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Poor framerates, GPU bottlenecking, feels like I have tried everything

Last response: in Video Games
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November 12, 2012 3:40:44 AM

Basic Specs:
Processor: Intel Core i7 960 3.20 GHz

Motherboard: EVGA model 131-GT-E767

BIOS: Phoenix Technologies version 6.00 PG PCI-Express x16 supported

Memory: DDR3 Triple channel 12288 (from three, 4 gig DDR3 RAM sticks)

GPU: NVidia GeForce GTX 570

Ok so to start from the beginning. Several weeks ago my computer all of a sudden wouldn't start. This happened because I freaked out while the computer was going to sleep and wanted it to shut down instead. So when I went to turn it back on it comes on BIOS doesn't boot. Then I unplug it and try again. Again BIOS doesn't boot, switch the power supply on and off and finally got the BIOS to boot BUT now all of my complex 3D rendering is FUBAR. Before it had a decent but average framerate for high quality settings in Guild Wars 2 and XCOM, now no matter what the settings (low and high) the FPS is complete and utter garbage at a measly 15-5 FPS and the GPU is constantly going at 99% usage whenever a Video game goes up.

We tried to unseat and reseat the GPU to see if that would fix it. We have tried unseating and reseating the RAM sticks which ended badly actually as its possible I may have damaged them. Then the machine wouldn't boot the BIOS again, took it a to a specialist who told me of my error with the memory sticks and that they were able to get it to boot up again. Problem was the framerate issue remains.

Me and my colleagues feel like we have tried everything. We tried uninstalling and rolling back drivers for the GPU, got a new card (before it was a GTX 560) and that still didn't work, tested the RAM sticks one at a time and found that they worked as each one was able to boot the computer.

Benchmark tests indicate that as soon as we get to complex 3d rendering the framerate just drops significantly and DX10 also has a pretty low FPS as well. Added to this is the odd anomaly of other games being fine. Dawn of War 2 works fine, Borderlands 2 works fine. So its either a software issue somewhere or I dunno.

At the moment made some adjustments which have helped slightly through tweaks in the Nvidia settings but the issue still remains. It means in Guild Wars 2 I essentially have to keep the camera from looking at the horizon or avoid complicated environments like Towns, caves, and jungles. Otherwise my framerate drops like a rock. XCOM hasn't seen any improvement despite my efforts.

If you need more information I can provide we have been at this for what feels like forever and the solution continues to evade us.

Best solution

November 12, 2012 4:13:54 PM

Hello, sorry to hear about your troubles.

After you've managed to get the PC to load BIOS after it refused to boot the first time, did you go back to bios and load the defaults? If not, I'd recommend to do that anyways, just to make sure the bios is clean.

Secondly, you say that you've had problems with ram and gpu. Have you considered this might be a PSU problem? what make and model is it? Check that the voltages that are being supplied are within the spec. You can use a program like hwmonitor or hwinfo

As far as ram is concerned, you say the repair shop determined that you've got a ram problem, but you tested your ram and found no problems, so I'm curious as to what the repair shop was referring to? Have you tested the sticks 1 by 1 and have you tried all the different slots that you have on your motherboard? (maybe it's not faulty ram but rather faulty RAM slot on the motherboard)

as far as GPU goes, grab a program, something like OCCT, do some benching, see if the temperature causes it to throttle. If it's running at proper clock settings, I don't see why it would be giving you significantly lower performance than it used to.

is this your mobo: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... ?

On the off hand that this is a software issue, check your event viewer logs for any clues. Critical errors or stopped processes could point you in the right direction.
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November 12, 2012 5:33:40 PM

You could also try an OS repair and running windows memory diagnostics for your own sanity. I'd also recommend chkdsk with repair options turned on as you may have goofed up some disk sectors when you forced a shut down.

In the future, unless the PC is absolutely deadlocked, DO NOT force a shut down. Be patient. This is why.
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November 13, 2012 1:39:35 AM

in reply to antizig

Will look into resetting the BIOS to defaults then. I would say the problem lies mostly with the GPU, in terms of loading programs load up pretty quick so may be mostly GPU than the RAM sticks. Also to clarify the repair shop found I had put the RAM stick back in upside down and they said I was lucky I didn't burn em out. They didn't see evidence of fried connectors or anything. Also tested em one at a time in slot 1 although it may be good to check the other connections I'm starting to doubt the RAM sticks being the problem. Also yes that link looks like the motherboard. Also where do I go to check the event viewer?

Temperatures are well within tolerance and even at low temps it is throttling so it isn't an overheating issue (40-60 Celsius under load depending on the program in question and GPU usage is way high even at the lowest temp).

In reply to majestic

Doing a check, will let you know about the results.

One of my more PC adept colleagues had a theory that the PSU may have mildy gone bad and that whenever the card is trying to draw on more power for more complex rendering that the GPU just isn't getting the power it needs. Nvidia cards according to him tend to be energy hogs so that is why you need a decent PSU to use them. Well its a good theory but we got nothing solid until either I purchase a measuring device to measure the voltage or replace the PSU (ugh as I am not fully adept at PC hardware this is going to be one of those learn as you go things :-\)

Its stuff like this happening and not knowing whats going on that frustrates me. After my experience from the repair shop I figure I need to learn to do this myself so I'll never have to rely on people (Like Sammy the clerk from the repair shop who just happens to look like that one pawn shop alien from Men in Black.....I am dead serious).
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November 13, 2012 9:04:38 AM

AntiZig said:
Hello, sorry to hear about your troubles.

After you've managed to get the PC to load BIOS after it refused to boot the first time, did you go back to bios and load the defaults? If not, I'd recommend to do that anyways, just to make sure the bios is clean.



Son of a gun that was it... I assume the BIOS must have been stuck in a low power state due to me putting it into sleep mode. That would explain the lack of power to the GPU. Framerates are back up as soon as I reloaded the BIOS defaults. LoL it never fails that its usually something so simple to these complicated problems. Thanks guys!
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November 13, 2012 9:05:02 AM

Best answer selected by HellFox83.
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