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I'm running Windows 7 (64Bit) with GTX460 Nvidia graphics card.

I used to get great performance on every single game I played, including latest titles such as Battlefield 3 and Tribes Ascend.

I formatted my computer this summer and installed everything from scratch, including the newest drivers from nVidia.

Now I can barely get 20fps on the lowest settings on these games where I used to be able to run everything on Max and get 60fps.

Screenshot of GPU-z

This is an idle screenshot, meaning only Firefox open. I'm not sure if my memory clock and shader clock should be at max all the time. I'm assuming this is the problem, no?

How can I check what's causing this massive performance slump?

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2  
What happens if you install older drivers? –  user3463 Jul 1 '12 at 18:16
    
This could be the result of having Aero running, it's weird though because your core clock seems not to be running at max speed from sight. –  Tom Wijsman Oct 10 '12 at 21:14
    
Something is going on with your core clock rate. Your screen cap says 50.6 MHz. With a peak rate of 750 to 850 (depending on manufacturer model) your downthrottle rate at the desktop should be 187.5 MHz at the minimum. Check clock controls & device bios to see if something got bjorked. –  OCDtech Jan 14 '13 at 19:34
    
are you running at a different, possibly higher, resolution on your monitor? Switching from 1280 by 1024 to 1920 by 1080 would make a huge difference. –  cybernard Apr 7 '13 at 1:51
    
What driver version are you using? –  Ryan Gates Jun 21 '13 at 20:47

3 Answers 3

Try to see if there is perhaps an altcoin/bitcoin miner running on your computer. If it is, it'll not draw much CPU, but it will propbably try to max out your GPU. Modern bitcoin derivatives are mined with algorithms (e.g. scrypt) that run on graphics cards instead of CPU.

Miner programs are generally identifiable by a very long 'command'/'parameters' string in the taskmanager in windows. CUDAMiner might be the name of a miner that is used on NVidia cards.

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Here are some tips about it.

Running Stuff Tips

  • When running games, make sure to turn off all programs, including firefox, bittorrent, and similar.

  • Turn off all Windows advanced graphics features in your System->Advanced Control Panel Menu. Note that this shouldn't have much impact on your computer.

  • Turn off User Account Control and run games in Administrator Mode.

  • If you have a video card configuration utility, reset it to default configuration. If you can uninstall it, do so.

Making Sure of Stuff

  • Benchmark/stress test your system using FutureMark tools, FurMark, Prime95, and even the Windows benchmarking tools. Pay attention to temperatures and fan speeds in your CPU and your GPU. Post the results if they are anomalous. Hell, post them anyway.

  • Check if any greedy processes are running on your machine using Task Manager. Alternatively, you can look into advanced process and memory inspection utilities from SysInternals. They are free, and in my opinion, should come pre-installed.

General Computer Checks

  • Make certain you installed the right video card drivers. Reinstall them, possibly.

  • Read about any issues involving your video card and the drivers you've installed. Don't forget to check about problems involving your video card manufacturer.

  • Make certain your hardware and OS specs are what you expect. Pay attention to RAM, and make certain your video card device driver is properly installed (E.g. the device name is correct). Don't focus on the video card, though. You can use advanced hardware inspection programs such as HWInfo to assist you.

  • Make sure to install all relevant, motherboard-related drivers from your motherboard manufacturer's website. Note any anomalous, unknown devices in your device manager.

  • Make sure Windows is fully updated, and that you're running latest versions of supporting software (e.g. PhysX, DirectX, and so forth)

More Complicated Checks

  • Make sure your graphics adapter is fully connected to your computer, including the PCIx power cables (e.g. that they aren't loose)

  • Reset your bios to default settings.

  • Try to verify that your GPU and CPU voltage read outs are within specification.
  • Verify that your power supply is sufficient for all your hardware devices, the video card in particular.
  • If your video adapter has a testing utility, use it. If you need any help with a particular step, ask. If everything is in order, I'm out of simple ideas.
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There are two significant issues that I have personally had with my Nvidia card (which is different than yours).

  • PowerMizer - There was functionality built into the Nvidia drivers that limited the amount of power they would use (I assume this was targeted at laptop users). Consuming less power drastically lowers the performance and in some cases properly outputing to the screen. You need to make sure that this is set to be disabled, which you can read about here.

  • Heat - In your question, the temperature is 65 degrees Celsius(149 degrees Fahrenheit). That is not dangerously high, but it could be impacting your performance. There isn't an easy answer to this without looking at your machine and its airflow and cooling.

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