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Early 2011 Macbook Pro, Strange problems with gaming

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July 20, 2012 4:12:55 PM

Hello!

I've been using a 2011 Macbook Pro and within the last month or two, I've had some pretty bad FPS trouble specifically with Starcraft 2 on my Boot Camp version of Windows 7 Ultimate.

This is a currently new, brand new reformatted computer.

I'm running a 2.2 Ghz i7 Quad Core
4 Gigs of RAM
200 gigs partition for Windows 7 (I think I have 150 gigs free)
and a Radeon 6750M, 1 gig card (Catalyst 12.6)

With this set up, I've also connected it to an external monitor (24") displaying something like 1920x1200. However, even when I lower the resolution, to the lowest that it can go - the FPS doesn't go up at all.

I have ALL my settings set on LOW, actually the LOWEST it can go. (my hardware is supposed to be able to run this at high/ultra, but I want steady FPS)

During the game, my FPS will start off (vsync unchecked), at around 170~. Within 2-3 minutes, my FPS will start dropping to 120~, and by the 10 minute mark, it gets down to around 30-40. If I go over 120-150 supply, I'm looking at 15-20. And if I hit 200/200, I'm down at 10. When battles happen at that point, it's usually 2-3 fps. This happens in OS X as well.

Before this happened, I'm not 100% sure what my FPS was, but it never lagged me.

Now I've done some testing today, I cleaned off all my fans, and the heat sink. I logged into Windows and it's still running hot. In fact, GPU and CPU are at 60 degrees C when it's idle with only monitoring programs open. But, when I'm in the game, it only goes up to around 64-66 degrees C (both GPU and CPU). Also defragged my system last night.

HOWEVER, when I went into my task manager and stopped explorer.exe, the game ran much better. I'm not too sure why that happened. However, this only lasted a few days, before it just completely stopped working.


I don't really use my Windows partition for anything other than Starcraft, so I doubt it's something I installed. This problem used to only exclusively be for the North American version of SC2, but now has slowly crept into my Korean version. I've also been having trouble with my D3 (similar just awful lag even on lowest settings) and I honestly don't know why.

I've been suffering from this for the last few months and it's actually killing me. I have no where else to turn so I hope someone on here can help me!

P.S.

after running a 3D Marks just to see if my video card or anything was acting weirdly, (it wasn't - my scores for the 3DMark 2011 was as good, if not better than what the average for my computer should be, and only the PHYSICS score was really low), the FPS jumped back up again. For no reason. Literally didn't change a thing.

Worked great (200+~ fps for 3-4 days) and now it's back down to 1-2 in big engagements. I can't even do stutter step micro. Help?
July 20, 2012 4:46:46 PM

Are you running the latest AMD Catalyst notebook display drivers? Or are you running the AMD drivers provided by Apple's Bootcamp?

Edit: nevermind, I failed to see the 12.6 Catalyst you mentioned in your OP.
July 20, 2012 5:30:35 PM

chaggi said:
Hello!

I've been using a 2011 Macbook Pro and within the last month or two, I've had some pretty bad FPS trouble specifically with Starcraft 2 on my Boot Camp version of Windows 7 Ultimate.

This is a currently new, brand new reformatted computer.

I'm running a 2.2 Ghz i7 Quad Core
4 Gigs of RAM
200 gigs partition for Windows 7 (I think I have 150 gigs free)
and a Radeon 6750M, 1 gig card (Catalyst 12.6)

With this set up, I've also connected it to an external monitor (24") displaying something like 1920x1200. However, even when I lower the resolution, to the lowest that it can go - the FPS doesn't go up at all.

I have ALL my settings set on LOW, actually the LOWEST it can go. (my hardware is supposed to be able to run this at high/ultra, but I want steady FPS)

During the game, my FPS will start off (vsync unchecked), at around 170~. Within 2-3 minutes, my FPS will start dropping to 120~, and by the 10 minute mark, it gets down to around 30-40. If I go over 120-150 supply, I'm looking at 15-20. And if I hit 200/200, I'm down at 10. When battles happen at that point, it's usually 2-3 fps. This happens in OS X as well.

Before this happened, I'm not 100% sure what my FPS was, but it never lagged me.

