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Slow CPU after hardware upgrade...

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March 4, 2011 7:25:41 PM

My dilemma:
Ever since upgrading my power supply and graphics card my quad core cpu has been maxing out on fairly simple and lightweight tasks. Like loading photoshop, loading videos in browsers is slower and playback is painfully choppy at times, and even loading games takes way longer than it used to. Once the game loads the gameplay is choppy and the cpu's are maxed out when they used to only be at about 50-70% while playing. The computer just runs everything noticeably and often painfully slow now when it used to run like a champ with games and multi-tasking the web and other programs across my dual monitors for the past year and a half.

Potential cause/reason for hardware upgrade:
Playing the Rift beta I left my computer on for a little while (10-15 minutes), and came back and the screen had digital artifacts all over and the computer itself was frozen/non-responsive. Hard reset it and since then after the computer running for a minute or two the digital artifacts return covering the whole screen and the computer freezes along with these artifacts. I assume I fried my 8800gt graphics card. So I went and bought the gtx460 and a (yes, regrettably, somewhat cheap) raidmax 630 watt PSU to handle the new graphics card.


So the real question: What could be the cause of my cpu running so slow ever since the hardware upgrade? If my old graphics card overheated and died, could my cpu also have overheated and now not be running as well? I read even if my power supply for some reason isn't pumping out enough power that wouldn't cause anything to be slow, I would just be having crashes. What can I do to get my computer back to where it was!?



My computer:
Gateway FX7026
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 quad processor
4 GB RAM
Two 320 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA II hard drives
630 Watt Raidmax PSU (NEW)
EVGA GTX460 Graphics card (NEW)

Previous Components:
400 Watt PSU
GeForce 8800GT Overclocked
March 4, 2011 7:43:35 PM

Quote:
Hi

What is your native resolution and the speed of your cpu?

What antivirus are you using?



Native resolution is 1920 x 1080 on left monitor (LG W2353V) and 1280 x 1024 on right monitor (Samsung Syncmaster 930b).

Each cpu core runs at 2.5 GHz.

Norton 360 antivirus.

Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit by the way!
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March 4, 2011 8:07:34 PM

Clunky, slow, choppy video... hmmm.

You did completely un-install the NVidia drivers from your system, right?

And then, go to NVidia.com and download the right drivers for your new GTX 460 card.....


Too, little power from the power supply won't cause things to get slow.....

CPU not likely effected by the death of your video card.....

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March 5, 2011 5:33:29 AM

Quote:
Two monitors at different resolutions? Why if I might ask? The 1080p resolution is right for the gpu but the 2nd one no.
Try and get the cpu speed up to 3Ghz as well.

Then for the drivers. You need to clean them out. Use a driver cleaner and follow its instructions to gerald rid of the older drivers completely.
Try disabling your antivirus as well and test it.

Another thing you might want to do is to download malwarebytes and run a full system scan. You can download it at bleepingcomputer.com

And disable the 2nd monitor with the low resolution. Plug it out and test it with only the 1080p monitor



I'm running the 2nd monitor at a lower resolution because that's the max resolution of that monitor. I've never had an issue with it before. Why would running it cause a problem? The computer and graphics should be able to handle 2 monitors. It definitely did before the whole mess up.

I did do a clean install with the new driver for the new video card and I have the latest driver. I went ahead and checked manually anyway and deleted a bunch of other drivers for other parts other parts of the computer that I don't use anymore.

Malewarebytes scanned complete, no issues found at all.

No improvement noticed yet from any of that :( 


I've still got to turn norton off and try that. Any recommendations on a better antivirus to use in it's place? I definitely want something up in the long run protecting me.

Any other ideas what could be the culprit?
I've checked my task manager and there's nothing hogging the cpu to begin with. It just all of a sudden spikes all the way up on individual tasks.
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March 5, 2011 5:49:59 AM

Just to confirm did you do a "clean driver" install or did you do a "clean Win 7" install?

Generally when you make a major hardware change a clean OS install is required.
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March 5, 2011 7:47:53 PM

I'm a nub at these things so I thought I might learn something, could it be the Hard drive. If I'm wrong tell me why :) 
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March 5, 2011 8:14:11 PM

Hard Drive errors normally hit fast and hard. If the heads crash then data loss is evident very quickly. If it is the HDD BIOS then that normally leads to the blue screen of death. Also Win 7 is pretty good at sniffing out HDD issues and often alerts (but not always) the user to impending doom.

The symptoms that are being reported are not typical of a failing HDD and also the user has reported the problems surfaced immediately after a PSU GPU Hardware Change. I suspect the most likely cause is software based most probably a Driver issue.
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March 5, 2011 8:28:43 PM

Wamphryi said:
Hard Drive errors normally hit fast and hard. If the heads crash then data loss is evident very quickly. If it is the HDD BIOS then that normally leads to the blue screen of death. Also Win 7 is pretty good at sniffing out HDD issues and often alerts (but not always) the user to impending doom.

