Sudden FPS drop during games?


I've been playing games (L4D, CS1.6) for over a year without problems.
Recently, I've been getting HUGE fps drops in intervals. It would be running 60+ fps for about 30 seconds, then start dropping to 15- fps, then run fine for a few sec then drop again and repeat. It's driving me crazy.
Again, Games have been working fine until recently.

I've tried downloading new CCC drivers (9.11 is most current), I've tried checking for viruses/spyware.
I've searched and looked through many different posts, I found that some people had similar problems, but could not find a solution for me. I'm almost certain that this isn't a software problem.

Here are some system specs:
OS: Windows XP SP3
CPU: Core 2 Duo E7200 (Wolfdale)
GPU: Radeon HD 4860 (RV770)
MOBO: MSI-7380 (chipset: nForce 750i SLI SPP)
BIOS: American Megatrends V1.1 (02/25/2008)
RAM: DDR2 4096MBytes (OCZ PC26400 2x2GB)
I ran CPU-Z and GPU-Z and here is the stats.

If anyone would spend some time on their thanksgiving day to help me out, I'll be glad to provide any additional system information. Thanks in advance!
9 answers Last reply
More about sudden drop games
  1. when did this start happening eg: after installing sp3 etc
  2. There was no specific action that triggered it.
    Which is why I'm assuming it's a hardware problem.
    I'm having trouble pinpointing the source of it.

    I've tried dedusting and reseating and rewiring the parts.
    Anyone techie enough for this one?
  3. if its a 4870 or 4860 then its been underclocked somehow

    if its a 4850 then its at its normal GPU clock

    GPU clocks
  4. Right. As I mentioned, I've been running the games fine for a long time. I have not overclocked/underclocked my GPU. It is in factory setting, aside from driver updates. It is a 4850 by the way, looks like I said it was a 4860.

    But yea knowing that doesn't help me in any way.

    My concern is the sudden fps drops during games, the cause of it, and the solution to get it back to normal.
  5. hmmmmm... so you just recently updated the drivers,
    maybe try a driver rollback if that makes a difference
  6. i would still firstly suspect spyware being the culprit in this case.

    have you tried a system restore to roll back to before the problem began?

    you can confirm whether it's spyware by opening task manager and look out for any processes which are using large amounts of memory/cpu time. use a process of elimination to end the tasks one at a time, starting with the non-windows stuff... if you end something that botches up windows then just do a reboot.

    i say this because i never use anti-spyware or anti-virus software, i've only had 1 piece of spyware in about 10 years. it caused my computer to go slow, i foiund it in task manager - imitating a windows process - ending it fixed the problem, but i couldn't get rid of it. did a system restore and it's gone.
  7. maybe the card is overheating, or maybe even the cpu, try turning up the fan speed of the graphics card, I'd also check that your CPU isnt getting to hot under load, use prime 95 to stress your CPU and use Real Temp to monitor the termps.

    Your components might be throttling the performance to try and save themselves from a smokey death. I know its abit of a long shot, but it would be someting i'd check
  8. Is something throttling? Most modern CPU/GPUs have the ability to throttle themselves if they cross a certain thermal threshold.

    Aww crap... omgitzfatal beat me to it. *grumble grumble*
  9. Muhahahahaha, great minds think alike and all that :P
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