So here's the deal. Let me preface this by saying that this issue was occurring like 6 months ago, which caused me to stop playing for awhile because it was so frustrating. Then I started playing again 2 months after that, and it had been fixed/changed/whatever, it wasn't happening anymore. Now it's happening again (last month or so).
I don't lag when playing. But almost EVERY SINGLE GAME, at some point, my fps will drop to 30-50 range when I usually have it at a constant 60 (and limited by vsync). This makes the game very laggy, stuttery, and it's very very obvious while playing that it is happening. If I restart Dota, it goes away and everything is lag free until it happens again. This occurrence has 0 consistency; it can occur 2 minutes into a game, not at all, or at the end. It's not related to there being a large amount of action on the screen. Sometimes, and this is only SOMETIMES, if I minimize and maximize over and over after 10-15 tries it will go back to a stable 60 FPS and stop being laggy.
I've changed my graphics settings to lowest everything, highest everything, medium this and low that, nothing makes any difference. My GPU is not overheating when I play (52C right now as a I type this while Dota is minimized and speccing a game). Sometimes Dota2 has something like a GPU memory leak (probably the wrong terminology) or something and it shoots up to like 90C and then plummets back to 55C when I restart Dota (usually stays @ 55 the entire time I am playing). I have an ATI HD 5850; many of the problems that other people have had seem to be related to AMD cards with Dota.
Any thoughts? To sum up: the timing is not consistent, it's not based on whats on the screen, my GPU is not overheating, my cpu/ram use are both around 40-50% during a game, and minimizing repeatedly sometimes fixes it.
It seems odd that minimizing over and over sometimes fixes it. What could that be? I know nothing about hardware/software beyond how to plug things in so I don't know what could be happening. I've seen some people who have the same issue on the dev forums and restarting/minimizing fixes it for them. Something about memory ram being improperly cleared? Hell if I know.
Thanks for any responses.