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  1. #1
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    Periodic Frame-Rate drops.

    Recently, I've started getting periodic frame rate issues in my laptop while gaming. The basic specs are

    Windows 7 x64
    Core i7 1.73 GHz
    8 GB DDR3 Memory
    2 GB nVidia 425 GT mobility

    The laptop is an XPS 14 which is 2 years old, which I use for gaming as I need to move around alot, and can't buy anything better. The lap can run everything at playable frame rates in medium settings but recently I've started getting periodic frame rate issues while playing any game. After much tinkering with Process Explorer, I've found that my GPU clocks get bogged down every 3 minutes or so from 800Hz to ~250Hz, and the GPU load also drops from a steady 88-98% to a measly 35%.

    I panicked and tried re installing windows 7, to no avail. The problem still continues. But, on installing a copy of Windows 8 Pro, the problem is non existent. I've been playing Sleeping Dogs for about an hour with a steady 30-40 fps in this setup, without any lag issues, and in Windows 7, the lag appears consistently after 5 minutes of play, and then continues peroidically.

    My performance mode is set to high performance, and I have done nothing except install my GPU drivers on either of the OS's. So, I'd like to know if anyone has an idea what is causing this bottleneck. I'd feel much comfortable gaming in my Windows 7.

    P.S. I've tried googling, but so far, no results have been helpful, and most of the people have been encountering this in specific games, or hardware setups. But for me, changing the OS does the trick. Any ideas, anyone?

    Thanks,
    Death Pig

  2. #2
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    Sounds like thermal throttling, perhaps the fan(s) are clogged with dust? I have a core i5 toshiba with a dedicated graphics card and it started overheating even when playing video: disassembling the laptop and cleaning a very small amount of dust from around the only fan solved everything.

  3. #3
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    If that was the case, why did the problem disappear when using Windows 8?

  4. #4
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    Because they'll have different power plan settings? Also, you'll have a fresh install of the graphics card drivers - are you using the laptop manufacturers version, or the nvidia generic ones?

  5. #5
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    Loads of possible culprits but I'd say you had the wrong (missing from W7 perhaps) driver for some bit of hardware, your chipset, HDD controller, soundcard or something like it.

    W8 clearly has a better driver and/or just chose the right one/right settings.

    I've got a similar issue atm with this PC - I know it's down to either the HDD controller or HDD driver itself but whilst I have a range of drivers available (from the mobo maker, chip maker and MS themselves) they all have some issue or another (MS one doesn't support SSDs properly, chipset one has stutter and mobo one causes outright 'freezes'!!)

  6. #6
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    Using the latest 314.22 release from nVidia for mobility chip sets. This is getting really annoying. I hate using Windows 8, and it hates me. It keeps trying to tell me I need .NET 3.5 Framework when it is already installed, with a host of other problems.

    P.S. Downloaded the drivers for my laptop provided by the manufacturer. Tried installing the Turbo Boost driver first, but it shows me a dialog box stating I require an i7 processor to be compatible. And I have one.

    Could this be because I'm using my own copy of Windows 7 Ultimate, and not the Home Premium version I got from Dell when I purchased the laptop?
    Last edited by DeathPig; 20-04-2013 at 02:32 AM.

  7. #7
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    Issue resolved. Turns out the entire installer for my chipset driver was corrupt. Downloaded a fresh copy, and installed it, and games seem to be working normally.

    Scratch that. Back to square one. Any suggestions?....
    Last edited by DeathPig; 20-04-2013 at 08:40 AM.

  8. #8
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus
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    Late on this one but it sounds like you have one of those "hunt it down relentlessly" problems - as I did with my HDD causing the desktop to 'freeze' from time to time (transpired to be the chipset driver and a specific setting therein).

    The version of Windows is irrelevant but the software you install IS relevant - getting the right drivers for all the key components is more and more important these days, chipsets, HDD controllers, CPU multi-core controllers etc. all have to be there or weird and wonderful things can occur.

    It's really just trial-and-error until you crack it tho.

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