Gaming performance decreases mysteriously?

By wompai ·
Ey guys,

When I start a game (DiRT 2, Burnout, Flatout UC or TMU) the FPS is about 50-60. After a while (about 5 minutes) the performance instantly drops, decreasing FPS to 15-20 and lowering. After a while the performance drops again by half. I also noticed a glitch in the sound and a delay when pressing a button. eg, when I press the "right" key to steer right, it is a fraction too late... And that's not cool if you're going 80 MPH and you can't steer normally...

I'm running programs like GameBooster and Cacheman to speed things up. It is noticable, but it doesn't prevent the mysterious performance drop... I also noticed that there are like 15 copies of the svchost.exe process running...

Thanks in advance

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All Answers

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Heat or RAM

by IcebergTitanic In reply to Gaming performance decrea ...

First two things I would look at are:

Is your video card overheating? Is the fan working properly, and is the computer arranged in such a way as to allow good airflow? Since you state that this happens in video games, that makes the video card the first suspect, since the OS itself generally doesn't tax the video card too much.

Secondly, check that you're not running out of RAM. If your computer has to start shifting to paging (where it uses the hard disk as a temporary "RAM") then you're going to notice very severe performance degradation. You can turn on the Task manager, and minimize it before starting the game. Once it slows down, exit the game and look at the task manager performance tab.

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Multiple copies of svchost is normal

by robo_dev In reply to Gaming performance decrea ...

each copy of svchost takes care of some processes, services, or DLLs, so it's normal to have a few of those open.

I would make sure there is no heavy background program or process that's sucking up all your processor utilization, such as an AV scan, a windows update, or a rootkit phoning home. Some programs like Adobe Flash or Java can real hose things when there's an update pending.

One simple test is if the game is a standalone game, unplug the LAN connection; that will stop anything from going online and updating.

More specifically, do a netstat -an from the command prompt to see what network connections are being made.

Also a netstat -b will show you which processes are making what connections to what other hosts....this can show you if something odd is going on.

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I'll keep an eye out...

by wompai In reply to Gaming performance decrea ...

... for these things. I think its the GPU overheating but I'm not sure... It's temperature hardly gets above 80C which is pretty normal for notebooks...

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Reponse To Answer

by SKDTech In reply to I'll keep an eye out...

I really would not recommend a laptop for graphics intensive gaming. In general they are not made for it.

Last I checked most laptops do not have dedicated video RAM, they usually share system RAM. So drops like the ones you are experiencing may be due to the CPU and GPU going back and forth on RAM allocation.

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Reponse To Answer

by Slayer_ In reply to I'll keep an eye out...

80C, that's very high for a laptop.
Over 60 I would consider high. 80 is close to thermal shutdown (85-90C).

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by wompai In reply to Gaming performance decrea ...

I think its overheating bevause the RAM usage does not get above 70%. I'll check wether I can increase airflow...

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I do have dedicated video ram

by wompai In reply to Gaming performance decrea ...

My laptop has an Nvidia GeForce GT 420M videocard with 1024 MB of dedicated RAM not shared. It is perfectly fit for gaming.
Check this:

The high temperatures may just be the reason why it decreases in performance. The temperatures in idle already are close to 60C so I don't think getting to 80C matters that much and btw I said that it hardly gets above 80C. I meant that my card occasionally reaches that temperature. Normal gaming temperature is around 70C.

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Reponse To Answer

by seanferd In reply to I do have dedicated video ...

Still a bit hot. Extend the life of you laptop and increase performance by getting a cooling pad. Antec makes some excellent ones. Just ask Col/Hal9000/OH Smeg and he will pontificate on the matter for you.

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Reponse To Answer

by TheShawnThomas In reply to I do have dedicated video ...

I have to second that. *Generally* anything hotter than 60C is getting hot and can cause problems. Especially for video cards. Especially for laptops. If it idles at 60C then that is the start of the problem. normal idle for a desktop is 35-45C. laptops 40-50. While a nvidia card in a desktop CAN be OK at 70-80C it doesn't mean they should. More so with a laptop. The speed decreasing is probably the nvidia's way of keeping itself from burning up too much but over time it will still begin to be damaged.

Get a cooler to sit your laptop on especially when it is sitting on top of your lap but more importantly do what you can to make sure the built in fans are working. If not or they seem very dusty then try canned air (with the computer off/don't shake or tilt the can). Be gentle though as forcing the fan to spin faster than it is supposed to can damage it further. Maybe stick a toothpick in to keep it from spinning as you spray and do one side at a time.

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by wompai In reply to Gaming performance decrea ...

.. I open my laptop will it void my warranty? Because maybe when I can open it I can clean all the dust and look at the fan, maybe after a good cleanup, it will perform better. Thanks for the help on this topic, you, once again, helped me enormously.

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