Motherboard/CPU performance question

By atrice
Sep 8, 2005
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  1. Looking for opinions on possible sources of my ongoing system issues.

    I've been experiencing random crashes with this computer since I got it about three years ago (see my profile for specs). Lately (this summer) the crashes have become less frequent and I have also upgraded the PSU. Another problem arose about two months ago though--a performance lag issue. I noticed it first while playing a game at the beginning of the summer (San Andreas, which is not very graphics intensive, especially with the settings I played it on), which would "skip" every second or so. Nowadays I notice that the cursor skips, as do music and video files now and then. I replaced bad capcitors on my motherboard not long ago, and the lag issue still exists. Any opinions would be appreciated. Here is a more specific summary of the problem:

    -cursor skipping seems to occur when CPU usage is up in the 90-100% range (which happens when launching an application or moving a large file)
    -moving large files between hard drives (my system has two) takes a long time (longer than I remember it taking in the past and longer than it takes on comparable systems that I've used)
    -I am almost positive this is a hardware issue, but I don't believe it is main memory related as I've tested that several times with software tests and also reseating of the sticks (I'm leaning towards a motherboard or processor problem)
    -running the computer in Safe Mode does not get rid of the cursor problem, which occurs at the same time that it does in Normal Mode (ie app launching, file moving)
    -DVD playback does not cause any performance problems--the video plays perfectly, just as it did when the system was newer
    -the OS hard drive was defragmented just this week

    Thanks.

    Atrice
  2. vnf4ultra

    vnf4ultra TechSpot Paladin Posts: 2,195

    Have you checked for virus/worm/trojans or spyware/malware? If not, do so.

    Also, you may want to test your memory with memest to rule out bad ram, although your problems seem to be more software related to me, but I can't really say for certain.
  3. Merc14

    Merc14 Newcomer, in training Posts: 464

    What happened to the capacitors that you had to replace them? I'd suspect a problem related to that.
  4. atrice

    atrice Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Like I said in my post, I have already tested the RAM both with memtest and by running the computer on one stick at a time, and that didn't seem to eliminate the problems. I replaced those capacitors because they were either blown or bulging. I have checked for viruses/malware, and I believe I'm clean.

    Also I noticed today on another computer (a Pentium machine) that launching applications didn't cause the CPU usage to go much higher than 40%. Mine goes up around 90-100% when I launch programs. That's part of the reason I suspect a hardware issue rather than software.
  5. kirock

    kirock Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,598

    Do a Reg clean

    Just a thought. After 3 years it's probably full of dead ends and such.
    You can download many version of freeware or 30 day trail versions that do a pretty good job. Anyone have a favorite app for Reg clean?
  6. atrice

    atrice Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 24

    Thanks, and that's a good point. I have Ace Utilities. The last time I cleaned the reg was about a month ago I think, but I will do that again.

    I should also add this--letting the system idle shows a CPU usage of around 2% (this is with several applications running). When I launch Microsoft Word or Internet Explorer, the usage passes 90%. It reached 86% when launching Firefox. This seems very high--a computer I used at work today reached about 30% when launching Word (that was a Pentium machine) and a friend of mind just reported 33% when launching IE (he has an Athlon system, too).

    Also, rapidly moving the mouse around while an application is "on top" (ie when I cannot see the desktop, but am working in Word or Firefox and that is the most "current" window) causes the CPU usage to ramp up to as high as 21%. This doesn't happen on the desktop, though.

    Thanks for any responses.
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