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Computer All of a sudden lagging on every game?

I've NEVER had a problem with any game lagging on my computer. I've played CS:GO, Metro 2033, BF3, CoD MW3, HL2, and a bunch of other games.
Never have I experienced any bad performance with any game, online or off.

Now, all of a sudden every game I have played recently (PAYDAY, CS:GO, Metro 2033) has lag spikes every 5 seconds. This has NEVER happened, and it doesn't matter what game or what graphic settings.

Specs:

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-Bit
AMD Phenom X4 9550
Nvidia Geforce GT640 1GB
7GB RAM
430 Watt Corsair PSU
13 answers Last reply
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  1. I find it hard to believe it never lagged.

    7gb of ram is an odd number. mix and match ram can cause lots of problems.

    malware or virus' can do you in.

    lack of disc space. unkempt HD.

    failing hardware.

    heat. clean up heat sinks and fans lately? maybe remove heat sinks from video card and from processor and clean up and reapply thermal paste.
  2. simple stuff first.

    1) double check your active programs. sometimes stuff (cough: windows) will update in the background... if its a big update it can take a while.

    2) adware/spyware/virus check. load the machine in safemode, run spybot search and destroy, run malwarebytes, run avg... see what you find.

    ~ that takes care of most of the software stuff... now for the other stuff...

    3) take your system apart, clean off all the heatsinks, clean out all the air filters, and fan shrouds and blades. put it all back together and turn it on.

    4) if the problems persist it will be time to check your ram and system for stability. sometimes chips, gpus and boards wear down with a high overclock and voltages... i know i've seen it with gpus anyway. run memtest on your ram, one stick at a time. defrag your hd with mydefrag, run ccleaner and sweep your regestry.

    if the problem still persists it will be time for a reformat and reinstall of your OS

    if that doesn't work it will be time to try swapping out hardware... i'd start with the psu and then go to the gpu... ram, HD, mb and cpu.
  3. I was thinking of reseating the RAM and GPU.
    I have cleaned out the PC recently (both hardware and software (using Ccleaner, Boostspeed)).
    Maybe it is that my HDD is getting full? I have 88GB left of the 640GB drive.
    Yes, 7GB is odd. It had 6 but I changed it to a 2GB stick and I still need to get another 2GB stick.

    @swifty - Sorry to get pissy, but I really don't care if you believe me or not. I can easily run (or could before this problem) any game I've played on ultra, or High at the very least.
  4. Xmsteel said:
    I was thinking of reseating the RAM and GPU.
    I have cleaned out the PC recently (both hardware and software (using Ccleaner, Boostspeed)).
    Maybe it is that my HDD is getting full? I have 88GB left of the 640GB drive.
    Yes, 7GB is odd. It had 6 but I changed it to a 2GB stick and I still need to get another 2GB stick.

    @swifty - Sorry to get pissy, but I really don't care if you believe me or not. I can easily run (or could before this problem) any game I've played on ultra, or High at the very least.


    i believe you, i've got a PhII x4 965 and a 9800gt, i can play pretty much any game i want on highest settings... of course my monitor sucks (and i'm always on the lookout for a better gpu for free). I've noticed a lot of people with high end systems can't believe how little improvement their system is over something i built for free... until they see it themselves.

    a full hd would matter if its a SSD... it doesn't mean much to a standard HD... though i'd definitely free up a bit of space and defrag it.
  5. Xmsteel said:
    I was thinking of reseating the RAM and GPU.
    I have cleaned out the PC recently (both hardware and software (using Ccleaner, Boostspeed)).
    Maybe it is that my HDD is getting full? I have 88GB left of the 640GB drive.
    Yes, 7GB is odd. It had 6 but I changed it to a 2GB stick and I still need to get another 2GB stick.

    @swifty - Sorry to get pissy, but I really don't care if you believe me or not. I can easily run (or could before this problem) any game I've played on ultra, or High at the very least.


