In a repair job on an (ancient, I know) Inspiron 2200 for my parents, I quickly realized that the problems they were reporting - decreased performance on video sites like Netflix and Hulu - was due to a processor that was being throttled for one reason or another. Although upon booting the computer up, BIOS, My Computer, and CPU-Z all report actual processor speed as the expected 1.7 ghz, and performance is fine, as soon as an Internet browser is opened up, it drops to 598 mhz, and every part of the computer begins to chug. Sometimes the computer will run at 598 or even lower as soon as it boots up, in BIOS and in My Computer, but I'm not sure what causes this exactly.
I've changed power options to "Always On," and tried turning Speedstep off and then on again in BIOS, all with no success. I can't keep a consistent 1.7ghz processor speed. The only explanation I could come up with is an overheating problem, although I'm not sure how to confirm it, and it seems odd that it would appear so suddenly, although the computer is obviously well past its prime.
Any suggestions/solutions/requests for more details? Your help would be greatly appreciated.
Get HW monitor, have it running, then open up IE, if you see the CPU temp shooting up then the thermal solution inside the laptop is probably failing, it may just be that it needs TIM reapplied and it will be fine, if its from 02 the grease originally used may be dried out.
Personally I check temps with speedfan, but regardless of what software you use you need to check out the temps. Sounds like over heating to me. I had a dell that throttled down when it got hot, would drop from 2.0Ghz down to 1.0Ghz. In my case simply cleaning out the laptop with compressed air did the trick, there was a lot of dust build up within the laptop blocking airflow.