jerkiness and massive FPS drop in games either.. :/

It has to be hardware related, and is either down to RAM (as mentioned by cryptodan) or CPU.

When I checked my idle temperatures over a 15 minute period in BIOS, my CPU Temperature was 83-85 and my M/B Temperature was 33-36.

If this is measured in degrees Celsius, then I think this is WAY too high!

Instead of just going out and randomly buying some more RAM, are there some tests or something I can run that show me EXACTLY where I'm lacking?

- what would be ample RAM for my setup/purpose?
- and how should I go about checking my CPU?


Thanks again for any help!
Scott


ps- It's not a virus either, as I've done clean installs, am careful with protection/scans, and run Malwarebytes registered.

Edited by Showbiz, 08 August 2011 - 06:56 AM.


#10 cryptodan

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 10:50 AM

It still wouldn't hurt to check for malware and to make sure that malwarebytes is fully updated, and with the other tools youll possibly see other things.

Also tell us what kind of case of you or a link to it on NewEgg or another website from which you bought it from.

Your case sounds like it it is providing adequate air flow, so that can also be causing the massive fps drop.

#11 HiroPro

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:18 PM


You need to disable all Firefox plugins. The performance issue is due to a screwy plugin for Firefox as you have already diagnosed in seeing the plugin-container.exe CPU usage. Close Firefox then CTRL-ALT-DEL and make sure firefox.exe and plugin-container.exe is closed. To disable all plugins in firefox use the new menu at the top left then goto help then let it expand to the left then select "Restart Firefox with Add-ons Disabled..."

This will tell us if it's a plugin causing the issues.

It could also be flash plugin issues with your video card driver and it's use of directshow IE directX.

Make sure you download the DirectX enduser runtimes and update directX

DirectX Enduser Runtime Webinstaller

What I would personally do would be the following.

Completely uninstall firefox making sure you nuke it's Appdata folder.
Run directX webinstaller.
Update Video card drivers.
Reinstall the latest version of firefox.
Reinstall Flash player.

Return to your ahhem... redtube site and see if it plays video with low CPU utilization. I'll bet money it now does it with 10-20% CPU usage.

I'd also follow Bleepin Madman canned AV scan and remove advice because your probably also infected.

I would also not use the latest GeForce drivers from nVidia. Even though it's a unified driver architecture drivers for the 8600 era will run better than newer ones.

Using this older nVidia driver for that board should work best.

GeForce 196.21 WHQL



Hey Hiro,

thanks for the reply.

I thought you might have been on to something with firefox for a second there!

Unfortunately however, after following your instructions and re-checking redtube, CPU Usage was back at 100% with firefox.exe and plugin-container.exe sharing the load.

Firefox wouldn't have explained the same jerkiness and massive FPS drop in games either.. :/

It has to be hardware related, and is either down to RAM (as mentioned by cryptodan) or CPU.

When I checked my idle temperatures over a 15 minute period in BIOS, my CPU Temperature was 83-85 and my M/B Temperature was 33-36.

If this is measured in degrees Celsius, then I think this is WAY too high!

Instead of just going out and randomly buying some more RAM, are there some tests or something I can run that show me EXACTLY where I'm lacking?

- what would be ample RAM for my setup/purpose?
- and how should I go about checking my CPU?


Thanks again for any help!
Scott


ps- It's not a virus either, as I've done clean installs, am careful with protection/scans, and run Malwarebytes registered.



Did you install that older driver and update directX ?

#12 HiroPro

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 01:21 PM

Firefox wouldn't have explained the same jerkiness and massive FPS drop in games either.. :/


It would if you didn't CTRL-ALT-DEL and shut down the firefox and plugin container processes before you open/run your game.

Edited by HiroPro, 08 August 2011 - 03:21 PM.


#13 Showbiz

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Posted 08 August 2011 - 07:37 PM

hey again guys,

thanks for the replies!


FIRSTLY, just let me update by saying that when I switched out the RAM a year or so ago, I actually bought a stick of DDR2 G.Skill 2GB, so this whole time I've been running 2GB..


I'll run the virus tests cryptodan, and see if it comes up with anything just out of curiosity. -- Malwarebytes is always fully updated.

I'm unsure of the case, and even its make/model. It nothing special tho, and being a case suited to a Micro ATX board, I'm sure it's flow isn't all that great. - It's worked fine in the past tho, and even with the side off, there's no sign of improvement.


Hiro: Yes, I did everything as suggested. (Installed the new/old driver and updated DirectX).

Firefox and plugin container processes weren't running while playing these games..

Cheers




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