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What is wrong with my desktop?

So I've had this gaming desktop for a while now. Here are the specs.

core i7-2600k @3.4 Ghz
8GB RAM
EVGA Geforce GTX 760 (Upgraded from a GTX 560)
2x1TB WD Hard Drives (Came with just one of these)
1 240GB Kingston SSD (Added later)
Thermaltake 750W Power Supply.

This computer was bought from iBuyPower in 2011 and since then it has been working fine. I have done few upgrades in the last 5 years as you can see from the specs listed above. I run 2x 25 inch monitors with this desktop and never had any issues before. I play games on one of the monitors while watch Twitch streams on the other and it works like a charm. However, few days ago, the computer started throttling. Even basic webpages in Chrome started loading slowly and the computer in general became slow. Since then, I have reinstalled Windows 10 but the slowness hasn't changed. Here is what I have noticed so far.

Sometimes Windows takes some time to load when starting the machine. After that when I go to Task Manager and Performance tab, I see the CPU speeds around 0.2-1 GHz. I believe this is the reason why the computer is stuttering and everything is slow. I'm saying this because when I restart the machine and open a Twitch stream and watch the CPU speed, I see the speed to be around 3 GHz and the stream works as intended at the highest settings. In 5 minutes the CPU speeds drop to below 1 Ghz and that's when everything become choppy. Mind you this is on a brand new install of Windows. CPU Utilization percentages are also low (around 10%)

Here is what I've done so far.

1. Cleaned the entire interior of the tower. Put in new thermal paste on the CPU.
2. Tried different PCI-e slots for the GPU but of no avail.
3. Used a brand new Samsung EVO SSD in place of the Kingston SSD and re installed Windows on that to check if it's a problem with the SSD but the results are same. CPU and the entire machine is still choppy and slow.
4. Used the old GTX 560 card to check whether it was a GPU problem, but that didn't help.

I've run out of ideas as to what to do. Could it be the Power Supply? Could it be the standard 1 TB hard drives or could it be the RAM? Anyone have any suggestions as to what to do?

Thank you.
40 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about wrong desktop
  1. Does the CPU overheat?
  2. GhislainG said:
    Does the CPU overheat?


    Haven't checked that. What utility should I use to check CPU temperatures?
  3. Windows doesn't have anything built in, but there should be some sort of hardware monitor in your BIOS. Check when you first boot, then wait until it slows down and reboot and check again. It certainly sounds like some sort of heat issue though.

    Can you tell if the CPU fan and case/psu fans are still spinning? Most people check their CPU fan but if your case fans die heat builds up inside your case. PSU's can overheat too of course, but failing PSU's usually just cause shutdowns. Usually.
  4. CoreTemp is an excellent program to monitor temperatures with. You could also try downloading Intel's Extreme Tuning Utility, it has some diagnostics.
  5. Intel XTU also is a nice utility when you have an Intel CPU.
  6. Thank you very much all for the suggestions. So this morning after I switched on my pc, everything has been working fine so far. THe CPU clock frequency is pretty high which I've downloaded the Intel XTU and Core Temp and here are 2 screenshots of temperature readings.

    As you can see there is Thermal Throttling happening, but so far the CPU clock hasn't gone below 2.5 GHz. Also, the temperature at the moment is 95C+ which is concerning.

    So it seems like CPU throttling is the problem when the clock slows down to less than 1 GHz (not encountered today as of yet) and everything slows down and becomes choppy.

    So what should I do to avoid the problem of slow CPU speed and thermal throttling in the future? Should I reapply thermal compound again?

    https://s17.postimg.org/dqgzn8txn/CPU1.png

    https://s17.postimg.org/say2i2owb/CPU2.png
  7. I assume you've checked that the heatsink isn't full of dust? Make sure the fan is spinning too.

    Your problem is in one of two places:

    1) Heat getting from the CPU to the heatsink (e.g. mounting issue, thermal paste)
    2) Heat getting from the heatsink to the air (e.g. fan problem, dust)

    Put your hand on the heatsink while it's running, it should not be more than warm to the touch. If it's extremely hot, that suggests the fan isn't doing its job. If it's cool, you have a mounting or paste problem.
  8. Best answer
    Your cooler isn't doing its job, but you haven't told us which one it is. Is it the stock Intel cooler? You should also enable all hardware monitors in XTU (little blue icon on the right).
  9. Ecky said:
    I assume you've checked that the heatsink isn't full of dust? Make sure the fan is spinning too.

    Your problem is in one of two places:

    1) Heat getting from the CPU to the heatsink (e.g. mounting issue, thermal paste)
    2) Heat getting from the heatsink to the air (e.g. fan problem, dust)

    Put your hand on the heatsink while it's running, it should not be more than warm to the touch. If it's extremely hot, that suggests the fan isn't doing its job. If it's cool, you have a mounting or paste problem.


