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Cpu usage and memory very low in windows 7

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September 22, 2010 12:53:23 AM

I just built my first computer, and the task manager is showing ridiculously low CPU and memory usage while doing anything that is taxing on the system. For example, rendering video is extremely slow along with typical usage percentages of about 25% or so of both memory and CPU. Below is what I chose for my build:

i7 875k 2.93GHz
8 GB of Corsair Dominator DDR3 Dual Channel RAM
MSI P55-GD65 Motherboard
Corsair H50 CPU Cooler
700W Power Supply
Corsair V64 Nova SSD (Used half for Windows 7 64-bit and a few apps)
2 Seagate Baracuda 1TB RAID 0

This resulted in a windows experience ratings of 7.7, 7.7, 7.4, 7.4, and 7.3

However, anything I try to do other than boot up the computer is extermely slow.

Thanks in advance for your help. If you can get me strightened out, I'll send you a couple old PCs to mess with!
ATI Radeon 5770 1GB DDR5
September 22, 2010 12:59:55 AM

One more thing... I've been monitoring the CPU temp, and it's never been over 65 C. Of course, that makes sense since it's not really working on anything.
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a b à CPUs
September 22, 2010 1:16:13 AM

Are all 8 thread graphs showing activity?

You can start by resetting CMOS and restoring BIOS defaults. Changing nothing would be ideal, but if you can't do that change only what you must. Then boot up and try.

But check the thread graphs first, if you haven't.

Ed: Also, for the record, please identify the make/model of your psu.
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a b à CPUs
September 22, 2010 1:29:24 AM

Also what PSU is it? Brand/Model would be nice.

Additionally, is this a clean install of Win7?
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a c 126 à CPUs
September 22, 2010 1:34:26 AM

I would also like to know what programs you are using. 8GB of memory is a lot and I doubt very many programs can use all of it.

But I agree with Timop. It almost sounds like the PSU might not give enough juice.

Also, google CPUz, run it, take a screen shot and post it here when its idle and also running the program.
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a c 83 à CPUs
September 22, 2010 5:39:48 AM

There is no program I know of that will use a full 4Gb of ram unless it's dealing with massive file sizes, 8Gb is simply overkill for 95% of users and adding additional ram over what you need will have little effect on performance, so don't expect to see any where near 100% usage on your ram.

For your cpu usage, very few programs can utilize 8 threads, the vast majority of applications are simple enough they still run with 1 thread. Unless the video editing software your using can actually feed 8 threads, than you won't see any where near 100% cpu usage either.
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a c 126 à CPUs
September 22, 2010 6:03:45 AM

loneninja said:
There is no program I know of that will use a full 4Gb of ram unless it's dealing with massive file sizes, 8Gb is simply overkill for 95% of users and adding additional ram over what you need will have little effect on performance, so don't expect to see any where near 100% usage on your ram.

For your cpu usage, very few programs can utilize 8 threads, the vast majority of applications are simple enough they still run with 1 thread. Unless the video editing software your using can actually feed 8 threads, than you won't see any where near 100% cpu usage either.


The first version of Crysis that had a bad memory leak would use 4GB of memory or more after about 1 hour of playing.

:p 

But even if it is a single threaded video rendering program, it should not be slow on a Core i7.
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September 22, 2010 2:49:13 PM

Thanks for the help!!

It was a clean install of windows. All of my data from my previous computer was on an external HD. I also reinstalled all programs that I had been running.

My PSU is an OCZ StelthXStream 700W. I bought this for $50 at CompUSA. It was about half price of all other 700W PSUs and the CompUSA person said it would work fine. (Something tells me this could be the problem.)

When monitorng the CPU usage I have seen all 8 threads being used; however, I also noticed on ocassion that the even threads had no activity.

I do a lot of video rendering in Pinnacle Studio 14. Is 8GB just overkill? Should I take back 4?

I'm at work right now, but will post by CPUZ screen this evening after I reset the BIOS defaults.

Thanks again!
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a b à CPUs
September 22, 2010 9:24:19 PM

Your instincts are good, the psu may be involved.

But clear CMOS and reset BIOS defaults first. Change nothing except RAID settings and the like that must be changed for your configuration to run, Then reboot.

