New laptop, but sudden FPS drop

Hi Everyone,

I recently got a new laptop, and the first thing I did was run some games on it. Crysis 1 (not Warhead) got 35-40 fps, and L4D2 was getting consistently 50+fps, even in intense scenes. In normal situations it would get 60ish.
Now, a week later, I noticed my fps isn't what it used to be. Crysis gets 25fps, and L4D2 gets 35-40fps, in normal scenes.

I'm worried about what I could have done to my computer. I know it's not an overheating problem, because I waited for it to cool overnight before booting up and running a game. Would running registry cleaners or defrag programs hurt my fps? I don't think it would. In case it matters, the registry cleaner and defrag program are both portable, standalone .exe - CCleaner (I know there's better registry cleaners out there but I was lazy.) and Auslogics Disk Defrag.

I have a 320gb hard drive, and by now it's about half full. I'm not stupid enough to go around installing everything I see on the Internet - I've just been installing the things I use on a day-to-day basis. Would installing programs/filling up my hard drive really affect my performance this much?

Based on this information, what do you guys think is the culprit? What could I have done that would decrease my fps so much?

12 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. Hello deliciousc4ke;

    Are you running on the battery when you're seeing the FPS drop?
    You might be in one of the 'energy saving' power modes.
  2. Thanks for the quick reply!

    I have been cautious about always plugging in when I game, and throughout this whole time I have been on the same power setting.
  3. The only other thing I can think of that would explain the FPS drop would be you've changed the graphics setting in the games to a higher quality or different 'eye-candy' setting.
  4. Hm... my friend suggested that as I install more programs, my hard drive fills up and my read/write speeds go down. I have a 5400rpm hdd. Also, he mentioned that my registry is getting larger, because of the same reason. But would this really contribute to such a large decrease in performance?

    Oh, also I've kept the graphical settings exactly the same.
  5. I don't believe that having less space on the HDD is making the game run 'slower'.
    If those extra programs are running in the background when you're gaming? That could also explain lower performance in a game.

    And if you happened to have picked up a bad case of malware/virus/trojan infection that would certainly have an impact on overall performance.
  6. Do you have any (preferably free) anti-spyware programs you would recommend? It's hard to make do on a student budget :??: My laptop came with McAfee, but I know a specialized anti-spyware program is also helpful.

    Thanks for all the help so far, WR2!
  7. Best answer
    Some of the nastier rootkits can actually subvert your anti-virus program and alter your Windows OS.
    Can you bootup in Safe Mode and run your McAfee scanner there?

    What I usually do when Im checking out a system out is bypass Windows and run an AV scanner.
    A free AVG Rescue CD lets you create a bootable 'live CD'
    with an AVG scanner and a few utility tools included. As the name applies it can come in handy if you can't get the HDD to boot.
    You can download and burn to a CD following the guide I linked.
  8. Wow, thats awesome! I'll give it a shot then. I'll post later to let you know if it helped.

  9. doesn't the laptop "slow down the cpu/gpu" if it thinks its getting too hot? You may want to explore that as well.
  10. Okay, I'm back after running a scan from the AVG boot disk - nothing turned up, so it's not malware.

    Also, templarklimek, I thought it might be that, but as I said in my original post, "I know it's not an overheating problem, because I waited for it to cool overnight before booting up and running a game." From a fresh, cold boot, I was already experiencing the reduced fps.

    Any other suggestions as to what could be the cause? Thanks!
  11. Mk - reporting back. I never found the cause of my performance decrease, but I switched from McAfee to Norton and my laptop performs better now.

    Yes, I had McAfee when I first got my computer, so I haven't really found the solution to my original problem, but I've alleviated it by switching to Norton. Thanks everyone!
  12. Best answer selected by deliciousc4ke.
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