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Windows 7: 7900gs Fps drop when alt tab / skype is open

24 Jan 2011   #1

7900gs Fps drop after alt tab /when skype is open

After i alt tab in CSS/insurgency ( hl2 engine based games) the fps drop from 75-40 to 20-10

I get the same result when skype or other programs opened,
if i switch win7 to performance mode ( advanced system settings->system properties->performance options-> adjust to best performance) I can play in normal FPS.

If i turn anti aliasing to OFF,I can alt tab without fps drop.

I tried many nvidia versions, from the first released to win7, in some of them I couldn't get more than 20 Fps, even in performance mode.

When I used Windows xp i never had this problem..

What should I do ?

Thanks in advance!

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jan 2011   #2

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)

Hello there, well.

Remember something, Windows 7 and Windows XP are not the same OSs, that means they handle the same situation, differently.

7900GS is a nearly 5 years old video card with Dx9 support! let me ask, do you have the latest drivers installed from Nvidia? (266.58)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2011   #3


Yes,I have the last drivers, my graphic card is pretty old, but nevertheless fully support windows 7.

As I said, when AA canceled, i can minimize the game and keep the fps, so I think the problem related to AA-windows7 functioning.

Thank you!
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jan 2011   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)

Why don't you try this?

Right click the game's shorcut and go to the Compatibility Tab, then check "Disable Desktop Composition" option and see if it solves the problem!

Maybe Aero has something to do, and this option will disable aero while you're in the game.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2011   #5


I can't find the games shortcuts, it runs through steam(games manager),
Anyway.. I canceled desktop composition by choosing "performance mode", and windows classic theme.. i still got fps drop..

Any other idea?

My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2011   #6

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)

Hm, i see... Question: does this happen only when you switch from the game to skype?? maybe that's the main issue, i don't know about you but when i'm gaming i don't have other programs running..
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jan 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64

It is a older card but should be more than sufficient for source engine games like he's describing here. I believe the 6800gt was the highest end nvidia card when hl2 (the original source engine game came out) so expecting high performance in that particular game isn't really asking a lot.

I would suggest turning off aero, and all the advanced windows visual features, and seeing if that helps this problem. Your desktop won't look as pretty but opening windows and switching to desktop should require a lot less from the card as well.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2011   #8


Punkster, it happens even when all programs off, aero off, win7 in performance mode, using windows classic theme.

Maguscreed I already tried it.

Ill try to explain it better.

Situation 1: Game starts in normal FPS, but when I alt tab and go back, the fps drops to 15, permanently.

Situation 2: Game starts in 15 fps.

When All effects ON,and all the programs are closed (except avira),I got Situation 1
When All effects OFF,and skype is opened,I got Situation 1
When All effects ON,and skype is opened,I got Situation 2

This is how my pc looks in performance mod+windows classic theme, i use it when skype is opened:

Attached Thumbnails
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2011   #9

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 (64-bit)

OK i think the resolution of your monitor has something to do with it, are you playing your games at 1920 x 1080? i'm aware that the 7900GS is a good card but it can't handle that resolution so easily on games..

The bigger the resolution, the harder you push the Video Card.

And the other thing, why would you keep Skype open when gaming? I think that's the other consideration.

Check your statements:

Effects ON, Gaming, ALT+TAB (for Skype) = Situation Nº1
Effects OFF, Skype open, Gaming = Situation Nº2

The common factor here is Skype, why don't you try these?

1) Effects ON, Gaming, Skype closed completely, no ALT+TAB
2) Effects OFF, Gaming, Skype closed completely, no ALT+TAB

See the results... IF the game is not dropping FPS all of a sudden, or even if the game starts without any FPS drop, then you have your primary suspect; Skype!

My .02 cents
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2011   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 x64

^^ does make sense

I also just dug a little on the web and noticed that skype's default frame rate is 15 fps. ...big coincidence there.

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by skype community site
normally the Skype client decides on the resolution and frame rate based on resources available (and it is an ongoing process during a call)

there is a way to force the frame rate (and/or resolution) but it involves the manual editing of a certain file and it can't be changed during a call

setting the frame rate higher may also degrade your video experience if resources are limited
The common result is 15 fps, being that is the exact frame rate your problem is resulting in. I think we have our culprit here.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 7900gs Fps drop when alt tab / skype is open

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