    I cleaned everything yesterday. Used Iso-propyl alcohol to rub off old paste and then applied new thermal paste on the CPU. To save $5 I bought the cheaper Ceramic Thermal Compound :p. It said it was made by Arctic Silver. Should I reapply it again today?

    If so should I use the Credit Card method of making a thin layer over the CPU or just put a circle of paste on top of it and let the heat sink take care of it.

    I opened the box and the heatsink seems to be mildly warm on the top. The left and right sides are mildly warm while the top and bottom are little bit more warm.
  10. What cooler is installed? If it's an air cooler, then it most likely isn't fully locked in place or you applied too much thermal paste.
  11. GhislainG said:
    Your cooler isn't doing its job, but you haven't told us which one it is. Is it the stock Intel cooler? You should also enable all hardware monitors in XTU (little blue icon on the right).


    GhislainG said:
    What cooler is installed? If it's an air cooler, then it most likely isn't fully locked in place or you applied too much thermal paste.


    It's a liquid cooler from Corsair that I installed 4-5 years ago. Actually I just noticed that the temperature has dropped quite a bit to low 80s since my Dropbox stopped syncing and downloading all my files. It was syncing and downloading my files to my desktop after I re installed Windows. Here is the screenshot of the XTU now with Path of Exile (an ARPG game running on one monitor and a Twitch stream running in another monitor).

    https://s21.postimg.org/ei1gpel43/CPU4.png

    Should I reapply thermal compound again? If so any specific method like the Credit Card method or anything else?
  12. It sounds like your cooler's pump may no longer work properly.
  13. It sounds like something is badly wrong with either your cooler or your CPU. I think it's probably your cooler went bad. Check and make sure everything is hooked up right to the cooler.
  14. So now the temperature has stabilized as it seems to have been okay the entire day yesterday. I'm now stuck with another problem. I restarted my machine for a reason and this is what came up. Mind you when I first switched on the machine today, everything was fine. This is when I restarted it later

    https://s13.postimg.org/fjs175e43/IMAG1181.jpg


    I pressed F9 and then it booted to Windows fine. I tried this again by restarting and the same screen showed up which I bypassed by pressing F9.

    Any ideas what is wrong? Thanks.
  15. Is the correct HDD the primary boot device?
  16. GhislainG said:
    Is the correct HDD the primary boot device?


    I seemed to have solved the problem by going to the BOOT tab in msconfig and deleting the "other" Windows 10 install which was the OS by default. I've no idea where this OS install came from and why it was default, since I installed a fresh copy of Windows 10 on my SSD by erasing everyting and that's the only place I have an operating system.
  17. I'd presume the HDD was still connected to the system when you installed the clean OS.
  18. get a new cooler. If that doesn't fix it get a new MB and cpu.
  19. Melonious said:
    get a new cooler. If that doesn't fix it get a new MB and cpu.


    Do you think I should get a liquid cooler like the one that I have. At the moment I'm using a Corsair liquid cooler that I bought 4-5 years ago. I believe it's this one (not sure if they have updated the model but it looks exactly like this).

    https://www.amazon.com/Corsair-Hydro-Performance-Liquid-Cooler/dp/B00A0HZMGA

    Or get an air cooler?
  20. A good air cooler is easy to fix; only the fan can fail.
  21. I have no idea what the heck is going on with my machine. I've cleaned and applied thermal paste 5 different times using Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 and Arctic Silver 5 and still my temperature are around 95C+ even when idle.

    My liquid cooler is 5 years old (Corsair H60), but does it make such a difference? I mean even when idle my temperature are through the roof. Should I trash this computer or get a new liquid cooler to give it another chance? Here are the current readings. Should I change some settings in the BIOS?

    https://s18.postimg.org/vux21y0md/Core_Temp_Scr.png

    https://s14.postimg.org/n4pv74e99/CPUTemp.png

    BTW Thanks to everyone for replying and giving me suggestions. If every thing fails, I might go for this PC

    Walmart link

    Anyone have any experience with this PC or buying it from Walmart? Seems like it's cheaper than buying it directly from CyberpowerPC and I can return it within 15 days if there is some major issue with it.
  22. Install a good air cooler and your issue should be resolved.
  23. GhislainG said:
    Install a good air cooler and your issue should be resolved.


    Thanks for your continued replies. Do you recommend any specific air cooler. I'm thinking of getting something shipped to Walmart so that for some reason the temperatures don't go down then I can return it to the store instead of mailing it back to the online retailer which is a hassle for me. Also why air cooler over liquid cooler? Other than being simple I don't see any benefit.

