NVidia 8800 Ultra FPS Drops

Hello all,

I have recently upgraded my PC, meaning I swapped out my mobo, GPU and CPU. It is a bit older, I know, but since I my old specs ran the games I play just fine, I just wanted a little more performance. I had a few issues installing the new hardware, but after hours I got it sorted out except for this:

My new card, an nvidia 8800 Ultra, keeps acting up. Whenever I am in-game I notice several performance improvements, however, after a short while my screen goes black and the FPS drops to half. It is still playable, however it then does the exact same thing and drops to about half again. I have changed all settings to the same settings I was running on my old 8800 GTX, and this still happens!

I am monitoring my temperature via MSI Afterburner and the temperature seems to hang at around 60-70 Celsius. But when I run bench marking software, I have seen the temperature peek off at 90 Celsius! Also, I have not seen the usage of my GPU go above 50% while in-game, most I saw was 44%.

My specs are:

nvidia 8800 Ultra (soon to be two of them).
Q6600 Core 2 Quad 2.6 GHz
ASUS P5N-D mobo
750w PSU

It is worthwhile to note that I have also noticed that the air coming out of my GPU is a little warm, while if I put my hand directly on top of the fan it is burning hot, could the heatsink seal be broken?

Also, what programs should I use for this kind of monitoring? The MSI Afterburner and Kombustor seem to be a little outdated.
26 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about nvidia 8800 ultra drops
  1. reinstall the driver.
  2. I have, several times, I have even gonne as far as looking for different drivers, the one I found was Xtreme-G 304.48 Win7-8 64bit. I have tried doing another clean install with the official nVidia again, let's see how it works.

    About monitoring software though, what do you recommend?
  3. 8800GT is old and normally runs hot :>.

    Feel free to correct me.
  4. It is a 8800 Ultra, but yes it is supposed to run hot, what I am saying, however, is that the exhausted air is not hot, is warm at most, while the fan itself is burning hot.
  5. Then i think the Fan needs a lubrication.

    But first try to blow dusts using an Air Compressor.
  6. The 8800's have been dying out for years due to heat problems among other things. Clearly at a certain point its reaching too high of a temperature and is either clocking down automatically or is greatly struggling to function.

    I have seen dozens of 8800's in my shop with issues, most of them due to the long term beating they take from heat. Maybe you'll have better luck with the second one.

    Otherwise, since it's working fine until it gets too hot, I would recommend a good cleaning and a new coat of thermal paste... AC5 or MX-4 to help keep the temperatures within levels that the card functions normally.
  7. Thanks, sephmeister, another question I had is that, if I wanted to buy an aftermarket cooler, do you know which would fit?

    Also, what do you use to monitor temperatures?


    I re installed all drivers and it still doing the same exact thing. I don't see any spikes in performance, or temperature, it doesn't seem like it is overheating at all. Seems like it is driver related. The only way I can get the GPU to go up to 100% usage is using the MSI Kombustor app and running benchmarks, after 6 minutes, it reached 104 Celsius and the driver crashed. Still, no hot air being blown in the back, just warm, while the GPU is burning hot. But, according to MSI Afterburner, the GPU never reaches these temperatures while I am playing.
  8. Well if it's making it all the way to 104 it may not be heat related then...

    I'd say try OLD drivers, go to the manufacturers website if you have to.
  9. I did as suggested and downloaded older drivers, am still running a few tests, but so far here's what has happened:

    This time the benchmark did not crash the driver, but once the GPU reached 105 Celsius it throttled itself down, suddenly the temperature dropped 15 degrees and so did the performance, it went from an avg of 18 frames per second, to an avg of 12. Not bad at all, considering that was using full load and at a very high resolution. I will try it in-game and come back with results.

    Tomorrow I plan on opening the card up after work and checking on the thermal paste.
  10. UPDATE: so it seems like it is still happening, however, I was able to pin point what is causing this. Once the game starts, my character is alone, so there is only one object on the screen besides the map. Once others came into view, it seems like the GPU overloaded itself and shutoff for a few second and then recovered. The temperature never went up and neither did its load surpass 50%. My monitor simply went dark and when it came back, instead of the 70 FPS I was getting, it went down to 20.

    I walked away from other to the point where I was alone again to see if there was an improvement in performance, however nothing happened, the mere 20 FPS did not budge. Is this a sign of anything? Does it point to a hardware or driver related problem? I am really stumped here...

    NOTE: One of the things I thought could be causing some kind of interference was that I recently upgraded from a 8800GTX, could there be left over drivers from it? If so, how would I go about removing them?
  11. It sounds like you would need to clean out the 8800GTX a bit. Get a can of compressed air and blow out that thing.

    I have an 8600GT that I just installed in a computer of mine. Upon installing the card with MSI Kombuster, it was reaching past 80C.

    Blew out dust, then reached like 65C steady.

    But it also sounds like it could also be a card related problem. I would recommend trying to run the card in a friend's computer or something.
  12. good call on the old drivers. not too many people would try a driver way back when the card comes out. i've already had newer drivers ruin cards.

    didn't mention game or i missed it............ sounds like the card can't keep enough textures in the frame buffer. time to do a real upgrade in the graphics department.

    then i read you're playing at max settings or something ? make adjustments. and try turning physx off in the nvidia control panel if the game supports it.
  13. I am playing League of Legends, I was running a 8800 GTX and it ran fine at 60 FPS with a mixed of medium and high. Once I ran the game with my new 8800 Ultra it auto suggested to run everything on very high, it is not a very demanding game, however, after I started having problems I turned it all down to what I was playing at with my 8800 GTX. My FPS does not really change from medium to very high, it stays put at around 60 FPS.

