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Serious Performance Issue in Games

1507 Views 32 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Kalim
I have a problem while playing games on my computer. When I first load them up it is fast and smooth. Then after a while, sometimes 20 minutes, sometimes an hour everything will slow down and become choppy and I will have to reboot my computer for it to return to its usual performance.

Here is an example of what happens while playing World of Warcraft. Note that this happens in all other graphics intensive games as well. When I first log in I get a steady 20-30 FPS. Then after the slowdown (which can happen at any time) it will drop to 10 FPS and below and it will not recover. The only way to get it to run fast again is to reboot.

It is summer at the moment here and I have noticed that it happens more often on a hot day, and also my room can get quite hot.

This is getting really frustrating as I have to constantly reboot my computer as the slow down happens quite often.

I have updated all my drivers and followed all the steps in the sticky for performance issues. I have also cleaned all the dust out of my computer. I even got a memory upgrade and a new video card, but while improving overall performance the problem still persists.

I actually have noticed this problem since I first got this computer before getting the video card and the memory upgrade.

Here are my system specs:

Intel Pentium 4 2.4 ghz
1280 MB RAM
ATI Radeon 9600 PRO 256 MB video card

So, is anyone able to tell me what may be causing this, and if there is any way I can fix it.
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Welcome to TSF. pharoah has hit the nail on the head - it sounds like a heat issue. So, follow his advice and download that program, and make sure you record the temps, both when the system is idle and when under load, and post them all here for us.
Here's an update.

I haven't run SensorsViewPro yet, but I'll look into it tomorrow. It is definately a heat issue because I tried taking off the case and it was able to run fine at full performance for many hours.
Well that's good news, of a sort. Now we just need to find out what component is overheating - which SensorsView should tell us.
Ok, these are my temperatures both while idle and while under load



Under Load

CPU:37°C -> 40
SYS:33°C -> 45 -> 48
AUX:37°C -> 43 -> 63 -> 54 -> 68 -> 51

From what I have observed it seems that the AUX temperature is the one that is going the highest while the others seem relatively stable. It seems to be spiking randomly starting at around 34°C and increasing in temperature, reaching as high as 68°C
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Download Everest (link in my sig), and do the same thing with it. (It shows temps under Computer -> Sensor.) Looks like it's your video card which is overheating (SensorsView sometimes marks it as "AUX" for some reason). Let us know what Everest finds, so we can be sure.
Here are the Everest temperatures:


Motherboard: 27°C
CPU: 35°C
Seagate ST3802110A: 35°C

Under Load (before slowdown)

Motherboard: 35°C -> 47°C
CPU: 38°C -> 42°C
Seagate ST3802110A: 35°C
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Hmmmm. Everest isn't showing the video card temps at all.

Can you grab another video card from somewhere to test in your system? It doesn't matter how high- or low-end it is, so long as it's higher than the minimum specs for the games. That will tell us whether it's video card overheating or not.
I don't have another video card. The old one was a built in 32 MB one.
well that explained it integrated graphics are no good for need a dedicated video card of some sort.
But I'm not using integrated any more. I'm using a Radeon 9600 PRO 256 M. The built in one was what I had before I got the Radeon.
What I meant was that I don't have another card to switch with my current one to test for overheating.
That makes it a bit harder. While the system is running a game, open up the case and carefully touch all the heatsinks, to see if you can feel which one is heating up the most. I'm thinking it's the video card.

If it is the video card, you have a couple of options:
- Replace the card.
- Buy an aftermarket cooler.

If the card is still under warranty, you can just send it back for a replacement at no charge. If not, replacing will mean buying a whole new card.
What is an aftermarket cooler? Would getting another fan help at all?
Well I checked the video card and it feels *very* hot compared to everything else. Guess I'll have to find a replacement.
An aftermarket cooler is a cooler made by a company other than the video card manufacturer. They're designed to do a better job than the cooler which comes with the video card. I personally have never used one, so I can't tell you much about them, but other people on the forum can.
If I put another fan in would that help? Or should I just replace the card?
Another fan may help. Can you describe your current setup - how many fans, where are they, which direction are they pointed, etc?
It has two fans. The first one is at the back of the computer at the top, where all the plugs are facing to the back. The second one is on the motherboard near the top on the right side facing to the left. The video card doesn't have its own fan or anything.
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