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Sudden drop in performance by around 60% --- most noticeable in games.

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 23, 2012 12:03:08 PM

I noticed this problem just yesterday when I downloaded the Torchlight 2 demo from Steam and started playing it on max settings.

Lo and behold, I only got 13fps while playing the game :eek:  Which is weird because I'm able to hit ~25fps playing Crysis 2 on max (a game with much higher sysytem requirements)

After more observation since then, I've noticed that my laptop in general has slowed down a bit --- the mouse movement isn't as smooth, apps don't load as fast, and the system in general doesn't respond as quick as before.

So finally, I decided to benchmark my system again running Crysis 2 on max. Luckily, I benchmarked it two weeks ago using Fraps and got this result on max settings:

Ultra Detail; DX11; High-Res Textures
Min, Max, Avg
16, 31, 22.398

But just now when I benchmarked the game again - at the exact same part of the game I played before - I got this:

Ultra Detail; DX11; High-Res Textures
Min, Max, Avg
0, 22, 9.992

That's a 60% drop in FPS, which makes me positive that there's something wrong with my laptop....

...but I have no idea where to start diagnosing this problem :(  I'm including my system specs below. Help please!

Laptop: Acer Aspire V3-471G
OS: Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3610QM CPU @ 2.30GHz
RAM: 8GB DDR
GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M
September 23, 2012 12:18:11 PM

Download and use GPU-Z to check Core Clock as your drivers may be down-clocking or restricting your core clock and this would drastically reduce performance and if this is actually happening update your drivers but if you have the latest try reinstalling the drivers.
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2012 12:23:20 PM

Use temperature measuring programs to find out if either cpu or gpu are hitting thermal limits.

Also try systems restore at a time before installation of Torchlight 2 in case the game has installed older version system files conflicting with your current software/drivers.

I'm thinking it’s a coincidence and the laptop maybe overheating with foreign debris/dust build up. May need to open and clean.
Related resources
September 23, 2012 12:38:44 PM

What software do you guys recommend for checking and removing any malware, spyware and adware that might be on my system?

boju said:
I'm thinking it’s a coincidence and the laptop maybe overheating with foreign debris/dust build up. May need to open and clean.

The laptop is barely 3 months old though. Can dust and debris build up that fast?
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2012 10:42:15 PM

na probably not :) 

Try Malwarebytes Anti-Malware free version, many people use this tool.

http://www.malwarebytes.org/

Also look in windows task manager and look for any abnormal processes using high amount of memory and googling those for more information if you’re not sure if they pose a threat or not.

a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2012 11:02:12 PM

Sound like it running on the intel 4000 and not the nvidia 640M
a b U Graphics card
September 23, 2012 11:26:30 PM

rgd1101 might be on to something there. If your system temps come up fine and there are no infections check to make sure the bios is set to using nvidia as default as some games might be having trouble choosing via software.

Could it be you've enabled hd4000 in the bios and not thinking it would be an issue lastdodobird?

September 24, 2012 12:38:21 AM

Good news: I did a System Restore to three days ago and things went back to normal.

Bad news: I still don't know what caused it in the first place.

The affected programs listed before I did the System Restore were the following:

Adobe Flash Player 11
Torchlight 2 Demo
Saints Row: The Third
Magicka 2 Demo
a bunch of DirectX upgrades/installs
Dota 2

After the System Restore, I re-installed and played the Torchlight 2 Demo and was hitting 30fps on it minimum. That's a far cry from the 13fps which I was previously getting, so I've ruled out TL2 as the problem.

Right now, I suspect that either it has something to do with Adobe Flash or Direct X... but I'm thinking it's probably something that went wrong with Flash because before the System Restore, I was also getting sporadic ActiveX/Flash plugin errors while browsing that I didn't get before.
!