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Low FPS with capable components

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Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 25, 2012 9:46:25 AM

Recently in the past week I've had a large drop in FPS with all my games.
I'll post my specs bellow but I believe they're capable enough to handle the games but it struggles with some games on the lowest settings.

AMD Phenom II x4 940
GTX 580 1.5GB
4GB DDR2 Kingston RAM
ASUS M3N-HT DELUXE
ModXstream 700W PSU

If it is a bottlenecking issue it's likely to be the CPU due to the fact it reaches 100percent load but it's never struggled so badly before. Maybe one of my pieces has deteriorated to a state where it doesn't function as well? My GPU doesn't even reach 30percent load which I assume means it's fine.

This is my first post and I'd greatly appreciate any help, many thanks.

More about : low fps capable components

a c 126 U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 9:53:00 AM

Hi

Have you checked the load temps of the CPU and GPU whilst gaming?

Have you installed any new software recently that might be using your CPU resources? or has your CPU always been at 100% when gaming?
May 25, 2012 9:57:46 AM

Hello,
My CPU and GPU load temps are somewhere along 70-80degrees for CPU and 60degrees for GPU.
The CPU reaches 100percent and the GPU reaches about 20-30percent.

And I'm unaware of any particular software that could be causing the slow-down. My processes I've just checked and there doesn't seem to be something which is running which is out of place.

And I never observed the CPU load before the problem so I can't tell if it's something new or not.

Is it possible that it's a virus? I haven't reached that conclusion before but would that be a logical explanation? I'd rather it be a software issue than hardware because I'm already replacing all the components bar the GPU and PSU next week.
a c 126 U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 10:31:16 AM

Your CPU temps are really quite high.. AMD's max safe temp for that processor is 62C, the processor may be underclocking itself so it uses less power and therefore produces less heat (Thermal throttling).
See if you can lower that temp by cleaning out your PC case fans and the CPU heatsink.

I've personally never seen a virus cause the CPU to be under 100% load, but it may be possible.
a c 85 U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 10:48:30 AM

If its another program you will see it outside of games too. it should be near zero use at idle. open task manager go to processes and view, add and sort by CPU time column to see if you have a problem process. That CPU wont bottleneck a 580 to 30% so somethings really wrong.

Those temps are way way too high. I am shocked it doesn't just crash. You could have a severe case airflow problem. Have you checked the CPU fan is running, heatsink etc?

also check you BIOS setting. I have seen settings get lost on occasion or the board freak and go to safety defaults. (usually due to power failures). This could cause it to drop a core, set a high default voltage, underclock the could. etc
May 25, 2012 10:49:24 AM

Okay. If it overclocks itself and therefore goes over the safe temp, does that then ruin the OC and make the CPU slower? I'd assume if it was OCing somehow that it wouldn't be on 100percent load.
I'll clear out the fans and such though, thank you.
May 25, 2012 10:53:46 AM

unksol said:
If its another program you will see it outside of games too. it should be near zero use at idle. open task manager go to processes and view, add and sort by CPU time column to see if you have a problem process. That CPU wont bottleneck a 580 to 30% so somethings really wrong.

Those temps are way way too high. I am shocked it doesn't just crash. You could have a severe case airflow problem. Have you checked the CPU fan is running, heatsink etc?

also check you BIOS setting. I have seen settings get lost on occasion or the board freak and go to safety defaults. (usually due to power failures). This could cause it to drop a core, set a high default voltage, underclock the could. etc


I did as recommended with the task manager and nothing seems out of place.

I'm using the stock CPU fan, perhaps that's an issue? And I don't have fans at the front of the case, I could look into that.

In the matter of the BIOS, how am I meant to know the precise settings, do I check with my CPU and other components how much voltage it should be getting?

I have also been getting random system shutdowns without BSOD or any warning; they're entirely random leading me to believe it's a hardware mistake.
a c 126 U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 10:57:58 AM

You shouldn't have to fiddle around in the BIOS, I would just make sure everything is set to default (there's usually an option in the BIOS to set everything to default, usually one of the "F" keys)

If you don't have any front fans, where are your intake fans?

The stock CPU cooler should be good enough to keep the CPU below the maximum safe temp of 62C providing your case is well ventilated and not cluttered.
a c 85 U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 10:59:07 AM

sachagoat said:
Okay. If it overclocks itself and therefore goes over the safe temp, does that then ruin the OC and make the CPU slower? I'd assume if it was OCing somehow that it wouldn't be on 100percent load.
I'll clear out the fans and such though, thank you.


If it dropped a core or underclocked/safe settings the Max performance goes down, so use % goes up doing the same amount of work. If voltage went up to a wrong base value you could get more heat. if both happen... there you go.

Some boards have push button overclocking settings too and in that case you'd be right. they tend to use high voltage to get a decent success rate though and if it overclocked and got hot throttling could cause performance issues.

