CPU spike for several secs

By Andranos ยท 16 replies
Jul 13, 2013
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  1. Hey guys, new here so I apologize if I'm posting on the wrong section

    I got this problem which you might be familiar with, my CPU usage is spiking really bad when playing games or watching video. sometimes, it reached to about 90-100% and goes back to 5-10% in several seconds. I'm not quite sure what the problem is since I updated my graphic driver to the latest one and my laptop is clean from viruses. I'm using bitdefender total btw

    My system specs:

    System Manufacturer: Alienware
    System Model: M17xR3
    Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2820QM CPU @ 2.30GHz (8 CPUs), ~2.3GHz
    Memory: 16384MB RAM
    Available OS Memory: 16366MB RAM
    Page File: 8091MB used, 24638MB available
    Card name: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 460M
    Manufacturer: NVIDIA
    Chip type: GeForce GTX 460M
    DAC type: Integrated RAMDAC
    Display Memory: 4048 MB
    Dedicated Memory: 1488 MB
    Shared Memory: 2559 MB

    Thanks in advance guys, Cheers!

    Attached Files:

    • cpu.jpg
      File size:
      803.1 KB
  2. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Not really sure here, but maybe try disabling "Intel Turbo Boost" in the BIOS. Keep in mind though, this may increase heat output.

    If you dont receive any frame drops, you dont really need to freak out about this.
  3. Andranos

    Andranos TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well the thing is, my game is laggin really bad because of this :(
    and my fps is dropping from 60 to 5-10ish
  4. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Try disabling turbo boost then.
  5. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Why disable turbo boost? This is the option to overclock one or more cores when the extra speed would be good. Disabling it doesn't increase temperatures in any way.

    I think we're looking at the wrong end of the stick here. Post a screenshot of your Processes tab, ordered by CPU usage, during the spike. Something on your PC is causing it, this will allow us to find the source.
  6. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I would think disabling it would increase temperatures because all the cores will be running @ max clock speed all the time.
  7. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

  8. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    I wouldnt call it an overclock though. It just increases clock speed based on usage. It has a max speed. The turbo frequency is just the max clock speed. It isnt really a overclock.
  9. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    We're getting a tad off-topic here, but I'll explain how I understand it:

    The i7 3770K is a well-known CPU, so I'll use as an example. The CPU default clock is set to 3.5GHz. If some application is single-threaded for example and taking up 100% of core0, the CPU can evaluate the power and thermal loads to see if it can be boosted. If yes, this core will be overclocked via the multiplier increasing (this was 1st-gen i7's, Turbo has changed since then I believe) to result in a clock speed of 3.9GHz.

    However, all 4 cores won't be OC'd to 3.9GHz if the temps start going higher, or the power load doesn't agree with the Windows Power Setting, etc.

    Disabling Turbo Boost in the BIOS will just mean that there is no automatic clock speed boost performed by the CPU. 3.5GHz will be the max.

    Jad Chaar likes this.
  10. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,473   +126

    Are you seeing those numbers in Windows WEI. Mine is 3.4GHz / 3.7GHz Max Turbo FREQ. Turbo only comes on if the system demands more CPU.
  11. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Ah, I didnt know it took the thermal threshold into mind. Thanks again Stick for clearing things up xD!
    St1ckM4n likes this.
  12. Andranos

    Andranos TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hmm, I just tried to change the max processor state to 99% and it actually reduced the spike occurrences by a bit. Usually the spike occurs every minute and now, it only occurs every 3-5 mins.

    @ St1ckM4n
    Actually, only the actual game itself has the high CPU usage and it increased drastically when the spike occurs usually it sits around 10 then it jumps to 30-50 then revert back to 10ish. I'll try to get the image up but it's kinda hard since it's really hard to alt + tab when the game is laggin with 1-5 fps to get the precise screenshot and of course, the lag only occurs when I'm in game.
  13. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Make it 100%.
  14. St1ckM4n

    St1ckM4n TS Evangelist Posts: 2,922   +630

    Which game is it by the way? Even then, your laptop is good, this shouldn't be happening. :(
  15. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Posts: 143   +18

    Sometimes it can be caused by a lack of memory from the GPU. If the GPU runs out of memory, I believe it has to use the RAM which is of course a lot slower, causing the lag. Try running a game abd see if you can find software that will record the graphics card's memory usage. wounder if anyone else can help with finding such a program.
  16. Jad Chaar

    Jad Chaar Elite Techno Geek Posts: 6,515   +974

    Both the 460M and his CPU use DDR3.
  17. stonarda

    stonarda TS Booster Posts: 143   +18

    But the GPU will have to go through the motherboard to use it, thus making it slower :)
    Jad Chaar likes this.

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