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I own a reasonably high performance, although a bit outdated (4 years), computer and have been, for some time, experiencing bad performance and about 1 second freezes on all of the games I play. I also get these freezes, I think, while on bro

I tried a clean install of Windows 10, had Windows 8 before, but the problem remained. I then concluded that the problem should remain in hardware, probably graphics card or RAM, so I tested both my memory sticks but to no avail, I got no errors.

I wanted to know if there is a way I can make a detailed diagnosis of the problem, since what I learned from school is quite a bit outdated, and, since I have no spare hardware, my only solution, right now, is to buy a new graphics card and check if the problem is solved, although I'm quite worried that the problem is maybe in some other component and I'm "wasting" money.

To put it in a better perspective, I have freezes on all games and have to run them in Medium/Low in order to achieve 60FPS@1080p. Some of the games are: Rocket League, CS:GO, Dark Souls 1/2/3. Although I understand that some of the bad performance is due to my card being outdated, having bad performance on "old" games, is not really normal.

Graphics card temperatures don't exceed 70ºC.

My computer specs are the following:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5 3570K (3.4GHz, no OC)
  • GPU: MSI GTX680 2GB (no OC)
  • MB: ASUS P8Z68-V LX
  • RAM: 2x Corsair Vengeance 4GB DDR3 1600MHz CL9
  • SSD: CORSAIR SSD 120GB FORCE GT (OS)
  • HDD: WD Blue 160GB (Scratch Disk) + WD Green 1TB (Games)
  • PSU: XFX Pro 750W Core Edition
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro (I think)

Any help is welcomed.

  • Do you know what temperatures you have during gameplay? Is the GPU overclocked? – Spokey Apr 12 '16 at 13:45
  • Within reason. No overclock and max temp at about 70ºC – André Dias Apr 12 '16 at 13:49
  • What about the CPU temps? does your graphics driver crash during gameplay? You might also want to check your PSU, or monitor voltages with something like hwmonitor during gameplay or a stress test software. See if your voltages are normal (see PSU docs for a list) – Spokey Apr 12 '16 at 14:39
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    @arana You could have a point here, I tried downgrading my driver in a crazy atempt to fix the problem and who would've guesses, Dark Souls 3 now runs practically smoothly at 1080p 60FPS. Going to test several games but this might just be a fix – André Dias Apr 13 '16 at 23:07
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    Possible duplicate of How do I troubleshoot a Windows freeze or slowness? – DavidPostill Apr 14 '16 at 7:44
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If we are talking about an "older" PC, the first thing I would check is the temperatures. There is a feature called thermal throttling when your CPUs performance is lowered to sustain an ideal temperature.
Open resource monitor (start - run - resmon), in the CPU tab, you can see Maximum Frequency. Make sure is 100% even when the CPU is under pressure.

You can install Hard Disk Sentinel to check HDD/SSD.

You can check your GPU with a benchmark software. For example you can use FurMark, and check if the GPU usage works on 100%.

The RAM should be fine, else you would get BSODs or freezes. In case you want to make sure it works properly, there is a Windows tool that you can use to check it. Start - Run - mdsched.exe You need to run this as an administrator.
Also for best performance and stability you should enter BIOS and load XMP profiles.

  • Thank you Divin3, after following your tests, I noticed my everything was working fine. I found out my CPU was overheating and promptly reinstalled the cooler with new thermal paste, lowering the temperature. I also noticed my BIOS was not properly configured and fixed that. Although it didn't fix my problem, it sure prevented me from killing my CPU and rectified my BIOS settings. – André Dias Apr 13 '16 at 23:09
  • @AndréDias - don't worry, CPUs don't die that easy. It would have eventually shut your computer down when overheated. Are there at least any partial improvements? – Divin3 Apr 13 '16 at 23:55

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