Please don't provide answers/suggestions on how I can improve/squeeze out more FPS. I want to know what caused the FPS drop and tearing. Thanks!

Yesterday, I noticed a significant FPS drop while playing Counter Strike Global Offensive. This drop is out of the blue as I have been playing CSGO using my updated specs for the past 4 months without any issues.

Computer Specs:

  • OS: Windows 7 Professional 64
  • Intel Core i5 2500K @ 3.30GHz (temp: 36 °C)
  • Memory: 20GB (two 8GB and two 2GB)
  • OS SSD: 120GB Crosair
  • Game is on: 250GB SSD Samsung Evo (upgraded last Nov.)
  • Graphics Card: 2047MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 770 (upgraded last Nov.) (temp: 37 °C)
  • Motherboard: Asus P8P67 LE (http://www.asus.com/Motherboards/P8P67_LE/specifications/)
  • Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO - CPU Cooler (recently upgraded)
  • Corsair CX Series 750 Watt ATX/EPS Modular 80 PLUS Bronze PSU (upgraded last Nov.)
  • Sound Card: Integrated sound card
  • Monitor: VS248H-P
  • Drivers: I double checked and they are all up to date (I have a Sennheiser driver for the Sennheiser 363D headset, that's up to date as well)

Like I said, this issue came out of no where because I was playing fine the day before and the next morning the FPS dropped from a regular of 299ish to 40ish. All my settings are set to low or very low and these settings have been unchanged for 2 years.

I re-tested my computer using the Microsoft Experience Index test and got the same score (Graphics remained the same at 7.9) All video play back at HD is fine.

I've also tried Minecraft which is giving me no issues FPS wise. I've tried Borderlands The Pre-Sequal in 1080 without much issue.

What I have tried so far:

  1. Uninstalled the Nvidia Experience app as some people say that could cause issues. Did not resolve the issue.
  2. Uninstalled and reinstalled CSGO in Steam. Did not resolve the issue.
  3. Restarted PC several times. Did not resolve the issue.
  4. Uninstalled the Nvidia HD Audio driver as some people say that could cause issues. Did not resolve the issue.
  5. Deleted the background.swf file from csgo folder as some people say that cold cause issues. Did not resolve the issue.
  6. I use two monitors, one connected via HDMI and the other vis DVI. I disconnected the DVI monitor and retained the HDMI monitor and vice versa. Did not resolve the issue.
  7. Uninstalled and clean installed the Nvidia driver. Did not resolve the issue.
  8. Unseated the graphics card and removed the few dusts on it and reseated the graphics card. Did not help
  9. Updated my Realtek Audio Driver to most recent. Did not help.
  10. The GPU fans are fine, I visually inspected them. Temp on GPU is around 35C when idle and plateau to 90C when benchmarking (using Furmark test)
  11. I have tried setting fps_max to 120 but I still get the fps drop and tearing. I haven't tried setting fps_max to 60 yet (60 is my monitor's refresh rate) Will try after work.
  12. Set muzzle_flashlight 0 does not work either.

View my dxdiag report here: http://pastebin.com/szsz4e09

What I have noticed:

1) When I shoot a gun in game, my FPS would drop. My FPS would drop other times while in game, shooting a gun would contribute to the drop. I made sure I updated my Realtek HD audio driver to the latest. Did not help. I also uninstalled the Nvidia HD Audio driver, did not help.

2) I notice horizontal transparant lines whiles playing if I move left and right. It's as if the bottom of the screen is trying to catch up to the top of the screen. This is most prominant while playing CSGO, but I have noticed it once in a while while (in certain spots on the map) playing Borderlands The Pre-Sequal. That said, playing borderlands in 1080 is a much smoother experience.

My Suspicions (perhaps they will inspire someone to think of a possible cause/solution)

1) Part of the issue is I experience tearing while playing (something I never epxerienced before). This might be caused by GPU out of sync with monitor. I have fps_max 300 in CSGO for over a year now, never experienced any tearing until that faithful day. Could GPU and monitor refresh rate cause this tearing? If so, why am I experiencing this now and not from the get go?