Now I've done some testing today, I cleaned off all my fans, and the heat sink. I logged into Windows and it's still running hot. In fact, GPU and CPU are at 60 degrees C when it's idle with only monitoring programs open. But, when I'm in the game, it only goes up to around 64-66 degrees C (both GPU and CPU). Also defragged my system last night.

HOWEVER, when I went into my task manager and stopped explorer.exe, the game ran much better. I'm not too sure why that happened. However, this only lasted a few days, before it just completely stopped working.


I don't really use my Windows partition for anything other than Starcraft, so I doubt it's something I installed. This problem used to only exclusively be for the North American version of SC2, but now has slowly crept into my Korean version. I've also been having trouble with my D3 (similar just awful lag even on lowest settings) and I honestly don't know why.

I've been suffering from this for the last few months and it's actually killing me. I have no where else to turn so I hope someone on here can help me!

P.S.

after running a 3D Marks just to see if my video card or anything was acting weirdly, (it wasn't - my scores for the 3DMark 2011 was as good, if not better than what the average for my computer should be, and only the PHYSICS score was really low), the FPS jumped back up again. For no reason. Literally didn't change a thing.

Worked great (200+~ fps for 3-4 days) and now it's back down to 1-2 in big engagements. I can't even do stutter step micro. Help?



Where do you live? Its summer and it’s hot and there have been heat waves all over, so my first thought is that the ambient temperature in your house has increased enough that your computer is operating differently. This will make it harder for your system to keep cool with the effect of limiting your Intel chip from sustaining its peak clock speeds and impact your game performance.

Do you have air conditioning and if so, what is the thermostat set at? How does this compare to the temperature in your home the rest of the year?

Related resources
July 20, 2012 10:24:52 PM

bunkgoats said:
Where do you live? Its summer and it’s hot and there have been heat waves all over, so my first thought is that the ambient temperature in your house has increased enough that your computer is operating differently. This will make it harder for your system to keep cool with the effect of limiting your Intel chip from sustaining its peak clock speeds and impact your game performance.

Do you have air conditioning and if so, what is the thermostat set at? How does this compare to the temperature in your home the rest of the year?


I love in Seoul, South Korea. It's humid and generally pretty hot. However, this month has been monsoon/typhoon season, so it's like periods of really hot days with relatively cold days as well.

My home doesn't have AC on normally, and has the window open. I live on the 14th floor so there's always a cool breeze. I would say the temp has gone up to slightly higher than room temperature. It's just humid.
July 20, 2012 11:13:39 PM

chaggi said:
I love in Seoul, South Korea. It's humid and generally pretty hot. However, this month has been monsoon/typhoon season, so it's like periods of really hot days with relatively cold days as well.

My home doesn't have AC on normally, and has the window open. I live on the 14th floor so there's always a cool breeze. I would say the temp has gone up to slightly higher than room temperature. It's just humid.



So there are days it runs great, and a most days it does not. On the days you mentioned it ran really well, was it on one of the cooler monsoon days? Laptop performance is limited by dissipating heat due to design constraints and engineering compromises.

I have a small place so if it were me I would run the game and watch the benchmarks. Then I would kick the A/C on and get the room down to 70 degrees and go back to the game and see if it preforms better.

I have a two macbooks as well. I have noticed when I play half-life or wow on them the preformance drops as they get hot and the chips are being throttled, and it really shows on a summer day.

How is gaming preformance in OS X? Does it follow a similar pattern? If we knew that then we could eliminate software/driver problems and narrow things to hardware.

July 21, 2012 2:30:16 AM

bunkgoats said:
So there are days it runs great, and a most days it does not. On the days you mentioned it ran really well, was it on one of the cooler monsoon days? Laptop performance is limited by dissipating heat due to design constraints and engineering compromises.

I have a small place so if it were me I would run the game and watch the benchmarks. Then I would kick the A/C on and get the room down to 70 degrees and go back to the game and see if it preforms better.

I have a two macbooks as well. I have noticed when I play half-life or wow on them the preformance drops as they get hot and the chips are being throttled, and it really shows on a summer day.

How is gaming preformance in OS X? Does it follow a similar pattern? If we knew that then we could eliminate software/driver problems and narrow things to hardware.


Well no, it's more random than that.

