FPS drop in all games - ridiculous

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Judas-Smoke

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Hi there. I'm running a 3.2ghz p4, 2 gigs ramm, 9800XT and cable modem. I got this computer in January, it's from Alienware (unfortunately). But anyway... I played Quake 3, Counter-Strike, Diablo2, LoD and Unreal Tourny 2004 with NO PROBLEMS for the first month of having this computer. Then sometime in February I started to get FPS drop during battle. I mostly play CS now, so I'll give an example thru CS (Counter-Strike) terms. Okay. I run out into battle and get shot at... immediately, my FPS drops from 100 constant, down to 30-60fps until I'm dead and the game puts me into spectator mode. Now what I mean is... from the first instant that a fragment of bullet/grenade hits me, my FPS drops down and stays down until the games forces me into spectator mode. It takes the game about 3-5 seconds to force a player into spectator mode after they've died. So basically, I get shot at and killed before I even see the enemies movements that are happening in real time, that I don't yet see because of... this unknown problem, the FPS drop.


I hope all of this makes sense to you guys. If it doesn't please tell me and I'll try to explain it better.

I've had cable internet for 2 months. I've had this FPS drop issue for about 9-10 months. For a year and a half before I got cable internet I had DSL. What I'm trying to say is, it's not my ISP that's causing this problem.

I've tried Alienware tech support repeatedly with different technicians. They think it's a network problem, which is complete BS.

Is there anyone who can help me out please? :-D
 
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I'd say to try playing one game online and one game against bots, and see if the problem occurs in both. This could help determine what the cause of the problem is.
 
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Oftentimes stealthy malware can cause performance drops.

Try posting a HijackThis Scanlog for analysis.

http://www.net-integration.net/tools/hijackthis.html

Is this problem only happening with online playing? If not, don't do this before running HijackThis, but if you want to test an offline game, try opening the Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del) and terminate every process with a User Name EXCEPT EXPLORER, and then try loading and running the game.

Frankly, in many respects your problem sounds like it is a performance drop due to overheating.

You might want to monitor your temps, especially when running games. Also open up the pc and blow out any accumulated dust and make sure the fans are working and not overly coated with grime and dust.
 

Judas-Smoke

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Sep 13, 2004
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alex_holker: I've tried playing in single player in all the games that I play and they work fine in single player. It's only multiplayer.

Rollin'_Rog: I've already tried disabling all start up items and services and even formatting with only video audio and mobo drivers and I still have the same problem. It's not spyware, and it's not startup services taking up too much space or anything. I've already looked into all of these simple possibilities to as of what is causing this problem.

Any other suggestions? :confused:
 

Judas-Smoke

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Here is something else very bizarre that I just noticed while playing Counter-Strike...

When I got shot, my FPS dropped down (as it normally does) But I also noticed that my sound kinda goes out or doesn't function to it's highest quality, something of that sort, at the same time the FPS drop happens. Could this be a problem with my sound card??
 
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Problems that occur immediately after a format, with all the right drivers installed and nothing else are most likely to be hardware issues. In your case I still suspect heat.

Try reproducing the problem and posting your temps taken immediately thereafter. You are going to get all these same suggestions until you convince us otherwise.

If it's not temps then I still wouldn't rule out upstream and downstream speeds. They can vary greatly on cable.

You can test those indepenently here:

http://jlab4.jlab.org:7123/
http://www.testmy.net/

Moreover if you did not immediately install a firewall, or enable the XP firewall and install the blaster variant security updates, I can almost assure you you were infected within 30 minutes of being online.
 
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Jul 19, 2004
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if its a new alienware it shouldnt be having these problems. alienware is good w/ returns just check and see if you can get a free exchange if its new enough. also, the water cooling may be messing up. for an expensive alienware computer you should have peak performance. like they said check for viruses, hijacks, and malware. then make sure your drivers are good. always have latest drivers. set your graphics settings ingame to normal and make sure hardware is selected. also see if you can use directx. get directx9c that could help
what are the games you are getting trouble from i only skimmed it. ps may hav2 leave due to hurricane.
 

Judas-Smoke

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Sep 13, 2004
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I got this message while playing CS, for a 2nd time.

09/14/04 14:58:49
A voltage (+5 V) has gone outside of its recommended range.
Bad Voltage Value: 3.984 volts

09/14/04 14:58:50
A voltage (+5 V) has returned to its recommended range.

from Intel Active Monitor.

What's this mean?
 
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You're power supply is being overloaded or is defective. A definite warranty issue if it continues.
 

Judas-Smoke

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Sep 13, 2004
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Alright. So a drop from 5.1 to 3.984 for 1 second is enough to be causing big problems?
 
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alienwares are by overlocked at the factory. they will assist you on fixing these problems.
 
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Hard to say, and I'm certainly not a hardware expert.

It's possible other voltages are at the low end of their range limits and that could be under driving the processor or the video card.

Have you added any additonal hardware to the original configuration?
 

Judas-Smoke

Thread Starter
Joined
Sep 13, 2004
Messages
18
Nope. no additional hardware.

im going to call alienware pretty soon, i'll tell yall what they say.
 
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yah go ahead they cost alot and alienware has good support. there computers are great so you should be happy about it. i think that they did a lil to much upgrades and the pc cant handle it. the alienware guys are super geeks and they mess w/ the computer before they send it to u so that its at 110% efficeincy. that can cause problems sometimes tho.
 
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Not all alienwares are overclocked by default, and I'm pretty sure they've only started watercooling recently, not back in January....

Anyway, if the PSU is giving less than 4v on the +5v line, then something is definitely wrong...the main lines to look for are the 3.3v and 12v lines, but if the 5v is too low, the others are probably being affected as well.

Definitely call Alienware, you spent a ton of money on something from them, you deserve to have it working correctly...
 
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