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Windows 7: FPS drops in most of my games

19 Jun 2012   #1

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
FPS drops in most of my games


Recently, I have suffered strange FPS drops in most of my games. The weirdest thing is, that FPS drops occur not all the time. For example, I can start a game now and it will be running smoothly at 60-99 FPS. Then I can immediately close the game and start it again, and it will be very laggy and running at only 7-30 FPS . I can't understand why games run very unstable on my computer? Maybe it is RAM issue? And other thing to note that, when I'm playing a game (let's say it is Fallout 3), FPS can be from 60 to 99, but it can suddenly drop to 10-30 FPS, BUT if I will play longer with 10-30 FPS, the FPS stabilizes and goes to 60-99 FPS. So I can play games, but with very strange FPS drops. This problem occurs not on all my games.

My computer specifications:
Operating system: MS Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
CPU: Intel Core i5 760 @ 2.80GHz (Lynnfield 45nm Technology)
RAM: 4.0GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 665MHz (9-9-9-24)
Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460
Monitor: SDM-HX73 (1280x1024@60Hz)
Motherboard: Gigabyte Technology Co., Ltd. H55M-S2H (Socket 1156)
Hard drive: 977GB Seagate ST31000528AS ATA Device (SATA)
Sound card: Realtek High Definition Audio
All my drivers are updated.

I am looking forward to hearing from you advices and possible problem solutions.
Thanks for your help!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

19 Jun 2012   #2

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit SP1

Could be something that's running in the background that is giving the cpu spikes. What do you run in the background?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
19 Jun 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Mhm, is that even possible? I run only anti-virus avast, DAEMON tools and sometimes utorrent.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

20 Jun 2012   #4

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit SP1

Yeah avast seems to spike the cpu when updating sometimes,try setting the game mode option in avast before playing so it doesn't bother you when your playing. Also if you can post some screen shots of task manger and show what processes are running.Right click the windows bar or do ctrl+alt+delete and select task manger.Then go to the tab call processes and take a screen shot by pressing the button called PrtScn and then open paint and right click and paste and save it as a picture. Then post the screen shots here by clicking the little paper clip to your far right on were you type to reply to a post and then press browse and select the screen shot and upload it.You might have some stuff that might be running that you don't need to run windows that spikes the cpu. Also the other thing you could do is update your drivers to the latest drivers provided for the video card which can be found here >>> NVIDIA DRIVERS 301.42WHQL
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2012   #5

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for advices, M1GU31. I tried the game mode option in avast called silent/gaming mode, but it didn't help me to stabilize game's FPS. Also, I downloaded and updated my video card drivers from link you gave me, but it also didn't help. The problem is that, when I run a game, it could run at normal FPS or at very low 12-25 FPS. When the game runs at bad FPS, I go to task manager, set the game's priority to Low or Realtime and the FPS normalizes, but sometimes not for long. I don't understand, how the priority helps the game run at better FPS rate... Also, I printed a screen of my processes tab in task manager:

Attached Thumbnails
FPS drops in most of my games-processes.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2012   #6

Windows 7 Home premium 64bit SP1

Not to many processes running in the background.What are your temperatures when in game?Also there's a program that handles system priorities in windows like when a program needs the priorities risen or lowered to improve system responsiveness called process lasso. Process Lasso Free - Auto-optimize process priorities and much more!
Anyways I would check to see if the video card is heating up because that can cause games to drop fps due to the card under clocking to avoid overheating.Make sure your case is getting airflow and check your temperatures in game to make sure they are not to high.You can check your temperatures with CPUID Hardware monitor(just make sure when you are installing to untick the install ask toolbar so you don't get any crap ware installed) CPUID - System & hardware benchmark, monitoring, reporting
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2012   #7

Windows 7 Ultimate x64

Thanks for the program, M1GU31. I use this program sometimes. I don't understand why games ran smoothly before a month, but now I am suffering these strange problems. Could it be virus or maybe I need to defrag my disks? The problems started, when one day I turned on the computer and saw the windows freezes on Welcome screen, then I re-installed windows and games problems started. I tried to re-install windows one more time, but it didn't help. I checked the temperatures of my GPU and CPU. Yes, they are a little bit high (CPU 70-80 C, GPU 60-80 C when playing for the whole hour). But I think that this isn't temperatures problem because ,when I start my PC, temperatures are very low (30-40 C) and I start the game right away. The game is very laggy, with low FPS, but the CPU and GPU aren't overheating and their temperature is only 50-60 C. Anyway, I will try to clean PC from the dust one more time ( I did this one week ago), but I think it won't help. So, if there is other suggestions from you, M1GU31, or others, please post them there. Any help is appreciated!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2012   #8
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)

Why not give this a try. Download the latest version of GPUz. Create a folder wherever you want. Open GPUz and click on the sensor tab. At the bottom check the box, log to file, it will give you a selection box. Go to the folder you just created and select that folder. Play your game. After playing uncheck the box and open the folder, it will give you all info about your card, GPU clock, memory clock, temp, fan speed and a lot more. See what happens when you all of a sudden get the slow downs.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
20 Jun 2012   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ult x64 - SP1/ Windows 8 Pro x64

If your CPU is running at 70-80 C it is likely throttling down due to heat, which will lower performance in your games.

Re-apply the CPU thermal paste and consider getting an after market CPU cooler to further reduce those temps.
Best Thermal Paste Application Methods
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2012   #10
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 10, 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)

This may help with the thermal paste

My System SpecsSystem Spec

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