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BF3 Graphic Lag Every 5-10 Minutes CPU/GPU Spikes

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February 14, 2013 3:32:08 AM

Hey guys. Recently I reinstalled BF3 on my computer and all of a sudden I am getting huge graphic lag spikes every 5-10 minutes or so. The ingame performance overlay shows my GPU and CPU spiking WAY up during the lag and my FPS goes WAY down. I haven't been able to diagnose the problem as of yet.

The game was running absolutely fine on ultra high a few months ago. Have since had to replace the mobo (with the same model), HDD and PSU.

EDIT: New information on the FPS drops. When the FPS decides to drop, the sound goes a bit wonky (some sounds cut out, while others are fine). I also saw a building go invisible and then back to normal during one of the drops.

I'm starting to suspect a failing mobo (which is stupid because I just bought it in December), bad mobo configuration (maybe I've got something plugged in the wrong spot though I doubt it, everything is where it was on the old board which was the exact same model), or a failing CPU/processor. The thing is it doesn't seem to do this with other games. Skyrim on Ultra High with HD textures/lots of mods, Far Cry 3 on Ultra High as well with no issues.

EDIT: Dead Island seems to do it now too. Also noticed CPU temp goes up to around 60-70c during gaming. I know it needs a fresh coat of thermal compound but I'm wondering if the damage has already been done. Prior to my motherboard failing (the first time), my CPU had gone up to 90c on numerous occasions. When I cleaned the fans, it'd normalize and run around 40-60c during gaming. It used to idle at 8c but is now idling at between 20-30c in a cold room.

What I've done to fix it (which didn't work):

1. Flashed GPU and Mobo BIOS to latest.
2. Updated GPU and audio drivers as well as DX11.
3. Reduced settings ingame.
4. Reinstalled/updated Punkbuster.
5. Cleaned out dust from fans/case/GPU.
6. Used Razer Game Booster.
7. Installed Shark007 Win7 audio codecs because of weird sound bugout during FPS drop.
8. Checked BIOS settings for anything strange; found nothing.
9. Disabled unnecessary non-Windows services.
10. Removed secondary HDD to see if it was causing too much strain on PSU; didn't help.
11. Ran full defrag twice.
12. Defragmented game files only.
13. Loaded optimized defaults for BIOS.

My computer specs:

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit (Latest updates installed)
AMD FX8150 3.6Ghz 8-core
Gigabyte GA-970A-D3 AM3+ Motherboard (Latest BIOS from manufacturer; F12c)
Gigabyte Radeon HD7850 2GB (2.5 factory OC) (13.2 CCC driver suite; DX11 up to date)
16GB DDR3 Adata RAM
Antec Earthwatts 750w PSU
WD Caviar Black 2TB SATA6.0Gb/s 7200RPM
Hitachi 500GB SATA Secondary HDD

DXDiag.txt (Pastebin link):

http://pastebin.com/WZvW6MEh
February 14, 2013 5:06:42 AM

You are playing online? If so, it might well be your internet that is causing the problem.

Lower the Graphics Settings, and see if the problem persists. Monitor the temperature of your CPU Cores and your GPU while playing the game.
It can be due to overheating. Clean the CPU case and make sure that the air-flow from the CPU - the PSU specifically - is not blocked.

You should also try to de-fragment your game drive. Helps in certain cases.
Lastly, you can try doing a registry cleanup, and may try using a game booster.

Thanks,
Rick
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February 14, 2013 5:17:01 AM

I've lowered the settings. Also been monitoring the CPU core temps and the highest it gets (when the case is clean; did that earlier) is around 60c while playing. GPU gets to around 40-50c while playing.

I doubt a defrag and registry cleanup will help as this is a fairly new installation of Windows. Could try a game booster but I can't see why I'd need one with this rig.
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February 14, 2013 5:28:25 AM

A game booster will simply shut down all those extra process that run in the back-ground when you are playing the game.
Might be some useless service that you had started once by mistake that's sucking half of your computer's processing power. You never know.

What's your RAM usage when your PC is idle?

And did you update Windows before the lag? Or afterwards?

PS: Do turn off your PC once in a while, in case you don't.
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February 14, 2013 6:25:14 AM

Tried the game booster, didn't really help though I have no doubt it's worth using now. Windows updated after the lag started. RAM is 3.30GB idle. Keeping in mind I've got Firefox and Winamp running (which never caused an issue before and BF3 requires a browser to be up for Battlelog anyways). ATI Catalyst CC and some other stuff running. Nothing out of the usual.

Some other memory usage stats:

Total Physical Memory: 16365
Cached: 6634
Available: 12992
Free: 6687

Also says physical memory: 20% beside CPU usage.
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February 14, 2013 9:08:49 AM

go into bios and load optimized defaults. save and quit....
chances are your dmi pool data is still trying to use the old motherboard config.
also clear out any startup entries like itunes. basically remove anything that isnt your anti virus/anti malware/keyboard sound or mouse drivers/panels. usee ccleaner to dissableb the none essential boot software and reboot.
if the system boots faster then you can go back and delete everything you disabled.
run ccleaners reg cleaner. run it 2-3 times till you get no more errors and then defrag your didsk with ultimate defrags auto tuning. putting all archives at the back of the disk and all the performance files at the front. setting the slider to around 25%.
if you dont have it get a trial or 1 of the other better than microsofts own defraggers like defraggler, auslogics defrag and O&O defrag.
reboot and you should be done.

