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Strange Low FPS When Gaming

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April 11, 2013 11:38:07 PM

Hey there, first of all lemme start off by apologizing for any mistakes I may make, this is my first time posting on a tech site.

The Situation

I've had this computer for perhaps five years now and have been a frequent user (about everyday, mostly gaming.) I've had my share of issues, but never something quite like this.

Recently when playing any of my games, they will run fine as normal, but then will suddenly drop to incredibly low rates of FPS for about a minute or so before returning to normal for another minute and returning to the laggy state.

At first I had thought it may have been my internet connection to these games, so I attempted to play an offline game on Steam with the same effect. So I attempted a game loaded from my disc drive (Dragon Age Origins) and was given an error I've never seen before "The program can't start because PhysXLoader.dll is missing..." I also tried Guild Wars 2 but with the same FPS problems as every other game.

So I thought the missing .dll was my issue and attempted to download Nvidia's PysX installer, but the installer wouldn't even attempt to install and I could find no solution as to why.

So, in an attempt to find another solution, I ran my games with Windows Task Manager up and was monitoring to see what was taking up the most memory when these drops in FPS occurred. I found that Steam was the highest running program, so I tried closing Steam and playing Guild Wars 2 to no avail.

I also tried cleaning my PC of all dust, installing the newest driver for my Nvidia card, and running all these games on their lowest settings with no solution.

I'm starting to think that it isn't actually a software issue but is in fact hardware and that my GPU is starting to kick the bucket.

System Summary

OS Name Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium
Version 6.1.7601 Service Pack 1 Build 7601
Other OS Description Not Available
OS Manufacturer Microsoft Corporation
System Manufacturer MICRO-STAR INTERNATIONAL CO.,LTD
System Model MS-7529
System Type x64-based PC
Processor Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz, 2336 Mhz, 4 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
BIOS Version/Date American Megatrends Inc. V2.4, 3/26/2009
SMBIOS Version 2.5
Windows Directory C:\Windows
System Directory C:\Windows\system32
Boot Device \Device\HarddiskVolume1
Hardware Abstraction Layer Version = "6.1.7601.17514"
Installed Physical Memory (RAM) 4.00 GB
Total Physical Memory 4.00 GB
Available Physical Memory 2.15 GB
Total Virtual Memory 8.00 GB
Available Virtual Memory 5.63 GB
Page File Space 4.00 GB
Page File C:\pagefile.sys

Forgot my GPU - NVIDIA GeForce 9500 GT driver version 9.18.13.1422

I'd be happy to respond with more information if more is required. Any help would be appreciated before I start considering buying a new GPU.

More about : strange low fps gaming

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April 11, 2013 11:53:01 PM
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It sounds to me like your CPU is throttling down when it gets hot, that would make your FPS drop. After a minute when it cools off, it would then resume its normal clock rate. Your "thermal interface material" may need replacing. That is the stuff between your CPU and the cooler. It can get old after a time ( years) and not function so good. It's easy and cheap to replace, you can get the plain white stuff at any radio shack, works great, or the super fancy expensive stuff. IMO I'd try that if all your fans are working.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txtd974sRPE
April 12, 2013 12:17:53 AM

royalcrown said:
It sounds to me like your CPU is throttling down when it gets hot, that would make your FPS drop. After a minute when it cools off, it would then resume its normal clock rate. Your "thermal interface material" may need replacing. That is the stuff between your CPU and the cooler. It can get old after a time ( years) and not function so good. It's easy and cheap to replace, you can get the plain white stuff at any radio shack, works great, or the super fancy expensive stuff. IMO I'd try that if all your fans are working.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txtd974sRPE


Is there any sort of program on my PC that I could use to monitor the temperature? I also just noticed my CPU fan isn't spinning, could this be the issue?
Related resources
April 12, 2013 12:23:55 AM

Heck yes! That'll cause that sucker to uverheat and it will slow down to cool off so it doesn't cook itself. Get yourself a new fan and it'll be good.
April 12, 2013 12:46:07 AM

royalcrown said:
Heck yes! That'll cause that sucker to uverheat and it will slow down to cool off so it doesn't cook itself. Get yourself a new fan and it'll be good.


Well I noticed that fan itself was coated in dust, I'm hoping that maybe now that it's clean it might work, but if I need to grab a new fan would that be available at a Radioshack as well?

I also removed the fan like in the video to clean it and get a head start on cleaning off the coolant. Turns out the coolant was dry, so I'm going to replace that and will replace the fan if it continues to not work. But it seems you got it on your first guess, thanks a lot for the help, wouldn't know what I'd do with my desktop, haha.
April 12, 2013 1:26:02 AM

No, you'll have to go to a local shop or order one as far as the fan goes. You could put it back on , or hook it up to power to see if it spins now that its clean. It's still gonna need replacing at some point, even if it spins for now. the fact that it stopped means worn out.

This cooler in the link i posted is rated for CPUs that put out a bit more heat than yours, up to 105 watts. Your Q8200 only rates 95 watts so something like this CPU cooler is plenty. The Q6600 is hotter even though its a lower # processor. If you put the old one back on in the meantime (with new goop) you may get it to spin by pushing it with your finger. Also, you need to completely replace the thermal compound every time you remove the cooler (even if you just did it. This is because pulling it off and putting it on without redoing it can trap air between the heat sink and cpu, or can make the layer of "goop the wrong thickness and it won't work so good any longer. Don't worry Too much though, just put a pea sized dot near the middle and put the cooler on and it'll be fine, the cooler will smush it where it needs to be smushed.


http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 12, 2013 1:47:40 AM

I'll keep that in mind. As of now I was thinking on ordering the fan, but in the meantime just reusing the old one with reapplied silver coolant. Hopefully it should last me the two or three days for shipping and I'll keep in mind to reapply the paste with the new fan.

Thanks again for all your help.
April 12, 2013 1:49:47 AM

Sure thing.
!