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I've been playing DOTA 2 on a lenovo laptop perfectly for some time on very low graphics. I just recently acquired an asus laptop with all-around better specs and it plays DOTA at a much higher visual quality.

My problem with this new Asus is that when i run dota the fps will drop from 50 fps to about 15-16 fps every 10 seconds which is ruining the experience.

I had my IT friend maximize the performance and he also reapplied a better quality thermal paste to the laptop and same deal, lag spikes.

I feel like this is not an internet issue because i can switch right over to the lower-specs Lenovo and it will run Dota with no lag.

Any possible diagnoses?

Edit: the game runs perfectly fine on my lenovo laptop that has significantly less impressive specs. The asus should outrun my Lenovo on any game

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    Having the same problem; it's VAC playing up, due to not meeting the minimum requirements, which is what's stated plus a bit. There's nothing you can do. Just a question: What's your computer specs and DoTA 2 settings? – aytimothy Dec 30 '14 at 10:08
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    possible duplicate of Dota 2 lag spike every 10 seconds – Studoku Dec 30 '14 at 10:38
  • Here is my laptop specs: Intel® Core™ i7 3520M 3.6 GHz Processor Intel® Chief River Chipset HM76 DDR3 1600 MHz SDRAM, 2 x SO-DIMM 8Gb ram Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 4000 My Dota settings don't really matter because the lag drops happen no matter how high or low i set my visual graphics to. This problem still persisted with lowest quality settings – Sean Louis Auguste Dec 30 '14 at 10:49
  • Most likely it's because your hard drive isn't read/writing fast enough. VAC tends to read/write to your disk to detect cheats. Try closing your background tasks. – aytimothy Dec 30 '14 at 11:30
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    @SeanLouisAuguste, it's most likely then (awkwardly, but most likely) your hard drive doesn't read/write fast enough. Because VAC read/writes to the hard drive frequently (don't know what it's doing, since Valve usually keeps this a secret), and that the Source Engine doesn't have a very efficient way of reading its data (.vpk or unpacked) files. – aytimothy Dec 30 '14 at 11:35
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Why?

Drops in framerate due to other reasons (other than graphics) could only be attributed to the VAC system, as it has been known to read/write to your system heavily. The game itself (with VAC stripped) doesn't use a lot at all.

As for what VAC does? Nobody knows - Valve has been very secretive about this.

Try running DoTA 2 without VAC (using the -insecure launch option) and compare the performance.
In my experience, ASUS laptops have been known to have terrible processors and hard drives, in comparison with the RAM your machine has, even if you're only word processing. Proof Needed

Update: The Valve Anti-cheat System has been known to check the game's memory to check for any malicious changes such as the freezing of memory values, which attributes to quite a bit of its memory and processor usage.


How do I fix?

There are many ways you can go about doing that. Since it's about your reading/writing speed, here are the options:

  1. Try giving DoTA 2 high CPU priority. This will put all read/write requests over everything, and hopefully your CPU is able to handle the entire load that DoTA outputs, while sort of ignoring/postponing everything else.
    You can do this by adding the -high node in your command-line launch options. By giving DoTA high priority, as read/write commands are usually processed by the CPU.
  2. Try getting a better hard drive. (Sounds stupid, but may be your problem)
    It could be that your system is fast enough to handle the load that DoTA outputs, but your hard drive isn't fast enough to go through the read/write commands to it, which is rarely the case.
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If you have multiple machine's on the same LAN I would check the launch options and add a -clientport setting. That does NOT carry over between machines, and is often one of the things I forget. I also add the -high flag as well.

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  • I am usually the only one on the wifi at the times that I play. what does the clientport do? – Sean Louis Auguste Dec 31 '14 at 0:05
  • changes the source port on your machine. This makes it easier for the router to get packets to each machine. If you're the only one it won't matter though. – RLZaleski Dec 31 '14 at 2:43
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Even though you have used your previous laptop on the same WiFi connection to play DotA successfully, that doesn't mean your problem isn't WiFi related. Or rather, that your problem isn't network related. It could very well be a NIC (Network Interface Card, your wifi card) or NIC driver issue. I know I have had issues with wireless devices... yes, even wireless receivers, in the past.

OP, I would try disabling your wireless device (from the Control Panel -> Network and Sharing Center -> Change adapter settings -> right click on wireless connection and hit disable) and playing only via ethernet, see if that helps. If that doesn't work, do the opposite; disable your ethernet driver and play only via wireless (same thing, different adapter to disable this time).

If it turns out that you can play fine after doing either one of those things, I would either look up new drivers for your NIC, or new ethernet drivers for your motherboard. I don't use laptops very often, so I don't remember if most of them have NICs integrated into the mobo -- if so, then you'll be looking for motherboard drivers for your wireless adapter as well. If it doesn't work after that, it's likely a faulty part.

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This is classic behavior caused by CPU throttling or clock modulation. I don't have a specific solution for this particular laptop--the causes and fixes can vary by BIOS and hardware. Many laptops will throttle the CPU on battery and the most common cause otherwise is heat. You can experiment by elevating the laptop off the table or even placing it on top of a window fan.

Useful further reading: "chipset clock modulation game speedstep throttle problem"

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