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February 14, 2013 9:31:37 AM

For removing apps from Start-Up. I have a suggestion.
Type msconfig on search, and open the app.
Go to Services Tab, and Check "Hide all Microsoft Services" box, in the bottom.
Now disable all the services you see there (Disable all for once, you can later enable them). [Leave your Anti-Virus checked]
Then go to Start-up and disable all. Hit apply, and restart.

When you enable things later on, enable only those you want to run. Some stupid services can make super cool PCs lag.

As HEXiT said, load the default values for all bios entries. It might do the job.

And you are playing online right? Are you sure it's not your internet?
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February 14, 2013 12:34:59 PM

Have you tried allotting more usable RAM to the user?
It might not help but I used to have lag spikes and framerate drops and that helped me.
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February 14, 2013 6:35:38 PM

DragonClaw said:
For removing apps from Start-Up. I have a suggestion.
Type msconfig on search, and open the app.
Go to Services Tab, and Check "Hide all Microsoft Services" box, in the bottom.
Now disable all the services you see there (Disable all for once, you can later enable them). [Leave your Anti-Virus checked]
Then go to Start-up and disable all. Hit apply, and restart.

When you enable things later on, enable only those you want to run. Some stupid services can make super cool PCs lag.

As HEXiT said, load the default values for all bios entries. It might do the job.

And you are playing online right? Are you sure it's not your internet?


The game booster I was using does a pretty good job of disabling unnecessary services and such and even without it it's never been an issue before. CPU/GPU spikes still occur. As for the BIOS entries-not sure how it could be that seeing as I did a full reformat/reinstall of Windows after installing the new motherboard.

Also, while playing (even through the massive FPS drops due to CPU/GPU usage spike) my ping averages around 35ms, varying between 20 and 60ms.

Going to try reinstalling chipset drivers to see if it helps. Also disabled all unnecessary services manually but haven't tested the game yet.

Some extra information:

When I got the new motherboard I simply installed it into the case, plugged everything back in and that was it. Turned it on, booted fine, installed Windows, popped in the disc that came with it to install drivers and such, done. Updated BIOS to current of the time. My computer has kind of been running weird since then though. Browsers occasionally lock up/freeze especially when I'm saving images and stuff. Sometimes it feels sluggish.

Did I do something wrong when I installed the new mobo?
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February 15, 2013 3:37:41 AM

Bump. New info in OP.
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February 16, 2013 3:51:57 AM

I'm guessing nobody has any more input on this problem. I've exhausted all options that I know of and am about ready to just go out and buy a new CPU.
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February 16, 2013 4:03:48 AM

Try using a spare GPU and check if the problem persists?
Even a low end GPU will do. Lower all settings, and watch out for lag spikes.

Rick
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February 16, 2013 4:09:40 AM

I'm not convinced it's the GPU at all. There's very specific symptoms I've seen from GPU failure (experienced it before with older machines) and I've got none of those. No tearing, graphic artifacts or any of that. GPU also only gets to around 40c during intense gaming. I'll test it anyways to be sure... I've got an old nVidia 8800GT I can pop in...
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February 16, 2013 4:29:17 AM

In that case, you can try a full clean up of your system, starting from the very scratch.

Quote:
I'm starting to suspect a failing mobo (which is stupid because I just bought it in December), bad mobo configuration (maybe I've got something plugged in the wrong spot though I doubt it, everything is where it was on the old board which was the exact same model), or a failing CPU/processor. The thing is it doesn't seem to do this with other games. Skyrim on Ultra High with HD textures/lots of mods, Far Cry 3 on Ultra High as well with no issues.


I think your PC is perfectly alright. And I suspect that it is your Hard Drive. De-fragmaent it.
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February 16, 2013 4:50:11 AM

Fragmentation only listed as 18% in Defraggler, could that cause problems even if it's only barely fragmented? Just wanted to add that I am EXTREMELY greatful for all this help! I know a lot of people express frustration and heightened tempers when computer troubles start but rest assured that all of my rage is going toward fixing this problem!
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February 16, 2013 9:08:18 AM

It isn't the whole drive that needs to be de-fragmented. It's the game files that need to be. Too much fragmentation of game files might cause reading of the files to get slow, causing the lags that you are getting.
Just de-fragment the game folder, using Razer Game Booster. There's an option for it in the software. Look for it.

Rick
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February 16, 2013 8:31:39 PM

DragonClaw said:
It isn't the whole drive that needs to be de-fragmented. It's the game files that need to be. Too much fragmentation of game files might cause reading of the files to get slow, causing the lags that you are getting.
Just de-fragment the game folder, using Razer Game Booster. There's an option for it in the software. Look for it.

