Complete Overhaul for Gaming with Low FPS Spikes in Games

Hello everyone,

I am really sorry if this isn't the right section, I wasn't sure where to post this.

I would just like to start off saying that I have read a lot of the forums posts here trying to resolve my issue but I have not had much luck. I also have a fairly skilled computer problem solver friend who has yet to figure out my issue either. I am not computer illiterate, and I find I am typically more versed than the normal person, but I am not too savvy on the lingo, so please bear with me if I need explanations.

Without further adieu, here is my issue:

Recently, I was having some issues with my old system, so I decided, with the help of a friend, to drop some cash on my computer and apply some much needed upgrades. Well, one thing lead to another, and I ended up overhauling my entire system. I literally replaced everything except the mouse, keyboard, speakers and tower (I will post system specs at the end).

After replacing all the parts and installing new OS (Windows 7), I updated drivers and installed programs. Everything seemed to be working fairly well and without issues.

I am currently playing Aion (and since gotten D3) and seemed to have relatively flawless FPS and smooth loading in the game. This relatively optimistic outlook on my new system lasted maybe a few days.

One day, after returning home from work, my computer had locked out and I attempted to log back in. After entering my password I was immediately confronted with a blue screen of death and an Error message. At this time, I currently do not remember what the message actually said, and I was only prompted with it for a few seconds before it went away, but after recreating it a few times, I do recall my friend saying he thought it was related to the graphics card or drivers.

Shortly after I encountered this issue, I was confronted with another problem. On my first start up from a cold boot, the computer would load the motherboard screen, then go to black screen as if it was going to start up, but Windows would never load. I am now forced to restart my computer a second time for Windows to actually load.

The problems didn't stop here though. I also began to notice that my game (Aion) was suffering from periodic spikes of low FPS. I grew a little concerned and downloaded CPU-Z and GPU-Z. Respectively, my CPU temperature seemed to be on par with what it should be, but my GPU was (and is still) running at about 75-80C while in game (which I have been unable to determine if that is normal for my graphics card or not). I have even noticed that frame rates on videos I watch seem to be hindered at times as well.

A final thing that may be worth noting... When I try to run AMD Vision Engine Control Center, I am prompted with an error message that says "No AMD graphics driver is installed, or the AMD driver is not functioning properly. Please install the AMD drivers appropriate for your AMD hardware" and upon a second load of the program "AMD VISION Engine Control Center cannot be started. There are currently no setting that can be configured using AMD VISION Engine Control Center". (For reference, I am have attempted to install drivers from AMD by directly selecting the driver I should use and using the auto detect tool.)

My friend and I have tried a ton of things to try and resolve the issue, but none have seemed to do anything. I have removed and reinstalled drivers, reverted to earlier drivers, reseated all components (including the CPU with new thermal paste), checked all my wires were connected correctly, downloaded codec packages, downloading tune up utilities and several other things. We RMA'd my graphics card for a new one in case I had a faulty card, and even this seemed fruitless. My friend even suggested that it was possible that my sound card could be bottle necking my system because it's a pretty cheap and bottom of the line card, so I removed it.

None of these have seemed to make a substantial difference in the overall graphics performance on my computer.

I am really at my wits end here because I KNOW that something is not working properly but I just can't figure it out. Please, any and all suggestions are welcome. Thank you.

System Stats are as follows:

Monitor: Asus VH238H Black 23" Full HD HDMI LED Backlight LCD Monitor w/Speakers 250 cd/m2 ASCR 50,000,000:1 (not using the speakers. Incidentally, this model with the speakers was on a special and was significantly cheaper than the model without).

Motherboard: ASUS M5A78L-M LX PLUS AM3+ AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard

CPU: AMD FX-8120 Zambezi 3.1GHz Socket AM3+ 125W Eight-Core Desktop Processor FD8120FRGUBOX

RAM: (2x) Patriot Signature 4GB 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory Model PSD34G13332

GPU: HIS H687FN1GD Radeon HD 6870 1GB 256-bit GDDR5 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready CrossFireX Support Video Card

Soundcard: Creative Sound Blaster Audigy SE 7.1 Channels 24-bit 96KHz PCI Interface Sound Card - OEM

