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Having problem with lag spikes when playing games

By Rasindu ยท 18 replies
May 30, 2013
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  1. Hi
    Let me start off with my specs

    Brand: HP Pavillion HPE h9-1185in Phoenix
    Processor: Intel-i5 (3rd gen) 3450 @ 3.1GHZ
    Ram: 4 GB DDR3
    VGA: Nvidia GeForce GT545 with 3GB video memory

    Ok so I got my pc around September in 2012 and it was running perfectly back then.
    All my games were running really smoothly without any noticable lag at all.
    Up to now I havent upgraded my computer and still have the same specs but when I run games now
    they start to lag after a few minutes of gameplay and these spikes come and go. Some of my heavily
    modded games, such as Left 4 Dead 2 wont even launch anymore, where as it ran perfectly on highest settings without any lag at all before.

    So I have a couple of POSSIBLE culprits which I have identified
    First of all I noticed that when I play games now( even really low end old games that dont require good specs to run), my CPU's fan starts to spin alot faster
    and there is a greater humming sound. I am not a tech genius but I googled and found out that this may be a problem with my heat sink. This could mean that my pc is overheating.
    But I do want to add that the degrade in performance is only there when it comes to games, not when running other tasks in the computer.

    Secondly there is alot of dust around where I live and it gathers easily. I do regular cleaning of the outside of the CPU and sometimes internal cleaning too. But that didnt seem to fix the problem.
    Is there a possiblity that dust build up on the RAM card or VGA card could be causing this? Remember only games are affected.

    My third guess is that it may be a virus of some sort, but that seems highly unlikely since I never turn of my kaspersky internet security, even when playing games.
    But I did set out to scan my pc but I have a 1TB hard drive and it takes too long. I spent an entire day being stuck at around 5%-10%. I dont even know if its supposed to take that long.

    The last thing is that my hard drive is almost full. Its 1TB like I said and its down to around 20GB now. Could this slow down my games? I Highly doubt that but im no expert.

    So yeah this is my problem and I would just like to know what exactly is the problem. I am not experienced with working with internal parts of the CPU and would have to get a technician to solve the problem
    for me if it is a problem with the hardware. So I would really appreciate any help on this topic.

    Thanks in advance =)
    P.S. im new on this forum and sorry if I have posted in the wrong group.
  2. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Phew, ok If dust is a huge issue where you are its possible that its causing a problem. Clearing the inside of your pc of dust isn't hard. Dust creates more heat as the airflow gets restricted.

    You mentioned a Whining noise. That's never good. Whining CAN be a precurser to a failing pc part. Usually your power supply or something with a fan.

    Your hdd being full shouldn't hinder your performance too much.(wth did you put on a 1TB hdd since late 2012 to fill it up.)

    Do you have intake and exhaust fans on this computer?
  3. Rasindu

    Rasindu TS Member Topic Starter

    Well I recently did clean the inside and cleaned the fans as well, up to a good thorough point.
    And yes I have exhaust and intake fans.
    And you asked me what im filling my HD with, well its ALOT of games and movies. I was planning to buy an external HD for my movies but never got around to it.
    Also I was running a scan again (Kaspersky 2012 internet security) and I left it overnight. In the morning it was still at 8%. This happens all the time, it gets stuck around 7-8% and progress is REALLY slow after that, so I just cancel the scan.Is it supposed to take this long?
  4. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    You may want to consider letting it finish. Or trying another virus scan. Super AntiSpyware free edition is good.

    You need to also download "realtemp." And report back with your operating temperatures during game play and during idle times.
  5. Rasindu

    Rasindu TS Member Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply
    I downloaded and ran the antivirus program and it found 84 problems, 81 being cookies and the other three were related to a search toolbar. No problems there.
    Here are the results from realtemp
    I have uploaded 3 thumbnails, all during gaming(the one with idle shot said the file was too large to upload)
    one is with the temp while playing counterstrike source and the other two are while playing fear 3

    here were the results during idle time
    All four cores were around 42-45c
    distance to TJ max was around 61-64
    min temp was around 38 and max temp around 49
    thermal status was ok

    Attached Files:

  6. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Your temps look great. Have you watched your task manager. Is all of your ram being used during times of gameplay?

    What version of windows do you have?