The symptoms that are being reported are not typical of a failing HDD and also the user has reported the problems surfaced immediately after a PSU GPU Hardware Change. I suspect the most likely cause is software based most probably a Driver issue.


Thanks man :) 
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March 5, 2011 11:20:55 PM

Wamphryi said:
Just to confirm did you do a "clean driver" install or did you do a "clean Win 7" install?

Generally when you make a major hardware change a clean OS install is required.




So I just did a clean driver install, not a fresh OS install. Are you suggesting I should since I put a new PSU and GPU in? And my noob question would be: does doing a clean OS install include re-formatting the hard drive and having to backup all my files elsewhere?
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March 6, 2011 5:31:31 AM

The thing is that there is no such thing as a clean driver install in my opinion unless it is on the back of a fresh OS install. Yes that includes backing up your data (which should be done as a matter of course anyway). Win 7 is more tolerant of major hardware changes than say XP but the games that were running on it may well not be. Look at it like this.

OS is installed
Drivers for GPU are installed.
Games are installed.
GPU is removed and new GPU is put in its place.
Driver is removed and new driver installed.
Games were installed and configured themselves to work with the GPU that is no longer there. Win 7 may adapt to the new driver but what about the games that were installed previously?

That is where I believe that your problem is. You can get away with a HDD or Ram or CPU change because your third party applications and Games are not fussy in that area but the GPU on the other hand has some intense coding at an application level. Therefore it generally pays to do a fresh OS and Driver install when you change the GPU. Of course its not 100% guaranteed to fix the issue but it is really the only way to eliminate the probable OS / Driver issue.
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March 9, 2011 11:21:40 PM

Wamphryi said:
The thing is that there is no such thing as a clean driver install in my opinion unless it is on the back of a fresh OS install. Yes that includes backing up your data (which should be done as a matter of course anyway). Win 7 is more tolerant of major hardware changes than say XP but the games that were running on it may well not be. Look at it like this.

OS is installed
Drivers for GPU are installed.
Games are installed.
GPU is removed and new GPU is put in its place.
Driver is removed and new driver installed.
Games were installed and configured themselves to work with the GPU that is no longer there. Win 7 may adapt to the new driver but what about the games that were installed previously?

That is where I believe that your problem is. You can get away with a HDD or Ram or CPU change because your third party applications and Games are not fussy in that area but the GPU on the other hand has some intense coding at an application level. Therefore it generally pays to do a fresh OS and Driver install when you change the GPU. Of course its not 100% guaranteed to fix the issue but it is really the only way to eliminate the probable OS / Driver issue.



Alrighty then. OS re-installed. Still getting unusually high cpu usage :( 
Should I try an older graphics card driver? Maybe this newest driver just isn't communicating well?
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March 10, 2011 12:06:22 AM

I'm wondering, we haven't touched on this yet (an you just did a Clean OS install). So, load a copy of CPU-Z. Look at the Memory Tab, what is the memory "Size", "Channel #", and "DRAM frequency"....

A system that is really low on RAM will be slow and thrash information on & off hard disk....

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March 10, 2011 12:15:11 AM

the power supply you bought is a crap brand that probably couldnt even produce its rated power. i would start with that. it CAN cause things to run slow among other very weird issues, artifacts etc. Get that radimax crap out of there.
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March 10, 2011 12:40:59 AM

Check that the CPU isn't underclocked or anything, and that all cores are being used. The CPU usage is nothing to do with graphics card drivers.
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March 10, 2011 12:57:10 AM

Memory...
Size: 4096 Mb
Channel #: Dual
DRAM Frequency: 332.1 MHz

Task manager usually shows physical memory usage at about 1.4 GB. Usually no big spikes there.


CPU reportedly running at 2.5 GHz when stressed. Checked using CPU-Z also.


I think I'm going to go with trying a new PSU. I'm kicking myself for buying the cheap brand. AND there's a decent Corsair 600Watt on sale at Best Buy that I'm going to go pick up.
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March 10, 2011 7:30:51 PM

Your RAM settings look correct in CPU-Z.

I would never tell anyone NOT to buy a nice Corsair power supply (they are Excellent), BUT, I don't believe it will fix your issues with slow performance. I really think you need to revisit the clean OS installation followed by a clean NVidia GPU driver install.

If you have a spare drive, just try to load a fresh copy on that spare drive and boot off of it (Don't input the OS Key Code. And, tell it Not to register your copy online. That well your have at least 30 days to try out this "Test")

See if that works.....
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March 10, 2011 11:33:26 PM

either way replacing that psu will not hurt and you wont have to watch your pc blow up in 6 months when your current psu fails. when you reinstalled the os, did you completely reinstall? format the hard drive? make sure you do that.
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March 11, 2011 12:37:52 AM

Alrighty, so when I did the OS reinstall I completely formatted the hard drive and reinstalled windows 7 from scratch. Nothing on it. I put Avast antivirus on almost immediately to try that instead of Norton. And I installed the current nvidia drivers for my gtx460. This was Tuesday night.

