Extremely Inconsistent Gaming Performance

Hiz_95

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Oct 12, 2013
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I have a Dell Inspiron 17r SE. It's the model with an i7-3630qm processor, 8GB RAM, 1080p 3D screen and GT 650M 2GB DDR5 GPU

I have absolutely no idea what's going on. Some days I can play games fine running resident evil 5 and fallout 3 at max settings in 1080p at 30-40fps. Then it seems like all of a sudden I'll get days where I'm stuck at single digit fps. I've googled around a bit and found that there were issues with the bios and gpu boost being disabled when the power cord isn't being used, even though this is much worse as that should only lead to round a 10% drop in performance. I've tried things like turning it off removing the power cord and replacing it before turning it on and even removing the battery and trying to use it purely without the battery and this still doesn't seem to do anything. I've also made sure that my power plan is set to high performance.

It feels like I'm rolling a dice to determine whether I can play games properly, I'd really appreciate any help.
 

Foldalot

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Oct 3, 2013
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Have you installed the latest GPU driver? Maybe somehow the games decide to run on the integrated graphic card. Also see if the games support laptop power settings, if so, uncheck it
 

Hiz_95

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Oct 12, 2013
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I looked at al the options for Fallout 3 both before I opened it and inside the game and couldn't find any power options. I also updated the drivers, things were back to good performance until some time yesterday when I removed the power cord. Now, even after being rebooted and being on charge my performance has become horrible again. I've tried looking in the NVIDIA Control Panel and have no option to select a graphics processor under Global or Program Settings, however when I look under display adapters the only option available is the GT 650M. I can't find any trace of the integrated graphics on my system.
I'm really confused as to what to do.
 

Foldalot

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Oct 3, 2013
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Have you checked the cpu/gpu temps? Also check for missing drivers in the device manager.

And does this happen only when playing games, or there is a huge performance drop when browsing the net etc.?
 

Hiz_95

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Oct 12, 2013
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Afaik there are no missing drivers and the drivers for my GPU are definitely up to date. I've had no noticable performance hit while browsing the web, though that's hard to say as the most taxing thing that I do is watching youtube videos.

I haven't checked the cpu and gpu temps, is there any good software you can recommend?
 

Foldalot

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Oct 3, 2013
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GPU : http://www.gputemp.com/
CPU : http://www.techpowerup.com/realtemp/

Start the programs and check the maximum temp achieved after 10-15min of gaming. Also post results when idle.
 

Hiz_95

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Oct 12, 2013
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When idling I have average temperatures in the mid to high 50s for the cpu, assuming that's 4 because there's one for each core. The gpu was idling at 49 degrees C (power plan was set to high performance)
After trying to play fallout 3 for about 10 minutes I checked the tempertures and the max temperatures for the cpu had risen by about 10 degrees C but the gpu temp didn't change apart from small normal fluctuations of around 2 degrees C
I started up Dolphin emulating Mario Kart DD and although the cpu temperatures rose to the mid to high 60s, the gpu temperature didn't fluctuate by any more than 1 degree and my frame rate improved as I lowered the internal resolution from 3x native to native.

This makes me think you were right in saying that the games didn't use my dedicated gpu, but I still have no idea how to fix this.
 

Foldalot

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Oct 3, 2013
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Temps are little higher than usual on high performance. I have 2630qm and 540m, and on high performance (idle) the CPU doesn't go over 50c, and the GPU is about 42.

However that doesn't seem to be the issue here, since it looks like you are running the games on the integrated GPU. See if you can disable the integrated card from BIOS (change graphic cards order)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtDkczrf5fI

if you don't have the same options on your BIOS as on the video, try googling for other ways to disable it (from BIOS).

Needles to say, do it at your own risk. Although there shouldn't be any problems.

 

Hiz_95

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Oct 12, 2013
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I just tried disabling the drivesr for the gpu and enabling it and performance went back to normal. but if that stops working I'll keep your suggestion in mind. Thanks for taking time to try and help me with this :)