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Dithering performance in games and elsewhere, CPU being used, but low temperature increase and slow speeds?

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March 26, 2014 11:58:01 PM

Recently I've been having some performance issues when in games and just generally using my computer. In task manager it says the CPU is being used under CPU usage, however, it's as if my CPU isn't actually doing anything. It's like it doesn't want to use more than maybe 10 percent of its total processing power, which makes sense considering that it seems to have a very low temperature increase despite the load being put on it.
I was just playing Torchlight 2, and when I first enter the game, I receive only 20-40 fps, and then after a minute or two, the fps increases to its typical 60 (vsync on) and remains that way until there's a loading screen or I bring up part of the interface, at which point it will drop back down to 20-40, and after a minute or so, it will bounce back up to 60. Also, I was just playing Sims 3, and from what I remember when playing it in the past, my temps would increase a fair amount because the CPU was under a load and was actually working properly, however, the temperature hardly increased, despite ~50 percent usage reported in task manager, and as a result I was receiving stuttering and choppy performance, as well as a framerate around 30-40.
Just tested it in BFBC2 and had absolutely no problems. Framerate was fine, temperatures increased with high load as expected, nothing wrong at all.
I'm quite certain this isn't any limitation of my graphics card, CPU, or RAM. Does anyone have any idea what could be going on here? I tried restarting my computer hoping it was just a random error, but to no avail. Any help is appreciated!
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March 27, 2014 12:41:30 AM

Could you give me a rough sketch of your specifications?
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March 27, 2014 1:43:58 PM

Soumil said:
Could you give me a rough sketch of your specifications?


Sure:

AMD Phenom II x4 955 @ 3.2ghz
4 GB RAM
Nvidia Geforce 9800gt 1GB
Western Digital Caviar Blue 500GB
700W ATX Power Supply

Need anything else/more specific?
Honestly, I'm not even sure this is a problem with my CPU, it just seems to be the most likely culprit because of the fact that it oftentimes will hardly rise in temperature and have slow loading speeds and framerates as a result. I suppose it could be a problem with my harddrive, but I have no idea how I can distinguish between the two.

Thanks for any help
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a b à CPUs
March 27, 2014 9:35:17 PM

I would not say Hard drive straight away. If you think it's because of hard drive, then you an do wnload some HDD test software and run it. Otherwise, just run a full hardware test, that might tell you the problem.
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March 28, 2014 12:30:43 AM

Soumil said:
I would not say Hard drive straight away. If you think it's because of hard drive, then you an do wnload some HDD test software and run it. Otherwise, just run a full hardware test, that might tell you the problem.


I think I've found the problem. My CPU, for whatever reason, will sometimes not automatically increase its clock speeds. I have whatever stepping technology that decreases clock speeds to around 800mhz when not under heavy loads, and it increases from there to something like 2000mhz under medium loads, and all the way to it's max speed of 3200mhz under heavy loads. However, when the performance in games is dropping, it's because the CPU isn't stepping up to the next performance tier. I don't know why it doesn't do this, do you have any ideas?
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March 28, 2014 3:35:10 PM

I believe I've found the answer. I had my computer's power management settings set to "power save mode," which I think was causing the CPU's clock-speed stepping to not increase in speed when it was under a load.
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