Sudden decrease in Laptop performance.

Cedrock88

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Jun 11, 2012
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Specs(copied from dxdiag):
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2670QM CPU @ 2.20GHz (8 CPUs), ~2.2GHz
6144MB RAM
Display:
-nVidia GTX555M 1GB (For some reason, dxdiag is only showing my intel card, but this is the one I use for gaming, and I'm pretty sure that it's using this when gaming cause it shows up in the system tray)
-Intel(R) HD Graphics 3000

So he's my problem. I used to get over 50 FPS constantly on battlefield 3 about a month ago. Now here's the thing, it suddenly decreased massively. I'm getting under 30 on 600 x 400 resolution with everything on low and "off".

It's not really making much sense to me, I've run registry cleaners, ad defragged but to no avail. Power settings are on high performance and the maximum and minimum processor state in this setting are all 100% (On battery and on A/C)

I had updated my nvidia drivers before playing the game because my old drivers would make it crash. So yeah, after I udated it ran smoothly for a while then boom, 30 fps.

Also note that this is not just for Battlefield 3. Same happened with Dota 2, but I can actually run that game on the lowest settings even with the decrease.

Does anyone have any idea what might be causing this?
 

Cedrock88

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I checked for dust and I found nothing. I have a special place that I can unscrew at the bottom to access the ventilation system, and I cleaned it just yesterday, but to no avail
 

Cedrock88

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Still nothing. I am now 100% positive it is not an overheating issue, since I started Battlefield 3 from a cold boot, and was getting 30 fps from the start.

I'm starting to loose hope here...
 

zdbc13

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The only way to be sure it's not overheating is to monitor the temps while playing the game. Use speedfan and start the charts. Then play the game for a while, switch over to speedfan and tell us the temps..
 

RetiredChief

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If it was using the HD3000, I don't think you woulds get 30 FPS for Battlefield 3

Have you monitored the GPU/CPU temperatures while playing, as it could still be temp related?? Notebooks, espeacially some models, can NOT deal with the temps generated by runing games and develop problems. Why they manuf a "gaming" Notebook then do NOT provide adiquate cooling is beyoun me!!

Here is what I would do.
1) Open up HWMonitor so that you can monitor Both CPU and GPU temperatures
2) Run Furmark in a window - CAUTION this will heat up the GPU more than a game so A) do NOT run unattended, B) only run for a short time, and C) Monitor temps closely

Furmark will Identify which GPU is being used and I believe it also shows GPU Temp (Does NOT show CPU Temp, nor speed._

Furmark: http://www.ozone3d.net/benchmarks/fur/
HWMonitor: http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/hwmonitor.html

Added: Have you tried un-installing ther driver and re-instaliing. Run CCLeaner inbetween the un-install and the re-install.
 

Cedrock88

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Ok so first of all, thanks for the HWmonitor. I had that program on my old laptop and I liked it alot, but couldn't find it on google so that I would install it on this one.

Anyway, my Motherboard was at 65C, GPU and CPU at around 60. I started the test, and I would get 2-3 FPS, 4 at max. The temp went up to 75C, and still same FPS. It also CLEARLY said it was testing the nVidia GPU. It actually couldn't detect the Intel one for some reason.

@Whyso, I tried every setting in the nVidia control panel to no avail.

 

zdbc13

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If the performance went down all at once like you said you may need to open up the case and re-apply thermal compound to the heatsinks. Temps from 60c to 75c may not be dangerous to the chips but they are still high and may throttle them.
 

Cedrock88

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I'm pretty sure it's not an overheating problem. On furmark I'm getting 4 FPS at max no matter how hot my GPU is. I'd also like to mention that the program says the OpenGL renderer is my intel graphics card...Is this normal, or should it be my nVidia rendering? Cause it clearly detects my nVidia GPU, but why wouldn't it use it?
I'm getting scores of 200 on the benchmark tests, which I'm guessing is terrible looking at the FPS I'm getting and comparing to the FPS of other computers.

@zdbc13, I don't think I can get my hands on some thermal compound right now, but I guess I'll try if I can.
 

RetiredChief

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It's rare that the thermal compound is the cause unless the HSF was not properly attached.

I'm thinking more along:
1) a software/driver problem, but that should not give the High Idle temps.
2) The GPU fan, assuming the HSF assembly is securely mounted
3) Always a possibility that with the High temps you have already degraded some component(s) assosicatd with the GPU.
 

Cedrock88

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I have done a clean re-install for my nVidia drivers. There was a tiny improvement, but nothing special. I have tried playing battlefield 3, I would go in a jet, and get 50-60 FPS. I would play smoothly for like 5 minutes, and suddenly it drops to 8-15 FPS for about a minute or so, then back to normal.
When I play as infantry, I would get 25-30 (It's kinda unplayable).
This is really confusing. You'd think jets would stress your computer more, since you're up in the air and you can see the whole map, but it's actually infantry that's more intensive...
I've heard somewhere that this sudden drop in FPS is because the CPU is throttling up and down too much, but I've set it in the power management settings to minimum at 100%, and maximum at 100%.

So yeah all in all I'm getting higher FPS in jets but it drops massively sometimes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7tE_i91q5vw at about 0:30 you can see the cooling system of my laptop. (This is the exact same model I have, also note that I already unscrewed the fan and cleaned everything under it.)
 

zdbc13

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When you took the fan off did you apply any kind of thermal compound or switch out the thermal pad? That could be your problem, right there. Whenever you remove a heatsink you "must" remove the old thermal paste and apply new. Let us know.
 

Cedrock88

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The CPU is not under the fan. Under the fan is a blank area. You can go check it out in the video. I did not spot any thermal paste anywhere.
 

Cedrock88

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I got it! I finally figured it out!
So I have this button on my laptop that turns the nVidia GPU On/Off. Problem was, somehow it got inverted. When the LED light next to it was on, it meant that the GPU was on. And visa versa. However, somehow, this was turned around. And I'm pretty sure about this because it was the first place I checked when I first got the problem. The driver re-install should have done the trick I guess. Thing is, this button retracts to where it was when you pull it (You pull it to the side, it retracts to where it was, and you do it again when you want the other option.)

Thanks a lot everyone for the help. I really appreciate it, and I'm glad it's fixed now so that I can proceed gaming with stable FPS.
 
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