Does your framerate drop after some playtime? My solution.
by 1MileCrash - 11/26/11 11:18 AM
About 3 years ago I purchased a Sager NP2096 Laptop. Specs are fuzzy, nvidia Geforce 9600m GT is all I remember. I upgraded the processor (during order) so I don't remember which one it is. Regardless...here's the story.
When I first bought the laptop, performance was phenomenal. The main reason I bought it was that I wanted a light, small computer that could run Oblivion well. I was able to run Oblivion at high settings at a great, constant framerate.
As my laptop aged, I began to notice a decline in performance. Only natural, I thought. I'd play Oblivion for about 20-40 minutes and then seemingly out of nowhere, framerate would drop to 4-6 fps. I began doing all types of things to improve performance, game-booster, cleaning out files, etc. Of course, a lot of things I did certainly improved performance, but they never tackled the *core* issue that my laptop had developed.
In another attempt to reclaim the performance my laptop once held, I completely reinstalled windows from the CD and started clean. This too, helped.
I started playing World of Warcraft recently, and was met with HORRID framerates. This was simply because I had not updated my driver after reinstalling windows. Once I did that, I had a deja vu of my problems with Oblivion. Great framerates, then after some playtime, something happened, and it went to 6 fps.
I decided to open the computer and check for dust, as I did once before. Just cleaned the internal parts a bit and scraped dust off the fan.
But this time, I went a step further. I took the fan OFF. To my absolute horror, I foudn this wedged between where the fan meets the physical vent of the laptop.
This problem was slow to build up - so I never noticed my laptop was running hotter than it did when I bought it.
I used to feel like my laptop was a letdown and that I wouldn't buy another Sager. Now, I am amazed that the thing was able to do even startup despite MY negligence. This laptop was literally SMOTHERED. This dust was really caked in, years and years formed a solid strip of what I would compare to a wash cloth just in the vent.
I removed this obstruction to the vent, and viola. The laptop runs like it always was supposed to. I can actually run games at the recommended settings again, and play for hours. What was clearly happening, is that the laptop would get too hot, so performance was reduced to prevent system damage. I have been putting the laptop through this for years, and it has managed to survive.
If you, like so many others, have this common problem, open up the laptop! Search closely for anything that may be hindering cooling! This strip of dust was invisible without taking the fan off. Now it's gone, and with it, so are ALL of the problems I had.
If you start up your game with reasonable framerates, then after playtime have a DRASTIC decrease in performance (regardless of the game's graphics settings - lower settings would only increase the time I had until the inevitable FPS crash, we're talking 4-8 frames per second) then this MAY be the problem!