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Can't figure out what is wrong...

Last response: in Components
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August 5, 2010 5:34:28 PM

Hey guys,

I'm writing here because I've been a long time reader of the forums and you guys know your stuff. Recently, I've been having troubles with my computer that I just can't figure out. I'm normally very good with computers and I've never ran into a problem, hardware or software, that I haven't been able to fix. But I'm stumped...

Recently, I "believe" that I've been having troubles with either my CPU or PSU. It used to be that whenever I played a game, my computer would seize up for a split second, I would hear a buzzing sound from the speakers, and then it would resume normal operation as if nothing had happened. This normally happened when I stressed the components by playing some games. It used to happen every 30 seconds or so and ceased to be a problem when I quit the games.

Now, however, regardless of being in a game, it still occurs. Its noticeable outside of a game, because my mouse stops moving for a split second every 3 seconds or so and I still hear a buzz from my speakers. During that split second, everything on my screen stops (read: freezes). Again, only for a second. I'll give you the specs to my computer. What do you think needs to be done?

I don't have enough money to start buying parts to see if they work, nor do I really have any suitable computer pieces lying around. I have ran Memtest86+ or whatever its called to see if the RAM is the problem. It passed every test with no errors.

I've bought a new fan and heatsink to see if it was my CPU that was overheating. Nope. I forget what my temperatures were exactly, but they were quite low and within normal ranges on idle and on full load. I'm running out of ideas. What do you guys think? Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks guys,

Tom

Computer Specs (Straight from Newegg order history):
1 x Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case
1 x ASUS P5N-D LGA 775 NVIDIA nForce 750i SLI ATX Intel Motherboard
1 x EVGA 512-P3-N871-AR GeForce 9800 GTX+ 512MB 256-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.0 x16 HDCP Ready SLI Support Video Card
1 x Antec EarthWatts EA650 650W Continuous Power ATX12V Ver.2.2 / EPS12V version 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Active PFC "compatible with Core i7/Core i5" Power Supply
1 x Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Wolfdale 3.0GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor BX80570E8400
1 x G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400) Dual Channel Kit Desktop Memory Model F2-6400CL5D-4GBPQ
1 x Western Digital Caviar Black WD5001AALS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive
1 x Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD Rewritable Drive Black SATA Model AD-7240S-0B - OEM
1 x EDIMAX EW-7728In 32bit PCI Wireless 802.11n Draft 2.0 PCI Card
1 x ARCTIC COOLING Freezer 7 Pro Rev.2 92mm Fluid Dynamic CPU Cooler

More about : figure wrong

August 5, 2010 7:16:57 PM

A quick bump.

Also, I just did a bit of research. My PSU, according to NewEgg, only has 22A on the 12V rail... Could that be the reason my computer is stuttering like it is? Suppose my GPU isn't getting enough power?
a c 144 ) Power supply
August 5, 2010 7:42:37 PM

tomcase7 said:

My PSU, according to NewEgg, only has 22A on the 12V rail... Could that be the reason my computer is stuttering like it is?

Not true. The Earthwatts has 3 rails with a maximum capacity of 22 amps, 22 amps, and 25 amps with a maximum total capacity of 540 watts (45 amps). I doubt if power, or rather lack of, is your problem.
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August 5, 2010 8:04:55 PM

Damn. So have I stumped the rest of the community?

I know it's tough without actually seeing the computer and testing it, but I would appreciate it if someone threw some ideas out there as to the cause.
August 5, 2010 8:38:16 PM

You need to follow through with your diagnosis. You already suspect either the CPU or the PSU, but you have not proven that the problem lies with either unit nor have you proven that the problem doesn't lie with either. You have so far only proven that it's not the RAM nor is it the CPU overheating (not to be confused with the CPU taking a dump on you).

Take your diagnosis and follow through with it. It really is the only path to follow.
August 5, 2010 8:52:32 PM

I guess what I should be asking is: Are there any tests I can perform to narrow down what the problem may be? I do think it IS one of the two components, but its tough to commit to buying a $300 CPU in the HOPES that it will remedy my problem.
August 5, 2010 9:06:46 PM

Keep task manager up, and see if the CPU is spiking at these times.

My gut tells me its a hard drive issue.

Run some tests on the hard drive, try a fresh install of Windows before you drop a wad of cash.

Possibly you have a virus.
August 5, 2010 9:19:41 PM

I tried formatting the HDD. Perfectly clean install.. the minute it booted the OS, the system resumed "stuttering".

What are some of the symptoms of an HDD malfunction? Does your computer even access the HDD every 3 seconds (to cause that hiccup I was talking about in my original post)?
Anonymous
a b ) Power supply
September 22, 2010 7:12:28 PM

Im not sure if you're still having problems but I seem to have found a fix. I have the same wireless card as you and when I disable it in the device manager the stuttering goes away. Im currently downloading the latest drivers from the Edimax website so hopfully that will sort it out. Hope this helps!
a b ) Power supply
September 22, 2010 7:50:29 PM

ive never heard of edimax. it sounds like generic junk with junky drivers...
!