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Murder Mystery- What killed the Framerate?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 19, 2008 6:04:25 AM

Dearest Hardware Enthusiast Forum:

This crime is being committed in my custom build computer on a daily basis, and I want to know why, and preferably stop it.

I had no idea where to put this sin-tilating drama in the forum, but seeing as how most of the game troubleshooting questions seem to be in here, I figured what the heck.

Components:

Asus 8800GT video card w/ Newest Beta Drivers for Physx support
Intel Q6600 CPU
Intel D975XBX motherboard
Windows Vista Ultimate
Antec P182 case
Creative SoundBlaster Live! 5.1
500W Semi-name-brand Power supply
Running Chrome Browser? Probably not relevant, but a recent change nonetheless.

Symptoms:
As of late, framerate has plummeted in TF2 and seems to be less than people are telling me Crysis should run on my configuration.
Issues in TF2 are not from network lag, I usually get <20 ping in my favorite server, but the framerate drops down to 20 in more busy areas.
This rate is down from a maxed out vertical sync rate of 60 as of the last time I ran fraps (month ago?).
Crysis runs on Medium at about 25 fps, Just got warhead(love steam!), also runs about 25 fps on the new medium, "Mainstream".

Investigation Notes thusfar:
-CPU temperature best I have ever had, idling at 35C and going to about 45C with all cores under load.
-Video card relatively new, but an upgrade from 8800GTS 640 (given to girlfriend, I love TF2 with a friend playing with you)
-Vista came from a recent upgrade, could be a source of change
-Crysis framerate got much better after doing hard drive tweaks so that textures and objects are precached, not streamed, so hard drive was suspect, but defrags didn't -seem to help. This eliminated much shuttering, but still low framerates.
-Disabled many pointless background programs, no major effect.
-Disabled many pointless services, no major effect.
-Disabled many pointless startup programs (I'm looking at you, Quicktime), made Vista boot much faster, but still no major effect on gaming.
-Audio card suspect, a refurb model bought about , but with working driver. Should probably just use onboard audio, but hey, it was top of the line as of 2002 I think.
-I don't know how to check Video card temperature without agreeing to the "I have overclocked this card" statement in the driver, but the air coming out of the card is relatively cool.
-The power supply has been a source of headache before, but that seemed to be cleared up before

So this is the state of my computer: running much better after a major clean up and defrag, but running worse than usual in the graphics rendering department.

I submit this case to you, dear Hardware Enthusiast forum. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated: I want to get back to Warhead!

Yours Truly,
Byron Anderson

P.S. It occurs to me that I wrote this as if it was a scooby doo mystery- every component could have a motivation and way to commit the crime. Hope it is decipherable to a more trained eye than mine.
a b U Graphics card
September 19, 2008 2:04:03 PM

The power supply, in the parlor....with the wrench!

That, or it was Colonel Mustard.
a c 143 U Graphics card
September 19, 2008 2:18:05 PM

Try some older version of nVidia's drivers, preferably not a beta.
Related resources
September 19, 2008 2:26:25 PM

If you want to check your GPU Temp, or really any major temp in your computer then try a program called GPUz.

Over in the Sensor section will be how hot your card is running.

September 19, 2008 2:41:50 PM

We should bring the RAM in for questioning also. Never hurts to round up all of the suspects.
a c 175 U Graphics card
September 19, 2008 2:47:57 PM

What brand/model of PSU is it?
a c 165 U Graphics card
September 19, 2008 5:40:17 PM

Agree with AEVM, switch to a non-beta driver.

Also you might try defragmenting your game cache files on Steam (sorry do n`t play TF2 but I`m assuming you have it through Steam).
If you do n`t know- open the Steam My Games list, right click on TF2 to open a dialogue, scroll down to Properties, click on it to open another dialogue and at the top click on the Local Files tab, at the bottom of the next box, click on the defragment option.

Now where did those Scooby Snacks go?
!