Slowdown with nvidia cards after 5 minutes of play

General Nvidia slowdown

I've recently started experiencing a problem with nvidia graphics cards where games will run well for 5 minutes or so and then lose between 5 and 20 fps depending on the onscreen action. Eventually, they seem to drop even further. Alt tabbing out of the program and back in appears to fix things for a VERY short amount of time, but it always goes back to where it was before.

I heard this was a problem with the 8800 gts series around a year ago, but it seems like I'm still having the same problem today. I tried rolling back to the stock drivers to no avail, and have worked with several different driver versions, including the most recent ones. Nothing seemed to work.

I upgraded to a GTX 260, thinking this might improve things, but other than raising FPS across the board, it still has problems dropping performance after 5-10 minutes of play. This is all off a fresh reformat and install of windows, too. Here are my specs

Windows XP 32 Bit SP3
Intel Core 2 Duo E6850 @ stock clock of 3.0 ghz
BFG GTX 260 896mb (factory overclocked)
650 watt PSU
Sound Blaster Audigy Gamer (from way back in 2002)
Gigabyte s series GA-P35-DS3L motherboard

My system is really stable other than this strange problem. I don't think it's my power supply because 650 watts should have been more than enough for the 8800 gts and I still had the same problem. It's really frustrating because a fairly high end system can run a game from 2 years ago like The Wither without dropping to about 20fps after several minutes of play. Any suggestions?
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  1. Dont fall into the advertised wattage trap. Just to be sure can you link your PSU? You are right it shouldnt be an issue but lets rule it out.
    Post up temps / cooling / case as well.
  2. its quite likely a problem with your RAM, this sounds to me like either faulty RAM or an overheating issue.

    checking the psu out is a good idea too, make sure that if you can connect your GTX260 to two different power rails that you do. Sometimes you can't tell though, but you can try just changing the plugs on one connector and testing to see if there is an improvement.
  3. OP didnt post any RAM, maybe he has none :lol:
  4. As suggested before, i would say something is getting too hot.
  5. pr2thej said:
    OP didnt post any RAM, maybe he has none :lol:

    2GB DDR2 SDRAM, 6th item in spec list.
  6. I actually just checked my PSU, which is only about a year old. It has 3 12v rails with 19 amps each, and I definitely have two 6 pin cabled plugged into the card. Reviews of the PSU on newegg have tons of people using this same GPU with it and absolutely no problems at all.

    Heat in the system seems, ok but I haven't run diags on it. The back of my GPU feels cool to the touch after X amount of playtime and it has a PCI slot fan directly on it pumping more air into it. I also just vacuumed out a ton of dust and crap, so I don't think it's bad airflow.

    I'll try to test ram and actual temps now and see what happens.
  7. Just to be more specific on the ram:

    2 sticks of Crucial Ballistix DDR2 PC26400U DDR2800
  8. It's all about the temperature. Check out rivatuner > free download >
    Set fan control manual and open it 100% when playing; if automatic the fan wil cycle at about 80%

    Hope that this wil help you all. It helped for me, so far.
    Greetings AccountError
  9. Try turning off C1E/EIST and see if the problem goes away.
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