    My old game drive got close to being full(50gb free on the old drive, I've since replaced it with a 500GB WD Raptor) and never presented any sign of low performance. When is the last time you defragged it?

    I also guess perceived performance is relative, I felt I struggled in BF3 with a single 560Ti and a Phenom II x4 840 running in the 50-60fps range in multiplayer on high when it came out. I mean it indeed was better than with my old dual core E8400 and GTX 260, but still felt less than ideal.

    If you can deal with performance like this, more power to you.
    FYI this test is using a Intel Core i7-3960X for the CPU. And is most likely Single Player, with MP being lower.
    34FPS average on LOW
  6. I've never struggled on BF3 on high, the only thing that caused lower FPS was motion blur, which I didn't like anyway.
    I defragged probably about 4-6 days ago. I also removed some games I didn't play so I now have 116GB on the drive.

    ---
    Well guys, here's an interesting story:

    I took everything out (GPU, RAM) and dusted the inside of the case. Reseated the parts.
    I also decided to check the thermal paste, so I unhooked the heatsink. Well, when I took the heatsink off, it ripped the processor right out of the locked socket.

    I didn't even know that was possible!! Well, I luckily got it all back in working order (obviously as I am on it now typing this), but I think I need new thermal paste.
    ---
    Interesting story part 2:

    I just booted up CS:GO again, the second time since when I first posted this thread. It runs fine. No lag spikes anymore.
    I guess ripping the processor out and reseating parts help, or its just a serious coincidence.
  7. must have been motion blur.
  8. You will most definitely need new thermal paste sooner rather then later. Radio Shack and Best Buy should carry some thermal paste. Fry's and Microcenter both of which have limited retail presence do as well, but their not as common as the other two.

    As far as removing the heatsink and it sticking to the CPU, I usually give the heatsink a little twist which is usually enough for it to come off while leaving the CPU in it's socket.
  9. cliffro said:
    You will most definitely need new thermal paste sooner rather then later. Radio Shack and Best Buy should carry some thermal paste. Fry's and Microcenter both of which have limited retail presence do as well, but their not as common as the other two.

    As far as removing the heatsink and it sticking to the CPU, I usually give the heatsink a little twist which is usually enough for it to come off while leaving the CPU in it's socket.


    Okay. I have another question as well. What is the difference in Thermal Paste and Thermal Grease? It seems the grease is cheaper, but is there a major difference?
  10. Usually not much difference. Usually it's viscosity is the main difference. Example, AS5 and IC Diamond 7 super thick and hard to spread, versus say Arctic Cooling MX2 or 3 which is a little thinner and easier to spread. And there may be 2-3c difference.

    Personally I've bought several tubes of MX2 for a couple of dollars on sale at Mwave with free shipping.
  11. that diamond stuff............ may too thick. goes on thick. pain to try and spread. must heat before applying I would guess because I haven't tried that..?? never started machine after applying. purchased other and will "fix" that "bad" situation.

    Have some Zalman "super thermal grease. need to shake bottle a lot too mix. kinda like the paint in the bottles for model cards.

    I tried AC5 and radio shack silcone stuff. also radio shack has several other pastes. best I ever tried waste Thermaltake white thin paste that came with a duorb heat-sink years back.
  12. cliffro said:
    Usually not much difference. Usually it's viscosity is the main difference. Example, AS5 and IC Diamond 7 super thick and hard to spread, versus say Arctic Cooling MX2 or 3 which is a little thinner and easier to spread. And there may be 2-3c difference.

    Personally I've bought several tubes of MX2 for a couple of dollars on sale at Mwave with free shipping.


    I didn't know that you spread it around though?
    I've always just put a dab in the center and laid the heatsink down, and cross-screwed it on.
  13. Actually that's how I apply it myself on the processor, but on the direct contact bases where the heatpipes are exposed, I like to spread some out to fill in gaps in the heatpipes on the base of the heatsink.
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