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GTX 570 constant fps dips

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 24, 2012 7:16:49 AM

I have been trying to fix this problem for days and I'm at wits' end. I'm not an advanced user so bear with me.

Specs are:
MS Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
AMD Phenom II X6 1090T
8.00 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 595MHz
Gigabyte GA-MA78LMT-S2 (Socket M2)
GeForce GTX 570 (Gigabyte)
932GB SAMSUNG SAMSUNG HD103SJ ATA Device (SATA)
Thermaltake litepower 700w

The problem is terrible frame rate dipping at an almost constant rate. My frame rate during most games will consist of 1 - 2 seconds of decent framerate followed by half a second or so of complete stuttering. It will generally keep following that pattern but will vary so and so. A thing I have especially noticed is that the hard drive will make a loading noise during this, i.e when the hard drive is making a spinning noise, the frame rate will be fine. When the hard drive stops making it's noise is when the fps dips severely. Keep in mind the noise sounds normal, not scratching like it's dying (although it may very well be). The game is usually not too bad for a few minutes when started, but then it all goes to crap.

This is not a new card. It's about a year old. It's hard to tell if this problem was sudden or gradual because I took a bit of time off and then played only online games like Diablo 3, which stuttering framerates are very common with most Australian users due to latency. My point is it was working fine at one stage.

Here are 2 short imgur albums showing my performance and temps during these frame rate spikes
TF2 - http://imgur.com/a/bk2ma
Arkham City - http://imgur.com/a/nqweW
Also, here is a GPU-z screenshot http://imgur.com/Ssvvp

Important thing to note, is that the GTX 570 is getting abysmal benchmark scores. Really, really low. It's weird, because the games themselves run quite well when they aren't stuttering. I actually tried swapping the GTX 570 for my old card, a Radeon 5770 HD. First thing I did was load up Furmark, and the old card absolutely crushed the 570's score. I was actually cheering, thinking that I'd finally found what the problem was, that this expensive card was dying. Sure enough, I try TF2 out, lower the settings a bit so the frame rate is playable, and a few minutes later, I get the roller coaster fps dipping again. Just another spanner thrown in the works. Are my 570 low benchmark scores related or is that a seperate problem? arghhh. It's things like this that drove me away from pc gaming years ago. I really don't want that again.

HD Tune pro lists a bad sector http://imgur.com/7Ondj. Hard disk sentinel says it's nothing to worry about though.

Things I have tried:
Multiple format and reinstalls.
Drivers all updated
Updated bios and flashed
Defrag
Changed from IDE to AHCI
Swapped old ram in
dskcheck
Dust cleanout
Used driver sweeper when swapping cards

I'm sorry if that's overkill or a wall of text, I'm just trying to be as thorough as possible. The last week has been frustrating as hell, and any help would be greatly appreciated.
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2012 7:31:09 AM

It seem as if your GPU isn't being utilised at all...those screenshots that were taken right after gaming (I'm assuming) it's very unusual for your GPU to stay in the mid 40C to low 50C's...that's more in the range of Idle temps.

It may be one of two things, 1) your GPU is dying or 2) there may be some other underlying issue here that may be fixed.
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2012 7:36:15 AM

wierd, temps on the GFX card are low (50celsius) witch tells me that the card isnt used @ the max potential. The other thing is you CPU tems (70 celsius) witch is a bit high i guess. My i7 has a thermal throtling setting in BIOS witch reduces the frequency of my CPU if I reach high temps ... MAYBE you CPU does the same ...and when that happens the frame rate may dip...BUT i doubt it ...
I have a GTX 460, and when i played WoW (a few months ago) i had the same issue as you did BUT only when the game was in dx9 mode...changing to dx 11 fixed it for me. Dunno, try the new beta drivers from nVidia, update DX to the latest, check thermal throtling if you have it enabled.
And the furmark test its a bit wierd ^-, maybe your card its a "bit" dead :p 
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a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2012 7:37:36 AM

Have you tried OC your CPU? Even though it may be a 6 core CPU, most games do not take advantage of all cores and if your clock is lower than 3ghz, it could be a sign of bottlenecking which I doubt because your 5770 does the same thing. It still won't hurt to OC your CPU.

