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Windows Stuttering

Last response: in CPUs
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April 13, 2008 12:09:44 AM

Alright, so I have this computer that constantly stutters. By stuttering, I mean the system seams to lag for a second or two at a time in random intervals [~1-2min]. It is the audio/video/GUI. Essentially everything stutters.

I have tried reinstalling the OS about 15 times [different OS's to be sure]. Currently I am on Windows XP Pro, but I bave tried XP MCE, as well as Vista, and Ubuntu Linux. Doesn't seem to matter which system, so I know it's not an OS issue.

I've reinstalled all of my drivers, keeping everything up to date, even using some older drivers just to see, but still nothing.

I've switched out honestly every component apart from the motherboard, which leads me to believe it might very well be the motherboard causing the issue.

Here are the specs of my main computer:
Intel Core2Quad Q6600
Adata DDR2-800MHz 2x2GB (4GB RAM)
Intel DG33TL Mobo (Intel retail edge motherboard - I got the combo with the C2Q) http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813121315&Tpk=Intel%2bDG33TL
Philips DVD Burner (IDE)
3 HDDs(currently) - 200GB Maxtor IDE[Main] / 320GB Seagate SATAII[videos-music] / 500GB Maxtor SATAII[programs-ISOs-etc.] - and i also have a 250GB Seagate SATAII HDD that I use as a main HDD (currently in other computer amidst all of the swapping of parts)
eVGA 8800GT 512MB
Thermaltake 500Watt PSU

Here are the specs of my other computer:
Intel Core2Duo E6320
Asrock 4CoreDual-SATA2 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813157115&Tpk=Asrock%2b4CoreDual-SATA2
OCZ DDR2-800MHz 2x1GB (2GB RAM)
LG DVD Burner (IDE)
2 HDDS - 250GB Seagate SATAII / 160GB Western Digital IDE
Sapphire X1950GT (or XT)
Generic 500Watt PSU

So as I've said, I've swapped out pretty much every component, and the latest one is the CPU's. The reason for this was because when I was watching the CPU Usage History in the task manager, whenever the computer stutters, the usage spikes from 0% to 10% for a second or two. It's during that time that the system lags.
I first tried disabling some of the cores on the Quad, but that didnt work. I tought I had it working for about 30 minutes after the switch, as there was no stuttering, but then it just randomly started.

Just so you guys know, this has been going on for about 3 months now, not a recent thing at all. I'm just finally fed up with it and want to chuck it out my window lol.

Is there anything you guys can think of that might solve this, or should I just suck it up and get a new motherboard? If you do suggest a new motherboard, I need a microATX board, as my case is a nice little LAN case from Thermaltake http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16811133035 (But mine is without the handle). I do a lot of LANs, so this case is ALOT easier to lug around than my Antec P180 lol.

Thanks in advance.

More about : windows stuttering

April 13, 2008 12:24:33 AM

nothing stands out from the specifications, although you will have a rather large power draw on the 12v rail, although i would expect even worse issues.

Other than that, try running a HDD test and also a memory test, a dodgy motherboard would usually cause more instability than just stuttering, but PC's are crazy things and can do allsorts! I had a similar issue recently with a faulty mobo but it would stutter then completely freeze, i've also had problems with memory causing this, and also a HDD so try them 3 first
April 13, 2008 12:29:49 AM

its highly unlikly its the mobo

i say its those 2 crappy psu - that is the only thing that stands out, you have 2 500w psu's.

its possible they are under too high load, usually you get the bsod or psu error - quad needs 125 give or take 25w, the G92 can suck up 200w, 3 drives suck up alot of power at boot

Related resources
April 13, 2008 3:50:56 AM

Have you tried updating the bios? This sounds like a glitch that a bios update might cure. If not, than I agree it could be the PSU. Usually a system just reboots when power is insufficient, but it does cause all types of problems. It always a good idea to have a good PSU regardless then you never have to wonder. Often it can increase the performance as well since it will get proper power under heavy usage.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
April 13, 2008 4:27:23 AM

I've had a similar problem a few years ago with the CPU peaking at ~30-40% every thirty seconds. After a couple of months of misery it turned out that the Remote Procedure Call (RPC) service was disabled (still don't know why, back then I hardly even knew what a service was) but once re-enabled the CPU levels turned back to normal.

Just some random story. :hello: 
a c 125 à CPUs
April 13, 2008 5:22:15 AM

One thing i can think of is trying to change the hard drive cables. When a sata drive is hot plugged there is some times a pause in the system while its re detected(noticeable on intel chipsets). I had a occasional pause problem once and checked the device manager to see that a drive was getting removed from the system. Changed the cable and away it went.

