RAM or CPU problem... need help.

I've shipped this computer across the world a few times and haven't had any trouble with it whatsoever except for some dents in the case. This time, while it still works, I'm having some problems.

Anyway, it won't turn on the normal way. If I push the power button, I get three beeps and the screen stays blank. I opened the computer up, checked the connections, tried rebooting with different RAM configurations (thinking it was a memory issue) and the only solution I found was to start it up using the power button followed by the reset button. For some reason, that works every time. Only using the power button means it will never start. Weird, but not a big deal really.

The other problem is quite a bit more serious. My computer seems to be performing slower. It especially affects video and browsing.

Before, it ran extremely smoothly when it came to basic Window stuff. Now, even typing text has a slight (noticeable) delay. Video can't be played full screen because it stutters (audio and video) and it slows down a lot so I have to watch everything in windowed mode. Even when I'm watching video in windowed mode, something simple like someone signing onto MSN can make it run really choppy for a few seconds.

It seems like if I'm running one application and switch to another, the other application starts slowing down dramatically. This never happened before I shipped my computer. Even if I'm just listening to an MP3 and browsing, if I go to a new website the MP3 in the background will start stuttering/slowing down.

The weird thing is, games work okay. At least the games that I've tried (I'm busy these days so not much gaming).

I did all sorts of memory checks, both using software (memcheck) and physically switching the RAM. It doesn't feel like a RAM issue. I ran chkdsk several times overnight and came to the conclusion that it's not an HDD issue (I've had that happen before--doesn't feel like it). If it were a video card issue, then games and the like would be affected. They're not as far as I know. I've also checked, re-checked and re-checked the wiring inside the case. Nothing seems loose. I even disconnected/reconnected everything to no avail.

That only leaves the motherboard and the CPU. To be honest, I think it's the CPU. Although I know it also *might* be the RAM as RAM is fragile and I left the sticks in the motherboard while it was shipping overseas. Maybe something to do with one of the CPU cores not functioning properly. That would explain why I can't do two tasks at once. However, even if I'm just watching a video in VLC player, if I go to full screen then it just stutters like crazy with the exception of really low quality (320p and under) videos. If it's 480p or above, it stutters in full screen, both with flash and just normal downloaded videos.

Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this? Anything I should check? I'm pretty good with computers but it seems I never get the same problem twice so when something new comes up I ask people online.

If I have to take something out, I don't mind. This computer isn't long for this world. If I get it working properly again, the plan is to overclock the CPU like crazy and run it hot for the last few months that I own it.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

Edit: Before you answer, yes I have the newest drivers for everything. No, I don't have any viruses (I do regular scans). I think this is a hardware issue because it started happening immediately after I set up my computer after it being shipped 15000 miles.

My specs:

Intel Core2Duo E8200 @ 2.66GHZ
Mainboard: Gigabyte Technology EP35-DS3R
XFX Nvidia 275 GTX
Samsung 22" (1680x1050)
5 answers Last reply
More about problem help
  1. How long are the beeps.

    Are they:

    Beep, Beep, Beep

    or Beeeeep,Beeeeep, Beeeeep.
  2. It's like...

    Beeeeeeepbeepbeep. The two beeps follow the first in rapid succession.
  3. The BIOS has identified a bad Video Card.
  4. Okay, confirmed that against the manual which I found online.

    The thing is, why does it automatically start working when I push the "reset" button instead of the power button? That's why I thought it was a PSU problem. The video card is only detected if I turn the computer on and restart it with the reset button. When it is working, the performance is sluggish in video applications (all except DivX codec for some reason) and most newer games (though older or slightly older games have no problems).

    One thing I was considering trying was moving the card to the next slot. Think that would help? Maybe it's the mainboard's connection to the card.
  5. Try it.
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