Weird GPU/FPS problems, really need help! (RAM related as well)


Sep 21, 2015
PC Alienware x51 R2 parts:

  • Intel i7-4790
    PNY GTX 970
    ITX-Mini mother board? (I think, not sure how to check)
    16GB of DDR3 Corsair RAM
    330wat External PSU.
    1tb harddrive
    Also worth noting I use a 144hz Asus monitor.

    Note: The PNY GTX 970 is officially supported by dell to run with no problems on the R2, so this isn't a power problem. I'm also extremely careful with installing my parts, I was sure to ground myself and not touch the gold connectors, in case anyone was wondering. I also do not overclock anything.
Before all the flak about Alienware, yes, yes I know. I should've built it myself. However, it was free.

Ill try and explain this as detailed as possible, but if you need anymore information, please don't hesitate to ask. So I've pretty much have gone insane/lost all hope, so I'm seriously going to blow whoever helps me with this. So I've been having this really weird issue where my frame rate will jump a few frame up and down very rapidly. This causes nasty screen tearing. It doesn't matter if I cap FPS, if I turn v-sync on, it will still do this. Example: I never have a constant or stable fps in any game, and I've tested this on quite a few games. I've only ever blue screened once, and it wasn't really a blue screen, just a shut down with this error: The "NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970" driver (C:\WINDOWS\system32\drivers\nvlddmkm.sys) appears to have caused a system crash. I thought this may have been my driver, so I reinstalled my driver and it didn't fix my problem, although I haven't crashed with that error again yet.

So after that I decided to test my PC parts: GPU, CPU, HHD and RAM. I used Furmark, HD Tune, EVGA OC Scanner, BurnInTest and Heaven Benchmark.

My Heaven Benchmark Score with no OC: FPS:50.3 (Score: 1267 with all settings maxed, which I was told was normal.) Min FPS 8.2, Max FPS 106.6. I never experienced a crash when running any benchmark, and had quite good scores normal to my set up. I do however notice strange behavior while monitoring my card in MSI after burner. My temps are all normal, 35 idle, never goes above 78 under heavy load. But my GPU usage never goes to 100%, it will usually just spike randomly from 40-99% it wont stay stable. Also my clock speeds will shoot up at idle for no reason sometimes. I don't know if this is normal or not, but just weird to me.

It was only when I tested my memory is when I've started to find actual evidence of a problem. My first test was Dell Diagnostics memory test, which blue screened with this error message: The "@%SystemRoot%\system32\drivers\fltmgr.sys,-10001" driver (C:/WINDOWS\system32\drivers\fltmgr.sys) appears to have caused a system crash". Hell if I know what that means. So I decided restore my computer and update all driver and run memtest86 for 4 passes. All passes, so I was pretty confused. Even after the reset, weird FPS problems persisted and terrible screen tearing. So I decided to run memtest one more time, but through a 8 pass cycle. This time I found errors on the 6th cycle. 1084 errors, but only on test 5. This was some sort of pattern test. I'm pretty sure that my ram is faulty now.

Things I've tried:
- Updated bios
- Reinstalled RAM and GPU
- Restored
- Updated drivers
- Many tests
- Hard drive test and bench mark with HD Tune, everything checked out.
- V-sync (helps a very tiny bit, makes it worse in some cases)

So what I'm wondering, is my RAM bad? Should I RMA it? Is it possible for bad ram to corrupt windows files? I'm starting to see results of random corrupted files in my games, making so I can't even play. Is it possible for bad ram to corrupt drivers and cause screen tearing and stuttering? I really don't think it's my GPU. Any tests or more information you guys wanna know please let me know. Thank you for any help and sorry for the length.


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