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I'm experiencing some bad slowdowns

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Last response: in CPUs
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May 3, 2010 6:38:00 AM

Hey guys! I'm having a bit of trouble here, and I've always had such a good experience with tom's hardware, that I figured this would be the best place to ask.

Short version: Seeing lots of slowdowns at start. I don't think it is the processor, graphics card, motherboard, power supply, or OS.


The setup:

CPU - i7 920
Case - Antec Twelve Hundred
RAM - OCZ Gold 6GB (3 x 2GB) SDRAM DDR3 1600
PSU - Corsair 850TX
MOBO - EVGA x58 132-BL-E758-A1
GPU - EVGA GTX 295
Monitor - Samsung T240 1920x1200
HDD1 - G.Skill 64gb SSD
HDD2 - WD Caviar Black 1TB
Mouse - Logitech G9
Cooler - Cooler Master V8
Optical Drive - SAMSUNG 22X DVD±R DVD Burner with LightScribe



Long version:
I built my computer back at the start of 09. It got hurt in a lightning storm at the end of 09. It messed up my computer pretty bad, and I was running at about 86 degrees for a few months (!). I got the motherboard, power supply, and processor replaced via RMA. I reinstalled Windows 7 onto my Western Digital, instead of the SSD I was using.

Now, every time I start up my computer, it takes longer and longer to boot up. When I finally get to the desktop, it takes like 30 seconds or more to load all the icons (about 20), and probably a minute just to be able to open any programs.

I have a CPU/RAM monitor on the side, and it shows constant activity while it is loading all the icons and everything. It also is starting to get choppy results during videos. When I play a game like Crysis, Dragon Age, or Starcraft 2, occasionally, if the screen is changing a lot at once, I'm seeing a lot of lines on the screen that stand out quite a bit. The RAM monitor doesn't show it exceeding about 30% unless something huge like SC2 is being played, then it goes to about ~55%. I don't know what it could be.

I played SC2 earlier, on ultra settings, and ran FRAPS. Mid-battle, I got a minimum FPS of 52, and average of 70. So, I don't think it is the graphics card...

I find the computer occasionally even freezing when I do something as small as clicking on a bookmarked page. Other times, I'll be typing too fast for the computer to keep up with it.

I've also disabled a lot of unnecessary startup services. I've checked using AVG, Spybot, and Adaware, and everything is clean.

Does anyone have any ideas where the bottleneck is?

Thanks in advance for any help
a b à CPUs
May 3, 2010 8:32:03 AM

Only think I can think of for the slower bootup/response time would be the HDD.
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May 3, 2010 10:10:41 AM

Thanks for the advice! That would make sense. It would explain some of the symptoms, but I don't know if it'd clear them all up. Regardless, I just bought a 2nd hard drive, and will attempt to RMA this one in the mean-time. Then I'll use one as a backup for the other.
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a b à CPUs
May 3, 2010 10:53:56 AM

You're welcome. Just hope it works out, because there's really not much else, apart from RAM, but I doubt it.
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a b à CPUs
May 3, 2010 12:50:04 PM

When you replaced the motherboard, did you reinstall all the motherboard drivers from the disc that came with it ?
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May 3, 2010 12:51:08 PM

Taking a look at the task manager would help I guess.
check the cpu usage and see if there is any abnormal activity.
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May 3, 2010 6:44:16 PM

Thanks so much for all the answers, everyone!

The CPU usage looks pretty normal. It only gets extremely active when I'm running something like Fritz 12 in analysis mode.

As far as the motherboard goes, I believe I went on the EVGA site and downloaded the newest motherboard drivers there, and put them on. I know I have all the updated drivers because I ran into a sound issue a couple weeks back and just applied the newest drivers then. I can't remember 100% whether I used the mobo's packaged disc though, because it has been almost a year since I replaced it (happened back in August).
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a b à CPUs
May 3, 2010 6:56:43 PM

Have you tried Windows Update ? That might find something amiss. Also, memory speed and timings as well as voltages all needs to be set right.
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May 3, 2010 7:56:17 PM

Well, I made sure the vcore voltage was not above the danger zone; in fact, I left it at default since I took off my OC until I can get everything working right again. I am still learning how to properly work with adjusting RAM timings and speed, especially since it is running the RAM at 1066 atm. The Windows Update just had a few updates for W7, so I installed them. I'll see if I can figure out how to adjust the RAM timings better.
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a b à CPUs
May 3, 2010 8:26:45 PM

I read quite a few negatives for this board. Most of them point to having the memory in the right slots to having a bad slot altogether. May be or may not be your problem. Keep working at it.
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May 5, 2010 5:56:46 AM

I noticed that it starts getting slowed down after a couple hours of use. If I turn it off, and give it like 20 minutes of rest, then turn it back on, a lot of the slowdowns disappear. I wonder if it could be because of the hard drive overheating? Maybe that's what is causing everything. When my new hard drive comes in, we'll find out.
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a b à CPUs
May 5, 2010 10:39:56 AM

Well the mother board, processor and video card scream heat. Download nvidia nhancer and use it to under clock your video card a little. Video memory and video processor.
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