Slow response computer, with core i7 and 6GB ram


I have a very recent installation of Windows 7 - Main Hardware is:

Core i7 920
3 x 2GB ram (6gb)
2 x 500GB HD (ONe for OS, one for data)

Computer randomly starts performing very very slowly. I've checked the average disk queue length, and it hovers around 0.75 - 1.25. Disk time is between 7 - 20%.

What I found strange is there are processes in the task manager having page fault deltas of over 3,000, constantly. One of these is dwm.exe. First of all, aren't page faults swapping from hard disk to memory? I expect with 6GB ram, it shouldn't happen that frequently.

Task Manager is marking RAM as:

Total: 6142
Cached: 1895
Available: 2181
Free: 361

Any ideas why this might be happening? I was thinking it might be the hard disk, and i recently reinstalled windows on a brand new HD, but still it sometimes performs very slowly. Especially, when I am shutdowning and I have quite a good amount of programs opened, it takes literally ages to load a program, click on the close button, etc.

Any ideas?

6 answers Last reply
More about slow response computer core
  1. The hard drive is definitely something I would focus on. I recently bought a new laptop and was having random freezing issues. The entire system would completely lock up for up to 30 seconds, then catch up and keep working. This happened about 4-5 times a day. As soon as I bought an SSD and installed it, I pulled my magnetic drive out of the laptop (2 drive bays in my system)once my data was moved over and used it for a couple more days. No freezing.

    Worst part was, all of the diagnostics I ran on the drive since then found no faults or errors of any kind.

    If you have a spare drive you can pop in and install a fresh copy of Windows on, do so. No activation is needed.. just run it like you are now... install the same apps and use them like you would any other day. See if the problem goes away.
  2. Check how big your page file is. It should be at least 9 GB with the amount of physical memory you have.
  3. DWM.exe is actually Desktop Windows Manager and is responsible for the process that generates the windows in their various views and guises on your desktop. The page faults that appear due to this process are normal. DWM is not the cause of your issue. This link is about Vista but the principle is the same for Win 7.

    Check the power settings for the HDD. With that amount of RAM it probably goes for long periods without being accessed. The default is 20 mins I think. When the HDD has to wake up there will be a terrible lag.

    Make sure Win 7 is Service Pack 1 with all the required updates.

    Make sure your GPU has the latest drivers from AMD or NVIDIA depending on your card. (You didn't state)
  4. I use the computer mainly for software development - I have two graphics cards installed (triple-monitor setup).

    These are a Nvidia 7300LE and a 8400GS. The drivers were automatically installed when I installed Windows 7 - Should I download the latest from nvidia's website?

    Windows 7 is the Ultimate N version with Service Pack 1.

    What I did lately was downgrade the theme to Windows Basic, which basically reduces the computer's visual theme to a Windows98-equivalent. However, it seems to have made quite some difference - my thought about this was due to the dwm.exe high page faults.

    Regarding the page file size - It was previously set to be automatically managed by Windows. I have two different physical hard disks. I also set them to a fixed 3GB size on the windows drive, and another fixed 6GB on the other one. (minimum the same as the maximum size). Performance seems to have improved quite drastically.

    Given I use this machine for development, which in turn uses a lot the hard disk, I was thinking about getting some 2x 4GB usb sticks and enable readyboost (Edit: I wanted to put the page/swap file on the pendrives, is it possible?), so that I ease off the load from the hard disk - What are your suggestions about that?

    Bdw sorry for the late reply but I was abroad for the past 6 days!

    Thanks, much appreciated!
  5. Certainly download the latest Drivers for your GPU's. It sounds like you could benefit from a faster HDD. I wouldn't waste my time with readyboost.
  6. by faster HDD what would you mean? Its a the WD black edition, so shouldnt be a slow HD. I would really like to go the SSD option, but I have over 300 GB of data and its yet way too expensive!
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