What is causing my FPS drops?

Specifically in Skyrim and Batman AA - fraps shows a fps of between 50 and 60, regardless of settings (default/auto detect is high) with higher load areas dropping to the mid 40s. Then, seemingly randomly, it will drop to single digits for only a split second and start climbing back up to the 50s. Thats just long enough to lag me into ragequit mode. This didnt happen in Win XP, but has only started since installing Win7 (64bit). Anyone know what the issue is or where the bottleneck is coming from?

My set up:
ASRock M3A770DE (latest bios)
Phenom II X4 B50
8 GB of 1600 DDR3 Ram
Asus Radeon 6850 (latest drivers from AMD)

HW Monitor shows my temps arent a problem. Ive also played while having my anti virus (AVG) turned off - no increase in game performance.
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More about what causing drops
  1. Playing Skyrim with my system I too experience this quick lag. My guess is it's in the game on how fast in loads up every area it enters.
  2. I changed the 6850 out with a 6450 and there was little change. Obviously the 6450 cant handle the graphics load the 6850 could, but in windowed mode (800x500) with graphics set to low the frame drop is still very much there. With the 6450 the frames would be steady somewhere in the high 20s to low 30s, and then make random drops to around 10. This wasnt quite as noticeable as with the 6850 but that may be because the frame rate had a low threshold to begin with. Ive tried to limit the FPS with MSI Afterburner as well, no dice.

    I ordered a new storage Hard Drive (needed more space anyways) and I'll see if that may resolve the issue. Also ordered a cooler master 212+ to replace my stock cpu fan and heatsink.
  3. Fraps will always drop your Framerate,

    I use Fraps at the 50fps video quality setting (currently using a 560 Ti)
    I go to raid in WoW (heroic Dragon soul)
    There are times where i drop to say 20 or 30 FPS depending on fights

    This is normal, Stuff has to load, and render
  4. The drop occurs regardless of if Fraps is running - also tried MSI Afterburner and running with no frame rate software at all. Noticeable downward spike regardless of software or settings (does it on ultra and on low).
    I dont remember this being any near this bad when the OS was XP Pro. Upgraded to Win 7 and the drop is very noticeable. The system is good enough to run Skyrim on LOW without the FPS dropping to 5 randomly.
  5. It could very well be the cpu, but it being a quad core i dont see how it could be that
  6. I have ordered a new CPU fan/heatsink and will see if that allows me to overclock or some other performance boost. Will try to replace ram as well and see how that goes.
  7. venjhammet said:
    Playing Skyrim with my system I too experience this quick lag. My guess is it's in the game on how fast in loads up every area it enters.

    He is correct. Skyrim/Fallout 3/Fallout New Vegas/Oblivion load the different parts of the map as you go. Very annoying. In Oblivion it was even worse cause every like 100 feet the game would actually stop and say "loading" in the bottom right.
  8. I know the difference between loading lag and whatever the heck this is.

    NEW DEVELOPMENT: If I disconnect my monitor (DVI) and connect my PC directly to my TV (HDMI), I can run Skyrim smoothly. Even on Ultra I average well over 50 fps in most areas and never drop under 30 fps.

    So what could be causing that? The monitor seems to be functioning fine otherwise and video playback remains steady at 60 fps.
  9. Hmm, I have no idea if its not just the loading.
  10. You know what can really test it?
    1) Save your game
    2) Click on your own character.
    3) Type "setscale 20"
    4) go into 1st person view
    5) Sprint and go very fast.

    Now see if it stutters. If not then I'm totally lost as to what happened. If it does...I'm still lost but you know for sure that there's some kind of loading.
  11. on the TV it plays perfectly. only FPS drops are steady and due to loading. never gets below the 30s

    im baffled at the moment
  12. Problem solved:
    CCC was recognizing both my monitor and tv as active displays, regardless if the tv was even hooked up or not. I disabled the tv as a display and now the game runs seamlessly on ultra.
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