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Bad performance after installing GPU (R9 270X)

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  • Performance
  • Graphics
  • GPUs
  • Graphics Cards
  • New Build
Last response: in Graphics Cards
June 9, 2014 2:27:01 AM

Hi! I've been troubleshooting my build for the past several days and was wondering if you have any ideas on what's wrong.

I have a fairly new build that was working just fine until I moved it to a new case and installed a Sapphire R9 270X (also an additional HDD, though I don't think that this has anything to do with my issue, see below). Trouble is, I sometimes get really terrible performance out of it, like <10 fps on stuff that should be (and sometimes is) running much faster, and it only changes when I restart (or hibernate and restore). It's like I have two PCs, sometimes I boot into the one that performs well, and other times I boot into the one that's crap.

Other build details:

    Motherboard: Gigabyte Z87-HD3
    CPU: i5 4570
    RAM: Kingston HyperX 2x8GB
    PSU: CoolerMaster Elite RS-500-PSAP-J3 (also tried a TM-500-PSAP-I3, made no difference)
    OS: Windows 8.1


Other stuff worth mentioning:

    -Performance was fine using the on-board GPU. I removed the R9 and after reinstalling the drivers, everything seems to be fine (for now, though I'd wait a bit more to pass final judgment).
    -Whether I get the slow version or the fast version seems to be completely random (no way of reproducing it consistently).
    -I've disabled the integrated GPU via the BIOS, completely uninstalled all of its display drivers, and upgraded to the latest drivers for the R9 (none of this made any difference).
    -I can't identify the performance bottleneck in the slow version. Temperatures seem fine, no unusual disk or memory usage. The CPU does seem to be working a bit harder, though, and task manager shows turbo clock speeds (over 3.20 GHz) more often.
    -Sometimes the slow version stops working an requires a restart after a while (I can switch between some apps, but task manager/resource monitor stops updating the data and I can't shut down via Windows).


Any ideas? My main question is whether I'm missing anything obvious or if it just sounds like a faulty graphics card.

More about : bad performance installing gpu 270x

a c 329 U Graphics card
June 9, 2014 2:47:40 AM

What games are you testing? What settings are testing at? Resolution?
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June 9, 2014 3:01:34 AM

Suztera said:
What games are you testing?

Diablo 3 is my main test (easiest way to determine which version started up is to start up Diablo 3 - if my character moves smoothly at the title screen, then I've got the fast version, if he's noticeably choppy, it's the slow version), but anything I run performs noticeably bad (I can't recall a list of games I've tried other than Transistor - which is also very noticeably slow and choppy in the slow version), and most of the time even standard browsing is bad (Firefox, especially Facebook).

Suztera said:
What settings are testing at?

Settings don't seem to matter much. Specifically, with Diablo 3, I've tried toggling shadows, physics effects, anti-aliasing, lower resolutions... Performance is slightly better but still not on par with the fast version.

Suztera said:
Resolution?

1680x1050
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Related resources
June 9, 2014 3:22:07 AM

Suztera said:
Did you install drivers from here?

Yep. Installed, uninstalled, re-installed, the works. The stable drivers, that is. I also tried the older drivers that came with the card itself, just to be on the safe side. No difference.
Think the beta drivers a worth a try? At this point I don't think that they'll do much of a difference.

Suztera said:
Also make sure all your cables are secure.

Did that, also tried removing the card completely and putting it back in (in case I messed something up the first time). Someone suggested that I check my hard drive cables as well because this sounded like hard drive trouble (not really sure why, but I gave it a go anyway) so I tried swapping the cables around (main SSD <-> DVD), no difference at all.

Suztera said:
Did you set the computer to run in high performance ?

Not explicitly, no (I'm new to Windows 8). Does this make a difference on a desktop? Is it possible for Windows to set itself to power saver settings on restart/wake up? Wouldn't this affect my performance using the on-board GPU as well?
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a c 329 U Graphics card
June 9, 2014 3:26:38 AM

High perofrmance profile is in the similar location from Window 7. Control Panel, power options. Or use Window Search via window button+S and type power options.

If you run without the gpu, do you get the same effect?
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June 9, 2014 3:37:06 AM

Suztera said:
If you run without the gpu, do you get the same effect?

No. All games and apps run decently well using the integrated Intel HD Graphics (for comparison, using the R9, the slow version runs way worse, the fast version runs noticeably smoother), though it's worth mentioning that this was before I moved everything to a new case and added a HDD. I removed the R9 this morning and the Intel HD seems to be doing OK, though since the issue is completely random, I'll have to try again in the evening and next morning to see if this persists.
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a c 329 U Graphics card
June 9, 2014 3:41:39 AM

Have you tried running on a single 4GB stick to test the ram?
Also consider reinstalling windows to see if it was a corrupt OS.
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June 9, 2014 3:58:34 AM

Suztera said:
Have you tried running on a single 4GB stick to test the ram?

Doesn't really make sense to me if the system works fine without the R9, but I'll try it anyway after I finish testing with the on-board GPU. memtest is probably a good idea in any case.
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June 10, 2014 3:59:07 PM

Suztera said:
Did you set the computer to run in high performance ?

Tried this (was previously set to balanced), made no difference.

Suztera said:
If you run without the gpu, do you get the same effect?

Everything is definitely fine without the R9.

Suztera said:
Have you tried running on a single 4GB stick to test the ram?

Tried running on a single (8GB) stick, made no difference.
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Best solution

a c 329 U Graphics card
June 11, 2014 12:02:21 AM

Could be drivers or the card itself.
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June 11, 2014 1:16:34 AM

Suztera said:
Could be drivers or the card itself.

Not much I can do about the drivers. At this point, I should probably look into replacing the card.

