This is cross posted in a lower traffic board in "Applications"
Ok, so. For starters, im quite literate, and have done probably everything you are going to recommend, so please read what I did first.
When I run certain games, my CPU usage rockets to a solid 100%, all going to the running game. The neat thing is, its only certain games. The neatest part is that OLD games, like Counter Strike and Age of Empires 2, are the ones that cause problems. Newer games such as Far Cry and Doom 3 (Im behind the times a little) DO NOT eat my CPU like that, except for the obvious times when the processor should be taxed.
The games that cause 100% usage do so IMMEDIATELY after I load them. I can sit at a menu screen that has zero 3d components, and it is riding 100%. If I minimize the game, it goes away (0-5% utilization).
Flash videos, MPEG4's, etc. do not cause unusual CPU usage either.
The kicker is that this did not used to happen. I originally had a 9800xt which never caused ridiculous CPU util in these games I mentioned. I later put in a 1950xt, which is substantially more powerful than the 9800xt. The card itself runs games like Doom 3 perfectly on the highest settings at 1280x1024, so I highly doubt its an issue with the actual card.
When I ran Counter Strike with the 9800xt, I got low CPU util and solid 99fps. When I run it with a 1950xt, I get 100% CPU util, and on "taxing" maps or situations, I get 20fps to go along with it.
So far, here is what I have done:
Installed verified working drivers (eg, users reported no unusual cpu util using them) for GFX, Sound, Chipset.
Attempted to run Counter Strike in OpenGL, Software, and D3d, all with the same results.
Reinstalled the games in question.
Ran games without an active page file.
Now then, my thoughts on the issue if it helps:
There seems to be some component of the select games that cause this to occur. Whatever that component is, the way the two gfx cards handle it is different. The newer card either doesnt support it and offloads the work to the CPU, or the software in question doesnt get along with the card and does the same.
Essentially, something is loading work on to my CPU when it shouldnt, and I have no idea how to find/fix it.
As mentioned above, the answer IS NOT "Old games always use 100% cpu because xxxxxxxx", as this did not happen with the older card.
I have googled this for many hours, without an answer thats even in the ballpark. Most similar posts are seemingly misinterpreted by the responders apparently.
Some things you might need to know...
Graphics cards are mentioned (both AGP obviously)
Windows XP Pro
single core processor (Athlon XP [yeah, old, I know])
1.5 Gb RAM
X-fi sound card
All drivers as stated
No other issues (and zero viruses/spyware/malware for the rookie guys who think of such things)
VSync makes zero difference in the problem, on or off
Did you remove the old drivers before installing the new ones and the new card? That could be the culprit.
Uninstall your drivers, download Ccleaner to scan and remove old/junk files, then do its registry scan, then reinstall the laters drivers from the AMD website.
Then see where you sit. If it goes back to normal, then sweet! If not, try reinstalling Counterstrike, then if that doesn't work, reinstall Windows. After a while, Windows just gets bloated and needs to be wiped.