    Thanks.
  24. Get another liquid cooler if that's your preference; I prefer air coolers because they are more reliable. If it fits your case, the Cryorig H7 is a very good cooler.
  25. joy83 said:
    I have no idea what the heck is going on with my machine. I've cleaned and applied thermal paste 5 different times using Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 and Arctic Silver 5 and still my temperature are around 95C+ even when idle.

    My liquid cooler is 5 years old (Corsair H60), but does it make such a difference? I mean even when idle my temperature are through the roof. Should I trash this computer or get a new liquid cooler to give it another chance? Here are the current readings. Should I change some settings in the BIOS?

    https://s18.postimg.org/vux21y0md/Core_Temp_Scr.png

    https://s14.postimg.org/n4pv74e99/CPUTemp.png

    BTW Thanks to everyone for replying and giving me suggestions. If every thing fails, I might go for this PC

    Walmart link

    Anyone have any experience with this PC or buying it from Walmart? Seems like it's cheaper than buying it directly from CyberpowerPC and I can return it within 15 days if there is some major issue with it.


    Like I said there's two possibilities. One, it's just the cooler. But if it's working properly it should be very very hard to get a water cooler up to 95c.

    If the fan works and if you feel the pump working, it's PROBABLY not the cooler, but may be.

    If the cooler works and you get 95c temps then your motherboard is fried for sure, and probably your CPU.

    So the smart thing to do is get a cooler. Either get a nice air cooler like evo 212 or thermalright macho (make sure they fit!) or get another water cooler.

    If you still have the problem, you definitely should dump the MB and CPU.

    I doubt it's a thermal paste issue, even a tiny amount of thermal paste is enough. And even a huge amount of thermal paste won't totally stop heat conduction.
  26. Melonious said:
    joy83 said:
    I have no idea what the heck is going on with my machine. I've cleaned and applied thermal paste 5 different times using Arctic Silver Ceramique 2 and Arctic Silver 5 and still my temperature are around 95C+ even when idle.

    My liquid cooler is 5 years old (Corsair H60), but does it make such a difference? I mean even when idle my temperature are through the roof. Should I trash this computer or get a new liquid cooler to give it another chance? Here are the current readings. Should I change some settings in the BIOS?

    https://s18.postimg.org/vux21y0md/Core_Temp_Scr.png

    https://s14.postimg.org/n4pv74e99/CPUTemp.png

    BTW Thanks to everyone for replying and giving me suggestions. If every thing fails, I might go for this PC

    Walmart link

    Anyone have any experience with this PC or buying it from Walmart? Seems like it's cheaper than buying it directly from CyberpowerPC and I can return it within 15 days if there is some major issue with it.


    Like I said there's two possibilities. One, it's just the cooler. But if it's working properly it should be very very hard to get a water cooler up to 95c.

    If the fan works and if you feel the pump working, it's PROBABLY not the cooler, but may be.

    If the cooler works and you get 95c temps then your motherboard is fried for sure, and probably your CPU.

    So the smart thing to do is get a cooler. Either get a nice air cooler like evo 212 or thermalright macho (make sure they fit!) or get another water cooler.

    If you still have the problem, you definitely should dump the MB and CPU.

    I doubt it's a thermal paste issue, even a tiny amount of thermal paste is enough. And even a huge amount of thermal paste won't totally stop heat conduction.


    So is this the EVO 221 you are talking about? I would rather buy it from Walmart (I know they suck at technology products lol) since if there is any issue I can return it to them without having to mail it to Newegg or Amazon as that is a hassle for me.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/Coolermaster-RR-212E-20PK-R2-Hyper-212-Evo/23142475

    Also when you say that the MB has fried already, how can I be sure of that since temperatures have been 95C+ a lot but I can still seem to boot up and work fine with slowness and choppiness when throttling happens. Also what do you think about this gaming PC? Since if it's a motherboard and CPU issue then I would rather buy a new PC rather than spend money on this as it's already 5+ years old.

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/CyberPowerPC-Gamer-Xtreme-GXiVR2400W-Gaming-Desktop-PC-with-Intel-Core-i7-6700-Processor-16GB-Memory-2TB-Hard-Drive-and-Windows-10-Home-Monitor-Not/52048407
  27. If it fits, then the 1622 mm high 212 Evo is a good buy. Your motherboard is fine; otherwise the system wouldn't work. Your issue is a pump that isn't always working properly (a common issue with liquid coolers).
  28. Your MB can have many things wrong and still post, such as shooting random amount of voltage to CPU to shoot it up to 95 degrees. But it makes the most sense to try the cooler first.
  29. Melonious said:
    Your MB can have many things wrong and still post, such as shooting random amount of voltage to CPU to shoot it up to 95 degrees. But it makes the most sense to try the cooler first.
    And it costs less than a new motherboard.
  30. Melonious said:
    Your MB can have many things wrong and still post, such as shooting random amount of voltage to CPU to shoot it up to 95 degrees. But it makes the most sense to try the cooler first.