Basically, whenever I start a game, it'll either do 1 of 2 things. Either it starts off at 200+ FPS, OR it starts off at around 60-70 FPS. From there on, as more stuff comes on my screen (or opponent's making more stuff), my FPS starts dropping steadily all the way down to 5-10~ and even 1-2 on big battles. While I've had times where I start out at 200+ FPS, and have it not drop down more than 40~ during a game, it comes incredibly randomly. In fact, I had one in the morning earlier this week, and that was the first time it came in over a 2 months (and that was 4 days after my reformat - I reformatted last weekend)

However, it's not based on warm weather, or cold weather. I've tried the A/C method as well, and even pointed a fan and a cooling pad on the bottom of my MBP, and it doesn't do anything. (tho this problem did start in March~ or so)

On top of that, I've been looking at benchmarks and looking at heat in particular, and nothing shows anything out of the ordinary. At the highest temps, it goes to 63-64~ C, and it idles at around mid 50s or so.

It's gotten to the point where I think I'm actually just crazy, and my tech friends just think I'm lying/trolling them cause no one has an idea.

I've tried the performance on OS X as well, it's just as bad if not worse than Windows.
July 21, 2012 3:44:18 AM

I would guess that the system is overheating and is slowing itself down so as not to cause any hardware issues, it's either the CPU or GPU.

Macbook Pros are very well known for this. I worked as a "Product Specialist or tier 2" for Apple for 3 years and anytime there is any intense gaming on a Pro series model (dedicated graphics - more heat) the system will start to overheat and slow WAY down. This was because Apple designed OSX to never spin the fans past a certain RPM depending on the model. Most MBP's had 6,000 RPM fans that were limited by design to only spin up to 3,500 - 4,000 RPM.

Several of the people I worked with would try playing WOW on their MBPs and Imacs and after about 10 - 15 minutes the game was literally unplayable, regardless of settings. It didn't matter whether it was OSX, virtual (Parallels, VMware) or Windows, all would do the same exact thing. If you call Applecare about a gaming performance issue, they will tell you that Mac's aren't designed for serious gaming.

Try using Speedfan for Windows or SMCFanControl or just FanControl for OSX and turn the fans to 100% and then try the game (in OSX ) or restart the system in Windows and see what happens. *This usually will keep the fans locked at 100% in Windows. Doesn't work for all models. The fans can become very loud and very annoying.*

You can also try resetting the PRAM and SMC. Directions are straight from Apple.

SMC reset
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
3. On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
4. Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
5. Press the power button to turn on the computer.
Note: The LED on the MagSafe power adapter may change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.

PRAM reset
1. Turn off computer.
2. Turn on computer and immediatly hold Command, Option, P, R keys. *Keys must be held down before the first chime when the Apple logo appears.*
3. Hold these keys until you hear the computer chime 3 times in total.
4. Release keys and allow system to boot up into whichever OS you prefer.


As for the temps in benchmarks, the Intel macs can be off by as much as 10C under full load. The entire Macbook line simply cannot cope with the amount of heat they generate under gaming conditions. Also, typically the GPU's in MBP's are flashed with a different BIOS and thus their clock speeds are slower than that of equal PC hardware. *Example, the 2010 quad core IMac's that came with the ATI 5750 were actually running at 400 Mhz core and 900 Mhz memory. Whereas the PC card was clocked at 700 Mhz core and 1150 Mhz memory. This was because Apple wanted the bragging rights of a decent video card without the heat and performance that came with it.

With the slim design comes less area to add larger heat-sinks and fans and that causes heat to build-up. Heat is not a good thing in a computer.

That is why they (Apple) enacted EM77, (Emerging Issue #77) on the last gen plastic macbooks and first gen aluminium macbooks. They would run so hot that they would cook the hard drives to the point of failure, literally. So instead of having a class action law suit against them and the negative press that goes with it they decided to do free replacements of failed hard drives as a "courtesy" of Applecare.

That last paragraph is not completely related to this issue but it will give you a good idea as to the heat issues Apple has been having since the last Core Duos and I series processors came out.
July 21, 2012 4:03:34 AM

ish416 said:
I would guess that the system is overheating and is slowing itself down so as not to cause any hardware issues, it's either the CPU or GPU.

Macbook Pros are very well known for this. I worked as a "Product Specialist or tier 2" for Apple for 3 years and anytime there is any intense gaming on a Pro series model (dedicated graphics - more heat) the system will start to overheat and slow WAY down. This was because Apple designed OSX to never spin the fans past a certain RPM depending on the model. Most MBP's had 6,000 RPM fans that were limited by design to only spin up to 3,500 - 4,000 RPM.