Neither of these is really likely to happen on their own, and its probably something else. But its still worth a quick check everything is set right. The CPU fan dying is more likely and the temps are causing throttling/underclocking
a c 85 U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 11:02:23 AM

Rustyy117 said:
You shouldn't have to fiddle around in the BIOS, I would just make sure everything is set to default


Good point. default will probably take care of it and kick it off any safe setting.
May 25, 2012 11:06:36 AM

unksol said:
If it dropped a core or underclocked/safe settings the Max performance goes down, so use % goes up doing the same amount of work. If voltage went up to a wrong base value you could get more heat. if both happen... there you go.

Some boards have push button overclocking settings too and in that case you'd be right. they tend to use high voltage to get a decent success rate though and if it overclocked and got hot throttling could cause performance issues.

Neither of these is really likely to happen on their own, and its probably something else. But its still worth a quick check everything is set right. The CPU fan dying is more likely and the temps are causing throttling/underclocking


Is this of any help?
http://imgur.com/6HKR2
a c 85 U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 11:09:46 AM

sachagoat said:
I did as recommended with the task manager and nothing seems out of place.

I'm using the stock CPU fan, perhaps that's an issue? And I don't have fans at the front of the case, I could look into that.

In the matter of the BIOS, how am I meant to know the precise settings, do I check with my CPU and other components how much voltage it should be getting?

I have also been getting random system shutdowns without BSOD or any warning; they're entirely random leading me to believe it's a hardware mistake.


Front case fans would help. check the CPU fan rpm too. for the BIOS just do the factory defaults like omgitzfatal said, that should work. As long as your CPUs ends up showing the right frequency/model.

check the event viewer for the shutdows, although it may not have anything
http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows7/What-inform...

honestly I would expect those random shutdowns from a badly overheating system.
a c 85 U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 11:19:18 AM

sachagoat said:
Is this of any help?
http://imgur.com/6HKR2


yup everything looks fine. your on stock clocks and voltage. so nothing wrong there. just seems to be the temps.

Asus has a tool to check the motherboard temp sensors and fan rpms. pcprobe2 that's on their support site in the download section for your board if it works with it.

AMD has a CPU tool that will read the on die sensors.

No clue where you are but it's been hot here recently. temps go up and poor case ventalation and suddenly you have a problem you didn't before
May 25, 2012 11:19:24 AM

I just set the BIOS settings to default. No visible change in heat or load; am just going to try BF3 on minimal settings and see what happens.

The event viewer doesn't show anything, I already tried that. I agree with you, it may be due to overheating.

If there are still issues I'm going to open up the case and see if I can give it more air; maybe get some fans. I currently have a side-fan, top-fan and a rear-fan. Aswell as the CPU stock fan. My case is an Antec 300 but I'm upgrading to a Hyper 212 EVO and an Antec 900 case next week.
May 25, 2012 11:21:51 AM

unksol said:
yup everything looks fine. your on stock clocks and voltage. so nothing wrong there. just seems to be the temps.

Asus has a tool to check the motherboard temp sensors and fan rpms. pcprobe2 that's on their support site in the download section for your board if it works with it.

AMD has a CPU tool that will read the on die sensors.

No clue where you are but it's been hot here recently. temps go up and poor case ventalation and suddenly you have a problem you didn't before


I'm looking into getting those tools.
This issue seems to have started before the increase in heat here in England. Most of this points to system ventilation though so I'm going to be focusing on that either way.
a c 126 U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 11:34:50 AM

Its so hot in England today, I'm literally melting!

Your Screenshot is fine, no problem there, Make sure you get some fans in the front of your Antec 900 when you get it

Cold air through the front and bottom of the case, and hot air being expelled via the back and top of the case for the most effective ventilation.
a c 85 U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 11:38:52 AM

sachagoat said:
I'm looking into getting those tools.
This issue seems to have started before the increase in heat here in England. Most of this points to system ventilation though so I'm going to be focusing on that either way.


With just a side fan it could be an issue. on mine the gpu blows out the back so grabs most of the side fan air. The quickest way to test this would be to leave the door off like you said and if you have a floor or desk fan point that sucker right in the case at point blank.
a b U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 11:38:53 AM

I guess we're seeing a classic case of cpu bottleneck. There isn't a single reason that this low performance should be appearing.. unless the software is screwed. If this is true formatting your HD is an option.
May 25, 2012 11:48:36 AM

Thank you everyone. I've decided I'm going to build my new PC with all it's new components and rebuild the current one and improve the cooling in both cases.

Any recommendations for case-fans? I was thinking of going Antec ones since both cases are Antec.
a c 85 U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 12:02:25 PM

sachagoat said:
Thank you everyone. I've decided I'm going to build my new PC with all it's new components and rebuild the current one and improve the cooling in both cases


honestly with improved case cooling and a 212 you ought to be able to get that CPU close to 3.7GHz. assuming cooling is the only issue right now. Mines up there and runs battlefield 3 maxed out with a 6970. You shouldn't have much of a bottleneck with a 580. Its likely just underclocking under load to not cook itself at the moment. If you were planning to build a new one anyway though doesn't matter
a c 126 U Graphics card
May 25, 2012 12:05:31 PM

Either Noctua NF-P12's or Scythe Gentle Typhoon 120mm 1850 RPM would be my recommendations, Both fans are expensive, but you get what you pay for with fans.
!