Hardware Annoying FPS Drops in games. Help? :(

Delta517

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Hi! So recently I've been getting these random FPS drops in ALL games. The game plays fine, but then the FPS just drops down for 1-2 seconds, it goes up again and it repeats every 5-10 seconds. It's really annoying and I'm fearing that it's my GPU dieing.

Made a YouTube Video off it with GPU-Z, SpeedFan and Windows Task Manager up (lts still processing so still LQ:

Specs:

Intel i7 860 @2.80GHz
8GB RAM
ATi XFX Radeon 6950

Things I've tried:
-Updating graphics driver
-Removed unneeded stuff from startup
-Anti-Virus scan with Avast
-Anti-Virus scan with MalwareBytes
-Cleaning my GPU and PC (not the CPU, but it looks to be steady 30 celsius)
-Unparked parked cores

Help? :(
 

Tom Bombadildo

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How long have you had this rig? Can you list your PSU? Occasionally, stuttering like this will happen is a PSU is starting to fail and can't provide enough power to your CPU/GPU.

You can also try checking your game's configs, and see if VSync is enabled. Sometimes, if your fps goes below the VSync cap, it'll try to lock it to a lower max FPS (for example, if you have VSync set for 60fps and it drops to like...50fps, it'll move the cap to 45fps to compensate, then your system will pump out 60fps and it'll attempt to lock back to 60fps from 45fps etc etc) which shows up as a stutter. I know Nvidia offers adaptive VSync which helps avoid this issue, but I'm not aware of any AMD equivalents. So to tl;dr this, turn V sync off (if enabled) and see if it still happens.
 

The Real Jdbye

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I've had similar problems and I never quite found out the cause.
It could be that something is hogging the disk I/O. Have you tried disabling your AV for a while?
 

Delta517

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How long have you had this rig? Can you list your PSU? Occasionally, stuttering like this will happen is a PSU is starting to fail and can't provide enough power to your CPU/GPU.

You can also try checking your game's configs, and see if VSync is enabled. Sometimes, if your fps goes below the VSync cap, it'll try to lock it to a lower max FPS (for example, if you have VSync set for 60fps and it drops to like...50fps, it'll move the cap to 45fps to compensate, then your system will pump out 60fps and it'll attempt to lock back to 60fps from 45fps etc etc) which shows up as a stutter. I know Nvidia offers adaptive VSync which helps avoid this issue, but I'm not aware of any AMD equivalents. So to tl;dr this, turn V sync off (if enabled) and see if it still happens.


I got VSync disabled. PSU is somewhere around 600-650W, can list more if you want.

Is it happening in all your games or just minecraft?

All games.

how much ram your video card gots?

speed of your hard drive?


Either 1GB or 2GB. DxDiag says 1772, but dunno if thats the right one. HDD is around 5400 or 7200rpm. I'm going to get a new one since the previous one broke down a couple of months ago. Also the one I'm using now is a 2.5'' if that matters.

Im guessing its your HDD. Try to Install Minecraft on a USB stick and see if the frame drops are still there.


Wouldn't be suprised if it was. I will take a look :)

I've had similar problems and I never quite found out the cause.
It could be that something is hogging the disk I/O. Have you tried disabling your AV for a while?


Good idea. I'm going to reformat my PC for now to W8.1 and if it still happends I'll try that then. :)
 

migles

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try to check hdd speed, not just the rpm (rpm doesnt say much) but try to how many mb per second it reads\writes
there was a tool we used on gbatemp for test sd cards you can use it...
 

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I'd also make sure that there isn't something running in the background that might be causing random performance issues. I once got some strange FPS drops and found that it was caused by my anti-virus, which is kind of ironic.
 

Delta517

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try to check hdd speed, not just the rpm (rpm doesnt say much) but try to how many mb per second it reads\writes
there was a tool we used on gbatemp for test sd cards you can use it...

Name or link?

I'd also make sure that there isn't something running in the background that might be causing random performance issues. I once got some strange FPS drops and found that it was caused by my anti-virus, which is kind of ironic.

Tried disabling my Anti-Virus, but no help.

By the way, would it be faster if I used two different HDDs? I have one lying around here with 320GB, 7200rpm and 3.0Gb/s. :)
 

The Real Jdbye

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Good idea. I'm going to reformat my PC for now to W8.1 and if it still happends I'll try that then. :)
Yeah, I considered suggesting that, but figured I'd wait until you'd exhausted your options first.
If reformatting doesn't help, then it must be a driver/hardware problem, but it usually solves issues like that for me.