Several of the people I worked with would try playing WOW on their MBPs and Imacs and after about 10 - 15 minutes the game was literally unplayable, regardless of settings. It didn't matter whether it was OSX, virtual (Parallels, VMware) or Windows, all would do the same exact thing. If you call Applecare about a gaming performance issue, they will tell you that Mac's aren't designed for serious gaming.

Try using Speedfan for Windows or SMCFanControl or just FanControl for OSX and turn the fans to 100% and then try the game (in OSX ) or restart the system in Windows and see what happens. *This usually will keep the fans locked at 100% in Windows. Doesn't work for all models. The fans can become very loud and very annoying.*

You can also try resetting the PRAM and SMC. Directions are straight from Apple.

SMC reset
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
3. On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
4. Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
5. Press the power button to turn on the computer.
Note: The LED on the MagSafe power adapter may change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.

PRAM reset
1. Turn off computer.
2. Turn on computer and immediatly hold Command, Option, P, R keys. *Keys must be held down before the first chime when the Apple logo appears.*
3. Hold these keys until you hear the computer chime 3 times in total.
4. Release keys and allow system to boot up into whichever OS you prefer.


As for the temps in benchmarks, the Intel macs can be off by as much as 10C under full load. The entire Macbook line simply cannot cope with the amount of heat they generate under gaming conditions. Also, typically the GPU's in MBP's are flashed with a different BIOS and thus their clock speeds are slower than that of equal PC hardware. *Example, the 2010 quad core IMac's that came with the ATI 5750 were actually running at 400 Mhz core and 900 Mhz memory. Whereas the PC card was clocked at 700 Mhz core and 1150 Mhz memory. This was because Apple wanted the bragging rights of a decent video card without the heat and performance that came with it.

With the slim design comes less area to add larger heat-sinks and fans and that causes heat to build-up. Heat is not a good thing in a computer.

That is why they (Apple) enacted EM77, (Emerging Issue #77) on the last gen plastic macbooks and first gen aluminium macbooks. They would run so hot that they would cook the hard drives to the point of failure, literally. So instead of having a class action law suit against them and the negative press that goes with it they decided to do free replacements of failed hard drives as a "courtesy" of Applecare.

That last paragraph is not completely related to this issue but it will give you a good idea as to the heat issues Apple has been having since the last Core Duos and I series processors came out.


Thank you! I'll be trying those fan controls now, I'm actually using Lubbos's fan control right now but I'll be trying other one as well. Would you suggest any way (or whatever to buy) to reduce to heat other than increase fan speeds?

Just got SpeedFan

All my cores are at 158 degrees F, and my GPU lol... 90,422 F (guessing this is broken or I've just created a mini fusion reactor in my MBP)

And this is at idle
July 21, 2012 4:27:18 AM

ish416 said:
I would guess that the system is overheating and is slowing itself down so as not to cause any hardware issues, it's either the CPU or GPU.

Macbook Pros are very well known for this. I worked as a "Product Specialist or tier 2" for Apple for 3 years and anytime there is any intense gaming on a Pro series model (dedicated graphics - more heat) the system will start to overheat and slow WAY down. This was because Apple designed OSX to never spin the fans past a certain RPM depending on the model. Most MBP's had 6,000 RPM fans that were limited by design to only spin up to 3,500 - 4,000 RPM.

Several of the people I worked with would try playing WOW on their MBPs and Imacs and after about 10 - 15 minutes the game was literally unplayable, regardless of settings. It didn't matter whether it was OSX, virtual (Parallels, VMware) or Windows, all would do the same exact thing. If you call Applecare about a gaming performance issue, they will tell you that Mac's aren't designed for serious gaming.

Try using Speedfan for Windows or SMCFanControl or just FanControl for OSX and turn the fans to 100% and then try the game (in OSX ) or restart the system in Windows and see what happens. *This usually will keep the fans locked at 100% in Windows. Doesn't work for all models. The fans can become very loud and very annoying.*

You can also try resetting the PRAM and SMC. Directions are straight from Apple.

