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Sudden lag while gaming (GTX 670 SLI)

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 2, 2013 9:14:22 AM

Hi,

I have a problem with my PC and it is becoming very annoying. I purchased my PC about 8 months ago and it has been running fine, however when Hitman: Absolution got released, I tried to run it on my PC on maximum settings and I was not satisfied with the FPS. The FPS was jumping up and down depending on the level detail in each level, so I figured that maybe the drivers are not optimized for this game very well, so I tried to download the latest drivers available and there was no WHQL drivers, only beta drivers. I downloaded the beta drivers thinking that it will improve the gameplay performance, but after playing the game it will run smoothly for about 5-10mins, but then the FPS will drop and it starts lagging. I have to pause the game or alt+tab for a bit so it can become smooth again.

This lagging is not only in Hitman: Absolution, it's in any game, Crysis 2, Crysis 3, Diablo 3, Far Cry 3, etc. I tried uninstalling the drivers for my graphics card and installing a clean copy of the latest drivers. I checked for the fans of the cards if they are jammed or something and they were running fine. I have been having this problem for about 2-3 months but I have been playing a lot less because of college. Now I want to play Crysis 3 but the same problem still exists. I want to format my PC so maybe that will fix the problem but I'm too lazy now and I have college so I can't really do that right now. So please help me identify the source of this problem. I really hope it is a software problem rather than a hardware one. :/ 

Here is a picture from GPU-Z while playing Crysis 3 smoothly:

http://i.imgur.com/M4e8zXc.png

Here is a picture when it starts lagging:

http://i.imgur.com/6HqpPRa.png

Settings:

http://i.imgur.com/o1d3gbO.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/LHTWwXS.jpg


Here are my PC specs:

Operating System: Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1
CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K @ 3.40GHz
GPU: 2 x PNY GeForce GTX 670 SLI (latest drivers)
RAM: Kingston HyperX 8GB (2 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600
Motherboard: ASUS P8Z77-V
Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand TPG-850M 850W ATX
Storage: Kingston HyperX 3K SH103S3/120G 2.5" 120GB SATA III
Western Digital 1TB
Western Digital 320GB
Cooler: Thermaltake CLP0596 130mm Frio Advanced CPU Cooler
Case: Corsair Carbide Series 500R White

Thanks for reading and sorry for my bad English. :D 
March 2, 2013 6:17:31 PM

I am having the same problem with similar specs. except I have a 550 TI. and only one graphics card. Everything was running fine until just a couple weeks ago...
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March 2, 2013 7:31:44 PM

Hopefully someone here will have a solution for this problem.
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March 2, 2013 10:48:52 PM

Looks like a driver issue, I'd try installing older drivers. It's weird as the gpu load drops from 47% to 25% while also overclocking itself and then you get the slow downs.
Could also try forced alternate frame rendering for a selected game in the nvidia control panel. (nvidia control panel - manage 3d settings - sli rendering mode - force alternate frame rendering)
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March 5, 2013 5:56:29 AM

Sh4d0w45p said:
Looks like a driver issue, I'd try installing older drivers. It's weird as the gpu load drops from 47% to 25% while also overclocking itself and then you get the slow downs.
Could also try forced alternate frame rendering for a selected game in the nvidia control panel. (nvidia control panel - manage 3d settings - sli rendering mode - force alternate frame rendering)


I installed an older driver. Tried the alternate frame rendering, but the problem is still there. :( 
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March 7, 2013 5:08:13 PM

Well. I think I fixed the problem, sort of. I thought maybe the GPU temperature has some thing to do with the lag. The GPU temperature is around 38-40 °C when idle, and it's around 70-75 °C when under load. I think the under load temperature is in an acceptable range, however, I thought maybe it has to go down a bit to run smoothly. I downloaded and installed EVGA Precision X, and I increased the GPU fan speed to 80%. The fan speed originally goes to 50% when under load if it set to auto. It never goes above 50%. Anyway, I started playing Crysis 3 for quite a bit. I checked the temperature few times when I was playing, it was about 50-51 °C. The game was running smoothly @ around 80-100 FPS, no FPS drops, no lag spikes. I don't really know if it's a good or a bad sign, that my cards are not being able to handle games at 70-75 °C. It's probably bad. :/ 
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4 minutes ago

unfortunately it's a driver issue. Nvidia has ignored SLI and surround users for a long time now. Their quality control is miserable.

What your missing is your CPU load during that time and I'm willing to bet your CPU load hits 100% and your gpu load throttles. This isn't due to a natural stressing of your chip obviously, it's also not gonna be present if you pulled one of those cards. It's inferior SLI and on the software side.

Unfortunately theirs no fix I know of. My quad titan rig does the same thing. It goes from 120fps @ 4680x2560 to 20fps until I refresh the screen. It's largely random and not game specific. Even happens in wow. Completely ruins the point of having built such a rig. You do so for high and smooth framerates and you get the opposite.

Fwiw - I built a backup rig and went amd for the first time ever. I use 3 290x in it and the framerate stays constant apart from expected/normal fluctuations.

Also fwiw I tried removing a titan to see if it was due to quad SLI but if it were the case, I obviously wouldn't be posting this :p 

Good luck - complain to nvidia. Eventually they'll have to listen. That or the ignorant fanboys will gain a few more years of maturity and wisdom and then stop paying a premium for a name and inferior software.

No hard feelings. After all, I was said fanboy for many years. Not anymore.
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