  • 1
    You also had Nvidia Experience installed and if you used that to optimize your installation it would have changed your configuration. I am going under the impression something changed. Since there isn't another explanation for the behavior you described.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 18:58
  • I have Nvidia Experience installed but for CSGO, I did not use its recommended settings. I even made sure to double check the csgo video settings are not changed. Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 19:00
  • Once you try my suggestion post your dxdiag report.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 9, 2015 at 19:05
  • 1
    Last shot in the dark: When you get home try disabling the Steam in-game overlay Success rate: 100%; Sample size: 1. (BTW: I think some games require doing this in Steam and in the game's settings.) Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 18:50
  • 1
    @ColeBusby I'll try but no indication that my RAM is bad. Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 22:13

6 Answers 6


So, considering the discussion in the comments, and my opinion, possible causes of the FPS drop and screen tearing for the specific game in question, CS:GO, would be (in order of likeliness)

  • Corrupt configuration files on CS:GO. (OP already reset them, discarded)
  • CSGO or Source Engine update issues (No updates were released at the time of the incidents)
  • Busted drivers. (OP already reinstalled them so, discarded)
  • Broken GPU fan, so it throttles down to prevent damage. (Op checked them, so discarded)
  • Dirty GPU contats. (OP already cleaned the card, so discarded)
  • Tweaking fps_max value. (Already done, discarded).
  • Nvidia GeForce Experience causing issues. (OP uninstalled it, so discarded)
  • Steam Overlay causing issues. (Op disabled it, so discarded)
  • Windows update messing with OS. (Op stated that no updates occurred before the incidents)
  • Nvidia HD Audio causing issues. (OP uninstalled it, so discarded)
  • Busted Video Card (By OP's comment this turned out to be the culprit)
  • Busted RAM (Unlikely)

At the time of this answer we don't have specific information about performance in other games, OP specified that the screen tearing was occurring on Borderlands: The Pre-sequel as well, but we don't have specific performance data. On the other hand Furmark stress tests didn't crash the card, but the issue in the games persist.

Given that information the only option we have left is a somehow damaged Video Card, the solution would be to fill a RMA, as the card was recently bought. I suggest contacting with the manufacturer instead of Amazon or Nvidia. The manufacturer (if professional enough) would give you a tested card, guaranteed to work, while Amazon will give you another boxed one or a refund if you are a regular client. Nvidia will do nothing they only build the chipset. I've had a reasonably good experience with EVGA for example, not sure about other manufacturers.

  • I'll award the bounty to you Zerjack because I wasn't considering a broken card until you made me seriously consider that's a possibility. I upgraded my OS last Friday to Windows 8.1 for a last ditch effort, fps drop and tearing still occured. I got a replacement card from Amazon on Saturday and installed the new card. No fps drop or tearing issue in CSGO with the new card. So it turned out to be the card causing the issue, but why, not the faintest idea. If you could highlight the Busted Video Card bullet as the answer, thanks. Thanks everyone for the help. Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 17:51
  • @Chairman Meow Oh, you already got the new card. Awesome, I bet is quite a relief, I felt that way back then when I had my card playing games with me. Thanks for the bounty and happy gaming!
    – Zerjack
    Commented Mar 16, 2015 at 18:25

Did the fan on your graphics card die? High temps will cause your graphics card to throttle down to prevent damage. While you have the case off check all the other fans in there.

  • The fans are fine, I visually inspected them. Temp on GPU is around 35C when idle and plateau to 91C when benchmarking (using Furmark test) Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 18:18

Do you run with an auto exec.cfg?

If not, enable your developer console and put this in there. Muzzle_flashlight 0 (disables the spark animation when you fire a round)

P.S. Idk if you play competitive/looking for optimal settings/but for CS:GO its generally more beneficial to turn all video settings to low. It's not as aesthetically pleasing, but takes pressure off your system.

  • Yes, I have all low or very low settings. I don't run with any auto exec.cfg Commented Mar 11, 2015 at 22:19
  • set muzzle_flashlight 0 does not work either. Commented Mar 12, 2015 at 1:19

A few things you can try:

  1. Disable the Steam in-game overlay.
  2. If you have any controllers plugged in, unplug them. This is a known bug that can dramatically decrease FPS. (Anecdotal) Some have even reported this happening with the '-nojoy' launch parameter.
  3. Check to see if you have a '-high' parameter set in the launch options for CS:GO. If you do, remove it. I've seen a couple people also getting good results by switching from "high" priority to "realtime" priority. (Realtime may cause issues for hardware because it now has the same priority as keyboard,mouse, etc.)
  4. If you have the NVIDIA HD Audio program installed, uninstall it. Check your Programs and Features page in the Control Panel to see.

FPS in CS:GO are very realated to your CORE. IF its about hardware i would check GPU and your i5. In your case if in past everything was fine its hard to see as a soft problems. You can try to make format and new system if you need make new cs go config to polish your fps. Making video settings to low would also help and resolution but as i said on start if that problems occured after 4 months you should really check your hardware , because all past updatdes in cs go didnt make changes affecting fps in game. You could try some cs go fps guides or some fps tweaking commands here you have all nice explained https://www.reddit.com/r/GlobalOffensive/comments/43nrni/fps_increase_tweak_commands/


uninstall video drivers completely then re-install drivers, update windows, download nvidia center

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