SMC reset
1. Shut down the computer.
2. Plug in the MagSafe power adapter to a power source, connecting it to the Mac if its not already connected.
3. On the built-in keyboard, press the (left side) Shift-Control-Option keys and the power button at the same time.
4. Release all the keys and the power button at the same time.
5. Press the power button to turn on the computer.
Note: The LED on the MagSafe power adapter may change states or temporarily turn off when you reset the SMC.

PRAM reset
1. Turn off computer.
2. Turn on computer and immediatly hold Command, Option, P, R keys. *Keys must be held down before the first chime when the Apple logo appears.*
3. Hold these keys until you hear the computer chime 3 times in total.
4. Release keys and allow system to boot up into whichever OS you prefer.


As for the temps in benchmarks, the Intel macs can be off by as much as 10C under full load. The entire Macbook line simply cannot cope with the amount of heat they generate under gaming conditions. Also, typically the GPU's in MBP's are flashed with a different BIOS and thus their clock speeds are slower than that of equal PC hardware. *Example, the 2010 quad core IMac's that came with the ATI 5750 were actually running at 400 Mhz core and 900 Mhz memory. Whereas the PC card was clocked at 700 Mhz core and 1150 Mhz memory. This was because Apple wanted the bragging rights of a decent video card without the heat and performance that came with it.

With the slim design comes less area to add larger heat-sinks and fans and that causes heat to build-up. Heat is not a good thing in a computer.

That is why they (Apple) enacted EM77, (Emerging Issue #77) on the last gen plastic macbooks and first gen aluminium macbooks. They would run so hot that they would cook the hard drives to the point of failure, literally. So instead of having a class action law suit against them and the negative press that goes with it they decided to do free replacements of failed hard drives as a "courtesy" of Applecare.

That last paragraph is not completely related to this issue but it will give you a good idea as to the heat issues Apple has been having since the last Core Duos and I series processors came out.





I don't think he will get a more knowledgeable answer than the one you provided. I think TJunction on that processor is 100 degrees celcius, and he says it doesn't get above 70ish. The one I just quoted is from intel's website, but that doesn't mean Apple didn't lower the TJunction for the Macbook Pro. That is to say the processor can take 100 Celsius but a user's lap cannot. http://ark.intel.com/products/50067/Intel-Core-i7-2720Q...(6M-Cache-up-to-3_30-GHz) If Chaggi went to ifixit and saw a teardown of the heat-sink and fan on a macbook, he would see that they are a) quite small and b) the heat pipe from the cpu and gpu are made from one piece of metal. From that you can conclude if both are being worked hard that there is no way the system can vent that kind of heat and thus the processor and gpu must be throttled.

He can modify a lot of these things with Speedfan, but better really know what he is doing.

Chaggi, since Apples are so proprietary, I think that if you want to dig any deeper on this issue, you will need to call AppleCare.
July 21, 2012 4:56:40 AM

That's what I was afraid of. =/

I gotta make the decision to jump to a retina MBP (with new fan/cooling option) or a desktop that I'd have to sell in 1~ year or so
July 21, 2012 7:05:50 PM

I guess my friend that I asked brought up a good point too. He says he doesn't think it's throttling cause

1) 3DMarks score would have been lower, since temperature is gonna be similar, but my 3DMarks score was similar, if not better than other Macbook Pro's

2) Starcraft 2, is pretty underwhelming as a game in terms of how much power it uses. Looking at my resource monitor while at max out amount of units on both sides, I'm looking at about 1 fps or so, but my CPU says it's using at most, 20-30%, and RAM is 2 gigs free. Even my GPU is at about 30%. When I turn up my graphics from low to medium or anything higher, the amount used will go up as well. So what I'm thinking is that SC2 at it's lowest settings doesn't NEED any more power.

I don't really know anymore.
July 22, 2012 1:38:01 AM

Just a quick update, changed everything in the variables.txt file to lowest as possible, put a cap on frame rates to make sure there's no leak (I heard that SC2 has/had that issue) and then turned the A/C on, went down to 65 degrees~ room temp and there's literally no change.

Cleaned system with CCleaner as well

I'm completely out of ideas.

BTW I really appreciate the help guys, it's been so annoying dealing with this alone.
July 22, 2012 2:17:02 AM

As far as 3d marks score, if it is in line with other MBP's then that doesn't necessarily mean anything. Which version of 3dmark was used?

3dmark 06 this MBP should average between 10,200 to 10,500 depending on drivers and amount of memory available at stock settings.
3dmark Vantage should be around 8,000 to 8,3000 again depending on drivers and memory also at stock settings.

