Need help with improving in-game performance. Potentially need to upgrade/rebuild?

Aug 30, 2018
I built my first PC in 2015 and upgraded in 2016 to get this rig including the XFX ProSeries 550W Core Edition Power Supply - 80 PLUS Bronze Certified (which I couldn't find on pcpartpicker).

My benchmark results.

I was very happy with it until maybe 6 months ago where I started to notice FPS drops in games. At first I thought it was only a problem with Overwatch as I was getting very high CPU usage when playing but now I also get dips in games like Fortnite and TF2 where I feel I really should be getting a constant 144fps. I am not sure if this is a problem with my PC or if I slowly started to notice more FPS drops when I got my 144Hz monitor at the start of this year and my PC isn't in fact good enough for a consistent 144fps.

I run all my games on very low graphics and when possible on a 4:3 stretched resolution and in fullscreen mode and the only game that I play where I seem to get constant 144fps+ is CS:GO.

So far I have tried:

  • Cleaning the dust out of my PC.

    Checking multiple times for viruses.

    Unplugging my second monitor.

    Applying new thermal paste.

    Making sure my drivers are updated.
And yet nothing has helped.

Could it be that this is just a case of me needing to upgrade my rig and if so, how should I go about it and what is in more need of an upgrade?

Or have I missed anything in my attempt to improve performance in-game?


If the system used to work fine on the same games before, it could just be an issue with drivers or Windows. Windows updates tend to cause many issues with introducing new bugs to systems, especially Windows 10. Did you check the system temps after you cleaned things up?

You can always try a clean Windows setup also before looking at new parts. The system is fast enough for games though without upgrades for low spec games even at 144hz settings. Fortnite maybe not, and your FPS drops may not be an issue with the speed. What happens if you set things to 60hz instead of 144?
Aug 30, 2018

Temps seem to be around 40-50 Celsius without a game and 50-70 Celsius with a game.
Tried playing on 60Hz while watching my fps counter and still was seeing drops.
I suppose I'll try a clean install of Windows now.
Even a 8700k and,a 1080gtx won't push 144fps on all games at high settings. You kinda overreached with that monitor and your system. To get close to 144fps you will need to spend some money or lower settings quite a bit.
Aug 30, 2018

"I run all my games on very low graphics", not sure if you read this.

I even use a graphics config that lowers my video settings further than possible without commands on TF2 and yet I still experience drops. I SHOULD be getting consistent 144fps on at least TF2 and from what I can remember I did in the past.

This isn't a case of me trying to run a brand new game on high graphics, its me trying to run an almost 11 year old game on lower than low graphics.