At the end of last year, I built my own system. I used parts which I thought would perform optimally for games, however I've either overestimated their value or I've done something wrong.
The problem I'm mainly happening is when I star the computer up, and start a game, I'm getting a beautiful 60 frames per second doing relatively little in the game, or as low as 10-15 frames per second in more intensive areas. Not too bad I guess.
After about 20 minutes of the computer being powered on, the framerate drops to 1-3 frames per second however. The CPU usage and memory usage never exceed 60%. The GPU temp starts at 62C and rises up to 66C and never goes higher. I've adjusted just about every graphics card setting (aside from overclocking, which I don't want to mess with). The result is always the same.
I figured the graphics card was bad, so last month, I sent in an RMA, they accepted it and sent me a new card(it doesn't really look new, but can't tell). Unfortunately I'm still having the same problem. Does anyone have any idea what could be going on?
Pentium D 3.20 ghz
ASUS P5N-D system board
EVGA 9800 GT 512 MB PCIe 2.0 (it IS running at x16)
Corsair 1GB DDR2 x2
It's a coolermaster 600W. Not sure the exact model. It has 2 12V/18A rails - I was worried that would be a problem, but everyone tells me it shouldn't be since that's the SLI spec and the card is supposed to be SLI-compliant (I am not using SLI though, just a single card).
The game is world of warcraft running windowed mode. All visual effects are turned off/all the way down. Currently my 5 year old laptop with a ATI 128mb graphics card runs it better. Also after the fps glich kicks in, windows leave brief artifacts when dragged and simple flash animations draw slowly. Leaving perfmon and the nvidia monitor tool shows memory maxes out at 60% and cpu about 52%. The system itself is not showing any signs of strain because the OS and things do react in real time, even though the game is behaving incredibly poorly.
Pretty sure there's no spyware, this computer has seen limited connection to the internet and no browsing, and it is behind a couple firewalls. It's not the impression of poor FPS, there's a fps indicator which shows the number, so it really is poor FPS =P Also I've wiped the HD and reloaded the OS 3 or 4 times trying to debug this.
Bought a 1GB 9800 GT. Same problem. Updated the drivers, same problem. I ordered a new quad-core processor, so hopefully that will fix it, otherwise, the only other thing I can think of is my OS? Would an upgrade to SP3 make a difference?
First off, 1GB GPU's are still a gimmick. They help a bit, but will NEVER lead to any significant performance increase over a 512MB card.
I'd argue overheating, as those PentiumD's get hot REALLY quickly if you take your eyes off them (I have one melted into a ASUS P5nd2-SLI as proof ). While the PentiumD is hurting the GPU, I don't think the CPU by itself would lead to gradual slowdowns over time.
I wouldn't think so either, but I've replaced the system board, the graphics card (twice), and the power supply, as well as reinstalled windows (and also tried linux) several times. The only things left are the processor and memory. Frankly I don't see any problems independently wrong with either, but I don't see how replacing the memory could possibly help. I don't know what to do if this doesn't work, I originally spent $460 on the parts to build this computer, and with the exception of the memory and the case, I've replaced every single one of them, bringing the cost so far up to nearly $1100. Not venting at anyone in particular, just frustrated with myself. This should not have been so difficult.
The way the slow-down occurs, it does appear to be heat related, the system is only fast in the 10 minutes or so after it boots up. After a reboot, it's still slow. However the temperature gauges for CPU and GPU do not show unusual heat at all. Also, I've never had a CPU overheat without crashing the system before.. maybe that's only my experience though.
As for the 512 vs 1GB cards, I'll take your word for it, consensus seems to be that 512 cards are still the best value. However, this card was on sale for cheaper than many 512 cards, so I figured why not? I still have my 512 put away safe since apparently there was nothing wrong with it.
Just a random point: your sound card might be the problem. A lot of people overlook the sound card, but it can create substantial issues if it is not of high enough quality. I had an issue last year where the framerate was sub 10 fps, despite a relatively good rig and a 9600GT card. I thought it must be related to the graphics card. but after a month of pulling my hair out, I realized it was an underpowered sound card.
It doesn't sound like this is your problem, but I figured I'd bring it up, as its not a very obvious solution.
I replaced the graphics card, which did not solve the problem, however after replacing the processor, this problem no longer occurs, so apparently it was an issue with the dual core Pentium D processor.