Both on Win 7HP x64 with Catalyst 12.6.

The thing with 3dmark is that the tests are so short that they can give the system a chance to cool off while it is loading the next test. Also, are you running the fans at a given percentage/RPM while doing this or letting the system control the fans.

As for the performance, I tested a notebook at my store this morning and it had specs that were close to your MBP. It had an I5 2430M, 6750M and 8GB ram. It scored within 100 - 300 points of the MBP's my friends were averaging on the 3dmark tests.

Try running Intel Burntest ( http://majorgeeks.com/IntelBurnTest_d5987.html ) and furmark ( http://majorgeeks.com/FurMark_d4183.html ) simultaneously while monitoring your temps and load across the CPU and GPU.

Set IBT to run at the highest setting you can. Also furmark should run at it's default settings and take note of your FPS.

On the system I tested at work, the average FPS on furmark was 24 all while running IBT in the background.

I let both run until the system finished IBT on a 10x loop and furmark at 1280 x 720 with AA off and I ran that windowed.

The CPU got up to 78C and the GPU hit 84C. Both did this without throttling. Test took about 30 minutes to complete. System was plugged in.

Post up your temps and scores from 3dmark along with what version it is. Then try running IBT and Furmark and let me know how it goes.
July 22, 2012 2:32:38 AM

Thank you! Will do! I'll be running the test and posting it in a few hours!

Also it was 3DMarks 11 I believe. I also run the fans at a certain RPM, I believe it's 6,000. Pretty sure the life on my laptop is gonna die from that or at least go down significantly I've heard.
July 22, 2012 4:32:21 AM

Score for 3DMarks 11 - http://3dmark.com/3dm11/3941685
CPU Temp -> 57 C
GPU Temp -> 52 C (these are from Lubbo's Fan Control and HW Monitor)

As for the FPS on the Furmark while IBT was running, it was averaging about 12-13 FPS and the CPU hit 76C while the GPU hit 111C (!!!!)

I stopped it at 10 minutes cause I wasn't very comfortable with it running at that high temp, was over 110C for a good 8 minutes.

Tho, to be fair - GPU load was at 100% and this was a stresstest, SC2 runs at about 30-40% of GPU load. Not sure why that is. Maybe that's cause it's on lowest of the low
July 22, 2012 7:21:23 AM

111C!!! Wow, that is crazy hot. The IBT test is a true system killer for sure but I have never personally heard of 111C (232F) on anything in a computer. I would probably not try that again. Good thing you stopped it. I never would have guessed it would have gotten that high. Sorry about that.

I noticed on your 3Dmark score that it shows your GPU speeds as 100Mhz core and 150Mhz memory. That is totally not right. Have your tried verifying these numbers with GPU-z, CCC (Catalyst Control Center) or MSI Afterburner? Also, your GPU is showing as a 6650 and not a 6750. Regardless your GPU should be clocked at 600Mhz core and 900Mhz memory.

Have you also checked to see what power profile you are running in CCC? Open CCC and go to Power>Powerplay and make sure that AC is set to maximize performance.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe this is not a thermal issue but a power management issue. It seems like when you first launch the game, there is a need for more power to get things loaded and going, then the system can relax a bit and tone down the clock speeds on your gpu which could explain why it runs really well initially then gets worse. As the clocks speeds drop so does your frame rates. This is just a guess as I have had a similar issue on my laptop when playing Left 4 Dead. It started off running great and then after a few minutes started running very choppy. I checked the readouts on Afterburner and my clock speeds had dropped significantly. Given, I was also running off the battery but changing the power profile fixed the performance issue. So maybe that is what it is.

Keep me informed as to what you find out.
July 22, 2012 2:51:37 PM

ish416 said:
111C!!! Wow, that is crazy hot. The IBT test is a true system killer for sure but I have never personally heard of 111C (232F) on anything in a computer. I would probably not try that again. Good thing you stopped it. I never would have guessed it would have gotten that high. Sorry about that.

I noticed on your 3Dmark score that it shows your GPU speeds as 100Mhz core and 150Mhz memory. That is totally not right. Have your tried verifying these numbers with GPU-z, CCC (Catalyst Control Center) or MSI Afterburner? Also, your GPU is showing as a 6650 and not a 6750. Regardless your GPU should be clocked at 600Mhz core and 900Mhz memory.

