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What is the cause of frame drops in games?

Last response: in Video Games
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May 3, 2008 5:20:44 PM

Hello people. I've build myself a new computer:

E8400 @3ghz
MSI 9800GX2 1gb
MSI P7N Diamond (motherboard)
2x2gb pc6400 corsair

3dmark96 score: approx 13000

People tell me that my score is pretty low vs my system. but I've updated everything from the newest GFX drivers, chipset drivers and all. so I really dont have a clue to why exacly its that low.

Heres my question: When I play crysis in a resolution of 1280x1024 @high quality (everything on high) I run about 35-50FPS in steady pictures, but when the action begins, explotions, movement in particulary bigger areas the frames drop to around 20-30 FPS.

What exacfly causes that framedrop? I mean I can hardly get a better GFX card than the one I got, is it my CPU thats the bottleneck?

I'd really appriciate an answer :) 

More about : frame drops games

May 3, 2008 6:27:22 PM

Logic dictates that when rendering more stuff, you gfx card will run slower
having said that.... do you mean high or very high settings? if very high i can understand a 9800 choking (are you sure you have SLI enabled btw?), but at that resolution..... It seems like it is running a bit slow for a system like that
May 3, 2008 7:01:23 PM

spuddyt said:
Logic dictates that when rendering more stuff, you gfx card will run slower
having said that.... do you mean high or very high settings? if very high i can understand a 9800 choking (are you sure you have SLI enabled btw?), but at that resolution..... It seems like it is running a bit slow for a system like that


Hey. its just high quality not very high.

Why SLI? 9800GX2 is just one card?
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May 3, 2008 10:58:29 PM

The GX2 is still dual GPU with SLI hardwired between them. It still relies on SLI driver support and game profiles. SLI can be disabled with your card for multi-monitor support.

Your 3dmarks are a bit low but not too bad for stock clock speeds. Fudzilla got 13, 700 with a QX6800:
http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta...

Your Crysis performance does seem pretty bad though. What drivers are you running? Have you patched Crysis. Latest drivers and Crysis patch can impact SLI performance alot, especially in Vista. That was some of the major issues tackled in the patches/drivers.


I'd expect 1680x1050 to have better fps (that's what I play at with SLi 8800GT, and with 2xaa/16xaf). Could be a Vista thing giving you a little less performance than I see with Windows XP. But you are seeing alot worse at a lower res. I'd still expect higher fps on average at 12x10 resolution for you though. The low dips in heavy action areas can be CPU related, especially at that resolution. Yes, you have an excellent CPU too, I understand. I can still see slowdowns in the Assault level and final reckoning level. In levels like Core and Paradise Lost, your GX2 card should really shine and be capable of much higher resolution that that (far outpacing single GPU's in these levels).



May 4, 2008 10:18:01 AM

pauldh said:
The GX2 is still dual GPU with SLI hardwired between them. It still relies on SLI driver support and game profiles. SLI can be disabled with your card for multi-monitor support.

Your 3dmarks are a bit low but not too bad for stock clock speeds. Fudzilla got 13, 700 with a QX6800:
http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&ta...

Your Crysis performance does seem pretty bad though. What drivers are you running? Have you patched Crysis. Latest drivers and Crysis patch can impact SLI performance alot, especially in Vista. That was some of the major issues tackled in the patches/drivers.


I'd expect 1680x1050 to have better fps (that's what I play at with SLi 8800GT, and with 2xaa/16xaf). Could be a Vista thing giving you a little less performance than I see with Windows XP. But you are seeing alot worse at a lower res. I'd still expect higher fps on average at 12x10 resolution for you though. The low dips in heavy action areas can be CPU related, especially at that resolution. Yes, you have an excellent CPU too, I understand. I can still see slowdowns in the Assault level and final reckoning level. In levels like Core and Paradise Lost, your GX2 card should really shine and be capable of much higher resolution that that (far outpacing single GPU's in these levels).


Hey. thanks for the reply.

I've updated my gfx card with the newest drivers from www.nvidia.com, also I've patched crysis to 1.1 I think it was.

Do I need any particular program to enable th SLI support for the x2cards in 9800gx2?

2xaa/16xaf with decent frames? also with high quality? I mean that sounds awesome.

I'm beginning to think theres something terrible wrong with my new computer, did I not set it up right? is my cpu cooler not touching cpu enough? resulting in heat while gaming. my cpu only scored 2707 in 3dmark06.

Also yesterday when I was watching a movie on my computer the picture suddently got scratchy with lines cutting the image, and 10sec after it froze. Is that my gfx cards fault? is there something wrong with it maybe?


Should I try and run it at 1680x1050? I knw in theory that should give me less frames, but in wow on my old computer, when I put evertying on low my frames dropped to around 7fps in heavy battles, if I put everything on max settings in hit 15fps as lowest, totally weird, but that was the case.


May 4, 2008 9:46:31 PM

I would try the 174.74 drivers and Crysis patch 1.2 for starters.

If you are already running those, then you may want to check the Crysis game profile to make sure the SLI mode is not set to single GPU. Try manually forcing AFR vs manually forcing single GPU. Do the results change? You may need to up the resolution or enable fsaa to see it.
May 5, 2008 9:55:32 PM

Hey. Could you tell me where exacly that crysis cfg is located (and how to open it) can't seem to find one cfg where the GPU mode is.

Both is 174.74 and 1.2.

Right now I've come to "assault" where the frame rate is running 20-30fps.

Seen a few post here and there, obviously running vista 64 and DX10 has a pretty high impact on FPS compared to running crysis with DX9. maybe that explains my fps drops
May 5, 2008 11:15:59 PM

(The Crysis SLI mode) It's in the Nvidia Control panel under manage 3d settings. Instead of changing the global 3d settings, click the program box. Find crysis, and you can change settings there. This comes in handy for forcing AF in Crysis too. I use this in Oblivion to force 4xaa/16xaf.
May 5, 2008 11:18:51 PM

BTW, I found assault to be the first level I had to drop to 2xaa from 4xaa. I had decent fps and then had some real choppy areas. I almost think At 16x10 4x/16x I may have been running low on VRAM. It was much better with 2xaa and I kept 2xaa for the rest of the game. The final battle to end the game was my worst fps in the game.
May 8, 2008 4:49:19 PM

Thanks for the help paul :)  I've given up on playing crysis, the framerate is just to low in assault to be playable, and I dont want to turn down to medium graphics or lower the resolution.

Playing Bioshock atm. fun game and getting ready for Age of Conan (hopefully I can run that game better than crysis :) )

Take care.
May 8, 2008 5:04:55 PM

You know, I'd lower the settings for assault. Play in DX9. Or try all medium with shaders high. Once you get past assault you should be fine with the GX2 until some chop in the final battle. It's a shame to have you quit as there is no single better card for crysis than your GX2.
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