Computer Problem Keeps Lagging and CPU usages goes to 100%

By jmt74eva ยท 8 replies
Jun 19, 2009
  1. Hello,

    I'm just wondering if anyone can help me on here sorry if its a repeat problem but I've looked around and tried loads of various things with still no results my last hope is to reformat but I don't want to unless its completley neccesary. My computer was running completley fine I then started playing The Sims 3 and its been working great for ages and then about 3 days ago it just started to skip and lag and when I checked the CPU usage it was at 100% and when the game is running my GPU is at 70C ( I don't know if thats really high) but I got plenty of fans and even the case is open now and still the skips are there and the usage just spikes to 100%. Any help at all would be much appreciated.I will put my computer system underneath.

    OS - Windows Vista Ultimate 64-Bit
    Processor - AMD Athlon(tm)64 X2 Dual Core 6000+
    Motherboard - Asus VM-DVI
    Ram - 6GB
    Graphics Card - GeForce 8800 GTX
  2. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    CPU usage at 100% is not a serious part of the problem... that just means it is being fully utilized... It is Not alarming to have the cpu in use.
    70C is not alarming in small periods, but I would not want it over 64C very long... Games do push the computer to the limits, and 70C will reduce the life of the computer.
    You might want to check the CPU if this is a desktop... to be sure it doesn't have TOO MUCH thermal paste, as well as too little. Too much thermal past will act as an insulator and make a change of 7 to 11 degrees in cooling.
    AMD's run hot, anyway... just be sure you have a quality CPU fan designed for the system.
    For an AMD system, I would not be particularly alarmed... provided you have checked the paste and have a good fan.
  3. jmt74eva

    jmt74eva TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply, yeah the thermal paste is all fine my grampy helped me build the computer and he is really good at them and he came over last night and he checked it all and said its fine, I got two side fans and one big fan at the front but do you have any idea what can be the problem with the lag issues within the game as everytime the CPU usage reaches 100% during the game or programmes it slows all the way down like its run out of energy is a good way of describing and it does this every 15-30 seconds during gameplay.
  4. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    I suspect it is the heat. Yours does not seem to be cooling adequately... but of course there could be other problems as well... such as the video graphics.
  5. jmt74eva

    jmt74eva TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay well I've got some better fans and moved cables around to help the airflow and its reading at 59C now which is a bit better. I've run tests on my graphics card and all seems okay I've uninstalled and reinstalled and I'm still getting the problem any ideas?
  6. ender

    ender TS Rookie Posts: 94

    Check PSU

    Maybe your PSU is getting a bit old and not putting out as much energy as it used to? You have a pretty power-hungry system here and it might become an issue when the system load peaks (which is what you are describing here). It's possible that the PSU is no longer able to supply all the power your system needs when everything is at 100% in a clean and stable fashion. This generally leads to a system hanging up or even BSODing.
  7. jmt74eva

    jmt74eva TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Is there anyway to test or would you suggest go out buy one and trial and error?
  8. ender

    ender TS Rookie Posts: 94

    Your grampy might be able to extract the PSU from the system and measure the voltages on each rail under different loads. This is a pretty conclusive test but it requires some specialized tools which may or may not be available.

    A simpler, but less conclusive way to diagnose it is to remove as many of the power drawing components as possible. Take out some RAM, unplug any USB devices you don't need, unplug your DVD, use the BIOS to completely disable any onboard features you do not need, etc. Basically, strip down the system until it contains only the CPU, GPU, a minimal number of fans, minimal RAM, one HDD, mouse and keyboard. Then try to run the game again and see if you experience the same issues.

    If everything is smooth try adding extra components one by one and continue testing (by running the game) after each change. First add each remaining RAM stick (if any), then the fans that you disabled (if any), on-board audio and/or LAN, extra HDDs (if any), DVD palyer(s), external USB devices, etc. At some point, hopefully after you've re-enabled most of the initial components, you may notice the hangups starting again. This would point to the fact that you are overloading the PSU.

    If you've managed to incriminate the PSU by any of the above methods, the next step would be to take your grampy to a store with a nice array of brand name PSUs and a great return policy so he can pick a mean one for your system. You'll want to install the new PSU and try the game again. If everything is smooth you'll probably be happy. If not, then it was probably not the PSUs fault to start with so you will probably want to return to the store and return the new PSU you got... because it's not exactly any use to you. ;)
  9. jmt74eva

    jmt74eva TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Okay mate, thanks for your help and I'll post back with the results.
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