Question Massive decrease in PC performance both in and out of games ?

Mar 5, 2021
About 5 days ago my PC's performance significantly dropped, I first noticed it in game (Overwatch) and then even in chrome browsing and general PC loading times. This dropped my fps in Overwatch from a consistent 165 (could handle 200 stable but I wanted to match my monitor refresh rate) to a 30-120 fps, where as soon as I input the frames drop to 30 and I can feel heavy input lag (up to 1 second, cursor keeps moving after I stop moving my mouse). Another odd occurrence is often when I load chrome tabs or open games, my screen will sometimes go black for a couple seconds, and then load properly, this used to happen very infrequently (weekly at most), but now is a multiple times per day occurrence.

I have no clue what happened, there were no updates or downloads I did before this drop happened. In fact, I woke up to my computer being in this state after booting it up for the day. The night before I had been playing Overwatch completely fine and got off fine as well, putting the computer into sleep mode. I have done a lot of troubleshooting and cannot understand the problem. I will list my PC specs and some of the things I have already tried.

Computer is an Alienware Aurora R7


CPU: Intel Core i7-8700 @ 3.20GHz

GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

cooling: stock

Motherboard: Alienware OVDT73 AOO

Memory: 16GB, 7.88GB available
Virtual memory: 39.8GB, 28.5GB available

Storage: 2TB HDD 128GB SSD, over 500GB free on HDD, 20GB free on SSD

OS: Windows 10

PSU: not sure tbh


task manager, neither CPU, GPU, or memory max out, although in stress testing software like MSI Kombustor I can get both to max out. Ran Malwarebytes and AVG anti-virus, neither found much (malwarebytes quarantined 15 files) nothing changed after though. reinstalled drivers through GeForce Experience, reinstalled BIOS. My 3DMARKdemo scores are significantly lower than they used to be, around 2000 points. Currently testing out overclocking my PC, has not seemed to do anything, so I am going to revert it and wait. The only thing I have not done that I can think of is restart my modem and wifi, which I don't think will do anything. Other than that, I believe one of my PC components has to be wearing out or defective at this point. Although I do not know how to figure out which one it is.

Notable mention, this winter I got a small space heater that I have been using a lot. I got it a couple months back and have been using it daily since, my room stays around 60-70 degrees F during for about twelve hours a day. The space heater is at least 10 feet away horizontally from my tower, and 2 feet away vertically from the have (space heater below desk, tower above desk). While reading I learned that space heaters can be really bad for your computers health, so that is a possible problem that I do not know how to address. I am more than willing to replace, upgrade, fix parts, I just don't know which parts would be in need of that. My fear is that during the last day or so that my computer was fine I had the space heater and computer running Overwatch for probably around or above 8 hours. So it could be likely that one or multiple of my computer parts suffered heat damage. If that is the case I need to know how to figure out how to identify which part or parts are the problem

Another side note. In the Overwatch Network Graph, I have recently experienced CMDQ spikes whenever I input really anything (ability, spray, emote, even shoot, move, or look around). I honestly don't know what this means even after researching it, all my other stats seem to be fine though, if their is anything I should test out in game please let me know. BTW Overwatch settings are and always have been max low.

Thank you for all the help and time you guys can provide, I will respond to any replies as quickly as I can.

Thanks again!


Here's a link to a benchmark I did on my PC earlier today March, 5th. If there are any other benchmark or stress tests you'd like me to do I will be happy to post them here as well.
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Welcome to the forums, newcomer!

What BIOS version are you currently on? Can you cross reference Dell's support site and see if your Alienware has any BIOS updates pending? You're on Windows 8 at the time of writing?
Mar 5, 2021
Hello guys! I am on windows 10, and I am pretty confident I solved my issue. I just used DDU to uninstall my GPU drivers in safe mode, and install the latest version, (I already was up to date but updating through GeForce Experience) I was playing Overwatch for about 45 minutes and I am getting 300 fps consistently! That's even better than before and I am so stoked. When I launched the game I was actually getting 400 fps consistent but didn't want to push my luck, so I dropped by cap down to 300. It seems to be that doing a clean uninstall and reinstall though DDU was what I really needed to do. If y'all have any follow up questions I'll still be happy to answer!


You had a corrupted driver. It can happen. Using GeForce Experience to update drivers is fine, works well, IF you use Custom setting and check the Clean Install box. Using Express method is quicker because the install software does a quick scan, sees that many of the drivers have the same version number, so skips them entirely, not installing new copies of them. If one of those has suffered any corruption or addressing change in registry, it's not fixed or messed with at all.

I always update Custom. All new install, never Express just for that reason.