Thanks for helping me troubleshoot this!
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June 25, 2014 1:17:21 AM

Wanted to follow up on this because I think I figured it out.

Long version:
I took the entire build to the shop where I got the parts for testing. Dude there made sure I had the latest drivers and updated the BIOS, then tested it for 3-4 days, everything was fine. At this point, I'm thinking it's probably the BIOS update. Took it home, everything was fine over the weekend, then on Monday morning it started acting up again. What changed between the BIOS update and Monday morning, you ask? The RAM speed.
This is what I have: http://www.amazon.co.uk/HyperX-1600-Beast-Desktop-Memor.... The BIOS defaulted to 1333MHz, but I wanted the advertised 1600MHz, so changing the multiplier via the BIOS was one of the first things that I did in post-build setup. For some reason, this works completely fine with the on-board GPU, but causes trouble with the R9. The BIOS update reset it to 1333MHz, which is why it tested well at the shop and over the weekend. At some point I decided to check the frequency and set it back to 1600MHz. When I realized that that was the only thing I'd changed, I reverted it to 1333 and have been running without any problems for the past couple of days.

Short version:
Setting the RAM speed to (its advertised) 1600MHz, as opposed to the BIOS' default of 1333MHz, was probably what was causing the problem.

Not exactly sure what the link is here, but I'm glad it's finally working properly.
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June 25, 2014 1:28:59 AM

Goldsmith42 said:
Wanted to follow up on this because I think I figured it out.

Long version:
I took the entire build to the shop where I got the parts for testing. Dude there made sure I had the latest drivers and updated the BIOS, then tested it for 3-4 days, everything was fine. At this point, I'm thinking it's probably the BIOS update. Took it home, everything was fine over the weekend, then on Monday morning it started acting up again. What changed between the BIOS update and Monday morning, you ask? The RAM speed.
This is what I have: http://www.amazon.co.uk/HyperX-1600-Beast-Desktop-Memor.... The BIOS defaulted to 1333MHz, but I wanted the advertised 1600MHz, so changing the multiplier via the BIOS was one of the first things that I did in post-build setup. For some reason, this works completely fine with the on-board GPU, but causes trouble with the R9. The BIOS update reset it to 1333MHz, which is why it tested well at the shop and over the weekend. At some point I decided to check the frequency and set it back to 1600MHz. When I realized that that was the only thing I'd changed, I reverted it to 1333 and have been running without any problems for the past couple of days.

Short version:
Setting the RAM speed to (its advertised) 1600MHz, as opposed to the BIOS' default of 1333MHz, was probably what was causing the problem.

Not exactly sure what the link is here, but I'm glad it's finally working properly.


Glad to hear that! Also wanted to clarify, you probably had your PC on Turbo mode in the BIOS instead of the default Performance mode. When you go Turbo Mode it messes wit hthe multipliers of just about everything in your PC. And if the ram can't keep up with everything for some reason it lowers to 1333. This exact same thing happened with me, I noticed I was running at 1333 when I looked at task manager lol. But I didn't have any chopiness or problems at least that I noticed when gaming :) . Set my pc back to performance and ram went back to 1600MHz :) 

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a b U Graphics card
June 25, 2014 9:56:11 PM

Nitesdeath said:
Goldsmith42 said:
Wanted to follow up on this because I think I figured it out.

Long version:
I took the entire build to the shop where I got the parts for testing. Dude there made sure I had the latest drivers and updated the BIOS, then tested it for 3-4 days, everything was fine. At this point, I'm thinking it's probably the BIOS update. Took it home, everything was fine over the weekend, then on Monday morning it started acting up again. What changed between the BIOS update and Monday morning, you ask? The RAM speed.
This is what I have: http://www.amazon.co.uk/HyperX-1600-Beast-Desktop-Memor.... The BIOS defaulted to 1333MHz, but I wanted the advertised 1600MHz, so changing the multiplier via the BIOS was one of the first things that I did in post-build setup. For some reason, this works completely fine with the on-board GPU, but causes trouble with the R9. The BIOS update reset it to 1333MHz, which is why it tested well at the shop and over the weekend. At some point I decided to check the frequency and set it back to 1600MHz. When I realized that that was the only thing I'd changed, I reverted it to 1333 and have been running without any problems for the past couple of days.

Short version:
Setting the RAM speed to (its advertised) 1600MHz, as opposed to the BIOS' default of 1333MHz, was probably what was causing the problem.

Not exactly sure what the link is here, but I'm glad it's finally working properly.


Glad to hear that! Also wanted to clarify, you probably had your PC on Turbo mode in the BIOS instead of the default Performance mode. When you go Turbo Mode it messes wit hthe multipliers of just about everything in your PC. And if the ram can't keep up with everything for some reason it lowers to 1333. This exact same thing happened with me, I noticed I was running at 1333 when I looked at task manager lol. But I didn't have any chopiness or problems at least that I noticed when gaming :) . Set my pc back to performance and ram went back to 1600MHz :) 


Weird... I hope your method helps my brother's computer problem. He can't run any game with his AMD card.
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September 22, 2015 9:59:58 PM

H man, i've got exactly the same problem with my r9 295x2. Can you tell me how do you fix it ? Sorry for my bad english, i'm french
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September 22, 2015 10:22:01 PM

Vincent_3 said:
H man, i've got exactly the same problem with my r9 295x2. Can you tell me how do you fix it ? Sorry for my bad english, i'm french

I fixed it by setting the RAM speed back to its default value in the BIOS settings. Not sure if that would apply in your case.
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September 23, 2015 12:53:24 AM

OK thanks Guy, m'y RAM ils 1866mhz corsair, in BIOS is setting on automaticly on 1333mhz. But i've got randomly lag on windows and game
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