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Stuttery fps lag, Frozen gpu/memory clock. AT WITS' END!

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 27, 2012 3:03:07 AM

Hello the good people of Tom's hardware, i'm a long time lurker, first time poster! This problem had me scratching my head for a good deal of time, and I've been searching online for a solution for ages since i got my card about 5 months ago before i finally gave up in a fit of exasperation, finally deciding to consult other people for their expertise.

Anyway here are the details of the setup i have currently:

Card: ASUS Radeon HD6770 DirectCU
CPU: i5-750, 2.67 GHz
RAM: 4GB
OS: Vista 32-bit Home Basic (lol at that, still haven't gotten round to changing it)
Mobo: ECS P55H-A2
PSU: Andyson-650 (650 for 650W)

My previous card was also an ASUS model, Radeon HD4850 2Gb, and i did not have the problems listed below.

The problem:

There is a very severe fps lag when playing games, specifically the older generation multiplayer games, like counter strike, or blackshot (if you've heard of it). The problem sets in when there is a lot of action going on, eg spraying down the m4a1, having more than 14 players in total in a match etc. The weird thing about it is I can't find any reason why that should occur. Looking at the gpu activity, it averages 4% - 7%, and spikes up and down in a zig zag manner, from 6% down to 0% and back up again.

It's even worse for Blackshot, with the spikes going up and down as if it was suffering from a seizure (which nearly caused a seizure for myself). The spikes weren't just limited to GPU usage, both the gpu clock and memory were spiking with the usage, spiking from idle (157/300), to weird/in-between (400/900, see below). The lag is really severe, and i can no longer do drag headshots, quickscope awps.

Even stranger, playing the more modern games do not appear to have the same problem. Playing Portal 2, and COD:MW3 at highest graphics settings did not show the same results (even though the frame rate sucked, averaging at about 20 fps for MW3). GPU usage were smooth and not zig zagged, so were the clock speeds.

For the games which i have problem with, they both take longer than usual to load game resources, such as the map and player. And when i mean longer than usual, i mean OHGODWHYISTHISTAKINGSOLONGIMDYING long.

And that's not all, sometimes the graphics card just decides what it wants to do on its own. Many a time while monitoring the gpu usage, i notice that the clocks get stuck at 400/900. That is to say even when playing more graphically demanding (sorry for the weird expression) games, it'll still be stuck at those clocks, notwithstanding the fact that i overclocked my graphics card to 900/1100, and it does run at those clocks (sometimes). I'm pretty sure that these (400/900) aren't the idle clocks for the graphics card, bcos i usually observe that the clocks drop to 157/300 when i'm not running any games/playing any videos.

Here are the solutions i've tried:
Uninstalling and reinstalling my drivers
Uninstalling and reinstalling my drivers with a clean sweep of the registry (did that about 5 times)
Uninstalling and reinstalling the games on the same disk drive
Uninstalling and reinstalling the games on a different disk drive
Make sure all instances of hidden devices which aren't used anymore are removed from my device manager
Forcing off vsync
Forcing on vsync
Uninstalling MSI Afterburner
Reinstalling MSI Afterburner
Run games on stock clocking speeds
Run games on overclock
Install the latest windows updates
Remove all Windows Visual C++, reinstalled it with the Windows Visual C++ which came with the card, and updated it to the latest version
Physically removing and re-inserting my graphics card

That's all the solutions that i've tried as far as i can remember, and they didn't work. I'm pretty much out of ideas, and i really want to get this card to work properly. If not i guess i'd have to give this card up, and buy another one, at the same time getting a new OS, a new SSD, maybe throw in a new mobo and processor. I think i'm way overdue for a major upgrading. Anyway many thanks in advance! especially having to read through my wall of text :na: 
May 5, 2012 7:04:14 AM

Did you reinstall DirectX after reinstalling drivers ? I found it helps sometimes. Many game programmers still don't use OpenGL/CL even if it is better. Would explain older games misbehaving.
Overall, if you don't have overheating problems, I see two reasons to worry about:
1) ECS - they build cheap crap, cheaply, cheap, cheapest. Did I say cheap ? CHEAP.
2) Unknown Brand PSU, I would check voltages in Bios, then confirm with multimeter. Never overclock when troubleshooting. I've yet to see a stable OC on anything anyways.
What's the MSI Afterburner ??? Your MB is not MSI.....
I should shoot you for running Vista 32bit on a 64 bit machine, this change alone may drastically affect system performance. Checkout my system which died recently as far as upgrades go, it was 8yrs. old...
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