If that doesn't fix the problem, re-do the stability tests, and post results here. CPUID's hardware Monitor (so we can judge temps vs others reported often here), Prime95 (with "Detect Rounding Errors" on), Furmark. If temps are OK, then Prime95 and Furmark.

Sometime during all of this, check to ensure that all threads are in fact running at cpu max. That will demonstrate whether your PC config is capable of running flat out.

Also use cpu-z at points during these runs to make sure your cpu is clocking to the frequencey you expect when under load.

Let us know what happens, and then we can start to look at what "slow" really means and where it happens.
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a b à CPUs
September 22, 2010 10:42:49 PM

I'm surprised it took that long for someone to say it... run Prime95! It'll guarantee to max out your CPU. If it does, then the issue is simply that you're using a single threaded program. No big deal. If it doesn't, then the issue is elsewhere. Could be PSU, could be the mobo BIOS needs updating.
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September 23, 2010 10:42:30 AM

I updated the current BIOS and ran Prime95. Below is the CPU-Z CPU screen (if I inserted the image correctly):



I've noticed that the Core Speed routinely drops to around 1.2 and then up to a max of about 3.2; however, this did not happen while Prime95 was running. Should the CPU's speed change like this?

I ran the identical process within my video program, and all 8 cores are running. The CPU is at about 30-50%, and the ram is around 2-3.5 GB. The process is running faster than earlier, but tech support for the program (Pinnacle/Avid) said that the CPU should be procesing at 90-100% during this process.

And... I have a confession to make. During the BIOS update that I thought I ran over the weekend after building my computer, I noticed that I missed the install step of extracting the file. This means that my BIOS was never updated and was using a 2006 version instead of 2009. (Don't drink and build a computer for the first time... lesson learned.)

Do you think I still have an issue?

Thanks for all your help!

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September 23, 2010 10:45:58 AM

Maybe this is how I was supposed to post the CPU-Z report:



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a b à CPUs
September 23, 2010 2:25:21 PM

Clocks are supposed to drop when idle, the mutiplier will go down to 9 to save power. And then under load, depending on how many threads, the cpu will use 21, 22, 23, or 24 multipliers (for an i5 750 anyway, not sure if the 870 has a different bin count)

Can't see the screens. You need to upload the screenshot to a website, like photobucket.com then link to the image.

Sounds like maybe that program doesn't have a multithreading option ticked off or something.
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September 23, 2010 2:44:45 PM

I'll get the screen shots uploaded tonight.

This forum is great! Too bad I did not find it before I built my computer.

Anyhow... A couple more quick questions... Does Windows 7 64 bit have a limitation on the amount of RAM used by a single application? This is the latest thing I've been researching, and it seems like there is a setting that I need to change in the BIOS (for memory mapping) or within windows to enable further use of RAM.

I also noticed that the clocks drop while the CPU usage is at 30% (not idle). Could that be an issue as well?

Thanks!
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a b à CPUs
September 23, 2010 2:51:05 PM

Hmm not really. An application can only use as much RAM as it needs. However, try searching for Superfetch and Prefetch. I forget which is which, exactly, but you might find disabling them causes higher RAM usage. I disabled them since getting an SSD, and now I think my RAM usage is a bit higher in windows. Also my file paging is way down, only reads at the most around 250mb usually more like 120mb and it's set to automatic, 8gb (to match my RAM amount).
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September 24, 2010 10:37:40 AM

Best answer selected by davefupm.
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September 24, 2010 10:47:35 AM

Thanks to all of you for your help!

I think I had a few things going on here. After I updated the BIOS, my computer became more responsive which makes a whole hell of a lot of sense since the version I was using was from 2006.

Secondly, the program I've been using to edit videos, Pinnacle Studio 14, absolutely sucks! The features and user interface are excellent, but the time it takes to process anything in this application is absoultely horrible. (I spent quite a bit of time researching this lately as well.) It's a 32 bit progam with known stability problems. It's kind of like a hot chick that just lays there. I'll be spending my time now looking for the best comparably priced (around $100) video editing program... the one with the great personality that will rock my word... if you will.

Thanks guys!
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