Did you run a burn in test in Furmark for at least an hr? It would give you a better idea of you are having instability issues from the GPU.

Did you run a memtest to test the integrity of your RAM and/or the RAM slots of the mobo?

Have you tried another HDD/SSD to see if it may be your HDD that is giving you issues?
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2012 7:39:09 AM

El Tigre said:
Have you tried OC your CPU? Even though it may be a 6 core CPU, most games do not take advantage of all cores and if your clock is lower than 3ghz, it could be a sign of bottlenecking which I doubt because your 5770 does the same thing. It still won't hurt to OC your CPU.

Did you run a burn in test in Furmark for at least an hr? It would give you a better idea of you are having instability issues from the GPU.

Did you run a memtest to test the integrity of your RAM and/or the RAM slots of the mobo?

Have you tried another HDD/SSD to see if it may be your HDD that is giving you issues?


Considering the temps OP is getting on his CPU, I would be highly against an overclock. Those temperatures are extremely high considering it's only a Phenom II.
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2012 7:52:54 AM

True, installing an aftermarket CPU cooler would be a good idea to lower the temps. A Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo would work fine and it's pretty cheap too.
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2012 7:57:24 AM

El Tigre said:
True, installing an aftermarket CPU cooler would be a good idea to lower the temps. A Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo would work fine and it's pretty cheap too.

Oh definitely, Hyper 212 will keep everything nice and cool...however, I'm curious if the OP has Cool 'n Quiet enabled. Or even has his CPU overclocked at all already for that matter. If his CPU is at stock, it's running way too hot...
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2012 8:01:32 AM

If he is using the stock cooler and is running his CPU at stock clocks, it could be that he needs to remount his cooler correctly as it is not making proper contact with the CPU.
July 24, 2012 8:07:13 AM

I am using the stock cooler and have nothing overclocked.

First I've heard of Cool n Quiet. Unless it's enabled by default, I haven't activated it.

The CPU fan has been pretty quiet lately. It's winter here, but in the summer months the CPU fan normally starts to sound like a leafblower, haven't heard that lately even during all these benchmark tests. Here's one I just ran http://3dmark.com/3dm11/3957289

El tigre, haven't tried another HDD yet. I always wanted to give an SSD a go, so that might be a way to go. Still think it might not fix it.

Best solution

a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2012 8:10:47 AM
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Try remounting the CPU cooler because it should not run that hot with the factory clocks and the cooler. Clean the cooler and the top of the CPU with rubbing alcohol and use Artic Silver thermal paste and remount the CPU cooler, it's most likely not mounted correctly.
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2012 8:11:56 AM

El Tigre said:
Try remounting the CPU cooler because it should not run that hot with the factory clocks and the cooler. Clean the cooler and the top of the CPU with rubbing alcohol and use Artic Silver thermal paste and remount the CPU cooler, it's most likely not mounted correctly.


I would agree...

Also on those 3dmark scores, it shows that your CPU is only running at 2.8Ghz...that's 400Mhz slower than it's stock frequency. (Probably due to the heat).
July 24, 2012 8:13:51 AM

Thank you moochan and El Tigre. I'll buy some tomorrow and let you know the results.
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2012 8:16:02 AM

You're welcome, let us know the results. Also, if you have the funds, I would purchase the Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo so that you can OC your CPU with much lower temps than the factory junk cooler. ;) 
a b U Graphics card
July 24, 2012 9:22:40 AM

You're welcome and good luck!
July 25, 2012 7:05:03 AM

Reapplying thermal paste solved it! http://3dmark.com/3dm11/3964989 results are much better than before, plus the frame rate dips are gone. It's only been an hour so far but it's looking good. Thank you all!
July 25, 2012 7:05:06 AM

Best answer selected by kimboburto.
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2012 7:20:26 AM

You're welcome, so it must have been your CPU that was overheating and causing the issues. Hopefully that will solve your issues for good. Have fun gaming now!
a b U Graphics card
July 25, 2012 10:15:17 PM

Woots! That's great to hear! :D  :)  Have fun with your pc!
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