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Question How to diagnose the cause of frame drops?

Redthirst

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Jul 16, 2016
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My GF's system is:
CPU: Ryzen 3 3200G
GPU: RX 570
RAM: 16 GB DDR4
MB: MSI B450-A Pro Max

She keeps getting random frame drops in Overwatch, which isn't exactly a demanding game and should run completely fine on her system. Sometimes, it drops as low as 30s. Temperatures seem to be stable. Does anyone know why it might happen and what is a good way to diagnose it?
 

chaoyang

Prominent
Oct 24, 2019
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Do a userbenchmark test to help assist in diagnosing which hardware are pulling you back.

Also try the following thing:
  • Reinstall GPU driver.
  • Update Window
  • If you have an HDD, defragment it.
  • Check DISK USAGE on task manager, look at percentage usage at idle.
  • Make sure storage drives, especially HDD are not too full.
 
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Redthirst

Honorable
Jul 16, 2016
38
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10,530
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Do a userbenchmark test to help assist in diagnosing which hardware are pulling you back.

Also try the following thing:
  • Reinstall GPU driver.
  • Update Window
  • If you have an HDD, defragment it.
  • Check DISK USAGE on task manager, look at percentage usage at idle.
  • Make sure storage drives, especially HDD are not too full.
She already reainstalled her GPU drivers and updates Windows frequently.

However, this is her userbenchmark https://www.userbenchmark.com/UserRun/44986411 and it seems like CPU isn't doing good enough?
 

RTX 2080

Estimable
After a Cinebench run, her CPU temps peaked at 92 degrees, so I guess something is up with cooling.
AMD lists the maximum temperature of the 3200g at 95 degrees, so there would definitely be thermal throttling at 92 degrees. You should make sure there is adequate airflow in your tower.

Additionally, keep in mind that the 3200g is a relatively weak CPU. It has only 4 cores and 4 threads and a maximum boost clock of 4.0 GHz. Combined with thermal throttling, this should explain your performance issues.
 

Redthirst

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Jul 16, 2016
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AMD lists the maximum temperature of the 3200g at 95 degrees, so there would definitely be thermal throttling at 92 degrees. You should make sure there is adequate airflow in your tower.

Additionally, keep in mind that the 3200g is a relatively weak CPU. It has only 4 cores and 4 threads and a maximum boost clock of 4.0 GHz. Combined with thermal throttling, this should explain your performance issues.
Yeah, that CPU is certainly due for an upgrade. We're going to check the thermal compound today, although I was only applied relatively recently(a few months ago), so it really shouldn't be a problem. But perhaps the application was shoddy.
 

Redthirst

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Jul 16, 2016
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So apparently, the thermal paste dried out in just a few months, even though it was Arctic MX-4. Any idea why it would dry up so much? I always considered MX-4 to be a really solid choice.
 

boju

Titan
Ambassador
Paste would have bonded and dried by heat which is normal. Mx4 has a life expectancy of 8yrs or more, well until contact is broken. I don't think that was the issue and more likely fan related.

Is stock cooler being used? Was the pre applied paste removed in favour for Mx4?
 

Redthirst

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Jul 16, 2016
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Paste would have bonded and dried by heat which is normal. Mx4 has a life expectancy of 8yrs or more. I don't think that was the issue and more likely fan related.

Is stock cooler being used? Was the pre applied paste removed in favour for Mx4?
Yeah, it's the stock Wraith Stealth, but the pre-applied pasted got replaced by MX4 a few months ago, and now she reapplied MX4 again. Temperatures did drop, peaking at 80 in Cinebench, but it doesn't seem like the FPS issues were resolved.
 

boju

Titan
Ambassador
Doesn't appear to be throttling but do have her monitor cpu speed along with temps. Coretemp is easy to use.

Check Windows / gpu power plans. Check Gamebar is disabled and try under compatibility for Overwatch exe, disable fullscreen optimisation so game is in fullscreen instead of semi borderless.
 

Redthirst

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Jul 16, 2016
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Doesn't appear to be throttling but do have her monitor cpu speed along with temps. Coretemp is easy to use.

Check Windows / gpu power plans. Check Gamebar is disabled and try under compatibility for Overwatch exe, disable fullscreen optimisation so game is in fullscreen instead of semi borderless.
I don't even know anymore. Everything looks fine. The temps are good on both CPU and GPU. Gamebar is off. CPU correctly boosts to 4 GHz and GPU boosts to 1300 MHz, there really doesn't seem to be anything off according to the sensors. The only thing that might affect it is that her overall CPU usage reached as high as 87%, but that still shouldn't really cause any issues, since that's the overall usage, not what Overwatch takes.

There also doesn't seem to be any GPU power settings(nor does it seem like GPU is being limited in any way). Maybe OW is just poorly optimized, but it's so weird.

Also, according to her, resetting GPU drivers to their factory defaults helps, but only temporarily. Although that could just be placebo, since FPS drops are random and don't happen all the time.
 
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