Acer Aspire Timeline - Gaming Problems

Hi guys

Firstly, I'm new to the forum so..hey

Secondly (and most importantly), I'm having a few issues with my new laptop Acer Aspire Timeline Ultra M3-581TG.

When I first got the laptop (Friday), I did a clean OS install. The Bloatware is a royal pain and slows down any mid level PC/Laptop. I then installed all of the drivers directly from the Acer and nvidia website...all is looking well.

I then installed Skyrim. I set the quality to high at native res (1366x768) and was getting around 50-60FPS (CoD MW3 was getting around 70 fps on high settings). I was thrilled to see that my little £500 laptop was running Skyrim on high settings. Anyway...I digress. I booted the laptop up earlier and I'm now unable to play the game on high and get around 20FPS on low settings.

What the frick is going on? I've checked nvidia control panel to make sure I'm using the GPU instead of the graphics accelerator when playing games. Do you think it has something to do with running on battery and not being connected to the mains? I'm pulling my hair out and concerned that...*wipes away tears* the GPU has kicked the bucket.

Any advice is GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks,
Ethan

Edit: System Spec

Intel Core i5-2467UM Dual Core Processor
15.6" HD Screen
Windows 7 Home Premium Edition 64-bit
4GB RAM
500GB HDD
DVD Rewriter
Dedicated GT 640M Graphics
7 answers Last reply
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  1. Oh wow, you've got yourself into a pickle. Fortunately there is a perfectly logical explanation.

    Throttling.

    The SB i5 CPUs, all of them, are notorious for throttling back for no good reason. Throttling is in place to scale back the clock of the CPU when there's no load and/or when the temperature gets too high. This is, ideally, a good thing but with all good man-made things there occasionally comes an issue. SB i5's do it randomly, for no good reason, even when the temperature is below its maximum (I owned one, I've seen it happen). There is a fix, too, so do not fear.

    Download a program called "Throttlestop." I will provide the link at the bottom of this reply along with a tutorial. Since the i5-2467m is capable of supporting 1.6GHz at its maximum operating temperature of 100c, you can use Throttlestop to lock the multiplier at 16 so it doesn't go below 1.6GHz. Don't lock it at any higher, though, as you could cause thermal damage to your CPU if it can't throttle back to 1.6GHz to cool down after being in turbo mode for a while.

    Link: http://www.techinferno.com/downloads/?did=21
    Tutorial: http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=8&cad=rja&ved=0CEMQFjAH&url=http%3A%2F%2Fforum.notebookreview.com%2Fhardware-components-aftermarket-upgrades%2F531329-throttlestop-guide.html&ei=2FKFUISzEpGM9ASb54DQCQ&usg=AFQjCNGzEioF2xDck8Y9FOiifiBmDZj3Nw

    Edit: DO NOT run this on battery. When gaming, you should ALWAYS be on battery because the battery isn't actually designed with dedicated GPUs in mind. It can't supply the power the GPU needs, in reality, so it works overtime to compensate. In fact, most computers have failsafes in mind to kick the GPU back to the integrated GPU instead of the dedicated one while trying to game on battery power only... this might be happening to you, but again it might not be just the only thing.
  2. nbelote just edited saying "Edit: DO NOT run this on battery. When gaming, you should ALWAYS be on battery"

    I think he would have meant you have to be running on mains. I also have an acer aspire timeline M3 with i5 and NVidia 640M and can confirm that you must have the laptop plugged in to the mains to get the most out of the Nvidia GPU. It will run throttled if you are gaming on the battery - Throttlestop will stop the Intel i5 from throttling, however this will make no difference to the GPU whatsoever as the the Power management is hardcoded and not controllable via software.

    Besides, if you could run the 640m at full speed whilst not connected i doubt you would get an hour out of it gaming, probably even less than that.
  3. Rude Russy said:
    nbelote just edited saying "Edit: DO NOT run this on battery. When gaming, you should ALWAYS be on battery"

    I think he would have meant you have to be running on mains. I also have an acer aspire timeline M3 with i5 and NVidia 640M and can confirm that you must have the laptop plugged in to the mains to get the most out of the Nvidia GPU. It will run throttled if you are gaming on the battery - Throttlestop will stop the Intel i5 from throttling, however this will make no difference to the GPU whatsoever as the the Power management is hardcoded and not controllable via software.

    Besides, if you could run the 640m at full speed whilst not connected i doubt you would get an hour out of it gaming, probably even less than that.


    CPU throttling can easily bottleneck the game just as well, so that could be part of the problem, especially since laptops auto-throttle when in battery mode. Regardless, there's no shame in running Throttlestop while gaming, not when i5's are notorious for throttling randomly.
  4. Nope, you dont get it. it wont make any difference whatsoever. I own the same laptop..

    the Nvidia 640M will not run at maximum unless connected to the mains, therefore when it comes to gaming your not going to get the same framerates off the battery.

    If you want the CPU maxed off battery, you can set the power settings to always run at maximum.
  5. That's more of a PITA than my 540m was. Jeebus...
  6. Ethan also reset the nvidia settings in the nvidia control panel back to default.

    If your GPU was shot then it literally wouldn't work at all or maybe you would be seeing stuff like wierd artifacts on the screen. Safe to say there's no hardware fault there.
  7. nbelote said:
    The SB i5 CPUs, all of them, are notorious for throttling back for no good reason.


    Don't try to hang the blame on Intel. Their Sandy Bridge and Ivy Bridge mobile CPUs work incredibly well. The problem is that Acer did not build in adequate cooling into their laptops so their engineers decided to use some aggressive throttling schemes to cover up the mess.

    The default multiplier for a 2467M is 16 but by using ThrottleStop, you should be able to use a multiplier a little higher than that without running into any throttling problems. Some Acer designed throttling schemes are just way too aggressive. Intel CPUs do a great job of looking after themselves. Even if you are using ThrottleStop, if an Intel CPU gets too hot, the hardware will throttle its speed and voltage back to reduce heat. There was no need for Acer to build their own throttling scheme on top of this level of protection.
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