    This time I was actually watching all the monitoring on the card when it happened, the card was hovering at 75 Celsius with a load of 45% with no huge memory/fan usage. This time, when it crashed, it was unable to come back up, I had to reboot my system for it start displaying video again.

    Tomorrow I will swap the card out, I should get a new 8800 Ultra and I will also try my old 8800 GTX and see the results I get. This is so frustrating...thanks for all the inputs guys, keep them coming ;).
  14. Also, I bought this card used, and when it came it was in an immaculate condition, the thing is 100% clean.

    Another thing worth mentioning, is that the GPU is heating the MOBO itself, it is right now hovering at around 55 Celsius. My CPU stays constant at 35 Celsius, pretty awesome aftermarket cooler on it.
  15. specifically what power supply do you have ? and do you think it's possible that the card is defective ?.........

    and instead of an old card you should have looked into a new card that would have ran cooler and more efficient while giving better performance.
  16. I got both cards for $100, and the total upgrade cost me $200. Since my older computer ran the game just fine I didn't feel like spending major cash on a PC upgrade, just wanted a little more horse power. I am looking for a new PC build sometime in the next year or two.

    This is the exact PSU I have:

    The item could be defective, yes, especially since it is used.
  17. That PSU should be fine, its a really good one.
  18. UPDATE:

    Just received my bran-new 8800 Ultra, and right off the bat I can tell it runs much much cooler than the other one. Its idle temperature is 10 degrees Celsius lower, from 61 to 51. I am running tests still on it to know for sure if it won't give me any problems, but so far on benchmarking it has not surpassed the 90 degrees mark! Wheres the other one would reach all the way into the 105s.
  19. So far I have not had any FPS drops, it stays constant, however, I am having some issues. On one occasion my video went out and following my PC froze, on the second, my screen just flashed black and then it went back to normal, however, there was no FPS drops or anything of the sort, any ideas?
  20. I did a driver sweep and the crashes are much less frequent now on my newer card, the seller offered me a 50% discount on the "defective" card, do you guys think I should take it?

    I also noted a few other things in which I have questions, first of all, if the PSU heats up, does it affect its performance? How about the motherboard? Is there a way for me to check if when I notice these "bugs" there are indeed voltage drops?

    What I am thinking is that the first GPU, the one with the issues, is causing all this due to its high temperatures, it runs much hotter than the second 8800, and as the case stands right now it is open, since I am messing around so much with it I left it open and the air is being blown directly into the PSU itself and the motherboard. I am seeing temperatures of around 55 celcius on my mobo, is that alarming?

    Lastly, I am looking for an after market cooler for the 8800 Ultra, is there any chance you guys can help me find one? I have been unable to find one that lists the Ultra as a compatible card, and the ones I did find have been discontinued. Are there any modern VGA coolers that fit the Ultra? Is there a way for me to check that myself? (Like what measurements or what do I need to know?)

    I am open to all suggestions, so please feel free to point anything out. Very grateful for the help guys, thanks in advance!
  21. the guy you purchased the card crapped on you once don't let him "offer" you anything. ....secondly........... GET YOUR MIND OFF THE 8800. there are other cards out there that are faster and cooler for little money. do your homework. leave the past in the past and move on.
  22. I can get a full refund on the card, he was very honest with me and told me if I don't want it he is just going to return it to vendor, some company he bought it from.

    I have done my homework, however, I do not want to upgrade motherboards, since my CPU is an LGA 775 socket and the max my mobo can handle is PCI-e 16x. I will be getting a new rig soon, but as it stands I do not wish to spend more than $300, and if I am getting a new system I would rather go all out.


    Reducing my specs inside the game ceased all crashing, what could this mean? I have contacted a few support teams and so far none of them have been able to offer me a cooler for this card, would be awesome if I could buy something that I could later transfer to my new rig, any ideas?
  23. Best answer
    you haven't done any homework. if you have you should know you could put any card on that motherboard,........... even pci-e 3.0 cards.
  24. swifty_morgan said:
    you haven't done any homework. if you have you should know you could put any card on that motherboard,........... even pci-e 3.0 cards.

    I guess I haven't. Can you explain this further to me?

    When I go to ASUS's website, it shows the following:

    2 x PCIe 2.0 x16 - Single VGA mode: x16 - SLI mode: Hardware ready for x16, x16
    2 x PCIe x1

    Also, I was still thinking of my old motherboard, who only supported PCIe 1.0. I didn't even check this mobo, how stupid of me, I just assumed it was PCIe 1.0, thanks for calling me out on it.

    Also, what card would you suggest? Keeping the price tag around $100-$150.
  25. Well I feel foolish. 5 mins of research and I got my answer, PCI-e 3.0 is backwards compatible with 2.0, and from what I gathered there is also no performance loss either.

    I will be returning these GPUs lol.

    I will open a new thread regarding the new GPU then, once again thanks swifty.
  26. Best answer selected by raph662.
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