PSU: Thermaltake Black Widow TR2 RX 850W

Hard Drive: 1TB WD Green Sata drive

If you would like to know any other details I will post them to the best of my ability. I am really starting to feel like my best option for this problem is this :bounce: (picture my computer under the emoticon). I really am in the dumps about this and would really like to resolve my problem. Again, thank you for reading and any help you can offer.
22 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. I would suspect the power supply. I'm not sure about your exact model, but in general the Thermaltake TR2's are pretty poor. They dont supply the advertised wattage. The noise and ripple is above maximum specs.
    If you can get ahold of another psu that is decent and over 500 watts try it. A good 500 watt is plenty for your system, but I think your unit just isnt very good quality. Something like this would be a good fit for your system:
    use promo code listed for an extra $10 off if you need a new psu.
  2. I could look into this but I thought Termaltake was a good brand. Hm... I just spent like $100 on this thing... I wonder if I purchased this new one if I could still return this old one. I normally shop new egg but I ended up needing a new PSU fairly quick, so I went to Best Buy (I know... shoot me now)... :/
  3. Thermaltake has a few models that are ok, but in general they arent too great
  4. It seems that you are not the only one experiencing blue screens with the FX-81xx chips.
    I think it is a known issue. Google for more info.
    Check to see if your motherboard has a bios update that fixes the problem.
  5. Thank you all. This is all good information. Keep it coming.
  6. I have begun searching for involving BSOD issues with FX-81(20) [My CPU] but haven't really found any probably solutions for my situation. I will be posting CPU-Z screenies though.
  7. Appears to be no way to add photos so I can't upload CPUZ images... :/
  8. Best answer
    What BIOS version are you running? You need version 510 for that CPU to be supported.

    The TR 2 line of power supplies are garbage. Here is a review of the 750w version of that power supply.

    This list is not perfect but in general is correct. It places the TR2/TR2 RX in tier 5, basically the do not buy under any circumstances list.

    You would do well to run memtest as well. It should be run for at least 6 to 8 hours and have no errors at all. I usually set it to run overnight.
  9. :( Oh man... I really thought I was buying a decent PSU... I am not sure that I will even be able to return this thing or even exchange it... Guh.

    I am going to try and run this memtest thing... any advise on how to appropriately install this... I really have no clue. :(
  10. Download the pre compiled bootable ISO. Use a burning program to mount the image to a CD or DVD. Go in BIOS and change the boot order from your hard drive being first to your DVD/CD drive being first. Your computer will then boot from the memtest CD so it will run correctly.

    If you don't have something like Nero installed you can use a great little free program called ImgBurn to mount ( burn ) the ISO image to the disk.

    A bad stick of memory can cause all kinds of problems like that.
  11. This is op from my mobile. Thanks for advice guys. Installed updates to mobo, looked into issues with the CPU and couldn't determine anything, installing new psu tonight, and ran mem test with no errors. Going to see if the new psu helps any. It is a corsair gs700. I didn't directly see that on the tier list but the gs600 and 800 were grouped together in tier 2 so I can only assume the 700 falls there as well!
  12. Yeah the GS series is quite good so you should have no probelems there. Did you upgrade to the latest BIOS?
  13. Okay guys. I have installed the new PSU and it works quite well. Everything seems to be running pretty smooth and relatively quiet. FPS doesn't appear to be spiking as low as previously but it does still have periodic drops. I am not sure if this appears to be normal or not, but it may be worth noting that my GPU is reading at 80C and 60% fan speed while actively playing the game.

    Also, yes, I do think I updated the bios. Took a little effort to figure out how to do it the right way, but I am pretty sure I got it.

    Based on the changes made and what I told you about the GPU read out, does this sound normal?
  14. I think your GPU is a bit hot. I did notice you said you did not replace your case. What case are you using? If it's an OEM case it's not designed to cool a gaming computer. That could be part of your problem.

    I don't think those temps are anything to be worried about but 80C seems a bit hot for an HD 6870. Even overclocked my GTX 460 1GB stays in the 70s C. I have an Antec 1200 with 7 x 120mm and 1 x 200mm case fans too though.
  15. Well I have two case fans on the inside, but I also have an entire side that is vented to the outside... so breathing room shouldn't be a problem, at least I don't think so.

    I also RMA'd the GPU and got a brand new one about 2 weeks after getting the first new one, just in case it was the particular GPU, and this new one ran the same... :/

    Still open to any other possible solutions.
  16. Is your computer still crashing or are the temps just a bit high? As I said above I don't think they are high enough to hurt anything or be worried about.

    A good case will cool better with the side on. It will create a negative air pressure environment that will exhaust heat better than if the side is off. Try it both ways. If it cools betetr with the side off then your case does not have good airflow.
  17. Well, the side has a vent on it, but the paneling isn't removed.

    I haven't noticed any blue screen crashes and I was able to start up from a cold boot without error this time. Temps have stayed about the same, but fps spikes seem less severe.
  18. Still having some issues...

    If it is any help, my FPS spiking seems to be happen both in games and when watching videos... :(
  19. Also, any ideas as to why my amd vision control center gives me the error message and wont let me access it?
  20. As an update, since I keep getting emails about selecting a best answer, I found that my motherboard apparently didn't fully support the wattage for my processor. I opted to upgrade my motherboard and rma the other one. This seems to have fixed most, if not all of my issues. Thank you everyone for your advice and help!
  21. Best answer selected by Ryneff.
  22. I should have noticed that. It even says it on the Asus website.

    I hate that AMD has a 95w and a 125w version of so many processors.

    Oh well glad you got it fixed at least.
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