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Random FPS Spikes, GPU drops from 99% to 45%

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October 4, 2012 3:55:45 PM

Hey guys :) 

I recently bought an MSI GT70 gaming laptop from the US as i couldnt find it anywhere in Australia (as cheap) and i have noticed fps lag spikes at random intervals in games such as skyrim, borderlands 2 and guild wars 2 (havent had a chance to try any others yet).
In graphic intense games i get around 50-70fps but when it spikes it drops to 18-25...
Im running these games at 1080p

These are my specs:
i7-3610QM @ 2.30ghz
12gb ram
nvidia gtx 675m 2gb
700gb hdd

I have checked my ram usage and cpu usage in game.
The CPU usage is at about 30-40% and gets to a max temp of 66 degrees celcius
My RAM usage is at about 20-40%
my GPU is running at around 60 degrees celcius and using 100%
i have noticed though when i get these lag spikes the gpu usuage drops to about 40-50%

Someone please help me!
im worried because i dont think i can return it.
thank you in advance!
October 4, 2012 3:57:38 PM

Are all your drivers up to date?
October 4, 2012 4:00:55 PM

BigMack70 said:
Are all your drivers up to date?

All drivers are up to date.
Forgot to mention that sorry.
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October 4, 2012 4:04:17 PM

Anything else going on with the computer (power saving modes kicking in / anything running in the background)?

Guild Wars 2 is pretty demanding but I wouldn't expect large FPS drops in Borderlands 2 or Skyrim which your laptop should be more than capable of handling.

It is weird that your GPU usage would drop so low... that sounds like a driver problem or some sort of power saving thing to me, I dunno. If you turn down any settings like AA, does this still occur?
October 4, 2012 4:11:29 PM

BigMack70 said:
Anything else going on with the computer (power saving modes kicking in / anything running in the background)?

Guild Wars 2 is pretty demanding but I wouldn't expect large FPS drops in Borderlands 2 or Skyrim which your laptop should be more than capable of handling.

It is weird that your GPU usage would drop so low... that sounds like a driver problem or some sort of power saving thing to me, I dunno. If you turn down any settings like AA, does this still occur?

I know Guild Wars 2 is quite demanding but im getting around 50 fps but it drops to 20 every few minutes along with the gpu %age

Also the laptop is plugged into a power source and set to gamer mode on the battery utility.
Have even tried disabling my anitivirus, still same issues :S

And yeah it still occours when i turn down AA.
I have researched other similar setups to mine and no one seems to have problems

could it be something to do with the BIOS, i have heard people with similar issues to mine updated their BIOS and it fixed?

Thanks for your help so far!
October 4, 2012 4:25:57 PM

I guess it could be related to the BIOS - I just don't know anything about that specific model. Never hurts to keep your BIOS up to date if you know what you're doing updating it, though :) 
October 4, 2012 4:28:35 PM

BigMack70 said:
I guess it could be related to the BIOS - I just don't know anything about that specific model. Never hurts to keep your BIOS up to date if you know what you're doing updating it, though :) 

Yeah ill give it a go.
I just hope they get back to me soon and they will replace it.
Thanks again
a b U Graphics card
October 4, 2012 6:16:16 PM

Just curious, are you sure you're hickups aren't related to HDD activity?

Also, when you reported the CPU usage you say it's at 40% or so, but what are the load levels of your 8 threads? If your games are limited in the number of threads they occupy (which is likely), it's entirely possible that the CPU is bottlenecking at some points, despite utilization in the 40% range; if you see thread 0 and thread 1 (for example) at 100% and the rest at 5%, where your game is running on threads 0 and 1, your game is being CPU bottlenecked.

edit: What antivirus do you use, if you disable it do you see any improvement? Is there any other bloat-ware on your system that is running in the background that could be jumping in and stealing resources?
October 5, 2012 3:01:25 AM

djscribbles said:
Just curious, are you sure you're hickups aren't related to HDD activity?

Also, when you reported the CPU usage you say it's at 40% or so, but what are the load levels of your 8 threads? If your games are limited in the number of threads they occupy (which is likely), it's entirely possible that the CPU is bottlenecking at some points, despite utilization in the 40% range; if you see thread 0 and thread 1 (for example) at 100% and the rest at 5%, where your game is running on threads 0 and 1, your game is being CPU bottlenecked.

edit: What antivirus do you use, if you disable it do you see any improvement? Is there any other bloat-ware on your system that is running in the background that could be jumping in and stealing resources?

Not sure about HDD activity, i dont imagine it would be.
Ive also checked the load usage on all threads and they all seem to be around the same mark, thats why i said 40%

I also use bitdefender 2013, and no unfortunately there is no improvement...
October 17, 2012 7:16:35 PM

This is a issue with the game, FPS drops even though GPU isnt being fully utilized, i have 2x GTX 570's and a I7 3820 @ 4.5ghz and im seeing FPS as low as 20 in heavy fire fights..... but if you exit game and look at your GPU utilization trends on MSI afterburner: it never hits even close to 100% on either of my cards, more like 60%ish.
Another strange thing happens also: when FPS drops, GPU utilization actually goes down (10-30%), usually a frame rate drop would mean your GPU is at 100% and cannot render any further............ meh hopefully they patch it.
Im using driver version 306.97 (and have tryed many others) the one supposedly suppost to help this situation.
a b U Graphics card
October 17, 2012 9:06:24 PM

What makes you think it isn't a storage issue?

In order to render, the game must load textures from the HDD or system memory into the GPUs VRAM. The game chooses what textures to load into vram, when they get loaded, and when they get unloaded (sometimes).

If you don't have a texture needed for rendering in vram it gets loaded from wherever it is stored. While it's being loaded, your GPU is waiting (usually, alternatives such as low resolution textures can be used, see RAGE: Texture pop in). This is pretty fitting for the dips you see when swinging from side to side.

Explosion and firefight type frame-rate drops can come from the GPU rendering the effects, or from game logic on the CPU (physics stuff, typically). This can be a result of overtaxed hardware, or problems with the efficiency of the game code in such situations.

Even audio can cause dips in FPS (I've seen it with EAX, not sure if other surround sound technologies can have this effect).

All I'm saying is lots of things can cause bottle-necking, if you really want to find the root cause, you have to investigate all possibilities.

edit: disabling vsync is also helpful for determining when GPU utilization is low due to some sort of bottleneck or if you are simply getting a lot of idle time due to a lot of desynchronized frames.
May 26, 2013 1:24:45 AM

I have an MSI GT70 with a GTX675M, I have updated drivers from the MSI website, optimus is switching to the nvidia card nicely and I was also getting fps drops. The drops seemed to happen when lots of particle effects were happening like smoke or steam rising and such, also the graphic option "texture fade" I believe it's called was turned ON... I turned it OFF and it helped as well, because I noticed once in a while it would just randomly reset textures, specifically on my gun to blurry and then resharpen them and that caused some fps drop it seemed. I run my game at about medium settings just because I prefer to have more fps over eye candy. I always turn vsync off as well. I hope this helps a bit =)
!