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FPS spikes

Last response: in Video Games
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November 15, 2010 11:52:26 AM

Recently (I don't know when, or of any changes to my computer before it started happening), I have been having occasional, severe freezes in games like COD4 and CSS. I'm not on wireless internet. What happens is I will be playing and it will suddenly freeze and I will hear whatever sound just happened, such as footsteps or gunshots, repeat over and over again for several seconds, then it might change to another frame, and it will happen again for that frame and the sound on that frame. It is very debilitating and painful.

I searched Google for solutions. I tried disabling the automatic fan speed in BIOS but it didn't work. I installed SpeedFan and I cannot see any real difference in temps.

I opened Performance Monitor, and when I got the freezes I alt-tabbed a couple time and screenshotted it. But I don't know the implications of it or what I should do.






My graphics card is a 9800GTX+ and my processor is Intel i3-530 (2.93ghz). My PSU is Corsair VX550w

More about : fps spikes

November 15, 2010 12:28:20 PM

What are those graphs supposed to represent? CPU usage?
November 15, 2010 3:58:02 PM

It appears to be the processor.
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November 17, 2010 11:26:01 PM

If it happens again, get a list in task manager of the programs running. From there, you could guess what application(s) are hogging resources.
November 19, 2010 2:38:08 PM

Crazy Hitchhiker said:
If it happens again, get a list in task manager of the programs running. From there, you could guess what application(s) are hogging resources.

OK I will do that, and just to make clear, the drop in the chart was not from me alt-tabbing, here I waited a few moments before alt-tabbing, as you can see it went back up after the spike, then went back down and stayed down after I alt-tabbed:


November 19, 2010 3:36:56 PM

^ Do as suggested and post back-

November 19, 2010 3:48:04 PM

The CPU isn't the issue... I don't believe at least. I have ran into this issue many times before and it seems that this freeze is usually triggered by a sound or a movement (a gun shooting or encountering another player in game). The reason why the CPU charts are as such is just because the performance of the CPU is directly correlated with the game's performance. If you're playing a game and it freezes, the game does just what it implies; freezes. The CPU ceases to receive new tasks at this time due to the freeze, hence the looped sounds (one of the last things the CPU processed), and the screen freezing (the games inability to send new tasks in order to produce a new frame).

Try checking your audio/video drivers and make sure they are all current. Also, download HWMonitor and record the min/max temps for your GPU and CPU. You could be having overheating issues, resulting from your CPU fan not being fully secure or having all your thermal paste burnt up. It could also be something with your video card, so try reseating it. Check and make sure as well that there isn't a bunch of dust buildup in your CPU fan/heatsink, as that definitely causes heating issues (and your GPU fan too).

Also, how long into playing the game does this happen? Is it every time that you play or only sometimes? And if it occurs once does it keep doing it forever until you shutdown the game, or does it start then stop, and then come back a few minutes later? If so, is there a pattern?


Edit: I'm not sure that other processes would be the problem. If that were the case the CPU work % wouldn't behave like it is; it would shoot to 100% and then down to 0% (or stay at 100%), not just drop from 50-60% usage. The charts don't imply any time of overload, they just show a drop in CPU processing. Now, if these charts reflected ONLY what CPU usage the game uses, then yes, they would show that the game is getting "cheated" out of processing power. But, since this is overall performance, it doesn't.
November 19, 2010 3:58:16 PM

I don't think it has something to do with some hardware not seated properly, but might well be due to some driver, or high temps, causing throttling.
Let the OP post back with the above suggestions.
November 19, 2010 7:39:50 PM

Thank you for the help. I have still to open my case and check the hardware for what calmstateofmind said to check for, but so far I have:

1. Updated the video drivers - still the same problem
2. Installed HWMonitor and checked min and max temp for the graphics card - min is 45°C (113°F), max is 63°C (145°F)

As for your questions....

There is no pattern of when it happens, it can happen only a minute into playing the game or it can happen after a while, and it doesn't keep doing it forever until I shutdown the game, it starts, then stops and comes back.
November 19, 2010 8:07:07 PM

new to computer said:
Thank you for the help. I have still to open my case and check the hardware for what calmstateofmind said to check for, but so far I have:

1. Updated the video drivers - still the same problem
2. Installed HWMonitor and checked min and max temp for the graphics card - min is 45°C (113°F), max is 63°C (145°F)

As for your questions....

There is no pattern of when it happens, it can happen only a minute into playing the game or it can happen after a while, and it doesn't keep doing it forever until I shutdown the game, it starts, then stops and comes back.



Whats the min/max temp for the CPU? And do you have any charts that are over longer durations of time? Those charts only cover a time of around a minute. Also, I know you're not on a wireless network, but this could also just be from having a slow/interrupted internet connection at the time. I'm not on a wireless connection either but there are times when I've play COD (and games alike) and have experienced what you're going through with the cause being the connection (I have cable).

In addition, are you running any anti-virus software in the background or any other programs that have auto updates enabled ? A scan or a check of updates could cause some background traffic causing the performance decrease, especially if an update was found and downloaded.
November 19, 2010 10:21:37 PM

OK I will try a different cable next week also. It couldn't be anti-virus software as it happens all the time.

I checked the CPU temp min/max with 'Core Temp', I ran it through several freezes on counter-strike source:



I don't understand why it has 2 cores, on SpeedFan it shows core #0-3.
November 21, 2010 10:14:43 AM

It only has two physical cores, but supports hyper threading. So in Task Manager (and Speedfan, like you mentioned) you see 4 cores, but those are actually virtual cores.
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