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Computer won't run games as it used to


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#1
Silverglow

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Hi there!

 

I'm not completely sure if my question belongs in the games topic or in hardware, but here it is:

For about a year ago I used to play some games (among them The Witcher 2 and Skyrim). After that I didn't have any time spare to play, but I did not uninstall the games. Recently I got more time to play again, but my computer couldn't run the games properly as it used to. The graphics were massively downscaled and the framerate was terrible - even though auto-detection would still recommend high specs.

 

I did not change any of the hardware in the meantime. My drivers are up to date. But I can't figure out why the games won't work as well as they did a year ago. Could someone please help me finding and fixing the cause?

 

Specs:

Windows: Windows 7 Ultimate Edition (64-bit) Service Pack 1 (Build 7601)
Internet Explorer: 9.11.9600.18124
Memory (RAM): 4400 MB
CPU Info: Intel® Core™2 Quad CPU           @ 2.40GHz
CPU Speed: 1806,9 MHz
Sound Card: Luidsprekers (High Definition A | 
Digitale audio (S/PDIF) (High D | 
 
Display Adapters: AMD Radeon HD 5700 Series | AMD Radeon HD 5700 Series | RDPDD Chained DD | RDP Encoder Mirror Driver | RDP Reflector Display Driver
Monitors: 1x; Algemeen PnP-beeldscherm | 
Screen Resolution: 1920 X 1080 - 32 bit
Network: Network Present
Network Adapters: 802.11n USB Wireless LAN Card | Marvell Yukon 88E8056 PCI-E Gigabit Ethernet Controller | Marvell Yukon 88E8001/8003/8010 PCI Gigabit Ethernet Controller
CD / DVD Drives: 3x (F: | G: | H: | ) F: TOSHIBA DVD-ROM SD-M1712 | G:  | H: TSSTcorpCD/DVDW SH-S182M
Ports: COM1 LPT Port NOT Present. 
Mouse: 3 Button Wheel Mouse Present
Hard Disks: D:  189,9GB | E:  698,6GB
Hard Disks - Free: D:  96,4GB | E:  415,4GB
USB Controllers: 5 host controllers.
Firewire (1394): 1 host controllers.
Manufacturer *: American Megatrends Inc.
Product Make *: System Product Name
AC Power Status: OnLine
BIOS Info: AT/AT COMPATIBLE | 01/22/07 | DELL   - 1000722
Time Zone: West-Europa (standaardtijd)
Battery Status: No Battery
Motherboard *: ASUSTeK Computer INC. P5B-Deluxe
IP Address: 192.168.1.6 | 
MAC Address: 00-14-5C-8C-2B-C1
Host Name: GILGAMESH
SM BIOS: 1004   
 

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#2
RKinner

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Get Process Explorer
 
Save it to your desktop then run it (Vista or Win7 - right click and Run As Administrator).  
 
View, Select Column, check Verified Signer, OK
Options, Verify Image Signatures
 
 
Click twice on the CPU column header  to sort things by CPU usage with the big hitters at the top.  
 
Wait a full minute then:
 
File, Save As, Save.  Open the file Procexp.txt on your desktop and copy and paste the text to a reply.
 
 
 
Get the free version of Speccy:
 
http://www.filehippo...download_speccy (Look in the upper right for the Download
Latest Version button  - Do NOT press the large Start Download button on the upper left!)  Download, Save and Install it.  
 
Close all browsers and open progrms before running Speccy.  Run Speccy.  When it finishes (the little icon in the bottom left will stop moving), File, Save as Text File,  (to your desktop) note the name it gives. OK.  Open the file in notepad and delete the line that gives the serial number of your Operating System.  (It will be near the top about 10 lines down.)  Save the file and close notepad  Attach the file to your next post as it is usually too large for the forum (Click on More Reply Options then Choose file, select the file, Open, Attach this File) Uninstall Speccy.
 
 
Right click on (My) Computer and select Manage (Continue) Then click on the arrow in front of Event Viewer. Next Click on the arrow in front of Windows Logs Right click on System and Clear Log, Clear. Repeat for Application.
 
Reboot. 
 
Start, All Programs, Accessories then right click on Command Prompt and Run as Administrator.  Then type (with an Enter after each line).
sfc  /scannow
 
(This will check your critical system files. Does this finish without complaint?  IF it says it couldn't fix everything then:
 
Copy the next two lines:
 
findstr  /c:"[SR]"  \windows\logs\cbs\cbs.log  >  \windows\logs\cbs\junk.txt 
notepad \windows\logs\cbs\junk.txt 
 
Start, All Programs, Accessories, right click on Command Prompt and Run as Administrator, Continue.  Right click and Paste or Edit then Paste and the copied line should appear.
Hit Enter. Copy and paste the text from notepad or if it is too big, just attach the file.)
 
 
1. Please download the Event Viewer Tool by Vino Rosso
and save it to your Desktop:
2. Right-click VEW.exe and Run AS Administrator
3. Under 'Select log to query', select:
 
* System
4. Under 'Select type to list', select:
* Error
* Warning
 
 
Then use the 'Number of events' as follows:
 
 
1. Click the radio button for 'Number of events'
Type 20 in the 1 to 20 box
Then click the Run button.
Notepad will open with the output log.
 
