GPU frame rate fluctuates persistently in game

I’ve only tested this on TF2 so far, and will continue to investigate with other games and settings, but I’ve noticed that my FPS at native resolution will fluctuate quickly between ~150 and ~250 when running the game. This is a very consistent fluctuation with a period of about 1/3 of a second, and makes it quite distracting to move and aim as it feels like you’re slightly rubber-banding around. The only thing I’ve tried that has impacted this was to lower the resolution from native 2560x1600 down to 1920x1200 - it looks like the frame rate is much more consistent at this resolution, but that could be because it remains close to 300, which is the hard cap of the game.

I’m running the tiny11 build of Windows 11 Pro 23H2 22631.3155, with AMD Software: Adrenalin Edition Version 23.20.24.17. TF2 is running on the Radeon RX 7700S - hybrid vs. smart access mode has not made a difference. The one thing I haven’t checked yet is changing FreeSync, which is currently enabled - I’ll go look into that now and see if it affects anything.

EDIT: I wasn’t able to reproduce the frame rate variation in the 5 minutes or so that I just played, even without changing any settings. It could possibly be related to heat or extended use, perhaps, since it only showed up about 20 minutes into my previous play session? I’ll keep an eye on things and post back here if I find out anything more.

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It sounds to me like there was a CPU bottleneck. The fact that the GPU can put out 250 FPS shows that it’s capable but the huge drops (100 FPS) leads me to believe that the GPU may have been waiting for the CPU before generating more frames. Also, given that it has stopped I’m thinking some process may have been running that caused it. Possibly a Windows update?

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I suspect you didn’t mean it this way, but the “Possibly a Windows update?” line read to me as a hard meme for Linux, and I’m still chuckling.

I had Windows update disabled for that period, so I don’t think it was that. It could perhaps have been Discord, though I had that on for the entire session and this issue wasn’t present all the time. I’ll keep an eye on things.

Discord is a pretty consistent impact I’m my experience, maybe some filesystem indexing? I know that used to be an issue, especially on fresh installs when a lot of files are getting created.

I have been unable to replicate the fluctuating frame rate, so I suspect previous posters here were correct and there was just something going on in the background on my system. Will post back if anything changes.

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