Solved The Low FPS Curse

May 5, 2017 at 13:01:44
Specs: Windows 7
So I've been having this extremely frustrating problem for like 5 years now, I've been on countless forums and no one seems to know a thing. Long story short, I built my first gaming pc in 2012 and it worked great for a year, no lag, everything was silky smooth, then it started lagging out of nowhere. By lag I don't mean random lag spikes, every single game just ran at a lower fps than before (around 10-15 lower) constantly. After a windows reinstall and multiple hardware replacements, I just decided to buy a new pc. I know how unlikely this sounds but it had the exact same problem, so I returned it and got another one. Same issue again. After returning it I got a PS4, because that made sense to me for some reason. You can probably tell where this is going. I know that consoles are locked at 30 fps but mine was running at freaking 20. Oh, I forgot to mention that the pc's I returned were more than decent and I was only trying to run games from 2010 or 2011.

Right now I'm using my 2012 computer, here are the specs:

-AMD Athlon II X3 450 3.2 ghz
- Seasonic S12II-520
-Gigabyte GA-MA78LMT-S2
-Onboard graphics
-A 500 gb WD
-6 gb of kingston ram

So naturally I started looking into the things that came in contact with all these 4 systems, the ethernet cable and the power cable respectively. I think it's safe to rule out the ethernet cable so we're left with the power cord or better said the electrical current. Now, the apartment building I live in is really old and so is the wiring. A few weeks ago I ran prime95 and some other cpu stress tester and had HWmonitor and cpu-z opened to look at the cpu voltages. They were fluctuating like crazy, between 1.125 v and 1.475 in full load and so was the core speed, between 800 mhz and 3.2 ghz. It's doing the same thing during browsing but less frequently. I don't know that much about hardware besides the common sense stuff but that can't be normal right? I've never overlocked anything or even messed with the bios settings by the way. Another thing I should mention is that back in 2012, 7 months or so after the lag started manifesting, the onboard audio and lan got fried (or at least that's what I think). I had a quality PSU that I had just bought, so that couldn't have been the cause. Also, the temps are fine.

The reason I'm making this post after all this time is because I'm in the middle of building another pc and it would be great if I somehow managed to solve this issue before finishing it.

Thanks in advance.


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✔ Best Answer
May 6, 2017 at 13:41:52
The Radeon HD 5670 was considered an entry level gaming card in 2010, but it came in different configs. The ones with GDDR5 memory were much better than the ones with GDDR3. You didn't provide specs for your "brand new PCs" but if they don't have a discrete graphics card meant for gaming, you shouldn't expect top-notch FPS. Since you've had the same problem with multiple PCs, either the specs aren't up to the task, or as Fingers pointed out, you might be installing something that's sucking the life out of the system.


#1
May 5, 2017 at 14:02:12
It's not a gaming PC, not with "onboard graphics". The Radeon graphics built into the AMD 760G chipset were weak when they debuted in 2009, they certainly didn't improve in 2012. Install a decent gaming graphics card & your FPS problem would be solved.

"fluctuating like crazy, between 1.125 v and 1.475 in full load and so was the core speed, between 800 mhz and 3.2 ghz"

Totally normal, on an AMD system it's called Cool'n'Quiet technology.
Cool 'n' Quiet

"I've never overlocked anything or even messed with the bios settings by the way"

I understand how some people are scared of overclocking, especially with all the false info out there about frying CPUs. But properly configuring the BIOS settings is important. Defaults are NEVER the best performance settings, they are merely a starting point or a fallback point.

"I had a quality PSU"

The Seasonic S12II-520? Likely a quality unit but it has dual +12v rails at 20A each rather than a single +12v rail at 40A which is more preferable.

https://seasonic.com/product/s12ii-...

message edited by riider


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#2
May 5, 2017 at 14:49:25
My bad, I didn't specify this. I am fully aware that my current system is not a gaming PC, it used to be in 2012 when it had a Sapphire Radeon HD5670 1GB but I haven't used this computer for gaming since then so I don't have the card anymore. The point of my post was that the brand new PCs that I had bought had the same problem and those were high-end systems for their time. Not to mention that I was trying to run games that were 3-4 years old.

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#3
May 5, 2017 at 20:35:14
You mentioned that you monitored the voltages but didn't say anything about the temperatures.

Your issue may be overheating. As riider mentioned, cool & quiet will change the speed of the CPU. Pert of that change is to vary the voltage. So that is normal. However, if the CPU starts to get hot the fan should speed up, assuming it isn't already running at max. The other thing is the CPU will throttle down, which creates less heat.

I suggest you install HWMonitor and run it in real time to see if the system is overheating. If you went a year originally without performing any housekeeping inside the case you will have dust and dirt in there.

Blow out the insides using canned or compressed air. DO NOT use a vacuum cleaner as you can damage sensitive components from ElectroStaticDischarge. No need to disassemble anything. Be sure to blow out the PSU from both ends. This procedure will be messy so you may want to do it outside.

One other thing to note is that over time more things get put on the computer that run at startup. This can slow the overall performance. Cleaning out temporary files should be a regular task. riider and I both use CCleaner Slim for that task. I use it at least a couple of times a week. Get both mentioned utilities from the links below.

http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmo...
https://www.piriform.com/ccleaner/b...


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#4
May 5, 2017 at 20:49:35
Also some programs you may routinely install like a particular antivirus program can have this effect. Norton, McAfee and many 'full internet protection suites' are murder on system resources and can have this effect. When the older version was updated at some point the newer version could have been more invasive and that might have been the point that you began having the problem.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#5
May 6, 2017 at 13:41:52
✔ Best Answer
The Radeon HD 5670 was considered an entry level gaming card in 2010, but it came in different configs. The ones with GDDR5 memory were much better than the ones with GDDR3. You didn't provide specs for your "brand new PCs" but if they don't have a discrete graphics card meant for gaming, you shouldn't expect top-notch FPS. Since you've had the same problem with multiple PCs, either the specs aren't up to the task, or as Fingers pointed out, you might be installing something that's sucking the life out of the system.

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