FPS fluctuating on GTX 870M

Zortwil

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Apr 7, 2013
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Hi, I've been having an issue with my frame rate dropping from a solid 60 down to 30 for about half a second and then going up immediately after.

I have a Razer Blade 2014 laptop(GTX 870M) and this occurs most frequently in GTA V. However, it also happens in games that are not demanding at all such as CS:GO. My frame rate will be constant and it will usually drop down to(usually) exactly 30 frames before going back up. This drop occurs frequently(about once every 10 seconds in GTA and once every 20-30 in CS:GO).

I am running the latest Nvidia drivers and have tried disabling streamer service and doing a complete clean reinstall of drivers. My power management settings are also all on high performance in windows and in the nvidia control panel.

I've been troubleshooting this issue for the past week now with no luck, so any help is greatly appreciated. Let me know if I need to provide any extra information.

Thank you!
 

MarkW

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Dec 7, 2009
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Well, you just told me what the problem is in this last post.

When you turn vsync on, the video card suddenly has to play by some rules. Its no longer "pump out every last pixel even if it cannot be displayed", but instead the rule says "One frame every 1/60th of a second, and if you are late on a frame, you must wait until the next 1/60th of a frame starts to send another one." So your frame rate, if its in a scene where it takes a little bit longer than 1/60th of a second to draw out a frame, is suddenly cut in half.

So as scenes being drawn take longer, with V-Sync on, the video card can only produce the following numbers of frames per second:

60
30
15
7
3
1

Nvidia created something called adaptive V-Sync years ago. What is does is keep V-Sync on, until the frame rate drops below 60, and then quickly turns it off until it gets back above 60, when it quickly turns it back on. Its not perfect, but sometimes it can help.

Nvidia then came up with G-Sync. Part of the problem has been that the video card and the monitors never talk to each other. Unlike almost every other part of a computer, the display never tells the video card, "Hey Dummy! Im ready for another frame", nor can it stop a video card from sending a new frame before its ready for one. Now I am simplifying this a whole lot, but basically, G-Sync suddenly let the video card and the monitor talk to each other some. The second biggest problem with G-Sync in my opinion was that it was a hardware solution, and that costs money. From what I have read, it costs between $35 and $50 per monitor that has the card in it. But the biggest problem is that it is proprietary. It only works with Nvidia cards.

So not wanting to be left out, and most certainly not wanting to have to pay Nvidia royalties, AMD created their own version called FreeSync or AMD Sync. What they came up with is a software solution. All a company has to do is update their monitors BIOS and it can use Free Sync. Then AMD turned it over to some standards committee. It is now an optional standard as part of DisplayPort 1.2a. AMD is also working to get it included in the HDMI 2.0 standard. The cost to add this? Next to nothing.

Whenever something new is created, like what Nvidia and AMD have done here, it takes time to get companies to include them, even if they are free. Slowly, the industry is starting to add these new technologies to monitors, and more recently, to laptops.

And yes, your last sentence above is 100% correct, this is more prominent in graphic intensive games. Until all of these new technologies are included in every monitor and laptop, we will continue to have these problems to some degree.
 

andreii707

Estimable
Apr 25, 2015
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Did you check the temperatures? Depending on where you live summertime can be a bit of an annoyance simply because of higher ambient temperatures leading to higher hardware temperatures. You laptop might simply be downclocking itself to protect the components. Do you use a cooler?
 

Zortwil

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Apr 7, 2013
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I do not use a cooler. However, I don't believe that it is the GPU temperature because of the fact that this issue does not begin to occur after I start playing for a while. The problem is present from the start even if the computer has not been running and just starts in order to play the game.



I would still expect it to keep a somewhat constant frame rate instead of having drops of 30 fps every 10-30 seconds. I have never experienced something as extreme as this in any other computer, even ones with lower end GPUs.
 

andreii707

Estimable
Apr 25, 2015
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It's true Mark, but the drop seems too big to be normal. 10 frames dropping is not out of the question, but 30? That is not very normal, especially is CS:GO which is not that demanding and quite well optimised.

Did you clean the laptop recently, dust might the clogging up your components. It's definitely not normal.
 

Zortwil

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Apr 7, 2013
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Yes, I had actually just cleaned out my laptop last week and there was very little dust.

Especially with CS, the issue definitely seems to not be the card struggling at all.

If I disable Vsync, the game runs at a constant 150-200 fps but still has the same drop down to 30 fps, which is a 100+ fps drop.

However, I will say that this drop seems to be more prominent in graphics-intensive games.
 

MarkW

Distinguished
Dec 7, 2009
196
0
18,710
26
Well, you just told me what the problem is in this last post.

When you turn vsync on, the video card suddenly has to play by some rules. Its no longer "pump out every last pixel even if it cannot be displayed", but instead the rule says "One frame every 1/60th of a second, and if you are late on a frame, you must wait until the next 1/60th of a frame starts to send another one." So your frame rate, if its in a scene where it takes a little bit longer than 1/60th of a second to draw out a frame, is suddenly cut in half.

So as scenes being drawn take longer, with V-Sync on, the video card can only produce the following numbers of frames per second:

60
30
15
7
3
1

Nvidia created something called adaptive V-Sync years ago. What is does is keep V-Sync on, until the frame rate drops below 60, and then quickly turns it off until it gets back above 60, when it quickly turns it back on. Its not perfect, but sometimes it can help.

Nvidia then came up with G-Sync. Part of the problem has been that the video card and the monitors never talk to each other. Unlike almost every other part of a computer, the display never tells the video card, "Hey Dummy! Im ready for another frame", nor can it stop a video card from sending a new frame before its ready for one. Now I am simplifying this a whole lot, but basically, G-Sync suddenly let the video card and the monitor talk to each other some. The second biggest problem with G-Sync in my opinion was that it was a hardware solution, and that costs money. From what I have read, it costs between $35 and $50 per monitor that has the card in it. But the biggest problem is that it is proprietary. It only works with Nvidia cards.

So not wanting to be left out, and most certainly not wanting to have to pay Nvidia royalties, AMD created their own version called FreeSync or AMD Sync. What they came up with is a software solution. All a company has to do is update their monitors BIOS and it can use Free Sync. Then AMD turned it over to some standards committee. It is now an optional standard as part of DisplayPort 1.2a. AMD is also working to get it included in the HDMI 2.0 standard. The cost to add this? Next to nothing.

Whenever something new is created, like what Nvidia and AMD have done here, it takes time to get companies to include them, even if they are free. Slowly, the industry is starting to add these new technologies to monitors, and more recently, to laptops.

And yes, your last sentence above is 100% correct, this is more prominent in graphic intensive games. Until all of these new technologies are included in every monitor and laptop, we will continue to have these problems to some degree.
 

Zortwil

Honorable
Apr 7, 2013
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0
10,510
0


Ah makes sense. However, adaptive vsync is not available for mobile GPUs. Disabling vsync does not fix the issue either.

I took a video of the issue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wQBhhHw3IfA

Thanks for the help!
 

MarkW

Distinguished
Dec 7, 2009
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It takes forever for new technologies to move through the computer ecosystem. Eventually, laptops will get something to fix that, but monitors will have it first.
 
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