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Why does my PC freeze/lag occasionally during games?

Last response: in Video Games
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September 21, 2013 7:15:52 AM

I'm new to PC gaming and am unsure if what I'm experiencing is normal. In all of my games (Arkham City, Tomb Raider, Far Cry 3, Dirt 3, etc), I get great smooth performance and high FPS in general except that every once in a while the screen will freeze for a fraction of a second and then pick up where it should be. Audio is uninterrupted during these freezes.

It happens at select times during the Arkham City benchmark, usually when switching between scenes in the benchmark. My FPS average and maximum are always high, but the minimum value is clearly affected by these random freeze/lags. I have PhysX off since my cards are AMD, and while disabling DirectX11 helps, it doesn't explain why I get these occasional lags in all my games.

My Heaven scores and Firestrike scores are good, and I don't notice any freezing/lagging in those, so it seems like my overall system is performing as it should. Here is my Firestrike score for example: http://www.3dmark.com/fs/888991

Here are my key system specs:
CPU: i7-4770
OS: Windows 8 Professional 64-bit
GPU: Sapphire 7970 OC Boost x2 (Crossfire)
Drivers: AMD Catalyst 13.10 Windows Beta Driver
Primary HD: 512GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD
MB: Asus Z87 Deluxe Dual
PSU: Seasonic Platinum Series 1000W
RAM: 32GB (4 x 8GB) Crucial Ballistix Sport
Display: Apple 30" Cinema Display (2560 x 1600)

GPU temps aren't going over 75 degrees C under load, and this type of freeze lag was also occurring when I had just one 7970. Part of the reason I bought the second 7970 was that I was hoping the added power would eliminate these lags.

Are these occasional freeze/lags normal? Do I just need to find the right settings for each game to eliminate them? Should I just eliminate them? Is this an AMD thing (no flames please!)?

Thanks for all replies
September 21, 2013 7:20:46 AM

Crossfire has issues.... some were resolved with 13.8 beta then more with 13.10 ..... I expect they will nail the rest of them by the end of the year but turning on "frame pacing" to correct the problem does drop fpd a bit.

Have you installed the latest beta drivers ?

http://wccftech.com/amd-catalyst-13-10-beta-drivers-dow...

Quote:
Catalyst 13.10 Beta Drivers do however fix the notorious frame-pacing issues for certain games, namely, Tomb Raider, Metro Last Light, Sniper Elite, World of Warcraft, Max Payne 3, Hitman Absolution.
September 21, 2013 7:23:13 AM

JackNaylorPE said:
Crossfire has issues.... some were resolved with 13.8 beta then more with 13.10 ..... I expect they will nail the rest of them by the end of the year but turning on "frame pacing" to correct the problem does drop fpd a bit.

Have you installed the latest beta drivers ?

http://wccftech.com/amd-catalyst-13-10-beta-drivers-dow...

Quote:
Catalyst 13.10 Beta Drivers do however fix the notorious frame-pacing issues for certain games, namely, Tomb Raider, Metro Last Light, Sniper Elite, World of Warcraft, Max Payne 3, Hitman Absolution.


I do have the latest beta drivers, but this type of freeze lag was also occurring when I had just one 7970. Part of the reason I bought the second 7970 was that I was hoping the added power from Crossfire would eliminate this occasional brief jerkiness.
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September 21, 2013 7:30:07 AM

I have experienced similar issues in the past that I was unable to explain / resolve.... don't wanna start an argument but as I wasn't experiencing same problems w/ nVidia SLI builds (had other issues such as "stopped working"), I pretty much limit multi card builds and single card builds w/ GFX budget of $150 and above to nVidia GFX.

Only other thing I can suggest is to monitor CPU and GPU temps / voltages and look in Event Viewer for possible explanations.
September 21, 2013 8:24:50 AM

I think I may have just found the culprit: Non-Stop Backup by Acronis True Image Lite running in the background

I turned off Non-Stop Backup, and the occasional lags seem to be fixed. Will update this thread if they come back!
September 21, 2013 9:04:13 AM

Acronis is a PITA :) 
!