Rick


Ran a full defrag twice, then ran a defrag on just the game files using Razer. Also set BIOS to load optimized defaults. Still getting the spikes.
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February 16, 2013 8:49:28 PM

Did you try having HWMonitor up and checking temps when the lag occurs?
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February 16, 2013 9:02:18 PM

I have Coretemp and Speedfan running and Coretemp registered the CPU temp around 60c-65c. Sometimes it's gone up to 71c during the spikes... Motherboard temps registered 71c and 81c on HWMonitor... Wonder if that's the CPU overheating the mobo too...
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February 17, 2013 8:42:52 AM

Downgrade GPU drivers and try?
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February 17, 2013 1:40:34 PM

Last time I played BF3 prior to this I had CCC 12.8... Will try that later. Also just applied new thermal paste to processor chip and cooler. Damn near impossible to get it flat, hope it doesn't fry my CPU.

EDIT: New thermal paste didn't reduce the temps. Tried Catalyst 12.8 GPU drivers also. Didn't help. Still getting spikes. So I'm back to thinking it's mobo or CPU and on top of that probably my liquid cooler...
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May 30, 2013 8:33:07 PM

Dread86 said:
Last time I played BF3 prior to this I had CCC 12.8... Will try that later. Also just applied new thermal paste to processor chip and cooler. Damn near impossible to get it flat, hope it doesn't fry my CPU.

EDIT: New thermal paste didn't reduce the temps. Tried Catalyst 12.8 GPU drivers also. Didn't help. Still getting spikes. So I'm back to thinking it's mobo or CPU and on top of that probably my liquid cooler...


Hey Dread , i'm having the exact same problem , for about 6 months now . My gaming pc it's just useless now if i cant play bf3 , so you are my last beacon of hope , did you find any solution ?

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August 9, 2013 4:59:00 PM

I would liek to add to this thread info that may help.. I, too had stutter issues in bf3.. however I found the issues completely disappeared when I shut off the browser after the game started.. I suspect flash is the culprit. it causes problems in many other situations.. also you can disable extensions you do not use often in your browser . one of them could be causing it. ( I mentioned flash because it happens no matter which browser i use and the only thing in common is flash ) I hope this helps somebody!!!! try launching game starting match then minimize the game and shut down browdser and then play. I would like to know if this helped anyone else...it fixed my issues 100%
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August 12, 2013 8:24:34 AM

I dont know about games, but Im having the same problem with my pc. Im not a gamer and I dont have any in my pc. I tried re-formatting my pc a couple of times. It doesn't have anything to do with defrag or cleanup, but I believe it started from my browser... or FLASH in my browser. :( . still looking for a solution though. so I've been suffering months of my pc sounding like a robot or an old radio running out of battery, with my VGA (or perhaps) cursor lagging like hell.
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August 12, 2013 6:52:27 PM

Without knowing what hardware you have, it's hard to help you. if you have a much older pc, you will run into issues with older on board graphics not doing well . Web browsers are accelerated with graphics cards now and older hardware cannot keep up
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October 19, 2013 8:23:58 PM

@Dread
Did the change of the CPU or Motherboard worked? I've got the same exact problem. Some *?*&? spike on BF3 with the load of my CPU@100%.
I've got a Phenom II x4 955 and the temp is about 50 celcius (i've got water cooling).
Is anything helped? I'm suspecting my ram because I can't get the timing correctly configure in the BIOS.
I've tried many format and many setting in BF3 (no OC, OC, no SSD, SSD, etc).
If you have a solution, please tell me it!
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October 31, 2013 3:05:52 AM

yaaa4 said:
@Dread
Did the change of the CPU or Motherboard worked? I've got the same exact problem. Some *?*&? spike on BF3 with the load of my CPU@100%.
I've got a Phenom II x4 955 and the temp is about 50 celcius (i've got water cooling).
Is anything helped? I'm suspecting my ram because I can't get the timing correctly configure in the BIOS.
I've tried many format and many setting in BF3 (no OC, OC, no SSD, SSD, etc).
If you have a solution, please tell me it!


Holy shit I think I've figured it out!
Check your HDD! I've been having the same issues for the last couple of months. I have checked everything, CPU, RAM, GFX, Drivers.

I think I have found that it was either my HDD & its SSD friend OR it's the Intel Rapid storage utility.

My room mates single HDD in my machine doesn't present any audio tearing!!!!
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October 31, 2013 6:05:53 AM

Intel's Rapid Storage Technology program locked up my PC at boot; took minutes to a half hour to load everything. I turned it off for that exact reason. So I could see that being an issue.

That being said, this looks more temp related to me, based on the info in the OP.
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October 31, 2013 4:41:07 PM

gamerk316 said:
Intel's Rapid Storage Technology program locked up my PC at boot; took minutes to a half hour to load everything. I turned it off for that exact reason. So I could see that being an issue.

That being said, this looks more temp related to me, based on the info in the OP.


Yes Intel rst will lock it because as far as I know it's not hot swappable. The os is now installed on a designated raid setup (assuming your using ssd cache drive). You need to put a completely new hdd in and test.
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