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Extremely low FPS in BF3/SWTOR

Last response: in Video Games
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February 22, 2012 10:19:21 PM

Hey guys. I'm new here and not super tech savvy, so I'm hoping that you can help me out! I'm having framerate problems on my laptop with Star Wars: The Old Republic and Battlefield 3.

I finally had some free time, and decided to play some SWTOR for the first time in about 3 weeks. It was almost unplayable. My fps was around 15 when walking around, and dipped to about 5 in combat. Voice Over/Cut scenes had 17-30 FPS. I know that SWTOR has issues with shadows when in caves, but I was in an outdoor area. I turned the settings to low, turned off shadows and things, and set the program to run in compatibility with service pack 3 (some SWTOR people said that greatly helped their performance). It hardly helped. I used to play the game with med/high settings with no framerate issues.

I swapped over to BF3 (first time to play in about a month) to see if my FPS problems were only SWTOR. Not the case. I tried Multiplayer, getting only 10fps. I swapped over to Singleplayer. Still 10 FPS. I turned all of the settings down to low. It went up to 12 FPS. The sound was also messed up for BF3. I couldn't hear my own gunfire and the other sounds seemed like they were at the bottom of a well. I used to play BF3 on med/high settings with no issues (I don't know what my old FPS was with it, but the game ran very smoothly and was never choppy).

I reinstalled the newest graphics driver, scanned for spyware/virus, closed all irrelevant programs, and ran cc cleaner. That's about the extent of what I know to do.

Anyways here are my specs:

SYSTEM
Alienware M15x
OS: Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit (6.1, Build 7601)
BIOS: Ver A08 1.00
Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU M 350 @ 2.27GHz (4 CPUs), ~2.3GHz
Memory: 4096MB Ram
Page File: 2890MB used, 5149MB available
DirectX Version: DirectX 11

DISPLAY
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5800 Series
Approx. Total Memory: 2768 MB
Driver Version: 8.930.0.0
Driver Model: WDDM 1.1

HWMonitor Info - This is only after about 5 minutes of playing, because it's so choppy I haven't played any longer than that.



Thanks for any help you can give me!
February 23, 2012 2:48:43 PM

resolution and gpu temps?
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February 23, 2012 7:36:40 PM

1920x1080


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February 23, 2012 7:42:46 PM

that's your temperature at idle, unless your pc is having trouble idling, I'm not interested in that...

on another note, 1920x1080 is way too high resolution for 5800 series mobile cards, decrease the resolution and see if that helps any
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February 23, 2012 11:58:43 PM

While running SWTOR:

Changed the resolution to 1280x720. FPS went up 2 FPS across the board. Changed to 1024x600 with no change in FPS.

GPU temp was the same while running BF3. Dropped down to 1280x720; FPS went up to around 14. Then went to 800x600 and it was the same.
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February 24, 2012 3:25:04 AM

is that a full load temp? it seems the core gpu clock is lower than idle, might be a temp prob
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February 24, 2012 6:07:16 AM

That was the temp while I was running the game, yeah.
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February 24, 2012 8:38:33 AM

temp while running the game? well you do have an issue it looks like your gpu isnt coming out of idle... if thats 5 mins of playing then you can see your gpu load only spiked a couple of times... looks like you may have the wrong power settings applied...
go to power management and basically set it to maximum performance.
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February 24, 2012 12:00:56 PM

yeah, your GPU is sitting at zero load according to that graph, that's not a good thing

seems like your memory is loaded more while you're running SWTOR but the GPU clocks have gone down. Either something is miscalibrated and the readings are wrong or your GPU is in sleep mode

I'm not familiar with AMD mobile platforms but is there any options they offer similar to nvidia optimus? (ability to switch between onboard and dedicated GPU) if yes, you might want to check that your games aren't running using the intel integrated GPU vs dedicated AMD
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February 25, 2012 6:36:17 PM

Umm the Catalyst Control Center? Mine wouldn't boot, which apparently is a common problem. I deleted the public key tokens to get it to boot. My power plan is set on high performance, and then in the CCC it is set on high performance as well. As far as switching the GPU, I'm not sure where to check for that.
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February 25, 2012 7:13:09 PM

use driver sweeper to remove all the amd drivers then download fresh 1s from amd... make sure you get the mobility 1s and not the desktop versions.
as antzig suggests there may be a gpu temp setting thats set to low so your gpu wont kick in because it already thinks its running hot. have you been using speed fan, msi afterburner or similar recently? anything that allowed you to adjust the temps min max value/fan speed?

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February 26, 2012 6:38:27 PM

I used driver sweeper to remove all of the AMD drivers, then reinstalled the Mobility Radeon HD 5xxx 64 bit drivers. Ran the game with no improvement. Tried to go to the CCC to see if it was on High Performance, but the CCC had an error message and wouldn't run. I uninstalled & reinstalled again, but the CCC still wouldn't run. Did a system restore back to when the CCC was properly booting.

As far as the GPU temp, I've never purposefully/knowingly done anything to change the temps or fan speed. I've never even heard of speed fan or msi afterburner. The only reason I had HWMonitor was because I saw people asking for temps in other posts similar to mine.
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February 27, 2012 1:31:22 PM

Ok, this is very strange, how long have you had this laptop? Is it still on warranty? have you had any overheating issues with it? Have any games run good with it? How long ago was that? Can you try those games again to see if FPS is the same?

(See this http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Graphics-Media-Accel... if you can find similar performance results in games listed at the bottom of the page, then you're most likely running with onboard graphics)

Looking at all the info you've given us so far this is either a hardware issue or driver issue. Judging by how your CCC isn't starting up, I'm leaning towards driver issue or software conflict that's causing your low fps.

There's a small chance it's a hardware issue (maybe was caused by previous overheating or maybe it was DOA, but you've never had anything heavy thrown at it up until now so it didn't present as a problem until now)

The last thing I might offer for a possible solution is a clean reinstall (format the drive install clean OS with all the factory drivers, etc)
I know it's a drastic measure, and painful and time consuming, but if there's a software conflict or lingering drivers that are causing the problem and driver sweeper cannot pick them up, that's the only way of going about fixing that.

If a clean reinstall doesn't solve the issue, I'm going to say that you probably got a damaged GPU (or dead and it's running with integrated GPU right now) (you can check with something like skyrim launcher, it lets you to clearly select which adapter you're running with)
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February 27, 2012 4:44:26 PM

The lap top is about 16 months old, but the warranty is up. I haven't had any overheating issues. It's never had a problem running games. I've run CoD Black Ops, Crysis 2, SWToR, BF3, Dragon Age, Mass Effect 1&2, Starcraft 2, Civ V etc etc perfectly fine. I hadn't played games in about 3 weeks because of school, but I finally got a chance to sit down and play some at the beginning of this week, and boom awful FPS. So I tried Crysis 2 on Tuesday and it wouldn't even load.

I just tried Crysis 2 to see if it would boot...both single & multi are running smoothly on high graphics settings. So then I just tried BF3 and got 70 fps. I am so confused right now. I have not done ANYTHING different.

The only thing I can think of is that I blue screened yesterday. I got the "display driver has stopped responding but recovered" screen flicker once, and then later last night I got a blue screen because the display driver crashed. And now suddenly my games are working. What the heck.
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February 27, 2012 7:07:12 PM

that happens if you don't restart your machine very often, ie you accumulate run-time errors

well, in any case, looks like problem solved. Let us know if the issue comes back
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February 27, 2012 10:40:55 PM

I regularly shut down my computer when I'm done using it, but I guess that could be it. Thanks for the help - I really, really appreciate it.
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!