Cleaning my PC improved my FPS? — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Cleaning my PC improved my FPS?

I'm sure this is a stupid question one way or another but is it possible cleaning dust out my computer could increase my FPS in GW2 and Elder Scrolls Online? (And possibly other things but I don't pay attention to it for other programs.)

Yesterday I finally got around to dismantling my computer and cleaning it properly for the first time in months. I didn't take everything apart but I did remove and clean all the fans and the filters on the intake fans and as much dust as I could get to on and around the motherboard and the graphics card. I also removed the heat sink on the CPU, cleaned it, applied new heat gel and I think I got it to clip onto the motherboard more securely than it was before (the holes are slightly too small for the clips so it's a pain to get in, or out, but I really wanted to make sure I did it properly.

The first improvement I noticed was entirely expected - both the CPU and the graphics card (the two components my computer tells me about) were reporting much lower running temperatures both when idle and when I'm playing games. The second was a bit of a surprise - my FPS has jumped up.

A couple of months ago, after a big Windows update, my FPS dropped from about 70-40 (depending on what I'm doing) to about 40-1,and I'm pretty sure sometimes when it was reporting 1 FPS it was just because it couldn't show smaller numbers. I found a whole bunch of pointless things the update had installed or activated in Windows 10 and disabled or uninstalled them, which helped, but it didn't get back to what it was. I've been trying other things on and off to fix it but nothing helped. Then yesterday after the cleaning it was back where it used to be.

Is it possible that my computer was running slowly to try and cope with the heat (as well as the dust issue the UK has been 'enjoying' a heat wave for the last few weeks and like most people in this country I don't have air conditioning so the ambient temperature is about 30 Celsius) and that was limiting my FPS?

"You can run like a river, Till you end up in the sea,
And you run till night is black, And keep on going in your dreams,
And you know all the long while, It's the journey that you seek,
It's the miles of moving forward, With the wind beneath your wings."

Comments

  • RedShark.9548RedShark.9548 Member ✭✭✭✭

    simply put: yes

  • Diva.4706Diva.4706 Member ✭✭

    Not doing routine cleaning of your PC will cause components to run hotter, and will in fact lower the life span of parts. As mentioned above, hot components will run slower, known as thermal throttling, which will directly lower the computers performance. As a rule of thumb, it's best to clean out the dust from all filters, fans, GPU and CPU twice a year, depending on the environment. Smoking and pet dander will warrant more frequent cleaning.

  • Ashantara.8731Ashantara.8731 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 24, 2018

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    I'm sure this is a stupid question one way or another but is it possible cleaning dust out my computer could increase my FPS in GW2 and Elder Scrolls Online?

    Removing layers of dust from your hardware as well as dust flakes from cooling fans and ribs ensures a better heat reduction of the system. The less your hardware heats up, the smoother your system performs.


    My GW2 content charts: (1) LWS 4, (2) PoF , (3) Personal story (pre-Claw Island/Orr) , (4) LWS 2 , (5) HoT, (6) Orr campaign , (7) LWS 3

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Steve The Cynic.3217 said:
    These components, especially the CPU and the GPU, also have technologies to limit their heat production if their temperature is higher than it should be, but these technologies universally achieve this by slowing the parts down. So if the heatsinks and fans are dirty, they are less effective at cooling the components, and the components run hotter at the same speed, or run slower at the same temperature, to make up for it.

    This is the part I didn't realize. I knew they'd run hotter because of dust and if it got too hot they'd cut out, I didn't realise they could slow down to reduce heat production. It may not have helped that the problem started at the same time as a Windows 10 update which caused several issues, so I was looking for a software fix rather than looking at the hardware.

    The other problem is my computer knowledge is pretty much just what I've been able to pick up over the years, so it's a bit erratic and some of it is probably out of date. I think I know more than the average person (I basically built this computer - re-used a lot of parts from my old one but I replaced the motherboard, CPU and graphics card so I had to disconnect everything else and reconnect it, I just got to leave the power supply, disk drive and hard drive in the case while I did it) but I'm sure there's a lot I probably should know and don't.

    I should mention I do clean the inside of it every so often (and the outside every time the room is vacuumed), but it's usually just the bits which are easy to get to. I'm still nervous about taking it apart too much in case I damage something or can't get it back together so things like removing the CPU heat sink to dust under and around it don't happen often.

    But it's a lot better than the old 2nd hand PC I shared with my siblings as a kid, which only got moved when the room was being redecorated. At first I thought it had a layer of foam across the back...until I ran the vacuum over it and the 'foam' came apart and revealed the actual back of the machine. Even then I didn't appreciate the effect that was having until I realised the computer crashed a lot less often. I'd assumed it was just old and not very good to begin with (the CD drive also had a 'fun' habit of sticking and shattering CDs...I still haven't been forgiven for breaking my sisters copy of The Sims, even though it wasn't my fault). And back then all I knew about making computers run more efficently was running Defrag every so often (with the fun animation of all the little squares sorting themselves) and my dad's theory that every PC needed "bricking" - all the software removed, the drive formatted and everything reinstalled - every so often.

