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Low & extreme Variable Frame Rate while playing Games

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 4, 2012 4:12:11 AM

Games are not using system resources properly. How to fix it?

My System:
Intel Core i7 3.2 GHz,
6GB RAM,
NVidia GTX 460,
320GB Hard Disk,
Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit

From last few weeks, I am not getting acceptable frame rate while playing any sort of games, whether they are new or old one.

For Need for Speed Shift2, Hot Pursuit & Run, frame-rate is not acceptable.

I get a frame rate of 45-55 FPS but suddenly, it drops to 25FPS & then 16-17FPS. Again, it rises to 60-65FPS & again moves to 30-35, then to 16-19FPS.

I switched to low settings with 1024x768 resolutions but still the same problem is occurring. I had used Game Gain, Game Turbo Booster but none is helping me.

I tried on Need for Speed Most Wanted & Carbon; again the same thing is happening. So, please don’t recommend to upgrade my Graphics card or any components because these silly games run perfectly on those integrated Intel graphics. At least, my system is far above it & again, in past every game was running with proper frame rate

For most of the time, frame rate lies between 16 to 25 FPS, which cannot be accepted for playing games. From GPU-Z, I found that GPU Load remains less than 69% & average Load is around 4-20%. Again, from task Manager, CPU usage is less than 60% for the whole time. And RAM is below 4GB of use.

In simple terms, my games are not utilizing 100% system resources. How to improve the scenario?
a c 191 U Graphics card
May 4, 2012 4:16:15 AM

What kind of power supply do you have? It might not be giving the card enough power.
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May 5, 2012 10:37:08 PM

I am using Cooler's Master extreme Power Plus 500Watts PSU. Nvidia GTX 460 needs 160 watts power. So, I think that card is getting enough power. If there's a problem in the power supply, it had created problems at the time of installation. Previously, games were running fine. Now, it had started creating problems.

I had checked the whole system for infection but there's no virus or anything on the system. Again, there's no other program which is consuming the resources.

One more thing, I had installed Windows during last June. Can it be the problem? I use to install windows on a regular basis but this time, it's around an year.
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a c 191 U Graphics card
May 6, 2012 1:41:41 AM

frosterrace said:
I am using Cooler's Master extreme Power Plus 500Watts PSU. Nvidia GTX 460 needs 160 watts power. So, I think that card is getting enough power. If there's a problem in the power supply, it had created problems at the time of installation. Previously, games were running fine. Now, it had started creating problems.

I had checked the whole system for infection but there's no virus or anything on the system. Again, there's no other program which is consuming the resources.

One more thing, I had installed Windows during last June. Can it be the problem? I use to install windows on a regular basis but this time, it's around an year.


The eXtreme Power Plus is not the best power supply, and known very well for not being able to supply the specified power on the label. It supplies around 75% of the stated power. It is not a very good power supply.

But you say that the power supply was not causing problems at the start. I am still skeptical of it, but that's not your problem. Its not the card. The card is definitely being limited some how. In my opinion, its either the power supply or the drivers. It could also be some program slowing you down in the background, but I highly doubt that. The fact that you are getting low FPS in even the lowest settings in any game might suspect that the card is not getting enough power to exceed a certain specification.
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May 6, 2012 5:03:04 PM

Looking at your confidence related to power supply unit, I am also feeling that it could be the problem as I am unable to locate any sort of software problem on my PC. I had installed fresh but temporary copy of Windows Vista (32-bit) & Windows 7 (64-bit) on other partitions but the problem is still there. In the fresh copy with the latest drivers, frame-rate is still lagging behind.

I am going to bring my friend's PSU, it's Corsair 850watts PSU. I will install the same in my PC & will try to run the games. I will update you regarding the same in 1 or 2 days.

Before that, I want to ask one more question. I had rarely seen my CPU touching 100%, starting from the first day. Even, during the extreme video editing, CPU rarely reaches 100%, it remains around 60%-70%. Is it due to improper PSU?

If yes, then Can you answer one more question; my Power Supply Unit is 500Watts in total; Core i7 is rated at 95 watts, Nvidia is rated at 160 watts; let other components consume another 100 watts; still there's 150 watts left. So, why the PSU is unable to provide the proper power to the components?
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May 13, 2012 12:26:20 AM

Yeah that was the problem of power supply. Thanks dude for helping me. Well, everyone was saying that my system would be infected & others were saying that other programs would be consuming all my system's resources. But, your diagonosis was superb!

Can you tell me which PSU should I purchase now?
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Best solution

a c 191 U Graphics card
May 13, 2012 3:59:14 AM

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/ite...

This would be the perfect power supply for you. Even though it states the same amounts of watts as the one you have now, this one is better built.

Its like saying that this car costs the same as that car, but one of them is obviously better than the other.

As to why it doesn't work, I have no idea. Sometimes (not that often) PSU's get worse over time. Other times, the PSU just isnt that great.

If you want to be able to run some bigger cards in the future, you might want to get the 600W version of this, but if you dont plan to upgrade soon, which you probably dont need since you play Need For Speed games as you stated, keep what you have.

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May 23, 2012 12:53:59 PM

Yeah, I got the answer why GTX 460 is unable to run on 500Watts PSU. Well, GTX 460’s minimum power requirement is 160 watts but for this card to work properly, 450 watts are recommended. Again, CPU & other components ask for 150-200 watts. So, the card is getting just 300-350watts.

Well, I purchased Corsair 850 watts PSU & now everything is running fine!

One more thing, I don’t just play Need for speed Games. I love Battlefield 3 & COD Black oops a lot. Need for Speed was just a way to explain my problem. By the way, if I had uttered single point about Black oops, everyone might start saying that you need to upgrade the card & bla-bla.

My major question was that problem was occurring in all the games whether it’s a new or old one, resource hungry or a light one like NFS MW. Just to stay on the problem, I had given the example of Need for speed. Again, I am thinking to add another card, most probably GTX 560 or GTX 660 in a year of time.
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May 23, 2012 12:56:56 PM

Best answer selected by frosterrace.
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