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Fluctuating GPU Clock - Help

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
As a side note: If anyone reads this and has an Alienware MX 14 like I do, make sure to repaste the cpu and gpu. I just did and have temps 10 C lower on my gpu and 20 C lower on my cpu. The stock paste they put on is like rubber... it sucks so much and it's so heavily caked on there, very poor quality.


So for the past few weeks my performance in games has dramatically been affected and I am seeing huge drops in frame rates. The game will run smooth for a bit, then get very sluggish, and then repeat continuously. I know my Nvidia 650M has a built in setting to underclock the core speed when the temperatures get high, but after monitoring it for a while, I can't seem to believe that this is the only thing affecting my card. Attached is a photo of the status of my card using MSI Afterburner during a session of Borderlands 2 (it acts this way in other games as well such as DotA 2); the temps never get above 67 C and the clock speed bounces between 130 Mhz and around 600 Mhz, neither of which are close to what the clock speed should be in the first place. Thinking it was just overheating, I cleaned it out recently (even though when I opened it up it wasn't really dirty at all) and even got a Thermaltake cooling pad. Unfortunately the situation only continues to get worse. I would appreciate any insight into the situation if anyone has any experience or any thoughts about how to fix this annoyance. The computer is an Alienware MX 14 with a core I7 at 2.3 Ghz and 6 gigs of RAM. (Very stupid buy looking back at it, I would recommend it to no one).



Edited by Dillbert - 4/5/13 at 9:21pm
post #2 of 7
Are you running any overclocks on the card?
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DEFCON-3
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8350 (4.8GHz) Sabertooth 990FX (R1.01/BIOS1604) ASUS GTX 780Ti 2x8GB G.SKILL TRIDENT-X (2140MHz) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 840 PRO 128GB Samsung 850 EVO 500GB Kingston HyperX 3K 128GB Kingston SSDnow 128GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOptical DriveCooling
WD Caviar BLACK 500GB ASUS Blu-ray ASUS LightScribe SILVER ARROW SB-E 
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Windows 7 PRO 64-bit 3x ASUS VN248H (24" 1080p AH-IPS) Logitech G710+ Seasonic G-750 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CM STORM:Trooper (DEFCON-3 MOD) Logitech MX Master Corsair MM600 CREATIVE Sound Blaster Z 
AudioOther
Audio Technica ATH-m50xbl Chill Factor III 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon X4 880k ASRock A88M-G/3.1 ASUS GTX 660ti HyperX Fury 8GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
I had tried to overclock it at one point in the past, but could never really get anything more out of it due to the fact that it will not allow the temps to get above 67/68 C. That was a while ago however, for the past couple months it has been at stock which is 745 MHz core and 2000 MHz memory.
post #4 of 7
Will you please run THIS benchmark and tell me what the clocks look like through out. Use THIS tool to monitor, then report.
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FX-8350 (4.8GHz) Sabertooth 990FX (R1.01/BIOS1604) ASUS GTX 780Ti 2x8GB G.SKILL TRIDENT-X (2140MHz) 
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Samsung 840 PRO 128GB Samsung 850 EVO 500GB Kingston HyperX 3K 128GB Kingston SSDnow 128GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOptical DriveCooling
WD Caviar BLACK 500GB ASUS Blu-ray ASUS LightScribe SILVER ARROW SB-E 
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Windows 7 PRO 64-bit 3x ASUS VN248H (24" 1080p AH-IPS) Logitech G710+ Seasonic G-750 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CM STORM:Trooper (DEFCON-3 MOD) Logitech MX Master Corsair MM600 CREATIVE Sound Blaster Z 
AudioOther
Audio Technica ATH-m50xbl Chill Factor III 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
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Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Crucial MX300 750GB LG Blu-ray Windows 10 P502ui-b1 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
Logitech k400r Rosewill Hive 550W ROSEWILL SRM-01 Vizio S4251W-b4 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X2 550 MSI 770-C45 Sparkle GT 220 4GB Corsair XMS3 
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DEFCON-3
(22 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8350 (4.8GHz) Sabertooth 990FX (R1.01/BIOS1604) ASUS GTX 780Ti 2x8GB G.SKILL TRIDENT-X (2140MHz) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 840 PRO 128GB Samsung 850 EVO 500GB Kingston HyperX 3K 128GB Kingston SSDnow 128GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOptical DriveCooling
WD Caviar BLACK 500GB ASUS Blu-ray ASUS LightScribe SILVER ARROW SB-E 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 PRO 64-bit 3x ASUS VN248H (24" 1080p AH-IPS) Logitech G710+ Seasonic G-750 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CM STORM:Trooper (DEFCON-3 MOD) Logitech MX Master Corsair MM600 CREATIVE Sound Blaster Z 
AudioOther
Audio Technica ATH-m50xbl Chill Factor III 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon X4 880k ASRock A88M-G/3.1 ASUS GTX 660ti HyperX Fury 8GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Crucial MX300 750GB LG Blu-ray Windows 10 P502ui-b1 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
Logitech k400r Rosewill Hive 550W ROSEWILL SRM-01 Vizio S4251W-b4 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X2 550 MSI 770-C45 Sparkle GT 220 4GB Corsair XMS3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital 500GB Caviar Black Seagate Baracuda 1TB ASUS blu-ray Stock 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Proffesional  Acer 24"  Logitech Wave OCZ modXtreme Pro 600W 
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post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well I installed GPU-Z and the Unigine Valley benchmark and left the monitor running while performing the benchmark. Upon completion I went to the Sensors tab of GPU-Z and inspected the Core Clock region and saw the same pattern. It seems however that it dropped down to a low of about 585 and would gradually climb back up to 745 and then drop over and over instead of the crazy differences that MSI Afterburner was reading. The temps also maxed at 67 C again and oscillated in phase with the core clock.

