I went to canirunit.com just to check how my system would stack up against Battlefield Bad Company 2. It failed. The processor according to canirunit.com was only running at 1.5GHz. So I downloaded CPU-Z and sure enough the processor is only running at 1.5GHz whereas Windows 7 reports it running at the full 3.16GHz in System Properties. So I kept CPU-Z open while I played a few games. The CPU would start off at 900MHz and when the game started up it would jump up to 1.59GHz and stay there no matter how long I played. Another thing I noticed in CPU-Z that the FSB and rated FSB of the CPU was also halved. I have an Intel Core 2 Duo E8500 and it was running fine until I thought my system was slowing down (it felt slower but I paid little attention as to why). When my PC post I can see that the CPU is running at 3.16GHz. I am thinking that my motherboard has some sort of damage. I leave the bios settings alone, always on auto. I even removed the CMOS battery overnight to clear and possible messed up settings. Any suggestions?
Nothing is wrong with your motherboard. It is normal for your CPU to cycle between different core speeds to save power. However, your core speed shouldn't reach a max at 1.59GHz. Thankfully you have a desktop, so anything is possible. Look at your bios to see if it allows you to change clocks. There are also programs that will do that for you. Try RightMark CPU Clock Utility. It is not really an overclocking utility, but lets you chose how the power management works, so it is pretty safe and should allow your CPU to reach its full potential.
Oh, I just got an idea: check your power management to see if the maximum CPU state is set lower than 100%.
Ok so my power management is set to 100%. I messed around in the BIOS and found a "performance" cpu setting. Now I'm at 1.7GHz. Now I'm getting intermittent Windows start up crashes. You know the animated logo that appears when Windows 7 is booting up? Well I never see that animation, the computer just sits there. Hitting the reset switch on my case will get it to where I can boot up. I tried to adjust the CPU settings in the BIOS and FSB but I got an overclock temp error upon reboot when it was 2.4GHz. Also sometimes when I start my PC it turns on as in the fans will spin up really fast and loud, I see the ASUS EFI BIOS screen and then it powers down and a few seconds later it will power back up and boot. I hate to start throwing money into this system when I'm probably just going to need to start from scratch anyway.