    I'm also concerened with your gpu temps. Do you have reading for those?
  7. Rasindu

    Rasindu TS Member Topic Starter

    Again, thanks for all the help
    I have uploaded some more pics
    By the way im using windows 7 home premium 64bit service pack 1
    And one more thing I think might be useful: when I start a game it runs real smooth for a while(around 1-2 mins) I noticed that the more I stay in the game the harder it starts to lag

    There are 5 pics.
    Normal shows the usage statistics when idle (only kaspersky is running)
    Fear3 minimal lag show the stats when there is little lag and fear3 hard lag shows when there is a lot of lag
    GPU Normal shows stats when idle and fear3GPU shows when im playing the game

    I noticed that my gpu is at 99% when playing the game but I dont know whether that normally happened even when I was playing perfectly before
    (Also I havent overclocked anything and I play games on the recommended settings for my configuration)

    Attached Files:

  8. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Your gpu is running way too hot. Download a gpu tool like msi after burner to see how high your fan is bumping up to when you play games.
  9. Rasindu

    Rasindu TS Member Topic Starter

    I did have MSI afterburner installed and I was even going to post a screenshot before, but I didnt -.-
    Anyway hare are two pics of idle stats and two while gaming
    you were right, the fan is at max usage
    but I remember well that the fan wasnt working this hard before, my pc is definitely overheating

    Attached Files:

  10. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    It looks like your pc isn't exhausting the heat fast enough. I know there are two designs for that card 1.) exhaust the air into the surrounding area(the case) and 2.) exhaust the air out of the backside of the case. I don't know which one you have so...

    If your pc is just recirculating hot air this may be your problem.

    The solution is to make sure your exhaust fan is pulling the hot air out of the case(if it has an exhaust fan. I can find two different cases for your model online).

    Take the side panel off your case and run everything like you normally would. If your problem is rectified significantly then you know for sure that hot air isn't escaping fast enough.
  11. Rasindu

    Rasindu TS Member Topic Starter

    I did what you suggested. I removed the cover, booted my PC and ran the game
    It didnt improve anything so its not the airflow
    It cannot be the reason because my cpu has air holes on its sidepanels too(see pics sidepanel and sidepanel2)

    But I did find something else
    I think that its the fan on my vga card thats working more(gt545)
    I checked with MSI afterburner while running the game and saw the fan usage at 100%
    and it slowly reduced after I quit the game(see pic gpustats)

    I have also included two more pics of the interior of the cpu. Hope it helps

    Attached Files:

  12. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    If your fan usage is at 100% and its not cooling down even with the side panel off it sounds like a dust issue.

    It doesn't help that the case form factor is turned a complete 180 degrees. Your GPU doesn't expel the heat outside of the case, and since heat rises. it pushes the air out through the side of the heatsink, the hot air rises then just gets sucked back into the fan.(Let me know if you don't understand this.)

    Do you know anything about removing a heatsink from a gpu? It sounds like it may just be dust caught in the fan and on the heatsink. If it is a dusty heatsink this problem will just continue on and off and would rely on you doing this every so often.
  13. Rasindu

    Rasindu TS Member Topic Starter

    Yea I thought that this may be a problem with the heat sink.
    No I do not know anything about removing the heat sink and il probably get a technician to do it for me. After watching him do it once I could do it again later if needed. Also do I need to clean the thermal paste?
    and also are you talking about the main heat sink for the CPU or a different one for the GPU alone( sorry I'm no expert on this stuff)
  14. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    I'm talking about the gpu heatsink, not the cpu. You will also need new thermal paste. Its usually around 5 usd for thermal paste but it will last you more than 10 applications.

    If you really wanted to you could probably find an aftermarket air cooler for about 20 usd or so. Maybe!
  15. Rasindu

    Rasindu TS Member Topic Starter

    Alrighty then thanks for all the help =)
    There's nothing more I can do right now until I get a technician to have a look
  16. Rasindu

    Rasindu TS Member Topic Starter

    If this thread is still being watched here's an update:
    I've been away for my aunts funeral for about a week and I came back and found out that my pc won't turn on now
    Every time I get a Blue Screen Of Death around the time of the windows logo and now my pc is in a boot loop
  17. LinkedKube

    LinkedKube TechSpot Project Baby Posts: 3,481   +44

    Yes I'm still watching, and what have you done to the machine since the last time we've spoken.
  18. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 7,096   +418

    Moving thread due to evolving problem.
  19. Rasindu

    Rasindu TS Member Topic Starter

    Well I bought a 2gb ram card (Kingston) from my old pc and installed it and got the bsod but I removed it after that and the problem is still there

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