I made sure to account for the fact that the scenes switched and wanted to make sure that wasn't the reason for the clock dropping in between, but it is evident that when the scenes changed the core would drop to 405 which is the standard not under load speed, and then when the next one would start it would resume it's clock before the switch. So that is not the reason for the drop and climb from 585 to 745.
Edited by Dillbert - 4/3/13 at 12:27pm
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
It turns out it was just bad drivers and I just played into it thinking it was an ongoing problem... My temps have been getting hot lately so I probably need to repaste it as well, but rolling back the drivers seemed to fix the fluctuating problem at least. My clock now runs stable but at a much lower value than it ought to because of the temperature. I should have been able to see the driver fix but the only reason I did is because one of my buddies has the same laptop and updated today to get the exact same problem. The problem is therefore averted but the computer still gets too hot and suffers.
post #7 of 7
Well, I am very glad you figured it out, sorry I sort of abandoned the thread, I was out for a couple days.
DEFCON-3
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FX-8350 (4.8GHz) Sabertooth 990FX (R1.01/BIOS1604) ASUS GTX 780Ti 2x8GB G.SKILL TRIDENT-X (2140MHz) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 840 PRO 128GB Samsung 850 EVO 500GB Kingston HyperX 3K 128GB Kingston SSDnow 128GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOptical DriveCooling
WD Caviar BLACK 500GB ASUS Blu-ray ASUS LightScribe SILVER ARROW SB-E 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 PRO 64-bit 3x ASUS VN248H (24" 1080p AH-IPS) Logitech G710+ Seasonic G-750 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CM STORM:Trooper (DEFCON-3 MOD) Logitech MX Master Corsair MM600 CREATIVE Sound Blaster Z 
AudioOther
Audio Technica ATH-m50xbl Chill Factor III 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon X4 880k ASRock A88M-G/3.1 ASUS GTX 660ti HyperX Fury 8GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Crucial MX300 750GB LG Blu-ray Windows 10 P502ui-b1 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
Logitech k400r Rosewill Hive 550W ROSEWILL SRM-01 Vizio S4251W-b4 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X2 550 MSI 770-C45 Sparkle GT 220 4GB Corsair XMS3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital 500GB Caviar Black Seagate Baracuda 1TB ASUS blu-ray Stock 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Proffesional  Acer 24"  Logitech Wave OCZ modXtreme Pro 600W 
CaseMouse
Cooler Master Centurion 5 blue Logitech LX8 
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DEFCON-3
(22 items)
 
   
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
FX-8350 (4.8GHz) Sabertooth 990FX (R1.01/BIOS1604) ASUS GTX 780Ti 2x8GB G.SKILL TRIDENT-X (2140MHz) 
Hard DriveHard DriveHard DriveHard Drive
Samsung 840 PRO 128GB Samsung 850 EVO 500GB Kingston HyperX 3K 128GB Kingston SSDnow 128GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOptical DriveCooling
WD Caviar BLACK 500GB ASUS Blu-ray ASUS LightScribe SILVER ARROW SB-E 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 PRO 64-bit 3x ASUS VN248H (24" 1080p AH-IPS) Logitech G710+ Seasonic G-750 
CaseMouseMouse PadAudio
CM STORM:Trooper (DEFCON-3 MOD) Logitech MX Master Corsair MM600 CREATIVE Sound Blaster Z 
AudioOther
Audio Technica ATH-m50xbl Chill Factor III 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Athlon X4 880k ASRock A88M-G/3.1 ASUS GTX 660ti HyperX Fury 8GB 
Hard DriveOptical DriveOSMonitor
Crucial MX300 750GB LG Blu-ray Windows 10 P502ui-b1 
KeyboardPowerCaseAudio
Logitech k400r Rosewill Hive 550W ROSEWILL SRM-01 Vizio S4251W-b4 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Phenom II X2 550 MSI 770-C45 Sparkle GT 220 4GB Corsair XMS3 
Hard DriveHard DriveOptical DriveCooling
Western Digital 500GB Caviar Black Seagate Baracuda 1TB ASUS blu-ray Stock 
OSMonitorKeyboardPower
Windows 7 Proffesional  Acer 24"  Logitech Wave OCZ modXtreme Pro 600W 
CaseMouse
Cooler Master Centurion 5 blue Logitech LX8 
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