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FPS Suddenly drops while gaming

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 29, 2013 2:48:40 PM

Hello! I’m really desperate at the moment…
I tried everything under my knowledge and as far as my research took me…

I used to play WoW at 60 FPS (V-Sync on), minimum 35 FPS on intense graphics.
Recently (about last patch launch), it goes normally until it suddenly drops to 10-20 FPS on normal conditions (1 FPS on intense graphics).

I tried everything… Disable addons, update drivers, reinstall the game, format my computer… nothing worked.

I was also monitoring the temperature, and everything seemed to be ok for a laptop (high, but normal high; 80 ºC to 90 ºC both on GPU & CPU).
I continued to investigate and did some stress tests on it, every test passed…
One thing I noticed though, is that whenever I’m playing and this problem happens, my processor suddenly limits its clock / frequency to 30% of its maximum (when normally it stays at 95% to 120% due to TurboBoost).

I read that this happens due to overheating protection, but the temperature is the same as always… and I didn’t have this problem before.
I also noticed that this happens on different temperatures… sometimes at 75 ºC, sometimes at 85 ºC…
Also, during stress tests, the temperature went up to 95 ºC and it didn’t happen…

I disabled TurboBoost and SpeedStep on BIOS to test if it fixed it, and it didn’t work as well.
Just to Reinforce, I have updated BIOS, GPU Driver, CPU Driver, Sound Driver, Etc… I also tried older drivers…

Laptop Specs:

Operating System: Windows 8 Pro with Media Center 64-bit (6.2, Build 9200) (9200.win8_gdr.130531-1504)
System Manufacturer: Alienware
System Model: M18xR1
BIOS: InsydeH2O Version 1.0 A05
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2920XM CPU @ 2.50GHz (8 CPUs), ~2.5GHz
Memory: 16384MB RAM
Available OS Memory: 16366MB RAM
GPU: AMD Radeon HD 6900M Series X2 (crossfire)

Best solution

a b à CPUs
September 29, 2013 2:58:30 PM

1-you got to make sure you dont have any phisical fans trouble
2-try reseting bios defaults
3- what was (about last patch launch) be more specific
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September 29, 2013 3:14:34 PM

Well, as the temperatures were "under control", I never thought about the fans... If it all goes bad, I’ll open my laptop to check it.
Sorry, last patch (5.4) was implemented about 2 weeks ago, but it was only a content patch, no major graphics overhaul… for more than a year now, I’ve been able to play without problems, up until the last 2 weeks (might be coincidence, but who knows…).
I’ll Reset the BIOS to factory default and test it, I’ll let you know.
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September 30, 2013 6:38:19 PM

Well, as I had no other choices, I opened my laptop and cleaned it down.
Found no obstructions, but there was a lot of dust, for sure…
It improved about 3 ºC and the processor stopped limiting the clock, so I guess that was it then…
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