Have you also checked to see what power profile you are running in CCC? Open CCC and go to Power>Powerplay and make sure that AC is set to maximize performance.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe this is not a thermal issue but a power management issue. It seems like when you first launch the game, there is a need for more power to get things loaded and going, then the system can relax a bit and tone down the clock speeds on your gpu which could explain why it runs really well initially then gets worse. As the clocks speeds drop so does your frame rates. This is just a guess as I have had a similar issue on my laptop when playing Left 4 Dead. It started off running great and then after a few minutes started running very choppy. I checked the readouts on Afterburner and my clock speeds had dropped significantly. Given, I was also running off the battery but changing the power profile fixed the performance issue. So maybe that is what it is.

Keep me informed as to what you find out.


haha yeah, when I saw the triple digits, I'm just thinking well that's not good. Then my screen shut off (but not my computer) and I was like yeah this is gonna need to stop!

My GPU speeds as shown in GPU-Z is 600 Mhz Core and 794 Mhz Memory. Says the same in my CCC and it's def the 6750M. I think what I saw was that apparently 6650 and 6750 uses the same chipset? and it's just wrong when it says it? I don't know.

I wanna think it's a power management issue. I originally thought it was defaulting to the integrated card, but even the drops on integrated would be way way too much.

How should I check this? I'm thinking of just using GPU-Z and alt-tabbing when I'm in a game.
July 22, 2012 3:09:12 PM

I found something interesting and I think either my sensor's broken and/or something's really fucked up.

When I'm playing Starcraft, and it's running well - my GPU load is at 30-33%. This is 60+ FPS, aka perfect FPS.

However, when I keep playing the game, my GPU Load keeps dropping for no reason, even when I have more things on the screen. By the time I'm at the 15 minute mark, or 200/200 supply (aka max supply) - I'm literally at 0% GPU load.

WTF?
July 22, 2012 4:14:58 PM

Does this just happen in a single user account in Windows or several? Try creating a new user account just to test this and see if the throttling is still present.

This is an odd issue for sure. Other than that, you could try uninstalling the AMD drivers, then let Windows load the default WHQL driver. I know that this driver will not give you great performance but I am just curious if it will continue to throttle itself.

If it does continue, then try either the newest beta drivers (12.7) or fall back to an early 12.x driver (12.1 or so) and see if it still exists.

Deeper down the rabbit hole we go....
July 23, 2012 1:33:01 PM

ish416 said:
Does this just happen in a single user account in Windows or several? Try creating a new user account just to test this and see if the throttling is still present.

This is an odd issue for sure. Other than that, you could try uninstalling the AMD drivers, then let Windows load the default WHQL driver. I know that this driver will not give you great performance but I am just curious if it will continue to throttle itself.

If it does continue, then try either the newest beta drivers (12.7) or fall back to an early 12.x driver (12.1 or so) and see if it still exists.

Deeper down the rabbit hole we go....


What's the WHQL? I won't be able to uninstall my drivers atm (probably in about 20 hours) but I haven't had luck on another user account. Same thing.
July 23, 2012 1:41:26 PM

WHQL = Windows Hardware Quality Labs its basically a driver that is signed and works appropietly with Windows. In this case, I refer to it as the default generic driver for your video card that Windows will assign.
July 30, 2012 1:55:10 AM

Alright, back. Sorry was traveling the last week.

As far as drivers go, I've tried drivers all the way from 11.x to the beta 12.7. NOTHING works. I've been looking at my CCC and all the settings are lowest, and anything that could interfere with my FPS, has been turned off.

It's awful cause I KNOW that my hardware is good enough to run this game on high/ultra but can't even play on low. ugh
August 8, 2012 3:31:55 PM

chaggi, I just found this thread on Google after having similar issues with my similar hardware. Have you found any solution?

I'm running a late 2011 macbook pro 2.4ghz i7, 8gb ram, radeon 6770m with 240gb ssd and I have the exact same issues I believe are heat related. I'm running windows 7 pro x64 in bootcamp.

In counter-strike source I get ~300fps+ @ 1920x1200 for maybe 5 mins before it slowly drops to maybe less 30fps... CPU + GPU temps go insanely high. This has only occurred in the last week - it was totally fine since I've owned the notebook (November 2011).
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