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What's causing my gradual low frame rates?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 4, 2012 4:51:37 AM

Hello,

So I recently purchased this 2nd-hand Lenovo Y550 IdeaPad which has (as the seller advertised), had some stuff updated.

I know this seller well, very friendly and he's very legit, really knows his stuff and has his own hardware/computer repair biz so I highly doubt he tinkered with anything he didn't know he was doing.

That possibility now aside, here are my specifics


Windows 7,

Intel Core i7 CPU Q720 @ 1.60GHz (I think its a Quad)

RAM 4.00GB

NVIDIA GeForce GT 240M


My hard drive is basically spotless, and i've done a defrag and everything.

NOW HERE'S MY PROBLEM in detail:

As of recently, I've been using Starcraft II as a test as far as being a "gaming computer" goes, and when I tested this Lenovo out with Starcraft II on its highest settings, it played flawlessly.

I continued playing and building stuff everywhere and it seemed like it could do no wrong.

So, satisfied, I moved on to Heroes of Newerth, a game that definitely has lower graphic requirements than Starcraft II.

Around the ending time, as our teams clash (it's a 5v5 game), my frame rates start to decrease ever so slightly, gradually, then in mini-chunks, then it returns to somewhat normal.

Not enough for me to get bummed out, but enough for me to make a move that gets me killed in the game, in other words have a noticeable impact on the gameplay.

Somehow it feels like after the first few dips in frame rate, the rates don't return back to optimum as they were at the start of the game.
This is how a typical clash would look like:

http://i.ytimg.com/vi/0NC2cuGD5jA/hqdefault.jpg


Lowering the graphic settings doesn't seem to help, and sites such as "Can I Run It?" say my system meets the requirements to play the game comfortably and even at high settings, yet from game to game, as activity spikes such as in a team-clash, the frame rates slow down as I just described.

I've tried running GameBooster to end any background programs that might be lagging it but there's maybe only a marginal difference, and it's scanners are reading my CPU and graphic card temperatures at 70/71 degrees Celsius.

I also don't have a cooling fan, my laptop is merely propped up on a stand with holes in the middle, and since buying it last week, I have sometimes run a torrent file or two overnight without shutting the laptop down, at most 2 days in a row, only putting it on standby at certain intervals in between.
I recall this minor issue having been there since before the torrenting so it might not be that though i'll still look into it if it strikes any of you as a likely possibility.

Thoughts?

Thanks in advance! :) 

June 4, 2012 5:12:44 AM

To me it sounds like something is overheating. Try gaming but keeping the computer on top of either a fan or a laptop cooler if you have one and get back to us once you have results from that.

Note: if your laptop exhausts hot air through the bottom of the laptop and not the side, make sure the fan/cooler doesn't cover up the exhaust port.
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June 4, 2012 5:29:24 AM

xcrossroadsx said:
To me it sounds like something is overheating. Try gaming but keeping the computer on top of either a fan or a laptop cooler if you have one and get back to us once you have results from that.

Note: if your laptop exhausts hot air through the bottom of the laptop and not the side, make sure the fan/cooler doesn't cover up the exhaust port.



Oh? Could a simple overheating problem really cause such an effect?

I mean, it does make sense, but I never did much research into it so I wouldn't know.
Also, if that should be the case, what temperature would I want things to, and are there any tips you have for keeping things cooler? :) 
P.S: The fan appears to be on the uppermost 1/3 of the left side of the laptop.
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a b Î Nvidia
June 4, 2012 6:58:08 AM

I have the same exact laptop as you have. Except for the CPU. As xcrossroadsx mentioned, you must keep your laptop cool. I have a laptop cooler for mine it's a Zalsman Notebook cooler ZM-NC2000 Silver. It cools very nicely. You may want to change the visual settings, unless you want the theme. I turned mine off because it's a laptop. It helps lessen the resources your laptop uses.

If you'd like to do so go Start-> Right click Computer-> Advanced System Settings->Advanced Tab-> Performance Settings-> choose Custom-> Untick/Uncheck aero peek and desktop composition.
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June 4, 2012 7:39:00 AM

fantastik250 said:
I have the same exact laptop as you have. Except for the CPU. As xcrossroadsx mentioned, you must keep your laptop cool. I have a laptop cooler for mine it's a Zalsman Notebook cooler ZM-NC2000 Silver. It cools very nicely. You may want to change the visual settings, unless you want the theme. I turned mine off because it's a laptop. It helps lessen the resources your laptop uses.

If you'd like to do so go Start-> Right click Computer-> Advanced System Settings->Advanced Tab-> Performance Settings-> choose Custom-> Untick/Uncheck aero peek and desktop composition.



Thanks!

So would an overheating problem really cause something like i'm describing?

I mean, it makes some sense because it doesn't start to have issues as the clashes start per se, but rather it seems to happen towards the later portions of each game.
Maybe as i'm gaming, it's gradually generating heat because of how hard the system must work for the game, and around 35-45 minutes in, without proper cooling, it starts to 'fry' and slow down?
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a b Î Nvidia
June 4, 2012 7:44:11 AM

Yes, over time it will heat up and dependent on your graphics settings as well. In Heroes of Newerth there are settings I turn off such as antialiasing and some other rendering effects. Although it makes everything look smoother, you won't notice it since your concentrating on the players, items, runes, and keeping yourself alive, and map.
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June 4, 2012 12:01:27 PM

fantastik250 said:
Yes, over time it will heat up and dependent on your graphics settings as well. In Heroes of Newerth there are settings I turn off such as antialiasing and some other rendering effects. Although it makes everything look smoother, you won't notice it since your concentrating on the players, items, runes, and keeping yourself alive, and map.



Thanks, so what should my settings be for HoN?
I mean, based on what has worked for you.
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a b Î Nvidia
June 4, 2012 5:27:36 PM

Turn off filters, like the antialiasing (shows x4, x8, etc), post processing, you can turn off the roughage or grass, you can't hide in it compared to league of legends, so might as well turn it off. Reflective armor effects its up to you if you want to look shiny.
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June 4, 2012 5:35:24 PM

since its an online game could it be bandwith if lowering graphic settings dont change frame rate how are u connecting. what is your connections speed?
http://www.speedtest.net/
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June 5, 2012 1:14:55 AM

the great randini said:
since its an online game could it be bandwith if lowering graphic settings dont change frame rate how are u connecting. what is your connections speed?
http://www.speedtest.net/



I'm connecting wirelessly, my DL speed is 9Mbps, Upload is 6.5Mbps.

How's that?
i load videos on youtube fine and fast, same with loading any other webpage.
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a b Î Nvidia
June 5, 2012 1:40:54 AM

Those are great speeds for online gaming.
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!