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Occasional FPS Drops in Graphics Intensive Gaming

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 12, 2012 11:53:33 AM

Hi,
Here are my specs:
HD7850 2GB (OC at AMD's max level) 8GB Ram AMD 965 Quadcore CPU
I believe the problem is most likely with my graphics card, but I'm unable to work out what exactly might be the issue.
While playing non-intensive games like WoW/Diablo, I can run at full settings with absolutely no issues. However, playing graphics intensive games like BF3, the new NFS's etc, I have a really weird problem. I'll use BF3 as an example of what occurs.
I load the game at ultra settings, go in and start playing. I get around 60fps with no issues for around 20 seconds, then I get 10 seconds of choppy fps loss. Not only is fps lost, I can hear the audio stuttering too. After the 10 seconds or so, it goes back to perfect fps and gameplay, then back down again in 20 seconds.
I'm really unsure what the problem is at this stage, but here are steps I've taken so far:
Replaced RAM Replaced Motherboard Replaced HDD Fresh Windows Install No background applications.
Still the same issue. I have the latest drivers for my card 12.8, however I had the same issue on older versions of the drivers as well.
Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.
September 12, 2012 1:00:44 PM

try clocking your gpu to stock speeds
a b U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 1:15:17 PM

What are your system specs? What is the model and brand of your PSU? Turn down Ultra settings cause the 7850 is not a high end vid card.
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September 12, 2012 1:23:52 PM

Thanks for the replies guys.

1: I have tried at stock speeds as well. I OC'd just in case that was the issue.

2: The game runs the same at all settings, I just ran Ultra to show that when not freezing up, I get a healthy FPS even on ultra settings. However even at the lowest settings I get the FPS and sound freezeups.

3: I have a 1200W PSU, tested voltages in BIOS and all seem fine.
a b U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 1:30:19 PM

If you have a 1200w power supply, for that system im gonna guess it is a very low quality one. Most likely it isnt producing 1200w or even clean power for your PC. Try a different PSU in it. Doesn thave to be a monster, 500w would be plenty for that system from a quality manufacturer. Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, XFX, Corsair to name a few.
September 12, 2012 1:59:38 PM

vrumor said:
If you have a 1200w power supply, for that system im gonna guess it is a very low quality one. Most likely it isnt producing 1200w or even clean power for your PC. Try a different PSU in it. Doesn thave to be a monster, 500w would be plenty for that system from a quality manufacturer. Seasonic, PC Power & Cooling, XFX, Corsair to name a few.



Do you know how I can check and confirm that it is my PSU that is causing the issue?


@jallenlabs It can't be heat as I have more than adequate cooling, and I've stress tested the GPU with Furmark with no FPS drops.
September 12, 2012 2:20:26 PM

it'd help if you posted what your PSU is, they can determine if it's already a good one
a b U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 2:59:17 PM

If vsync is on, try turning it off and see what happens.
September 12, 2012 4:30:00 PM

The PSU is an A-Power 1200W PSU.. have had no issues with it.

I stress tested the GPU using Furmark, running for over an hour, temps have remained stable and voltage hasn't spiked at all...

Vsync on or off doesn't seem to affect the gameplay.
a b U Graphics card
September 12, 2012 4:36:37 PM

Im gonna guess that A-Power is a garbage brand of PSU. Saw one on sale online for $109. Yeah. Try a different HIGH quality PSU.
a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 1:15:36 AM

No good reviews on that PSU. From the sound of it, it has been rebranded a few times, it started out as a 500 watt unit then increased.
September 13, 2012 8:42:24 AM

Is there any way to confirm it is the PSU causing it though, is what I'm wondering.

I stress tested my GPU + CPU outside of games, and they ran absolutely smoothly at 99% capacity. It's only within certain games does this issue arise.

So yeah, I'd really want to confirm the issue is with the PSU before I go ahead and invest in a new one.

a b U Graphics card
September 13, 2012 8:49:22 AM

Id invest in a new one irregardless. That PSU has been rebranded with more than double the wattage its rated for. It really is crap. The PSU is the MOST important component in your PC. Period it is never a good idea to be cheap on the PSU.
September 21, 2012 1:14:26 PM

Massive update here, I may have figured out what the problem is.

I bought a new PSU (Corsair 750W) but the problem still continued.

I decided to run CPU-Z while playing the game and see what issues arise when the FPS loss occurs.



So I've figured out that right as the FPS loss starts, my CPU Core Speed drops from 3400Mhz to 800Mhz, and then clocks back up right when the FPS issue stops.

My CPU is the AMD Phenom 2 X4 965.

So does this confirm the CPU is at fault, or could it be the mobo as well?
When under low stress/idle situations, my Core Speed remains stable at 3400Mhz, its only during gaming that the fluctuation occurs.


Any help now would be great :) 
September 24, 2012 10:55:02 AM

that's strange, it's not even remotely normal, is your warranty for the CPU still up?
September 24, 2012 3:02:24 PM

Sorry, I should have updated but didn't want to triple bump..

I fixed the issue with the CPU. Turns out it was idling at 60C, and during intensive gaming it would hit 70. The second it hit 70, it would automatically underclock to 800Mhz until the temp went below 70, and back and forth.

Bought a new CPU cooler, changed the thermal paste, now I'm idling at 32 and intensive gaming takes it to 55 MAX.

So yeah, problem solved, if someone can change this thread to such that would be great, and would help others who encounter this issue.
September 25, 2012 4:31:12 AM

CPU's do that these days? lol
a b U Graphics card
September 25, 2012 7:47:17 AM

Yup, they throttle down to avoid being damaged until the temps come down, and then it goes back up to normal operating frequencies.
!