I'm having problems with gaming performance and have no idea how to solve it right now. I know this machine should be able to perform better than this and I was hoping for some tips. Hopefully I'll find the problem.

My machine is

  • Alienware m17x R4, Intel i7
  • Graphics card is GTX 680m from nVidia.
  • 24gb RAM.
  • Windows 8 OS.

I am running into problems with a game called StarCraft 2 which shouldn't be too demanding.

The problems I'm having is that during too many animations is running (big fights etc.) the framerate drops from ~25 to ~5 and freezes completely on occasions. When the freeze is over, the game runs really fast for a second until it 'catches up' so to speak. Mostly it just drops framerate until the big fight/animations are over.

Since this is a completely new PC with high performance gfx card, I'm pretty much sure that there shouldn't be any problems like this.

I installed drivers from nVidia, the ones that they recommended. I also installed latest drivers for chipset.

I investigated the possibility that I might be running on the internal gfx card instead of the GTX, and learned that I can switch between them by pressing fn+F7. That did not help, and I could barely run the game.

Graphics card performance

I installed GPU-z as instructed and it gives me some information about the graphics cards.

To set which card should be used for certain programs you can go to the nVidia control panel (Right click desktop -> nVidia control panel -> Manage 3D settings). I have made sure that the game is in this list with proper settings, however this does not solve my problem.

I have logged the sensors from GPU-z and put the log in a gist . During this log I'm playing a game and experiencing lag, FPS down to 3.


Checking some tests I see a different (better) result than I'm having.

On the following link testing this game they get around 50 FPS on highest settings. I get dips to 10 FPS on lowest setting, when they suggest you get 250 FPS on low settings with this GFX card.


3Dmark benchmark seems to give me OK results: http://www.3dmark.com/3dm/592251

Other games

I have tested one other game (Diablo 3) with maximum video settings and it runs like a charm - very smoothly with high FPS, never dipping below 25 even in huge fights with lots of animations.

Any idea is appreciated.

  • Make sure the chipset is also up to date, and your sound is up to date. Does the fault only occur with this 1 game or with other games? – Dave Apr 29 '13 at 8:16
  • I have only tried this one game, but I can install something else and see how it goes. I will also checkout chipset and sounds drivers. Thanks. – miphe Apr 29 '13 at 8:40
  • On a side note, maybe this should me moved to Arqade - not sure if it's more software or more gaming related. – miphe Apr 29 '13 at 13:27
  • 1
    I don't think so @miphe - gaming.stackexchange.com/faq – Dave Apr 29 '13 at 13:34
  • 2
    @miphe take a look at GPUz – Sathyajith Bhat Apr 29 '13 at 15:59

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