    "You can run like a river, Till you end up in the sea,
    And you run till night is black, And keep on going in your dreams,
    And you know all the long while, It's the journey that you seek,
    It's the miles of moving forward, With the wind beneath your wings."

  • Steve The Cynic.3217Steve The Cynic.3217 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    The other problem is my computer knowledge is pretty much just what I've been able to pick up over the years, so it's a bit erratic and some of it is probably out of date. I think I know more than the average person (I basically built this computer - re-used a lot of parts from my old one but I replaced the motherboard, CPU and graphics card so I had to disconnect everything else and reconnect it, I just got to leave the power supply, disk drive and hard drive in the case while I did it) but I'm sure there's a lot I probably should know and don't.

    Been there, done that. In fact, one machine, by the time I finally just replaced it with a totally new machine, had had every single component changed at least once. CPU, memory, motherboard, disks, keyboard, case, graphics card, sound card, you name it. All of it was replaced, in some cases two or three times. Well, except the floppy drive. When I replaced it properly, it still had the original floppy drive.

    I should mention I do clean the inside of it every so often (and the outside every time the room is vacuumed), but it's usually just the bits which are easy to get to. I'm still nervous about taking it apart too much in case I damage something or can't get it back together so things like removing the CPU heat sink to dust under and around it don't happen often.

    You don't need to remove hearsinks to clean under them. Cleaning the fans and the actual block of metal is important, but no dust will accumulate between the chip and the heatsink. However, you might in some cases want to unscrew the fan from the heatsink to help you clean the block of metal. My preferred tool for cleaning heatsinks and fans is an old toothbrush. Um. One you're not going to use again as a toothbrush, obviously. Considering the junk that's in the dust(1) you clean off the computer, do you really want to put that brush in your mouth again?

    And back then all I knew about making computers run more efficently was running Defrag every so often (with the fun animation of all the little squares sorting themselves) and my dad's theory that every PC needed "bricking" - all the software removed, the drive formatted and everything reinstalled - every so often.

    Ah yes, Win9x Defrag, with the little squares. I remember it fondly.

    (1) The least obnoxious component of household dust is dead skin cells from the people who live there, but there will be a wide range of other oddities, none of which are remotely appetising.

    @Biff.5312 said:
    Exercise your whimsy.

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I wasn't concerned about dust between the heatsink and the CPU, but the heatsink is wider than the CPU so there's space around the edges which were clogged with dust, and I couldn't find a way to get it out without removing the heatsink.

    And yes I do have an old toothbrush for cleaning all sorts of things (with a label around it to warn everyone not to use it for teeth...just in case it somehow gets left in the bathroom). It's one of my favourite DIY/cleaning/repair tools, alongside a bamboo skewer which has been used for everything from fishing stuff out from behind the radiator to unclogging the sink.

    "You can run like a river, Till you end up in the sea,
    And you run till night is black, And keep on going in your dreams,
    And you know all the long while, It's the journey that you seek,
    It's the miles of moving forward, With the wind beneath your wings."

  • Cynder.2509Cynder.2509 Member ✭✭

    Thanks for reminding me that I had to clean mine again haha
    I noticed some weird activities in performance recently and I was asking myself what it could be. I noticed that I get weird frame drops in intervals recently. I'm normally fine (depending on player group size and certain smaller areas) between 60+ - 100+ fps on high settings but this problem made it go to 10 fps for a certain amount of time until going back to normal. I have no problem like this in other games. IT#s just a problem accuring in gw2 and ironically it only seems to happen on the two event maps of the festival. Everywhere else seems fine and even WvW runs smoothly. I hope cleaning it made it better.

    Check out my Tumblr for more GW2 content if you want: http://is-it-because-im-charr.tumblr.com/
    Character infos: https://is-it-because-im-charr.tumblr.com/characters
    he/him
    You can call me Hunter

  • Khisanth.2948Khisanth.2948 Member ✭✭✭✭

    This sort of throttling is "recent" depending on your definition of recent. I remember reading an article from a while ago about how the "new" CPUs(or was it the mobo) has a feature that will shutdown your system rather than let the CPU overheat and burn itself out. Throttling instead of shut down is a logical next step after that.

  • Steve The Cynic.3217Steve The Cynic.3217 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Khisanth.2948 said:
    This sort of throttling is "recent" depending on your definition of recent. I remember reading an article from a while ago about how the "new" CPUs(or was it the mobo) has a feature that will shutdown your system rather than let the CPU overheat and burn itself out. Throttling instead of shut down is a logical next step after that.