 
Please post the Output log in your next reply then repeat but select Application.
 
 (Second time you run vew it will overwrite the first log so copy it to a reply or rename it first.)
 
 

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#3
Silverglow

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Wow, I really had no idea what I was doing, so thanks for the clear instructions. I put all of the results in the attachments. I hope they give some clue?

 

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#4
RKinner

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Hard drive is good.  Windows is happy.  No sign of malware or other system CPU hogs.  

 

Looks like your CPU may be running a bit hotter than it should.  Since it's a desktop, shut it down but leave it connected to the AC power.  Remove the cover and locate the big heatsink over the CPU.  Use a small brush and a vacuum cleaner hose (or a can of compressed air) clean the fins of the heatsink.  Also clean any air intakes or exhaust including the power supply.  

 

Leave the cover off so you can watch the fan and turn it on.  The fan should spinup quickly.  It can slow down right away but the start up should be smooth and without odd noises.  If it seems a bit slow starting or is noisy, replace it.  DO NOT DISCONNECT THE HEATSINK FROM THE CPU unless you plan to clean and replace the thermal paste.

 

Get Speedfan:
 
 
Download, save and Install it (Win 7 or Vista right click and Run As Admin.) then run it (Win 7 or Vista right click and Run As Admin)
 
It will tell you your temps in real time. (If you click on Configure then on Core you can check Show in Tray then OK  and even when minimized it will show the Core temp in the system tray (near the clock),  If you don't see it then Windows is hiding it.  Click on the up arrow to the left of the icons near the clock and  Customize.  Find Speedfan and change it to Show Icons and Notifications.  ) Leave it up and run game and see if the temps climb.
 
Desktops usually run about 45 C or less at idle.  Some temperature increase is normal but I'd say no more than 20.  If it still gets hot then you will need to clean and replace the thermal paste.
 
Open Computer, select System Properties then click on Windows Experience Index.  What is the base score and which component has the same score?  Click on Re-run the Assessment (near the bottom right of the page).  Do the numbers change?

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#5
Silverglow

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Ah, I see :)

 

Regarding the temperature, I often read that speccy isn't very accurate for measuring temperature. I noticed the 60 degree mention and should have added that CoreTemp measured only about 42.

A few months ago I cleaned the fans using a foot-pump, because the processor temperature was really high (somewhere near 80).

I will however tomorrow check whether the fan starts up smoothly, though I doubt temperature is the cause - unless it caused damage in at that time.

 

Curious thing: I also just updated the Windows Experience Index, and both graphic scores dropped from a 7,4 (the score of a year ago) to a 7,2 - without any change in hardware. The other scores (processor & RAM at 6,7 and hard drive at 5,2) remained the same.


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#6
Silverglow

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Checked the fans at startup; all work fine. Checked the in-game temperature - that's also fine. High temperature is really not the issue here...

 

So I guess it must be some issue with the video cards. Could it be old age? Or must it be something else?


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#7
RKinner

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Right click on Computer and select Manage then Device manager.  Find your Video card driver under Display Adapters and right click on it and select Properties.  Click on the Driver tab then on Rollback Driver (if not grayed out).  Perhaps the older driver was better.


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#8
Silverglow

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It's grayed out, since I uninstalled all older drivers using DDU not so long ago (that was recommended for some other problem I encountered). But I had the problems allready with my previous driver. AMD brought out new software this month, I updated to this, hoping it would fix anything. But unfortunately it didn't.

Should I maybe browse the AMD archives for an older version of the driver?


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#9
RKinner

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Worth a try.


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#10
Silverglow

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I tried - spent several hours in trying to install various versions of older drivers. But I ran in various troubles with each of them (control centre wouldn't appear in tray, neither open, files weren't installed after a "successful installation", and more). I'm really tired of it and was even quite happy that the most recent driver would make my system work again - though not the games.

 

Do you have any other suggestions besides an older driver?

 

And thank you, so far!


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#11
RKinner

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I know you said it wasn't running hot but I'mnot convinced so the only thing I can suggest is to take the heatsink off and replace the thermal paste with Arctic Silver 5.  I like the kit of cleaner and paste together.  Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Compound 3.5 Grams with ArctiClean 60 ML Combo Kit.  About $13 on Amazon.  Ebay says they have it cheaper.


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#12
Silverglow

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I'll try that, thanks :)


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#13
Silverglow

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Alright, I got the cooling paste and replaced the old one. I even replaced the old cpu-fan.

 

Nothing changed really. Except when I ran the Windows Experience Index again, the scores for graphics had dropped even further from 7,2 to 7,1. How can this be?


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#14
RKinner

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So what does speedfan say about your temps?


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#15
Silverglow

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Good question, thanks.

Idle, around 50 degrees. That's too hot, right? I suppose I quite suck at applying cooling paste and will have to perform that dreaded operation again :/ 


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