It's not running hot and the CPU/GPU/RAM usage is pretty low, that's why I thought it's most likely an I/O bottleneck. On Windows 8 it shows disk usage per application right there in task manager, very handy. There might be an app that lets you do it on Windows 7 too, you should look around for one.

Edit: It's both funny and a bit sad that not many years ago 4.4GB of RAM usage would be considered a lot, and now it's become normal.
 

Tom Bombadildo

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try to check hdd speed, not just the rpm (rpm doesnt say much) but try to how many mb per second it reads\writes
there was a tool we used on gbatemp for test sd cards you can use it...
Except that's wrong? RPM is the most important factor for HDD performance, it stands for Revolutions per Minute, which indicates how quickly the drive platter rotates and the write and read head can access the data. RPM is only irrelevant to SSDs, because obviously they use flash storage and not drive platters. Otherwise its fairly important.

@OP, switching to a 7200rpm HDD is a good suggestion, but quite frankly I'm still convinced it's your PSU. (As when I game on my laptop, which has a 5400rpm HDD I don't suffer from stuttering). Who's the PSU manufacturer? You never told me how long you've had this PC, either, which is relevant. If you could, download Speccy and take a screenshot of the results as well
 

sarkwalvein

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Except that's wrong? RPM is the most important factor for HDD performance, it stands for Revolutions per Minute, which indicates how quickly the drive platter rotates and the write and read head can access the data. RPM is only irrelevant to SSDs, because obviously they use flash storage and not drive platters. Otherwise its fairly important.

@OP, switching to a 7200rpm HDD is a good suggestion, but quite frankly I'm still convinced it's your PSU. (As when I game on my laptop, which has a 5400rpm HDD I don't suffer from stuttering). Who's the PSU manufacturer? You never told me how long you've had this PC, either, which is relevant. If you could, download Speccy and take a screenshot of the results as well

I don't think RPM is the most important factor, nevertheless it is important and more RPM equals better performance. It all depends on how much non-continuous stored data you access.
The most important factors (IMHO) are burst and average read speed, and access time.
Access time is actually dependent on RPM, that is a given. If your disk is very fragmented or you access many different files simultaneously is good to have great access time.
 

Delta517

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HDD Read results (it wouldn't let me do Write :S ):

DHj0Ifr.png

It drops a few times, and I think the big drop at the last there was my fault since I booted up a program.

Except that's wrong? RPM is the most important factor for HDD performance, it stands for Revolutions per Minute, which indicates how quickly the drive platter rotates and the write and read head can access the data. RPM is only irrelevant to SSDs, because obviously they use flash storage and not drive platters. Otherwise its fairly important.

@OP, switching to a 7200rpm HDD is a good suggestion, but quite frankly I'm still convinced it's your PSU. (As when I game on my laptop, which has a 5400rpm HDD I don't suffer from stuttering). Who's the PSU manufacturer? You never told me how long you've had this PC, either, which is relevant. If you could, download Speccy and take a screenshot of the results as well

Sorry! So many questions ro reply too! My PC will be around 5 years old next year. I replaced the RAM, HDD, casing/tower and the CPU fans last year and the GPU is only 3-4 years old. PSU Manufactor is Chieftec.

Speccy results: https://www.dropbox.com/s/fz6k6kj5nlkzxh3/MY-PC.txt?dl=0
 

RCJayce

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This is weird, can you try another game? Did you have some slowdowns using the PC normally? Internet, music, some torrent etc
 

kupo3000

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Since your specs are similar to my mines. Have you tried changing power settings to high performance? Try lower full screen resolutions and anti-aliasing on your games.
 

Delta517

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This is weird, can you try another game? Did you have some slowdowns using the PC normally? Internet, music, some torrent etc

My PC seems a little slower when loading stuff. Like in Unity when I try to import Assets the program almost crashes. The disk read speed is still the same and the results seem bad. Going to try and install W8.1 to my other 320GB harddrive I have lying around when I have the time and see how that goes. I hope it's my harddrive since I'm going to return the old one I have and get a new one back because of waranty. :)
 

Tom Bombadildo

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I just rewatched the video, and I noticed both your CPU and your GPU usage is a bit "low" (maybe not for Minecraft, but still...).

Go into your BIOS, see if there are any power save options enabled. These could restrict CPU/GPU performance and give you that stuttering.


EDIT: oh, and run a SMART check on your HDD if you think its bad.
 

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