    The first one I know of that had the throttling feature was the Pentium 4 family that was first released in 2000. One of the British PC magazines did a test of a late Pentium III, an earlyish Pentium 4 and two comparable AMD processors. The test was to get the machine doing something reasonably intensive and pry the heatsink off while the machine was still running. They had available an industrial optical thermometer for temperature measurements.

    • The Pentium III locked up. After the machine was powered off and the heatsink was replaced, it booted up normally.
    • The Pentium 4 slowed to a crawl but continued to work, allowing them to shut it down normally before replacing the heatsink.
    • The two AMDs had no such protection, and the slower one was measured to have reached about 460 °C, while the faster one, if memory serves, got all the way up to 568 °C and actually damaged the motherboard.

    @Biff.5312 said:
    Exercise your whimsy.

  • Khisanth.2948Khisanth.2948 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Steve The Cynic.3217 said:

    @Khisanth.2948 said:
    This sort of throttling is "recent" depending on your definition of recent. I remember reading an article from a while ago about how the "new" CPUs(or was it the mobo) has a feature that will shutdown your system rather than let the CPU overheat and burn itself out. Throttling instead of shut down is a logical next step after that.

    The first one I know of that had the throttling feature was the Pentium 4 family that was first released in 2000. One of the British PC magazines did a test of a late Pentium III, an earlyish Pentium 4 and two comparable AMD processors. The test was to get the machine doing something reasonably intensive and pry the heatsink off while the machine was still running. They had available an industrial optical thermometer for temperature measurements.

    • The Pentium III locked up. After the machine was powered off and the heatsink was replaced, it booted up normally.
    • The Pentium 4 slowed to a crawl but continued to work, allowing them to shut it down normally before replacing the heatsink.
    • The two AMDs had no such protection, and the slower one was measured to have reached about 460 °C, while the faster one, if memory serves, got all the way up to 568 °C and actually damaged the motherboard.

    I am surprised nothing caught on fire at 568 °C

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Are you sure those temperatures were in Celcius? For a British magazine in 2000 they should be (although you never know, I think the weather reports still used both at the time), but 568 Celcius is 1054 Fahrenheit, and more than twice as hot as the maximum setting on my oven.

    "You can run like a river, Till you end up in the sea,
    And you run till night is black, And keep on going in your dreams,
    And you know all the long while, It's the journey that you seek,
    It's the miles of moving forward, With the wind beneath your wings."

  • Steve The Cynic.3217Steve The Cynic.3217 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Khisanth.2948 said:

    @Steve The Cynic.3217 said:

    @Khisanth.2948 said:
    This sort of throttling is "recent" depending on your definition of recent. I remember reading an article from a while ago about how the "new" CPUs(or was it the mobo) has a feature that will shutdown your system rather than let the CPU overheat and burn itself out. Throttling instead of shut down is a logical next step after that.

    The first one I know of that had the throttling feature was the Pentium 4 family that was first released in 2000. One of the British PC magazines did a test of a late Pentium III, an earlyish Pentium 4 and two comparable AMD processors. The test was to get the machine doing something reasonably intensive and pry the heatsink off while the machine was still running. They had available an industrial optical thermometer for temperature measurements.

    • The Pentium III locked up. After the machine was powered off and the heatsink was replaced, it booted up normally.
    • The Pentium 4 slowed to a crawl but continued to work, allowing them to shut it down normally before replacing the heatsink.
    • The two AMDs had no such protection, and the slower one was measured to have reached about 460 °C, while the faster one, if memory serves, got all the way up to 568 °C and actually damaged the motherboard.

    I am surprised nothing caught on fire at 568 °C

    Only the actual sliver of silicon (strictly, a really thin layer of circuitry on its surface) would actually have been at that temperature, so there wasn't much energy to raise the temperature of other stuff to suitable levels.

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    Are you sure those temperatures were in Celcius? For a British magazine in 2000 they should be (although you never know, I think the weather reports still used both at the time), but 568 Celcius is 1054 Fahrenheit, and more than twice as hot as the maximum setting on my oven.

    I wouldn't want to say that I'm absolutely sure, but pretty sure, if only because their optical thermometer would have been in Celsius rather than Fahrenheit.

    @Biff.5312 said:
    Exercise your whimsy.

©2010–2018 ArenaNet, LLC. All rights reserved. Guild Wars, Guild Wars 2, Heart of Thorns, Guild Wars 2: Path of Fire, ArenaNet, NCSOFT, the Interlocking NC Logo, and all associated logos and designs are trademarks or registered trademarks of NCSOFT Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.