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Constant FPS drops across multiple games

Last response: in Systems
January 21, 2013 10:18:16 AM

Hi All,

My rig:
OCZ ModXstreme 700W PSU
AMD Phenom II 3.4GHZ Black Edition Quad Core
ASUS M4A79XTD EVO Motherboard
8GB DDR3-1333 Corsair XMS3 RAM
Gigabyte Radeon HD7870 GPU
OCZ Vertex 128GB SSD
Samsung 1TB HDD

Since last year, I started getting these regular FPS drops in Battlefield 3. I thought it was my old Radeon 5830 which just wasn't powerful enough so I bought the 7870 and noticed a slight bump in performance, but still the same FPS drops. Then I thought it could be the HDD so I invested in a SSD and installed Windows 7. Still, the same problem occurs. The FPS drops happen every 3 or 4 seconds and it dips from around 110 to 60 in BF3 and from 250 to 120 in CS:GO. When these FPS drops occur, I get mouse lag and as you can imagine with playing first person shooters, it is really frustrating. I've tried formatting and re-installing windows on multiple occasions to find the same problem coming up. I've even tried installing the oldest AMD ATI drivers I have to the latest ones (12.3 through 12.10) and again, no difference. I've read up that AMD Cool 'n Quiet could be the cause and I've even turned that off in BIOS, no change. Around 5 months ago I decided to open up my case, clean out every single component I have, re-seated RAM and swapped DIMMS in different slots, GPU, PSU, re-applied thermal paste on my CPU, formatted and re-installed windows, upped my GPU fans to run at 100% at all times and subsequently this resolved the problem. But again, now, the problem has come back this passed weekend. I did recently, about a month back, set my GPU fans to run at standard speeds but this does not seem to be the cause/resolution as I have tried setting it manually since this started up again.

Does anyone maybe know exactly what it is causing the problem? From everything I have done, the tests I've gone through, it does not seem to be software related in the least. I am now thinking that it's the motherboard, CPU or PSU. I did try take out the GPU and clean the heatsinks and fan but this made no difference. And since I had the same problem with my previous ATI card, I doubt both could be giving the same problem. I've heard that it could be the PSU not supplying enough power to my main components, but if that were the case would the PC not come on at all? I don't get any BSOD or random shutdowns... the PC as a whole operates perfectly. It's just the higher end games that get frame drops and this is also irrespective of the GFX settings I use. Whether I play on 1920x1080 or 1024x768, or with AA on or off... still the same old problem.

Should I invest in the M5A97 Pro motherboard? I just don't want to buy a new board to find the problem still there and that it's perhaps the PSU being the cause. As a last resort I set my Windows 7 Pro 64bit to do every windows update there is including SP1 to confirm that it cannot be software related. Furthermore, I did a full scan of both my drives with Microsoft Security Essentials and MalwareBytes but found no viruses or spyware.

P.S. I do not and have not overclocked my rig.

Any guidance would be highly appreciated...
a b B Homebuilt system
January 21, 2013 10:25:29 AM

Try overclocking your cpu maybe... You need something like this first though CPU Cooler:COOLER MASTER Hyper 212 EVO RR-212E-20PK-R2 Continuous Direct Contact 120mm Sleeve CPU Cooler Compatible with latest Intel 2011/1366/1155 and AMD FM1/AM3+
January 21, 2013 10:45:10 AM

Thanks guys, I'll maybe give that a try when I get home... But if I may mention that this was not a problem in the past and was resolved for a handful of months. So I'm failing to see how it can be a bottleneck if it has not been a consistent problem since I bought the rig.