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FPS drops after random period of time

By Kirros
Aug 29, 2016
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  1. In short, I recently upgraded my mobo, gpu, cpu, and ram, and have been running into random lag that is very hard to diagnose. With my hardware specs I should be able to run most any game on the highest settings, so this issue has been very aggravating. More details ahead.

    My specs
    OS: Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit
    CPU: Intel i7-6700K
    RAM: G.Skill TridentZ 16GB (2x8) DDR4 3400MHz
    GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 960
    MOBO: MSI Z170A-G45 Gaming
    PSU: Corsair RM Series RM850 80+ Gold

    If more detail is needed I've posted a DxDiag here.

    The issue
    I've been getting unbearably low fps seemingly out of nowhere. A couple of things I've found as possible triggers are; tabbing out and in, opening steam overlay if it's a steam game, or closing and restarting or switching games. It normally happens after my computer has been on for at least 2-3hrs+ and tends to go away after restarting my computer, but not for long. Lowering settings in game seems to help slightly in some cases, but doesnt get rid of it completely. I've noticed recently when starting Diablo 3 or changing graphics settings in WoW that I'll get the message "display driver has stopped responding and crashed" after a quick freeze up, and then it will restore and go back to lagging. I've haven't found anything that will get rid of this lag other than restarting my computer, so once it's been triggered it's there to stay.


    Things I've tried so far
    I'll try to order these chronologically, so you can get an idea of what I've done and when.
    Tried lowering graphics settings in game to the lowest possible setting but to no avail. Lag was only slight better if not the same.
    Completely removed and reinstalled my graphics drivers.
    Made sure nothing was overclocked, reset everything to default. (Not sure this worked, as MSI software is super confusing and there's a LOT of it)
    Checked to make sure everything was seated and plugged in properly.
    Ran a stress test on my gpu and cpu (I didn't do them for long, 30m tops- maybe I need to do longer?) The results seemed fine.
    Ran stress tests on my Ram- got a blue screen. I read that RAM is one of the more common components that can be DOA, so I refunded and replaced it with the same RAM, to no avail- still getting lag. Possible the method I was using to stress test was bad and not the ram?
    Monitored my temps before and during these lag events- everything seemed to be fine and cool.
    Monitored my gpu/cpu/memory usage before and during these lag events- nothing out of the ordinary. During the lag my memory usage has been as low as 19% with my cpu <10%.
    Ran malwarebytes, adwarecleaner and roguekiller, which all detected some minor things, which I removed. Still lagging.
    Deleted MSI RamDisk that it made for me automatically. It was something like 254mb- not sure if that was doing anything.

    I may be missing some things here and there, but I think I've tried most common fixes at one point or another.

    Other possibly helpful details
    I should note that I'm not the most knowledgeable when it comes to things like overclocking, "over-volting," and other software to hardware type programs-- and MSI certainly has not made it easy. Instead of 1 program with a nice interface, you've got about eight different ones with different looking icons and interfaces that are very hard to navigate. As a rookie I'm not sure what I need and what I should just ignore. For example MSI Fastboot- do I need it? Is it skipping stuff when my computer is booting? Could it be the cause?

    Another piece of info that may be helpful- after upgrading my PCs hardware and reinstalling windows, everything was working fine until I started messing around in the "MSI Gaming App." I believe I clicked on Gaming Mode (which to my understanding overclocks your CPU). It went through a restart and I immediately got a blue screen. The next hour was me booting into blue screens, sometimes getting the prompt to start in safe mode. Safe mode would work for a little and then I'd blue screen again. I had almost resorted to reinstalling windows, but finally found a fix. (I believe it was just finding a way to undo the gaming mode selection- but I could be wrong, it was almost 2 months ago and I didn't document what I did.) I must've gotten 5 or 6 different blue screen errors at least, and may have those written down somewhere if they're needed. I'm not sure if that correlates with my current issues but I was weary ever since then. I haven't had a blue screen since then apart from stress testing my RAM.



    I apologize if there's a lot of irrelevant information to sift through, but my main issue apart from lag is not being able to diagnose it at all. I can't find a pattern it follows, a game that makes it go off, or any reason whatsoever as to why it is happening. As such I don't know exactly what information is relevant to helping solve it, so I tried to post as much as I could, in the hopes that someone can.

    Any help is greatly appreciated and please let me know if there's more information about the issue or my system that is needed to help figure this out.
     
  2. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,655   +309

    You said, "happens after my computer has been on for at least 2-3hrs+ and tends to go away after restarting my computer, but not for long." Does that mean that it the problem returns within minutes after a reboot? I would lean to a RAM or NIC issue if that were so - even tho temps not high, enough temp for it to get flakey might be the case.

    NIC, may be beginning to flake out. Do you have the same issue with an offline game or not?

    So, possible candidates:
    - screwed up MSI overclocking stuff
    - flakey RAM
    - memory leak or rouge program in software
    - early stage flaking NIC

    Run memory testing overnight or longer & double check that the RAM is right for the motherboard. Run it in SAFE mode if possible. http://www.memtest86.com/ Test for 3x-5x longer than you typically use the machine.

    Consider reinstalling OS fresh to get rid of 'overclocking stuff'. You may have some kind of weird driver corruption (registry snafu?) that is not resolved by a driver reinstall.

    memory leak, rouge program, ugh - monitor memory & CPU usage in Task Manager for anything which keeps swelling
     
  3. Kirros

    Kirros TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Sorry for not being clear. Restarting my computer will fix the lag for another indefinite period of time, say 2 to 3 hours, and then it will randomly start again.

    I assume NIC is on the Mobo? If so, I just got this new mobo ~2months ago, so I doubt anything on my mobo is flaking yet. I have the same issue with offline games.
    So does that mean it's possible that my RAM and MOBO just don't work well together? They're both very new. I will run the Memtest tonight if I can't figure anything else out by then.
     
  4. Kirros

    Kirros TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have been monitoring task manager cpu/mem usage and nothing seems to be out of the ordinary. I have done several virus scans with different programs and gotten rid of a few things here and there, but still lagging. My cpu usage is normally <10% and memory is 15-40%
     
  5. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus TS Evangelist Posts: 1,655   +309

    So, reboot totally resets - and problem takes same time to re-appear - makes it much more likely to be a software issue.

    I'm making a guess that it is a cache problem - something that builds slowly and forgets to flush or 'pack' - and it was not there before the MSI overclock stuff. If it were mine, I would do a clean install after backing up any important files.

    http://www.howtogeek.com/224342/how-to-clean-install-windows-10/
     
  6. Kirros

    Kirros TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok. Thanks very much for your assistance. I was hoping I wouldn't have to do a reinstall again, but if it may fix my issues then I guess I'll have to. I'm off to backing up and reinstalling. Thanks again.
     
  7. Colby Deane

    Colby Deane TS Enthusiast

    Have you disabled the built-in game recording software through the Xbox application? I had the same issue and found that process using a Lot of CPU... taking my 60+ fps into the teens..
     

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