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CPU Idle usage 70-90%

Recently I have noticed a few FPS drops in games that my PC could otherwise run flawlessly. I checked a couple things like my drivers etc before noticing that my CPU usage with nothing open/running jumps between 70-90%. This was normally about 20% max. I thought this may have something to do with a background process so i tried selective startup and disabled any non essential processes yet the problem was still there. I did however notice that by disabling all services in the system config menu and restarting, the idle usage was back down to 1-20%. I assume this means I have an issue with one of the windows services as I tried to boot with only the windows services enabled and still had the issue.

Aside from that I have tried reapplying thermal paste and using a different case and fan with no luck.

As you can probably tell I have no idea what I'm supposed to be looking for but that was just something I noticed. Any help would be useful.
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More about cpu idle usage
  1. What version of windows are you using and which process(es) specifically are utilizing the CPU the most (you can check this by going into task manager -> details -> sort by CPU usage)?
  2. aznricepuff said:
    What version of windows are you using and which process(es) specifically are utilizing the CPU the most (you can check this by going into task manager -> details -> sort by CPU usage)?


    I am using WIndows 7.

    The processes using the CPU the most at idle are Explorer and SVCHOST. With Chrome open it uses more than Explorer but less than SVCHOST.

    Looking at the process list alone it really doesnt look like it should be using so much of the CPU there really isnt anything hogging CPU usage.

    Here is my process list - https://gyazo.com/6cab37a86b11637e617f070ecccfc353

    The white boxes are only there to cover my name.

    EDIT - Oh and just to let you know my CPU is an Athlon x4 760k 3.8ghz
  3. You sorted on memory usage, not CPU usage.

    Try it again with CPU usage (it's the one to the left of what you selected).
  4. aznricepuff said:
    You sorted on memory usage, not CPU usage.

    Try it again with CPU usage (it's the one to the left of what you selected).


    Wow aha my mistake. It appears system idle process is taking up the majority of it. I've heard that this is normal with no other applications open but i have several applications open and it still takes up ~90 and at other times it is down to 25 with SVCHOST taking ~75
  5. aznricepuff said:
    You sorted on memory usage, not CPU usage.

    Try it again with CPU usage (it's the one to the left of what you selected).


    Wow aha my mistake. It appears system idle process is taking up the majority of it. I've heard that this is normal with no other applications open but i have several applications open and it still takes up ~90 and at other times it is down to 25 with SVCHOST taking ~75
  6. Hmm, can you go into the processes tab in task manager, sort by CPU usage there, expand the processes that are using a lot of CPU, and take a screenshot?
  7. aznricepuff said:
    Hmm, can you go into the processes tab in task manager, sort by CPU usage there, expand the processes that are using a lot of CPU, and take a screenshot?


    What exactly do you mean by expand?

    https://gyazo.com/d3c482deb503011b0a1e30f224b0142b
  8. Sorry, I meant the processes tab in task manager (the leftmost one), not the details tab. In that tab you can double click a process to expand into a list of subprocesses.
  9. aznricepuff said:
    Sorry, I meant the processes tab in task manager (the leftmost one), not the details tab. In that tab you can double click a process to expand into a list of subprocesses.


    That was the processes tab? The leftmost tab in task manager is applications?
  10. Ah yes, sorry - I forgot that windows changed the task manager ui between 7 and 8.

    In that case, can you right-click the svchost process that is showing the most CPU usage and select 'go to services' and tell me or screenshot the services that are highlighted?
  11. aznricepuff said:
    Ah yes, sorry - I forgot that windows changed the task manager ui between 7 and 8.

    In that case, can you right-click the svchost process that is showing the most CPU usage and select 'go to services' and tell me or screenshot the services that are highlighted?


    No worries I really appreciate your replies!

    Clicking go to services on the svchost using the most CPU does not highlight any services. Although there are several other svchost processes using 0 CPU that highlight the following 0 https://gyazo.com/b96997132bb90b4849fbe1a38154c6cc
  12. Best answer
    OK, well the fact that the description of that svchost process is just "svchost" and the fact that no services could be linked to it suggest that it is malware. For further confirmation, right-click the svchost process and select "go to file location". If it takes you to anywhere except your Windows/System32 folder, it is almost certainly malware.

    To get rid of it unfortunately it's usually not sufficient to delete the svchost.exe that is running the process - there will usually be a second file hidden somewhere else that is responsible for regenerating the .exe and running it. Instead, you can try downloading and installing spybot AV (the free version): https://www.safer-networking.org/

    Use it to scan your computer and remove any malware it finds - hopefully it will solve the problem.
  13. aznricepuff said:
    OK, well the fact that the description of that svchost process is just "svchost" and the fact that no services could be linked to it suggest that it is malware. For further confirmation, right-click the svchost process and select "go to file location". If it takes you to anywhere except your Windows/System32 folder, it is almost certainly malware.

    To get rid of it unfortunately it's usually not sufficient to delete the svchost.exe that is running the process - there will usually be a second file hidden somewhere else that is responsible for regenerating the .exe and running it. Instead, you can try downloading and installing spybot AV (the free version): https://www.safer-networking.org/

    Use it to scan your computer and remove any malware it finds - hopefully it will solve the problem.


    Thank you so much! Yes file location takes me to windows/temp so im guessing it is malware. I will install the programme now. Again thank you so much for help!
  14. Yup deleted the file and ran a scan and all is good now. Thank you!
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