Also a 8800GT takes less then 90 watts clocked at 700mhz.

See more info on me for my system and power use....hint 8800gtx Q6600 hint...370 watts at the wall...

EDIT, also i had a old asus board(K8V SE Deluxe) that did that due to a issue THEY introduced with a bios update. a flash back fixed it
April 13, 2008 6:51:51 PM

ehh looks like psu troubles never buy generic devices
a b à CPUs
April 13, 2008 8:56:17 PM

Hmm...so far no one has said it....BUT,It could be some rough background program, virus, spyware,etc. Run a scan and see. else it could be PSU.
April 13, 2008 11:52:50 PM

hmmm. ok. well i know its definitely not a virus, cuz it would happen even on a fresh install when not connected to the internet.

ill try installing a new PS, cuz I know I have a brand new one lying around that's isn't a generic. I was avoiding that too, cuz my case is so small and very difficult to work with. But if it will help fix the problem, I'm all for it.
August 27, 2008 5:00:29 AM

I have this same problem, and have been chasing it down for over two months now. It's been VERY frustrating. GSP01, did you ever solve your problem?
August 29, 2008 3:59:49 AM

yes i did end up finding out what my problem was.
it never was any of the things i thought it was. instead, it was my USB wireless card. (D-link DWA-142 http://dlink.ca/products/?sec=0&pid=527)
it was the reason. so it was probably a driver issue. I just stopped using it and went back to wired and eventually upgraded my whole network to gigabit.

hope that helps.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
June 5, 2009 11:49:55 PM

SOMETHING ELSE SOLVED MY PROBLEM!
i have an asus x50sr laptop, at first it worked perfectly but after a few months it started to 'stutter'.
i initially blamed it on vista:) ) stupid os! but that was not the cause
after a time i noticed that when i plugged my laptop to another power outlet in my house it worked fine, no stutters; after some investigations i discovered that the stutters were caused by the faulty power outlet in my room, the earth wires did not connect well with the plug so the laptop became charged with static causing the stutter
on a laptop is hard to realise if this happens but on a desktop u can check this by running your fingers across a metal part of your computer's case and if u feel a sort of 'vibration' on the tips of your fingers it means the pc is loaded with static!
also another confirmation of this is that when u finnaly plug the cord into a proper grounded electric outlet you may see an electric flash just when u insert the plug and u might think it's something wrong with the outlet but it's just the accumulated static being released through the earth wires of the outlet into the ground;
static can go as far as making the computer unable to power up corectly or freezes but i don't think it can do permanent damage
u can know if an electronic equipment requires grounding by it's two metal strips positioned on each side of the plug which get in contact with the two external metal strips located in the power otulet
most complex electronic products (like printers, lcds, pcs) require proper grounding to function corectly so i advise u to pay more attention to this detail in the future
June 19, 2009 7:54:14 PM

I have a different solution as well. Windows started to stutter, that is it would freeze intermittently every 5 to 10 seconds. Sometimes more frequently, like when I was typing up an email, sometimes less. Seldom when the CPU was under high load. I've seen this reported all over the net, but I haven't seen this answer to the problem.

Note: another symptom is that when your run task manager to see the performance chart and set the update speed to high, you will see the CPU bounce up and down between 1 and 6 (or 10) very quickly. Normally an idle system just hovers around 0 or 1 %.

It started when I installed VMWare Server and tried to run a VM I had downloaded. At first I thought the stuttering was due to the overhead of the large VM. I stopped it. Then I uninstalled VMWare Server (I have an ESX server I used instead). The stuttering continued so I thought it may have been a coincidence. Then I thought it might have been speedstep. I ran ccleaner and reigistry mechanic and uninstalled everything I didn't need before. Defragged the hard drive. All very useful things to do, but no improvement.

I dropped down to the BIOS settings (I was going to try disabling speedstep) and noticed that the VM support capabilities of the CPU are disabled by default (this is a DELL OptiPlex 755). I enabled these two options in the BIOS and restarted:

Virtualization
(Off default)
Specifies whether a virtual machine monitor (VMM) can utilize the additional
hardware capabilities provided by Intel Virtualization technology.

VT for Direct I/O
Specifies whether a Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) can use the additional hardware capabilities provided by Intel Virtualization Technology for Direct IO. Default is Off.

That did the trick. Installing VMWare server probably left a driver behind or modified a global configuration setting that caused my system to run poorly when one of these two settings were off.

There are two other settings for VM features that are also off by default, but I didn't think they were as likely to help.

I would like to know what VMWare Server changed on my system, or which of the two settings was responsible for restoring the performance of my system. Now that my computer is working properly again, I don't feel the impetus to find out.

I hope this helps.

-Luke
!