Last night I bought the Corsair GS600 PSU and put that guy in and it works good.

BUT...even last night after the new PSU and definitely today I'm still getting the same sort of CPU spikes and the computer being slow.
Just now opened chrome, that's the only thing running and I couldn't open 2 tabs without the cpu maxing out and taking a long time to load the pages. Task manager showed each chrome tab taking up 25% of the cpu...

jb6684 - I do have a 2nd hard drive on the computer that I could reinstall the OS on, but I'm not seeing the reason that might help or make any difference? I did the full clean OS install and clean nvidia drivers on this hard drive and I'm still getting the cpu lag/spikes.

Is there any way I can test to find out if the CPU itself has an issue? Like I said, CPU-Z shows it running up to 2.5Ghz like it should, and it is showing all 4 cores in use... It just seems like no matter what changes I make the CPU is still the thing having the issues.
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March 11, 2011 3:10:05 AM

Is Task Manager showing all cores in use?

What are the temperatures like? It could be you knocked the heatsink, and that now it isn't cooling it properly, therefore causing overheating, which in turn causes the CPU speed to be throttled.
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March 12, 2011 12:44:34 AM

Same issue. Im on a fresh win7 64bit install. Without the nvidia graphic drivers, everything runs fine (but I cant run anything since I dont have any display drivers) and with the drivers either from the CD that came with the 460 GTX or the newest drivers from nvidia.com my CPU spikes to 100% usage on every mouse move...

If you find a fix for this, please post it, im desperate..
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March 12, 2011 2:12:25 AM

Have you tried your old graphics card again (just a crazy idea!)?

Make sure it isn't a virus or similar.

Use Task Manager (with "Show processes from all users") to see what process is causing the problem (NOT "System Idle Process"), and tell us here.
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March 14, 2011 2:44:04 AM

So cpu cores run at about 55-60c most of the time. I ran Prime95 for a few hours last night and it bumped up to 70c by the end of that. Neither of those seem unreasonable to me...

Task manager never really shows a consistent program hogging memory or the cpu. Like right now I have a few chrome tabs open, each taking up about 60,000 memory but 00 cpu. Now the shockwave flash plugin for chrome is eating 132,000K memory and 20% CPU... (I've got 2 pages with flash videos up that's causing that it looks like.) Is that unreasonable? The only other thing that's big is svchost which is taking 100,000K memory but 00 cpu...

I threw the old graphics card in but was getting digital artifacts completely covering the screen immediately in bios before it could even get to windows!


Any of that help or give anyone some new ideas on things to try? Definitely still running a slow computer over here when I should be doing just fine...
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March 14, 2011 6:02:41 AM

I meant to see what program was using the CPU when it spiked, if possible.
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March 16, 2011 4:43:35 PM

Having the same problem with the same system Gateway FX7026. I added a new graphics card and power supply and the system is crawling in windows 7 tasks, opening bowser pages and links is very slow with noticiple lag between click and response. Tried lauching World of Warcraft and getting 1-2 FPS.

Used drive sweeper and did clean install of Nvidia drivers. No luck. Flashed BIOS to same version I had in case that got corrupted and no luck. Any help appreciated

My computer:
Gateway FX7026
Windows 7
Intel Core 2 Quad Q9300 quad processor
4 GB RAM
Two 320 GB, 7200 RPM, SATA II hard drives
800 Watt Corsair GS800 power supply (NEW)
EVGA GTX 560 TI (NEW)

Previous Components:
400 Watt PSU
GeForce 8800GT Overclocked (died which is why I replaced)

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March 16, 2011 4:44:43 PM

One other thing, this is happening with with no load on the system, low cpu/memory... am at a loss
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March 16, 2011 5:02:46 PM

Hmm...

A GPU swap by itself wouldn't be causing this many issues. Bad RAM would have BSOD's a LONG time ago. GPU could be a problem, but doesn't fully explain the high CPU usage, and you did a clean format, with no change...

I recommend reseting teh BIOS to default. Its really the only thing that hasn't been brought up yet. Also, CPU temps you gave a trending high, but if the CPU is still running at 2.5 and not throttling, that is not the issue we're seeing. Might want to throw in a memory test, just for kicks, though I doubt thats the problem.
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September 6, 2011 2:07:19 AM

Go into BIOS and check what the video card adapter is set to.. I had the same problem and went into BIOS and changed the video card adapter from PCI to PCI-E and it fixed the problem just that easy. Hope it works for you as it did me.

Peace in the middle East
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