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Question Sudden FPS drops when gaming, Bottlenecking?

May 19, 2020
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CPU: AMD FX-8350
GPU: Nvidia GTX 970
SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB
HDD: WD Blue 1TB (2012)
RAM: Unknown 8GB
MBD: Biostar TA970

Hi,
I have had my PC for a while now and have always been able to cope with most games on low graphics settings with a consistent 60fps. However a few days ago I noticed intermittent frame drops to around 10 fps or lower particularly when there was a lot happening in game. I have made sure that my drivers are all updated and tried to identify the reason for the drops but so far nothing is obvious to me. My GPU usage rate from Afterburner is steady at around 30% and my CPU does not seem to be maxing out according to the resource monitor so I am a bit lost as to what needs to be done.

My DxDiag is here: https://pastebin.com/fvvFnxAA

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
 
CPU: AMD FX-8350
GPU: Nvidia GTX 970
SSD: Kingston SSDNow V300 120GB
HDD: WD Blue 1TB (2012)
RAM: Unknown 8GB
MBD: Biostar TA970

Hi,
I have had my PC for a while now and have always been able to cope with most games on low graphics settings with a consistent 60fps. However a few days ago I noticed intermittent frame drops to around 10 fps or lower particularly when there was a lot happening in game. I have made sure that my drivers are all updated and tried to identify the reason for the drops but so far nothing is obvious to me. My GPU usage rate from Afterburner is steady at around 30% and my CPU does not seem to be maxing out according to the resource monitor so I am a bit lost as to what needs to be done.

My DxDiag is here: https://pastebin.com/fvvFnxAA

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
Sudden drops like sounds like a different issue (whilst the 30% GPU usage does indicate a cpu bottleneck, in an ideal setup for gaming your cpu should be fast enough to keep the gpu running at 90+ % at all times but that is a separate issue).

I wonder if the machine could be thermal throttling? That would drop the cpu clocks down low and result in terrible game performance, I had this issue with an FX 8320 build I used to have.

If the problem is new (in games that were running ok) it might just mean the cpu cooler needs a good clean and the thermal paste between the cpu + cooler needs changing - this typically needs doing every 5 years or so as the thermal compound dries out over time and stops transferring heat properly.

It might also be worth looking at motherboard temps whilst gaming - if the motherboard VRM's get too hot that will also cause the CPU to drop clocks (this was the issue with my system). The best way to resolve that is to make sure the case has sufficient airflow, a decent intake + exhaust fan can really help keep internal temps down. As a temporary measure you can try running the machine with the side of the case open as that can help temps as well.
 
May 19, 2020
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Thank you for your help.
Would you recommend upgrading my CPU in order to maximise the use of my GPU?
The FPS drops have been present before but never this bad. The frame rate seems to drop and then recover for a small period of time before worsening again, I'm not sure if that suggests thermal throttling or not?
I will try to get the cpu cooler cleaned and replace the thermal paste as my PC is coming up to about 4 years old.
Will report back to see if the fixes work.
Thanks again!
 
Reactions: cdrkf
Thank you for your help.
Would you recommend upgrading my CPU in order to maximise the use of my GPU?
The FPS drops have been present before but never this bad. The frame rate seems to drop and then recover for a small period of time before worsening again, I'm not sure if that suggests thermal throttling or not?
I will try to get the cpu cooler cleaned and replace the thermal paste as my PC is coming up to about 4 years old.
Will report back to see if the fixes work.
Thanks again!
Yeah I think you would get more performance out of your gpu with a faster cpu.... that will require a platform upgrade though (i.e. new motherboard, cpu + memory). Still worth doing some maintenance on the cpu cooling as a start as dropping then recovering is typical thermal behaviour (it drops clocks to reduce heat, cools down then boost back up then it heats up again so cycle repeats).

If you are looking at an upgrade, probably worth looking at a new AMD Ryzen 3100 or 3300X cpu with a B550 motherboard and some DDR4 ram.... those are the best value gaming cpu's at the moment and are a huge boost in per core performance over your FX.
 

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