    I hope it's not the motherboard. I went ahead and ordered the CM Hyper 212 Evo from Amazon which should arrive on Wednesday. I've a Cooler Master HAF 922 case. I looked it up online before ordering the cooler and it seems it fits fine in this case. The fan pulling air to the radiator is spinning like crazy now.

    Today I powered up the PC after last night's sleep, so after 7-8 hours and within few minutes the temperatures shot up from 50-90C while idle. And now it's around 85C now while I'm typing this with just 1 tab open on Chrome.

    If it's the motherboard, then any way of figuring it out? My computer boots up fine and I get to Windows pretty quickly. Like any diagnostic tests for voltages that I can do and then posting the results here?

    BTW should I turn off the PC and not use it much until I install the new cooler? I cannot thank you guys enough for replies to this thread.
  31. Have you tried resetting your BIOS settings to Default/Optimized and after that just set your disk boot priority for windows to boot normal??
  32. joy83 said:
    Melonious said:
    Your MB can have many things wrong and still post, such as shooting random amount of voltage to CPU to shoot it up to 95 degrees. But it makes the most sense to try the cooler first.


    I hope it's not the motherboard. I went ahead and ordered the CM Hyper 212 Evo from Amazon which should arrive on Wednesday. I've a Cooler Master HAF 922 case. I looked it up online before ordering the cooler and it seems it fits fine in this case. The fan pulling air to the radiator is spinning like crazy now.

    Today I powered up the PC after last night's sleep, so after 7-8 hours and within few minutes the temperatures shot up from 50-90C while idle. And now it's around 85C now while I'm typing this with just 1 tab open on Chrome.

    If it's the motherboard, then any way of figuring it out? My computer boots up fine and I get to Windows pretty quickly. Like any diagnostic tests for voltages that I can do and then posting the results here?

    BTW should I turn off the PC and not use it much until I install the new cooler? I cannot thank you guys enough for replies to this thread.


    The diagnostic is that you get massive overheating even with a properly functioning cooler. If the MB is not working then it can't be relied on telling you something is wrong anyway, for example I have had MBs decide the CPU fan doesn't need to run and cook the CPU.

    If you have that symptom then the MB is not working properly. And probably the CPU. I would just replace both because otherwise you might see more issues with the CPU down the road.

    You can get a fx8350 and MB for it very cheaply if you don't need huge performance.
  33. st3v30 said:
    Have you tried resetting your BIOS settings to Default/Optimized and after that just set your disk boot priority for windows to boot normal??


    I have never done this before. Anything to note before I do this. If I remember correctly the only change I probably made to the BIOS would be changing the SSD to AHCI. So this will be reset to default and I guess I have to change it again. Will Windows load like usual if it's the primary boot device?

    I just want to make sure it doesn't create any more problems than what I already have.
  34. Windows will load just as usual just dont forget to set boot priority and and as you said SSD to AHCI, but u think BIOS will do that on its own.
  35. st3v30 said:
    Windows will load just as usual just dont forget to set boot priority and and as you said SSD to AHCI, but u think BIOS will do that on its own.


    Okay I did that and nothing changed. The temps were 95C+ the moment Windows loaded. I think the cooler pump is probably dying or almost dead. I hear this consistent lawnmower noise as if something is stuck on the fan blades, but I'm pretty sure it's not the fans.

    Is that a sign of a dying pump?
  36. Did you replace the cooler?
  37. GhislainG said:
    Did you replace the cooler?


    The cooler is coming today. I'm at work now. Will let you know after I install it later tonight.
  38. If it's still overheating after you install the cooler you may have too much voltage going to the CPU. If it needs too much voltage at stock speed then you have a bad cpu. You can try underclocking it to see if it will use less voltage that way. Also it could be a bad VRM on the motherboard causing it to give your cpu more voltage. It's really hard to say which one it is causing the issue without replacing one or the other.
  39. Alright Guys, SUCCESS!!!! I installed the cooler (which was a pain in itself, not sure who in their right mind would design this X mechanism). Idle temps are now 25-30C. Did a stress test for 5 minutes with the Intel XTU Stress Test and temps never went past 50C. Also did a GPU stress test for 5 minutes. Max temp was 79C and idle is around 30-35C. Do those look normal? Thank you all for helping me out.

    I picked GhislainG's first post where he mentioned that the cooler has gone bad as the right solution (I know most of you said that too but had to pick one and he was the first one with the answer).
  40. That's great news. Those temps are normal.
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