Random FPS Drops 1 Day After Building

So, first of all, I built my computer that you guys helped me pick parts for a while ago.

It worked fine on Friday night and Saturday during the day (when I first built it and tried to game), but now, as of Saturday night and Sunday morning, I'm experiencing random FPS drops. In L4D1, I was able to play on all high settings (except no vsync, 2xAntialiasing and 2xantistropic). Same with TF2, except I truly maxed that one out (max anti-aliasing and max antistropic, no vsync).

I was ably to hold from 100-200 FPS typically, with it only ever dropped to 80 or 90 in the most intense situations. Now, L4D runs terribly at 50 FPS or so, although it can jump back up to 200 in certain situations for a few seconds, and in TF2 it jumps down to like 10, but only for a millisecond or so every 10 seconds, so I barely notice it, but I can definitely tell when it happens due to cl_show_fps.

Why is this happening? I don't think it's a cooling issue, as the airflow in my case is good, I have 7 fans, and the case only warmed up after a long 4-hour gaming session.

The ram is also idling at 24%, and I don't know if this is a good or bad thing. Full system specs:

1 TB Western Digital Black 1 AMD Phenom II X4 955 w/ stock fan and cooler 1 XFX ATI Radeon HD 5770 1 630w Raidmax PSU 1 ASUS motherboard of sorts 1 some sort of sony CD/DVD thing 4 gigs of gskill ram (2x2 gig sticks) Windows 7 64bit Home Premium

Thanks for any and all help!

Also, no overclocking or anything of the life has been done.

EDIT: I checked the CPU temp when it was idling (on startup). It was 40 degrees C. I'm assuming this is FAR too much for just idling. Should I look into an aftermarket CPU cooler?

EDIT II: This happens whether or not the settings are high or low. So maybe it is a cooling problem after all?
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  1. It could be a few things:
    1) Heat on your CPU or even GPU... I would suggest getting an aftermarket cooker like Cooler Master Hyper 212+ and check your GPU temps with HWMonitor to make sure they aren't running hot, as well.

    2) Your PSU doesn't have sufficent enough power to handle your system when running 3D programs. Raidmax PSU are not top tier two or one. I would have a hard time ranking them a tier 3 even. I won't rule out purchasing a new PSU. A Corsair, Antec (exclude BP), SeaSonic, or OCZ/PC Power&Cooling of 550watts to 650watts is more than enough for your system.

    3) Have you checked your RAM to make sure they are all set to manufacturer's specs (voltage & timings)?
  2. Did you attach the heatsink correctly? Remember to use a lot of force when pushing the second clip into place. Coz 40 is what I get after playing a CPU intensive game, and I only have case 4 fans.
    I also would not trust that Raidmax PSU.
    Have any patches been released for those games? There is an outsite remote chance that if there was, these might solve those fps issues. Altho having this issue in 2 separate games makes it unlikely.
  3. No, no patches. And the PSU does not seem to be overloading, as if it was, it would crash, right? It seems to be a good PSU. It had many great reviews and such.

    I used A LOT of force when attaching the second clip...I thought it was too much at the time, but I guess not.

    I guess that fan is fine, but should I maybe take off the already-included thermal paste and use the Arctic Silver 5 that I purchased but did not attach? Thanks.
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